Archive for February, 2011

Press Release Secrets

Posted on February 28, 2011

It’s not unusual for media editors and journalists to receive hundreds of press releases every day.

This means that you have a lot of competition and you have to do something exceptional to get yours picked out. Fortunately, it is a lot simpler to do this than you might imagine. When you focus on quality, your press releases will stand out from the crowd.

Here are the top ten qualities your press release should include:

1. An attention-grabbing headline has to do two things simultaneously: convey the gist of your press release while stirring curiosity. Without a power-packed headline, your press release will not even be read. Instead, it will be relegated to the filing cabinet just below the editor’s desk (the trash bin).

Here are some tips to create compelling headlines:

• Be brief, succinct, and snappy.
• Reveal the gist of the story.
• Don’t be confusing.
• Send a clear message.
• Avoid hype and sales.

2. Send it to the right target media audience. For instance, if your field is biotechnology, a press release on a new scientific breakthrough will not be relevant to a media editor who only focuses on the financial markets.

3. Respect the time of news people. Since they have to sift through hundreds of press releases every day, they appreciate brevity. Keep your information focused on who, what, where, when, why, and how. Edit out any extraneous information.

4. Stay objective. Stick to the facts and stay clear of unsubstantiated claims. Use statistics, curb your enthusiasm, and stay objective.

5. Remember to always follow up. Despite the high quality of your press release, media people get busy and distracted, so follow up.

7. If you have a lot of additional information that you want to communicate, then create an online press release kit. Simply send the media person an embedded link, so they can find out more if they choose.

8. Respond immediately to any inquiries. If a journalist contacts you, respond immediately. If you procrastinate, you will have sabotaged your press release campaign.

9. Use a cell phone for all your marketing. A landline may drop the call or result in a static reception.

10. Be prepared to answer questions that you may be asked in an interview. For instance, who you are, what you do, what makes you unique, and why you do what you do.

What do you do to get your press releases read and acted on?

Direct Mail Marketing Tips

Posted on February 22, 2011

Direct mail can be an effective marketing tool if you learn how to use it to your advantage. Limousine companies can use direct mail to get new clients and keep them. Transportation companies are more local than most other businesses that advertise. This makes direct mail an especially effective way to reach the target audience. Mailing a well-designed card is a great step towards building a loyal customer clientele. When people receive a card in the mail that is noticeable, they are more likely to save it to reference in the future. Anyone can create a unique, memorable card for their direct mail advertising campaign with a few simple guidelines in mind.

1. Make your card an attention-grabber.
You only have a few seconds to convince the recipient to learn more about your company. When designing a card for your business, make bright colors your best friend. People are attracted to vibrant, exciting images. Your initial goal is to have the recipient look at your card long enough to be interested in seeing what you have to offer. If you don’t use eye-catching colors, your card might get tossed aside.

2. Keep the text brief and to the point.
If you put too much writing on your card, you risk losing the recipient’s attention. Small fonts and too much text tend to overwhelm people. Write a first draft of what you want to say and then think about how to shorten it to a few key phrases. Include a phrase that will encourage people to contact you. Make sure that your contact information is clearly visible.

3. Look for inspiration everywhere you go.
Pay attention to the images you see daily. People see hundreds of advertisements a day. Be conscious of which ones you like the most. Learning what images impress you can help you figure out what kind of visuals work. Use the techniques you’ve noticed are effective for creating your own card.

4. Create a brand and stick to it.
Decide how you want to present your business and stay true to it. In order to be successful, you need to be consistent with the message you are sending. People don’t trust businesses that change their slogans often. They see them as unreliable. Create your own tagline that sums up what you want the recipient to know about your company in one short sentence.

5. Don’t clutter your card.
While using bright colors is a must, make sure that the overall effect isn’t overwhelming. Your card should still look professional. Use white spaces for text. Don’t make the mistake of putting your text on a colorful background. It might blend in and be too hard to read.

Three Common Trade Show Mistakes

Posted on February 9, 2011

www.createacardinc.comTrade shows are great way to market your business, but if you don’t handle situation correctly they can be a monumental waste of time, energy and money. Below are three common mistakes that many exhibitors make that compromise their ability to make the most out of a potentially lucrative situation.

Cheesy Booth Presentations

Too often businesses are tempted to skimp on the backgrounds for their trade show booth, but since the overall eye appeal is a major factor this should be a priority number one in your budget. Invest in slick, a professionally generated graphics, logos and banners on durable materials that won’t show wear and tear after a few shows and make sure your staff knows how to assemble them properly.

People are not in the mood to read a lot of text in a trade show atmosphere, so come up with crisp, concise language that has a playful tone. Instead of handing out tons of literature, create catchy giveaway items with your contact information — especially your website — prominently displayed. Any tasteful “special affects” that you can add to attract the eye are fair game at a trade show, so be bold and experiment with contemporary colors, rotating displays, flashing lights and alluring audio.

Expecting Too Much

Don’t think just because you invest a bundle on your presentation and have a lot of catchy giveaways that your clients will show up at your booth if you haven’t let them know you are going to be at the trade show in the first place. It is crucial to have a broadcast strategy that starts at least one month before the event to notify all of your customers, affiliates and interested parties about your participation in the trade show, what information or special deals they can expect to find and general information about the area where the trade show will be held.

Devise some intriguing trade show coupons or special local offers for visitors to your booth in your pre-trade show literature. Also be sure to provide internet links to relevant web sites that could help them do their own research and hopefully encourage them to attend.

Losing the Sale

Don’t calculate your trade show success by how many brochures your hand out or business cards you collect, but instead by how well your staff harvested crucial contact information, interacted with potential clients and were able to listen to their concerns and answer inquiries from attendees. Data collection techniques should be established, tested and double checked before every trade show and be constantly refined to capture maximum data in a minimal amount of time.

Another mistake too commonly made is that a lot of material collected is mishandled after the trade show. Be sure you have a staff member delegated specifically to establish professional follow-up procedures and respond quickly to contacts, questions and any loose ends. Make sure that no potential customers get overlooked and your collection and retrieval methods are constantly streamlined for better results in the future.