Tag Archives: public relations

21st Century Marketing – Don’t Do Business Like It’s Still 1966

30 Jun

By Tim Busbey, co-owner, Addisons Compass Public Relations

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That is not an original thought, by any means, but it often is true. Just look at politics. No matter who is in office or which party has control, the status quo remains largely unchanged. Or how about sports. Every year we can count on the Yankees, Lakers and Patriots to be amont the top teams. And in the world of advertising and marketing, it also holds true.

Recently, I’ve been doing some research into the history of one of our area’s oldest businesses that closed three years ago. As part of my research, I’ve been scanning through microfilms from 1966, looking for articles about this business and its sale to a major corporation. I’ve found many interesting things while spending hours searching through old newspapers. People were obsessed with UFOs. We were worried about the “national menace” of computer dating. It was OK to refer to the Vietnamese Communists as Reds. Daylight Savings Time was a choice, not a requirement. But the one point that struck home was the saying I shared at the top of this blog post: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

It was interesting to see all the businesses that advertised in the Ashland Times-Gazette in 1966. Most of them are no longer in business 45 years later. But at that time, they faced the same challenges that businesses face today. They had a product or service and they needed to reach the right people with the message that their business was here and ready to serve them. Sounds a lot like the same equation we have to deal with today. The products or services may be different and we definitely have different ways of reaching people, but businesses still need a well-crafted, well-planned marketing strategy to succeed.

The equation has worked for as long as we have had commerce. If you have a product or service, but on one knows that you offer that product or service, you can’t expect them to magically appear at your doorstep looking to spend money. You need to let people know about yourself in whatever way you can afford and is appropriate for your type of business. In 1966, newspaper and radio were the media of choice for local advertisers. Today, thanks to computers and the Internet, we have email, websites, blogs, text messaging and social media as new avenues for our marketing messages.

Is your company still conducting business like its 1966? If you haven’t started using the myriad of new marketing tools at your disposal, why not? To stay competitive in the 21st Century, every business needs to take advantage of the technological wonders that the 21st Century has given us. Even the Pope sent his first tweet this week, announcing a new website that would serve as an aggregate for all of the Vatican’s digital messages. If the Catholic Church and the Pope can use these technological tools to reach the masses, so can you.

At Addison’s Compass, we love helping companies discover how they can use digital marketing to help their businesses grow. We can help you create a plan and then implement that plan with creative, attention-getting writing. Check out our website to see more details on how we can help your business take advantage of all the benefits of digital marketing.

Are you Consuming Info like a Batch of Greasy French Fries?

14 Jun

by Erin Al-Mehairi, owner, Addison’s Compass Public Relations
*Article printed in May/June issue of North Central Ohio Events Magazine
http://www.ncoeventsmagazine.com/pdfs/EMAG2_WEB.pdf

There is no denying that we are a society of consumption. In America, we consume well over $100 billion of fast food each year, 156 pounds of added sugar, almost 600 cans of pop per person on average, and 375 million gallons of gas per day. We consume things quickly, leaving no second to spare.

Just as we consume fast food in our car on the way to our next scheduled appointment, we also consume information at what seems like the speed of light. We consume articles online via our smart phones and check out breaking news on Twitter before it even gets to the nightly news or before we can turn on CNN.

In a matter of minutes, we read breaking news, check our email, respond to a text message, scroll through our Facebook newsfeed, and schedule a meeting in our calendar.

As social networking and the use of social media has developed, our skills sometimes haven’t been able to catch up. We have more and more friends and followers, as well as fan pages, to view information on. We scroll and scroll through the feeds, consuming as much information as we can. We begin to read it as if it were a book, forgetting the entire human element that is so integrated into the success use of it.

That’s right, we forget that most of the feeds are written by people in our lives who have taken a minute out of their time to inform us about their lives, recommend a product, or share a link with great information. We forget it is not just a computer, and then we forget to respond.

The premise of social networking is just that — “being social with other people (social) in order to get to know them, their lives, their charities, their services and connect and support one another (networking).”

