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Archive for the ‘PR’ Category

Differentiate Your Small Business from Competitors by Making Yourself the Go-To Authority in Your Field

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

by: Geoff Ficke

Differentiate Your Small Business from Competitors by Making Yourself the Go-To Authority in Your Field

A question I am often asked by entrepreneurs starting a new business operation is, “How do I stand out from my competition”. There are a number of options that can be
chosen to accomplish this goal. Resources and actual experience go far in determining which route to take.

If financial resources are not an issue, and it almost universally is, smothering your target market with advertising is the most commonly chosen method to make you and your enterprise stand out from the pack. But there are better paths for those working with minimal assets. Here are a few to consider.

Write a Blog

Let’s assume that you are an insurance agency owner. I live in a very tiny community and even here we have at least six insurance agents in the county. Insurance agents are ubiquitous. By writing a Blog, and constantly updating the content, an agent can become identified as a purveyor of tips and information that makes the purchase of insurance less painful. Whatever the field of endeavor try to impart knowledge that is of value to consumers. Do not overtly attempt to sell a product or service.

Perfect the Advertorial

An Advertorial is an advertisement that looks and reads like an editorial. A question is posed that pertains to your particular business entity. You answer the question with clarity and an air of studied knowledge. This subtly reinforces your bona fides as an expert in your field.

We have used Advertorials successfully for years to build our clients reputations as experts. People love to receive information and tips. They do not like to be sold. The Advertorial, if properly written and executed, will not only build a professional reputation they will be a driver of sales and traffic to your business.

We have used the Advertorial strategy to promote Wellness and Weight Loss Clinic owners, Beauty Salon and Day Spa businesses, Gourmet Food and Beverage marketers, Cosmetic, Skin Care, Fashion, Perfumers, Pet Products, Hunting and Fishing, Sporting Goods, DIY, and Jewelry start-ups, local merchants and service providers. This technique can be made to work to fit almost any Sales Promotion budget.

Public Relations

If you hire a new employee announce the appointment in a Publicity Release. If you launch a new product, open a branch office, add an account, attend a Trade Show, take a continuing education course, or experience any positive activity relating to your business write and circulate a Publicity Release.

The local media in your trading area loves these types of notices and publication is FREE! There are numerous FREE on-line services which publish PR Releases. Trade journals are awash in industry specific announcements that are generated by PR Releases and are published for FREE! Build a data base of clients, past customers and send them PR Releases announcing positive news. Visit my web-site www.DuquesaMarketing.com and click on the Public Relations tab. The format we utilize for the Releases that you can view is the standard PR industry template which you should use for your PR’s.

Public Speaking

Offer to speak to local service clubs such as the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Lions, Forrester’s, etc. The announcement that you will be speaking on a topic that is in your professional wheelhouse reinforces that you are the “pro from Dover” in this space. Church, civic and philanthropic groups are always seeking knowledgeable speakers to enrich their meetings.

Network

In order to speak to groups as described above, join them. The best advertisement and strategy to make you and your business known is to participate in local and industry specific groups and boards.

Have a Fresh Web-site

I am a believer that way too many people have web-sites. If content is not exciting a site can actually signify that your business is poorly run. People with new business concepts, but no ability to conduct commerce, put up sites that only serve to tip off competitors about their intentions before they are market ready.

A bright, contemporary, well managed web-site does not have to cost a fortune or be cumbersome for even the smallest Micro-Business to handle. There are numerous service firms that can build sites inexpensively and will constantly add blog and PR updates. Search engines will crawl web-site pages every few weeks and if a site is key search term enriched it will move higher in page rankings.

Write Articles

Let’s assume you operate a Prototype Design facility. There is a good bit of mystery to creating working, production quality Prototypes. These units are essential in  discovering manufacturing logistics, engineering quirks, cost of goods, and much more. If an Industrial or Design Engineer wishes to distinguish themselves there is no better way than to regularly publish 400 or more word articles on topics germane to modeling Prototypes.

Article Submission firms abound on the web-site. Many publish for FREE. Some charge a small publishing fee. A few can be utilized for targeting specific demographic groups or industries. When you publish an article you will be perceived as a person with a level of expertise in your field of work.

These are only a few of the many strategies that can be employed to separate you and your business from a swarm of competitors. As you execute these types of self-promotional elements you will discover that they become easier as you perfect your skill sets. There is an old adage among writers: “Writers write”. There is a similar maxim for entrepreneurs: “Successful businesses self-promote”.

