The Customer Experience

Email service providers are blanketing the world with services and technology.  I am a true believer that marketers must engage consumers via email and social channels and must do so in a programmatic and relevant way.  However, even with technology, strategy and marketing focus, some programs fail while others succeed — even when similar execution strategies are applied.  What causes this variance? Easy, the customer experience.  At its core, it is the customer experience that turns a one-time buyer into a loyal customer, subscriber, fan or follower.  I feel we lose sight of this fact at times. 

The point is that customer loyalty does not start on a Facebook page or in a Twitter feed.  It is not developed solely through relevant email communications and the appropriate cadence of messages.

Engagement between a brand and a consumer in any channel (email or social media) starts with the customer’s experience with that brand. If the customer experience is average, your consumer is unlikely to be a repeat buyer, they are less likely to click and open your communications, and they are never going to spend their social capital recruiting their friends to be your customers.

How a Public Relations Agency Can Help You: Artists, Designers, Musicians

Kanye West at the Vanity Fair kickoff part for...

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Are you still scratching your head, wondering whether or not you would benefit from the guidance of a public relations expert?

Many creative brands—artists, designers, musicians and more—question whether or not they can afford to retain a public relations agency.

To be honest, the real question should is: How can you afford to not hire a public relations agency?

Designers: Would you trust your landscaper to forecast next season’s designs?

Musicians: Would you let the pharmacy clerk write your next song?

Artists: Would you let your garbage man handle your legal matters?

Nope, so why take your public relations matters into your own hands?

For starters, enlisting the help of an agency will surely generate awareness for your brand. Our client, Lovie’s Letter Paper Co., has gone from just a handful of visits each day, to more than 600 visits at any given time.

One of the most obvious ways you can benefit from the help of a public relations professional is because of their relationships with members of the media. Publicists specialize in media outreach, which results in high profile media placements for you.

A public relations agency can also help you manage a crisis. Think about Kanye West post-Taylor Swift. Without the help of a seasoned public relations professional, it would have been nearly impossible for the rapper to have bounced back.

Other ways your brand can benefit from a PR agency, include strengthening community relations and supporting your existing public relations programs.

Last but not least, hiring a PR agency can leave you with more time to do what you do best: focus on your craft.

Don’t Come to the Table with Chevrolet Funds and Rolls Royce Taste – Setting an Appropriate PR Budget

Chevrolet concessionaria

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One of the many questions that I am asked by those hoping to take their career to the next level is:  How much should I invest in public relations each month?

The answer: It depends.

Monthly budgets can range from $250 to more than $3,000. Your first instinct may be to go for the smaller budget; however, keep in the mind that those budgets won’t yield as much in terms of results. A budget of $250 will likely only generate a press release or two per month and maybe a little media pitching.

You can’t bring the funds for a Chevrolet but expect to leave with a Rolls Royce.

That said, if you have high expectations, be sure that your budget aligns with those expectations.

A reasonable budget is around $800 per month. Compared to advertising, it is a very modest price. This budget typically works for smaller brands, who want a committed publicist to oversee most of their public relations needs.

On the high-end, a brand can spend upwards of several thousand dollars. In those cases, the company is likely a large, already established one and has the funds to spend on a full-time publicist.

When establishing your budget, think about questions like: Does your business have something to say to the public on a regular basis? Are you a new brand in need of generous media coverage? Do you need a dedicated team to handle your communications needs?

If you answered yes to those questions, you’d likely benefit from a “reasonable budget.” (See above.)

No worries, if you are unable to pay for representation, some firms, including Publicity Stunt Inc, offer do-it-yourself packages. With customized plans, developed just for your brand, you save money by doing the work yourself, following our plan.

PR budgets are not one-size-fits-all. No matter your budget, you can reap the positive benefits of public relations just make sure your expectations are realistic.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Fathers a Love Child, Suffers Image Blow

Candid Shot of Arnold & Maria at Courage to Lead

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Since Robocop, former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been one of America’s favorite Austrians. But this week, his reputation has suffered a crippling blow, with the revelation of a 14 year-old love child.