Keeping that in mind, that means that we shouldn’t just scroll and read without ever offering back a word of encouragement, recommendation, dialogue, or testimonial. We should take the time on product or business fan pages to say what we like and what we don’t like (just make sure it is constructive criticism) and use it as a platform to connect with brands and businesses we like. We should be an active player in the process, not just consumers who throw away information like we throw away Big Mac wrappers.

Here are a few tips to assist you with your interpersonal skills on social media:

1. Respond to people’s comments. Whether on your own personal page, a fan page or to a tweet, please respond to the comments that people take the time to make. For businesses, respond whether they are positive or negative. Responding to negative comments can turn the situation into a positive because it shows you care about your customer and finding solutions to their issues. Don’t ever delete their comments or block your wall so customers can’t write to you.

 2. Start conversations. Ask your friends or fans questions about themselves or about something that relates to your brand or product. Initiate dialogue with them and don’t be shy. Being open and aware makes you trustworthy. On Twitter, start chats and use a #hashtag to talk about subjects that interest you.

3. Ask a question or post a poll. Facebook just made it even more fun and engaging to do this. On a personal level, it is fun to ask your friend’s favorite 80’s movie and from a business perspective, you may be able to garner the interests of you clients to help you better sell your services or products. Either way, it engages your audience.

There are many more keys and skills to utilizing social media networking and marketing in a more successful manner. Seek out information and remember to not just consume it, but put it to use.

We’d love to have you initiate conversations with us: www.facebook.com/addisons.compass, http://www.twitter.com/ErinAlMehairi, http://www.twitter.com/tbusbey, www.linkedin.com/in/erinalmehairi, http://www.linkedin/in/timbusbey.

Beginning foursquare: Build a Village and Keep them Coming

24 May

by Erin Al-Mehairi, owner, Addison’s Compass Public Relations

A common joust in our household between Tim and I is this: “Darn it! You stole my ‘Mayorship’ again!” I just love getting an email in the morning that reads “Sorry, but Tim Busbey is now Mayor of (any given place), but a few more check-ins and you could be on top again!”

What is foursquare exactly?

Light-hearted fun or not at home, the application foursquare already has grown to more than 6.5 million users. Anyone with GPS-enabled mobile devices can “check-in” at venues by running an app on their phone and choosing from a list of venues that the application locates nearby (or add one in if it is not already in the list). Each check-in awards the user points, can make them a “Mayor,” and assist them in working toward “badges.” Users can choose to have their check-ins posted to their Twitter and Facebook accounts so their friends can see where they are, have been, what venues they like, and even get tips for certain locations. If a person frequents an establishment often enough they will become “Mayor” or oust someone who is a current “Mayor.”

Register Your Business and Offer Specials!

As a business owner, you want to make sure you register your business on foursquare. Users can “check-in” at your business, whether you are registered or not, giving you free advertising. However, having a registered business is more advantageous because it allows you to interact with your customer base.

For instance, you can monitor the reactions and tips posted about your business. You are able to offer coupons to anyone who checks-in and you can offer royal deals to those who frequent enough to be your “Mayor,” which we recommend doing since they are your best customers!

Examples of How to Offer Specials on foursquare

It doesn’t matter what size your business is, you can attract new customers or reward loyal ones by offering these foursquare specials – mobile coupons, prizes or discounts – to users when they check-in at or near your venue. Everyone likes a deal right? Why not reward your most loyal customers or get more traffic on a slow day?

1.) Offer 25 percent off a meal, a BOGO (buy one get one) coffee, or maybe even roll out the red carpet (literally) once your “Mayor” steps in the door. Specials can be tailored to fit the needs of your business.

2.) Just like reward programs offered across the nation utilizing a reward card, you can use the same concept for your loyal customers who use foursqare. For example, check-in 10 times, get a free product, gift, or prize at your 11th visit.

3.) Use it to increase traffic on a slow day by offering a buy one, get one half-off lunch special for one day only, or between certain hours. Offer happy hour or early dinner deals on certain days for those that check-in at certain times.

