Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Art Of Corporate Gift Giving Ideas

Writen by Stephen N

Corporate gift giving ideas are best discussed within the company level. Gift giving can be a touchy issue and it will be great to have another colleague(s) to brain storm it. The benefits of corporate gift giving can never be underestimated and its time to put on your thinking cap. Very often that customer is also shared by another colleague in the company. Your colleague might have sent the customer a gift before and by now have some knowledge about the customer personal tastes or interests.

Once your colleague has agreed to your suggestion to send the customer a gift, with the combined budget, the choice of gift is probably limited by ones' imagination. Isn't a better choice to present a uniquely memorable gift than to present 2 ordinary gifts from the same company?

Corporate gift giving ideas should adhere the following concerns:

1) Timing of gift
That well sought customer of yours is probably an Anchor customer to another rival company. Everybody budget for gift can never be the same and it is best not to send your gift within that same working week. Worst, if your gift is heaven and earth apart in comparison! Although this is a very difficult question to answer but with some efforts through getting to know your customer better daily, subtle hints can generate a wealth of knowledge about your customer for your benefits.

2) Gift policy
It is better to be safe than sorry in checking out the gift policy of your own company and the customer. You might be new in this company and what is being practiced in your previous company might not be applicable to the present company. Incurring personal expense and yet against your company policy can be detrimental for career advancement.

Most companies have some sort of gift policy for the recipient. It is probably set on the number or the value of the gift. Others can be vague and define it as a "token" gift. In some extreme, no gift is allowed !

3) Desired gift
The effort of getting a desired gift out-weights a less desirable gift for the relationship building. Since the intention is clear, might as well make it a superb corporate gift giving idea to the delight of the customer! How, you will wonder? Well, can you still remember that perfect timing of the gift for the customer birthday through constant conversations and subtle information gathering questions? Am glad this suggestion brings a smile to your face!

Basically the above are just some of the corporate gift giving ideas which you knew but just didn't find time to polish it to perfection to bring your relationship with your customers to the highest degree.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Wrong Time To Write A Press Release

Writen by Angie Dixon

Is there ever a wrong time to try to get free publicity for your company, product, or service?

Oh, yeah.

The "wrong" time isn't just about bad days of the week, like Monday morning, or bad times of the year, like Christmas Eve.

The wrong time I'm referring to is more internal.

Let's say you're almost finished with your web site. It will be up next week, and you're almost ready to start taking orders. Is that the time to send out a press release? After all, everything will be ready by the time the press release hits. And you do want to get your press release out as early as possible so you can capitalize on the free traffic.

Don't do it. Do not, under any circumstances, send out a press release before you have everything in place and have tested it at least three times.

Just recently I was going to send out a release about one of my sites, but decided to wait until I'd made a minor change to the report signup form.

That "minor" change threw my entire web site into disarray and it took over five hours to get it back up. This was a live web site. I had to put up a "technical difficulties" note and work non-stop to fix the problem.

Fortunately, I had not sent out the press release, and it was a Sunday evening, New Year's Day in fact, so traffic was slow, and most people are understanding if you put up a note saying, "It's 6:31. I know about the problem and I'll have it fixed tonight. The site still works, it just looks funky."

That is, they're understanding IF you haven't just put out a press release stating that your cool new site is ready.

A couple of days is not going to matter in terms of long-term traffic. A big, visible mistake on your web site could matter a lot, if you're pushing traffic to it with a press release.

Just don't put out your press release until you're sure you're ready. That's the only right time to send a press release.

Angie Dixon is a professional press release writer. Get a copy of her free report, "Articles: A Dead Marketing Tool?" at

Monday, March 2, 2009

Public Relations For Hydrogen Cell And Initiatives

Writen by Lance Winslow

For the continued push for a Hydrogen Economy we must remember that a continual push for public relations will be needed to insure that the initiatives brought forth come to fruition you see? Currently there are many competing innovative technologies to help America breaker addiction to Middle Eastern foreign oil. Perhaps this is good in many ways and yet it favors those technologies, which are already in existence over such technologies as hydrogen cells, which may in the end be better.

