Category Archive: Orlando Media Relations

Communicate your Benefits in “Plain Speak”

george-bernard-shawSuccessful communication is not about doing more. It’s about maximizing what you are already doing.

Here’s an example:

Take a look at your website and your brochure.

Ask yourself “Will readers immediately understand what I do?” and “Does my website clearly state the benefits I deliver?”

If the answers to these questions are unclear, it might be time to rethink what you are telling people.

The three C’s

There are three C’s in communication that can strengthen what you say about your business and your services:

  • Be clear: Say exactly what you mean. Write like you speak. Avoid jargon.
  • Be concise: President Franklin D. Roosevelt used to start his Cabinet meetings with “Be sincere; be brief; be seated.” Good advice for wordy politicians and also good advice for business communicators.
  • Be consistent: You may become bored saying the same thing over and over again, but your audience needs to hear the same message as many as seven times before it registers.

Get to the point

Today’s fast-paced, Internet-based communications allow you only a few seconds to get your point across.

The average person hears between 20,000 and 30,000 words during the course of a 24-hour period. Most people only remember about 17 to 25 percent of the things to which they listen.[1] [2]

According to research conducted by productivity software developer

Boomerang, emails between 50 and 125 words had the best response rates at just above 50 percent. Short and direct emails resonated best with prospects and earned a response. The same study also showed emails written at a third-grade reading level had the highest response rate.

Do those findings strike a familiar chord? Simple. Short. Consistent.

We practice what we preach

At Wellons Communications, we follow the same principles we preach.

We keep our communications simple. We keep messages short enough to easily remember. And we place a premium on maintaining a consistent message.

If your communications are becoming too wordy, too complex, or inconsistent, it may be time to step back and get some help in shaping exactly what you want to say about yourself.

Impartial third-party communications assistance is an important component of our services. In the spirit of what marketing is all about, we help you sell things.

When you are ready to start selling more things, give me a call at 407-339-0879 or email me at will@wellonscommunications.com. We are ready to get to work on helping you be yourself…only better.

[1] Listening Statistics: 23 Facts You Need to Hear, Rebecca Lake, Creditdonkey.com
[2] International Listening Association, www.listen.org

The value of keeping it simple

It has never been more challenging to be a consumer than it is in 2016.

Today’s channels of communications are so numerous and pervasive that they have become annoying. Your content now competes with about 30 trillion other indexed pages on the Internet. Throw in e-mail, social media, robo-calls, and more cable channels than one can remember (all supported by more television commercials than one can absorb) and you get the picture.

The sheer volume of communications has reached point of communications overkill.KISS maze

Which brings us to simplicity.

KISS still works

We’ve all heard the “Keep It Simple, Stupid” rule throughout our business careers.

That we remember KISS is a direct reflection of its simplicity. In fact, it may work even better today because of the multiplicity of communications messages that bombard us daily.

It takes seven impressions before your message begins to stick

Marketing research studies underscore the importance of redundancy. A general rule of thumb is that it requires seven impressions before your message actually begins to make an impression on a consumer.

With that in mind, one of our tenets at Wellons Communications is “tell ’em what you are going to tell ’em … and tell ’em again and again.”

That’s not necessarily an original idea (there are scant few original ideas). It’s an idea borrowed from one of the pioneers of modern marketing, William Wrigley Jr., who built one of the most successful enterprises in American business history by adhering to the maxim “Tell ’em quick and tell ’em often.”

So, what happens when you combine simplicity with consistency?

When you keep your message simple and consistent, you can break through the clutter. It’s an approach that has been effective for our clients. And it’s a simple approach that can work for your business, as well.

How simple?

Simply give me a call at 407-339-0879 or e-mail me at will@wellonscommunications.com. Share what kind of marketing challenge you are facing and allow us to come up with an affordable, simple solution that can help you sell your product or service.

Online reading: Changing the way we think

In today’s society, it’s getting easier and easier to reach for our phones and tablets to read the latest news story, article or book. Businesses and classrooms are turning away from mail-outs and textbooks in favor of marketing emails and ebooks. But what does that mean for the way we take in information?

Digital reading Apparently, a lot. According to The Washington Post, your brain doesn’t comprehend the information you read online the same way it does in print. Digital screens seem to cause people to focus on the information they are reading at the time instead of how it fits in a broader context.

