<![CDATA[Yardley Public Relations, LLC - Blog]]>Mon, 14 Mar 2016 18:07:11 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[How To Tell Your Story]]>Wed, 18 Mar 2015 19:26:42 GMThttp://www.yardleypr.com/blog/how-to-tell-your-storyOver the years, many clients have asked me the same questions: "How do I best publicize my business?"  "Is social media the way to go?";  "Should I advertise, and in what medium?" and "What about pursuing media opportunities?"    There is never one answer to these questions for each business is different and the end-goal varies from one organization to the next.  PR is not a "one-size-fits-all" type of industry.  In other words, what works for one business may not work for yours.  It's all about identifying three crucial elements: (1) knowing your target audience; (2) knowing your message; and (3) trying different outreach method(s) at different times.  It's vital to identify these three objectives before embarking on any type of campaign.

Let's start with knowing your target audience.  Do you know WHO you want to reach?  Sometimes when I ask clients this question, I get a response of, "Everyone!"  Though I love the enthusiasm, it's important to be more specific.  Are you targeting 18-34 year-olds?  Women, men, kids?  Those who live in a certain town?  The more specific you are, the more specific your messaging can be.  If it does encompass the public as a whole, still make an effort to narrow your focus so your messaging can be spot-on.  Ask yourself, "Who am I trying to reach and what is it I want to tell them about my business?"  Which brings me to my next point regarding messaging.

"What's my message?"  Knowing what to say and how to say it is one of the toughest parts of marketing and PR.  Ever hear the expression of an "elevator speech?"  It's when you have to say what it is you do in 10 seconds or less.  It's not as easy as it sounds.  The goal isn't to just say your title and where you work... but what it is you DO.  I recall this instance with one of my clients in which I spoke to six employees about the company to try to gain background information.  Every single one struggled to tell me what the company did!  I'm not kidding - they really didn't know, and if they did, I got completely different answers, making it sound like all of them worked for different organizations.  It was no wonder they did not have a clear or cohesive corporate identity. 

For instance, my elevator speech might go something like this: "My business is promote other businesses.  My job is focused on helping organizations to stand out from the competition in unique and creative ways in order to maximize their name recognition within their respective industry."  Notice I didn't just say, "I'm a PR professional with over 20 years of experience....blah, blah, blah."  What does that really tell you about me?  Not a whole lot, especially if you don't know what PR is (and many people don't).  Instead, I described what I did for a living.  This is where you can start with your business.  Why should people come to you?  How are you infinitely better than the competition?  What do you want them to learn that is most important?  What makes you unique?  Once you've decided, try to make the messaging short and sweet - and memorable.  Remember my motto: Show what you know, don't just tell what you sell.  Educate people about what you do and they will remember, but if you throw in unnecessary generic statements, you will quickly be forgotten.

Lastly, try different things at different times.  This is SO important, I can't stress that enough.  For instance, if you did a mailer that yielded zero results in getting new clients, that doesn't mean you should never do another mailing.  It could mean that the messaging wasn't clear or strong enough to motivate your audience to take action.  It could mean that mailers may not be the best approach for your business and that it may be time to take it to another platform.  The same holds true for social media.  Not all businesses translate to Pintrest or FaceBook.  That viral video that got a million views may have worked for the local gym, but might not translate to the same success for a dentist.  Don't be afraid to do two things: regroup and reassess.  I firmly believe in the saying you can't know where you're going until you've known where you've been.  The same holds true for a campaign.  While it's important to spend some time on what you think may the be reason it didn't work, once you have an idea, try, try again.
<![CDATA[The 7% Club Awaits You in 2015]]>Sun, 04 Jan 2015 21:44:13 GMThttp://www.yardleypr.com/blog/the-7-club-awaits-you-in-2015Picture
With the beginning of every New Year, people are often motivated to start anew.  It’s the perfect time PR-wise to launch a new initiative or get going on that e-newsletter you’ve been putting off.  But by February, it’s inevitable that many of those aspirations never come to fruition.  In fact, according to Forbes.com, only 7% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions.  So, what happened to the 93%?  Why do so many people abandon their sincere and heartfelt goals?  What goes so terribly wrong?

While I don’t have all the answers, I can tell you what I’ve learned from working in the public relations field for so long.  I’ve seen many well-intentioned clients with wonderful intentions lapse and fall off the PR-wagon, so to speak, and I believe that it comes down to goal setting.  There is a lot of planning that goes into goal setting that begins with asking yourself some very important questions beforehand:

1)            Are these goals truly attainable?  I’ve had clients say, “I want to be on 'Good Morning America' right away.”  That is simply not a realistic out-of-the-gate expectation if you're just starting out.  While it is always my goal to attain as much press and media coverage as possible, you need to be honest about your expectations or else you will be setting yourself for failure before you can even begin. 

2)            Do I have all the tools and know-how I need?  When you work with me, I want to make sure you take full advantage of all the services offered and not waste your precious time and money on ones you don’t need.  Don’t waste your valuable time “guessing” at what your company needs to do.  Trust us; we know what we’re doing.  We can devise a customized plan that will help you get to your PR goals faster.

3)            What is my plan of action to stay on course?  In other words, have you agreed to making PR a priority?  What happens if you get off track?  You need to have a backup plan in place.  PR is a dynamic field – as they say, “The news never stops.”  The ability to revise your plan is a must because life will throw you unexpected obstacles all the time.  The key is to address the problem immediately instead of abandoning your goals altogether. 

The real question is, this time next year will you be part of the 93% who failed, or the 7% who didn’t?  The choice is yours.