There seems to be a good public relations campaign at the federal government level as well as presidential initiatives to promote hydrogen cell technologies in the United States of America and this is very good, but it may not be enough. There are many very great hydrogen cell companies and startups, which have made quite a bit of progress.

Unfortunately, many of them have lost the public relations edge and yet they need to stay in the minds of the venture capitalists and investor investing public. Public relations for hydrogen cell and hydrogen initiatives need to increase in order to reach the synergy with the American public that is needed to push hydrogen cell use as commonplace.

With proper public-relations hydrogen cell and hydrogen technologies may be able to overcome other technologies, which are being promoted to a higher degree. Please consider all this in 2006.

"Lance Winslow" - Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance;

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pr Works 15 Ways To Make Your Press Release Stand Out From The Crowd

Writen by Julia Hyde

Do editors of newspapers, magazines and online news sites really use press releases? Too right they do. In fact, the press release is one of the most effective forms of publicity. But many businesses, both online and off, underestimate the power the press has to promote their business and get their product or service noticed by potential customers.

There are no figures that show how many news stories are generated by press releases but my guess is that it runs into the hundreds and thousands, if not more. Many will be published word for word. Others will be paraphrased. But, either way the stories generate free, credible publicity for you, and your business.

So how do you convince reporters and editors to sit up and take notice of your company's news? Write a press release that's newsworthy, factual, topical, and then send it to the right people. It's not as simple as it sounds, though, because the press is bombarded with information everyday and their priorities are not necessarily yours.

Have no fear. Here are 15 tips to help you write a press release that will impress reporters, and increase your chances of publication.

1. Don't waste the reporters' time submitting something that isn't news. Find an interesting angle or a new twist and you're almost guaranteed success. If you make your story sound dull it will probably end up in the trash. The best source for ideas is the magazines and newspapers themselves. Not the front page headlines but the one or two paragraph items on page three or page 10. Play close attention to these because they often suggest something bigger is afoot. If that something can tie into your product or service you're on to a sure-fire winner.

2. Your headline should summarize your story in ten words or less. It tells the editor, at a glance, if your story is newsworthy or not. Avoid adjectives like "amazing" and "exciting'. It's a turn off for journalists. A simple title such as," Announces Launch of Newsletter Service" is better than, " to Launch Exciting and Interesting New Service." Remember, this is news, not advertising.

3. Make sure your lead sentence contains all the main points of your story. It should tell the reader who has done what, where, why and when. Try not to let this sentence ramble on. Make sure it's straight to the point and contains only essential information.

4. Include all the benefits of your product or service. If your product is 20% cheaper, say so. If your service can help make your client, healthier or wealthier, say so. Concentrate on the advantages to the consumer because no one cares about the advantages the product has to you.

5. Add detail to your story. In the body of your release add extra information in order of importance. But beware, editors delete paragraphs from the end so make sure you include vital information early.

6. If possible include one or two quotes from reliable or expert sources. Quotes give a point of view, reflect the personality of the speaker and add a human element.

7. Keep the length to a single page if possible. Definitely no more than two. Anything over that becomes a chore for the editor. If you must go to two pages put "more" at the bottom of page one so the editor knows there is more to your story. At the end of your release put either the word "Ends" or ### or –30-. This let's the editor know your release is over.

8. If you're sending photos with your release, always include a caption listing the names of people in the photo. Include sources, contacts and the release date.

9. Avoid embargoes unless they are absolutely necessary. They are often used to make a story look more important than it actually is. Editors will rarely be fooled and you may find it's counter-productive.

10. Sending your release to the right people and to enough publications will increase your chances of getting your story printed. There are literally thousands of newspapers, magazines and online publications for trade and the consumer. Find the right ones by:

  • Checking listings in a media directory. You can find them at your local library.

  • Using an online service such as PR Web, that offers free distribution, or a paid service like PR Newswire.

  • Sending the release to trade publications related to your business

  • Contacting local and national TV and Radio

11. The more press releases you issue, the more will get printed. Ensure you issue at least one story a month. But don't send out a release for the sake of it.

12. If you're sending your release via email, avoid sending file attachments. Editors are wary of viruses and most will immediately delete your release.

