Long Island PR, Marketing and Advertising Blog

Search for “Will It Blend” on Google and the top result will throw up Blendtec, a Utah-based company that manufactures a $399 heavy-duty blender. George Wright, Blendtec’s marketing director, conceived the idea of creating a video series where the company’s founder attempts to blend various unusual items (a hockey stick, cubic zirconia and even an Apple iPhone) to demonstrate the sheer power of the blender. The videos, which cost a few hundred dollars, were posted on free social media sites like YouTube and Digg, generating six million downloads and 10,000 comments in just a week. Following the first few videos, sales at Blendtec went up by 20 percent, followed by appearances on national television shows.

Blendtec offers a great example of how small businesses can exploit the power of social media to drive business results. Before the rise of social media, most organizations needed to either buy expensive advertising or receive media coverage to attract the attention of their customers. The Web, however, acts as a great equalizer and creates opportunities for both big and small companies to build brands virtually and interact directly with customers and other target audiences.

Today, most consumers look for the right product or service to satisfy their needs when they are online, and using tools like Web sites, podcasts, blogs, microblogs and social networks, you can deliver useful content to your audience when they are seeking it versus one-way interruptions through advertising or direct mail messages.

Getting started with social media:

Listen

The first step should be to listen to what your customers or prospects are saying about you by monitoring online conversations on blogs, social networks, forums and microblogs like Twitter. This will eliminate the need for conducting expensive research to understand your customers’ needs and perception of your brand. Listening will also help to learn about your industry and competitors. 

Using these insights, your organization must define its goals and develop a social media strategy to determine whom you want to target and how you want to reach them. Tools like Google Blog Search and Technorati can help you identify influencers and blogs relevant to your business or company, while an RSS reader can provide regular updates from various websites on specific subjects. 

Participate

Once you have defined your social media strategy, the next step is to participate in these conversations. You can tweet company news or events, leave comments on blog posts, start discussions and ask or respond to questions. While engaging in online conversations, it is important to be personal, authentic and transparent. Social media tools should not be used as just another channel to spread the “corporate message” but to put a face to your company and to build relationships with customers, employees and prospects. 

You can also use social media tools to drive and influence media coverage by connecting with journalists and influential bloggers who look for sources and story ideas over social media channels. Dell’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses offers a good example of this. Pinder, an online retailer of lightweight, stylish laptop and computer bags, identified and reached out to an influential marketing blogger, who reviewed a sample of the company’s latest laptop sleeve. After she wrote about the product on her blog, Pinder’s sales went up 30 percent. 

Sustaining conversations with social media tools takes both time and effort, but it can work wonders for your brand and company, if used correctly. As David M. Scott, a virtual marketing strategist and well-known author says, “Word-of-mouse is the single most empowering tool available to marketers today.”

*Sources: Dell’s Guide to Social Media

The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David M. Scott


More attorneys are using advertising to expand their practice in the face of increased competition in the legal profession. Additionally, there is now heavy emphasis of marketing through the Web, challenging attorneys to find effective marketing tools that allow customers to find their firm over others. This article provides you with PRMG’s top tips and techniques for attorneys to market through the Web, including through their website, SEO, directories, and PPC advertising. 

 

Website

Since the website is one of the first impressions people will get of the firm, it’s important to develop a professional website. When planning on a design, determine the message you want your website to communicate about the firm, the audience you are trying to reach with it, and your budget. A strong site could include the following sample elements: 

  • Home/Introduction
  • Firm overview
  • Areas of practice
  • Frequently asked questions/requests for more information
  • Client lists
  • Client testimonials 
  • Publications page
  • Attorneys
  • News
  • Calendar of events
  • Photo gallery
  • Resources and related links pages
  • Question of the week/submit questions
  • Multimedia and video 
    • Flash video is nice, but not search engine-friendly
    • Firm overviews
    • Practice overviews


Blogs

Integrating a blog, which can have its own domain, into the firm’s website is a driving factor of additional traffic and increased page rank value of the master domain. Blogging, article writing and utilizing case studies correctly online can have a positive impact on your site’s ranking position. Since search engines place heavy emphasis on new, current and quality content, a blog is a great vehicle to ensure that your site is fresh. Attorneys should routinely generate weekly and monthly blog content on their practice areas as part of an ongoing strategy. 

Blogs also increase communication with the firm and its customers, providing added value for its services. They raise the organization’s profile online, and engage and influence debates and opinions about your market, presenting yourself as a leading attorney in the field. 

 

Social Media Sites 

The most popular examples of social media sites are Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, MySpace, and YouTube. Use of these sites can, most importantly, increase the number of quality organic links to your firm’s website. Social media sites serve as a quick, layman’s vehicle to tell people what is happening in your firm as compared to regular e-mail and snail mail campaigns. Ads are now even available on Facebook, MySpace and YouTube, which provide an opportunity to micro-target demographics. For example, Facebook captures postings to create analytical data on what people are talking about, which can then be used to target market certain keywords. 

