Long Island PR, Marketing and Advertising Blog

Newsday’s recent decision to discontinue its monthly publication Long Island Parents & Children, as part of its decision to eliminate its magazine publications, briefly created a marketing void, since the publication was one of the more popular and effective means of reaching parents of young children. This market is especially important for many businesses, but even more so considering that parents will be more inclined to cut personal spending, but less inclined to let their kids go without services, especially those that provide educational and social enhancement.

Perhaps recognizing the business opportunity and considering that the publication was flush with advertisements, two new publications moved in, including Long Island Parent Magazine, a locally grown magazine and Nassau/Suffolk Parent, part of a national organization. They join Parent Guide and Long Island Kids Directory.

Television advertising is one of the more cost-effective alternatives to Long Island Parents & Children. News 12 in the morning (6-9 am) can be purchased for $325-$375 island-wide per :30 spot. Not cheap, but the strongest ratings on cable for this time frame. However, News 12 can be purchased in each cable system. You can purchase the Riverhead system (covering Riverhead township as well as the North and South Forks) for about $80 per spot. You can supplement this with News 12 Traffic & Weather. Cablevision is currently running a winter special featuring News 12 and News 12 Traffic & Weather.

As the weather improves, traditional radio may also help you reach parents with young children. Younger parents can be reached using WBLI. Fresh 102.7 and WALK can be used to reach older parents. However, radio is not cheap compared to cable. Consider broad rotations and advertising on the weekends to reach families.

The web provides a number of opportunities for free and low-cost advertising. However, few of these sites are branded sufficiently to drive a significant amount of web traffic. A strong web presence with an emphasis on search engine optimization may be the best alternative.

See a list of local children’s related web sites »

Also, I will rarely forego an opportunity to point out that the phone book will be a complete waste of money, even more so considering that most parents are younger and may not have opened one in years, if ever.

It should also be noted that Newsday is continuing its Explore Long Island (Funbook) publication that will come out in May. Although a 1/4 page ad with a full run will cost about $2,800 it is a must-do for summer entertainment and destination venues.


Just because we are in the middle of a recession, it doesn’t mean your business has to be in one. In fact, I have never been more optimistic than I am about 2009 and the prospects of growing my business and that of our clients.

At PRMG, we continue to grow our business. Like many businesses, we’ve had a few losses and a few gains, but our clients realize that we provide them with value for our services and continue to provide them with the opportunity to grow in good times and in bad.

First, it is important to take an historical perspective which tells me that things are never as good or as bad as they seem. Yes, retail sales reports for November and December showed a 2% decline, but that means that sales were 98% of what they were the year before and higher than what they were in 2006. A number of retailers had their best years yet. Nationally, unemployment is up about 2% from its average during the past decade of about 5% (economists consider employment full at about a 4% unemployment rate to account for persons leaving jobs for non-economic reasons). In other words, 93% of Americans are employed and our unemployment rate remains 3 percentage points better than what many Western European countries see during good economic times. Locally (Suffolk/Nassau, New York), for November, unemployment stood at 5.2%.

With lower costs, including the cost of advertising, labor and greater availability of qualified personnel, recessions are often the best time for businesses to expand. In recessions, new industries and opportunities are created. Effective marketing can help you tap into these new opportunities and expand your business, despite the poor economy.

Here are PRMG’s tips for marketing in a recession:

  1. Focus on your Current Clients.
  2. Expand Business from Current Clients.
  3. Grow by Concentrating on Prospects.
  4. Solicit New Business using Low-Cost Methods.
  5. Gain Earned Media.
  6. Build your Web Traffic.
  7. Pay for Results.
  8. Get out of the Office or Store.
  9. Create Events to Increase Traffic.
  10. Advertise, Advertise, Advertise!

Click below to download the full list with details.

Top 10 Tips



Just because we are in the middle of a recession, it doesn’t mean your business has to be in one. In fact, I have never been more optimistic than I am about 2009 and the prospects of growing my business and that of our clients.

At PRMG, we continue to grow our business. Like many businesses, we’ve had a few losses and a few gains, but our clients realize that we provide them with value for our services and continue to provide them with the opportunity to grow in good times and in bad.

First, it is important to take an historical perspective which tells me that things are never as good or as bad as they seem. Yes, retail sales reports for November and December showed a 2% decline, but that means that sales were 98% of what they were the year before and higher than what they were in 2006. A number of retailers had their best years yet. Nationally, unemployment is up about 2% from its average during the past decade of about 5% (economists consider employment full at about a 4% unemployment rate to account for persons leaving jobs for non-economic reasons). In other words, 93% of Americans are employed and our unemployment rate remains 3 percentage points better than what many Western European countries see during good economic times. Locally (Suffolk/Nassau, New York), for November, unemployment stood at 5.2%. With lower costs, including the cost of advertising, labor and greater availability of qualified personnel, recessions are often the best time for businesses to expand. In recessions, new industries and opportunities are created. Effective marketing can help you tap into these new opportunities and expand your business, despite the poor economy.

Here are PRMG’s tips for marketing in a recession:

Focus on your Current Clients. Hold on to your current clients with an iron fist. Increase your client contact and continue to provide value. Put in any extra time you may have into nurturing your client base. Make sure that you are on the bottom of their list to cut back on. Now that you’ve put up a client firewall, you can take advantage of market conditions and expand your business.

