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  McCauley's Marketing Manifesto

McCauley's Marketing Manifesto
The Totally Free, Ever Changing, Updated Daily Real Time Guide/White Paper
To Marketing Anything In The Current Environment For Little or No Money

"Walk outside on any clear, cloudless night. Count the total number of stars you can see from horizon to horizon. Now take that total number times 100,000. That is, without exaggeration, the number of sites competing for your client's attention in an Internet marketing environment. Even if you do everything right, this is like owning a five star restaurant that is located in a back alley off some out-of-the-way street in a universe far away. You could spend thousands, millions perhaps, trying to buy your way into your potential client's mind and never succeed. Or, you can do it the right way and achieve success without spending much at all by using free publicity as a marketing strategy."

Don McCauley
Free Publicity Focus Group

The purpose of this document to provide information that is vital for anyone who hopes to achieve marketing success. Three decades of real world marketing experience, working with hundreds of individual and corporate clients, will cause one to develop a sense of humor, if nothing else. Marketing is a very serious business, but it can also be fun. Though this has been written in a very tongue-in-cheek, lighthearted style, the hope here is that this will provide information that will prove to be useful to nearly anyone interested in producing real-world results. This document will change constantly as it is not possible these days to produce a document that will not be out of date before the proverbial ink dries.

It goes without saying that an extremely high percentage of people fail in their marketing efforts. This is not due to lack of effort.. It is in many cases directly attributable to a lack of real world marketing knowledge or perhaps to relying upon well intentioned but very poor advice. This document is an attempt to remedy that all too common problem. 

Marketing and publicity is not about simply putting up a website or sending out releases. Though these may be necessary, they mean little in regards to creating real success. In this environment, you must develop a razor sharp strategy to create a presence, a footprint' in four key areas:

Search Engines -  over 70% of people now look at the Internet as their FIRST choice when making buying decisions
Traditional Media - though not as important, still important if your buyers are reading newspapers or watching TV
Social Media - over 73% of the population participates in social media. Even if you do not, you must still be there or risk becoming invisible to those people.
The Blogosphere - bloggers are fast becoming the 'New Media'. If you are not in front of them, you risk not being seen.

Your 'footprint', and the size of that footprint, depends upon creating a strategic presence in these four key areas.

Here, in this document, the attempt will be made to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. For though new ideas, methods and delivery systems pop up constantly, the basics of successful marketing have not and, most likely, will not ever change. This is because marketing is actually a study in human nature. The 'new' systems, ideas and methods are in many cases proven concepts repackaged and repurposed or perhaps simply done more efficiently or made more effective in some way. Human nature is human nature. If you understand how humans perceive marketing messages and how they react to those messages you will succeed. If you understand how they wish to receive those messages, you will most likely get good results. Armed with knowledge, common sense and hard work, you can achieve your goals.

Please note that the term product will be used for both products and services here. The terms customer, client and buyer will also be interchangeable.  So, let’s get started . . .  


Section A. Marketing Terms Section B. Marketing Concepts Section C. Client Profiling
Section D. Branding Section E. Advertising Section F. Websites
Section G. Search Engines Section H. Traditional Media Section I. Social Marketing
 Section J. Experts


1. To effectively market anything, you must first know what the term ‘marketing’ really means.

a. If the circus is coming to town, and you place a sign and write upon it the words ‘Circus Coming To Town’, you are engaging in advertising.

b. If you walk down the street and whisper in people’s ears ‘Pssst . . .the circus is coming to town. Pass it along‘ you are attempting to create a viral message.

c. If you hang your circus sign on an elephant and parade it down the street, you are creating good publicity.

d. If the elephant goes wild and runs through the mayor’s flower garden, forcing you to apologize, buy the mayor new flowers and provide free circus tickets to the mayor and his family for life, you are engaging in public relations –  or, more specifically a subset of public relations known as ‘damage control’.

e. If you stand outside the tent with a megaphone in your hand and scream ‘Circus tonight! Get your tickets here!’ you are engaging in selling.

f. If you sell so many tickets that there is standing room only and you must therefore run out and rent additional chairs so that everyone may sit down, you are engaging in meeting the needs of your client base.

g If you sell popcorn to the circus attendees and make a profit, you have created an add-on sale

h. If instead you hang a sign outside the tent that says 'Free Popcorn With Every Ticket Sold', you have created an ethical bribe

i. If, after the show is over, you stand outside the tent and shake each person’s hand as they are leaving and give them a discount coupon for the show the following night, you are engaging in creating customer loyalty.

j. And finally, if you set the whole thing up in advance, you are engaging in marketing.

k. Marketing is putting all of these components together - it is a plan - a recipe. Strategy cannot be too strongly emphasized here. This is putting all the pieces together, in their proper ratios, in the correct order with a specific goal that can be tracked to completion.  It is akin to baking a cake. You can buy only the best ingredients and put all the ingredients together but, if you have the wrong ratios or forget to bake the thing, all you've created is a nice mess.

l. Be advised that if you miss any of the above points, you will soon be failing.

