Merry Christmas Everyone!
Merry Christmas Everyone!
This question from the shop owners in the BBC’s great comedy series ‘League of Gentlemen’ is very prophetic in many ways.
For some time internet search was focused on delivering the results of the ‘best keyword optimised sites’, regardless of where you were. For instance if you searched for ‘Bike shops’, chances are that you would be delivered a set of results from Google or Yahoo that displayed the best optimised sites for the keywords ‘Bike shops’.
This usually bore no relationship to where you were searching from so the results would include bike shops hundreds of miles from your location. Good if you wanted to buy ecommerce online, but bad if you wanted a local shop you could go into and ‘kick the tyres’ so to speak.
For some time Google has been tweaking its algorithms (which is not as painful as it sounds) to deliver a higher standard of relevant search results to its users and one of its major pushes has been in ‘local’ marketing.
This has now become the hot topic of 2011 and is something that you shouldn’t ignore when it comes to marketing your own ‘local’ business online. By taking a series of steps to secure your place in the local marketplace online, you can now capture the attention of people who want to buy goods and services from somebody who is not scores of miles away and somebody who has a good local reputation.
We will be running a series of seminars and webinars introducing this new concept to the marketplace, at the same time revealing some mind-blowing statistics about how the marketplace has changed in a very short time and why you should be part of this new marketing trend.
We spend countless late nights absorbing and applying the most cutting edge techniques from our neighbours across the pond so that our clients can positively benefit from our training and intervention.
If you are interested in attending one of our seminars, just drop us a line on [email protected] and we will give you priority notices about these business-changing events.
Jim McRoy, posted from Royston Vasey
I have a friend in Texas who lives his life at two hundred miles and hour, never seems to sleep and is one of the mega-achievers in this world.
Yet when you speak with him he is always cool, calm and collected. He recently wrote this article and it is for those of us who live at a hundred miles an hour, are too stressed to sleep and really struggle to hit those daily targets.
One way to have a direct and immediate impact on your peace of mind and productivity is to orchestrate an environment that seduces you into peace and hypnotises you into being productive.
You preparedness for life’s challenges is directly link to your state of mind. If your state is one of peace and you’re productive, you can handle life’s challenges as they come.
While there are many ways to manufacture an environment to support your peace and productivity, here are some quick suggestions.
Creating a Peaceful Setting to Position Yourself For Productivity:
1. Select a soothing colour scheme. Blue may be the most obvious choice, but there are plenty of tranquil hues including rose or earth tones. In fact, you can probably find a soft shade in any of your favourite colours. Save more dynamic tones for accent pieces.
2. Maximise your space. If space is at a premium, look for furniture that doubles as storage and seating. Take advantage of wall space by installing shelves and hooks. Strategically placed mirrors can open up any room, and careful furniture placement will make things feel less cramped.
3. Light up your office. If you have a window, make the most of the natural light and outdoor view. Adequate lighting around your workstation will minimize eyestrain. Adjustable lamps add additional comfort. Remember, the darker the room, the more light you’ll need.
4. Introduce some fragrance. If you have windows for natural light, try some easy-care plants like lavender or mint. Aromatic oil diffusers are also simple to use and long lasting. Scents such as chamomile, frankincense, marjoram, and sage are known for their calming and centering qualities. When you need something more invigorating, try lemon or wintergreen.
5. Play music. One of the nicest things about working alone is being able to enjoy music without disturbing anyone else. Instrumental music is best when you’re trying to concentrate. For routine tasks, play anything you want. Internet radio stations give you a huge selection.
6. Add personal touches. Spread around some treasured photos or vacation souvenirs. Post inspirational sayings or keep a book of favourite quotations on hand.
Getting Organised To Be More Productive:
1. Banish clutter. Plan for sufficient filing and storage space to help you keep clutter under control. Go paper-free whenever possible. Regularly sort through your materials for things you can discard or archive.
2. Clean regularly. Vacuum and dust every two to four days. Do a thorough cleaning at least once a month. This will help protect you from germs and create a more hospitable environment.
3. Separate your personal and business activities. When you work from home, it’s helpful to create boundaries to keep your life in balance. Keep distractions like laundry out of the office, and office items such as files out of the rest of the house. This will help you to focus and will also reduce the risk of losing things.
4. Minimise interruptions. Some people may have trouble understanding that you’re busy when you’re at home. Let your family and friends know the hours when you need to minimise calls or other interruptions. Resist the temptation to check email too frequently and put your phone on voice mail when you need some quiet time.
