[caption id="attachment_4867" align="alignright" width="180" caption="Peggy Olsen is my hero."][/caption]
A long time ago I got some of the best advice I've ever been given. Oddly enough it was business advice from a psychic woman claiming to be channeling alien beings (so I guess it was advice from aliens) but that's neither here nor there. What she/they told me was that, as a small business, I always needed to have three income streams. Three things that could generate revenue. If one went belly up I'd still be good to go.
So I am a marketing consultant, a PR person and a writer. The writing I only do on the side usually but for one client I'm doing marketing and writing. Do you remember the Mad Men episode this season where Peggy Olsen loses it in frustration in front of a client? That's just what I did last week. Rather than just feel like a fool I think there are some really good lessons that might be helpful for you too.
I had a short interaction last week on a friend's Facebook page about, of course, the Facebook IPO. When I mentioned that many of the same types of criticisms were applied to Amazon 10 years ago I got a spew of pretty much nonsensical comments. "Amazon took 10 years to become a good stock" "You only buy short term in the market" "Amazon finally made money because of the Kindle". I'm sure those comments are correct in some weird context but as someone who bought Amazon at $16 in 2002 I think I kind of have the last laugh. So I confess...I bought Facebook stock the day of the IPO. And I'm holding it because I'll bet this is just a phase. One I can make money from.
I got a survey from UPS this week (apparently to celebrate National Small Business Week) and I was surprised to see that over a third of small businesses still use direct marketing as a primary marketing strategy. I have never understood how business owners can be satisfied with such low response rates. Deliver Magazine claims that your response rate target should be your "break even" point. Their argument begins with " let’s say that each response will bring you $100 in net revenue" and I've heard this before. NO. A response is does not automagically bring in revenue. A response is just that...a response. Here's what I mean;
I worked so hard on an event that was held last week. Guess what - hardly anyone in the chosen demographic came to the event. I worked so hard, did postcard drops, advertised, reached out personally to influencers...
It always surprises me (god knows why after this long) when a client tells me they don't watch TV or read anything banal like USA Today. But yet they want to be on all those programs "Get me on Ellen!" in order to further their message. (Or for the narcissists just to get famous. More on that later) You can't be a media snob if you want to reach the mainstream.
One of the most important things to do if you want to use public relations as a marketing tool is get to know the ENTIRE media landscape.