5 Elements of a Publicity Plan

1. Asses the situation, you need to take inventory of the resources available to your organization. Your resources include your publicity budget, your staff, and distribution channels. The second question you need to answer during the assessment phase is, what is your message and then you can accurately define why you need more coverage.

2. After you assess the situation set your budget and time line. Don't let your budget impact your goal. A small budget can create the opportunity to try innovative tactics. Depending on your organization you can create a publicity plan for a year or longer. If you are in a crisis situation you may want to create a shorter publicity plan like for 90 days.

3. Next determine who your target audience is. These are your stakeholders which include current donors, potential donors, volunteers and people who benefit from your services, staff and board of directors. It is important to find your distribution channels( the way stakeholders consume information). Knowing your target audience helps select which print/ online publications, radio and television stations to ask to broadcast your message.

4. Set the goal for your publicity plan and identify objectives, your objectives are: to increase awareness by using local and national media to better educate the local and global community about your organization's cause. To raise your profile to recruit board members and volunteers. To help promote fund-raising activities. These are the objectives for your publicity plan.

5. Determine your tactics. Tactics are the resources your organization will use to carry out your goals and objectives. You can use various distribution channels to achieve your goal such as: facebook, email, websites, blogs, online and print news publications, radio and television stations.

By Ly Syin Lobster
Photography by Adam Borkowski 


10 Tips to Beat the Overwhelm and Stay Focused

Many business owners share with me that one of their biggest problems is information overwhelm which in turn leads to lack of focus, and therefore they don't actually get stuff done in their business. They're so busy trying to keep up with all the information that they're being hit with that they don't actually get around to any implementation and so they stay stuck.

With all the information that's thrown at us via our inbox, social networks, and even through the mail, it's so easy to become side-tracked and lose that focus and, like many business owners, I'm guessing you only have a certain number of hours in the day to work on your business.

If you're going to grow your business and implement new programs and products, and continue to serve your clients, then you really need to stay focused and make the best possible use of your time.

Today I'd like to share with you my top 10 tips for beating the overwhelm and staying focused:

1. Only check email at certain times. You're not going to do yourself any favors by checking your email every 30 seconds. Once first thing in the morning and again in the afternoon is enough.

2. Schedule in business development appointments. You need to work ON your business, right? So schedule that time into your calendar. This will get you really focused on creating that new program or product that's been sat on your To Do list for the past six months.

3. Unsubscribe from ezines that no longer serve you - and, yes, I realize I may be shooting myself in the foot when I say this to you. But having fewer emails landing in your inbox will really make a difference to your inbox overwhelm and will allow you to focus only on those mentors/teachers that serve you best.

4. Likewise, unsubscribe from online groups such as Yahoo & Google groups that no longer serve you. If you're not actively participating anyway, why add to your inbox by receiving group emails. You'll only be tempted to check them!

5. If you want to remain in an online group, switch your emails over to daily digest. Instead of getting an email every time someone posts to the forum, switch to daily digest - that's one email per day instead of many.

6. Don't take unscheduled phone calls - let it go to voicemail. Unscheduled phone calls are an interruption - they take you off task and you will need to spend time refocusing again once you hang up.

7. Allocate specific blocks of time for client calls. Rather than having your client calls/appointments all haphazard in your calendar, create blocks of time when you'll be available to speak or meet directly with clients.

8. Focus on only participating in one program/teacher/mentor at a time - immerse yourself in the learning and implement before you move on to the next program.

9. Only work on those activities that contribute to the big picture for your business i.e. those activities that will create new revenue streams and increase your bottom line. Either outsource or ditch the rest.

10. Focus on YOUR big picture - remember why you started your business in the first place. With the constant bombardment of "I'll show you how easy it is to create a six or seven-figure business" emails it's easy to become overwhelmed and feel like you're a failure if you're not at that level. There's nothing wrong in striving for this goal, but whilst you may not be at that level yet (or perhaps don't even want to be) that in itself can be a source of overwhelm. Don't follow the shoulds. Be yourself; remember why you got into this in the first place; and enjoy what you're doing.

Learning how to manage your time and stay focused is one of the crucial components you have to learn to master if you want to create a sustainable, long-term business.

