Archive for January, 2007|Monthly archive page
Publishing press releases can support your internet marketing and PR program in several ways. Creating an entire online PR campaign opens up lesser known opportunities and also generate leads to direct inquiries from the media and prospective customers. Use the following steps to help you realize your online PR campaign.
Step 1 – The Press Release
The first step is to identify a topic for your press release. Popular topics include new or improved products, relocations or new locations, website or blog launches, or any other unique stories associated with your company. Be sure that you have a competent person create a professional press release that identifies your target audience. Be aware that writing for print media and writing for the web can differ. If you do not have an employee that can meet these needs, you should hire a marketing firm to write the article for you. You might be surprised at how little it will cost for this service!
TARGET AUDIENCE QUIZ
Which of these sentences would appeal to men aged 16 – 20.
#1. The new Speedster skateboard uses ionized paint to anticipate the retroactive artistic styles of master artisans of the past century.
#2. The new Speedster skateboard has a retro look that will appeal to your senses.
Both of these sentences say the same thing and are professionally written, but the first sentence will probably cause the target audience to immediately stop reading. If you do not have someone in your business to handle these duties, you should consider hiring a marketing firm that has a copywriter. You might be surprised how little you will have to pay for this service.
NOTE: Do not finalize the press release until it has been checked for spelling and grammar by someone other than the copywriter. It never hurts to have a second set of eyes!
Step 2 – Releasing to the Media
Once you have the press release finalized, it is time to release it to the media for release in their publication or electronic medium. Send your PR to prweb.com and prnewswire.com. These websites are two of the most sophisticated online press release services around and many media outlets use these two websites to find news. Your article might just get picked up by dozens of newspapers! By combining your marketing firm’s knowledge and experience with the powerful distribution networks of sites like PRweb, you can transform your press release into an online promotional vehicle with unlimited reach.
You should also send your press release to your local newspaper and any local television or radio stations. Make sure that they have good contact information for you in case they would like to use you in a feature story!
Step 3 – The E-campaign
At this point, you should strongly consider hiring a marketing firm to handle the creation of your e-campaign. If you used a copywriter to write the press release, see if they will also set up the e-campaign. (Better yet, try to get everything in one package!) The e-campaign should be attractive and eye-catching and have at least one link to a landing page. Make sure that the landing page contains a form for lead generation or, at the very least, a button for people to contact you.
An important item that is largely ignored is the size of the e-campaign. If you choose to send the entire press release in the e-mail, then the campaign should be no wider than 600 pixels. This will fit in most e-mail clients. If you choose to send a summary of the article or an eye-catching graphic that will go to the press release, then the campaign should be no wider than 600 pixels and no taller than 395 pixels.
Your marketing firm should also have a system that will track how many people viewed and clicked on the e-mail. Be sure to ask for reports. This is an excellent opportunity to not only judge the success of your e-campaign, but also to remove any defunct e-mail addresses from your customer database.
Step 4 – Updating Your Website
If you don’t have a news page on your existing website, you are missing out on a great opportunity to add fresh content and to expand your profile on search engines. Get your news section built and add your first article.
If you do have a news page, get your article up there with a dateline at the top and contact information at the bottom.
Be sure to link no more than five phrases in your article to other pages in your website. This is called an optimized press release and will be beneficial to your search engine optimization efforts.
Step 5 – To Blog or Not to Blog
This step is optional, but can bring great rewards to your online presence. If you have a blog, post your press releases with target phrases linked back to your existing website. Optimized press releases get a lot of visibility in the major search engines. They can also generate new links back to your website, as other sites republish your release. These "backlinks" play an important role in the overall search engine visibility of your website.
INDUSTRY EXAMPLE – Online PR Campaign (Intra-Focus, Inc.)
An online PR campaign was recently created for Jimmy Jacobs Custom Homes and their work on Extreme Makeovers: Home Edition. In addition to electronic press releases, they also created a special website to generate buzz about the project.
The world is becoming more internet focused by the minute and you need to stay on top of this technology wave or your company will drown. Don’t wait! Get proactive and start your online PR campaigns today!
If you are interested in getting a quote from a marketing firm or just finding out more about the process, you should contact Intra-Focus, Inc. Intra-Focus has a wealth of experience writing press releases, optimizing them for the search engines, and distributing them online. They can transform your press release into an online promotional vehicle with unlimited reach.
Can you identify your entire company in one image that needs to large or small, color or black & white? If your company logo didn’t immediately leap to mind, then you have a problem with your identity.
The Importance of Logos
Corporate logos represent one of the greatest challenges of graphic design. Your logo must separate you from competitors, reinforce your brand, and convey a sense of who you are and what you offer. And it must do all of this while being visually appealing and memorable. That’s a tall order for such a small item, and that’s why corporate logo design should be taken seriously.
Logo Design Specialists
Given everything that a corporate logo must accomplish, it’s easy to see why logo design is such a specialized field. You should think of logos as much more than a company’s symbol. Think of them as an inseparable part of your company. It should be on your stationary, website, promotional items… even facsimiles, invoices and contracts. Some companies go so far as to include their logo on all e-mails.
But without an eye-catching logo, your customers won’t remember you. That’s why hiring a professional to create a logo is so important.
The Logo Design Process
To deliver a logo that captures the essence of your company, a marketing company like Intra-Focus, Inc. starts out by gathering as much information as possible. You should expect a combination of survey questionnaires, conference calls and in-person meetings. You need to describe your company in your own words. What is your company all about? Who is your audience? What sets you apart from the competition?
Armed with this information, marketing companies will then begin the logo design process by starting “from scratch” based on the information gathered, or they can work from any sketches and ideas you might have. While the design company has the talent, nobody will understand your company better than you. If you want a key motif in your logo, then be sure to bring it up. Nothing is more frustrating that designing logos for days on end when you have a clear idea of exactly what you want.
Your marketing company should present you with two or three designs for you to review. This is a starting point. You may see one immediately that you like, or you may want to go in a different direction.
If none of the designs work for you, try to find one that you feel captures some of what you are looking for and give the designers feedback based on that logo. This helps to narrow down what you like.
It is possible that none of the designs are acceptable. Don’t get discouraged! To create your ideal logo, you might go through twenty different designs before you get a final product. This is normal and necessary to weed out all of the possibilities.
Even after you have chosen a final design, feel free to ask for minor adjustments until you are completely satisfied. You are going to be looking at this logo for the next several years, so you should be happy with it.
Where’s My Name?
Most businesses feel that they need their name in their logo. However, this isn’t necessarily a good idea. Remember that your logo is going to need to be very small with some uses. If you have a long name like “Smithville’s Tempting Tapioca Company”, the name is going to look like a blurry line. On that note, if your name is five letters like “Swish” or “Zings”, then working your name into the logo is more viable.
A good rule of thumb is to think of the famous logos that are in the business world. How many of them have a company name? Nike has one of the most recognizable logos out there. Even though it is only four letters, they chose instead to have a symbol and look where they are now? What about Macintosh Computers? That name is much too long, so they chose a symbol that was the same as their name. Chick-Fil-A went a different route by using a symbol in their name that showcased their main product.
Whatever you want, be sure to ask your marketing company about their process. Make sure that it is a process similar to the one in this article. If they don’t come close to showing this kind of care when branding your company, then get out while you can or you might end up with a solid circle representing your company for the next ten years!
A quick check list when reviewing a logo proposal:
- Does this logo tell me anything about what I do?
- Is this logo professional?
- Is there anything about this logo that might be politically incorrect?
- Will this still look clear when it is decreased in size?
- Will this logo look good in black & white?