Getting Media Coverage — 5 Key Steps

While many marketers have, over the last few years, advised entrepreneurs to focus on building their social media profile, keep in-mind that getting your name in the ‘traditional media’ (i.e. newspapers, radio, television and print journals) can still be a powerful marketing tool well-worth pursuing.

In fact, the core principles used for establishing and growing profile online are actually built upon on the methods used in infiltrating the traditional media. That’s why in BusinessCast podcast #103 Robert and I sit down with Gerry Nicholls who is recognized as being one of the Nation’s most media-savvy political pundits. But, Gerry is more than a ‘thinker’ — he’s a doer with a rare history of building public profile for people, companies and causes. So, Gerry draws on his strong track record to share five ways that you can start to build and grow relationships with key media people.

Once you’ve listened to BusinessCast Podcast #103 you’ll be much better equipped to build a plan of action for getting the media coverage you want and deserve.

Here are a few additional points to consider for your media-building plan:

Define your targets precisely — Among the various types of targets, you should include at least one of the following: number of “mentions” in specific media; number of “positive” mentions in specific media; number of times you’re called by editors or journalists as a source of expertise; ‘unassisted name recognition’ as measured in your market research or ‘improved positive name association’ as measured in your market research.

Plan for ‘bad publicity’ — When you’re taking efforts to build your public profile, keep in-mind that there will be occasions when the media will miss a critical point or misunderstand something. The resulting increased buzz may not be the buzz you want. So, play out worst-case scenarios and identify what you will do to correct any inaccuracies or misconceptions about your company. It is particularly important to use the right combination of online tools in order to keep bad press from spreading through search engines.

Establish a precise process — Let everyone in your organization know who will act as your company’s spokesperson(s). Provide them with the training to deal effectively with the media and establish a straight-forward process for responding quickly to media inquiries.

Don’t forget to enter the contest to win a Blackberry Bold!

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Transformative Change: Start with the Digital Mindset

Every successful entrepreneur knows: to be successful means constantly changing. And, therein lies the irony — to be successful you’ve got to change something…and something that has allowed you to be successful up to now. But, where do you start? What needs to change? When should you change? How do you implement change? How do you make the right changes “stick”?

Now, combine that leadership reality with your day-to-day management challenges such as: the entry of new competitors, the rising price of doing business, new technologies, greater business risks, evolving customer expectations and your team’s desire to grow professionally.

So, at the end of the day, who’s got time to plan, implement and measure the kinds of changes that will ensure your continued success? Since this is the reality in which all entrepreneurs work, check out BusinessCast Podcast episode #99 — Grown Up Digital where we talk with Futurist (and pragmatist) Don Tapscott. The internationally renowned author shares insights and principles that you can apply now to ensure your future success.

The core of Don’s insights revolve around the values and behaviours that businesses need to embrace to succeed. And, not surprisingly these are brought to your business (and your competitors’ businesses) by the current generation of workers — those who have, you’ve guessed it , Grown Up Digital. Together, we touch upon issues that span all areas of business such as Human Resources (e.g. recruitment and retention), Marketing, Operations and Finance.

Once you’ve got a handle on the Digital generation and what they expect out of their workplace — as well as the opportunities and costs of adapting to leverage this generation’s strengths, you’ll also want to get a handle on how to manage the mix of generations within your workplace. Three resources that can help you in this regard include the following:

1. A Boomer’s Guide to Communication with Gen X and Gen Y. This Business Week article summarizes how these two generations approach items including: technology, compensation, collaboration, workplace gossip, attire, socializing and corporate loyalty.

2. If your business requires the energies of those who are currently graduating, review the recent Globe and Mail article, The Class of 2012: Mr. Google’s Children.

3. The American Management Association’s “Generations at Work“ has become a seminal piece of business literature that clearly and concisely explains the core values, assumptions and expectations of each of the current/evolving generations. To get you inspired, read Robert and my book review.

Don’t forget to enter the contest to win a Blackberry Bold!

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Franchise Comes Alive

At the BusinessCast podcast, we bring practical, real-life business lessons from entrepreneurs to other entrepreneurs — so that everyone can be more successful.

And, its because of this commitment to the entrepreneur community that Robert and I were invited to be official members of the Media  for the Canadian Franchise Association’s Franchise Show.

It was truly evident by the tremendous turnout and enthusiasm at the show that entrepreneurs of all ages and experiences do indeed recognize that the franchise business model is a viable and highly desirable option in this soft economy. Why? Because: the franchise model saves time and expense that every entrepreneur spends on creating and honing a system that is profitable.

In BusinessCast podcast episode 97 – Franchising for Entrepreneurs – Live! among the most compelling franchisors we spoke to were:

Aarons Rents — This relatively unknown brand of rent-to-own furnishings and equipment in Canada is poised for explosive growth. In fact, it’s one of those businesses that will flourish in soft economies. They’ve had some Canadian franchisees reaching break-even points in record time! Doug Warren, Director of Franchising, tells us of some inspiring successes!

Fast Signs — A business-to-business franchise, this franchise is a salesperson’s dream. If you’re a natural people-person and enjoy networking, selling and building a strong presence in a community (c’mon let’s face it there are a lot of you out there), then listen carefully to our discussions with Brian Wieters, Director of Franchising.

