Great Publicity Links

Are you looking for some ideas related to Public Relations?

Here is a list of links that can help you to find media companies all across the nation (and some internationally).

If you’re looking for print publications, try your local library for these:

  • Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media 2013
  • National Directory of Corporate Public Affairs: A Profile of the Public and government Affairs Programs and Executives in America’s Most Influential Corporations
  • The Standard Periodical Directory 2015: The Most Comprehensive and Authoritative Guide to United States and Canadian Periodicals (2015)
  • Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory 2012: International Periodicals Information
  • Working Press of the Nation
  • National newspaper directory and gazetteer Author: Firm Pettingill Publication
  • Gebbie Press 2015 All-In-One Media Directory
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Are You Tired of Spam?

What system can you set up that will allow you to deflect spam and receive important email messages from people and companies that you care about? I’ve been thinking about how to reduce the amount of time I spend grazing through spam to get to my important, real email messages. Certainly there are spam filters, black boxes, challenge systems, and more. But I’ve come to believe that most of the spam I get happens because I was careless about who I gave my email address to over the years and where I’ve published it. So I’ve been thinking that it might be a good idea to have two email addresses, my real one and an alias. Let me explain how this could be helpful. Think about what you use email for…

The Email I Want Contains:

Personal Communications
Business Communications
Subscriptions That I Like

The Email I Don’t Want Contains:

Subscriptions That I Don’t Like

What Are The Problems?

I often use my email address to subscribe to new email lists who turn out to be less than expected. They either don’t deliver on their promise or turn out to be spammy marketers.

Often the people behind email subscription lists are spammers and will never opt you out even if you ask them to. There is no way to know this the first time you opt in to an email subscription or list.

Sometimes I meet people who I give my email address to and they turn out to be “spammy”. They email me more often than I’d like or they add my email address to lists I don’t want be on.

I’ve often published my email address online. Spammers harvest email addresses online and replicate or sell them to other spammers.

What Are Some Solutions?

1. Never publish your real email address on a website. Use contact forms instead.

2. Besides your real email address, create an “alias email address ” at Yahoo or Gmail (or create an alias on your domain name) that you use for any subscriptions or that you give out to people you are just getting to know. Only give your real email to trusted friends and important prospects or clients.

3. Check your alias once or twice per week just to see how things are going and to see if you are happy with what is being sent to you there.

4. If you are happy with a subscription you can then change the subscription to your real email address (the one you check every day). If the person you gave your alias email address to is courteous and hasn’t turned into a spammer, you can send them your real email address.

Now you’ll have an easy way to evaluate a subscription or a person you aren’t sure about giving your email address to before they actually have your real email address. You’ll also avoid having your real email address scraped from a website somewhere online.

Another thing you can do is to create an email forward from your alias to your real email address so that everything comes to one place. Than if you find out that something or someone you gave your email to is a spammer and you can’t get off their list, you can create a rule that stops their email messages from coming (and remember, you’ve never given them your real email address).

How Do You Get Started?spam not

Well, this is a problem for many people (me being one of them) because you have so many old friends who have your email and you don’t want to risk missing communications from them. If you are just getting started using email (unlikely) then it’s easier. If you are starting a new job it can be easier too because a new email comes along with your new job and you can get a fresh start. In any even, if spam is just eating away at your day and your time, you might consider starting over with a new email address (well, actually, two of them :-)) and letting only your best friends and most important customers know the real one.

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Importance of Local Search Explained

Local search is more important than every before.  Most small businesses don’t understand how their listings evolve.  Although this is not a recommendation of Localeze, I like their infographic.

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3M Getting It Right

I saw a commercial last night about 3M’s Command Brand picture hanging hooks and strips.  It was one of the times that a brand got marketing right, starting with the domain name, “”. So often you see marketers create products and product names without considering whether a domain name is available to match.  What a mistake! Well, they didn’t do that.  The product and brand name, Command is matched by the website, The domain passes my six point domain name test:

  1.     It’s Short.
  2.     It’s Easy To Spell
  3.     It Contains No numbers
  4.     It Contains No tricks (4U or 2U, etc.)
  5.     It’s Memorable
  6.     It Ends With .com

And it just begins there.  3M got everything right. When you go to their web site, it:

  1. Has a Great Unique Sales Proposition (USP). The question is “Why us? (It’s 3M!).
  2. Is Business Channel Appropriate.
  3. Is a Clean Site.
  4. Is Easy-To-Navigate.
  5. Contains a Site Map (All Products Page With Categories).
  6. Uses Good “Searchandizing.”
  7. Has Professional Product Images.
  8. Has Professional People Images.
  9. Is Professionally-Written Product Information (Good Copy Content).
  10. Shows You Where You Can Buy The Products (Since 3M Is Not A Retail Company).
  11. Has a Prominent Email List Sign-Up Form (Proper Follow-Up-Marketing).
  12. Uses Promotions And Coupons With Expiration Dates (Why You Should Buy Now).
  13. Has Matching Social Network Profiles (To Build Audience).
  14. Uses Video.
  15. Has A Mobile-Friendly Site.
  16. Contains an About Us Page (3M Missed This One – Maybe Because They’re B2B).
  17. Has Terms, Contact Us, Faqs, And Privacy Policy Pages.
  18. Offers Their Own Easy-To-Use Product Review Capability.

