For almost three decades Karen Taylor Bass (www.karentaylorbass.com) has taken a solid approach to creating unique media campaigns, taking under-performing or unknown brands from obscurity to notoriety.
She has created strategic public relations, branding, and marketing campaigns for corporations, luxury brands, celebrities, athletes, and entrepreneurs. The shortlist includes: Arrested Development, Stevie Wonder, D’Angelo, Jill Scott, Massive Attack, Mariah Carey, Herbie Hancock and Proyecto Uno. The National Basketball Association (NBA) representatives tapped Bass to create campaigns for Chris Webber and future hall of famer, Ray Allen. Her talent is crafting engaging media campaigns while simultaneously securing media placements.
I’m excited that Karen has taken the time to pop in and share some of her expertise with us!
Karen’s Tips To Create a Winning Brand on a Shoestring Budget
I wrote ‘You Want Caviar, but Have Money For Chitlins’ to empower entrepreneurs and help them stay in business. Each day I receive at least 20 calls from entrepreneurs wanting to hire me, however, can’t afford my services. My best-selling book (Top 20 on Amazon) has literally saved many businesses. The goal is to offer my knowledge to the masses however make it affordable and this book does just that, ($8.99, eBook and $15.95, soft cover)
First, let’s talk about what public relations entails:
” fostering public goodwill and creating a favorable opinion for a product, person, or thing.”
Basically, it attracts consumer attention to a product and is generally a well-planned campaign. Public relations is not about creating a one-shot hype campaign, planning a special event, and hosting a party for the media. That’s called publicity.
Lisa Price of the popular and multi-million dollar selling natural haircare company Carol’s Daughter certainly secures A-list PR now. However, that was not always the case. So what did she do? She created both short-term and long-term plans, hired top-notch professionals – strategic marketing and brand expert Steve Stoute, along with celebrity endorsers including Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and Mary J. Blige — to promote her brand and business.
Most burgeoning stars and business owners hire a publicist, which can range from $2,500 to $10,000 a month. It is possible to do it yourself, and as the PR expert, I’m going to show you how.
These strategies will not only get you started; they will empower you to win and standout from the competition:
- Define your message: Take the time to write and research what you want to convey, identify your target audience, your strengths, niche, and specify what you are offering that is different from your competition. It’s not always about being the best – it’s about being consistent and giving the same experience each time.
- Create a logo: A logo also called the identity is the heart of your company and brand. The identity becomes the face for your brand and it must reflect the essence of what your company represents. While you might think that you can create a logo yourself, consider that a company can spend millions of dollars to develop just one logo. I suggest using a professional. Visit graphic design organization sites such as AIGA and Graphic Artists Guild.
Shoestring budget tip: Fiverr.com is a great site for inexpensive designs starting at $5 for everything from web design to post cards. Although I frequent Fiverr for my creative needs, please use buyer’s beware. Fiverr and other discounted design sites will not give you a unique/creative design for your dollars.
- Disseminate your message appropriately: What tools will you use to spread your message (press release, biography, blog, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Periscope, etc.)? If you want to get the most out of your budget, start with a press release and a biography (with highlights of your success), a well-written biography can range from $500 to $3000. Also, begin to blog or Snapchat about your expertise and offer tips to garner media attention.
Once you’ve done that, take these steps:
Monthly press release: This is generally used to announce something new with your company – it can be a product, award, new hire or new client. Press releases typically range from $250 to $1000. My favorite site for press release distribution is PRLog.org – a free site with modest priced upgrades for increase distribution.
Media meeting: Read and get to know journalists who write about what you’re selling. If you like an article they wrote, send them a note, and definitely follow them on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Don’t always think about the pitch – get to know them first.
Website: This is your ultimate marketing tool to running a profitable business with an international presence. You will need to hire a Web designer or a Web hosting company to create the site. Visit Yahoo and Network Solutions for help.
Be sure to choose an appropriate domain name. It represents both the Web address of your site and the name visitors will use to refer to your company. Keep in mind that you want to own and purchase your domain name to secure your rights as your brand becomes profitable. Many companies, including Network Solutions.com and GoDaddy offer competitive pricing.
Karen Taylor Bass, The PR Expert, empowers entrepreneurs, corporations, and mom-preneurs with essential branding, marketing, and public relations coaching; Follow Karen’s tips Twitter, @prexpert and @thebrandnewmom