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Public Relations

How to Effectively Network as an Introvert

July 7, 2019


It is important to build the most powerful relationships possible within your business. Those key relationships and connections can have a powerful impact. But what do you do if you’re shy? If you’re introverted, or if you dread networking events and those awkward first conversations where you never know what to say?

Here are tips to help you build effective business communications and to network with people that can build powerful relationships for your business.

Focus on giving versus getting

Sometimes what you can give other people may not even be related to your business, and that’s okay. To build a strong relationship and foundation, you will want to be known as someone who is resourceful, who can connect, and who is a person who can contribute in a way that serves the other person.

Regardless of whether it is to your direct benefit or has to do with your business or not, building a relationship can be good for the long term. It can take a long time. But it’s worth your time and effort because those deep relationships can help you tremendously.

Be present

This does not require you to present yourself in a specific way. It requires you to pay attention to the one person in front of you. That means you need to keep eye contact. Don’t look around the room. Focus on the person communicating with you.

People notice when you’re not paying attention. It’s very rude, and it leaves a bad impression of you. Pay attention to the person communicating and colleagues you meet at the event. When the conversation is over, turn your attention somewhere else. 

Allow your introverted qualities and honor them

Imagine you have gone to a networking event that is two, three, four, five days long, or more. You need …

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How Businesses Are Marketing Green Innovation

June 23, 2019


The business world is under pressure today to stay ahead of the ever-increasing number of social issues and trends. While the push toward sustainable technologies and products to save the environment is not new, it has never been more significant than it is today.

Many companies are coming up with innovative solutions to help build a green future. They are taking this route to gain customer support as well as to reduce harm to the environment.

The Global Green Economy Index first launched in 2010. It measures the green economy performance of 130 countries and looks at how the experts make their assessments. The GGEI is now the index most widely used by civil societies, policymakers, international organizations and the private sector to benchmark performance.

With nine of the world’s top 10 greenest countries being in Europe, the innovations include energy-saving and eco-friendly logistics. Below are some examples of these initiatives, from which developing businesses could take a few lessons.

Renewable power sources

U.S. solar-powered corporations

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has been keeping track of the top corporations using solar power in the United States for several years. These are its results by company based on megawatts (MW) installed:

  1. Target Corporation: 147.5 MW
  2. Walmart: 145 MW
  3. Prologis: 107.9 MW
  4. Apple: 93.9 MW
  5. Costco Wholesale: 50.7 MW
  6. Kohl’s: 50.2 MW
  7. IKEA: 44.MW
  8. Macy’s: 38.9 MW
  9. General Growth Properties: 30.2 MW
  10. Hartz Mountain Industries: 22.7 MW

Since 2012, according to SEIA, the top U.S. companies have increased their solar usage by 240%, and demand for socially responsible financial planning has also increased.

Solar power for Australians with disabilities

While Europe is taking the lead on reducing fossil fuel dependency, Australia is among the world’s top innovators when it comes to renewable energy enterprises. Natural Solar Initiatives provides affordable solar-powered …

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How to Manage Your Small Business Through a Crisis

June 23, 2019


Even the largest and most well-reputed enterprises and corporations are not immune to such a reality. Toyota, a tycoon of the automobile industry, suffered an exorbitant amount of financial damage between 2009 and 2011 following the release of vehicles with sticky accelerators that claimed the lives of many innocent people. The company was slow to react and reluctantly recalled their faulty vehicles, incurring huge losses and permanent damage to their credibility.

Another notable example is the PEPSICO “Syringe Crisis” in 1993. Claims were being made that cans of Diet Pepsi contained syringes that were contaminating the content inside. Unlike Toyota, Pepsi was quick to remedy the situation, arresting the individual at fault and publicly apologizing for their mistake. As such, there was hardly any lingering effect on the Pepsi brand and normal operations resumed in no time.

The two situations highlight the importance of good leadership and a proactive damage control policy. Small business owners have to be especially wary of this as most are deluded into thinking that their small firm is not susceptible to a crisis because of its small scale. Having no clear cut plan, and leadership that is reluctant to take responsibility can be severely detrimental to a firm.

Although the aforementioned examples occurred in large organizations, there are several valuable lessons which small business owners can learn from: 

If your small business ends up in the middle of a crisis, here are four ways to successfully overcome it:

1. Assess the situation objectively

In times of peril, you should remind yourself to never let your emotions get the best of you regardless of the size of your business. Instead, you should make an active effort to remain calm, collected and composed. This will enable you to objectively analyze the situation, allowing you to ascertain the …

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How to Use Social Media To Better Your Retail Business

June 13, 2019


We all go online when we search for a product or service, want to read the latest business news or check the reputation and credibility of a certain company.

Social media has also become a dominant customer service channel as this is one of the easiest ways for clients to connect with a business and place an inquiry or comment about the product or service they are using. 

