Thursday, June 27, 2013

It’s worth paying for…..

By: Susan Finco, President, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

There are some things in life that are just worth paying for. It’s true for your personal life. It’s also true in business.  I got to thinking about this after several friends had challenging home remodeling experiences and, around the same time, a fellow business owner asked me about a situation they were facing.  

All initially thought they could “do it themselves” but, in the end, they realized it was better to pay an expert to do it and do it right.  I’ve been there myself.  You think you’ll save some money or time and that you know “enough” to get it done.  Whether it’s payroll, filing taxes or fixing a leaky pipe; it’s always good to know your limitations. My worth paying for list includes:

  • Plumbers. Water. Everywhere. Need I say more?
  • Electricians (This one could be a life or death decision. You don’t want to mess with electricity or building codes.) 
  • Accountants (Worth the price when paying business or personal taxes, doing payroll, filling out government estimating sheets, etc.)
  • Lawyers (Ditto for reasons mentioned above. Also in your personal life, pay an attorney for legal issues you may face (wills to lawsuits).  Do it yourself generally doesn’t work out well.
  • Realtors.  Yes, I know a number of people who’ve successfully and quickly bought/sold their own homes. They’re the exception rather than the rule.  Find a good realtor and you’ll find you’ll be happier with the outcome.

And of course, being in the PR business, I’d like to say it’s also worth paying for PR services. Yes, you can do it yourself. But, again, unless you truly know what you’re doing, the results usually won’t be what you hoped for or expected.   We often receive calls from businesses and organizations that tried it on their own, and realized hiring the right PR service can make a world of difference.

So what are your “it’s worth paying for” services?  Agree or disagree with my list?  Let us know what you think!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer’s Here! Time for family fun

By: Cole Buergi, VP of Business Development, Leonard & Finco Public Relations 

June 21st marks the official start of summer and hopefully warmer temperatures will arrive as well. It’s also the time of year that many parents are seeking fun activities or vacation spots to keep their family busy for the summer. Many will turn to social media to find events and activities or the newest, hot vacation spot.

As a business, it’s important to take advantage of social media to reach out to current and potential clients to highlight features and attractions you may be offering.

Possible items to highlight include: 
  •  Announcing featured events or activities
  • Special pricing offers
  • Group rate discounts
  • New amenities
  • Tips regarding a product or service you provide
  • New or featured menu items
  • Airfare and hotel opportunities
If you’re not using social media to help promote your business, you should consider doing so. Whether it’s Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or some other tool, it definitely should be included in your marketing “tool box” alongside the traditional marketing activities you typically do.

A word of caution: No matter what social media platform you use, make sure you are being relevant to your audience and engaging in the conversation. A quick way to turn away followers is to focus on selling your product instead of providing insight and thoughtfulness to the conversation.

So let the summer fun begin and I hope everyone has a successful summer.

Also, feel free to share your summer activities or social media sites you use to choose your summer activities.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mind your business - have an effective communication strategy

By: Angela Raleigh, Senior Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.
No matter how hard you try, how loudly you shout, or how often you email the media if you don’t have a communication strategy in place you may not get the results you hope for. 

So what’s the secret to building a successful PR campaign? The best PR plans are simple and have effective communication between your business, customers and target audiences. Here are some tips to consider when developing your communication strategy.

Build relationships:  Build trusted relationships with the media by offering them useful and accurate information to show your expertise and that you are a reliable source. A long-term relationship with the media is much more valuable than short-term success.

Make sure your news is newsworthy:  The media is looking for information that will be of interest to their readers and/or viewers. News releases are a great way to get the word out about business success. But it’s important to remember the golden rule of quality over quantity…news should be distributed to your target audience regularly, but not too often. You don’t want to bombard the media with a lot of information one month and then not distribute any news releases for the next few months. A good plan takes into account regular distributions to keep your brand in the news. 

Utilize social media:  Ever successful PR strategy should utilize some form of social media. News travels fast via social networks, so when you have success with traditional media make sure you include links to your coverage on your company website and social networks to cross promote your efforts.

Monitor and track your progress:  On a regular basis monitor the news and review your PR objectives to make sure they are still relevant and, if needed, make adjustments. Be creative in planning for future news. Celebrate successes and learn from activities that did not go as planned. A successful strategy will track past activities, document the status of current activities and outline upcoming activities.

So there you have it, tips on developing a communications strategy that will help build effective communication between your business, customers and target audiences. And remember be flexible and adaptable because the PR world is constantly changing.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Is Big Brother Checking Who You’re Calling?

By: Scott Stein, VP of Client Services, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

Rarely a day goes by lately without some report of another effort by the Federal government to secretly collect phone records. We’ve recently heard about the phone records of the Associated Press and Fox News. Now, there’s word that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been collecting the phone data of ALL Verizon customers inside the U.S. since late April.

The leaked court order showed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court gave the OK to order Verizon to produce “all call detail records” or communications between the U.S. and abroad or wholly within the U.S., including local telephone calls. 

I’m not a Verizon customer, but I’ve probably called someone with that service in the last month or so. I’m pretty sure the Federal government wouldn’t be interested in the fact that I called a family member or friend during that time. Quite frankly, my phone calls aren’t all that interesting even to me.

It’s troubling, however, that a court can say it’s OK for the Federal government to secretly obtain these records from a private business just as I find it troubling that I can’t really drive down, or walk along, the street without a camera monitoring my actions.

I understand the argument that all of these actions are taken, nationally and locally, in the name of security. But when is enough enough? When have we given up too many of our Freedoms and our privacy?

Are you troubled by the latest revelations of the Feds collecting phone records? Are you OK with these steps “in the name of security.” Let us know what you think.