The Target Advocate


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November 26, 2007

Vol. 3, Issue 1

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Note from Beth

After a not so brief hiatus, The Target Advocate has returned. Since you last heard from me I've been working with an array of clients on their various businesses, not to mention have attended more play dates, birthday parties and classes with my son than I ever imagined.

I am excited to say that I am now able to focus on The Target Advocate. I had always felt that my newsletter was important, but I must thank those of you who asked when it was coming back for reinforcing that belief.

This month I am exploring how small businesses can leverage public relations on small budgets.

I hope you enjoy this month's Target Advocate. I promise we will be releasing issues on a more consistent basis.

Have a great day!


Beth Silver

How Small Businesses Can Leverage PR without Breaking their Budget

by Beth Silver

When Doubet opened for business in 2000, our scope consisted of providing clients with both marketing and public relations strategy. To be honest, the services that we provided at that time were centered on marketing and advertising and any public relations initiatives we recommended were small compared to the marketing recommendations. I had wanted Doubet to offer more services in terms of public relations, but wasn't sure our clients or the media would be receptive to an agency just focusing on small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Boy, did I underestimate my clients' appreciation of the importance of PR and their desire to be "in the game." Today, Doubet offers our clients the same tools larger public relations firms utilize, without charging the vast fees and overhead synonymous with such firms. Now our clients have the ability to take advantage of the same resources as those with substantially greater budgets for such undertakings. Our goal is that once a client is better established and needs more specialized marketing communications strategies, we will help them transition into larger, more established public relations firms. And these larger PR firms are glad these clients are not starting from scratch.

Let's start with a good working definition of what public relations is. The Institute of Public Relations defines it as the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and the public. In other words, conveying an accurate, relevant message to a targeted audience in a timely and consistent manner.

This definition holds true for all businesses, whether you're conducting a campaign for one of the Fortune 500 or simply looking to drum up attention for your own small business. Before you begin a PR campaign (or any plan for that matter), it is important to establish a plan of action.

There are three key steps of an effective PR campaign. First, you must establish your objectives. Determining your goals and what you hope to accomplish is a necessary first step. At Doubet, establishing realistic goals is most important. If a client wants to promote the fact that it just hired a new sales director and wants to be in the Wall St. Journal, it's my job to explain where this release may be picked up and where it certainly won't be. This will also help you measure the success of the campaign. The truth is, although hiring a new sales director may be very exciting for that company, if journalists can't find a relevant angle to write about, they won't touch it. Journalists (like all of us) appreciate people who make their lives easier, and that means providing them with an interesting, factual story, that ideally has implications beyond your company.

Then you must determine how best to position yourself. "How do you want your audience to perceive you?" is the question I recommend you ask yourself while deciding this step. How do you wish to distinguish yourself from your competitors—is it your quality? Your cost? Your expertise? Does the public view you in the same way you view yourself?

Knowing your desired position tells us why consumers should choose your company over companies that offer similar services.

This is often the scary part when creating a PR plan. If you don't know what the outside world thinks of you, then you don't know what perceptions you want to change or enhance, and will, in all likelihood, end up wasting time and resources.

When there is a disconnect between my clients current customer perception and the perception they want to create , we work to reestablish trust and to show how the desired perception is relevant and true.

Thirdly, you should organize and prioritize your messages. What are the most significant facts about your company? Do these facts bear out your positioning?

If we return to the example I described above for the press release regarding the sales director, we must ask why is this release important? It could be that this person's expertise will help both current clients and new prospects gain additional knowledge about the industry. It could be that the sales director is strengthening the company's already strong infrastructure. A press release needs to say something that amplifies the company's identity.

Once messages are organized, it must be determined how it will be disseminated to the media. This can be done one of two ways; proactively or reactively.

Our proactive services, allow for us to create stories and messages for our clients. We create the angles, pitches, customized media lists, distribution strategies and more.

Our reactive services, as I call them, include our Expert Journalist Pitch. This service allows us to respond to inquiries journalists send out regarding stories they are working on. This service has allowed our clients to be included in The New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Crain's NY, as well as syndicated articles that have appeared throughout the country. The one thing about the Expert Client Pitches is that it allows companies with smaller budgets to test the waters and judge their return on investment (ROI). One of my clients decided to re-brand his company and is working on a new website and collateral program. When I saw journalists writing stories about his industry, we decided to pitch him and his company with the caveat that his current website did not match many of the messages we were pitching. To our amazement, when we explained the situation in the pitch, the journalists decided to interview him anyway. He has been featured in three different publications and for less than $1,000.

It just goes to show you can't wait for this or that to be done when running your business.

Obviously all businesses are different and so are their PR and marketing goals. I look forward to reading about your business both online and off in the very near future.

Required Reading


While I have not been writing the Target Advocate, I have been trying to relax by reading a bit more. I have found the following books to be really interesting. I hope you agree.

the blantant truth book cover

The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children by Wendy Mogel and Carrington MacDuffie

Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen

24-Karat Kids: A Novel by Judy Goldstein and Sebastian Stuart

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

Topics of Interest

If there is a topic you would like me to cover in the Target Advocate, please be sure to send me an email.

About Doubet

At Doubet Consulting, we help our clients acquire new clients, retain the good ones, become more profitable and move their business forward. We identify, create, and implement effective marketing and business strategies for entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized companies. As Target Advocates we take a comprehensive look at your overall business, ensuring that you effectively meet the needs of your target customers. Businesses often refer to themselves as a piece of a pipeline and we look for and fix gaps in that pipe, making it whole so that it works more efficiently.

Our Address

310 East 75th Street, Suite 3H
New York, New York 10021
United States

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