5 PR Trends That Will Help You Succeed in 2019

By Angela Kambarian, Founder of Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

As we enter the last weeks of 2018, it may be a good time to upgrade your marketing plan and devise a new course of action. As they say, “the world is changing a mile a minute” making it difficult to stay on top of things, set yourself apart or maintain trust in a rapidly evolving business environment.

When it comes to PR trends, they run the gamut from influencer marketing to storytelling to the unprecedented growth of artificial intelligence.

To ensure your PR strategy is on-point come the New Year, I suggest you check out my list of some of the most essential trends that may impact your marketing efforts. Armed with these insights, you will be better equipped to start off 2019 on the right foot and propel your business forward.

Image result for new PR Trends 2019

1.There is a Sharper Distinction Between Public Relations and Media Relations

According to Scott Meerman, 2019 is the year that PR pros finally realize that that PR and media relations are different activities. PR means using many different ways of communicating with constituents. How? By creating compelling, educational, or inspirational content. Media relations is just a subset of PR and mainly focused on working with reporters, editors or producers and urging them to tell a story.  Make sure you do NOT limit your strategy to media relations. Try to develop a full and comprehensive PR strategy and create fascinating content – not just for the media but also for ALL your constituents.

2. The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

One of the biggest changes I foresee is AI impacting the way PR professionals operate. Some of the more mundane, tedious and time-consuming tasks can be automated making them good candidates for AI.

So what exactly is Artificial Intelligence? AI is the development of computer systems that perform the following tasks: create media lists, transcribe audio and video into text, predict media trends and monitor social media, among other things. That being said, relationship building, creative strategy development, trust building or story telling will remain the provenance of business professionals.

3. The Role of Native Advertising

I am sure you have had this experience – you are perusing a news or entertainment site and stumble upon an engaging article. When you look for the author, you find tiny print that reads “Sponsored Content” and possibly a brand name. This is just one example of how native advertising works and why it’s so effective at reaching people. According to communication experts, this trend is more likely to continue as publishers are driven to develop and grow new forms of revenue.

4. Earned Media Continues to Expand

If you are serious about boosting your PR efforts, embracing all earned media ( including influencer marketing and word of mouth), is a smart way to go. Keep in mind that in addition to publicity, speaking engagements or trade show participation, backlinks are a vital part of earned media that boosts your SEO score and gets your brand seen by a wider audience.

5. Fake News Frenzy Intensifies

Here is another powerful trend that continues to heat up. Of course I am talking about fake news. What started a few years ago as a theory, has rapidly evolved into an all-out war against against news media outlets – and journalists are feeling the heat. Currently many of them are in a fight to win back trust and restore credibility. This effects the way PR pros operate. As they prepare campaigns, develop content or craft press releases, they must be alert to any potential threats to their brand’s reputation. Therefore, it is important to be specific in terms of quotes, cite all sources and remain hyper-vigilant when it comes to statistical data.

Let’s face it: Competition across all industry sectors continues to intensify. As I pointed out in the beginning of the article, with the right insights and tools you can stay on top of your game and gain the success you deserve. The 5 trends above will put you on the road for a successful, productive and exciting PR 2019.

If you are ready to boost your PR and marketing efforts, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call 516-724-4372 today. We are looking forward to speaking with you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

How to Upsell or Cross-Sell Your Services

By Angela Kambarian, Founder of Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

The end result of upselling or cross-selling is obvious: it usually leads to increased earnings. But here is the problem: most customers or clients can see right through the “You might also like…” line and choose to stick with the original purchase.

When you explain to your customer how your suggestions are going to benefit him/her and make a difference, you can use the art of upselling and cross-selling to your advantage.

So how do you go about doing that?

Let me start off by briefly defining the aforementioned terms. Upselling is encouraging the purchase of anything that would make the primary purchase more expensive. Cross-selling is encouraging the purchase of anything in conjunction with the primary product. In other words, upselling would be suggesting paying extra for bacon on top of a cheeseburger, or suggesting the purchase of a keyboard with a new computer.

Interestingly, upselling is usually more effective than cross-selling. Think about it – it’s a bit easier to sell something related to what customers have already purchased than to sell them something that is complementary, but still, different.

