Tag Archives: public relations

Top 5 Reasons Startups Should Invest In Public Relations

By Amanda Sutton, Guest Contributor

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1. There is never a better time to tell your story.

The most exciting and newsworthy aspect of launching a new business, is you. So it’s a good idea to get used to talking about; your start, your experiences, what drives you, what brought you here – personal stories in the media have never been so desired or beneficial to a new company. The sooner you can get comfortable with telling your story, the more opportunities you will open up.

Your story may not only appeal to industry or business outlets, but a lifestyle focused approach could introduce your product or service an audience that you never thought of targeting. PR people know journalists, and they know how to tell a good story. Get out there.

2. You have a limited budget.

In this over segmented age of marketing services, how is one company to know in which basket to put all of their hard earned eggs: Copywriting? Online marketing? Video? Social media? It is the greatest time of opportunity, but also one of the most overwhelming undertakings to access these “free marketing” tools – and as we all know by now, none of them is truly free. Investing in a copywriter as an example, that’s great for content – but knowing how to leverage that content into multiple opportunities to support your vision, partners, sales, events, news, while delivering a strong corporate message? That takes a broader skill set.

Luckily, PR pros are the Swiss army knife of marketers, blurring the lines between writer, sales and brand champions. Not only will a well-done PR campaign live forever online, but the affects can be quantified in social sharing, blog content, web traffic, Google rankings as well as boosting strategic partnerships, industry credibility, community impact and internal morale. There is no better investment of your money than that.

3. You need investors.

Today’s angel investors are looking for a well rounded portfolio of clients – this could just as easily be you. On the flip side, your company may want the benefit of multiple investors and the diverse knowledge and experience that comes with that. But how would they begin to find you? While the world of tweeting and sharing may go a long way to build your fan base and support your brand – these VIPs are also looking to their own industry (and local) news sources to expand their horizons and seek out companies that are serious about success.

This can include trusted and relevant sources from MoneySense to Globe & Mail, CBC to BNN, and the like. What exposure from these sources can do is lend to your credibility from third party experts and give insight into why you or your product may be something to consider investing in long-term. It is not an easy task to entice these outlets to feature your story or your product. You will need help. Angels are everywhere.

4. Innovation is always news.

Let’s face it – some business sections of your favourite publication can get a little… cynical. I’ve once heard the business section of the New York Times be referred to as the (anti) business section by a well known investor and serial entrepreneur. To this end, it’s not that journalists are looking for negative or disheartening stories, I just really think not as many positive ones come across their desk.

Journalists will always be open to discussing the positive or innovative developments happening in areas of technology, environment, business, health, finance and elsewhere. If you feel your product has gone a long way to advance or improve an old system and you are tired of handing out sell sheets, PR can be your number one ally.

 

5. You only get one chance to make a good first impression.

Some may no longer think this applies in today’s ‘here today-gone tomorrow-back again next week’ society. Instant gratification combined with access to a wide audience is an enticing thing for a new CEO or President. You have the power to attract, retract, rephrase, paraphrase at whatever interval and whatever mood suits you. But know this – smart people will always flock to the truth. “If you can get people to buy into your vision and they can trust that vision …they will trust you and give you business.” Harris Diamond

 

PR should be a skill used to help businesses hone in on their truth and articulate their core key messages. This is what you can stand on when going public. This will launch you on the right foot and solidify a strong foundation of followers.

For information on Catalyst CCs ‘PR Launch Kit’ for Starts Ups click here.

 

About the author:

Amanda Sutton is an entrepreneur, mother, wife and owner of Catalyst communications choreography. With 15 years in PR working with SMB clients, including BizLaunch, Amanda helps companies gain clarity and direction with their brand message and creates news and engagement through PR using media, community and social channels. Her blog has amassed a strong following and is a great source for the small business owner including tips, advice and industry insights into the ever-evolving world of PR and marketing. Contact her through www.catalystcc.ca or follower her at @catalystpr.

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10 Things You Didn't Know About PR

If you’re not using press releases and public relations to effectively expand your reach, you’re missing out on serious opportunity. But if you are, here are a few things you might not know.