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1. People will only buy from you if they really trust you.

a. If people do not trust you, they will never buy anything from you, regardless of the price you ask or the quality of your product. (See Creating Trust – Using Words That Sell’ located in the articles section of this site). Trust is formed as the result of many seemingly unconnected factors. Cute butterflies and such do not create trust. They scream novice instead. Sorry, but it’s true. However this is not a hard and fast rule. You rarely see attorneys and doctors using cute butterflies and such, yet, we STILL don’t trust them. Building trust is an intuitive process

b. Intuitive processes are quite hard to define. Some people spend a lifetime trying to build trust but never manage to do so. Here is one easy way out. Understand that there are basically two types of marketers. There are takers and there are givers.

b-1 Takers take. They take your money. They take your name. They take your email address.
b-2 Givers give. They give free advice. Free articles. Free gifts.
b-3 If you are a taker, people will never trust you
b-4 If you are a giver, people will trust you, even if you screw everything else up completely.
b-5 If you are a giver but have strings attached to your gift, people will know you are just a taker trying to appear to be a giver. Don't do it. That is #1 on the trust killing list.

2. You cannot sell anything to someone who does not want to buy it.

a. This is like trying to force a hook into a fish’s mouth and then expecting it to bite. This will not work. You must instead offer something the fish wants to bite. The fish will only bite when the fish wants to bite. Don’t try to force it.  

Artists, writers and musicians are especially prone to fishing by force. This is because they are artists. If an established company wants to sell a product, rest assured they have done their homework and most likely know there is a market for the product BEFORE they buy the raw material, set up shop and spend all the money to build it or produce it. Artists, writers and musicians, on the other hand, first create a work of art and then go looking for people who will buy it. This is why we have the phrase ‘starving artist’.

It would be more effective if the artists knew there was a market for the art before creating it. However, from the artist’s perspective, this would make no sense and we, as a society, would have far less art, books and music.

However, an artist can be very successful if they first create the work of art and then do the research to determine IF there is a market for the work. If the market DOES exist, the art can then become a marketable PRODUCT and should be marketed as any other product is marketed.

3. You cannot sell your product to the whole world

a. Trying to sell your product to the entire world is like throwing a handful of rice at the sun. This will not work. Ever. The message will necessarily become scattered and you will fall short. Not everyone is a prospect for your product or service. Niche marketing is the key to success. Niche marketing is a tightly focused message aimed at a very specific target. You can have many targets, each with its own specific message. (See ‘Profiling’ below). There is no limit to the number of profiles you can create.

4. Marketing is not a ‘one shot proposition’

a. Marketing is an ongoing process. It must be done every minute of every hour of every day for as long as you hope to sell the product. If you do not market today, you may be out of business tomorrow.

5. PR is short for public relations – not press release

a.Refer to Section A above. A media release has its place within the overall publicity plan, but it is a tool, not a strategy. This leads to . . .

6. A tool is not a strategy - Marketing 101

a. A hammer is not a blueprint. Planning your strategy comes first in every case. Once you have a blueprint, you will know which tools need to be used. Twitter is a tool. Facebook is a tool. Should you use them? Only if the blueprint says you need them. If you decide to use these, you should have a strategy for using them going in. Never use pliers to drive nails. All tools work, but any tool will only work for very specific applications. The blue print comes first. Strategy is the singular key to your success. It is the strategy that will set you apart from the rest of the marketing herd. Lack of strategy is often the cause of failure. (See 'One Key Idea' located in the articles section of this site)

7. There are four categories of marketing strategies

a. Outward bound strategies - this is where you find people and deliver your message to them
b. Inward bound strategies - this is where people find you and gladly listen to your message
c. Upward bound - this is the direction you will be headed if you use both a and b above
d. Downward bound - this is the direction your business will take if you don't use both a and b above.

e. Most people use too much of a and not enough of b. This is why most people experience too much of d and not enough of c. This can be very confusing. Just remember: A + B = C.

