Crucial Online Promotion Tips from MyPRGenie

Online marketing takes time and effort, but it’s obviously a critical tool in today’s information-driven society. MyPRGenie has a team of experts well-versed in the world of online marketing and promotions.

Online promotions and marketing have obviously become crucial tools across the business spectrum. A recent survey released by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) and Econsultancy indicates that money will be shifted from other marketing venues to pay for search engine marketing efforts.

Just this year, more than $2 billion dollars are expected to shift from more traditional forms of marketing to online marketing efforts.

MyPRGenie features a wide variety of tools to help each business develop its own online newsroom that allows each release they create to be automatically tagged and search engine ready for the World Wide Web.

These online efforts will help each company increase exposure by reaching a wider and more diverse audience. Here are a few helpful tips from MyPRGenie on how to begin the online promotions process:

1. Set up a website

Think of this as a base of operations–all online promotions should bring the customer back to your website. An account on Facebook or Twitter can also be effective, and free. But they shouldn’t be used in isolation; they should be tools to draw audiences to your website.

2. Optimization

Search engine optimization boosts your website’s ranking in online searches, such as with Google. By utilizing keywords and links to well-traveled websites on your own web pages, you can boost your ranking. See my “in-house” blog for specific SEO tips, at

3. Social media

Social media marketing can produce wonderful results. Set up an account on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube; make interesting posts regularly; and link your followers back to your website.

4. I’d prefer to pay

Many websites offer inexpensive online advertising, such as Google Adwords. Just make sure that the websites where your advertisements appear are reaching your target audiences.


MyPRGenie’s Top 5 Tips for Social Media Marketing

A lot of people are talking about how social media can help promote today’s businesses. Every business looking to gain web presence by using social media needs to start off with these essentials tips.

1. Blog your business identity
When you first hear about a company what do you do? You Google it. Creating and constantly updating a blog for your business is a staple in establishing brand identity. As of last year, 77 percent of all Internet users read blogs. So there is a huge possibility that your potential customers will be reading your blog to understand the values behind your enterprise, how credible your company is and whether or not they’d like to do business with you.

2. The tweet is sweet
A great way to incorporate the human element into your brand identity is to set up a company Twitter account. If you’re offering a service, tweeting tips and advice about your industry makes you the expert. People will more likely want to buy from an expert.

3. Facebook or LinkedIn or Both?
Linkedin is an important professional
social media tool, so you shouldn’t be without it. While LinkedIn highlights your professional assets, a Facebook page represents another opportunity for you to get your brand out there. Both are excellent PR moves to significantly increase your brand online. However, they should not replace your website or online news room.

4. You too can YouTube
YouTube is no longer just a place to watch music videos and funny viral videos, now it’s a widely used tool to market one’s company.
Coca Cola, Geico and Walt Disney all have YouTube channels, and so do many small businesses. In the digital age that we live in, it’s no longer a picture that speaks a thousand words, but a 10-minute video that projects loudly. Think of what your company stands for and why customers should choose you over your competitors. This is the message to push on YouTube. Create a channel and upload videos of interviews, clips and events that best exemplify why your company is better than the rest.

5. Stay on top of things
The biggest mistake you can make after configuring your company’s social media essentials-the blog and signups for Twitter Facebook, YouTube and other sites — is to forget to remain current. It’s important to update consistently, network often and offer fresh content. Make a goal to write at least 2-3 blog posts at a time and then post them periodically through the week.

MyPRGenie Announces Ten Tips for a Winning Press Release

Ten Winning Tips from MyPRGenie

More and more small businesses are bypassing traditional PR methods for the more efficient option of online press release distribution and SEO, provided by services like MyPRGenie. With that trend in mind, MyPRGenie has come up with a top-10 list of tips for writing press releases.

Bookmark and Share

Top 10 Press-Release Writing Tips

10. Always include the basic information:

Every press release should include the name of a person to contact for more information, along with his or her job title, phone number(s) and e-mail address. You should also include a dateline—the date of the press release and the town or city where the news is occurring, a headline that briefly summarizes the news and an “about us” paragraph that summarizes the subject of the press release, providing background information on the company or person or event, including website(s) where the reader can go for more information.