1. Journalists Don’t Care About Your Brand.

As awesome as you think your news is, you’ll be turned down or ignored by 99% of journalists or bloggers. Don’t be the company that cried wolf: only pitch when you have coverage-worthy news.

2. Press Releases Are More About SEO Than Publication Coverage.

Journalists don’t typically read releases (see #1), but the biggest benefit of press releases being published online is the SEO juice they provide.

3. The Best Time to Pitch Your News Is…

Midweek and midday. Most people delete a ton of emails when they get in the office on Mondays, and are less likely to want to read pitches on Friday afternoons. Continue reading

10 Benefits to Public Relations

If you’ve been putting all your efforts into marketing your business using social media, blogs and Internet marketing, you’re missing out on a valuable ingredient in this recipe: public relations. While the primary goal of public relations–or PR–is to get the media (journalists and bloggers) to write about your brand, there are also other benefits to putting in the effort.

1. It Provides Great SEO

Writing and distributing a press release on an online distribution site brings you plenty of SEO karma. After all, that press release gets distributed to dozens of news and industry websites, so your link is essentially multiplied across the web. Using keywords that apply to your brand also helps you rise up the search engine results.

2. It Introduces Your Brand to Consumers

In addition to journalists and bloggers stumbling across your release and finding out about your company, you also get consumers who find out about you by searching the keywords you use in your press release, then finding your news online.

3. It Helps You Keep Tabs on Your Industry

If you’re doing a good job of building relationships with the media, you’re staying on top of the news and trends they write about. This can help you in a few ways:

  • It gives you ideas about topics for your own press releases
  • It helps you create intelligent pitches to these journalists
  • It helps you come up with new ideas for products

Continue reading

SEO Tips for Small Business

Last week marked the 30th celebration of Canada’s small business week. Across the country, hundreds of activities were held to showcase and support Canada’s small business sector. I had the opportunity to attend the Small Business Forum at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. With over 100 exhibitors and 15 seminars, excitement filled the air as entrepreneurs learned about the latest products and services available to help them build their business.

I was lucky to attend a seminar by Jeff Quipp from Search Engine People on the “Tips for Better Rankings on Search Engines”. After sitting in on the seminar I realized that in today’s competitive environment, having a website is not enough. You also need your website to appear high in Google search results so people can easily find the services you offer.

Search engine optimization (SEO) helps you to do just that. To explain SEO you need to understand that Google uses a complex formula to decide where your website should appear in search results. The exact formula remains a secret, but there are two major components (in-page and off-page factors) that help determine how high on the list a website will appear.

In-page factors are basically what you say about your website and rely on keywords to help Google identify your website in search results. Keywords can be used in your: website URL, the titles and headings you use to describe each web page, the navigation links on your site and in the text on your website. If you use a standard set of keywords to describe the areas mentioned above, Google recognizes your site as more relevant to search results. The key here is to focus on choosing keywords that properly represent your business. The other thing to keep in mind is that the more content you have on your site and the more often it is updated; the more valuable your site appears to Google. Content can include website copy, videos, images, and widgets. According to Jeff, in-page factors account for approximately 30% of your page ranking.

Off-page factors refer to what other people are saying about your website and are made up of links on other websites that lead back to your site. Jeff estimates that approximately 70% of your page ranking consists of off-page content. Most of this 70% is made up of the keywords that other people use to describe your site. Are they using the same keywords as you are?

After learning about off-page content, many people wonder how they can get links. Jeff suggested that you can get more links by providing quality content on your website, or by building them on other websites. For example, you can create content by writing news releases and articles that will increase media attention. To build links you can talk to suppliers and complementary businesses about linking to your site, or you can make directory submissions. It’s important to understand that off-page content is about quality not quantity. For example, if you can get media coverage from powerful sites that end in .edu or .gov, or from popular news websites, Google sees your site as more credible.

It is often said that entrepreneurs wear many hats. As we develop our skills, wearing different hats becomes a little more comfortable. That’s why – no matter what business you’re in – it’s important to always keep learning.

For more information about SEO, attend a free webinar.
Source: Search Engine People