By Tracey Lawton
Image by Vladimir Mucibabic

Online Business Development Strategist, Tracey Lawton, teaches solo service professionals how to create a thriving and profitable business through the implementation of simple office organization and online marketing systems, which leads to more clients, more profits, and more freedom. Get your fr.ee "Office Organization Success Toolkit" plus how-to articles, resources, tips, and tools at http://www.officeorganizationsuccess.com.



IDRA Branding Quicktip #1106: Be Consistent

IDRA Branding Quicktip #1106:

Be Consistent

As the above definition explains, the brand needs to be consistent. Do not alter your brand or image. Once you have established it, stick with it. Consistently changing your image produces confusion and weakens your brand. It can build a lack of trust and integrity among potential and existing colleagues and clients. It may also affect the way and the frequency of how people recommend you. Make it a point to be aware of your brand delivery and consistency as you are networking and connecting.                                     

By Chi Chi Okezie

Chi Chi Okezie is owner/producer of SIMPLEnetworking, LLC in Atlanta, GA. Learn tips, tactics and techniques from this Champion Networker! Visit the SN Official Website: http://www.snseminars.com to read excerpts of her books, listen to the latest radio podcasts and visit her blog!



IDRA Branding QuickTip #1105: Your Unique Image

IDRA Branding QuickTip #1105:

Unique Image

So often, it is easier to emulate famous and successful people within your industry or careers. Although that is good, it does not support the above definition of branding. Individuals and organizations should take the time to create a unique name or image. Find the value of the service or good which you or your company is offering. Separate yourself from competitors or colleagues. This differentiating process can put you in a spotlight for positive attention. Then, begin to formulate a marketing and promotion strategy behind your new name or image. Write down a clear description of what your message is and how you plan to communicate it to others or your group.                                                            By Chi Chi Okezie

Chi Chi Okezie is owner/producer of SIMPLEnetworking, LLC in Atlanta, GA. Learn tips, tactics and techniques from this Champion Networker! Visit the SN Official Website: http://www.snseminars.com to read excerpts of her books, listen to the latest radio podcasts and visit her blog!


IDRA Branding QuickTip #1104: Communicating Effectively & Consistently

Branding is important because the stronger the brand is the easier the communication becomes. It's like a snowball going down hill... it gets bigger as it rolls and gains more momentum.

It's the constant repetition of an idea, product or service, which eventually leads to the customer identifying with your brand by way of association. Kleenex after all is a brand, yet we use it as a generic term! Google is another example; you don't search for things on the web, you "Google" them.

So how does this relate to your company's brand? Well, as you can see, it's more than just a pretty cool looking logo; it's getting your brand out there and communicating effectively and consistently. The main purpose of a strategic marketing plan for your brand is to build name recognition and positive opinions about your product or service so that your target audience will think of your company when they have need of your services. It's all about how your brand is perceived. If your product or service is perceived negatively, your brand is in jeopardy of losing ground with your customers and future customers. On the other hand, if your brand is perceived positively... business success is likely to follow. Your brand should convey a sense of value and provide an emotional experience to the audience you wish to reach.                                                                                                                                                                 

By Rod Roberts

A full service graphic design and marketing firm based in Champaign, Illinois, specializing in brand development and implementation.  http://www.robertsdesigncompany.com


IDRA Branding QuickTip #1103: Don't Confuse the Customer

When it comes to branding your business there are lots of issues to consider but the level of quality you choose must be adhered to at all times. It would not be worthwhile to sell caviar when you are supposed to be the low price leader in the business. Your customers would become confused and end up wandering elsewhere for their groceries. If you are the high priced automobile leader, you would not want to sell a car that lands in the shop every month. 

 In your branding endeavors, keep it simple and straight forward. Send the same message day in and day out so that your customers can count on you being there for them. Decide what you are offering the customer and never vary from that decision. This alone will bring customers to your door with much less effort. And low effort advertising is a great thing in any business.                            

By Jeffrey L Brown

Please check out a fun and informative site where I blog on how to create and maintain a new business! Enjoy! [http://thebusinessprofessionalsonline.com


Encouragement from Steve Jobs

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma— which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Steve Jobs