Let me assure you that by knowing the difference between upselling and cross-selling, you put yourself at an advantage.

Get to know your clients and their personas

If you have ever waited on the phone for a customer service rep to help you solve a simple problem, only for them to offer at least a million of different options BEFORE learning about your situation, you can certainly understand the frustrations your customers or clients might experience. Therefore, suggestions that are impertinent and out of line with their needs, wants or challenges may not only aggravate them, but also jeopardize their relationship with your organization.

Make sure your ideas or offerings fit your client’s exact needs at the very moment he or she is discussing them with you. Look out for signals like “I wish I could do X” or “It would be great if we could try Y” that should clue you in on their biggest desires. If you listen carefully,  you will be better equipped to determine which of your products or services could help them, and offer a cross-sell or upsell. In addition to customer feedback, you could benefit from reviewing demographic and psychographic information and tie up loose ends. Don’t forget to map out customer journeys to clearly identify how they will use your product and how it will help them grow. When they get to the point where they can see results, they will start telling other people about you and your company and drive referrals.

Don’t beat around the bush: Be honest

Keep in mind that if something is off during the sales process, customers will sense it and walk away. The more transparent you are about your methodology, pricing and contracts, the more likely your customers will stick around and maybe even become your loyal advocates.

Don’t be too shy: Showcase your value

Once you have determined that the upsell or cross-sell offer makes sense for your client, your work isn’t done. Now your job is to demonstrate the value the additional product or service has to offer. That’s where well-written case studies, compelling testimonials and convincing customer reviews come in. If you have any data about increases in KPIs your clients have achieved as a result of using your services, go ahead and share it. No need to be “demure” – feel free to shed light on all the value you bring to the table and take things to the next level…without being too pushy or sales-y.

Loyalty should be rewarded

If you have a loyal customer who buys your products or services and listens to your suggestions, take initiative and reward him or her for that. There are a few different ways of showing your gratitude:

-You may send them a thank you letter

-Send them a piece of company swag

-Offer them a discount, free gift or gift card

Cross-selling and upselling are crucial strategies to earn more revenue from existing clients. Armed with these tips and suggestions, you are on your way of boosting your revenues and propelling your business forward.

If you are ready to boost your PR and marketing efforts, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call 516-724-4372 today. We are looking forward to speaking with you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Strategy for a Strong and Profitable 4th Quarter

by Angela Kambarian, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

 

Dear savvy business owner,

Now that we are in the middle of October, the holiday season is upon us. There is a lot to do and a lot to sort out, both in your personal and professional lives.

Some business professionals are utterly overwhelmed trying to prioritize their activities, goals and needs and reach their objectives by the end of the year. While it’s never easy to keep holiday-induced stress under control, there is still time to put together an impactful marketing strategy for the fourth quarter and end up your year with a bang. That said, there isn’t much time to waste. Get started NOW and propel your business forward.

I hope a few simple tips below will inspire you to take action and fuel your business growth in the last quarter.

Image result for holiday pr and marketing

*Why don’t you spend more time catering to your most loyal clients

Lead generation is a necessary evil when it comes to building your business and your profits. While it’s crucial  to generate new prospects and dig up new opportunities, it is equally important to hone in on those who have an active purchase history with your company. I suggest you identify about 20% of social media followers or email subscribers driving the MOST traffic to your business and analyze their commonalities. Do they have a common denominator? Carefully review their demographics, locations, interests and most pressing needs and create a specific marketing campaign targeting these individuals. It would be wise to come up with a VIP customer sale or any other promotion exclusive to that target audience.

*Take time to tweak and polish your content

While you may have an overall content strategy, make sure your copy is specific to the 4th quarter. For example, if you are running a catering company, you may say something along the lines of “I am here to help you take the stress out of holiday party planning… on a shoe string budget …with our flexible catering and competitive pricing”. See my point? Just try to zero in and tailor your copy from a seasonal perspective.