Researchers from Dartmouth College and Carnegie Mellon came up with different experiments that could compare the effects of reading on different platforms. In one experiment, a group of participants read a short story online and another group read a printout of the story. A pop quiz was given to the participants once they were done reading, and it revealed that the physical-copy readers scored better on questions requiring participants to make inferences, while digital-copy readers scored better on concrete questions about the text.

According to the researchers, the results of the experiments show that our reading comprehension is changing as it is becoming more typical to read information on a digital platform. Our thought processes may slowly be evolving so that we will have to make an effort to look at the bigger picture.

So what does that mean for PR? Even though communications professionals will likely still make use of digital tools, the study shows the key is to try and make digital audiences think more abstractly. When writing an article that is going to be consumed via screen, try to challenge yourself to put in context which will help readers think critically along with the facts of the story.

Communication Checkup 2016

As business owners, many of us assume that our customers and potential customers know what we do. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Only a small fraction of clients fully comprehend the scope of the services that your company can provide. In fact, if you polled your own family members, only a small percentage understand what your business does.

What does this mean?

You have to keep telling your story. You have to tell it so many times you’re probably almost sick of it yourself. It’s an uphill battle – it takes multiple engagements with your audience before they grasp the message. communicate

As we start a new year, it’s the perfect time for a simple checkup on your company message:

  • Does the “about us” section on your website actually reflect what the company does?
  • Are your services up-to-date?
  • Are you actively engaged in your social media or blog?
  • Do you have news that you think everybody should know, but nobody does?

In 2016, be committed to telling your story. Toot your own horn. Communication leads to sales. Most businesses grow best by word-of-mouth, but after you get that positive referral, people hustle to your website or your Facebook page to confirm what someone told them and find out more.

If you’re looking to get your communications in top form, we’d love an opportunity to help.

Council of 101 Hosts Festival of Trees Media Preview

The 29th Annual Festival of Trees took place at the Orlando Museum of Art. We have had the pleasure of working with Council of 101 for several years, and it was an honor to organize their media preview kicking off the 2015 Festival of Trees event.

IMG_0444

A media preview is beneficial to any business. It can offer a promotional boost in advance of an event opening or product launch, and it gives you the opportunity to spotlight your unique angles for an audience that is equipped to spread the word far and wide.

IMG_0459

Media events rely on having not only the proper contacts, but the right approach. A specific structure is expected for a successful media event as well. We pride ourselves on our ability to help you put your best foot forward for the most appropriate audience.

IMG_0511

Many thanks to the media guests in attendance, and kudos to Council of 101 for another enchanting display! The organization has raised over $6.5 million dollars benefiting the arts, children’s programs, and the museum.

Have a Laugh: Use Humor on Social Media

Dr. Seuss once said “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” This couldn’t be more true for social media. When brands get in on the humor, social media is even more fun. Here are 3 reasons why your brand should consider using humor on social media:

Attention Grabber: We all mindlessly scroll through our social feeds during the day, sometimes it’s the same information, over and over again. When a funny video, picture or post pops up on the screen, you can bet we’re going to stop, read it and like it.

Old Spice TweetRelatable: Humor shows that brands have a human side. They don’t always take themselves too seriously, and can laugh. Relating to your audience is a guaranteed way to increase engagement.

Taco Bell Tweet

Memorable: When your audience sees a funny post, they’re more likely to share it and remember it when it comes to making a purchasing decision. Take advantage of this by creating memorable content. Take this Virgin America post from Thanksgiving 2014, for example:

Virgin America Tweet

Domino’s: Using digital and social media to change the way we order pizza

Domino’s latest ad has the usual big brand flair of celebrities, bright colors and social media. Richard Sherman tweets a pizza emoji, Eva Longoria orders a pizza from her TV remote, Sarah Hyland texts the pizza emoji to place her order and Clark Gregg orders with his smartwatch. In short, Domino’s wants to change the way we order pizza.

dominos logo

While fans have been able to order via phone and through Domino’s website for some time, they can now order through Twitter, Samsung Smart TV, Pebble or Android Wear smartwatch apps, the Ford SYNC AppLink and through voice ordering via a smartphone. Even the pizza emoji can be texted to DPIZZA (374992) to complete an “Easy Order.”

Pizza emoji

This marketing move, coined as “AnyWare” ordering is set to rival Pizza Hut, who has more digital awareness than Domino’s. These new ordering capabilities have secured Domino’s brand association with smartphones and social media ordering.

This new form of ordering is set to take a hold on brands everywhere. The average millennial checks their mobile device 43 times per day. Millenials also value brands that have positive social interactions. These statistics are growing by the day, and with Domino’s new way of ordering pizza, the use of social media and digital media devices is sure to continue to rise.

