Sunday, June 22, 2008

Start Today

Within reason, if you want to start or grow your business, yo can do it today...with whatever you have. Many of the top business growing tools are free and require a little time, ingenuity, and follow through. Here they are:

Social Networking- if you can get access to a computer, and have the time, you can begin networking in the cyber world. By choosing your online persona (backgrounds, music, photos, etc.)and filling in questions and criteria, on sites that house your target audience for your service or product, you can begin to build a web presence---for free.

Media Placement-does your company make the next big gadget? Do you have the cure to plumber's crack (don't ask--just popped into my head). IF you can think of relevant, newsworthy information to keep you/your company consistently in the media, you can brand yourself as an expert and reap significant business. Again--FREE! It takes some brain power and dedication.

The bottom line---do something. Don't wait around for the perfect time--trust me, it will NEVER come. Right now is as perfect a time as any to build your mega brand.

Now....back to Roscoe's...

So, Roscoe has his market. Now, he has to plan how to get people in the door.

Side note---for the sake of focusing on PR functions, we're skipping some steps that you'd do when opening a restaurant.


Now, he knows about his restaurant and who he wants to see there, how does he get them there?

First, Roscoe needs to set-up a marketing and PR budget. If he were my client, I would definitely invite the food media to a special night (pre-grand opening) to taste some of his signature dishes. I mean, who doesn't love free food. And, if his food's as great as I know it would be, then he should get rave reviews! Note...the media would be specialized to restaurants, fine living and fine dining magazines (there's the key--can't go after all media for all things--specialization is the key).

Let's back-up for a get that media pitches/angles have to be created to have an idea of what to say to which media, in order to interest them. Then, a media list of those specializes media outlets have to be created. Press releases have to be written and distributed to the media list. Finally, following-up with journalists is important---not harassing and annoying them, simply following-up.

Now that you have a very simple primer in media relations, dig a little deeper and get some sample press releases, ideas about how to put together a pitch and see what you can do for yourself/your business. Here are some great resources to do just that:

Until next time and the next installment of Roscoe's.....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Aaah, technology

So, I have been trying to post for two days and kept getting questions marks and Hindi!! Gotta love it!! None-the-less...

Today I want to address a common question. "What is a brand?" Many a website, a blog, etc. have addressed this question and have given a variety of definitions. However, none of them matter, because they weren't W.W.V.D? Only joking! Here's my slant on it and how brands, marketing, and pr marry together beautifully....

Wikipedia defines brand as such:
"A brand is a collection of experiences and associations attached to a company, organisation, product or service; more specifically, brand refers to the concrete symbols such as a name, logo, slogan, and design scheme. A brand is a symbolic embodiment of all the information connected to a company, organisation, product or service."

What does that mean in Dominique terms? I always tell everyone that a brand is your walk, your talk, your dress, and the way you do business and treat people.

If your business is based on calm, good feelings, and treating others with respect, then you can not talk to people dogs, have poor customer service, or over promise and under deliver. If you run a health food store, you can not sell big, greasy hamburgers. If you are an image consultant, you can not wear torn pants and stained t-shirts everywhere. Finally, if you're business is fitness, you must be fit. Long story short...everything you do, say and present to the public must match your business ideals and presentation. Otherwise, it's a waste.

A Practical Application:

Because I was an educator for nine years, with Memphis City Schools, I have a teacher still fighting inside of me to get out, on a daily basis. I am going to spend the next few blogs building a fictitious brand, to give you a practical application of what a brand is and how to build it in the public, online, in the media, and with special events.

Let's call the business owner Roscoe, and call his business Roscoe's Fine Food Emporium. Roscoe's ultimate goal is to be the "it" restaurant for well-to-do diners, with dispensable income (basically these days, those people who can fill up their Hummer H1-the BIG one- weekly, without batting a lash!), who choose fine dining 2-3 times per week for dinner, numerous business and networking lunches, and late afternoon/early evening drinks.

Ok...that's a start to wet your whistle. Stay tuned as we build a monster brand for Roscoe! Who said Roscoe's can't be classy?!

Be sure to e-mail me your pr and marketing questions and I'll post them and answer them here.


Friday, June 13, 2008

What Would VIDA Do?

Interesting question isn't it? I get numerous questions from business owners and business minded individuals about exactly what PR & marketing are and how to use them to exceed in business. So, I finally decided, after getting some of the same questions to start this blog and post your questions with our ideas, tactics, suggestions, etc.

I look forward to helping all that cross my virtual doorstep.

We're on our way!