Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Our Blog Has Grown Up and Moved

May 2, 2009

…but not far away.  

To all visitors of the Eastonsweb blog.  We have set up stakes in another neighborhood.  We have added the blog to our new website.

We will be delivering even more commentary to help you blow the doors off your customer building strategies.

 Check Out the New Neighborhood (Click Here)

A Look Inside La Noticia

August 17, 2008

One of the major news items last week was new census data which reported that minorities will become the majority population in the United States by 2050. What’s more, these numbers also projected that the Hispanic population will nearly triple, exploding from 46.7 million in 2008 to 132.8 million by 2050.

As small to mid-sized business owners, the change in population demographics, especially among Hispanics, drives home the importance of using your marketing efforts to connect with diverse groups of people.

To assist in your efforts to expand your marketing strategies, what follows is an interview with Hilda Gurdian, Publisher and CEO of La Noticia , the Spanish Language Newspaper. The paper is distributed throughout the Charlotte region, where the Hispanic population is among the fastest-growing in the nation.

Hilda provides a lot of great tips ranging from the importance of advertising in Hispanic publications, to speaking “the language” of the Hispanic community in marketing, and establishing relationships with Hispanic media contacts.

KTM: How long have you been with La Noticia? What is your day-to-day role with the paper?
Hilda Gurdian : I have been with La Noticia since its inception in 1996. My title is publisher and CEO. As such, I oversee the entire operation including advertising sales, editorial content, public relations and community development.

KTM: How often is La Noticia published?
Hilda Gurdian : Every week

KTM: What is the newspaper’s weekly readership?
Hilda Gurdian : More than 90,000

KTM: Where can people find copies?
Hilda Gurdian : We have more than 1,000 distribution points throughout our distribution area which includes Charlotte-Mecklenburg and 11 counties around it. Our racks can be found in: businesses serving the Latino community, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, public libraries, hospitals, churches, etc.

KTM: What kind of stories does La Noticia cover?
Hilda Gurdian : Stories that are important to the Latino community and stories that affect the entire community.

KTM: How can businesses – especially those that have products/services for broad demographics – increase their coverage in Hispanic media?
Hilda Gurdian : By establishing a relationship with the Latino media. Running ads in La Noticia, for example, is a good way to obtain that goal. Also, by sending press releases announcing special events where they feel the Latino consumer would benefit from attending. La Noticia is the most effective and efficient way to reach the growing Spanish speaking population in the Charlotte area.

KTM: What are some unique qualities about the Hispanic community that businesses should consider when preparing marketing campaigns – whether PR, advertising, the Web, etc.?
Hilda Gurdian : Communicating to Latinos in Spanish is important. It is also important to create an ad that will speak the language and the culture of Latinos vs. translating an existing English ad that works well in the mainstream media.

KTM: Is it important for press materials to be translated to Spanish when pitching La Noticia or will the paper’s staff handle the translation? Also, does the paper accept multimedia elements (photos, videos) with story pitches?
Hilda Gurdian : It is okay to send a press release in English if you don’t have it in Spanish. If we chose the story we will get in touch with the contact person, get more information, and once we have the complete story, we will translate it into Spanish for running it in the paper. We accept photos.

KTM: What is the best time to contact La Noticia reporters with story ideas?
Hilda Gurdian : Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days.

KTM: Finally, is there anything that people should avoid doing when pitching La Noticia or Hispanic media in general?
Hilda Gurdian : Do not wait until the last minute to send a press release as we and any other paper needs time to look into it and decide. Also, you will have a better opportunity to have your story published if you send the press release by email and then follow up with an email or phone call.

These are great insights. Hopefully, this information will put you on a path to broadening your marketing efforts not only to the Hispanic community, but other diverse groups as well. Happy marketing!

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About Kristina Hill

An expert in marketing communications, Kristina Hill provides integrated marketing consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses through MarComm Creative Group, LLC. The business offers an array of services, including: public relations and media relations; advertising planning and placement; integrated marketing plan development and execution; and, writing services.

