By Jackie Pantaliano, CME, President of ImPRessions
1) Be in the right place at the right time—where your donors and volunteers are: Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, YouTube, e-mail. Query your target markets first and again later to confirm you’re hitting the mark. Be willing to make changes based on responses.

2) Be brief. No one has time to read lengthy newsletters or other missives. We’re all on information overload. Short bites of helpful, useful information are best, for example a weekly health tip e-mail blast.

3) Be relevant and timely with issues that are meaningful to your audience. This is key, and something to verify regularly with your audiences.

4) Be interactive and engaging. Don’t just show and tell. Ask questions and respond to answers. This keeps your audience involved and interested.

5) Be personal. Whenever possible, develop a one-on-one relationship using first names.

6) Be everywhere you can be to increase your recognition and positive awareness. Keep up traditional PR & publicity efforts to bring people to your website, your fundraisers, and your social media pages. You’re competing with many charities. The more recognizable ones have a definite advantage.

7) Be a cheerleader for your donors and volunteers who are open to recognition. Write about them online. Submit their stories to columns that celebrate such individuals.

By Jackie Pantaliano, President, Award Winning PR, a division of ImPRessions, LLC

 

Do you wonder how other companies and individuals repeatedly earn awards such as, Fastest Growing Company; Top Entrepreneur; Best Workplace, and Woman of Influence?

After decades of award wins enabling companies to stand out among a crowded field of competitors, I’ve discovered there are several misconceptions. Here are the top five myths keeping deserving entrepreneurs and organizations out of the running.

 

Myth # 1

You can only win an award sponsored by a publication if you advertise in that publication

Fact: Some people incorrectly assume that awards are “fixed” and organizations only win if they advertise in a publication sponsoring an award. My clients, rarely, if ever, advertise and they receive repeated awards.

 

Jackie’s skill in identifying and nominating us for business leadership awards resulted in five South Jersey and Philadelphia awards in five months. Our sixth award win was a national one as a fastest growing company in the Inc. 5,000!
Charlie Fusco, CEO, Synergixx, LLC

 

Understandably, a sponsoring publication would love you to advertise after you win. They would also love for you to pay for a table at the award event. A table provides additional Public Relations opportunities to share your honor with invited clients and prospects. However, you are not obligated to do either. While some consumer media outlets may favor advertisers in their Top Attorney or Top Doc lists, this is not the case for most award competitions.

 

Myth # 2

Awards have no value except for bragging rights or for vanity’s sake

Fact: Awards can provide positive name recognition, new clients and strategic alliances, as well as increased recruitment and retention of high caliber employees.

 

We work with Jackie all year exclusively on award nominations. She consistently helps us win awards that directly impact our business recognition, growth, and personnel recruitment.
Nicole Fasolino, VP, Wodify Technologies, LLC

 

Myth #3

We can apply for our own awards

Fact: While you can, there’s more involved than is apparent, particularly when it comes to the essay writing portions.

  • Can you spare an employee’s time to keep track of all award opportunities?
  • If you ask a client, vendor or colleague to nominate you, do they have the time to spare?
  • Is your award nominator skilled at winning awards?

 

Jackie made award nominations on our behalf look so easy (14 wins in less than 14 months), we tried it on our own for two years, but didn’t win any awards during that period. We’re back to working with Jackie and have been receiving multiple awards ever since!
Nicole Fasolino, VP, Wodify Technologies, LLC

 

Myth #4

This will be a costly Public Relations investment

Fact: No, that’s the beauty of it. You’ll be receiving excellent publicity through the award wins, without investing in a full Public Relations program. A PR program is one of the best ways to grow your business, but for younger companies with limited budgets, this is a faster, even more cost-effective way to gain a foothold. You can pay for one, or multiple award nominations. You can select a couple of awards you’d like to pursue with which you’re already familiar, or have us handle all of the research for applicable awards, locally, nationally, in business, consumer, trade outlets–or all of the above. It’s pay as you go.

 

Myth #5

I’ll have wasted my money if we don’t win an award

Fact: While our track record for winning client awards is substantial, we can’t guarantee that you will win every award. However, if your growth numbers or other aspects are not where they should be to garner a particular award, we will honestly tell you that before you spend a dime. You’ll then have a worthy goal for your entire team to strive for while enhancing your business practices. Keep in mind that most awards are categorized so that you compete against like-size organizations, making this goal reachable. Other times they’re not categorized by size and you can even end up earning honors among much larger/better-known entities.

 

Jackie’s PR expertise has helped us gain impressive recognition for our podiatry practice. I was especially honored to receive a Philadelphia Business Journal Healthcare Innovation Award, alongside several large healthcare systems.
Dr. Lawrence Levine, Founder of Foot Health Centers, PA

 

Even with all the right criteria, sometimes you’re simply up against too many strong competitors. In that case we will repurpose the verbiage used in the nomination to be leveraged in other marketing materials, and additional award nominations for you. The only thing that will have gone to waste is bypassing another opportunity.