Cobs Bread — A new and fast-growing franchise, this business is perfect for you if you want to build and/or apply your skills in managing people as well as rolling-up your sleeves! John Gilson, Director of Franchising gives us a peek.

We spoke to franchisors, franchisees as well as those looking to get a better understanding of how this model could work for them. The CFA had some great resources — including free seminars and ‘Ask the Expert’ sessions. Even if you’re not sure how franchising may fit into your professional career, check other CFA events! You’ll learn some useful business nuggets just by chatting with other successful entrepreneurs just like you!

Don’t forget to enter the contest to win a Blackberry Bold!

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Networking for Entrepreneurs: Part 2

In BusinessCast podcast episode #92 – Networking for Entrepreneurs, Robert and I interviewed the inspiring networking guru and author of Smart Networking, Liz Lynch. She shared some of the background and core lessons that can be found in her book. But, do we think that her book is going to become the new networking benchmark? Short answer: yes!

Here’s a rapid book evaluation and review which outlines why this is an important resource for any busy entrepreneur looking for practical tools they can use in the short- and long-term. Specifically, Smart Networking:

1) Identifies and addresses the most common obstacles to effective networking. For the most part, these obstacles are ways that people feel about — and therefore approach — networking. Smart Networking addresses these mental blocks head-on rather than avoiding or ignoring them. This is a refreshing approach that will appeal to anyone who hesitates with the prospect of networking (pgs 11-32).

2) Succinctly outlines a straight forward approach to ensuring networking success: be found, be personable and be credible. This foundation may sound simplistic but, the reality is that everyone can build on at least one  of these principles (pgs 33-44).

3) Provides practical and foundation-setting tools that can be used by every current or budding entrepreneur regardless of industry (pgs 45-62).

4) Identifies actionable strategies that entrepreneurs can implement based on their own skills, willingness, availability and budgets (pgs 63-119).

5) Addresses available online tools and communites as a method to optimize networking efforts and results  (pgs 120-164).

6) Outlines a realistic and measurable networking plan (pgs 165-177).

Bottom Line for Entrepreneurs: Smart Networking is a critical networking tool — ideal for those who want to begin or hone their networking activities. Also, check out Liz’s site which complements the book with tools including an initial (and free) self-assessment.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Mobile Marketing For Entrepreneurs: Pick Up! Opportunity is Calling!

Have you ever wondered how you were going to leverage the ‘next big thing‘?

Well, it’s here and it’s time! It’s mobile marketing!

Mobile marketing is quickly becoming one of those rare phenomenon in business where a number of technologies and markets converge so powerfully that thousands of new and exciting opportunities emerge for entrepreneurs– semingly overnight.

So, to get a handle on the current/upcoming opportunities, take two simple steps:

1) Review Mobile Marketing – Part 1 – a blog post that includes a handful of very focused resources to get you comfortable with mobile marketing fundamentals;

and

2) Listen to the BusinessCast Podcast (Episode #75 – Don’t Hang Up: Mobile Marketing for Entrepreneurs) which will be posted on the BusinessCast Archives on Sunday, September 21, 2008.

Our very special podcast guest is Michael Younder — one of the many ‘movers and shakers’ at Research In Motion (R.I.M.) — home of the ubiquitous Blackberry!

Michael shares entertaining stories, insights and trends about mobile marketing, product development and branding. At the same time, Michael — along with Robert and I — highlight those lessons relevant for every business entrepreneur.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Hockey is a Business: Lessons that Score Entrepreneurs’ Goals

Calling all sports fans. Calling all hockey fans. Calling all entrepreneurs.

This weekend, Robert and I have a very special BusinessCast podcast guest: the former President and CEO of the Calgary Flames and the Saddledome, Ron Bremner.

Ron is a gifted and compelling storyteller as well as an accomplished businessman who took on a monumental challenge a few years ago. Specifically, he was charged with: turning around a hockey organization that faced financial ruin, dwindling sales, competing visions, and extremely high expectations. But, Ron was up for the task!

Ron shares the glory and the dirt through his down-to-earth and entertaining stories. He also highlights many valuable lessons and practical insights that any entrepreneur can learn from, about how to:

  • Deal with multiple and conflicting stakeholders
  • Manage and lead highly-skilled/highly sought-after employees
  • Manage the media during difficult times
  • Close ‘big deals’

We were so wrapped up in Ron’s stories that we ended up recording two podcast episodes with him!

If you’re any kind of sports fan, hockey fan or entrepreneur, listen to these episodes – and you’ll find lessons that will help you to score your goals!

 The first episode will be posted on in the BusinessCast archives page on August 24th, 2008.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Most Popular Podcasts and Blog Entries

Robert and I are always interested to see which BusinessCast podcast topics — and related blog entries — hold most interest for our entrepreneurs. So, we solicit feedback, review our fan email and analyze our listener and readership stats.

Here’s a quick summary of the most popular BusinessCast podcasts and related blog entries from the last few weeks:

How to Make Sense of, and Leverage, Social Media

Blog Entries:

How to Create Incentives that Increase Sales

How to Tackle Entrepreneurs’ Most Common Financial Challenges

How to Build Your Public Profile

Podcasts:

Related Blog Entries:

How to Build Business…One-on-One

Podcasts:

Related Blog Entries:

Let us know which BusinessCast podcasts and blog entries have been most useful to you.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes