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How to successfully pitch a reporter to get interviewed and obtain media coverage

How to Successfully Pitch a Reporter to Get Interviewed and Obtain Media Coverage

When I was up against a book deadline and needed a couple of people to interview who had achieved business results from podcasting, I put out a call through a service called Help a Reporter Out (www.helpareporter.com). This free service functions very much like paid reporter lead services such as Profnet or Travel Publicity Leads. Generally media people put out such calls either when they need interview leads extremely soon (like a deadline in two days) or when they have rather unusual interview needs that can’t be satisfied through the usual channels (such as looking for someone who has diabetes, owns pets and is gay or lesbian).

Someday you may be in a position to pitch a reporter, so I’d like to help you understand what to do and what not to do in this situation, and why, so you can seize the opportunity to meet the reporter’s needs and receive valuable media coverage. Here is the meat of the request I made:

“Need phone interviews by end of the week with 3 podcasters who can cite specific, tangible business results achieved through podcasting. Tell me briefly the topic of your podcast, your URL, your results and your phone number. Thanks.”

I received 30 replies. Of these, five stood out as excitingly fulfilling my criteria. At least half of the rest put themselves completely out of the running by ignoring my stated requirements, while several others were wasting their time and mine in their reply for other reasons.

I’m not sure how I could have been more clear and explicit about what information I wanted from respondents in order to screen them. I said I wanted potential interviewees to tell me the “specific, tangible business results achieved through podcasting.” Anyone who did not say exactly how they’d gotten new opportunities or earned money from their podcast got eliminated. Perhaps they had a great story to tell, but they hadn’t pre-qualified themselves with me to tell it. Instead they said, in effect, “I’m the one you want. Call me.” One wrote, “We are number 1 in the world, business results are amazing. I am so busy I would rather speak on the phone.” As far as I’m concerned, that’s hot air and does not show willingness to help me with my story.

This may sound “Mickey Mouse,” but whatever details are in the reporter’s request are there for a reason, and it doesn’t work to ignore them. I saw much the same thing happen when I judged a couple of business contests. The application form asked several questions that numerous otherwise appealing candidates left blank. These people were disqualified. The time and in some cases money they’d spent entering the contest was for naught.

Besides those who neglected to specify their podcasting results, a few people wasted their time by sending me contact information for someone who they said met my criteria, such as their boss, their client or someone they knew of from afar. For someone on a tight deadline who receives sufficient responses directly from interviewees, this doesn’t work, either. From the underling or PR representative’s suggestion, I have no way of knowing whether or not their referral is actually available to talk during my time frame. If you know of someone who fits a reporter’s request, always forward it to that person and urge them to respond right away instead of replying on their behalf.

Another bunch of people wasted their time writing to me because they did not have a podcast of their own but rather provided podcasting services for a fee. I’d said, “Tell me briefly the topic of your podcast,” and they’d violated that portion of my request.

One of the top five respondents whom I emailed back right away to set up a time to talk by phone took more than 24 hours to reply. “Sorry, your email landed in my spam folder,” he said. “Here’s when I’m available today.” Unfortunately, by then I’d already completed the interviews I needed. Unfortunately too for another respondent who met all of my criteria: He initiated contact after I’d finished all the interviews.

My advice on getting publicity by replying to reporters’ requests boils down to this: Reply promptly. Explicitly address the stated criteria in your reply. Volunteer only yourself. Check for the reporter’s email or phone call so you can follow through on having caught his or her interest.

Paradoxically, by treating the media person as a prince or princess, you position yourself to become a star.

Ice cream franchising is the hot new franchising trend

Ice Cream Franchising is the Hot New Franchising Trend

Even though the grocery store carries a wide variety of ice cream flavors, nothing can ever replace the experience of standing at the counter of your local ice cream franchise and being handed a fresh cone of your favorite flavor. Owning an ice cream franchise is not only a lucrative business, but also a fun way to be your own boss.

In the U.S. today, ice cream is a $20 billion-plus industry, with 90 percent market penetration. The industry is mature, meaning any gains from one competitor or segment will be scooped from another. It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that U.S. consumers spend up to one-third of their food and beverage budget on products consumed for pure enjoyment, rather than nutritional value, according to a July 2005 report

Dippin’ Dots Franchising, Inc., founded in 1988 and which began franchising in 2000, is another hot new concept, topping Franchise Times magazine’s Fast 55 list, and ranking #2 in Entrepreneur magazine’s Top 50 New Franchise Companies. Dippin’ Dots are tiny beads of ice cream, yogurt, sherbet, and flavored ice, cryogenically frozen, and are served at movie theaters, theme parks, and other entertainment venues nationwide.

