Mark Bernheimer does a stellar job of distilling the IRS “I’m not good at math” Media Disaster in his article today – and it’s a great read, to boot. While the PR world is still digesting the Amy and Samy Bouzalo social media meltdown, I was glad to see Mark’s larger focus on the IRS case.
The behavior in Amy’s kitchen certainly falls into the category of egregious (as well as jaw-droppingly ill-advised, half-baked, and a host of other unflattering adjectives), but in terms of real consequences and the price tag to the public, the temperature’s hotter in the IRS cafeteria. I am not looking forward to the fallout – but we’re all going to be living with this hot mess for a long time!
See Mark strut his crisis media management stuff in his article, “IRS: Media Disaster.” As always, Mulberry Street is proud to partner with Mark Bernheimer and Media Works Resource Group for our clients’ media and speaker training.
Here’s our tip, which should be worth at least 20%: When you’re a spokesperson for the IRS, don’t try to pass the buck.
Weigh in! Which do you think was the worse media misstep: the profanity-laden venom layered on thicker than buttercreme frosting from Amy’s Baking Co., or the good-humored ”I’m very not good at my job” demonstration from the IRS legal team?
If you’re wondering why I don’t respond to your 4 a.m. text unless it’s by appointment (love my early-bird clients!), or why it’s obvious that we put in overtime to finish your project, but I was out of communication all last evening, well…my secret’s out – and it’s published at CBS MoneyWatch.
The article will also explain why there’s only a napkin next to my salad fork if we’re having dinner together, and why I’m not constantly looking under the conference table during meetings.
(What the article doesn’t explain is how often I’m out of cell range on my mountain bike, but that’s not for public knowledge. It’s just between you and me!)
This is it, folks: The Chart-Topper on my Most Frequently Asked Questions list by small business owners. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that I’ve got all kinds of tricks up my sleeve on this. I’m going to share five with tips with you, followed by one big, fat, juicy piece of unsolicited advice.
This is a long post, because I’m giving a lot away here. If you want it, it’s right here on the page, FREE for the taking. Enjoy, entrepreneurs, Womentorz and other business adventurers! Read the rest of this entry »
This post is in response to members and fans of the Women Inventors Network, Womentorz, who submitted the question*: “What is the best social medium for researching and targeting my audience? How do I reach my audience once I’ve found them?”
I recently began researching how Mulberry Street can improve social media targeting for the agency, as well as how we target audiences for our diverse client base. My search led me to a book called Likeable Social Media: How to delight your customers, create an irresistible brand, and be generally amazing on Facebook by Dave Kerpen, who is also CEO of Likeable Media. The rest of this post is a mix of Mulberry Street’s research and strategies and tactics that we have learned and adopted from Likeable.
My first piece of advice in this post is, invest a few dollars in a copy of Likeable Social Media; then invest the time to work slowly through the book, test the tips and tools that you learn. Reading Likeable may not automatically make you an excellent marketer: you will need to bring knowledge of your customer base, your intuition, creativity, and possibly some guidance from a marketing or PR pro to hone your message and conversations with your customers. However, honing your skills in using social media tools can help you push the boundaries of how you’re finding your customers and how you’re engaging them.
So…kudos to all of you who asked the question; asking great questions is the first step toward achieving greatness! Read the rest of this entry »
For small businesses without big marketing budgets
Every other Monday, we ask members and fans of Womentorz (a network of women inventors and entrepreneurs) to post their “burning marketing questions” on the Womentorz blog. We choose one question to answer on the following Monday.
Today’s chosen question was posted by Kimberly Davis, inventor, mompreneur and patent-pending owner of Hugga Bebe. Kimberly’s question sums up something that I hear from so many entrepreneurs and small business owners: “How does a small business attract major editors, or get their product featured on a major TV news show, without dedicated marketing agency representation or a huge marketing budget? What’s the secret to getting major media coverage for my business, product or service?”
Well, like anything that is worth working toward – with a potentially great payoff – there’s no simple answer, no shortcut and no hidden secrets. You have to go each step of the journey: no one gets to skip some of the steps to success. If you’re seeing someone who’s just won major national TV coverage for their product, service or business, you’re likely seeing them at the end of a long journey, about to embark on the next phase. So it’s important to be realistic about where you are right now in your business’s growth path and be realistic about what your next marketing target should be.
