Archive for the ‘ Development ’ Category

Halloween Is #2 Promotional Opportunity

When you sketch your plan for the year be receptive to new opportunities or ways to enhance the current position. Seasonal promotions are a broad and significant way to accomplish this goal. Many times communities, businesses, and non-profits are participating in the festivities on some level – publicly or privately.

Halloween is the #2 promotional opportunity after holiday gift giving. Product mix for various age groups are available.

Communities will feature parades, trick-or-treating, Chamber of Commerce events, to name a few where any marketer can show their prowess with fun and creative SWAG year after year.

Business often allow employees to dress-up. This opens the door to employee engagement activity, such as a cute trophy that can be passed from winner to winner, or redone annually to display winner’s name and date. It’s also an opportunity to move to the front of the annual gift giving campaign with a PR gesture or enhancing the name and brand recognition.

Non-profits will often jump on Halloween wagon as a PR supporter of larger events. Sticking close to these groups and participating in their opportunities can lead to a broadening of your own client base. Many business owners want to do business with others that grasp their own philanthropic activities!

Caveat: Always maximize the Promotion! Do not go into the schools with donated, non-educational product to be distributed by school teachers and staff. These efforts tend to get “lost” along with your client’s message! Move the distribution to activities of this age group such as community soccer league where the structure offers a greater interaction and parents can monitor the activity.

It Doesn’t Pay to Keep Your Mouth Shut: PR Effect on Profit

I am a student of Public Relations: B.S. in P.R.! (I also LOVE irony and sarcasm. You can tweet me all the jokes, but I’ve probably heard them already.)

Throughout the education process, I can remember how the professors and textbooks tried to maintain a distance between sales and public relations. In doing so, what they FAILED to connect is the relationship between public relations and profitability.

It used to be that you would make strides for publicity when your organization reached a milestone, hired a new executive, or won an award or client contract. Social media now allows you to draw your brand into the paradigm with creative and fun games, meet the staff, and even “look at the funny thing that happened today” shares with your followers – your (best) customers.

Today’s social media groundswell has made it very easy to develop an effective ongoing soft sell branding campaign about who we are, what we do, and the fun we have; thus, creating a more immediate familiarity. At some point, however, you have to do business with a stranger. We are usually drawn to the more genuine personality. They make it easier to drop your guard and WANT to make a purchase.

This is the “warm and fuzzy” of social media. It goes beyond the fact that you make a widget at a specific price, but For you, Today … If your public relations and social media efforts are nothing more than an extension of your sales, marketing, and advertising campaigns, than apply your resources elsewhere because the ROI just isn’t there!

Public relations and social media in today’s environment gives you the opportunity to maintain a presence and pertinence with your target audience even when the need is not there today. Use the channel to present ideas for product and service that aren’t obvious to the novice user. Allow your sales and support staff to make videos regarding new products and services that are new, or coming soon. This will add a sense of familiarity to what used to be the (phantom) voice on the phone, or worse yet – email.

The impact on profitability can be enhance many times over with stronger prospecting leads, better results with product and service introductions, and stronger customer relations.

Who Do You Think You Are?

When I was a sophomore in high school, a teacher did a simple exercise in empathy and ethnocentric attitudes. He taped a ruled line piece of white tablet paper to the black board. Every student was to write down a description of no more than 5-words about what he had just attached to the black board. It was amazing how many variations in perception there was to such a simple daily object. So, you can image how much more complex is the task of defining who and what your organization is.

It is YOUR perception, or understanding of the various perceptions of your organization, that will set the tone of Who Do You Think You Are. In answering the question you establish your organizational objective statement. This statement will branch-out to guide goals and objectives, new products and services, and future opportunities as the pertain to your organization and its marketplace.

In defining your organization, remember that you are a combination of your product / service, the needs you satisfy, and the service received by your customers as they attempt to satisfy their need.

No Business Plan, No Problem!

If you’ve come to this place in time of your organizational life cycle without a documented plan, and not sure how to begin the process in mid-stream; no worries! I am presuming, of course, that you are not on the brink of bankruptcy due to the lack of planning and review.

My first suggestion is that you clean off your desk to begin setting up short term goals and objectives that can be implemented immediately: today or tomorrow. Document your end of year targets:

  • gross sales
  • prospecting growth (new accounts)
  • marketing plan
  • promotional budget
  • operating expenses

In your review and analysis of the short term goals and objectives, constantly review new strategies:

  • prospects
  • cross sell existing customers
  • marketing and promotional avenues with best ROI
  • expenses in your operating budget.

Over the next several months you will also reflect and establish the long term organizational issues, which I tend to do in reverse order:

  • succession plan
  • 10-year vision
  • 5-year vision
  • 3-year vision

Be sure to establish earmarks on your long term plans. Keep in mind that these plans will get worked into the short goals and objectives. They may come to fruition, or be adjusted to accommodate new theories, technologies, and opportunities.

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