The Wolf Teaches Personal Branding

You never know where you’ll learn about PR, marketing and branding. I had a terrific reminder this week, while re-watching the movie, “Pulp Fiction.” It’s one of my favorites, and I practically have the script memorized. Yet I never realized that its characters provide fantastic lessons on the subject of personal branding. O.K. Bear with me. I know you’re wondering how John Travolta’s comeback movie taught anything. Trust me: Quentin Tarantino is a quirky producer who wove all sorts of lessons into that gritty film.

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Free Speech Pays

One of the best ways to expose decision-makers to your company is by developing a corporate speakers bureau program and putting your company’s most charismatic professionals in front of the industry.

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New Year-New Habit No. 2: Pick Up the Phone

Are you still lurking?

In the first post of my New Year-New Habit series, “Stop Lurking and Other Resolutions,” I suggested we cease lurking this year and start commenting on the digital content we intake. Try to build this good public relations and social media habit this week by:

  • Leaving one comment on a blog you read
  • Sharing two other articles with your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter communities

Easy steps, right? Here’s my second suggestion, which may get some of you out of your comfort zone. [Read more...]

Why Execution Is as Important as Innovation

It seems like no one can agree on the economy — and some of us are ready to #OccupyKlout this week — but everyone can agree that we love innovation. In my series about innovation and entrepreneurs, I talked with client Don Steiner, founder and president of Profit Recovery Partners LLC. PRP is a Remarx Media client that provides economic stimulus to CFOs today. Don stresses that innovation doesn’t happen in isolation; you have to deliver on your outstanding ideas with a well-honed team. Read on to learn more and let us know your comments and questions.

1.      How do you define innovation?

Innovation is thinking outside the box with commitment to execution.

2.      Give us an example of innovation within your organization this year.

Our reinvention is our best example. We examined our limits to growth with our current structure. We identified our limitations, restructured our company to find deeper savings, processed to achieve savings 200 percent faster, increased service to our clients, raised the bar for employees (through sales skills, presentation skills and strategic thinking) and now have a scalable organization. The execution of this is a two-year project changing the current function of 80 employees while maintaining the highest levels of service to our clients.

3.      How do you see the results of innovation created by PRP?

All innovations must have a plan, timeline and measurable results (revenue increase or reduction in cost).

4.      PRP often works with entrepreneurs. Tell us one story about how you made a difference to an entrepreneur.

Creating jobs. PRP has reduced costs for its clients, which have saved jobs and helped our clients fund growth.

5.      I hear you mix philanthropy with business. How is that part of innovation?

Yes, donations should be given to organizations that use the money wisely and have everlasting impact to improve people’s lives.

What are your thoughts on innovation? Comment here or tweet me at @remarx. And if you missed it last month, Michael J. Harris of Aperture Capital shared his thoughts about innovation. Read it here. 

Interview with Michael J. Harris, Aperture Capital, Aperture Payment Solutions

Last month, I kicked off our series on innovation by talking with Julie Evans, the chief executive officer at Project Tomorrow. This month, I interviewed client Michael J. Harris. He’s the chief at Aperture Capital and the newly formed Aperture Payment Solutions. I love what this highly disciplined exec has to say about innovation.

Michael J. Harris

1. How do you define innovation?
To me, “innovation” means inventing or finding creative solutions to problems. In my worlds of capital and merchant card services, the wheel has already been invented and re-invented about a million times over. It’s not about inventing the wheel for my Clients, it’s what wheel fits them best.

2. Give us an example of innovation within your organization this year.
Again, on the topic of finding the best solution for your Client, I really need to understand my Clients and their needs.  Every single deal is dramatically different.  My favorite account is one where the existing merchant card service provider was encouraging my Client to key in her transactions, vs. actually swiping the customer’s card.  All this did was to double his income from each sale he made.  Again, I wasn’t reinventing the wheel, just selling my Client on a better-fitting wheel.

3. How do you see the results of innovation created by Aperture Capital and Aperture Payment Solutions?
Integrity and “Doing the Best Thing for the Client” are tenets of my businesses. This invariably leads to happier clients, and happier clients lead to more happy client referrals – the lifeblood of my businesses.

4. Aperture Payment Solutions often works with entrepreneurs. Tell us one story about how you made a difference to an entrepreneur.
I brought in a client, who I thought was a single-account entity. Turns out, this client owns 10 retail shops around Southern California. Because I did such a good job in terms of pricing and service on the first location, I successfully brought on the entire family of accounts. It’s all about being good at what you do, and asking for the business.

5. Now for fun: What is your favorite mobile app?
Without a doubt, Pandora.

Radical Integration of Media: 30 Speakers, 15 questions, 60 Minutes

Today’s post is an invitation to The Future of Media: Radical Integration, a virtual event on Tuesday, Aug. 23, where I will be one of the speakers answering questions about the massive convergence taking place right now in pr, advertising and marketing.

This virtual event will feature 30 PR and communications experts, industry leaders and analysts in just 60 minutes. So in one hour, you’ll hear answers to important questions, such as:

  • Is advertising dead?
  • What is the new marketing mix?
  • How has social media changed our ability to generate earned media?
  • What does success look like in the era of radical integration?

You can register now for this free virtual event.  If you can’t make it, don’t worry: You will be sent the MP3 recording and a transcript of the event just for registering.

The webinar is being presented by Cision, and you can also follow it by liking their Facebook page and following @cision on Twitter and the conversation at #radmedia.

Hope to “see” you there!

The Five Vital Roles of a Headline-Worthy CEO

Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

“Our competitor gets all of the press. I don’t understand it. We’ve been in business longer, and have better products and services. We even get interviews – but few of them result in the kind of press we expect. What do we do?”

This situation is played out across America, in both small and large companies. CEOs in this situation could increase their public relations IQ to boost their company’s brand equity.

CEOs today must wear many hats: visionary, fundraiser, strategist and more. Now they can hang another title on the executive hat rack: business storyteller.

To carve out a prominent place among the media, chief executives must master the art of storytelling. No one is more believable than the CEO when presenting a company’s vision to the media. Yet a dull and drab interview can kill even the most newsworthy story.

Here are five characteristics of business storytelling that every CEO must master.

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