Below are six tips that every small business owner can do to promote their business gradually, sustainably, and work toward the amazing success that you deserve:
Set reasonable goals. Instead of focusing on what might seem like the “holy grail” of a major national TV feature, have you been covered in your local newspaper, in small regional magazines, in trade magazines, or on your local or regional news channel? In order to make those major gains of big coverage, you have to build a track record of smaller successes…Make a list of places where you’d like to showcase your business and product, based on where your business is today, and don’t leave out things like presentations to your local chamber of commerce. Look for media outlets that feature product roundups (stories about several related products), trend pieces (like successful women in business), or think about one unique thing about your business, product, or journey as an inventor that might have real, newsworthy appeal to that specific media outlet.
Become familiar with the outlets that you want to target.Read the articles and watch the segments by the editors you want to pitch. What interests them? Trend stories? Product roundups? Unusual success stories? Is there a special focus on safety products? Learning products? Quirky inventions? Spend time researching each outlet you want to land coverage in, and use what you learn to craft pitches that will stick with that editor! Avoid sending mass pitches trying to cover a ton of ground all at once – you can risk alienating your targets by sending poorly-matched content. Instead, increase your chance of developing a great relationship by demonstrating through your pitch that you’ve done your homework and are considering the needs of your media target and not just your own.
Remember that you must appeal to media outlet’s audience.In order to get media coverage, you essentially need to “sell” magazines or deliver an audience draw for the media outlet you’re targeting. If your business were a band and you were trying to book a show, could you sell tickets and bring an audience who wants to see you? That’s what you should be doing with your media strategy. Build an audience – through your own blog, through social media like Facebook and Twitter, and through networking – so that you can demonstrate your audience appeal to the media that you want to pitch. If you’ve got news that’s truly groundbreaking – so much the better!
Promote your own successes! Do you have a great customer story? Did you create a safety product that made a difference in someone’s life? Did you have a really successful month in sales? Make sure these things make their way into your blog, your social media posts, and include important success metrics in your pitches to the press.
Don’t spend your entire annual marketing budget on a single promotion or effort. If it fails, you may not have a marketing budget – or a small business – the following year. Don’t underestimate the power of incremental gains; you can’t rush a small business. They ALL take time to catch on. Just keep fanning that flame a little at a time so that you can become one of the successful few.
Last and definitely not least: Harness the power of group marketing! If you’re a member of a trade or business group like Womentorz.com, you’re in the right place. Similar groups could be formed through your local Chamber of Commerce, through an industry trade association, through LinkedIn discussion groups, or through a local business networking group that you initiate. Make the most of these opportunities. Find other businesses with a market similar to yours, or with complementary products. Contact those businesses directly and brainstorm marketing ideas that you would all like to participate in and benefit from. Figure out a budget that everyone can share equally in, then contact Mulberry Street, Womentorz.com or another marketing or public relations agency to customize an opportunity for your small business group and share the costs, the benefits and the brand power of group marketing, rather than trying to go it alone.
Every business’ road to success requires one step at a time – there are no shortcuts.
Set your sights on reasonable media coverage goals. What’s your media track record and what should be your next media target?
Familiarize yourself with the outlets – and editors/producers – that you want to target.
Remember that you have to appeal to media outlet’s audience
Don’t spend your entire annual marketing budget on a single promotion or effort.
Last and definitely not least: Harness the power of group marketing.
Thanks for tuning in to today’s Marketing Tip Monday with Mulberry Street and Womentorz. Please post your comments here, on the Womentorz blog, FB or Twitter pages and let’s keep the conversation going!
What media tactics have helped you be successful in getting coverage for your small business, book, product or service?
Hot deal alerts – read the entire post to find them below!
Mulberry Street recently underwent a visual brand makeover and we’re pretty proud of it. Naturally, we wanted our visual branding to reflect who we are and what we want people to remember about us when we’re not in the room. So we hope that the new look brings to mind things like bold, strong, connected,imaginative, memorable, qualified, confident, approachable, sexy…
Did we mention that we’re not the least bit shy?