9. Avoid jargon:

Don’t assume that your audience will understand technical language or industry terms. More often than not, they won’t. Write as if you are describing your news to a fifth grader.

8. Get to the point:

Also keep in mind that your reader probably has very little patience. Draw them in with a lead paragraph that is both catchy and brief, summing up the story or giving them enough of a taste that they will want to read on.

7. Spelling counts:

So does grammar. It may not be fair, but typos and writing slipups reflect poorly on you and your credibility. So make sure you double- and triple-check for mistakes, and an extra set of eyes is always recommended. Even the best editors need editors.

6. The five Ws:

As the Journalism 101 professors will tell you, a news story should answer the questions of who, what, when, where, why and how? Answer those questions in your press release.

5. Watch your words:

Make sure that every fact in your press release can be verified, and that every person or company named in your release has given their permission for what you are writing about them. Don’t embellish—your readers will sniff it out, and you’ll be discredited.

4. People count:

When possible, try to include people in your story. People are more interesting than processes or inanimate objects, and readers relate to other people. If you can, include a personal anecdote or description of how your news affects people, including the readers.

3. Use quotes:

Direct quotations from the key people involved in the news of your press release–provided those quotes are conversational and interesting–help draw the reader in. Make sure they are brief and don’t sound as if they were written by a contract attorney.

2. Answer the question:

“What is the news here?” Keep in mind that your audience is a journalist or website reader who is interested in the news story that you are hopefully delivering through your press release. They will not respond to a sales pitch or a lecture. Build your story around a news hook, or the reason that this is news: an upcoming event, an award, a milestone, an announcement, or the release of a new product or service, for example.

1. Just the facts, ma’am:

Get to the point, and don’t let florid descriptive language get in the way of the story. You’ve only got 400 words or so to tell your story, so make every word count.

Online Advertising Enters a Golden Age

Ultra Light Panel on Online Advertising

Jonathan Hsu, CEO of 24/7 Real Media, indicated that people working within the online advertising industry are definitely in the right field at the right time.

“Online advertising is heading for a Great Golden Age,” said Hsu. “And it will keep building momentum for at least the next 21 months.”

Hsu made up an all-star Ultra Light Startups panel at the NYU Polytechnic Incubator on Thursday night where the topic was online advertising.

Ultra Light Panel:

Hsu told the assembled group that it’s easier than ever to get into the online advertising business – but it’s harder than ever to create real wealth and score a huge buy out.

One of the major topics of the evening was direct response vs. brand advertising. Dean Harris indicated that direct response about getting people to buy a product as soon as they see the ad, while brand ads are more relevant for building awareness and sales at a later date.

Anand Subramanian agreed saying that brand advertisers are more committed to pushing out a message rather than a specific product. He also referenced the emergence and continued profitability of online video advertising.

Jonathan Hsu says that the conversion away from traditional media advertising won’t happen overnight, because that’s still where ad agencies are making the majority of their money, but the writing is on the wall.

Brian O’Kelley was revered by the panel as being the father of the advertising exchange while CTO at Right Media (acquired by Yahoo in 2007). Hsu remarked that he considered AppNexus, O’Kelley’s startup, as the smartest play in the online advertising space today.

The panel closed the evening by reiterating the incredible opportunities available in the online advertising and how the industry is headed for unprecedented growth.

Social Media Drives Site Traffic, Not Direct Sales

The ROI is the delivery of potential customers, not direct sales

There is a great deal of discussion about social media and its role in business these days. A common misperception revolves around what the ROI, “Return on Investment” is supposed to be from a Social Media Campaign.

The purpose of social media, in its current form, is to drive eyeballs to your website. This means driving traffic to your site – What your site does once those people arrive on your site is up to you and your marketing expertise. There is a world of difference between company exposure and direct sales.

This going is going to be hard for many business leaders to understand. Social Media Campaigns are designed to generate interest and traffic – NOT TO SELL! This needs repeating, so here we go again…

Social Media drives the traffic, someone else must be tasked to sell.