Recently announcing a new s’mores flavor, Dippin’ Dots combine old favorites such as marshmallow, chocolate and graham crackers, to delight fans with more frozen goodness.

Become part of the Dippin’ Dots franchise and get onboard with this great ground floor opportunity. Dippin’ Dots has a loyal fan base, and who can blame them? You, too, can participate in providing the Dippin’ Dots loyal fan base with iced goodies! Market research shows Dippin’ Dots outperformed some of the top franchised ice cream brands 2:1 among kids and young adults.

What You Need to Know:

There are multiple product offerings (ice cream, yogurt, flavored ices, ice cream cakes, iced drinks, shakes and more!)

The store investment, labor costs, transaction time and cost of goods are all lower then the national average.

Gain international exposure and brand awareness from appearances on Oprah, The Travel Channel, and The Food Network.

Dippin’ Dots is one of the hottest franchises and is growing at an aggressive pace throughout the United States.

Don’t miss out! Become the first in your area to bring Dippin’ Dots to its loyal fan base!

Joint venture your way to the top

Joint Venture Your Way to the Top

Copyright (c) 2008 Christian Fea

Joint ventures are a great way to team up with another company or person who is looking to achieve similar goals. By using your resources in a joint venture arrangement, you can save time and money in achieving your dreams. Before you set up your joint venture arrangement, decide what exactly it is that you want to accomplish from the project. Are you looking to access additional information and resources, do you want to tap into new markets that your potential joint venture partner is already tapped in to, are you looking to extend your marketing reach? What is it that you hope to accomplish? By having a defined target at which to aim, you are more likely to hit the “bulls-eye” and create a winning joint venture plan.

Joint venture vs. partnership: Benefits

Because the main difference between a joint venture and a partnership is that a joint venture is normally temporary or project based, there are tax advantages that can be realized. First, each member of the joint venture retains ownership of his or her property. Secondly, members of joint ventures are taxed on the joint venture profits according to whatever business structure has been established for each business. Also, those participating in a joint venture can choose to use as much or as little of their Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) claim as they would like.

Let’s use an example of an inventor looking to bring an innovative product to market. Normally, an inventor will not have the resources and distribution channels needed to mass-produce his product. Thinking creatively, the inventor decides to research manufacturing companies with capabilities he believes are needed to produce his product. By joint venturing with the manufacturing company, the inventor now has access to additional funds, production resources, and distribution channels that could take months or even years to develop on his own. The manufacturing company has acquired a new product to provide to its existing and potential customer base, thereby potentially creating an additional stream of revenue. However, both parties have retained their autonomy in regards to how the profit share is utilized on behalf of each joint venture entity.

Joint venturing your company

Suppose you don’t have a great new invention to bring to market. Say your company is service-oriented, providing consulting services to the small business sector. Your dilemma is reaching gaining greater market exposure to your target market. How can you accomplish this without spending an arm and a leg on advertising? How about joint venturing with a bank or credit union that is currently servicing your target market? They may be able to offer your services as a resource that will help the businesses they are financing to succeed. Naturally, the bank is interested in the success of the businesses they’re funding, and a part of a successful business is a great marketing strategy. You reach a broader target market, the bank assists the businesses in which it has a vested interest, and you both retain autonomy.

There are a myriad of joint venture opportunities available. You can joint venture your way to the top if you’re willing to think outside the box, outline specific goals for your joint venture agreement, and follow through on the execution.

Learn about ds3 connection using ds3 line

Learn About Ds3 Connection Using Ds3 Line

It is helpful to know that a DS3 connection is comprised up of two monthly charges. One is the local loop and the port charge. The local loop charge is the cost of the circuit provided by the Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) that allows DS3 access into the carrier’s network. The loop charge is based on the distance from the customer’s location to the edge of the carrier’s network; the farther the customer is from the network, the more the loop will cost. Nearly every carrier prices loops differently so it is in your best interest to price DS3 service with several providers to ensure that you walk away satisfied.

A DS3 line is also called a T3 line, which can be confusing to most who are not familiar with internet lingo. DS3 is a high-speed connection that is capable of transmitting data at up to 45 Mbps. A DS3 line is equal to approximately 672 regular voice-grade telephone lines, which is fast enough to transmit full-motion, real-time video, and very large databases over a busy network.

A DS3 line is installed as a major networking artery for large corporations and universities with high-volume network traffic. Other example applications include large call centers, enterprise wide VoIP and IP PBX systems, Internet service providers, research labs, video conference centers and software development companies. A DS3 is the second fastest, non-optical connection offered in North America. A DS3 line is comprised of 28 T1 lines, each operating at total signaling rate of 1.544 Mbps.

