Thursday, May 21, 2009

Branded by the Community

PR Tips to Keep Your Small Business Recession Free

How does a place like Ben's Chili Bowl become a hunger haven for tourists and townies.  Winning the admiration of Bill Cosby certainly helps.  And occasional drop ins by entertainers, sports figures and "The One" President Barack Obama can only add to your business' celebrity.  But even before this local hot spot became a star Mecca, it won the hearts of regular plain folks in its neighborhood.

CS Corporate believes that in the current economic climate, local Mom and Pop establishments must re-turn to doing the thing that they do best.

  • Brand yourself in the community. Sponsor or coach a youth sports team. Find a local church or YMCA to volunteer at in exchange for ad or billboard space.
  • Have promotional days. Make one small item free, especially with food. People gravitate toward free things and then end up spending money on a meal anyway.
  • Set up a presence on the Web! We can’t stress this enough. Have printable coupons on your Web site. Give the consumer a reason to visit the site. Make ordering over the Web easier (and cheaper!).

These few tips will drive traffic to your in-store and online avenues.  Each of these bullets are critical and will be covered in detail in upcoming blogs.

In the meantime, tell us how you are keeping the doors open with positive inexpensive PR.

Brett Hertel

CS Corporate

Communications Manag

Friday, May 8, 2009

The way to a customer's heart is through her stomach

This week, I joined the tens of thousands of Americans downloading a KFC coupon offering a free meal courtesy of Media Maven Oprah Winfrey. The line in my Northern Virginia KFC was long, but nothing like the long riot producing lines reported in major cities like NYC.

Oprah is the queen of the media give-away. From her Big Car Give-away to her lasted KFC lunch, Oprah knows that we love free stuff. And boy do we love free lunch - free dinner and breakfast for that matter.

The PR Sidebar is to take a tip from the Queen of the Media. If you are peddling a product or service, we recommend you wrap it in a free meal. Here are some suggestions of events around free food that we have used in the last year, to win loyal customers for our clients.

1. Host a tea and product display. Put a unique twist on the traditional tea by serving something other than the standard tea fare. Serve cupcakes!
2. Bake a tray of toll house cookies and deliver them with business cards and a handwritten note to potential clients.
3. For those of you whose business is still a side hustle and not yet your main source of income, host a snack break. Invite co-workers to the conference room to share your product or service over chips and coke.

Of course presentation is everything...So be mindful of invitations, display and follow-up.

Remember, one of the best ways to a customer's heart is through her stomach

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Monk....16 Episodes Remaining

OK...We know it's been awhile since, we blogged and this blog doesn't have to do with PR per se.  It actually has everything to do with how we completely escape when we have overloaded in a week and want to do nothing more than veg out with an interesting character...WE WATCH MONK.

Both Dee Dee and I have tried to analyze why we attempt to carve out a space for Monk in our Friday (Or the reprise on Saturday if Friday was impossible).  We have come to the conclusion that Monk takes us back to shows from our childhood - like Murder She Wrote, Simon and Simon,  Scarecrow and Mrs. Kane.  Granted the show usually starts with a weird and gruesome murder, but after the introductory murder, it's all a clever and rather wholesome who done it.  It's such a refreshing break from the onslaught of decapitated babies found floating in the river that seem to be such common fare for the Law and Order and CSI franchises which we admittedly watch. 

In June, Monk prepares to launch its last season.  If you've missed the last 7 or 8 seasons, we recommend you spend the next month renting the DVDs to catch up.  Our bet (HOPE) is that during this season, Monk the OCD Super Detective will finally get his man.  You see, he has been able to solve every crime except the most important one - the murder of his wife Trudy.

We are wringing our wrists that this is the last season!!!

Next Blog will be back to PR Sidebars...thanks for putting up with the mini tribute to what amounts to our weekly break from the world of PR.