I am going to create a series of posts analyzing and teaching on each of these topics over the coming weeks.  Stay tuned.

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Amway – $13B – Avon $12B in Sales. Is MLM/Direct Sales a Good Thing?

There has been some controversy in the last year about the direct selling model in business. I have friends who won’t even consider a product sold through this method. The industry suffers bruising on a regular basis. In some ways, I don’t blame them.

1.) We’ve all had the uncomfortable experience felt when a friend or relative is trying to recruit you into an MLM company.
2.) Many distributors are very unprofessional.
3.) Most distributors fail.
4.) Prices are often higher than similar style products in stores.
5.) In the 1970s, Amway went through years of government hearings, claiming the same.
6.) Just this past year, high profile investor, Bill Ackman, dogged and shorted Herbalife, calling them a pyramid scheme.

But numbers don’t lie and both Amway and Avon are examples of companies who have used MLM and direct selling to build huge global businesses. If you look closely at the model, you can see advantages to using direct sales as a way to reach out to consumers. Think of these things…

1.) All companies have salespeople and salespeople often push people beyond their comfort levels. This is just the nature of relationships. When we’re confronted by someone in direct sales, it is usually our own prejudices that make us uncomfortable. We sort of make our minds up before even hearing anything. I’ve sort of gotten over that uncomfortableness. I just ask early on who they represent and, if I’m not interested, I let them know right away.

There have, however, been some scenarios where I have been interested. I joined right away, not because I want to recruit thousands of distributors, but because it’s a great product and a great idea. You can mail out personalized greeting cards right from your computer; no post office trip necessary. I love it and I consider the cost of starting up the same as I would the cost of a software license that would do the same thing. If someone wants to become a distributor for me, I’m happy to sign them up, but I don’t make my living at it. SendOutCards is doing great however using a traditional MLM / direct sales model. One thing that I like about my experience there is that, although they encourage distributors, I haven’t been dogged. I have very normal and professional  relationships with my “upline”.

2. & 3.) Surely there are tacky direct salespeople in MLM and direct marketing; a lot of them. But isn’t that a mirror of the world in general? I’ve encountered tacky car salespeople and tacky cell phone salespeople and tacky retail tradesmen. They’re all over the place; maybe just a percent higher in MLM. But regarding the idea that most MLM salespeople fail, isn’t that a mirror of business in general? Why do people who criticize direct marketing bring this up when it is a well known fact that only 5 percent of businesses started are still in business 5 years later regardless of the marketing methods they use? In fact, the percent goes down to about 1 percent successful after 10 years. The success of direct sales or MLM distributors is no less than business in general.

In addition to that, MLM companies regularly contract with and train people who can’t get hired elsewhere for various reasons. And many of those reasons are not really all legitimate. There are tons of highly intelligent and professional people who don’t have a four-year college degree and who are passed over because of that. Direct marketing companies hire* these people regularly and give them quality sales and marketing training. Many very successful business owners all around the country got their start as a “failed” Amway distributor or as a direct salesperson in some MLM company. MLM companies should be credited with helping many people who wouldn’t have a chance in hell in regular corporate America. But that’s usually ignored by critics.

4.) Prices are often higher for direct sales and MLM companies, but why are they criticized for that? What country are we from, Communist North Korea? Companies regularly price their products to cover the cost of sales. If the cost of sales includes a commission structure around an MLM system, then that’s just what it is. Do we criticize Proctor and Gamble for pricing their products to pay for sales, distribution, and marketing costs? No. This is a silly argument that is often used against the MLM industry.

Many online marketers today promote a “high priced product”. This is perfectly justified. Many entrepreneurs fail because they underestimate the value of what they bring to the table. There is nothing wrong with pricing your products to include the cost of sales. For that matter, there is nothing wrong with pricing your product at any price you wish. Natural markets, customers, and competition will decide whether you’re product is worth it or not for you.

5. & 6.) Amway came through that government inquiry intact. Likely they are a better company for having gone through that fire. Bill Ackman just doesn’t understand MLM and direct marketing. I’m not a big fan of Herbalife and he has many valid critiques of the company in his very long report. But the fact is that his report shows obvious prejudice and ignorance of what makes a direct marketing company tick. He is a big Wall Street, ivory tower, snob who doesn’t have a clue about the little guy looking for a job. He also has a great interest in seeing Herbalife fail (He has “shorted” the stock which means he gains if their stock loses).

