Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Doing PR Yourself

I listened to a fabulous blog talk radio call today with Lara Galloway, The Mom Biz Coach, and her guest Elena Verlee of PR in Your Pajamas (check out blogtalkradio.com to hear it again). Elena did a great job of sharing how the small business can manage their own PR efforts. I'd like to add a few more pieces of information regarding who to target with your PR efforts. As you never know exactly WHEN/WHERE a reporter or interested party will get their information:
  • Identify potential editors and reporters of your local publications, TV and Radio. Even if your business is national in scope, local media loves to do feel good stories on successful local companies.
  • If your business is local in nature, be sure to include chambers of commerce, local calendar websites, groups of potential interest, etc. There is no bad place to send the release! PR is NOT just for reporters - the goal is to tell as many people as possible about your business, event, service or new product.
  • Be sure to add the release to your website. It adds timely content (good for SEO) and shows anyone visiting your site what you are sharing with the world, and the exciting things you are doing.
  • Take advantage of your social media connections. After posting the release to your website, create a link on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Linked in to drive others to link to the release that's already on your site - and poof! - the reader is now at your website learning more about your company.
  • Don't be afraid to use your personal and professional connections to share your news. I love to share information on companies I patronize or are owned by friends. It's a great "pay it forward" action and makes me feel good for supporting businesses that I want to see flourish.

You can create great continuity from a press release by having a plan of who to share the information with, where you will post the information, and how you will not only "push" the information to others, but "pull" others to your website.

Need assistance figuring out what is PR-worthy, what to say in your press release, who to send the press release to and/or how to follow through? Feel free to contact me to help you create a plan for using this great tool while you focus on the core of your business.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Art of Marketing YOURSELF for that Next Job

As a marketing consultant, I work hard to provide my clients with a "best face forward" business profile. I had a recent experience that made me think of how it is not only important to present your business in the right light, but also how individuals could do the same in this tough job market.

Case and point - client needed a part-time a sales and marketing administrator. I created a very detailed and specific job description and passed it on to a select crowd, so that we would not be bombarded by the masses for a part-time position. Since I was the lucky individual who filtered the responses, I realized too late that it has been shared with way too many non-ideal candidates. But I managed through it. However, after this little experience, I feel I could teach a class on marketing yourself to get the job you want. Marketing yourself is much like marketing your business - you have to show the potential employer that you are the ideal choice!

  • Stop telling the company what YOU want. I had a lot of "I am trying to get out of automotive" or "I need this part-time job to make ends meet while I focus on my other business over here". Do you really think THAT kind of angle is going to get you the job?

  • Focus on what you can do for that company. An employer is looking for a resource who is going to be experienced, dedicated and have potential. Make sure you show that link. Don't waste their or your time if it's not even close.

  • Be clear about how the job fits into your background. A generic statement about how you want to be helpful and you are a people person doesn't even whisper "hire me" - it screams "I don't really know what I want or how I can contribute". Create a confident and assertive opening to your letter and resume.

  • Customize your resume for the position. I saw so many "may-bes" but then put them in the "no thank you"pile because I had to connect the dots of how I could take their skills and use them for our position. Your resume should sing in harmony with the job description in both the written words and your work experiences - even if it's a stretch - make the connection!

  • List your technical skills. It may seem obvious that everyone knows the MS-Office Suite of products (Word, Excel etc.) but never assume. The more detailed about every technical aspect of abilities you can add to the mix, the better.

After a painful process, we found a fabulous candidate with the right back ground - because her resume said so first, she then had a confident phone interview with good examples of her work, so that by the time we met her we were already hooked.

If this post helps just one person tailor their "personal marketing message" to get the job they seek, I am a happy marketeer!