Local Store Marketing: “Be” The News!

What person knows the most about what is happening at your store? You!

It is your responsibility to create news about your store – don’t wait for others to do this for you. Being proactive with the local newspapers to generate news coverage on your store is an excellent way to get third-party endorsement. Many of the editors – and in particular, the beat reporters – are constantly looking for news stories on area businesses. It’s up to you to entice them. Feeding them with ongoing news and information regarding your store helps establish a relationship that they will appreciate.

Positive relationships with the media not only keep you top-of-mind with newspaper writers and the community, but also creates a bond in the event you need to mitigate any negative situation regarding your store in the future. Get to know your local newspaper editors, beat writers, DJs, newscasters, etc. so that you can continually feed them with news items regarding employee promotions, product and service launches, and other key newsworthy tidbits about your store.

While this may not translate into immediate sales, it can reduce your ad expenditures. Establishing a positive, proactive relationship with the local media will enhance the chance that they run news items about your store at no cost to you. This type of news is well-received by the public and keeps your store relevant in the community. For every mention that you receive in the local media, that’s one less ad that needs to placed.

Plan on creating one news item per quarter at a minimum that you can send to all of the media. These news items can range from announcing a new product launch or service – or it can be a smaller news story, such as a new store manager announcement.

Create Your Media Contact List: Identify all of the smaller daily and weekly papers that service your 3-mile trade area, as well as local radio stations, magazines, and TV stations. Make it a point to visit each of these media outlets and introduce yourself and your store to them for future reference. Bring a free sample and information on your brand; your contact information; and your store. Establishing a relationship in advance of a need is a terrific way to stay top-of-mind with the local media. This will serve you in getting positive news into the paper and perhaps avoid negative news printed if that should ever occur.

Make Your Employees Star-Worthy: Our employees often were raised in the communities in which they work. As they begin to progress through their careers, peer recognition can be more important than monetary gains. If an employee was recently promoted at your business, why not announce this growth to the community with a one-paragraph press release? The employee feels recognized, their family feels proud and your business is held in high-esteem in the community for “promoting one of their own.” It is a pretty simple way to accomplish goals on many fronts.

Celebrate Mile Posts: When is your anniversary? You probably had to think about that for a bit before you added up the years that you have been in business. Imagine how difficult it would be for others to know how long you have been in business. It is entirely on you to remind and announce customers of key mileposts in your business. These mile posts help add credibility to your place of business by blurting “we are still in business!!”

Be A Good Community Citizen: Pick a charity and create events to generate awareness and/or funds for that local charity at your business and promote this through the media. The media is often the mouthpiece for the community and they like nothing better than having a “feel good” story about a local charity tie-in at a business. Create a photo-op at your business to jump start the charity event and at the end when you present a check to the organization. The charity wins, your business gets foot traffic and the media has a nice story to counter the negative stories that they often publish.

Create A “Call-to-Action”: Every one loves a deal and writing a news story tying in a promotion at your store – especially if it is a charity or mile post – will garner a look from the local media. Be succinct in message and avoid being to “advertising-like”, but rather create more of a public service announcement for better results. The media may pick up your announcement if it is a slow news day as a way of “filling content”. The more credibility you establish with the media in advance, the greater chance of your material being printed.

It is surprising how few small businesses spend the time to cultivate media relationships. The media is constantly on the lookout for news and having a pipeline of sources only makes their jobs easier. In most cases, it is the squeaky wheel that gets the oil and a steady stream of news from your business will establish this pipeline for the media.

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How To Use Employment Services Organizations

