Marketing – The Ultimate Frontier. 2-Part Workshop offered by Cranberry Country Chamber of Commerce and Cranberry Institute.

Bulb oneMany business owners have a New Year’s Resolution to finally launch a consistent and cost-effective marketing campaign. In recognition of that admirable goal, the Cranberry Country Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Cranberry Institute and sponsor Rockland Trust, announce a 2-part workshop “Marketing – The Ultimate Frontier”.

The first session will run January 14 from 9 a.m. to noon and the second will commence on January 28 from 9 a.m. to noon. Both sessions will take place at the Boston Tavern, 58 E Grove St, Middleboro, MA.

Session one features industry expert Tracy Fernandes of Just In Advertising who will focus on branding and how to enhance marketing materials. She will be joined by Steve Dubin of PR Works who will outline Guerilla Marketing and public relations that utilize low cost and hands on approach to moving the marketing needle.

Session two includes Todd Philie of Southcoast Marketing Group who will emphasize the benefits of social media and how it ties into your website through design and functionality. Kevin McNally of Interactive Palette will review the importance of website development and tools that help your reach targeted customers. Topics will include tips and tricks with Google Analytics, key words and design.

Cost for Chamber members is $94 and $125 for non-members. Seating is limited and reservations can be made at www.CranberryCountry.org or by calling Itamar Chalif, 508-280-7510.

The premier sponsor is Rockland Trust. The Cranberry Institute for Better Business is a new initiative by the Cranberry Country Chamber of Commerce dedicated to providing affordable education for business owners and leaders by industry experts. A full slate of events will be announced in the near future.

The Cranberry Country Chamber of Commerce serves represents the towns of Middleboro, Lakeville, Raynham, Bridgewater, Plympton, Halifax, Carver, Wareham, and Rochester. The Chamber is located at 40 North Main Street Suite G, Middleborough, MA 02346. For more information, please visit www.CranberryCountry.org or call 508-947-1499.

A setback in the fight for your online reputation

online reputation managementSo, a disgruntled customer/client takes their aggravation out on your company in an online forum. Justified or not, that requires action. You counter by encouraging customers and clients who have benefitted from your products or services to post positive reviews to the same forum.  Several do but nowhere do you see those posts, just that glaring negative one. What gives?

That’s a scenario several business owners have reported lately. Seems that there’s one online directory (it rhymes with the word help) that objects to positive comments in response to a negative one if those commenters have not posted before. While it’s difficult to understand this online directory’s policy, it leaves the business owner without a very important tool in defusing a toxic online comment. That’s why your online reputation strategy should always have a PR component.

Typically, we advise clients who have been victimized by a negative comment to issue a series of press releases with positive news about their company. Part of the distribution of said news release involves posting to online newsrooms, which spider quite nicely in Google. This may or may not knock the negative comment off the front page of a Google search. It will, however, will give that negative comment plenty of company–company that carries some third-party credibility.

Does this tactic prevent the bad comment from discouraging new business or prospects? It’s difficult to say the bad comment will have zero effect. Yet most consumers savvy enough to research reviews will go to more than one site for information. Chances are multiple positive news stories will be enough to trump one bad review and enhance your online reputation in the process.

Crafting your story into news

Editors and reporters are looking for subjects that entertain, educate and entice their audience. These media gatekeepers are NOT drawn to self-promotion, self-aggrandizement or self-indulgence.

So, how do you “package” news that will be acceptable to the gatekeeper? First, add a human element. How does your story impact upon people. The more the better. An Ice Cream Scooper Bowl that raises money for a good charity and feeds thousands is of more interest to the press than an isolated incident or promotion.

Second, make the reader part of the story. When is the Scooper Bowl and what is the best time to avoid big lines? How can the reader contribute to the good cause even if he can’t make it to the event?

Third, bring the story close to home. What is the hometown of the Scooper Bowl sponsor? What local little league will be helping out as the scooper duper helpers? What business and community leaders will act as “celebrity” scoopers.

Fourth, say something memorable. “This Scooper Bowl will help lick this tragic problem,” you might suggest. Or, “This Sunday your ice cream sundae will help whip this difficult condition.” Offer pithy quotes and the press will come back for more — not only for this story, but future opportunities as well.

Fifth, be unusual. The Scooper Bowl, if faced with rival events, could feature only homemade ice cream and farm fresh toppings. Or perhaps the ice cream is served in miniature trophy cups.

Now you can scream about your proverbial ice cream. Enjoy the works.

Big help for Small Business. Small Business Survival Package offered by PR Works based in Kingston, MA.