Digital Signal consists of cataloging digital circuits according to the rate and format of the signal and the equipment providing the signals (T). DS and T designations are used synonymously. Therefore, DS1 means T1, and DS3 implies T3. In addition, DS3 circuits provide businesses and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with up to 45 Mb/s of dedicated Internet connectivity. This is an ideal solution for users who have outgrown their T1 connections and are in search of unlimited, high-capacity access. A DS3 line actually consists of 672 individual channels, each of which supports 64 Kb/s. DS3 lines are extremely high bandwidth connections into a carrier’s backbone. They typically include SLAs (Service Level Agreements) that guarantee uptime and performance.

DS Internet Access is the ideal solution for businesses that require high-bandwidth access at a reduced price. Whether you host high-traffic Web sites, support Web hosting or need high-capacity bandwidth on an as-needed basis, there’s a level of DS3 service (Full or fractional) that will meet your needs. Fractional to full DS3 or T3 circuits run from speeds of 3 Mbps up to 45 Mbps.

The 28 DS1 signals are multiplexed into seven DS2 signals. Then, the seven DS2 signals are multiplexed into one DS3 signal. Each multiplexing step uses bit stuffing to handle the different input frequencies. Overhead bits provide alignment, error checking, in-band communications, and bit stuffing control information.

For more resource about T3 or even about DS3 Line and espcially about T3 Line please click these links.

How can small businesses squeeze more sales out of a lead generation funnel

How Can Small Businesses squeeze More Sales Out of a Lead Generation Funnel?

Solo entrepreneurs, home based businesses and small businesses are all faced with the uncertainty of these tough economic times. Despite all the doom and gloom, one thing that is for sure is that there will be survivors. But … “Who will they be?” “What are they going to do to make it happen?” Luck will not play the biggest part of getting through these times. It is probably safe to say that the ones who do get through this and actually grow will have taken very deliberate actions to make it so. What then will these businesses do?

The obvious first step is to streamline the costs of doing business without compromising quality to customers. This means that they will take the time to find vendors who are offering better prices, look for ways to streamline staffing costs (telecommuting, virtual assistants, cutting back hours), becoming more energy efficient (traveling less, lowering heating and cooling costs), find more affordable health insurance options and so forth. Once they have streamlined, smart businesses will continue to look for ways to get more for less while trying to increase the value that they provide to their customers.

The first place to get more for less is by finding more effective marketing strategies. It is crucial to note that the only type of marketing that should be cut is ineffective marketing. Existing marketing programs need to be evaluated for their effectiveness. Low ROI marketing strategies should be abandoned and replaced with those that have a high ROI. Effective marketing is essential for getting in front of potential customers as well as staying in front of existing ones. This is not the time to ignore your existing customer base. After all, it takes six times as much money to acquire a new lead as it does to market to an existing one. Smart businesses recognize that effective marketing is their lifeline to the future.

What is the best place to start? Systems that organize and automate essential processes for small business will create a high ROI. The best place to get started is by using a customer relationship management program (CRM).

CRM is much more than a contact management system although this is one of the functions that these programs can perform (sometimes they will coordinate with an existing one such as Outlook). CRM is the master organizer for so many different processes that a small business has. It provides a means to track and segment all customer information and then track what has been done and what needs to be done. It allows the various departments such as marketing, sales and customer service to be aware of the needs of any given prospect or customer and what needs to be done next.

What would this mean to a business that has a presence on line? It means that a prospect is able to fill out a contact form 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The prospect that fills out this form will now be tagged as a prospect in the CRM system. Depending upon the information that was checked on the form (e.g. newsletter request, product information desired etc.) the prospect will have additional tags that indicate the interests of these prospects. Depending on the type of form that was filled, the database may also now contain demographics such as age, location, occupation and so forth. All of these would be tags that help segment the list. The segmented lists will be connected to appropriate email follow up sequences that automatically send out information, education and marketing materials over a period of weeks, months or year.

This one capacity of CRM has enormous value. Consider that 80% of small businesses fail to follow up with prospects beyond three attempts and that it typically takes seven or more “touches” for a prospect to become a customer. The tragic end result for businesses that fail to follow up is that they are warming up their leads for their competition.

What else can a CRM system do? Automatically sending welcome messages, customer satisfaction surveys and promotional materials will create future sales opportunities.

It can also organize affiliate programs, billing and so much more.

A good CRM will be able to use multiple channels to communicate including: emails and newsletters, fax broadcasts, voice blasts, and direct mail post cards. An automated system is highly cost effective and efficient at generating new and repeat sales. CRM is also a time and energy saver and ultimately the best way to squeeze more sales out of any lead generation funnel.

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