Rocking Danica to sleep and I started to think about how the keys to getting media exposure are the same as winning over your customers. Here's a list of things that could be the guts of a Powerpoint presentation on either topic:
Make it easy to "buy"
Establish a friendly, authentic relationship
Become a trusted source of information, guidance, expertise
Help them out, even when it doesn't benefit you directly
Know as much as possible about who you're dealing with
The customer/media is always usually right (but honest and direct communication is essential).
You always have time for the customer/media
Customer service is the same as good media relations
Stay in touch after the "sale"
That's it for now, maybe I'll expand on these a bit more down the road.
You may have noticed I've been posting less than usual here at JRA. I've been spending more time with the family (Danica is already 1 month old!) and I've been focusing on my clients and other projects. Also, my blog/site that covers the Portland bike scene has really taken off and is taking more and more of my time.
But stay tuned, because there are some cool things ahead (most notably Interbike and a new contributor).
Just a friendly reminder about linking to blog posts: remember to always use the permalink when referring to a specific post. What's a permalink? It's a link that goes directly to the specific entry of a blog, instead of the blog's home page.
Why is this important? The problem with using the home page address is that blogs are frequently updated and content is constantly being pushed down the page. So, if you use the home page link, your audience will click the link and see a bunch of content that has nothing to do with what they're hoping/expecting to read. They may not take the time to scroll down and search for what they want...they'll probably just keep on surfing.
Just FYI, the people that read and comment on this blog are smarter than I am. My posts just get things started, but most of the time, the comments are where all the action is. So, if you're not reading them you're really missing some great insights.
Here's an excerpt from a recent comment by the Cannondale blogger that pretty much sums up what I've been trying to say for months now:
"To me, that’s what this is all about….being able to share cool information,
excite, inform and get back opinions one way or another. This new way of
corporate thinking is a hard sell, but I think I’m winning them over. In fact,
we’ve recently made a major decision to start being much more open with our
dearly held secrets here at Cannondale (you heard it here first!) not because we
have to, but because in the end, we’ve got some great information that’s worth
sharing, and it’s what our riders want from us. I like to think I had a lot to
do with this recent change of heart and mindset here at Cannondale.
There’s no doubt that blogging is a very powerful tool… not just for us on
the BradBlog and the RaceBlog but also as a tool for content management for our
websites. We’re starting to incorporate the technology as a solution across the
board world wide. It’s very exciting but will, I’m sure, take a while for people
here to fully comprehend it and embrace in all its forms (especially those at
Cannondale has always been a product innovator and it'd be great to see them lead the charge as a communication innovator as well.
Mark your calendars and cancel your previous commitments...
The Interbike blogger meet-up will be Thursday, September 29th at 4:00. Come to the Online Lounge at the top of the stairs near the main entrance (go here to load the floor plan map). From there, we'll walk to the food court in the Venetian, pull up some chairs, eat cheap food and hatch a plan to take over the world industry.
Whether you love, hate, tolerate, or foster a healthy curiousity of blogs, you're welcome to join us.
Here's what I hope to accomplish at the meeting:
Discuss the current and future state of blogging in the bike industry.
Provide a knowledgeable forum of experts that can answer questions from both fellow bloggers and from interested newbies.
Share experiences that illustrate blogging's strengths and weaknesses.
Answer the question: Why should the bike industry start blogging?
Document those answers into a white paper on bike industry blogging.
Those are just off the top of my head...anybody have other ideas?
I read with interest a cover story titled: "Internet Sales, Marketing Continue to Blossom." It was a good article but I was quite surprised to not see blogs mentioned in any way, shape or form...not even a passing reference.
Does anyone else think this is strange? Haven't blogs had an affect on consumers' buying habits online?
According to a Marketing Sherpa survey from October 2004, when people were asked where they go online first to "find out more about a product or service," 64% of them said a search engine. Now, given that we all know how blogs are frequently among the top results for many search queries, I think this fact alone is testament to how blogs have affected e-commerce.
I know at least one webmaster from a major bike brand reads this blog. I'm curious as to how much inbound traffic they get to various product pages from blogs. I imagine it is more than a significant amount.
So which is it: Does a large part of the bike industry still not fully understand this new medium? Or are my glasses covered in blog fog, making it impossible to see the picture clearly?
"Skidstrong" is a new brand of fixed gear bikes and accessories that will target the messenger crowd. Gary Boulanger - Cycles Gaansari founder and former PR guy for Pacific Cycle - is launching the brand to:
"raise awareness and funding through the promotion and sales of fixed-gear bicycles, accessories, components and
clothing, for the Bicycle Messenger Emergency Fund (BMEF), a nonprofit organization established in 2001 to provide financial assistance to injured bicycle messengers around the world."
Proceeds from the sale of all products will benefit the BMEF and the bikes will be made in Ohio.