 

You’re an excellent award candidate if your company fits any of the following criteria:

  • Annual growth in employee numbers and revenues for the past 3 years
  • Examples of repeated philanthropic or community service participation
  • Innovation
  • Unique and extensive employee perks/incentives

 

Award opportunities are abundant. Don’t miss another one. Call Jackie Pantaliano today at 856-874-1581, or email jackiep@impressionspr.net

By Jackie Pantaliano, President, ImPRessions, LLC

 

MYTH #1

You have to personally know targeted media

Reality:  A PR pro absolutely doesn’t need to have a prior relationship with a particular contact in a specific industry or region, if the PR person is a quick study, an excellent writer, and has a nose for news. We got into Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, many trades, TV and other media outlets without prior connections. Successful PR people need to make the editor, blogger, broadcaster, or reporter’s job as easy as possible. After gaining media’s initial interest, they must provide all additional information and contacts quickly. The PR person will then become a future resource for the media contact. While PR professionals can and must learn about your industry, the media outlet, and the geographic area, this shouldn’t take long. Your PR person doesn’t need to be the industry expert that you are.

 

MYTH #2:

You’ve got to be doing something brand new to get publicity

Reality:  See large feature in Thursday, December 8, 2005 New York Times on Mallomars, which have been around since 1913. While newness is a plus, you need to be timely, and relevant. Also, sometimes being around for a long time is news.

 

MYTH #3

A few media appearances are enough to grow your business

Reality:  It typically takes at least a year of repetition and consistency to build name recognition and sales. Also, leveraging each media appearance is critical to increasing exposure and shelf-life of your coverage. Press clippings must be on your website, displayed at trade shows, hanging on your walls, on social media sites and e-mailed to clients and prospects.

 

MYTH #4

PR is all about wining and dining media and posh events

Reality:  The days of big expense accounts and three-martini lunches are over. No one has the time or money for that today. While events may be part of your PR campaign, if you don’t have solid writing, great news hooks and angles behind you, you’re sunk.

 

MYTH #5

PR is strictly about gaining publicity

Reality:  Internal and external audiences are all part of PR. Boosting employee morale, communicating to employees and shareholders through newsletters memos, speeches and annual reports are all key parts of public relations.

By Jackie Pantaliano, President, ImPRessions, LLC

From The Star Ledger to the Retrospect of Collingswood, NJ, ImPRessions has captured publicity for its clients, then leveraged the print and digital clips to get them even more publicity.

Receiving feature coverage is one of the most effective means of marketing your organization, because it is presented as informational news, rather than a more obvious self-promotion piece. After receiving positive media coverage, there is much you can do to maximize the publicity, gaining a wider audience and shelf-life beyond the number of readers, viewers or listeners of that one day’s coverage.

Consider the following:

  • Always send an immediate thank you note to the reporter.
  • Be sure to post the article link or scan the article or TV clip onto your website and all social media outlets.
  • Laminate and/or frame your copy and do the same for any of your customers, who are mentioned in the article. Present the article to your mentioned clients for display in their offices.
  • Display the article in a Lucite holder or frame at any trade shows or networking events where you have a display table, or run the footage on a laptop.
  • Present a copy as a send-ahead or a leave-behind for all new business presentations. (You can do the same with a broadcast transcript, CD, or flash drive of a TV or radio appearance).
  • Send the article as a direct mailer to all your current customers and prospects, with a cover note.
  • Request that any businesses with which you are strategically aligned display the article in their businesses or stores.
  • Send a press release or have ImPRessions do so announcing the coverage you attained to any of your trade association newsletters or networking group publications. Do the same to your alumni magazine. If your coverage appeared on TV, radio, or in a magazine, send the press release announcement to your local paper.
  • You or ImPRessions can also present a copy of your clipping in a press kit or as a sample to a non-compete publication, TV or radio show in which you’re also trying to gain coverage (such as a trade publication, if you’ve appeared in the newspaper, or in a publication in a different geographic region, or another target industry).

ImPRessions is expert at helping you leverage your press coverage and maximize your exposure. Call Jackie at 856-874-1581 or email her at jackiep@impressionspr.net to learn more.

By Jackie Pantaliano, President, ImPRessions, LLC

In today’s information-saturated marketplace, we are savvy enough to know when we’re being sold something, and to tune it out.

We avoid telemarketers through Caller ID or by signing up for the “Do Not Call” list. We toss out our junk mail and use Tivo or DVR to bypass TV commercials. How can a company achieve recognition in this environment? Many are finding the answer through Public Relations.

We all know what direct mail, advertising, telemarketing and direct sales are, but most people find PR a mystery, because it’s much more subtle. It’s also considered the most cost-efficient and effective marketing communications method to gain positive, widespread recognition and credibility.

PR imparts newsworthy information and expertise about you and your company.

More Believable=More Successful.