5. Stay connected. Take steps to avoid feeling isolated. Go out to lunch with colleagues at least once a week. Find local chapters of organizations relevant to your business and attend the meetings. Networking is good for your career and personal happiness.
6. Give yourself a break. When you set your own schedule, you need to plan your own breaks. You’ll be more effective at work if you stay active and refresh your mind. Go to the gym before you settle down to work in the morning. If you find yourself working long hours, pick one afternoon to take off and see a movie.
Create a setting that dispels fatigue and tension. Use these principles of design and organisation to feel better and work more effectively.
With peace of mind and a productive environment, I prepare myself for anything that life brings my way.
Life is about change and change often brings challenges. I accept challenges and prepare for them. Because I am ready for what comes my way, I can handle anything. Even joyful change can be stressful, but I have peace through all of life’s changes.
I am prepared and ready for life. I spend time thinking about where my life is going and map out what I want next. I prepare for change and realize that my plans may turn out differently than I expect. By being prepared, I can shape more of my own destiny.
Each day, I reaffirm my desire to accept life as it comes. I avoid becoming fearful or angry when there’s change in my world. Change is important and something that feels challenging at the time may turn out to be in my best interests.
I avoid judging each experience by itself and put it into the bigger context of my life as a whole. When I put challenges in context, they are often far different than I first thought.
In the midst of a storm, I remain calm. I think clearly and decide what the next step should be. Because I plan my steps, I can avoid getting off of my path. I make adjustments easily because I embrace change instead of fearing it. Being ready for life keeps me joyous and happy.
Today, I am prepared for my life, regardless of what it brings.
1. What can I do to increase my peace, productivity and be more prepared for life?
2. How can I stay positive when negative things happen to me?
3. How can I help others who are struggling with events in their own lives?
You can visit Stephen on his Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/StephenPierceLive
Did you know that by following a few simple steps you can generate publicity for your company that would cost you literally thousands to buy? And because you are actually saving money on your advertising costs and potentially driving hundreds of new visitors to your business, the amount you saved is all pure profit.?
Think about it:
However you may not be familiar with press releases or just how powerful they can be, so here is a brief summary:
‘A press release is a newsworthy story about your business that you submit to various
media outlets -newspapers, magazines, website, radio, television. This is a great way to
get free promotion for your website and business and any story that the media picks up will
be far more valuable than a paid advertising spot. After all, people are suspicious of
advertising, but when the media reports on you – people are more likely to accept the
information as provided.’
When you have a story in the media about your business, it is like having a personal endorsement of your business – and that’s a very positive aspect of the process.
But what if I don’t have anything newsworthy to say about my business, you might ask?
Follow my crib sheet and this will fill you with ideas for your next press mail-out and the rest of this guide will show you step-by-step how to write, format and submit the release to the media streams.
There are plenty of topics you can draw on for your press release campaign and to help you with the process, here are 27 great ideas for your next media attack.
1. Announce your grand opening. Get the interest stirred and crank up the publicity machine – if you have a special opening offer – all the better. Keep your target market in mind thought.
2. Get ideas from current events. And tie your business story into these hot news stories.
For example, if you sell draught-proofing and your area is experiencing record low
temperatures, you could create a press release about how to save on home heating
costs and include a reference to your products.
3. Piggy back on Film and TV; if you have developed some stunning new technology, you could write a release letting people know that the future is not that far away and your technology mirrors what they may have seen on sci-fi or even Bond movies.
4. Think out of the box – describe how your product can be adapted to solve a common problem that might not have been thought of before; remember the story of the Post it Notes-where an unsuccessful glue product turned into the multi-million dollar removable adhesive system?
5. Share ways that your offerings can save customers time, money or both. These are
two things that few people would say they do not need more of.
6. Tell about prominent individuals who use your product or service. They don’t
necessarily have to be movie stars or heads of state, just people who will be
familiar to your target market. If possible, get a testimonial to use.
7. Donate a product or service to a worthy cause. Then write a press release about it.
Focus on the charity and how it benefited from your donation.
8. Sponsor a local sports team. Not only will your business name be on the uniforms,
it will also provide a good opportunity to attract the media attention.
9. Hold a free seminar. This will give the press something to write about, and it will
also help put you in contact with new potential customers.
10. Speak at someone else’s seminar. This will help you gain expert status and makes
great press release material.
11. Announce your availability to speak at seminars and other events. Take the
opportunity to let readers know your areas of expertise and interest in sharing
12. Start a newsletter and announce it with a press release. Let potential readers know
if you accept contributions, answer reader questions or offer exclusive deals to
13. Host a fundraiser for charity. Write a press release detailing what cause you are
helping, how the fundraiser works and how people can participate.