Related Topics:

  1. Turn A Bad Economy Into Good Marketing
  2. A Look Inside Charlotte.com
  3. The Ever-Evolving Press Release

What Should I do Next?
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Tips For Avoiding The PR Spam Zone

June 22, 2008

In recent years, there have been numerous print and online stories of reporters blocking the emails of PR people for continuously spamming press releases, story pitches, and other communications – even after the reporters asked to be removed from media contact lists. You can read a few animated and sometimes heated posts about this phenomenon here, here, and here.

As a small or mid-sized business, the last thing you want is to get on the bad side of a reporter and join this dreaded group. Media professionals are highly influential in generating messages about your company to the public. One of the keys to staying out of the “spam zone” is to build a media contact list that includes reporters who cover the products or services your business offers. What follows are several tips you can use to build a solid media contact list. These tips will help you tell your story to the correct media contacts and develop lasting relationships along the way.

  1. Review Your PR/Communication Goals: The first step in building a worthwhile media contact list is to clearly define your goals for communicating with the press. What story do you want to share about your business? What’s the impact of your business on the public (employees, customers, the community)? What makes your product or service stand out from the pack? What mechanisms do you have in place to respond to media inquiries (personnel, information, etc.)? Answer these and other questions before you make contact with the media.
  2. Research, Research, Research: Research print and broadcast reporters in your local area to find out who covers news for your business’s focus. Once you’ve identified the correct media contacts, read or listen to several of their recent stories to familiarize yourself with their style of reporting. Also find out how reporters want to be contacted with press releases and other communications, and the best time to communicate by phone. After you’ve identified your local media contacts, broaden your list to include regional or national media contacts, bloggers, and websites.
  3. Review and Update: Regular review of your list will help keep your media contacts accurate. Has a reporter asked to be removed from your list? Is there a new reporter covering your beat? Have you identified new angles to pitch about your business that extends your reach to another reporter? These all are questions to ask when reviewing and updating your list.

There are several PR software providers on the market that you can use to create media lists, monitor your press coverage, and more. Prices for these services vary. For the budget-conscious business, a well-organized Excel spreadsheet will work just fine. Whatever you do, stay committed to honing your media contact list and avoiding the spam zone!

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About Kristina Hill

An expert in marketing communications, Kristina Hill provides integrated marketing consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses through MarComm Creative Group, LLC. The business offers an array of services, including: public relations and media relations; advertising planning and placement; integrated marketing plan development and execution; and article, website, advertising, editorial, and sponsorship writing.

Related Topics:

  1. Search Engine Optimized Press Releases
  2. The Ever-Evolving Press Release
  3. Court the Press: Your Online News Room
  4. Add Video to Your Press Releases

What Should I do Next?
Add to: | blinklist | del.cio.us | digg | yahoo! | furl | rawsugar | shadows | netvouz

Search Engine Optimized Press Releases

June 15, 2008

My last post talked about how press releases have evolved from words on paper (or email) to living multimedia documents that can include video, Web links, images and new methods of distribution such as online press releases.

This post will focus on online press releases, a key denominator in the evolution of the press release. Press releases that are distributed online are typically labeled “search engine optimized (SEO) press releases.” SEO press releases can be used to achieve several PR goals, including: to reach reporters that subscribe to online press release distribution feeds; to communicate directly to consumers; to build an online presence; and to build traffic to websites or other online portals (through linking).

Keep in mind that there are two key components to SEO press releases: key words and distribution.

Selecting the right key words for your SEO press release is an integral part of your online PR strategy. Selecting key words that are “top-of-mind” among your target audience during online searches will help push your release to the top of search engines such as YAHOO! and Google. For example, say that you are Ralph’s AC/Heating Company writing a press release about “Tips for Staying Cool in the Summer Heat.” A few of the key words for your release might include “how to stay cool in the summer” or “beating the heat.” Undoubtedly, people living in places with near-record heat are searching for these terms.