Expand Business from Current Clients. Increase the amount of business that you are getting from your current clients. For retailers and restaurants, market to your client database. If you don’t have a client database, it’s never too late to start. Restaurants can use comment cards. Leave e-mail lists at the register. Ask customers to drop off business cards to participate in a raffle. Increase the number of e-newsletters you send them. Provide coupons and value to increase traffic, especially during slow times of the week. Get them in and sell them more. Send printed newsletters to your customers and clients.

Grow by Concentrating on Prospects. To expand your business, concentrate your direct mail and e-mail marketing to current and past prospects. Follow up with phone calls. These are the lowest hanging fruit and provide the best potential return on investment.

Solicit New Business using Low-Cost Methods. Use e-marketing. Develop databases to include e-mails. Send out regular customized e-mails to solicit new business. Track and place follow-up phone calls to prospects.

Gain Earned Media. Write press releases and contact television, radio, print and Internet media regarding your products and services. Submit press releases to web sites. If you can interest the media to write a story about your business, it won’t cost you anything. Especially if you advertise, many weekly newspapers will run editorial stories for you.

Build your Web Traffic. Use search engine optimization techniques to increase web traffic. Start a blog. Post content and links to your site on web sites. Increase one-way links to your site.

Pay for Results. Use pay-per-click and pay-per-phone calls to increase traffic to landing pages on your site. Once on your site, capture contact information by providing a call to action download. With these campaigns, you are ensured that you are only paying for increased traffic and phone calls, and can control your budget to minimize advertising costs.

Get out of the Office or Store. Professionals and service businesses should go door to door. Drop off marketing materials and samples. This is especially good for restaurants. Attend networking events and pay at the door. No need to increase your marketing costs by joining a multitude of groups and associations. Attend what you can and pay the extra amount for non-members.

Create Events to Increase Traffic. Professionals can develop lectures and market them to prospects and others using the techniques above. Restaurants and retailers can hold product demonstrations and again market to current clients and promote to the public using press releases and advertising.

Advertise, Advertise, Advertise! I left this one last, only because it involves the greatest outlay of funds, not because it is the least effective. The opposite is true. There is no better time than during a recession to advertise. Advertising space and inventories are up, leading to rate and production discounts. On television and radio, use broad rotations rather than fixed positions. With greater inventory, you’ll get the times/programs you want anyway, as well as more bonuses and auto-fill as inventory is unsold. Take advantage of gift certificate programs on radio to advertise for free and increase traffic, especially during slow periods. Use specialty publications to hit targets. (See our upcoming report on Advertising in a Recession for more information.)


As Hollywood studios and producers negotiate with the Writers Guild of America, primetime programming on the major networks has turned to endless reruns. A recent article in the NY Post stated “A survey from ad-buying firm Carat found that just 16 percent of primetime viewers said they would continue to watch their favorite TV shows in repeats. The other 84 percent said they either “would not” or “may not” watch shows in repeats. Of those, 54 percent said they would go online instead, followed by those who said they would channel surf until they found something interesting.” This could be a great opportunity to reach new clients with cable advertising.

With more viewers searching for entertainment, cable ratings will be on the rise. Many cable networks are debuting new reality programs, or offering classic episodes of popular series. In short, cable is going to benefit from the major network’s misfortune. This allows advertisers to reach more people for the same advertising rates. If you aren’t advertising this month, it’s not too late to get on the air and take advantage of this opportunity. If you are advertising, you may want to consider adding specific networks or programs that are generating a buzz.

If you’d like to explore your options, call my office to discover the most effective course of action. We can review schedules and networks that will help you attract new clients and maximize your budget.


For 2008, businesses should resolve to do better. The Public Relations and Marketing Group has the tools to help you reach your goals.

  1. Make More Money-Do you want to make more money? Sure, we all do. A comprehensive marketing plan is the most effective way to increase sales. For most business owners, the day-to-day duties of running a business keep them from focusing on marketing, or worse, they may feel that the costs of marketing and advertising are out of reach. However, marketing and advertising can be affordable and effective with careful planning. Is this the year you give your website an overhaul and make search engine optimization a priority? Do you announce big sales with television commercials? PRMG can help you design a marketing plan for a more profitable 2008.
  2. Get New Clients-Networking is one way to meet referral sources and potential clients, but it can be time consuming and is hit-or-miss. Try sending a monthly e-newsletter to people you’ve met at meetings or people in related industries. It’s inexpensive and with the right design, it will set you apart from the competition. You can offer helpful hints about your industry and current trends. PRMG can craft cutting edge E-newsletters, sales slicks or promotional giveaways to help you turn leads into clients.
  3. Keep Your Current Clients Happy-Keeping in regular contact with all your clients can be tough. Some clients demand more of your time than others. Some are low maintenance. Some get lost in the shuffle. Give your clients another reason to rely on you by sending them a newsletter that highlights trends or comments on news reports in your industry. For the personal touch, send an email to a client with a link to an article you think would be interesting to them. Even if you don’t have an active project with the client, it shows that you value their business and haven’t forgotten them. It’s cheaper than a cookie basket and easier on the waistline too.
  4. Get Name Recognition-It never hurts to be active in your community and letting people know what you’re doing may increase business too. Every business has something to offer the community. You may sponsor a little league team, a school career day or blood drive. Employees may raise money for a charity. A press release or photograph sent to a local paper could turn into a story, which could lead to more customers. A car wash to benefit needy children could attract news crews from a television station. Chances are you’re already doing something in your community. A press release is a simple way to get your business into the paper for doing something good. PRMG can help you write a press release, media advisory, take photos and videos of your events, as well as contact the media on your behalf.

At the PRMG, our goal is your success.