14. Write another press release when your fundraiser is complete. Tell how much
money you raised, announce top contributors and tell how the money raised will
help the charity.
15. Donate a certain percentage of your sales for a given time period to charity.
Consider giving a gift with purchase to encourage sales.
16. Follow up with a press release that tells how much money you donated. Tell how
the charity plans to use the funds and thank the customers who made it possible.
17. Blow your own trumpet. When you win an award, send out a press release.
Focus on what this means for the customer and how your exceptional service or product benefits them.
18. Remedia – this is the equivalent of retweeting; if you have received noteworthy media coverage then let the other media know about it in a release.
19. Ask customers for permission to share their success stories that involve your
product. Your press release will be a news story and a testimonial all in one.
20. Start a new business association. Issue a press release that states the group’s
purpose and goals.
21. Make a prediction that relates to your field. A well thought-out prediction with
facts and statistics to back it up is sure to get some press.
22. Business birthday coming up? Wish your business a happy anniversary. Share your past achievements and your plans for the future.
23. Write an informative brochure or report and give it away. Everyone loves free
24. Give out awards to people or businesses in your community. Creating an “Of the
Month” or “Of the Year” award will provide you with content for many months or even years!
25. Start a new unofficial holiday that celebrates your business. If you run a cupcake bakery, you could have a National Cupcake day with all kinds of treats and special offers.
26. Create an un- holiday for people who do not like traditional ones. Around
Valentine’s Day, for instance, you could start a Proud to be Single Day. Tie your products and services into these promotions as much as possible.
27. Have a post-holiday sale, no matter what the holiday! Be as creative and as off-the-wall as you like. The Press love crazy!
Your press release should have six basic components and they are:
1. Release Instructions
“For Immediate Release”;
“For Release Before [date]” or
“For Release After [date]”
Use one of the latter two if your press release is of a time sensitive nature. For example, if
you are holding a public speaking event, you will want to use the “For Release Before
[date]” and make sure you input the final date for registrations.
If you are using the “For
Release Before [date]” ensure you are sensitive to media deadlines. Send your release out
well in advance.
Write an attention-grabbing headline. Make it benefits-oriented (why would it be of
interest to people?) and descriptive. Avoid hype and promotional language ~ remember,
this is a news story.
3. Contact Information
Include as much information as possible here. Make it easy for the media to contact you.
Include your phone number, address, company name, fax number, email and URL.
Include the hours you are available at the listed phone number and add an after hours
phone number, if applicable.
Before you get into the body of the release, write a sentence or two to summarize your
press release. Make it interesting, you want the recipient to keep reading.
This is the meat of your press release. Again, write a benefits-oriented story. Think of the
target audience as you are writing. Your target audience is partly the editor or reporter
who will be reading the release. Ultimately, however, your target audience is that editor
or reporter’s readers or audience. You need to write a story that will be of interest to
The first paragraph should answer all the important questions – Who, What, Where,
When, Why & How?
Add some quotations to add credibility and to break up the story. Quotations can be from
you about the topic. Testimonials or commentary from your customers are very effective
6. Signify the End of Your Release
The end of your press release is shown by a few simple characters. Use either END or place ### at the end of your release.
receives many press releases each day. A release addressed to a specific person is
more likely to get attention than a general submission.
a trade magazine.
A media kit is a more detailed profile of your company that includes your company
information, press releases, fact sheet, photos, logos etc. It’s a good idea to have a media
kit readily available for download in the media section of your website. In most cases
when you are distributing press releases, keeping it simple with a 1-page release is best –
but some media outlets may specifically request you to submit a media kit, so you should
be ready for that.
We have waited for a while and still couldn’t get it right, but now Eureka – we’ve got it.
A new baby. Logo, that is.
It’s conception was less than immaculate and was the culmination of trying to distill the essence of the Images Group into a notable, memorable icon that would (a) look as if it represents the Images Group, works on Social media platforms, work as a designed QR code, be easily used as a favicon, is modern, won’t date and is ‘clever’.
Nine months and many discarded attempts later, I think we have cracked it. Adding a new designer in the office has sparked a cascade of new ideas and between us we have come up with a logo that ecompasses all that we have tried to incorporate.
Here it is – the paint’s still wet, so don’t touch it!
We love the look, feel and functionality of the logo; but then we would – what’s your take?
Leave your comments below and we will send you a document with some RULs to help you with your own marketing efforts.
RULs – Really Useful Links