Long Live the Next Big Thing
I have worked in PR. Marketing and Advertising for over 30 years and during that time have seen lots of big things come and go and heard lots of theories about what the next big thing would be and how it would kill off the last big thing.
One of the biggest big things in the last ten years has been the growth of business owners marketing themselves cheaply using Social Media.
LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now even Snapchat are all easily accessible platforms for businesses to promote their products and services by themselves and for very little financial outlay. Hooray for Social Media.
This is true and really great, so where does that leave traditional PR and marketing businesses (like mine for example)? Where do we stand on all this?
When Facebook and Twitter first came along most PR companies felt threatened because they thought Social Media would replace them. Why pay a PR consultancy when you could broadcast information, news or price offers directly? However, once they saw that Social Media was no flash in the pan and was here to stay, the PRs changed their minds, embraced it and sold themselves as experts; although I found that almost all of them (and most still do to this day) just used Social Media as an additional platform to broadcast their press releases, rather than actually engaging with people. (Engaging with people is too hard and sometimes people might say something off message or even criticise the client….)
From the moment I first heard about blogging, I was always fascinated by Social Media and made it my business to understand and use it right from the start. I have helped AMPG International, Tesco, Dickies, Unipart and many smaller companies create Social Media identities, build a strategy, grow their following and increase meaningful and financially beneficial interactions.
The answer to the “where do we stand?” question is that nothing has fundamentally changed. Company owners have always been able to market and PR themselves for very little financial outlay, it was just that most people didn’t know how to do it, or didn’t have the means, and you know what? Most still don’t.
A small business owner has always been able to send a press release to a national newspaper, their leading trade magazine or the BBC News for free and although there was a lot of competition, sometimes their story was run and they got the visibility they wanted.
They have always been able to run small and cheap classified adverts with a product, price and telephone number and often they found great success and massive returns (Google Adwords is really the new classified advertising although many other classified mediums do co-exist – Gumtree, e-bay, Autotrader etc).
Since the introduction of email small businesses have had the ability to send FREE OF CHARGE marketing messages out directly to the exact target customers they wanted to reach, and many have done with great success.
Since the advent of Social media they have also been able to broadcast their message to the whole World, as well as their own local markets for free, and many are doing this fantastically well; but most of course are still not.
So I thought I would help by giving a little guidance on the subject. Over the coming weeks I am going to show you how to market your business using everything I have learned about PR, Digital Marketing, Social Media, Advertising and more traditional off-line marketing. I will help you to define your objectives, create a compelling value proposition, write a strategic plan and show you how to implement it. I will try to demystify the secret dark arts of PR and Search Engine optimization, show you how to make best use of Google Adwords, email marketing, Twitter, Facebook and yes even Snapchat. I will also talk to you about sales prospecting, cold calling, networking, writing proposals and anything else you ask me to.
In addition I will make myself available for questions, interactions and offer any advice I can as quickly and efficiently as possible. I am here to serve.
Who am I?
I am Steve Garcia and I am your Business Growth Partner.
Here is a brief resume:
Following 11 years in magazine publishing, four years in Formula One (Publisher of the Official Programmes) and 4 years as Head of Marketing for Steljes (Launched SMART Board in the UK), I set up my own PR and Marketing business.
I work with large blue chips, medium and small businesses on a wide range of PR, marketing and sales related projects with a focus on growth. Over 15 years I have helped all sorts of businesses get more customers and make more sales including: Tesco, Unipart, SMART Technologies, Sony, Dickies, APMG International, Turningpoint, NEC, InFocus and Sharp.