Social media can be a direct sales channel – with the advancement of payment technology and solutions, retailers can sell via their social media, even if they don’t have an online store.

Which are the most popular platforms to be on?

To define that, you need to first ask yourself if you are a B2B or B2C retailer. Then define your target audience: who are they, where are they located, what is their age, income, etc.

These are top five platforms most commonly used by retail brands:

Facebook: This is mostly a B2C platform,  but in some cases can be used by B2B businesses. Used by: fashion, retail, e-commerce, entertainment, health and wellness, auto and more. No matter what industry you are in, having a Facebook presence is a must as it helps SEO.

Instagram: This platform is best for B2C. Top industries using this channel: fashion, food and beverage, travel and hospitality, wellness, arts and crafts, e-commerce, beauty, photography and more. If you are selling a visual product, then you definitely need to keep an active Instagram presence.

Pinterest: Another platform that’s ideal for B2C businesses. Mostly used by: retail, fashion, arts and crafts, beauty, home and garden, and more. This platform provides both visual and text information, making it suitable for brands offering visual products and services in the likes of home decoration, landscaping, packaging, hand-made crafts, etc.

Twitter: This …

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How to Create an Effective Customer Journey Map

May 24, 2019


According to Harvard Business Review, a customer journey map illustrates the steps your visitors take when they engage with your company, which could be products, services, online experiences, and so forth. The map allows you to gain a clearer insight into your audience’s motivations, needs and pain points as they move through the conversion funnel.

If you have yet to create a customer journey map for your audience, now is the perfect time to start. There are endless benefits that come with it that can help you understand your target market so you can serve them better.

Why you need a customer journey map

You might be wondering why your business needs a customer journey map in the first place. For one, it helps you find out more about your visitors so you can provide them with a seamless user experience. A journey map also helps you refine your target market so that you aren’t trying to target too broad or general an audience. The more you can narrow down your target, the better off you’ll be.

According to the Huffington Post, only 34% of businesses have implemented a customer journey map into their marketing strategy, meaning that too few marketers understand its importance in business growth and success. You can stay one step ahead of your competitors by creating a CJM that’s effective and brings about results.

Create customer personas

You should already have customer personas, or buyer personas, created for your ideal customers so you have details on how to cater to their needs. If not, now is the perfect time to flesh them out. Include as much information as you can, including their demographics, buying behaviors, income, education level, issues they need to be resolved, and more. Monitor your analytics to get this information or …

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How to Find the Right PR Firm

May 14, 2019


Small and midsized companies often outsource their PR work entirely to agencies to control cost and payroll while still tapping into important opportunities for increased exposure and growth. On the other hand, enterprise businesses generally employ a dedicated PR team, which will hire and work hand in hand with the company’s PR agency to, among other things, execute broader organizational objectives, conduct media outreach, assist in crisis communications and develop key messaging and more.

But every business, every industry, every CEO and every marketing/communications/PR team is different – and therefore has their own unique set of needs and goals for a PR engagement. So how do you determine if a specific PR agency isn’t just good at what they do, but is the right fit for your business?

While finding the right agency can often feel like spinning a roulette wheel, it doesn’t have to. Asking a few key questions up front and knowing what to look for in an agency’s responses can go a long way toward helping identify an agency that can deliver and help contribute to your company’s broader objectives. Some questions you should be asking include:

How are you going to get us covered if we don’t have a lot of news?

This is crucial. Not every business has a steady stream of important product or organizational news to drive coverage. Even the biggest companies will have lulls. You want to find a PR agency that won’t use company announcements as a crutch, or as the sole driver for enhancing your visibility and media presence.

Pay attention to how they plan to make you a part of broader media stories in your industry, in your local markets or otherwise of interest to your target audience. Are they planning to establish a thought leadership program to proactively …

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Seek Out These Opportunities at Your Next Trade Show

May 10, 2019


There are many opportunities at trade shows that businesses should take advantage of if they want to get more exposure and open up new avenues of business. Consider the following opportunities to increase your ROI at your next trade show.

Set meetings with industry press

If your business is offering a new product or service, a trade show is an excellent place to unveil it. There will be a lot of industry press at the trade show and if you’ve proactively set meetings with them, your business can capitalize on some much-needed publicity and brand awareness.

It’s important to start reaching out three to six months in advance in order to get on industry journalists’ schedules. Give them a reason why you want to meet; let them know that you’ll be releasing a game-changing software or that you’ve got some exciting new products to unveil.

Meet with potential partners

Most exhibitors like to have a semi-private meeting room or set up tables and chairs at their trade show booth. Often, this is because they take meetings during the show with other businesses to find out if there are synergistic opportunities for a partnership. For instance, this could include licensing deals or exclusive arrangements between complementary products. If you’ve been eyeing a few businesses that it might make sense to meet with, reach out a month or two in advance to set up meetings with key people while you’re at the show. 