8.  Always use as few words as possible to get your message across.

a. This is the age of the Internet. People have become accustomed to short, powerful messages. Too many words will cause them to click away to the competition. You need to use only as many words as are required – no more. In advertising, we use the term ‘white space’. White space is extremely important. White space makes your message stand out clearly from the background. To see an example of white space, look to the left of this paragraph. That is white space. What you don't say is as important as what you DO say. This concepts also works in personal relationships.

White space is empty space where there are no words. It can often be more important than the words you use. White space can help create impact. Ask any parent whose child has just announced 'I got a tattoo today.'

b. You must speak your buyers language. Though 'Boomers' make up the vast majority of today's purchasing profiles, the average age of a PR rep is 28. What does this tell you? It tells you there is a language problem. If you are marketing to 22 year olds and you reference John Wayne in your language, the response you will most likely get is '"Who is John Wayne?'  The words you use are vitally important.

9. Everything you do or say either contributes to, or detracts from your success.

a. Marketing is a study in human nature. Think about the last time you met someone new. You immediately, subconciously or otherwise, began to size them up. You looked perhaps at the hairstyle, the clothes, the body structure. You paid attention to the movement of the eyes, the timbre of the voice and the words being used. You made a thousand judgments in mere seconds. Out here, people will not judge your hair or your clothes. They will instead make those instant decisions based on the feel of your site, the quality of your communications and a host of other factors.  The question we all ask when meeting someone new is - Can this person be trusted? Remember that, as everything you do or say adds or subtracts from that trust.

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1. What works for others will most likely not work for you.

a. Using what works for others is like wearing someone else’s eyeglasses. Might work, but won't work well. Your friends want to help you certainly, but THEIR product is not YOUR product. THEIR potential buyer is not YOUR potential buyer. By understanding YOUR buyer’s specific wants and needs, you will be able to develop a laser sharp strategy and message that is specific to YOUR buyer.

b. Never ask another person 'Did (MARKETING METHOD) work for you?' The answer you get will always be wrong. It may not have worked for that other person because they did not use it properly, did not have a good product or did not have a market. Conversely, it may work for them but will never work for you. Ask groups and then make your own decision based on a broad range of responses.

2, The message you send must be delivered in the way YOUR buyer prefers to receive messages

a. A 60 year old male will prefer a specific method of delivery. A 22 year old female will prefer an entirely different method of delivery. Both will require a different use of language. Don’t waste time twittering to 80 year olds and don’t waste money running newspaper ads for teenagers. (See 'One Key Idea' in the articles section of this site)

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1. You must develop your own brand.

a. Without a brand, you are dead.

2. You must develop a branding statement.

a. Without a branding statement, you are really dead.

3. Your brand and your branding statement set you apart from the ever growing crowd.

a. Having these established will make you memorable, rather than just being a memory. If you do what everyone else is doing, you will look like . . . well . . . everyone else.

4. Your brand and your branding statement must literally jump off every marketing piece or page you create.
a. The idea here is that, when your potential client or customer thinks of their needs, they immediately think of your brand.

Just Do It
I’m Loving It
We Report. You Decide.

You get the idea. The branding statement used by the Free Publicity Focus Group is:

Big Results. Small Investment.

There was some white space added here for impact. Simple is best. Nearly any English speaking person will get the message these words hold.  (See Your Brand And Your Branding Statement located in the articles section of this site)

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1. Advertising costs money and produces fewer results

a. As a society, we have advertised ad nauseam. Though it used to work well, advertising no longer works like it used to. Advertising is an intrusive message. It interrupts rather than informs. It does not pull, it pushes. Think about those used car dealer commercials. The ones with the horns blowing and the sirens going off and the big yellow bursts on the screen or page. Most novice marketers are those type of marketers. This style of marketing requires huge numbers to be effective. You most likely do not have these kinds of numbers yet. Using this type of advertising is why advertising gets such a bad rap. It is also why people say 'I hate marketing'. This is not marketing, it is advertising. (See Section A above).

2. Publicity is free and produces greater results

a. People do not like ads. Think about this. When you pick up a newspaper, do you prefer to read the ads or the stories? When you watch television, do you jump up to make a sandwich when the show comes on so that you can get back in time for the commercials? TIVO, spam blockers, popup blockers, paid radio - the list goes on and on. The success of commercial skipping technologies is a testament to the simple fact that people dislike advertising. As a marketer, the very last thing you want is to have people fast forwarding past your message. People do not like to read ads, but they do like to read about subjects they find to be interesting. This is why content is king and why publicity works.