*Create a sense of urgency

Well…a little bit of that may go a long way. Use your content to imply a limited quantity, time-sensitive promotions or one-off sales. Your job is to urge, inspire and motivate your clients or customers to take action. Don’t forget to take the time to schedule your activities and determine what to do or how to proceed with emails, social media posts, direct mail or publicity. In fact, anything you want to put in front of your customers should be scheduled and planned for. You may take into consideration Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas or Small Business Saturday. Let me assure you, the more you plan out, the easier it is going to be to execute your marketing or PR campaign and the more successful your communication strategy will be.

*Most importantly, be jolly!

Despite all the stress, holidays season is full of fun, joy and seasonal activities. Don’t forget to “let your hair down” and enjoy the festivities. Most clients are visual and love businesses that get into the spirit and let their “seasonal personality” shine. You may use holiday imagery in some of your promotions and posts, when appropriate. Help your clients get that warm felling when they enter your premises or jump on your website.

If you have any PR-related questions or would like to find out what marketing tools may be best for you, please visit http://www.kambarian.com, email: angela@kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. We are looking forward to chatting with you!

 

 

3 Vital Steps to Long-Term PR Success

by Angela Kambarian, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Dear savvy business professional:

As you may know, turning your PR efforts into a smashing success and dramatically increasing your visibility is no easy feat. The competition is fierce, and most businesses are scrambling to get ahead and rise above the clutter. For consistently successful and impactful PR, you need to embrace the three vital strategies below.

Here are a few initial steps you should take to boost your PR and take your business to the next level:

Image result for PR success

1.Figure out why people care

Let’s face it: we are living and doing business in a fast-paced world where changes occur on a daily basis. News cycles constantly shift. Some of the issues making headlines today may be forgotten in the next few days. What is hot today, may cool off as soon as the next cycle. Therefore, it essential that you figure out whether people will care about your messages…and if so, who? As soon as you address these very important questions, you will be better equipped to articulate your message and determine who to share it with. Therefore, this step is so much more than just figuring out what is “newsworthy”.

Always keep in mind that you are not the only one pitching a story to reporters. You have to set yourself apart and compete smarter to be heard. Long story short, one of the best ways to do that is to give your prospects, customers or clients what they need and what they are listening for in a way that gets their attention, sparks their interest and makes them want to know more.

2. Clearly identify your key message

You may have a few different things to say and a few crucial insights to share…However, your job is to determine what is the MOST IMPORTANT thing/issue/insight you want to mention. In fact, it should matter more than anything else. If you have no idea what that is, you are selling yourself and your business short…and just muddying your own message before it’s even sent anywhere. Once you figure out what your core message is, make sure you build all your messaging around that. Furthermore, all the people you are talking to (from clients to prospects to vendors) should receive and understand some version of that fundamental message, along with everything else you want to communicate to them.

The next step is to create a story around that message. Remember: nothing sells, connects or motivates better than a good story. Let me assure you that if you don’t have a story, you are at a “severe” disadvantage. In other words, people will listen longer, hear more and retain greater details if you message is expressed in a compelling story.

3.Find out what reporters are looking for

Whatever you niche or target market, there is a media realm designed to serve that niche or market. Do your homework and find out who these people are and learn what they need. Try to turn reporters and editors into your allies and let them help you get in front of your audience. You are more likely to boost your visibility, reputation and profits if you position yourself as a trusted resource and establish solid relationships with all the relevant media outlets. Let me assure you that a little bit of that goes a long way.

If you are ready to grow your business and need help with Public Relations, social media or copywriting, please visit www.kambarian.com or call 516.724.4372 today. I am looking forward to chatting with you and helping you achieve the success you KNOW you deserve!

 

 

A Few Strategies That Build a Roster of Great Clients

by Angela Kambarian, President, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Dear savvy business professional:

As you already know, storytelling is one of the most crucial marketing strategies that has the power to impact your reputation,  improve visibility and transform earnings.  Some businesses tell scary or ugly stories, while many others create boring ones.

What YOU need to do is develop the kind of story that attracts more clients and boosts profits. When it comes to creating appealing stories , strong writing skills are important. But it’s not just your ability to write that will make a difference – it’s wise positioning that matters the most.