MLM companies and the people behind them often save the lives (financially speaking) of the little guy. That’s a lot more than what Wall Street will do people. Does Wall Street hire the high school graduate, the college drop-out, the recent divocee or housewife looking for part time work while she raises her kids, or recent immigrant? No way, they ignore them. And MLM and direct sales companies prosper during hard times by giving these people a chance and by training them on how to succeed in life. They teach them how to work hard and to envision success and they give them role models and encouragement. There’s a ton that they do for thier recruits.

So, for those of you who are in multi-level marketing, be proud. Thank companies like Amway and Avon, who have been through the fire and have come out very successfully and learn from what they do. Don’t go broke trying though. There may be a time for you to get out. It’s ok. But be proud of what you accomplished and learned while you were there. And if you succeed, God bless you. And if you don’t, it’s ok. There is life after MLM. And if you just don’t care for the MLM lifestyle, just say so and stay out of it. But don’t bag on an entire industry and a very successful business model because it isn’t for you.

*Note: Often they are not actually “hired” but contracted as Independent Contractors.

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For Job Seekers: The Internet Matters Less Than You Think

I agree with this article 100%…

If you’re looking for a job, chances are you’ve updated your social media profiles to make sure your on-screen introduction will entice potential employers. While LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can all play important roles… there’s no substitute for face-to-face contact.

Here’s a look at the breakdown of how more than 500 US and Canadian respondents indicate that they will find their next position:

50 percent – networking
22 percent – job boards
19 percent – agency/recruiter
8 percent – direct approach
1 percent – newspaper/periodical…

Read the story… | Source: Professional Convention Management Association | Date posted: 2/15/2013

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China Eclipses U.S. as Biggest Trading Nation

chinaIt was bound to happen sooner or later…

China surpassed the U.S. to become the world’s biggest trading nation last year as measured by the sum of exports and imports of goods, official figures from both countries show.

U.S. exports and imports of goods last year totaled $3.82 trillion, the U.S. Commerce Department said last week. China’s customs administration reported last month that the country’s trade in goods in 2012 amounted to $3.87 trillion…

Read the story… | Source: Bloomberg | Date posted: 2/11/2013

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Top 10 Stories of 2012

I subscribe to the Online Publishers newsletter. They send out a daily email that is hard to resist reading because it always contains important insights on the direction of publishing, advertising, and the Internet. Below is a summary of their most important stories of 2012. Click through for the details:

2012 was a big year for publishers in navigating the rapidly shifting sands of digital media. Monetizing content became less about the promise of pay walls and more about the concrete success of them. And mobile delivery – of both content and advertising – became an ingrained part of most publishing strategies, with some big wins and a lot of expectations. The year also brought two big boosts to traffic and ad revenues: the presidential election and the Summer Olympic Games. In 2013, big data is going to give publishers an edge, once they get a handle on all the metrics. While new viewability standards bring new hoops to jump through, they also provide more accountability to advertisers. It was another year of of big change and challenges, but change for good and challenges met. Here’s to another exciting, promising year in publishing in 2013!

1. Pay walls become de rigueur
2. Online video comes to the fore
3. Elections make rain for media biz
4. Olympics boost ad revenues
5. Mobile ownership, expectations soar
6. Native advertising rises
7. Big Data gets bigger
8. Facebook: a roller coaster year
9. A new plan for measuring viewability
10. Newsweek ends print run

Read the story… | Source: | Date posted: 12/28/2012

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Ninety Percent of 18 to 29 Year-Olds Sleep Near Their Phones issued an interesting infographic on a study of our behavior with smartphones and found that the large majority of 18 to 29 year-olds sleep near (or with) their smartphones.  The infographic points out that this probably isn’t a good trend and that people are getting less sleep.  It goes to my point that our phones are becoming somewhat of an “exo-brain”, required for us to function to our full capacity (not that I think this is a good thing either; just seems to be a fact).

The take-away for marketers is that we need to be doing things that make our websites easier to access via smartphones.  Our Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin presences are taken care of. But what about our company and business websites?  What about our landing pages and email messages?  Have you looked at how they look on an iPhone or Samsung phone?

Consider it.

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Infographic – Text Marketing Survey

Text Marketing SurveyText marketing is one of the next frontiers in marketing. It represents a huge opportunity of next-generation consumers and is being used by more and more people every day. Short Messaging Services (SMS) and text alerts, when used properly are a great way to communicate with your clients and potential customers. It can be especially valuable in a local marketing situation.

For example, restaurants and bars are using text marketing to fill their establishments at off-hours. Some companies are even springing up that can use geo-location technology to send out a text for a special discount to potential clients when an opt-in prospect is within a mile or so of their establishment.

However, it is important to understand the tool’s proper use. If marketers are not sensitive to the attitudes of consumers, it will end up being over-regulated and useless.

UK-based SMS company, Textmarketer, has released a nice infographic representing consumer attitudes from a survey of 1368 consumers. The survey revealed that, in some cases, consumers prefer to be contacted by text. It also showed that consumers like easy opt-outs.

View the infographic… | Source: | Date posted: 8/3/2012

Text Marketing Survey

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