3. There are generally two unique categories of advertisements – ‘Awareness’ advertising and ‘Results’ advertising

a. Awareness advertising allows you to tell people you exist ‘We’ve been here for 25 years!’

b. Results advertising produces quick results - action - ‘Sale This Thursday Only!’

c. You should not totally discount advertising. It is necessary at a local level. If advertising becomes a necessary evil for you, you will most likely need to utilize both in a mix that is right for your business. Always use one or the other at any given time. Never create a message like ‘We’ve Been Here 25 Years But Will Be Out Of Business By Thursday!’ That won’t work unless you are a furniture company pretending you are going out of business - again.

4. Traditional LOCAL advertising will never disappear, but will be used far less on both the national and, in the future, at the local level

a. A recent study has shown that 50% of people now look to search engines FIRST for local and national business information, followed by 24% Yellow Pages, 4% local newspapers and 1% television. Yet only 44% of small local businesses have a website! What does this means? It means that if you are a small local business and have no website, you are virtually invisible to 50% of your potential LOCAL customers. Hmmm. Now might be a good time . . .

b. Another recent industry study shows that Boomers (who make up a huge majority of buyers now) spend 9.5 hours a day on a screen - mostly television. 77 % of this screen time occurs between 7:30pm and 11pm. 76% listen to radio. Older boomers read print. Those age 55-65 spend 100 minutes per day reading print on average, those age 45-55 spend 30 minutes per day reading print. Most of this is with their LOCAL papers - 57% read local dailies, 68% read local weeklies. This means that, if your market is LOCAL and you have a PHYSICAL business storefront, you should be using your LOCAL dailies and weeklies.

c. Yet another study shows the following:  Only 14% of people state that they trust advertisements and only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive return on investment. Surprisingly, 90% of people that can skip television ads do. Meanwhile,  24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing declines in circulation. What does all this mean? It means that if you are not profiling your potential buyers, you are most likely wasting a great deal of time and even more money. The delivery system you use for your message is every bit as important as the message itself.

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Section F – WEBSITES

1. Over 70 percent of people prefer to use the Internet when making a purchase

a. The recent studies have shown a real shift is occurring. This is a major change from just a few short years ago when most feared giving a credit card over the net. Now, the convenience of the search engine has moved us to this medium in droves. This creates a situation where an Internet presence is almost required for success. If you are reading this, you most likely have a website. If you are reading this on a friend's computer and do not yet have a website of your own, come back when you do.

2. The Holy Grail of Internet marketing is not traffic – the Holy Grail is instead interested, qualified traffic

a. Traffic is just traffic. Having great traffic with no resulting sales is often the result of getting the wrong type of traffic. Would you rather have 100 people in your store who are simply not interested or 10 people in your store who may be very interested? Do you want tire-kickers or buyers?

3. You have exactly three seconds to make the right impression

a. Hundreds of factors enter into making the right impression. Look, feel, ease of use, overall aesthetics, language, message delivery – on and on. If you do not accomplish this during the first three seconds, there are millions of other sites waiting just one click away. Once your potential client clicks away, they most likely will not return.

b. Out here, your website is your business. It is you. It is your product. It is everything and it may be all your potential client ever knows of you. It is urgent that you create the impression that will create trust, create that all important great first impression and will deliver your brand and your branding message in such a way as to make you memorable immediately. This is an art form. You cannot please all the people all the time but, in this case, you must try. Or, at the very least, try not to turn people off.

c. Trying to decide if you are creating the right impression is akin to trying to decide if you are good looking by looking in the mirror. Get the opinions of others. Do not rely on your friends and family for these opinions. Though your friends may exclaim ‘Very nice!’, this is not a valid opinion. If your website can be compared to a broken down mobile home, you have problems.

4. Constant testing and metrics are crucial

a. It is imperative that you use metrics tools to determine how your site is being received. If 100 people hit your site and 98 click away after three seconds, what does that tell you? If 100 people hit your site and stay for 30 minutes, what does that tell you? If 100 people hit your site and 98 spend all their time on page A but nobody visits page C, what does that tell you? What all of this tells you is that you best learn how metrics tools work and put them to work immediately.

5. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is important to your success.

a. SEO is a broad and very specialized subject that requires a great deal of learning. Without proper SEO, your website is like a tattered flyer tacked to a telephone pole in a far away city. No one will ever see the thing. Learning SEO requires a very long learning curve. Hire a professional if you can. But don’t hire just any professional - hire a good professional. Good, in this case, means effective. Ask for references from others you know and call the references you get.

b. If you cannot afford to hire a real professional, you will be required to learn how to do it yourself, which will require that you also learn to code, in most cases. Buy a good book as learn as though your business life depends on it. It some cases, it does.

c. Using search engine adwords on your site is sometimes a bad idea. Why go to all that time, work, investment and trouble to get people to your site only to have them find something that causes them to immediately click away? It also may, in some cases, demonstrate that you really are out just to make a quick buck. Think about this. Of course, if you are really out to make a quick buck, it makes sense.

d. SEO works involves being aware of many factors - metadata, keyword strategy, proper headings, alt attributes, readability, page rank, linking strategy, directory listings, bookmarking strategies, feeds, data collection, directory structures - in other words, you cannot just throw up a website and expect any success. Some websites look like they have been thrown up. Again, hire a professional if possible.

6. Search engine placement - your name does NOT count

a. Anyone can get first place position on Google for their own name or their company’s name. However it is unlikely anyone will ever search using your name or your company name, as they do not yet know your name or your company’s name. You must get placement for a GENERIC SEARCH TERM such as ‘children’s books’. This is extremely difficult and is the reason why SEO experts charge so much money.

b. If you Google ‘free publicity’ you will see that over 10 million hits are returned. The Free Publicity Focus Group has number 1 position for this generic search term (as of the date of this article). That is the goal. I am not bragging here, I am just saying. However, this will likely change very quickly - maybe today.

c. SEO work is ongoing and never ending. New sites come online every day. Old sites change constantly trying to get to the first page of Google. It never ends. Ever. (See 'Why Isn't My Website Working?' located in the articles section of this site.

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1. Search engine placement is not the be all and end all of Internet marketing. 

a.You can have low page rank and poor traffic and still succeed if you are driving interested, qualified traffic to your site. Your family, friends and acquaintances do not count, unless they are interested in purchasing your product.

b. That being said, you will still want to get on that first page of Google, as most people only have the patience to look through the first page or two of search engine results. SEO is not a 'set it and forget it' proposition. If you treat is as such, everyone will just forget it. SEO is an ongoing, dynamic process. Again, hire a professional or buckle down and learn it. 

2. To get attention you must look good - twice

a. You must look good to the search engines. Without their help, you will be like that five-star restaurant in a back alley off a side street in a far away universe mentioned previously. No matter what you do, no one is likely to find you. This will require laser sharp search engine strategies.

b. You must also look good to your potential buyers. This involves taking a hard look at many factors - aesthetics, trust building language, overall feel, positioning, ease of navigation - the list goes on and on.

c. You must strike a balance between both. It's much like being married to two people at the same time. Either one can make you or break you.

3. Do NOT attempt to trick the engines

a. Be honest. Don't get involved with blackhat techniques, etc. You will find your website in the electronic equivalent of Siberia. In the old days, people would stuff keywords - words like 'flower, daisy, daffodil'. When Grandma innocently clicked, she found herself on a porn site. The only thing green on the porn site was a green door with some people behind it. Grandma might have gotten a big surprise when this happened certainly, but what is really the point here? You want people who are actually interested in your subject matter to visit your store or you are simply wasting precious time and creating MIS-trust. You may get some short term results using these techniques but this will eventually destroy you.

4. Google, Yahoo and Bing are not the Internet

a. The engines are indexes, much like the old card indexes in the library. Every engine works differently. You must optimize for the three largest in every case. However, they use different strategies and rules. You might be on page one on Google, but page three on Yahoo. Therefore, you must take a middle ground with the emphasis being on Google, as they own the lion's share of your clients' minds (over 60+ percent).

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1. The media does not care about your product or your service

a. This is because the media is interested in news

2. The media really has no reason to care about your product or your service

a. This is because the people in the media are paid to report news. A sales pitch does not qualify as news.