Below are a few story elements that are more likely to help businesses attract the right high-quality clients. At the right pricing. And in the right numbers.

Image result for attracting great clients

Find your authentic voice

For any business, the voice of your marketing messages is one of the most  essential story elements you can offer. Take another good look at your marketing communication materials – your brochure, website, landing page, sales letters, etc. Do you sound a little too formal or a little too stiff? Or do you come across as easy going and conversational? As you may already know, most folks attract like-minded individuals. Therefore, the personality you project into your writing voice will help you attract those qualities in your clients or prospects.

So why don’t you ask yourself what qualities your writing voice is conveying in all your marketing collaterals? Are you relaxed or agitated? Reassuringly professional or uptight? Charming or arrogant? Focused or distracted?

As a real pro you should have more control over your writing than regular people do. Use that skill to impart the kinds of qualities and attributes you want to see more of in your clients.

The quality of your website matters

It is quite hard to come across as informed and web-savvy when your website looks outdated or sloppy. I am not suggesting you should start obsessing over every new design trend or every word, sentence or phrase. But you DO need to make sure your site looks fresh, appealing and uncluttered, and the content is well-written and convincing. Simple as that.

Pay attention to your pricing

Keep in mind that price is one of the most impactful and powerful nonverbal elements of any business story. When you sell your services, you sell your time. Yeah…hours of your life…the one thing you can never recapture. Selling those hours at a discount just doesn’t make sense. Crummy clients want cheap service providers to produce generic services. Great clients need experienced,reliable and high-quality professionals with a proven track record of success and who know exactly what they are doing.

Your level of professionalism can make or break a deal

This one is old school…and extremely important. When prospects leave a query on your “Contact Us” form, make sure you respond right away. By the way, how long does it take you to get back to them? Do you have a proven system in place to address each inquiry? Are you hitting your deadlines, every time? Oh…and don’t take any client for granted. Every touch point will move your closer or further away from building a solid, long-term and successful professional relationship. Let’s face it: when it comes to dealing with service providers, oftentimes reliability is an issue. When clients are dealing with an individual who does what she says she is going to do, every time, it makes a major impact.

So make sure you address inquiries as soon as you can. This alone will make a difference in your revenue over a year. Follow up diligently. Manage your deadlines. Find ways to stay organized and on top of things. If you are swamped or have a family emergency, add a simple autoresponder to let folks know you will connect as soon as possible and give them the attention they deserve.

Here is what one well-known and well-revered marketing guru has to say about dealing with prospects or clients: ” When you want to attract and retain wonderful clients, you need to take care of them like the treasures they are. It will get noticed.” I couldn’t agree more…

If you are ready to grow your business and need help with Public Relations, social media or copywriting, please visit www.kambarian.com or call 516.724.4372 today. I am looking forward to chatting with you and helping you achieve the success you KNOW you deserve!

 

 

 

3 Things You Need to Know About the Future of Content Marketing

by Angela Kambarian, President of Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

We all know that content marketing has evolved dramatically over the years. Back in the day, companies would post short blog posts or half-baked articles and triumphantly rise to the top of the Google search results.  Pretty cool, isn’t it? These days things are different. Most folks would agree that due to information overload, attracting the attention of prospects, customers and clients has never been harder.

Some business professionals mistakenly assume that the more content they post, the more likely they are to stand out from the crowd. Resist wrong thinking! Today’s customers don’t need MORE content. What they need is the right information delivered in all the right places.

Simply put, valuable and highly relevant content is a crucial part of every marketing strategy – from press releases to blog posts to the influencer messages on Facebook. Its impact is undeniable and the need for quality content continues to skyrocket.

Therefore, there are a few important things I want you to keep in mind.

Image result for content marketing

Understanding ‘topic clusters’ and ‘pillar pages’

What customers need and want is interesting, educational or unique content coming from well-established industry experts. In fact, they search for accurate content around a specific topic. As a result, topic clusters have emerged as the future of the content strategy. Businesses have to develop a focus topic and a cluster of ideas the can build around a “pillar” page. For instance, a branding company might focus on branding, then branch into marketing, communications or design.