Geoff Ficke to Be Interviewed on WDRC 1360 AM Talk of Connecticut Radio Show on December 21, 2011 at 11:20amET

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Duquesa Marketing, Inc.

www.duquesamarketing.com

 

Press Release

For Immediate Release

December 20, 2011

Contact:  Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609

gficke@msn.com

Geoff Ficke to Be Interviewed on WDRC 1360 AM Talk of Connecticut Radio Show on December 21, 2011 at 11:20amET

Duquesa Marketing Founder and Expert to Discuss How to Create Entrepreneurial Opportunities During a Tough Economy 

Florence, KY  Nancy Ficke, General Manager, announced today that her Branding and Product Development firm Duquesa Marketing has scheduled another in a series of national radio interviews for Company President and Founder Geoff Ficke. 

“Geoff Ficke will appear on WDRC Mary Jones Show 1360 AM Talk of Connecticut radio show with Host Mary Jones December 21st at 11:20am eastern time”, said Mrs Ficke. “The discussion will be about the opportunity to take hold of your life and career options by exploring Entrepreneurial opportunities that people find around themselves in their hobbies, homes or jobs”. 

“We work with hundreds of inventors, small and micro-businesses and entrepreneurs every year”, said Alexis Bruning, V.P. of New Business Development at Duquesa Marketing. “Many of these people carve out successful enterprises by capitalizing on things they experience in their environment. This is a topic that Geoff is passionate about and is always happy to share with an audience”. 

Duquesa Marketing has assisted numerous individuals and enterprises start and expand Consumer Product opportunities over the past four decades. The award winning firm has vast experience in all Sales and distribution channels in the United States and internationally.

Duquesa Marketing Announces that Geoff Ficke To Write for Networking Site www.Connecture.com

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Duquesa Marketing, Inc.

www.duquesamarketing.com

 

Press Release

For Immediate Release:

September 5, 2011

Contact:  Geoff Ficke

 859-567-1609

 gficke@msn.com

Duquesa Marketing Announces that Geoff Ficke To Write for Networking Site www.Connecture.com

Award Winning Consultant Will Provide Articles and Training Content for International Businesses, Innovators and Entrepreneurs 

Florence, KY Alexis Bruning, V.P. of New Product Development for Duquesa Marketing announced today that her firm has concluded arrangements for Geoff Ficke, President of the international Branding, Marketing and Consumer Product Development Consulting firm to provide content for the rapidly growing networking site www.Connecture.com

“We were approached by Connecture after they heard several of Mr. Ficke’s radio interviews and read a sampling of his articles”, said Ms. Bruning. “The Connecture site is targeted to exactly the type of visitor that will appreciate and be motivated by the topics and insights that Geoff Ficke features in his writing. This should prove to be a most productive relationship”. 

“We search the world looking for content providers that offer fresh insights”, said Shahid Butt, Managing Partner of Copenhagen, Denmark based www.Connecture.com. “Geoff Ficke writes and presents unique concepts in an original style that will be of great value for our international membership. We are excited to be able to offer his content”. 

Duquesa Marketing has provided a turn-key, one stop Consulting co-operative to Consumer Product innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs and small and micro-businesses for over 40 years. From concept idea to placement on store shelves to consumer purchase the Company offers a comprehensive menu of services.

Geoff Ficke to Be Interviewed on 1110 AM Radio Shannon’s Corner Show on September 28, 3:40pm ET

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Duquesa Marketing, Inc.

www.duquesamarketing.com

 

Press Release

For Immediate Release:

September 5, 2011

Contact:  Geoff Ficke

 859-567-1609

 gficke@msn.com

Geoff Ficke to Be Interviewed on 1110 AM Radio Shannon’s Corner Show on September 28, 3:40pm ET 

Duquesa Marketing Founder and Expert to Discuss How to Create  Entrepreneurial Opportunities During a Tough Economy 

Florence, KY Alexis Bruning V.P. Sales and New Business development announced today that her Branding and Product Development firm Duquesa Marketing has scheduled another in a series of national radio interviews for Company President and Founder Geoff Ficke. 

“Geoff Ficke will appear on 1110 AM  radio on September 28th at 3:40 PM Eastern time to be interviewed by Shannon Devereaux Sanford”, said Ms Bruning. “The discussion will be about the opportunity to take hold of your life and career options by exploring Entrepreneurial opportunities that people find around themselves in their hobbies, homes or jobs”. 

“We work with hundreds of inventors, small and micro-businesses and entrepreneurs every year”, said Nancy Ficke, General Manager of Duquesa Marketing. “Many of these people carve out successful enterprises by capitalizing on things they experience in their environment. This is a topic that Geoff is passionate about and is always happy to share with an audience”. 

Duquesa Marketing has assisted numerous individuals and enterprises start and expand Consumer Product opportunities over the past four decades. The award winning firm has vast experience in all Sales and distribution channels in the United States and internationally.

Make Public Relations Work For Your Business

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

by: Geoff Ficke

The magic word that every consumer loves to hear more than any other is, FREE! Sales promotions offering a free sample or product inducement are always exceedingly popular. Human nature being what it is, the opportunity to obtain something of perceived value for nothing is usually very desirable.