3. The media WILL begin to care about you, your product or your service ONLY if you present something that has real news value 

a. Real news value can mean many things at different times. Even if your message has real news value, it is always up to THEM to decide how this will be judged and how important it might be to their slice of the mind of the public. It is not up to you. Don’t bug them. Feed them quality information instead and be patient. Demonstrate that you know your subject and that you are a real professional. Don't call us, we'll call you is a good rule to keep in mind.

b. You will be forced to jump through their particular hoops if you hope to get coverage. Every one of these will have a different set of hoops. However, media people are accustomed to getting ‘pitches’ so, learn how to pitch effectively.

c. That being said, a 'pitch' to a journalist is NOT the same as a 'sales pitch'. They are two completely different things. This too is an art form with a huge learning curve. If you do not know the difference, don't even attempt it. I will say it again - traditional journalists are not paid to listen to sales pitches; they are paid to report news that is important to the public.

4. Traditional journalists, though still important, are not AS important as they once were.

a. According to an article found here, in the first half of this year over 100 news shows were cancelled, over 100 newspapers folded, over 500 magazines went down and somewhere around 12,000 journalists lost their jobs (not verified by FPFG). Traditional media is being slammed by the changes in how people prefer to receive their information. Quarter after quarter we see these kinds of losses. 

b. However, if your potential buying profiles are still watching TV, listening to radio or reading newspapers and magazines, then you will need to learn to pitch well as you will necessarily need to get coverage in tv, radio, newspapers and magazines. If your potential buyer is using the Internet exclusively, concentrate your efforts there instead. Due to the move by journalists to the Internet, (and if placed properly), your message will be picked up by default. Remember that it is always best to create relationships with the media and not to be perceived as a huckster. (See 'The End Of An Era' located in the articles section of this site"

c. 'THE MEDIA' is not a thing. The media is a group that is comprised of real, live human beings. Remember that always. Treat them with courtesy, dignity and respect as you would anyone else. They are busy people and you must respect their time. 

5. A media release is a one time, very directed news communication tool with a time limit

a. Never use a cookie cutter release. Never use someone else's release as a model. You will be seen to be like that guy in the bar - you know the one - the guy that goes from table to table saying exactly the same thing to every girl in the place, hoping to get lucky with someone - anyone. Using someone else's release as a model is like asking someone if you can read a letter they wrote to their girlfriend, copying it and then sending it to YOUR girlfriend. The results will be pretty much the same.

b. A media release may or may not directly create sales. Usually not. The purpose of the media release is to help create the 'buzz'. The buzz creates the sales. The media release is a vital component of the strategy and should be treated as such. If anyone tells you anything different, run away, run away.

6. 'PR Spam' is not acceptable

What is 'PR Spam'? This is a term being used by more and more journalists (and many bloggers) these days. PR Spam is sending out hundreds or thousands of releases to journalists - journalists who are simply not interested in the subject matter of your release. It is wise to research what stories a journalist covers, writes about and has interest in rather than just sending it to everyone. Not only is this intrusive and very impolite, it might also get you blacklisted with the very journalists you are attempting to contact. Some bloggers (the braver souls) even list the names or email addresses publicly of those who do this. If you need proof, just google the phrase 'pr spam'. So don't do this. Please.

7. More and more, traditional journalists are looking to the internet to receive information

a. According to the PRWeek/PR Newswire Survey, 90% of journalists now PREFER unsolicited pitches by email. However, 45% of journalists state that only 0 to 25% of pitches are 'on target'; only 8% state that 76% to 100% are on target!

b. The survey also reported that 90% of journalists use a company's website to get information about a company and 85% use search engines. This mean that a traditional journalist will look at your site to determine whether or not you fit the bill for their outlet. (Disclaimer - The full survey is available from Contact Beth Krietsch to purchase the full survey).

8. The Internet is fast replacing the traditional media model

a. There are two types of improvement models:

Constructive: This is where a new idea improves upon an existing model in some way, leaving the existing model in place

Destructive: This is where a new idea completely replaces the old model, rendering it obsolete.

The Internet could be said to be a destructive form when applied to traditional media. Though this will not happen immediately, the Internet will eventually most likely completely replace tradtional media. Newspapers are really feeling the heat now. Radio is not far behind.

b. For now, depending upon your target profiles, you may need to use both the Internet and traditional media. Don't ignore either. It is your specific profiles that will determine which should be used and in what ratios.