We started with our logo, which was completely redesigned in 2008 by long-time Mulberry Street design partner Jesse Dudan. Mulberry Street creative director Gordon Doucette kept the edgy,urban design and the hand-drawn, Asian-calligraphy “MS” icon that founder Ruth Danielson loves, but “freed” the logo from its bounding box (as in, “Think outside the box? What box? There’ s a box?”)
So here’s our new logo:
Next, we tackled our business card. I’m good at a lot of things – design not being among them. However, when I work with Gordon, we each improve on the others’ ideas until we come up with something that makes us both do backflips (I’m not good at gymnastics, either, but sometimes nothing else will do). Once we finished the business card, we quickly added a note card. You can see both of these hot new items below.
Want one? Email me a marketing or PR question with “Branding spotlight: Mulberry Street” in the subject line and I’ll send you a personal note with a tip that will help you grow your business on one of my cool new note cards. Be sure to include your mailing address!
Mulberry Street's redesigned logo, business card and note card, hot off the press and ready for 2011!
While we were designing the new business card, we also tackled our color palette. These are all of the first-tier, second-tier and complementary colors that you’ll see in Mulberry Street marketing artwork for the foreseeable future. Most of these colors don’t appear in our business and note cards – we kept those simply dressed-to-kill – but watch for these great color combos in other Mulberry Street marketing collateral, including the new web site that we’re launching this year! The colors on your screen may not look true, depending on your monitor’s settings. That’s why we use the color codes; they allow us – and our printing partners – to get the colors exact, every time.
Does your company need a style makeover? Email me, mention this blog post by inserting “Mulberry Street, redesign my logo but I want the business card for free” and including a link from this blog post in your email. We’ll redesign your logo, your business card and your color palette, and the business card design – with up to 8 names – will be free!
Talk back! What do you find most challenging about marketing your business?
Today, I asked a client how he came to name his HVAC company “Matrix.” His response: “I wanted a name that people could remember when they needed to. I didn’t want a name that could be screwed up like airco, comm air, commercial air. Plus I really liked the movie!”
None of his competitors is that cool. These are the clients that are rightfully ours and we love them.
If you or your company faces negative press (now or in the future), it doesn’t have to mean that your name and your brand are doomed. Even if it seems like the worst news that you could imagine – a product recall where someone has been injured or worse, a reputational scandal about one of your executives, or a security breach in a financial or technology firm – things can get much worse if not properly handled with an eye toward using it as an opportunity to show yourself, your company, or your product in the best light. You can limit the damage and work toward building goodwill for your brand by following these simple rules.
Don’t lie to the press.
Always prepare before you talk to the press.
Stick to your talking points.
Don’t put the reporter’s needs ahead of your own.
Get friendly with a good media trainer and keep him or her close.
Welcome to Heard on Mulberry Street, the blog from Mulberry Street Market Intelligence. I’m Ruth Danielson, one of the Mulberry Street People. This little piece of heaven is where I get to hang out, share some marketing & PR tips that you can use in your business, entertain you, and hopefully make a connection that will make your life, or your day, or just this moment, a little bit better.
“Heard on Mulberry Street” (HoMS) started out as a just running list of cheeky, witty, off-color or profound things that were said on Mulberry Street while we were industriously promoting our clients’ businesses and making them look cool. HoMS have been shared on Twitter and FaceBook, around the watercooler, among our friends and clients; over time, HoMS developed a little following of people who like to be informed when other people say embarrassing, pithy, witty or insightful things.
But we’re a talkin’ bunch and eventually, we decided that we had a few other things that we wanted to talk about, including what we actually do here – which is to create winning marketing and PR strategies for entrepreneurs and established businesses. We also needed a place to talk about food, because we’re doing it anyway. And finally, we like to listen to music – and to promote the people responsible for it – while we do pretty much anything else.
So now you can find all of that here.
Tune in regularly for great tips to market, brand, and promote your business. Bring us your mouth-watering foodie experiences and the music that puts you in a better mood, and we’ll take it in trade. And remember to say that you Heard it on Mulberry Street.
president & founder
mulberry street market intelligence
I think I finally understand the meaning of “you reap what you sow.” If I get up early and garden all day instead of going to work,
I’ll have a beautiful garden and no money. But if I get up early and go straight to work,
I’ll just have no money.