Steve Dubin of PR Works
Steve Dubin of PR Works

KINGSTON, MA… 

The new “normal” is higher cost for fuel, health insurance and supplies and less revenue due to a snail’s pace economy. Business owners are already wearing too many hats. What can they do keep their head above water?

Business owners often have good marketing ideas, they just don’t know how to prioritize them or have the capable hands to get things done. In recognition of the critical economic situation and the ever expanding complexity of marketing choices, PR Works, a full service public relations and advertising company based in Kingston, MA, is introducing a Small Business Survival Package to help solve the marketing riddle.

Small Business Survival Package addresses the critical public relations and marketing efforts that should occur on a monthly basis. The service includes:-

  • Free PR/Marketing audit to review current activities and new opportunities.
  • Organize database of customers – especially email and snail mail.
  • Develop campaign to harvest customer/visitor email and snail mail.
  • Constant Contact (E-newsletter) – Review options. Set up account.
  • Facebook – Review options. Set up account.
  •  Twitter – Review options. Set up account.
  • Texting campaign – Review options. Set up account.
  • Update and refresh website copy. Add short video intros, newsroom, E-newsletter opt-in box.
  • Blog – Arrange for addition to website.
  • Monthly news release – Also repurpose for blog, e-newsletter, Twitter, Facebook.
  • Includes 5 hours of consultation per month.

“Small businesses are hurting and need to find new customers and expand sales to existing customers,” said Steve Dubin founder and president of PR Works. He added, “Persuasive, compelling advertising and marketing is even more critical in tough times. The challenge has gotten more difficult. There are even more complex choices and fewer dollars to go around. Although there is no silver bullet, a consistent message delivered to a consistent, targeted audience on a consistent basis will yield strong, positive results.

Prudent choices must be made and implemented.”

PR Works offering The Works

For 20 years, PR Works has been providing a wide expanse of public relations and advertising services including strategic PR planning, news releases, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, newsletters, E-newsletters, website makeovers, case studies, grand opening management, product and service launch management, brochure/collateral materials, advertising campaigns, direct mail, and telemarketing.

For more information, visit the PR Works website at www.prworkzone.com or become a fan of PR Works at http://www.Facebook.com/PRWorkzone. For FREE brochures entitled “Making E-Newsletters Effective”, “Social Media Myths Removed”, and “Video to Web is a Blockbuster”, please contact Steve Dubin at

(781) 582-1061, sdubin@prworkzone.com, 51 Lot Phillips Road, Kingston, MA.

Getting Stuck in the Middle – PR Pointers

From time to time, PR Works offers “Pointers” from other points of view.

The following are some pointers from our trusted colleague, Ken Cheo of Winfree Business Systems, a sales consultant.

GETTING STUCK IN THE MIDDLE

Here is a situation I encounter a lot with clients. I debrief with the client regarding a first meeting with a prospect. They tell me that the meeting went very well. They were able to generate good rapport and there was good discussion on the prospects needs which are a good fit for their products or services. The prospect said something encouraging like “I would like to do business with you” or “It sounds like you have just what we need”.

Then when I ask how did you leave it with them or what is the next step, they say something like, “They will call me next week after they bring it up in a meeting” or “They said they wanted to think about it for a while and will get back to me”.

It is easy for us as salespeople to be optimistic about our chances to make a sale and we need to maintain that positive attitude through the adversity. A seasoned salesperson would know that in a situation like this, you will not always receive that call back. In fact, many times it will be you that makes that follow up call and sometimes you end up having a difficult time getting reconnected or the project gets delayed for various reasons.

To be sure you are being most efficient with your time; you must first be able to recognize a real commitment. Then you must make sure you ask enough questions to gage their commitment so you know how much time to devote to this opportunity and when. Often times they tell me they are afraid to jeopardize their good rapport by appearing “too pushy”.

If a prospect really has a problem for you to solve and want your help, they will welcome a conversation about what needs to happen in order for them to solve it. It is when they have some hidden agenda that may prevent you from doing business with them that would prevent them from giving you a more firm commitment.

Set an agenda at the beginning of the meeting where you both agree on the potential outcomes for the meeting and if either one of you feel that you cannot do business; it is ok to say “no”. This will help create an environment where they are more open with the discussion and able to say so if they don’t see a fit.

If you do not close in the first meeting, understand what needs to happen between that first meeting and the time they will be able to decide and then get a commitment to work with you through that process. If you are not getting a genuine commitment to work towards a decision you should ask them about it.

If you want more advice about how to close more business faster and pay yourself what you’re worth, contact Ken Cheo at 508-735-5399 or email kcheo@winfree.org. Ask about the free sales workshops or for a no-cost consultation.