Employment services organizations include private employment agencies, state employment agencies, temporary help organizations, career counselors, contingency search and executive search.Most people get confused about who provides what service in this area and usually lump everyone together under the term “headhunter.” It can be a source of frustration if you don’t really understand what each of these groups can do for you. First, let’s clean up the terminology and definition of the services that each of these groups provides.Private employment agencies are for profit. Their source of income comes from either the company (employer paid fee, EPF), or from you (applicant paid fee, APF). Those that receive income from the employer always have the company’s needs in mind. They search on behalf of the employer, but usually in their own databases, and they only market a person to employers if that person is seen to be in high demand and can be used as a tool to develop other fee-paying assignments.When working with an employment agency, the caliber of the individual and company you choose could affect the caliber of the job you eventually take. If you choose wisely, he or she could become a lifetime counselor who could guide you up the ladder of success. They are also not headhunters.The applicant paid fee group of private employment agencies is a significantly smaller percentage of the private employment agencies. They are one of the only resource that works completely for you. This is also a group that doesn’t have a particularly great reputation in the marketplace, based mainly on incompetence and shady business practices. Nearly any employment services company that asks you for money falls into this category, regardless of the classiness of the decor. It is wise to stay away from these type of employment agencies. They are mainly staffed by executives who couldn’t find other jobs. They are not headhunters.State employment agencies are staffed by government employees. Their job is to assist you in finding a job; they are the only other groups whose entire focus is on assisting you. They receive funding from the state labor department and usually carry names like State Job Service, State Division of Employment Security, or Manpower Services. Although the names may vary, the services they provide remain the same. They will mail résumés on your behalf to interested employers who have positions listed with them, as well as make efforts to get you lined up with appropriate jobs for your background and skill set. It is not required for employers to list jobs with state agencies, but more and more companies are taking advantage of these free services. Once the fortress of minimum-wage jobs, these public agencies now list positions having salaries of $100,000 per year or more, so they are a resource that should not be ignored.If you are moving across the state or across the country, your local employment office can plug you into the national job bank or you can connect yourself online at http://www.nationjobs.com, which will allow you access to jobs all over the country. This is the largest job bank in the world. They are not headhunters.Temporary services companies get their funding from employers and are not not particularly concerned about filling temporary assignments for those clients. They are not headhunters.Career counselors and job search counselors. Their funding comes from you, but while there are a few shady figures in the business, there are also outstanding, dedicated, and talented professionals in this group. Generally, counselors work alone or in small companies, and they can assist you with job search, career choice, résumé preparation, and interview preparation. These career counselors can be deciphered from the disreputable APF crowd by finding out their number of years in business, their professional associations, the degrees they hold, and their professional accreditations. Ideally, they should also have a background as a contingency or retained recruiter. They are not headhunters and they would never tell you they were.Contingency recruiters get paid by employers and are actively involved in finding employed professionals for hard-to-fill positions. They perform this service on a contingency basis, the contingency being that they only collect a fee when they fill the position. Usually, contingency recruiters search their databases and actively recruit for a percentage of the jobs they have to fill. The majority of contingency recruiters will market an “in-demand” professional to target companies for a couple of days and as a tool to develop other fee-paying assignments Contingency recruiters are a hybrid, more sophisticated than employment agency staff but not working on a retainer basis. Some of these people can be considered headhunters, some cannot.Executive search firms are also paid by employers. They are the only group that is completely focused on the employer’s needs, with precisely zero interest in you unless you fit an existing requirement. The reason for this is that they receive money up front, more when a candidate is hired, and the final allotment when the person starts work. They are almost only interested in people who are currently successful in their positions, not unemployed professionals seeking work.These people almost never deal with salary levels below $100,000 per year. They are are more interested in accessing your résumé from their database than seeing you unless you fill a particular job they are trying to fill for a client. Executive recruiters are there to serve their client, not to find you a job. These people are where the term headhunter came from.The term headhunter is often used to refer to anyone who provides employment services, but in actuality it only fits executive search consultants and a few contingency recruiters. A headhunter will have very little interest in you unless you match an existing assignment.

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Doors of Awareness to Optimal Health and Fitness(Part 2 of 2)

When you started making better food and lifestyle choices, you had no idea that eating better was not just about food and the physical body. You had no idea that food, along with other wise choices, had the power not only to transform your physical body, but it had the power to transform your emotional and mental well-being also.We are not just talking about food. We are talking about the gifts of a better life.Now, after walking through two doors, to your utter amazement, a third door stands before you. You have walked through that first door to better physical health, fitness, and well-being through making wiser daily food and lifestyle choices. You have walked through that second door to better mental and emotional health and well-being. And now a third door stands before you.As you slowly open it, you are surrounded by bright light which touches your very soul and fills you up from the inside out. You are standing on the threshold of discovering the “why” part of you. You know what you are made of and who you are, and now unfolding before you, are the most important questions of all: Why you are here? What is your passion? What is your mission? What is your higher purpose? Are you on the right life path?Is your life aligned with your heart and your intentions?With your health and beauty, talents, and uniqueness, how can you make a difference in the lives of those people you touch?No longer encumbered by compromised emotions, thoughts, and physical incapacities, you now have the energy, the desire, and ultimately the freedom to pursue these soul-searching questions and consciously create your ideal life.And, this, my friends, is what true health is all about–optimal physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being so that you can consciously create your ideal life. And it all starts with a conscious thought, a conscious choice, and a commitment to you.Allow me to share this quote with you by Goethe:”Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.”Concerning all acts of initiative and creation there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.”All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, reining in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can…begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Only engage and then the mind grows heated;
Begin and then the work will be complete.”By GoetheAre you committed to your body, your health and your life? Are you in earnest? Then seize this very minute and grab on tight.It’s time, right now, to take that first step to a whole new you.

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