Archive for the ‘ActionCOACH Pinellas’ Category

Publicity through Award Recognition

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Applying for industry awards can be a tedious task, but the effort becomes more rewarding when it is supported by a good publicity plan.

I recently had the privilege of preparing award applications for two clients; namely Barb Kyes of ActionCOACH Pinellas, who is now a finalist for the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce “Distinguished Business Woman of the Year” award, and Chad Dudeck of Geo-Logical, who we just submitted for the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award.

There is a lot of momentum and  power behind just being nominated for an award, and it increases exponentially if you become a finalist — and explodes if you actually win!

For example, back in 2009, another Heidelberg PR client, Karen Gillman of Intelligent Office, was nominated for Business Leader of the Year and Small Business of the Year with the Tampa Chamber of Commerce. It was such an honor for her and her team, and it was really easy to find people ready to celebrate her success with her — especially in the media.

On just the nomination alone, Karen’s news was covered in her former hometown newspaper where she grew up, in the newspapers of her current hometown of Plant City, Fla., and in the print and television outlets of the major metro media market of Tampa, Fla., where her business is located. Furthermore, industries referenced in the news release — strawberry growers, virtural office news sources, and health care web sites — found something of interest in the story of a midwestern farm girl who left home and ultimately found success as a corporate leader.

If you are nominated and progress to any advanced stage in an awards process, think hard on the “who cares” question and then prepare to tell your story through news releases, social media and other updates to a variety of targets. Here’s a quick checklist to help you thoroughly maximize this great publicity opporutunity. Now is not the time to be shy! I’ll give you the “who” and a little bit of the “how” — but it’s up to you to determine the means of communication that best suits each audience for you and your company.

Your Community at Large
Tell the local news media your story with a press release, include the appropriate business media
Make space on your web site to post your news release or add a splash to your homepage

Your Business Community
Tell your networking groups; leverage their news updates, web sites, social media and newsletter
Tell your chamber of commerce; leverage their communication outlets too!
Tell your Facebook Fans
Tweet a shout out to your followers
Post your news on your blog

Your Industry Colleagues
Tell your professional associations; leverage the power of their communication vehicles
Tell the trade publications and online news outlets by sending them your news release
Tell your network on LinkedIn

Your Hometown Community
Tell your hometown newspapers (and other media if appropriate). Your sixth-grade teacher, your best friend’s mom and your high school team members still care!

Your Alumni Association
Tell the alumni publicaiton at your alma mater. You’ll make them look good!

Your Current Business Contacts
Tell your employees, your board of advisors, your vendors and your customers!

Your Current and Future Business Prospects
Put a blurb on your e-mail signature and remind everyone you communicate with on e-mail of the fact that your company is exceptional.

Your Personal Contacts
Your never know where your next customer might come from. Tell your church, tell your bowling league, your family and your neighbors!

But wait! There’s more!
Did you realize as you read these suggestions that you do not have to lay out any cash at all to take advantage of these opportunities following this “do-it-yourself” format? Wow — now I know you are really loving this!

It varies, of course, but typically you can prepare a great award application in three to seven hours, at least for the initial submission (this doesn’t count interviews and follow up submissions). It might sound like a lot of time to invest, but if you plan effectively, there are long lead times for the application period and you can work on your application over several weeks. Just be careful, in the end, to ensure that you have all the required pieces ready for submission and get it in on time.

Best of luck to you in securing your next award and the great publicity that will come with it. (I’m writing this on St. Patrick’s Day to give you little extra luck!)

Drums, Charities and Jeffrey Gitomer — what next?

Friday, January 15th, 2010

So much has happened, and I’m feeling really great about 2010! In brief:

1. I spent one great day in December listening to Jeffrey Gitomer rant and curse and deliver his version of inspiration and knowledge regarding sales and customer loyalty (along with a healthy dose of politics, sports and the world in general). I laughed a lot and learned a lot and bought four of his books because I think he knows what he is talking about. He’s easy to find online, but is probably the easiest way to indoctrinate yourself.

2.  Great new client doing great new things — Envala, Inc. launched SendSavings this week and I am so excited about the viral potential for all of the participating charities, the advertisers and the supporters who can save money while raising money. It’s so easy — check it out! You’ll love it! It only takes a minute to sign up and start raising money for your favorite charity, church or school by receiving up to two mobile coupons on your phone each week.

3.  Also very pumped about helping Drum Magic tell their story across the country. If you are looking for team-building ideas or corporate morale boosters, call Jana Broder. Her drumming sessions bring people together in surprising ways!

4. ActionCOACH Pinellas — hanging in there with my coaches. They’ve actually made me set goals for the year — can you believe it? It’s awesome, and I’m trying to make it all work. Always feel way behind, but any progress in building my business is better than none at all, so I hope they can be patient with me!

5. Welcome Brendan Collett! Brendan is going to spend the next four months getting to know just how crazy public relations can be — especially when you run your own firm. I’m thrilled to have this bright, young USF student on board, and I know I’ll learn just as much from him as he learns from me.

6. Still a raving fan of BNI and Charity Chics — my two networking groups. I’m proud to be affiliated with both organizations and the business referrals and relationships are unprecedented.