The Importance of the Press Release

As communications veer ever-toward the digital, you may find yourself wondering, “Do I really need traditional public relations? What value is there in an ‘old-fashioned’ press release?”

Let us ask you this, are you more likely to believe it when a stranger says, “I’m the best Hula Hooper in the world,” or when the New York Times writes an article saying, “Stranger is the best Hula Hooper in the world”?

Getting the news about your company published by a third party gives your story credibility, but how do you get your story to the media?

Press releases.

According to the 2014 Business Wire Media Survey, 90 percent of journalists used a press release within the last week and 80 percent turn to a company’s newsroom (where your old press releases should be posted) when researching an organization.

90 percent of journalists used a press release within the last week

Photo via Business Wire.

Not only do you have to write the press release and get it to the right contacts within the correct outlets, but more than half (54%) of surveyed journalists were more likely to review a press release that includes multimedia than one that does not. With such a strong bias by the media for releases that contain images, it is important to note which multimedia elements are preferred.

journalists like multimedia in their press releases

Photo via Business Wire

Photographs (73%) lead the way, with graphics (43%), infographics (32%) and video (27%) also following closely behind.

Journalists like photographs the most.

Photo via Business Wire.

Once your press release goes out to the appropriate media, it should be available within your organizations’ online newsroom. Press releases (88%) remain one of the most sought after content types within a newsroom and 52% of journalists asking for at least one to five years of past press releases and 27% preferring the complete historical archive, according to the Business Wire report.

Journalists research organizations using the company's online press room.

Photo via Business Wire.

The power of the press release is that it is the most valuable tool you can give to journalists, the gatekeepers of the media. You know that your organization is newsworthy; press releases are the way to get it out there.

And guess what? Press releases are one of the most traditional pieces of public relations.

Building your brand one step at a time

Marketing agencies like to tout their wins for big companies. We applaud those wins, for we know how hard they are to garner.

Yet, what about small companies? Don’t they deserve the same services as the big firms? Emphatically we say yes!

Sometimes when you’re a small company just trying to make your way in the world you have to start somewhere. That somewhere might be a single press release, or media pitching, or social media campaign.

We have had the privilege of working with national companies in multiple markets.  Our firm takes an equal amount of pride in the work we do to promote smaller businesses. We are happy to provide project work – a single press release if needed – to bring companies the publicity and business they richly deserve.

In just the past few months we’ve announced restaurant openings, worked with dance companies, app developers, window shade manufacturers, and even horse farms to help promote small business owners.

We’d love to tell your story!  Reach out to us at 407.339.0879 or emailmystory@wellonscommunications.com to discuss your PR potential.

Thanks Ma – for the worldwide publicity!

We had the pleasure of providing publicity and media relations support for the listing of the renowned Ma Barker house.

The story was launched with an online exclusive in the Wall Street Journal, followed by a front page story in the Orlando Sentinel, followed by a story from Reuters news service. The ensuing media coverage led to the story appearing all over the world, in all types of publications. Media hits included CNN, the front page of Yahoo, CNBC, real estate trades and even overseas media like the Daily Mail.

The number of people who read the Ma Barker House story is well into the millions and growing.

When you have a great story to tell, it’s worth knowing seasoned public relations people who have worked in the media. Our firm carefully crafted the message and pitched the story to key national and local media that would give us the best chance for widespread pickup.

Cynics might say that anybody handling PR for a renowned gangster hideout house will get coverage. However, people who’ve worked in the media and are experienced in public relations understand that proper placement can make the difference between a few hits and global coverage.

Not everyone has a Ma Barker story to tell. The truth is, you don’t have to be Ma Barker to make public relations work effectively for you. Our agency uses the same research-based approach for each project. Whether announcing a new business, a promotion, a restaurant opening, a community event or a new product, we spend time finding the right person to pitch the story to and craft the story in the right manner. At the end of the day, that messaging becomes the cornerstone for much of your media coverage. We use the same approach whether working with media in Central Florida or media across North America.

We can never dictate what members of the media will cover – but we can strive to serve up news of all kinds in the most appropriate manner for the audience we are trying to reach. The Ma Barker house is our latest shining example of the success we can achieve with a single press release followed by experienced media pitching and follow up.

Tell us your story – we can likely find a home for it too. To learn more about project assignments with Wellons Communications, please feel free to contact us at mystory@wellonscommunications.com or call 407.339.0879.