13. Avoid fancy letterheads and gimmicks. What you say is more important.

14. Include contact name(s), telephone number(s) including cell phone numbers and an email address. This may sound obvious, but a surprising number of releases are submitted with this essential information missing.

15. Make your grammar and spelling perfect. A poorly written, grammatically incorrect press release tells the editor one thing…that your company does not have professional standards. Proofread your release several times before you submit it. Don't just rely on a spell-checker.

About The Author

Julia Hyde is an advertising copywriter specializing in search engine marketing and copywriting, public relations and other marketing materials businesses need to increase sales. To find out how Julia can help boost your company's profits visit

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Prep For A Successful Trade Show

Writen by Janice Byer

Well, autumn is upon us and with the onset of this season comes cleaner air and colourful outdoor scenery and, it is also prime season for trade shows. Sure, trade shows happen all throughout the year but, with many areas recognizing small business month/week, there is a greater opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their products or services to their target markets.

As small business owners, especially those in the start up phase, preparing for a trade show can be a very scary and frustrating time. What do we take and how do we present it?

You first need to find out the specifics of the trade show you are registered for or considering exhibiting in. If necessary, contact the organizers of the event and get details on the type of visitors that the show attracts and the layout of the area you will have to display your business. Be sure to find out the size of the table you will have, whether there is wall space for your company sign, if there are electrical outlets available, and anything else that may or may not be included (ie. table cloth, etc.)

Once the show space specifics have been established, then you can move on to thinking about and deciding what and how you can 'show your stuff'. The following are just a few ideas to help you get ready for that all important trade show. (Note: most of these ideas are based on being in the service industry but will work for products industry companies as well)

  • If the table you have does not include a tablecloth, be sure to get one that compliments your display and represents your company's image and colour scheme (without being overpowering). Even if a tablecloth is supplied, bring your own or something to add some depth to your table (ie. table runner). Your table will definitely stand out in a crowd.

  • If space will allow, erect a stand-alone presentation board. On the board, you can show how clients can benefit by using your services. Be creative and make it stand out. Include pictures, if possible, and be sure your company name and logo are more than obvious.

  • If there is wall space, but your budget is minimal, use your trusty desktop publishing software to create a template of your company name. Use the template, along with bristle board, cardboard, or foam core to make a sign that you can put up on the wall behind your booth.

  • Arrange your table in levels. Put the larger items at the rear, shorter items in front of those, and even shorter items in front of those.

  • Develop a PowerPoint presentation to display on your table (if an electrical outlet is within reach of your booth). You can make it on your desktop computer and transfer it to a laptop, which you can rent or borrow if you don't already have one. Your visitors will find this visually appealing and will draw in their attention.

  • Have a portfolio of your work available. Print off some of your best projects, put them into plastic sheet protectors, and arrange them in a binder. Then lay out the binder where visitors can flip through the pages.

  • Have plenty of giveaways, such as business cards, brochures, pens, magnets, and anything else that has your company name and/or logo on it. Most people who attend trade shows are expecting to take home some goodies. And, be sure to use display racks for showing your flyers, specials, brochures, and such.

  • Offer something a little different… FOOD. I displayed at the Bridges to Better Business trade show in Brampton and included a basket of Girl Guide cookies on my table. They were a big hit… I wish I had brought more. If you can, package your food in a way that will allow you to have your company contact info on it.

  • Offer Gift Certificates for some of your services. There's nothing better than getting a deal and, when they 'cash in' their certificate, they will see how valuable your services are and will come back for more.

  • Have a drawing for a prize. Offer a prize that, in some way, compliments your business if possible, and appeals to anyone. Have visitors and entrants sign a guestbook, fill in a ticket, or drop their business cards into a fish bowl or gift bag. You can then use this information at a later date to make a follow up contact.

  • If the show will be on for an extended length of time, be sure to have assistance in manning your booth so you can take a break. If you don't have the option of having someone take over for a bit, be sure to put up a note that tells people how long you will be gone or when you will be back.

Most importantly, be friendly and inviting. Say hi to those that turn and look toward you or your booth. Strike up a conversation and be sure to have a short introductory speech ready. And…have fun!

About The Author

Janice Byer is a certified Master Virtual Assistant and owner of Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services ( See this and other articles on her website;