7. Thanks to Dana Novak at Morton Plant Mease and Amy Lovett at BayCare Health System. These two ladies have been a big part of my success — always sending me projects — and I appreciate it very, very much.

8. Tampa Small Business Jumpstart will return! Cannot wait to give another aspiring entrepreneur a big boost again this year.

I hope you are having a great January too! Send me your updates!

Heidelberg PR & Tampa Jumpstart say THANK YOU!

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

In public relations, sometimes it’s difficult to show appreciation, but thanks to blogs and tweets and other related things, it’s easier now to thank reporters and editors who have shown interest in story ideas you’ve shared.

I want to thank a few people who have shown great support for our Tampa Bay Small Business Jumpstart program by working on stories to promote our contest and our winner, Wesley Chapel resident, Mike Mayo. This before and after coverage has been very helpful to our TJS team, as well as to our winner, so big THANKS to

Tom Curran, Fox 13
Fred Shrum, Tampa Business Examiner (see his article!)
Editorial team, Tampa Bay Business Journal

There have been others who have taken interest in our story, as well, and we have not forgotten about you either. Thank you for playing a part in sharing some good news with the community, and for letting people know that our award package was available. We also appreciate the reporting on our winner as he launches his new pet photography business, Golden Vision Photography. This has been a community service program from the start, and the support of the local media has helped us realize our vision.

Incidentally, today is the first photo shoot of the mobile photography studio, and the privilege goes to Susan Thurston at TBT, who has been beyond patient in covering this story. Thank you, Susan, for waiting it out. I know your story will be really timely even though it seems like we’ve been batting this around for months.

And, finally, thanks to my new commitment to my business coach, Barb Kyes at ActionCOACH, I will probably be chatting your ear off here at least once a week. Stay tuned!

Heidelberg PR Updates for Summer 2009

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

It might work to your benefit, but some of my posts I’ve been writing in MS Word are apparently not transferable here, so please enjoy this abbreviated and condensed version of several posts I’ve planned for over the summer.

BNI — I joined, and you should check it out. My chapter, the Profit Pros, is great and very energizing. If you are a small business person or in sales or marketing, you should come visit us. We essentially train each other to make referrals to one another. It’s time consuming but worth it when a big referral comes in. A spot in our chapter is worth approximately $45K in new business each year for each member. Hard to believe? Come see for yourself. And, if you are in another part of the country, don’t worry. BNI — Business Networking International — is everywhere.

Charity Chics — just for “chics,” this group is about networking while giving back. All proceeds from meeting registration and door prizes go to a designated charity. So far, Hillsborough Achievement and Resource Center has been our primary charity. This group was founded by fashion consultant Lisa Ford of Invent Your Image and Karen Gillman, sales manager for Intelligent Office. It’s a first come, first serve registration process and only one guest per professional industry is permitted to attend any given meeting. A good use of time — check it out if you are local.

Tampa Jumpstart – I feel like I have a lot to brag about here. We picked our contest a winner a few weeks ago — Mike Mayo with Golden Vision Photography won over $26K of pro bono start up services from the TJS team. Here’s a TV clip announcing his victory, along with a few features Heidelberg PR placed in local business publications. Good luck, Mike!

Fox 13 News Clip on TJS Winner
Maddux Business Report Article on TJS Winner
Tampa Bay Business Journal Article on Winner

And now for some Heidelberg PR news on our newest clients! Since May, we have been helping Waterside at Coquina Key with sales outreach through resident, prospect and Realtor events. Upcoming events and photo recaps are posted on the Waterside FaceBook page under Waterside at Coquina Key. So far, we’ve had a lot of fun — and even made some sales from these events, so if you are interested in the property in any capacity, stop by.

Recently, we also helped out Rapid Refill Ink in Carrollwood with a Back to School promotion, although they offer eco-friendly, convenient and affordable printer cartridge refill services all year long, around the country. Check out their latest press release. It might change your mind the next time you go to throw a used printer cartridge into the trash.

And, although the account is not new, I had the pleasure this week of attending a check presentation from WalMart to a Florida division of the Boys and Girls Club for a $150,000 grant in support of a new educational program to help keep kids in school, along with the ever enjoyable interactions with Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo as we gear up for the final 2009 $5 Day Sept. 13, sponsored by WalMart’s Hillsborough and Pinellas County stores.

And then, finally, for some good news and some bad news. The good news first: Heidelberg PR and Action Coach Pinellas have entered into a strategic alliance to further the business goals of each firm. Heidelberg PR will provide subject matter expert coaching and services to ACP’s managing partner, Barbara Kyes, and, in return, I am receiving weekly coaching and training from Barb and her team. This promises to be a very interesting 12 months!

And now, for the bad news. HARC — the Hillsborough Achievement and Resource Center — is facing some extreme financial hardship on account of some unfortunate decisions by the State of Florida and the Agency for Disabled Persons. The situation is overviewed in this press release that Heidelberg PR issued a few months ago, but the issue remains, and many disabled adults will suffer as a result of some poor decision making. Help us tell the story to anyone who might be able to help!!

These are the summer highlights. School starts next week, so maybe I won’t have to go three months again before I have time to say what I want to say.