Creative entrepreneurs can craft and develop a very effective, and free, promotional tool for their business or invention. The ability to utilize public relations is a key component of any successful enterprise. The potential to create and deliver your own message, and widely disseminate this message, is very powerful.

Advertising is a wonderful sales promotional tool. It offers a product the opportunity to deliver a specific message detailing the features and benefits inherent in the item being advertised to a potentially vast audience. A business can buy advertising to custom deliver a story to an appropriate demographic. Based on a company’s advertising budget, an effective campaign can be crafted to deliver a maximum result and return on invested advertising dollar.

Nevertheless, contemporary media is a vast, cluttered world of segmentation, niche players and competing new technologies. It has become very difficult to measure advertising effectiveness owing to this maelstrom. The inter-net is now a huge advertising vehicle being utilized by many businesses that only a few years ago were exclusive users of television as the advertising medium of choice.

Additionally, advertising can be extremely expensive. A campaign designed to effectively reach the masses is prohibitively expensive for almost any entrepreneur or small business. Creative, production and media-buy are expensive if any level of quality is to be achieved when delivering a print ad, television spot, direct mail message or radio commercial.

Free publicity offers several benefits denied when using most advertising mediums. Every consumer recognizes advertising when they see it. We are bombarded every day with thousands of commercial messages, everywhere we turn the senses are being challenged. Publicity, however, does not assault our senses and cause a barrier response. Effective publicity informs, teaches and imparts useful detail that assumes editorial status and is readily read. Publicity is not framed in advertising structures where content is exclusively commercial. We change the channel when commercials come on, but we are interested in gaining knowledge, exactly the benefit proffered by public relations.

I am always amazed at how few businesses and entrepreneurs effectively utilize a public relations component in their sale promotion campaign. The ability to spread product/company specific messages to interested consumers of this information, at no expense, is a bonanza not to be missed. If you can write a letter you can write a press release. If you have access to the inter-net you have the delivery system required to implement a publicity campaign for your new product or small business. If your industry has trade journals, industry specific magazines, trade associations or affiliations you have a built in audience interested in staying current on industry happenings. Take full advantage!

It costs nothing to e-mail a press release to thousands of consumers. It costs virtually nothing to fax a press release to targeted, important decision-makers in your area of commerce. The opportunity to have a portion, or all, of your press release re-printed in a newspaper, magazine or trade journal, for free, is exponentially more important and beneficial than an ad placement in the same vehicle.

There are professional public relations firms everywhere. They perform a valuable service and can be as important to a business as an advertising agency relationship. However, there is no reason for an entrepreneur to have to pay to implement a publicity campaign for their business. It can be self-directed and achieve excellent results.

I utilize Public Relations for every client I serve. The results have proven, when measured against the time invested, stunningly positive. A cosmetic product highlighted in Mademoiselle, a tow-able float featured in Boat Magazine or a novel fire extinguisher described in Popular Mechanics are only a few of the dozens of examples of placements that have leveraged successful product launches.

When organizing a self-directed publicity campaign keep several things in mind. Your goal is to highlight a new feature, offering or extension of your business. You are not trying to sell an item in the press release. A blatant commercial appeal will not be read, re-printed or quoted. The content should be written as an informational announcement. A new product, featuring a new technology, available at sporting goods stores, will be launched by (your name/company here). Provide a contact name, phone number, e-mail address, and fax number so consumers of your press release can make contact and ask questions. This often leads to an interview or expanded quotes.

The effective press release is NEVER more than one page in length. Obviously, it is crucial that grammar, spelling and wording be correct and appropriate. Keep sentences short, one bullet point per sentence, and clear. Summarize you, or your company, in a short last paragraph. An example:

Duquesa Marketing is an international marketing and product development consulting firm specializing in consumer products. The firm typically works with inventors, entrepreneurs and small business to customize and execute sales, marketing, launch and funding strategies.

There are a number of internet sites that are highly efficient at broadly distributing free lance written press releases. PRWeb.com is one, and there are many more. You will need to submit your press release for consideration and review. Editors will confirm that the press release has been accepted for network distribution. You might be asked to provide key words relative to your content. This will enable the distributor to target industry subsets more likely to be interested in learning about your product.

These services are offered at no charge. However, there are optional maximization programs. Utilizing this service requires making a small investment. I usually use this service. My experience is that a $40 investment gives me an outsize return in terms of response, pick-ups and placement.

Most entrepreneurs and startup businesses face daunting financial issues at every step of development. The library, a few mentors, and not much else will be available at no cost. Publicity for an opportunity is invaluable. Take advantage of every chance to publicize any and all aspects of your venture, especially when the notoriety gained is positive and free.