Experienced Social Media consultants will help you drive traffic to your site. That’s not the same as direct sales, nor should it be. If you confuse the two roles, both parties will eventually walk away from the deal feeling like they have been taken advantage of.

Many so-called social media experts are into this “New Media” for the short hall, because they are not up front about the limitations of social media. I’ve had many a business owner ask what good is social media if it doesn’t produce direct sales.

The answer is really quite simple. Potential customers who visit your site due to social media efforts may or may not choose to buy your products or services. BUT, these are potential customers who found your company because of the social media campaign in the first place.

Think of social media as a large expo or conference, companies attend these functions to gain exposure, not necessarily to sell right there on the spot. So before you undertake a social media campaign, determine what you really hope to gain. If your company needs nothing but quick-strike sales, then it is more prudent to spend your money on another strategy.

How Social Media Shapes Society, Business

ULS presents: February Entrepreneur's Forum

Bookmark and Share

Keeping in line with Social Media Week, Ultra Light Startups brought in four experts to discuss the rapidly changing world of social media for this month’s entrepreneurs forum.

This month’s panelists included:
Bryan Hamilton with Razorfish
Dan Maccarone with Hard Candy Shell
Alex Rainert with kgweb
Christopher-Ian Reichel with Viacom/MTV Networks

The panel broke down several questions including: What is a social website?
What makes a site social? Why people participate online?

The panel pointed out that eventually, people would be forced to understand that the very concept of privacy is changing because of social media. The concept of privacy is changing daily as the information highway gathers more and more data.

The panel addressed the fact that staging a social media campaign has never been easier because of powerful platforms such a Facebook and Twitter. However, just because the tools are available, doesn’t mean anyone should rush into it. The panel says that there are a variety of things to consider before launching any social media campaign. For instance, if your company sells lawn mower parts, is it really necessary to really have a social media strategy in the first place?

Bryan Hamilton with Razorfish says it’s important to set goals before undertaking any social media campaign. Map out the people, businesses or community where you want to direct your efforts. Once priorities have been set, then decide how you want to reach them.

Once your social media network is up and running, Alex Rainert with kgweb says business owners must find ways to get their users to interact with them. He says that customer/user feedback is critical to keep any site moving forward. Rainert says the feedback should be used to shape and mold the most effective message possible.

Dan Maccarone with Hard Candy Shell singled out Twitter and Foursquare as particularly worthwhile because with those platforms, one gets to choose who they interact with. Bryan Hamilton added that one should be very wary of their first 10,000 users, because they are the people who will shape and define each site.

Dan Maccarone advised new businesses to you use Facebook, because it’s already established and you are more likely to find people the people you are trying to reach.

Later, during the question and answer session, someone asked if there was room for a new social media network, besides Facebook or Twitter?

There was some disagreement, but the consensus was that someone might come up with a better site than Facebook. However, overtaking a site like Facebook wouldn’t happen overnight, because the site is already linked in (no pun intended) with a wide variety of partners and social media sites.

Toyota Praying for a PR Miracle

Toyota issues a public apology, but is it too late?

Bookmark and Share

The embattled Toyota Motor Corporation is pulling out all the stops on a massive public relations campaign to stop the bleeding from weeks of negative press.

The once stellar Toyota image may have been permanently tarnished by widespread recalls amid reports that multiple models of cars and trucks have accelerators that stick.

Jim Lentz, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Sales was on the Today Show this morning trying to talk his way out of this Public Relations nightmare and Toyota ran full page ads in several national newspapers this weekend trying to undue the national breakdown in trust.

This PR blitz comes on the heels of a federal investigation into the Indiana manufacturer that sold the “reportedly” faulty accelerators to Toyota and other automakers.

It’s too early to tell if this PR campaign will be successful. Lentz insists that from here on out, Toyota is going to take great care of its customers. However, even if that happens, Toyota has a long road to travel before any true customer confidence is restored.