Editor’s note: Need a trade show display for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you with free information.

 

Sponsor an event or station

A great way to publicize your business’ presence at the trade show is to sponsor something. Sponsorship can bring a lot more attention and drive traffic to both …

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How to Create an Effective Public Relations and Branding Strategy for Your Business

May 6, 2019


The businesscompany.us community is a place where business owners and professionals can come together to learn from each other. Those looking for advice can solicit it from their peers, while others are able to share their extensive expertise with those who need it.   

It’s that peer-to-peer give and take that makes the community such a valuable part of businesscompany.us. Overall, the site has more than 180,000 members from around the globe. The community is able to thrive like it does because of our members’ eagerness to drive conversations, whether through asking questions, answering questions or contributing articles.

Each month we spotlight one of our community members for their contributions. This month we are recognizing Kailynn Bowling, co-founder of ChicBlvd Inc., which founded and owns three divisions – the retail and branding firm ChicExecs, ChicBlvd Magazine, and Fashion Audio LLC.

Sharing PR advice

Bowling is an active member of the businesscompany.us community, in terms of both answering questions and contributing articles. Bowling has recently answered questions on a range of topics, including how to create some media buzz for a startup.

For instance, Bowling has advised the community members regarding multi-pronged approaches to marketing and public relations. She said it starts with creating a personal blog that includes tips and tricks within your expertise area.

“It’s important to already build yourself as a thought leader in the industry so you can use those blogs to show the media and bloggers what unique insight you already have to offer,” Bowling wrote. “The best part is that you have control of your blog so you can get as much content out there from the get-go. Make sure to amplify these blog posts on your LinkedIn and social media.”

In addition to the time she spends answering community questions, Bowling has contributed several …

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How to Create an Effective Public Relations and Branding Strategy for Your Business

May 6, 2019


The businesscompany.us community is a place where business owners and professionals can come together to learn from each other. Those looking for advice can solicit it from their peers, while others are able to share their extensive expertise with those who need it.   

It’s that peer-to-peer give and take that makes the community such a valuable part of businesscompany.us. Overall, the site has more than 180,000 members from around the globe. The community is able to thrive like it does because of our members’ eagerness to drive conversations, whether through asking questions, answering questions or contributing articles.

Each month we spotlight one of our community members for their contributions. This month we are recognizing Kailynn Bowling, co-founder of ChicBlvd Inc., which founded and owns three divisions – the retail and branding firm ChicExecs, ChicBlvd Magazine, and Fashion Audio LLC.

Sharing PR advice

Bowling is an active member of the businesscompany.us community, in terms of both answering questions and contributing articles. Bowling has recently answered questions on a range of topics, including how to create some media buzz for a startup.

For instance, Bowling has advised the community members regarding multi-pronged approaches to marketing and public relations. She said it starts with creating a personal blog that includes tips and tricks within your expertise area.

“It’s important to already build yourself as a thought leader in the industry so you can use those blogs to show the media and bloggers what unique insight you already have to offer,” Bowling wrote. “The best part is that you have control of your blog so you can get as much content out there from the get-go. Make sure to amplify these blog posts on your LinkedIn and social media.”

In addition to the time she spends answering community questions, Bowling has contributed several …

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Why Video Coverage of Your Event is Vital

May 3, 2019


Consider these five reasons you should be documenting your event through video.

1. Increase your reach

You want to reach an audience in a way that engages them. If you give your event special status with video coverage, it can help you win customers as it allows them to experience your event firsthand — and make them feel like they haven’t entirely missed out. With 2.23 billion monthly active users on Facebook, you have a huge available audience at your fingertips.

2. Promote your business without over-promoting

Video lets you showcase your event and business without being pugnacious. Your videoed event can be used to advertise the next event, encouraging people to purchase tickets. If your videos are bright and colorful with smiling attendees, you are showing potential customers that your events are enjoyable and engaging without being self-centered and pushy.

YouTube alleges it is the ‘second largest search engine in the world‘ so consider showcasing your event on YouTube. Not everyone wants to view a drawn-out video, so think about uploading edited sections of the initial video, such as the highlights – perhaps a welcome speech and snippets from sponsor exhibits. Share these snippets through your social channels and emails to potential clients referencing your posts. That way, prospective customers will become familiar with your business and its values, and you will be building positive relationships without coming across as a pushy salesman.

3. Leverage your brand

You can use the video of your event to advertise your brand. Video demands to be watched. According to Deloitte, video content is akin to entertainment, and Australians, in particular, can’t get enough entertainment. Watching video is on par with browsing the internet for many people.

You want to impress your customers and give them something they need …

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