4 Ways to Launch a FREE Public Relations Campaign

- Natalie Maniscalco

As a small business owner or entrepreneur, finding the budget to launch a savvy public relations and marketing campaign can be a challenge; however, I cannot deny how instrumental it is in creating a successful and long-lasting business.  If you do not have the budget to hire a publicist (like moi), which can often be quite costly, I’ve put together a few effective ways you can do on your own.  But before you embark on your launch, first develop a strategy and a schedule to help manage your time.  Execution and management of a PR and marketing campaign takes time (a lot of time for that matter) and in order to do it right, you must create a plan of action.  First, think about your audience and your objectives or goals.  Write them down and specifically answer, “Who do you want to reach and what do you want to achieve?” Once you have these in place you’ll be able to smoothly dive into these four ways to promote your business on a non-existent budget.

1.  Create a news hook.  Reporters are looking for good stories with a good angle.  If you're just looking to publicize your product or business, then take out an ad, but if you're looking to provide an experience or a human element to your business, develop a story idea that your audience will want to read.  The way I explain it to clients is, you have a square, but in PR, you need to create a circle, and a triangle and all other different shapes from what appears to be in front of you.  Really think about what makes you unique.  It could even be a personal triumph on how you started your business.  For example, maybe it’s a rags to riches kind of story; a pivotal moment or struggle in your life that brought you to where you are today or you can even hook it to a specific holiday.  Think outside the box.  Once you have a news hook, you can then pitch your story to reporters and producers.

2.  Develop a nose for news.  Read the news every day and know what's going on in your industry.  Best way to find the right reporter to connect with is to google key words about your industry or business, hit "news" and search through the variety of articles that pop up and are relevant to your business.  Once you identify a reporter that covers your industry, check to see if you can find their email address.  Sometimes it's located under their names or at the bottom of the article.  If not, google them or search for them on Twitter where most journalists post their stories. You can even connect with them on LinkedIn, an excellent networking tool that will give you complete background information on the reporter.  Once you have defined your news hook, email the reporter and make sure to reference the article they've written and include why they would be interested in you as a feature story or even why you might be an excellent source for their next article.

3.  Be organized and respond quickly.  Once you've initiated a relationship with a reporter or producer of a TV show, do everything in your power to make THEIR lives easier.  Provide them with expert quotes or information that are clear and concise; check spelling and grammar.  The easier you make their job, the more often they will want to continue to work with you and with time will start contacting you directly for help, whether it's for a TV spot or to act as an expert source on a relevant news story.  These are both excellent ways to build your brand and image.

4.  Connect with celebrity publicists.  If you manufacture a particular product the fastest way to garner awareness is to get a celebrity endorsement.  More often then not, many celebrities want to be paid for their endorsements but every so often you may get lucky!  You can research publicists who represent celebrities through websites called whorepresents.com and contactanycelebrity.com.  Both website provide contact information for publicists.  You can reach out about your product and see if they are willing to accept a free sample.  Politely ask if they are willing to post a photo up on social media and if there's room for some budget, you might want to invest in a legitimate celebrity endorsement.

3 Things I Learned from Dr. Seuss

Industry News:  While keeping up with the daily news and articles in the public relations and social media industry, we pulled out a fun  article on how to be true to your social media postings and image.  We can all think back with fond memories of reading Dr. Seuss books, but who knew we’d learn a lesson or two from him as an adult!

Written by Pam Moore for PRDaily.com, check out “15 Social Media Tips from Dr. Seuss”

The older I get, the more I realize how smart my mother and Dr. Seuss are.

Dr. Seuss may have some crazy rhymes and guys drawn in his books, but if you look at the core of his thoughts and words, the man was brilliant. He can even teach us some nice lessons in regards to social media.

1. “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”

Authenticity and transparency in social media are the “green” in the green eggs and ham. I like realness, Sam I am! Don’t be a different person offline than you are on Twitter and Facebook.

2. “Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter don’t mind, and those that mind don’t matter!”

Stop worrying about what everyone thinks of you. Build your plan, work it and get out there. Yes, you will need to manage your brand, reputation and online image, but make it real.

3. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Did you get laid off or fired from the corporate world, or did you just plain quit? If you’re out of a job, quit crying. It’s a blessing. Get on with your life and build a new one in your own way.