Of course, the distribution of your press releases also is an important part of this process. In a nutshell, when you partner with an online press release distribution service, your press release is placed on the service provider’s website and distributed via an RSS feed to reporters and top search engines. Other websites that subscribe to this feed might also carry your release if the content is a fit.

As I mentioned in my last post, PR Newswire and PRWeb are probably two of the better-known services on the market for online press release distribution. PR Newswire is arguably the most established provider out there. PRWeb has built a solid reputation for its affordability and expertise in optimizing press releases for search engines. No matter who you select as a service provider, the price of your distribution will depend on what level of service you choose. There also are several free online news distribution services on the market. I’ve used one called I-Newswire with pretty good results, although a Google ad is placed on the free releases. This provider also offers another distribution option without an ad for a minimal fee. A web search will give you a large selection of fee and non-fee providers of online press release distribution. Review your options carefully and base your final decision on your desired results and budget.

SEO press releases should be part of a public relations strategy that also includes traditional “direct-to-reporter” distribution of press releases and relationship building with key media contacts. A front-page (positive) story in your local newspaper is still a solid score for your company’s brand and reputation (you can even add to your SEO PR strategy by blogging on your news coverage and linking to press stories). When used together, traditional and online PR pack a powerful punch that generates awareness of your business that hopefully translates into sales.

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About Kristina Hill

An expert in marketing communications, Kristina Hill provides integrated marketing consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses through MarComm Creative Group, LLC. The business offers an array of services, including: public relations and media relations; media planning and placement; integrated marketing plan development and execution; and article, website, advertising, editorial, and sponsorship writing.

Related Topics:

  1. The Ever-Evolving Press Release
  2. 5 Marketing Ideas to Recession-Proof Your Business
  3. Simple Tools To Monitor Market Trends
  4. The Right Idea, The Right Time
  5. Finding Keywords for Great SEO Results
  6. Court the Press: Your Online News Room
  7. Add Video to Your Press Releases

What Should I do Next?
Add to: | blinklist | del.cio.us | digg | yahoo! | furl | rawsugar | shadows | netvouz

 

The Ever-Evolving Press Release

June 8, 2008

I was reviewing content on a few press release distribution sites and was amazed at how far press releases have come. Not so long ago, a press release constituted basic copy on paper that was distributed to select reporters in an effort to secure “ink.”

Now, press releases in today’s Web 2.0 world have evolved to include links, video, photos, and even social media tags. Releases can be distributed using a “standard” direct-to-reporter method or distributed online to not only reach the news media, but individuals with access to the Web across the world. This new model for press releases (labeled by some as multimedia news releases) allows businesses of all types and sizes to tell their story with a 360 degree message – and garner critical feedback from key audiences.

The websites for PR Newswire and PRWeb house great examples of basic and not-so-basic releases that include some or all of the features mentioned above (of course, these releases vary by price depending on how elaborate the release is). You might also want to read the recent post by John Easton about the importance of having PR video in your marketing arsenal.

Learning about these new models for press releases might motivate you to adopt a fresh approach for your next release and share your story in an innovative way. And remember, no matter how elaborate your press release is, the main goal is to tell a compelling story that positions your businesses in a positive light both today and in the long-run.

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About Kristina Hill

An expert in marketing communications, Kristina Hill provides integrated marketing consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses through MarComm Creative Group, LLC. The business offers an array of services, including: public relations and media relations; media planning and placement; integrated marketing plan development and execution; and article, website, advertising, editorial, and sponsorship writing.

Related Topics:

  1. 5 Marketing Ideas to Recession-Proof Your Business
  2. Simple Tools To Monitor Market Trends
  3. The Right Idea, The Right Time
  4. Court the Press: Your Online News Room
  5. Add Video to Your Press Releases

What Should I do Next?
Add to: | blinklist | del.cio.us | digg | yahoo! | furl | rawsugar | shadows | netvouz