9. The traditional means of creating publicity do not work as well in this environment.

a.The old-school press release is fast becoming a dinosaur. As mentioned, it still makes sense to use these if your profiles are still getting their information from newspapers and magazines, but very few people are actually doing this these days. Look at the numbers. You must instead utilize a strategy that consists of four specific components:

1. Search Engine Strategies (over 70% of purchasers now consider the Internet their FIRST choice)
2. Traditional Media Strategies - assuming your buyers are still reading newspapers, watching TV, etc
3. Social Media Strategies - over 70% of the general population is using these. Even if you don't use them personally, you must go to where your buyers are hanging out. If not, you will be invisible to them
4. Blogosphere Strategies - Bloggers are fast becoming the new journalists of this age.

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Note: Social marketing at the corporate level, a relatively recent development, is far too broad a topic for inclusion here. That being said, for the rest of the world . . . 

1. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social sites are not social marketing.

a. These are social marketing message delivery tools. Social marketing is a completely different subject. Remember that tools are just tools - they are not the strategy.

2. Engaging in social marketing is the Internet equivalent of doing referral marketing, only a lot bigger.

a. Social marketing is not 'new'. As a matter of fact, social marketing was the first form of marketing to exist. Back before we had newspapers, radio, tv, magazines and other forms of media, the only way to get the word out was to tell other people - your friends - their friends - and the word was simply passed from person to person. Media and the Internet made this far easier to do without paying for advertising.

b. If people like you, they will pass the word along to their friends. Those friends will then bypass every other option available to get to you, because their friend recommended you. This is the power of social marketing. (See 'What Successful Marketers Know . . . That Most Don't' located in the articles section of this site)

3. As a tool, Twitter can be used for marketing but should not be used as a sales pitch machine.

a, Social marketing involves creating trust, developing real relationships and providing value at a level that will cause another to pass the word regarding you, your product or your service. Therefore you should strive to provide that trust and that value. Try not to bore everyone with never-ending sales pitches or frankly boring posts. An informal study has shown that there are basically three types of tweeters:

Type A
9 am – ‘Buy my stuff’
11 am – ‘Buy my stuff’
1 pm – ‘Buy my stuff’
3 pm – ‘Buy my stuff’
5 pm – ‘Buy my stuff’
7 pm – ‘Buy my stuff’

This gets old fast and becomes an unfollow. This is like saying ‘Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!’. This is tweeting up the wong twee.

Type B
9 am – ‘Just got up’
11 am – ‘Thinking about lunch’
1 pm – ‘I ate too much lunch. Naptime’
3 pm – ‘Just got up’
5 pm – ‘Thinking about dinner’
7 pm – ‘I ate too much dinner. Going to bed’

This also gets old and becomes an unfollow. If you do this, you are in twubble.

Type C
9 am – Great Twitter tools (link)
11 am – Found a great article that will help you (link)
1 pm – Found a whitepaper everyone should read (link)
3 pm – Read this survey
5 pm – Read my article on advertising (link)
7 pm – Found a cool web site (link)

Type C's get the followers. The point is that providing valuable information to others, passing it along, makes for happy followers. They will come to appreciate you and will actually look forward to your tweets (assuming you are attempting to use these types of tools to create awareness). Remember this. Please remember this. It's twue.

4. Be careful what you say

a. Of course, this goes without saying but I said it anyway. One of the worst examples is when you get a post that says 'I found a site that got me 2000 new followers last week!' Then, when you visit their Twitter page, the poster only has 100 followers. What does that say about the person who made that post? Ask yourself - why do you covet those followers in the first place - what is the real goal here?

Always remember that a bad message or a bad impression sent to a lot of people will only cause you to fail faster. First things first. If you don't know what those first things might be, stop here and start at the top of this page again.

5. Treat social marketing tools as you would the watering hole or the golf course.

a. Think of social marketing tools as places to get familiar and casual with your potential buyers outside the restrictions of the marketplace. We know that lots of really great deals are made at the local watering hole or on the golf course. This is because it pays to know people and this is how you get to know them. However, if you as a business owner spend all day in the bar screaming ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ you will most likely be out of business very quickly. 

If you are going to attempt to use social marketing, the easy way out is to pretend you are at a casual party filled with potential clients. Don't bore, don't blather on endlessly about yourself or your accomplishments and don't dance in inappropriate ways. You are in front of thousands of potential customers who, depending on the time of day, have not been drinking. Act and speak accordingly.