To read all 15 tips, click here for the full article on PRDaily.com http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/14065.aspx

How To Avoid Speaking TOO Much During An Interview

For every interview we coordinate for our clients, whether it’s for a LIVE in-studio TV segment, phone interview or TAPED segment, we make sure to fully prepare them so that they feel 100% comfortable and ready to offer straightforward answers.  However, some folks may get a bit tongue tied or lose focus on what they really want to say.  Sure, you can blame it on the journalist’s (who we always “try” to prepare as well) lack of preparation or weird phrasing of a question or simply, our client did not prepare him/herself!  But whatever the case may be, we recommend that you stick to the K.I.S.S. rule - keep it short and sweet!  Always prepare but never memorize 3 KEY talking points and stay focused on listening and answering THE question that is being asked.  When we get hold of an “important” ear, we tend to want to ramble on with EVERYTHING and ANYTHING the project has to do with, but much too often the core of the story can get lost. 

We found this great article on PRDaily.com for a How To for publicists but we also thought this was great advice for clients or anyone who is under pressure in an interview.  

To read more visit:http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/14075.aspx#

And for more info on media training services, please contact us at www.retromedianyc.com or natalie@retromedianyc.com 

K.I.S.S.

Que bueno!

For RETRO’s restaurant of the month write up, we decided to highlight a personal fav on the list of go to hotspots…

This past weekend, we went out for a birthday celebration at Toloache, considered to be one of NYC’s BEST Mexican restaurants. (Recommended by a Mexican-born friend, so you know it has to be good!)  I don’t necessarily agree that it’s the most authentic Mexican food in the city but it sure was delicious none-the-less!

For night time dinners, the place is lit by ornate light fixtures, highlighting the beautiful tile and artwork throughout the restaurant.  (see photo for a bright shot of the place). 

We started off the birthday celebrations with a refreshing glass of sangria, mojitos and a lime margarita, paired with an amazing bowl of traditional-spicy guacamole and warm toasted chips!  The owner then brought us a complimentary bowl of their smokey-spicy guacamole which was just as delicious (highly recommended).  

For dinner, we shared a few dishes including the chicken tacos, camarones, and a side of sweet plantains and fried brussels sprouts with queso fresco.  To top the night off we shared the warm and oh so decadent chocolate ice cream cake and a complimentary plate of churros con chocolate!  

Friendly staff makes the experience even better, so whether you’re looking for a lunch time spot for a business meeting in the heart of midtown Manhattan or a place to kick back and enjoy a margarita, head to Toloache!  (available on open table for easy reservation)

For more info, please visit www.toloachenyc.com

**Please note: Toloache is not a client of RETRO media.  This posting is based on opinion only. 

Get Social to Build Your Business or Brand

Hiring a PR or marketing company to help build your brand or business can be costly, but if you’re looking for free ways to get yourself out there without breaking the bank, get typing and get social!

(Of course, you can always hire us www.retromedianyc.comfor all your socially driven needs) :)

We put together some pretty good social media tips to help get you started:

· Be visual. Use pictures that your audience can associate with. This also is helpful with headshots. People like to see who they are dealing with. Show them. And tell them your story. Make it personal and warm. Draw them in.

· Create mobile friendly searches. Many more people are using their mobile devices to click on links seen in their Twitter and Facebook feed. Be sure that your website is in synch with mobile devices and applications to make the viewing of your business clear and concise.

· Be careful of how you use hashtags (#) on Twitter and Facebook. Hashtags are searching tools, in addition to identifying groups and topics. Be sure that you are using the best key words and phrases to optimize searches.

· Facebook constantly changes their rules and regulations. Be on top of the changes, and be strategic on how you use Facebook.

· Encourage customers to “Google” your information, instead of typing in the direct website. This will increase SEO (search engine optimization) and increase your online rankings.

· Stay focused on content. Keep the message and branding on point. Avoid unnecessary wording so that you capture your audience quickly, and can draw them in.

· Try to always think as if you are the consumer. How much time are you going to spend reading a post? A few seconds? A few minutes? Be creative, but again, on point with your messaging. And use tiny URL’s. This helps keep the word or character count down, and is easy on the eyes and fingers to click upon.

· Don’t be afraid to interact or work with bloggers. Many people follow bloggers and trust their opinions and feedback. Treat bloggers as you would any other media outlet, such as a magazine or newspaper.

This all may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but start with one social media network and work your way through the rest.  Before you know it, you’ll be generating business leads, followers and fans!

10 Things Smart Entrepreneurs Never Leave Home Without

We were quoted in an article of 10 Things Smart Entrepreneurs Never Leave Home Without in today's Business News Daily based off a list of 8 conventional and unconventional things we pooled together.  Click the link to read the full article on Business News Daily and peruse our list for some extra tips!

1. Business Cards.  You never know whom you are going to meet and what opportunities may come your way. In those chance encounters, you’ll need to whip out your card and give it to a potential client.