Harvard Business School Putting Social Media to the Test

Brian Kenny, CMO of Harvard Business School

Brian Kenny, the Chief Marketing Officer for Harvard Business School (HBS) was in New York City this week to discuss his professional journey into the world of social media. He says HBS is actually embracing the behavioral shift brought on by social media and that the school is going to great lengths to harness viral marketing opportunities.

HBS is using social media for a variety of endeavors including publicizing faculty work, reaching out to potential students, customer service and event promotion.

However, with any social media program, there is some risk involved. Kenny says at first, it was difficult for the university to understand that successful social media efforts involve giving up a certain amount of control.

There are going to be events that garner negative attention and there will be people who post negative comments. The goal is to be involved enough in the social media spectrum, so that you can steer negative attention or press into a more positive venue.

Turning a negative into a positive, is often the best way to deal with a bad situation that is generating unfavorable press.

Kenny also spoke about Buzz versus Risk making the following four points:

  • Social Media is not just another marketing and communications channel
  • Technology is not social, people are social
  • Go to where the communities already exist
  • Embrace the shift, but pay attention to your brand in the realm of social media

PR, Branding, and Buzz in New York City

Date Thursday, January 7, 2009
Time 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Location Sun Microsystems
Address 101 Park Avenue, 4th floor
New York, NY 10017

Topics:                               Bookmark and Share

Why is brand important to a tech startups?

What difference does a good (or bad) brand make for the likelihood of a startup’s success?

How important is a good name and domain name for your startup? How do you come up with a good name?

When is it worth it to buy a domain name?

What is PR / public relations? How is it different from marketing?

What is buzz? How can it be generated and sustained?

What is the purpose of PR for a startup?

How does PR and branding fit into an overall marketing strategy?

When should a startup focus on PR rather than other marketing priorities (social media marketing, traditional media, CPC, CPM, etc)

Interacting with the press – targeting publications/journalists, writing pitches, developing press packets, etc.

When to hire a PR agency vs. do it yourself.

What are some success stories of tech startups using PR to their advantage? Horror stories of bad PR?

John Adams, Founder of BizBriefs (Moderator)


Lloyd Trufelman, Founder and CEO of Trylon SMR
Karl Schmieder, Founder of MessagingLab
Rachel Honig, Managing Director, G.S. Schwartz & Co.
Todd Barrish, Managing Director of LaunchSquad

Ultra Light Startups to Spotlight PR, Branding, and Buzz

January 2010 Entrepreneur's Forum

January 2010 Entrepreneur's Forum

On January 7, 2010, Ultra Light Startups is hosting an expert panel on PR, Branding, and Buzz. After six months of covering and blogging about the various events put on by Ultra Light Startups, I’m now pleased to actively participate and moderate the first Entrepreneur’s Forum of the upcoming new year.

Our panel of experts will include:
Todd Barrish, Managing Director, LaunchSquad
Rachel Honig, Managing Direct, G.S. Schwartz & Co.
Karl Schmieder, Founder, MessagingLab
Lloyd Trufelman, Founder of Trylon SMR, publisher of NYConvergence

PR, Branding, and Buzz are terms that have various and ever changing meanings as the “new media” technology evolves around each one of us. Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, WordPress and LinkedIn seem to launch a new application or sharing tool almost every week.

My company, Bizbriefs, has used many of these tools in conjunction with one another to help various businesses boost their SEO rankings and divert more attention to their websites.

What I’ve found is that it’s not how you use one of these social media tools by themselves, but how you can link them together and start a viral campaign with a targeted audience.

Every business owner seems to have a favorite social media site, just one that they feel most comfortable using. However, not using other site options to support their efforts, means losing out on potential prospects and future customers.

In conducting several social media campaigns during the past three years, I’ve learned that there are certain steps you should take before just diving in.

  1. You have to identify the true audience your customers are trying to reach first.
  2. Once that’s done, you must craft the message or the image that each company wants to portray to the online community.

Too many times, companies want you to just get started, without knowing the message they want to deliver or what audience they hope to reach.

To learn more about branding, buzz and PR strategies, join us at for the first Entrepreneur’s Forum in 2010 sponsored by Ultra Light Startups.