6. Social marketing allows you to connect with your customers, clients and potential buyers

In each and every case, without exception, the goal should be to pay attention to these people and provide value. Forget blowing your own horn and grow some ears. Listening will draw these people to you. Preaching will push them away. There are four steps to social marketing success:

1. Forget about yourself, provide real value for readers, listen to them and then respond.
2. Repeat
3. Repeat
4. Return to step 1

Section J - EXPERTS

1. Anyone can say 'I am an expert'. 

a. If learning marketing appears to be too difficult, or if the learning curve appears too long, you might want to consider working with an expert. If you decide to work with an expert, you will find there are three types of marketing experts from which to choose:


Real Experts

Tool Salesmen

All three types of experts are found in every field. Lets use the analogy of learning to skydive. Suppose you want to learn to skydive and go looking for a skydiving expert to teach you. You will encounter all three types:

The Pseudo-expert will be able to talk at great length about skydiving. This is because the Pseudo-expert has read many books on the subject. He has memorized the Wikipedia article on skydiving. He will certainly convince you that he knows all there is to know about skydiving, though he has likely never set foot on a plane, let alone jumped out of one. He saw a plane once and double checked the facts with Wikipedia and so this, in his own mind, qualifies him as an expert.

The Real expert will tell you the truth. He has been there and done that - many times. He has opened a tiny door, a mile and a half high up in the sky and watched a 150 mph wind rip the door off the plane. He has stepped out into that void and tumbled end over end, dropping like a fireball from the sky, suit flapping, unable to breath, unable to see, struggling desperately to get his hand on the rip cord that is snapping around just out of reach. He has pulled the thing at the very last second and smashed into the ground behind first and passed out from the pain. He has done this many times. He is covered with rope burn and walks with a limp. Nonetheless, he is the one you want to get to know. He does not talk ABOUT skydiving. He talks skydiving.

Then there are the Tool salesmen:

Imagine you walk into a hardware store. A man wearing red bib overalls runs up to you and exclaims 'You need a hammer!'

'I do?' you ask.

'Absolutely, yes you do. I am the hammer expert. Come on. Let me show you our hammers. These hammers are cool. They come in different colors and sizes. They are the best hammers money can buy and can be used for just about any purpose . . . .

Ten minutes later you finally manage to get a word in. 'But I am here to buy a tool to change a tire,' you protest.

'Doesn't matter. You can use a hammer. I am a hammer expert and the uses for these hammers are unlimited. Why, just the other day . . . "

The question is this: Would you buy that hammer you really don't need because the hammer expert said you needed the thing? No.

Experts are everywhere these days it seems. Many of these people are not experts - many are actually tool salesmen. It is an unfortunate fact that most of these experts go about things backward. They first decide upon a tool and then try to retrofit you into their tool profile. Don't allow this to happen. If you do, you will waste a great deal of time and money and will end up with a hammer that will not accomplish your goal.

2. Experts analyze -  they don't fantasize

a. If anyone tells you the answer before asking the questions you are not talking to an expert - you are talking to a salesperson. A real expert will do an analysis of your situation before making any recommendations whatsoever.

b. Real experts often turn away more clients than they accept.

3. Real experts have real experience.

a. The first question you should ask should be 'How long have you been an expert at _______?' If the answer does not end with the word 'years', (plural) run away. Even if the answer does end in 'years' you may still wish to back away slowly, especially if the expert is an expert at selling a particular tool only.

4. Real experts know that they do not know everything

a. A real expert will refer you to other real experts if they do not consider themselves to be an expert on a particular subject. This is why doctors and attorneys refer clients to other doctors and attorneys. There is no such thing as an expert who is an expert in everything. If anyone tells you that they are the expert in everything, cover your pockets, cover your you-know-what and, again, run.

5. Above all else, real experts are realistic

a. If your expert is promising the moon, that is likely where you will have to look for that expert - after that expert takes your money. Experts do not make promises - they make projections. No one can guarantee the success of anyone else.

b. The expert might make you angry at times. This is because real experts are known for telling the truth. You may not want to hear the truth. This is because your expectations may be unrealistic. Most marketers do not want to hear bad news - they only want to hear good news. A false expert will be more than happy to tell you all the good news you want to hear - until they get your money. Then, they most likely will not answer the phone, as they are probably out having lunch with their tool-selling buddies.

c. A real expert will most likely burst a few bubbles. They will be realistic. This is what you want. This is how they developed a reputation as a real expert. Real experts do not deal in hopes or dreams - they deal with reality and facts. This is also why you should use them. Real experts are building a reputation - not making a fast buck. No real expert would gamble a long-term reputation against a few short-term dollars.

The Free Publicity Focus Group offers a no-cost, no obligation consultation that can help you develop a marketing strategy that can produce real results.

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