Developing various types of content

I think there will always be a place for written content in the digital marketing world. That said, there are other solutions that should be skillfully incorporated into every marketing strategy. I am talking about video marketing and podcasts that influence purchasing decisions. In addition to that, video marketing is a great way to reveal a company’s human side and help building solid relationships between customers and corporations.

Distribution of content

When it comes to content distribution, one thing is for sure: It is almost as critical as the content itself. Businesses that find ways to repurpose existing content will be able to expand their outreach and impact larger audiences. Furthermore, they will able to accomplish that with less effort and save some money in the process. Some savvy organizations go so far as ask influencers to distribute their marketing messages and help them increase visibility.

Long story short, companies should figure out how to share the RIGHT content with the RIGHT audience and at the RIGHT time.

If you are ready to grow your business and need help with Public Relations, social media or copywriting, please visit www.kambarian.com or call 516.724.4372 today. I am looking forward to chatting with you and helping you achieve the success you KNOW you deserve!

 

5 Ways to Win in Today’s PR

Angela Kambarian, President of Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Let’s face it: Public Relations is a highly-dynamic and rapidly-evolving industry that goes beyond traditional strategies and requires an integrated approach. While making cold calls, pitching the media and churning out a bunch of news releases is still important, today’s PR is so much more than that.

Let me clarify: today’s press release is NOT really dead…it is more visual and interactive and embeds images, graphics and videos. In other words, there is no need to “abandon” press releases altogether. Don’t give them up, reinvent them. Furthermore, these days some of the most successful PR campaigns include videos making it easier for audiences to see, feel and make sense of the information they are getting.

What a savvy business professional should do is keep ahead of the game, embrace technological advances and use innovative strategies, while at the same time incorporating tried and true PR practices into their marketing plan.

Here are a few crucial tips to boost your PR plan and propel your business forward:

Image result for Public relations

  1. Media relations is getting harder…and with good reason

As you may already know, just about anyone can pitch an editor. That being said, very few media professionals are skilled in the art of communication. According to the latest State of the Media Report, over three quarters of journalists indicated that PR pros had so much room for improvement. What it means is that a majority of PR folks don’t take the time to research each media outlet before pitching and fail to clearly identify which story angle fits within a publication’s aesthetic. Here is the deal: Knowing your audience and anticipating their needs, habits or concerns will simplify the pitching process and land more placements. Reporters are more picky these days – don’t waste their time and yours. In other words, make sure you do your homework before you start dialing.

2. Embracing PR as a strategic management function

The term “strategy” is widely perceived as a process connected to an organization’s survival and long-term success. Forward-looking PR strategists require a few additional competencies that extend beyond content creation. These capabilities may include analysis, advising and counseling on dilemmas and best strategies, flexibility, public affairs and governmental relations, cultural awareness and others. PR advisers need to analyze, interpret and understand the external environment and diverse communities and offer counsel about the consequences of a chosen course of action. Finally, they should be able to stand back and review what has worked well and what can be done differently or better.

3. Spend more time brainstorming and get your creative juices flowing

Keep in mind that a strong PR plan is more than media coverage. In fact, it focuses on multiple verticals and places content on a variety of consumer touch points, which will help you expand your outreach and amplify your influence. In addition, the tone, narrative, visuals and brand messaging should change based on your target audience.

4. PR is about relationships

Whether you are sending a thank you note to editors, meeting a brand executive at a trade show or engaging with journalists on social media, PR is all about the art of communication. When you spend most of your waking hours sitting in front of your computer, try to make an effort to connect with people one-on-one and enhance your rapport. This alone can set you apart from others and help you boost your PR efforts.

5. God is in the details

Whether you agree or not…details matter. Make an effort to see details that others might ignore or overlook. If the angle isn’t working, why don’t you try to pivot? If a reporter doesn’t bite, it’s time to consider why and alter your approach. Remember: to be impactful in the rapidly-evolving world of PR, it takes a lot of attention to detail and agility.

If you are ready to grow your business and need help with Public Relations, social media or copywriting, please visit www.kambarian.com or call 516.724.4372 today. I am looking forward to chatting with you and helping you achieve the success you KNOW you deserve!