Category Archives: Common sense

Tip #206: Sound it out

Seriously?

Seriously?

This is a promo postcard I picked up at MacWorld. I think it means App Store Optimization, Limited Edition. But for most people spying this out of the corner of their eyes, I do not think it means what you think it means.

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Tip #203: Business in the front, party in the back

Thinking about printing something on the back of your business cards, as is the rage right now? Here’s a tip: Don’t put anything on the back that should be on the front. In other words, don’t put your company name, your name, and email on the front, and your Web address on the back. Don’t put your Twitter handle and email address and company name on the front, and your name on the back. Don’t put your name, Twitter ID, and Web address on the front and relegate your company name, in big bold logo colors, to the back.

I’ve seen all of these things, and they infuriate me. Why make extra work for people? Worse, why make extra work for people who use scanners or business card capture apps like CardMunch or Evernote Hello? (Disclosure: I now work at Evernote.)

Look, I get it, that white space on the back of those cards beckons. Blank looks cheap. So use the real estate for your logo, or a coupon, a photo, or something fun. But don’t forget that all the standard contact information — all of it — should be on the same side of the card. Please.

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Tip #202: I’ll take unrelated tangents for $400, Alex

I’ve seen plenty of pitches that stretch from current events to product news, but this one wins the Infinite Gap award, no question:

Hi,

We’ve all looked forward to this summer’s movie blockbusters, Spider-Man and Batman we’re both good movies but the real excitement starts with Object Storage :-) I wanted to share with you the top 5 must haves to look for when evaluating an Object Storage solution. Give it a read below, feel free to use the content and let me know if you need more info.

PS: Batman was the better movie, thoughts?

A list of 5 ultrageek things related to “object storage” follow. The company name isn’t even mentioned until the “about” paragraph after the list.

And although I hate to kick a decomposing horse, please, PR folk, learn English. Apostrophe’s have they’re place’s. Elsewhere, generally. Also, regarding smileys: If you feel the need to wink at me in text, rewrite that sucker.

Finally, What do you think you’re doing associating your product with a tragedy? The Batman movie is tainted. At least to journalists, who always have an eye on the news.

Thanks to: Stephen Shankland

See also:
Pro PR Tip #184: Piggyback
Pro PR Tip #167: Don’t bury the lead

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Tip #193: The play’s the thing

Why go to a trade show if you’re not going to take advantage of peoples’ interest there? Or the possible widespread press attention?

I found out about a cool gadget that was going to be shown at one of this year’s CES ancillary events. I emailed the company asking if they would send the CEO to come on stage with me at the CNET Live video booth to demo the product and discuss the market it’s in.

Three days later, I get this reply:

I am the only person there who will be manning the booth. Everyone else is working around the clock to fill our pre-order list, which is extensive. Thus, I will not be doing demos. We will have a video at the booth showing the machine in operation. I would be glad to talk about [the product], if you would like.

Best,
[the CEO]

My advice is this: If you’re going to spend the time and money to go to CES, maybe take some of your people off the shipping desk for a day or two during the heart of the conference so you can go do your CEO duties of getting out and spreading your message.

Especially if, as is the case in this example, you’re running a small company that’s competing with larger, better-established competitors.

I sent the CEO of this company a followup. I asked, “Why are you going to CES?” He responded, “I don’t understand the question.”

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Tip #185: I can handle the truth

"As seen in" element on a marketing site. Just graphics, no links. Big mistake.

If, on the marketing site you want me to see, you have “As seen in…” graphics pointing to other coverage you’ve gotten, make sure you link to the coverage you seem to be so proud of. Otherwise, for all I know, the coverage was glancing, negative, or perhaps nonexistent.

But also keep in mind: Tip #49: How not to pitch.

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Tip #182: The more you write, the less I read

If it can be said in five words, might I suggest that using 87 is overkill?

LIVERMORE, CA and SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–(Marketwire – Sep 7, 2011) – Addressing retailers’ desire to leverage the power and performance of the latest mobile devices to drive transaction efficiencies, improve operational visibility and in-store customer engagement, Epicor Software Corporation, a global leader in business software solutions for manufacturing, distribution, retail and services organizations, and Global Bay Mobile Technologies, a leading provider of next-generation mobile retail software, have partnered to provide retailers running heritage Epicor® software solutions with an innovative and comprehensive suite of mobile retail applications. (MarketWire)

Via Stuart Dredge on Twitter

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Tip #181: Nobody cares about penmanship anymore

Except when you do this.

Here's a tip: Don't have your 6-year-old address envelopes you send press releases in.

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