Schwarzenegger has been married to Maria Shriver for 25 years.

Clearly, Schwarzenegger recognized the negative impact that this scandal would have on his image, which is why he waited until he term as governor was over, to reveal the information to his wife—and ultimately to the public. And because Shriver is a member of the Kennedy family, she’s an American sweetheart, which will only add to the negativity that this Austrian in America, a.k.a. Schwarzenegger, will suffer as a result of these allegations.

Although his political career is over, his acting career may be something he wants to fall back on. He’s better off moving to his home country, because now it’s unlikely that Americans will pay to see this former Robocop on the big screen.

Bin Laden Assassination Boosts President Obama’s Ratings to an All-Time High

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...

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The recent assassination of Osama bin Laden under the leadership of President Barack Obama has brought a sense of justice to many Americans, particularly those who were affected by the horrific acts of 9/11.

And with the 2011 presidential election just months away, the unasked question on many minds is: ‘Will the recent murder of Osama bin Laden boost Obama’s approval rating?’

This may be a question for many, but for me it is a certainty.

The death of Osama bin Laden will positively increase President Barack Obama’s approval ratings.

Americans have lived in fear for a decade, nervously anticipating another act of terror by bin Laden, but now that he is dead, the country has breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Not surprisingly, President Obama is reaping the benefits of his heroic act right now. In fact, the speech that he delivered, announcing the death of bin Laden, earned President Obama his highest approval ratings ever. And this wasn’t a fluke. Nearly 57 million viewers tuned in to his speech—more than any other time during his presidency (although his acceptance speech drew 70 million viewers). According to the New York Times, his approval rating increased by 11 points after that speech—pretty impressive.

All Obama needs to do is continue riding the coattails of this success to the election and it’s a sure-win. The death of the terrorist was the act that Obama needed to boost his image and it came just in time. If he can turn the economy around within the next few months, there will be no question that the 2011 election will be a victory for our current president.

Sure, President Obama didn’t hunt bin Laden down to gain cool points for the election, but it sure won’t hurt.

Pardon Our Error…In Regards to the Royal Wedding-Inspired Stationery

Kate Middleton at the Garter Procession (with ...

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In yesterday’s news release, we failed to mention the official name of the Kate Middleton-style invitation. Officially titled the ‘Windsor,’ the royal blue and gold invitation was handpicked for brides who want to wed like a princess for a fraction of the cost. The Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth, both 100% cotton, are officially titled the ‘Royal Collection.’

Rappers and Singers Need Blogs Too


Image by kuribo via Flickr

In the past, I’ve written blogs on how brands, in general, need blogs, but a lot of music artists—rappers, singers, producers and more—don’t realize that this rule applies to them as well.

Starting a blog may seem intimidating for some creatives, but it’s not as difficult as it seems. Using a platform like WordPress or Blogger, a blog can be set up in five minutes or less. And even better, establishing a blog costs little to no money at all.

“But what if I can’t right write?” A lot of people have this question, but the truth is, when it comes to blogging, professional writing skills are far from a must. Blogs are typically written in informal, conversation-style format. As an artist, conversation-style is key because it entices your fans by giving them a glimpse of your personal life. Let them know what life is like on the road, tell them about your latest single or live stream your latest studio session. Fans appreciate this type of thing.

Finally, blogs are a great way to spread the word about your music–what better place than your own blog for your fans to learn about your latest releases? A lot of times, new artists struggle with getting media coverage. There are tons of artists out right now and it’s difficult to stand out. Developing a blog that generates traffic is a great way to also generate buzz, which ultimately results in media coverage and then sales.

If starting a blog seems impossible, it’s not. Go to WordPress or Blogger to get started today. Need help with figuring out what to write about? Give us a call and we can help you come up with topics (773.980.6404).

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