For instance, near where we live in Ashland, Ohio, where small business abounds, College Hills Honda in Wooster, Ohio gives a free Honda hat to you on your third check-in. Harry and David chain store at the Lodi Outlet Mall in Burbank, Ohio (near Lodi and Wooster) offers $10 off your purchase $50 with foursquare check-in (for which if you show retailer, they will put in a code at check-out). Also at the Lodi Outlet Mall they give a special exclusively for foursquare users: a free lunch at Steam Cafe for every 10th check-in and for the “Mayor,” a free Lodi Station Outlets hoodie and a FREE lunch at Steam Cafe.

What foursquare Customers Can Do for You with Social Media

They can offer much more in return to you as their check-ins post to their followers on Facebook and Twitter, as well as to their friends on foursqare, giving you a wealth of free advertising and testimonials. If they have their foursquare set-up to post to social media (they can post all or choose which), their check-ins, Mayorships, and badges will post each time to Facebook and Twitter alerting even more people to your business. If they leave a great tip about your business, even better! Monitor your Twitter stream for your brand or business, and send a tweet to those who have their foursquare use sent out into Twitterverse. I loved when I became Mayor of my local Drug Mart one day and the Drug Mart Twitter account thanked me for my patronage and started to follow me!

Free Venue Statistics

Having a registered business also allows you to also use the merchant tool called venue stats. foursquare offers these free of charge to registered businesses and the stats will give you a great deal of information on your visitors, including what time of day they most generally arrived, a break-down by gender, and even which portion of your visitors’ check-ins were posted to Facebook and Twitter! This is a great tool to use after launching a special to see what kind of activity and return you received.

Need Assistance?

There is a lot more to using this marketing tool than you may think that can be quite good for your business as the world turns more to online marketing, mobile use, and digital media. At Addison’s Compass Public Relations, we can offer assistance to any business needing consultation to get set-up on foursquare, or would like to have the set-up done for them and/or managed as well. If you are local to us in Ohio, we do house (business) calls too!

You can find both Tim and I on foursquare as avid users and would be happy to be your friend on foursquare and frequent your business!

Associated Press (AP) Announces New Changes in Tech Terms

24 Mar

By Erin Al-Mehairi, owner Addison’s Compass Public Relations

We both remember distinctly sitting in our Journalism classes (at Bowling Green State University for Tim and Ashland University for Erin, both in Ohio) and having to memorize the AP (Associated Press) Style Book. It was a task, especially when taking numerous other English classes which taught you the complete opposite of your Journalism writing classes in regards to punctuation and so forth! However, it paid off as we both have used it every day in our respective fields, with Tim working in the newsroom and Erin working as a PR professional preparing materials for the media.

Each year AP evaluates new terms and how they’re used and predominately written by people, and though usually strict with their way of writing, do send out several changes a year. Current changes are more often than not with tech terms as technology and its use of writing spirals a mile a minute.

Currently changed as of the end of last week, is one they held fast and firm to for a very long time. They changed the use of e-mail, with a hyphen, to just email. This reflects common usage, as well as does removing the space between the words cell phone, making it cellphone and smart phone, making it smartphone.

These are common words we use every day in writing for the web and will make writing smoother and easier especially in typing on a smartphone or i-pad. Speaking of the web, remember last year the AP changed the ever held Web site to website. It seems one-word, no capitals is the new “in” way to write.

In the AP style book, which can be found in online form and even on your phone in the form of an app for i-phone, lists the definition for emails as such:

email — Acceptable in all references for electronic mail. Many email or Internet addresses use symbols such as the at symbol (@), or the tilde (~) that cannot be transmitted correctly by some computers. When needed, spell them out and provide an explanatory editor’s note. Use a hyphen with other e-terms: e-book, e-business, e-commerce.

Some other common techie terms you may mistake when writing for media are below, written in AP style for your reference:

cyberspace
webmaster
website
Internet
webcast
database
home page
intranet
logoff
online

At Addison’s Compass Public Relations, we take writing in AP Style very seriously. We prepare your press releases, social media releases, articles, and anything else written for the media or web in AP Style. Media love this, it takes them much less time to copy-edit your material and heightens the chances of getting your information published!!

If you have any questions, drop us a line. We’d be happy to help.