2. Your phone & charger. You’re lost without your phone so don’t leave it behind at any time and always double check that you have it in your hand or bag before jumping out of a cab.  Being that most phones don’t last a whole working day, always bring your phone charger for a quick reboot.

3. Something to read.  Sure, if you have an iPad or iPhone with you, you’ll have a plethora of things to read from the internet, but sometimes you need a good book in hand for recreational reading while waiting in between meetings, on the subway or in a cab.  It also shows that you’re not stuck in constant work mode, but that you are well rounded and well read.  Just don’t pick something like 50 Shades of Grey to carry along - nothing like soft porn to kill your image!  

4. Gum. Mints. Toothbrush.  Pitching your business in person is your best form of advertising, but nothing kills the moment than having bad breath.  Be sure to have fresh breath during networking events or meetings.  

5. Lipstick.  This is something I learned from my mother.  Ladies, if nothing else, always wear lipstick.  It will brighten your face and you can even dab a little on your cheeks for blush.  First impressions do matter in business and it’s important to always put your best face first!

6. Dress to impress.  Zuckerburg may be able to get away with wearing Adidas sandals and pajama pants, but let’s face it; we’re just not there yet.  Show off your own personal style and dress the part.  It does make a difference. 

7. Water.  Keep hydrated by carrying around a bottle of water.  It keeps your mind clear and will help you to stay focused.   

8. Gym clothes.  It’s important to keep yourself healthy as a business owner because we all know that taking sick days just don’t happen.  If you’re sick, you don’t get paid so it’s important to keep yourself in shape and to care about your overall well-being.  It improves your level of production, memory, energy and confidence!  Before you head out for the day, pack a bag for the gym so that you’ll be sure to swing by for a workout before, during or after your work day.  

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Have you ever worked with someone you just couldn’t get along with?  Or had a boss that was simply, intolerable?  Yup, me too!  The workplace can often be a highly competitive environment and with that, comes a clash of varying personalities.  However, we’ve all learned as a kid (or hopefully that is) that it takes a team to win a game, so the professional thing to do is, put all bad feelings aside and learn to work together to better serve the company or organization. 

So, how can we make this happen and understand the personalities of our colleagues better? We found this test called, The MBTI, or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which is used to pinpoint your personality based on how you like to look at things and how you make decisions.  If you can recognize your personality tendencies, you can then recognize those of your coworkers or even your boss, and hopefully understand how to foster better relationships with them.

Here’s how it works:  There are four different categories within the MBTI, which are: extroversion versus introversion, sensing versus intuition, thinking versus feeling, and judging versus perceiving.

Extraverted people tend to focus on the outer world of people and things, while introverted people tend to focus on the inner world of ideas and impressions.

Sensing individuals tend to concentrate on the present, focusing on concrete information. Intuitive people focus on the future, looking toward patterns and possibilities.

Thinking personalities tend to base their decisions primarily on logic. They use objective analysis of cause and effect in making decisions. People who score higher on feeling tend to make decisions using values; they use subjective evaluation, focusing on person-centered concerns.

Individuals who scored higher on judging tend to prefer a planned and organized approach to life; they like to have things settled before moving on to another issue. Perceiving people tend to have a flexible or spontaneous approach to life; they prefer to have their options open. 

Use these descriptions and consult the MBTI to identify some varying personalities you see on the job and hopefully, it helps you to work along with some of your most uncompromising of colleagues. 

- Jillian Mancuso

Top 10 Reasons To Hire A Publicist

Public relations and marketing are one of the most important aspects of any business and can essentially make or break your brand.  However, some small businesses don’t take in account the cost and sometimes the value of hiring a good publicist.  Here’s 10 reasons why you should hire a publicist:

1. Determine what stories are really pitches, press releases, or none of the above, as well as what’s news and what’s not.
2. Identify the right media outlet, producer or reporter to pitch and secure a story.
3. Communicate and connect with reporters as well as influencers in a way that will create long-term relationships.
4. Identify and create campaigns that will really make an impact and drive awareness to clients, while knowing what works and what does not.
5. Come up with ways to decline requests that aren’t right for clients without burning bridges or sending up red flags. 
6. Find or create the real story inside the company, not just the sales pitch, but find the news hook that will really peak interest with the media.
7. Teach executives and clients how to engage with media in order to really tell their story, not just “sell” what you do.  We also make you look handsome and pretty too :)
8. Multi-task like you’ve never seen before, juggle quick deadlines and not miss a single beat. #gijanestyle
9. Offer 10 different ways to repackage a single piece of content that will translate into an event, social media, or pr campaign
10. Create opportunities and collaborations between clients, media and other companies that will further the impact and awareness of the client 

For more information and a pr quote, please contact natalie@retromedianyc.com