 

Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Once the firm’s website is developed with SEO in mind, Google Analytics or another program such as Web Position Gold should be used to measure the site’s performance. In order to achieve good SEO rankings, a comprehensive program that includes on-page and off-page SEO strategies should be put in place to maximize ranking. Building rank power for the firm’s website begins with providing quality, relevant content, then optimizing the visibility of the content using standard on-page optimization techniques. Once on-page optimization has been performed, the growth of the site’s rank power can be fostered through a good link-building program that also includes social media. These techniques can help SEO grow exponentially. 

 

Referral Websites and Directories

Referral websites such as FindLaw and Lawyers.com provide public information about lawyers, and allow customers to find an attorney based on practice areas and geographic areas. Of the two sites, Lawyers.com appears to provide better branding, while FindLaw generally creates more appealing sites and achieves better search engine results for its directory. Both referral sites are relatively expensive, though, with the price depending on the attorneys’ practice areas, geographic areas, and type of listing. An alternative to using these two pricey directories is to develop and maintain your firm’s own website with SEO.

There are numerous attorney directories, such as attorneypages.com and others that are specific to areas of practice, which provide listings and charge based on the geographic and practice areas. Local directories, such as lilawyerpages.com and nylawyerpages.com, to be developed by PRMG, are also available.

 

E-Newsletters

Though unsolicited faxes are illegal, unsolicited e-mails are not. One requirement is that the e-mails must allow readers to opt out. E-newsletters are a useful tool for generating leads, organizations are able to identify and track recipients who click through. The firm can then follow up with those who click through by sending a brochure and making a follow-up call, for example. 

A number of programs can be used to send out e-newsletters, with popular ones being Microsoft Outlook, StreamSend, and Constant Contact. Through these programs, e-mails can be sent in HTML format or as attachments in PDF format. However, there are limits on the number of e-mails that can be sent out through the programs. Third-party vendors like StreamSend and Constant Contact increase the likelihood that e-mails will reach the intended recipients by integrating with sales force automated programs. StreamSend and Constant Contact also provide HTML and text options and can decipher which format to deliver to recipients, such as sending a text version to a BlackBerry.

 

AdWords and PPC Advertising

Google, Yahoo, MSN, Facebook, SuperPages and phone directories all use AdWords or another form of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Taking advantage of AdWords allows you to control your budget by only paying for the ads that have been clicked through. In order to maximize your PPC budget, use long-tail keywords with high search volume and low competition. 

Using AdWords can increase the traffic driven to your firm’s page, especially when the topic is in the news. Track which keywords are working for your firm, and use them in the website’s SEO. Using these techniques to drive customers to the firm’s website is important since search engine placement and paid searches have largely replaced phone books, especially in today’s “green” era. 

 

From website development and optimization to blogging and e-mail marketing, PRMG’s experienced staff can develop Web-based solutions to help you develop and build your firm within your means. We’ll develop your website to help you achieve top search engine ranking, and help you implement a comprehensive Web marketing strategy that will allow you to reach your targeted audiences and grow your practice. 

Contact PRMG today to learn more about our comprehensive and customized Web solutions at (631) 207-1057, or email: johnzaher@theprmg.com.


Few organizations can survive and expect to thrive today without a website. However, a website should be far more than an online brochure. To be effective, a website must be marketed to draw prospective customers and visitors to your site, and once they are there, visitors must want to stay and learn more about your product and services. This article provides you with PRMG’s Top 10 Tips for marketing on the Web.

 1. Build a Strong Website – Your website is one of the first impressions people will get of your organization and should be carefully planned out. When planning on a design for your website, determine the message you want your website to communicate, the audience you are trying to reach with it, and your budget. Our article on developing a website to obtain higher search engine ranking also provides more tips and information on building a strong site. The following are some sample elements to include in building a strong site:

  • Home/Introduction
  • Company/Organization Overview
  • Areas of Work/Services Provided
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Requests for more information
  • Previous Work/Client Lists
  • Testimonials
  • Publications Page
  • Calendar of Events
  • Photo Gallery
  • Resources and Related Links Pages
  • Multimedia and video
  • Flash – nice, but not search engine-friendly
  • Company overviews

2. On-page Optimization – This involves making changes to the site itself – text content, architecture of the site, HTML code, page layout – to ensure higher search engine rankings. When it comes to the leading search engines, correct content can make all the difference. On-page optimization, which accounts for about 40% of a site’s ranking, places keywords throughout the code to show the search engines what your site is about, helping to increase traffic to your site.

3. Off-page Optimization – Off-page optimization deals with changes made outside of the site itself to increase the quantity and quality of inbound links to the site. The goal is to maximize the site’s exposure on the Web, getting as many sites as possible to link back to your site. Approximately 60% of search engine ranking is based on inbound linking.

 Read Developing a Website to Obtain High Search Engine Ranking for further details on Search Engine Optimization.

 4. Blogs – Integrating a blog, which should have its own domain, into your website is a driving factor of additional traffic and to increase the page rank value of the master domain. Since search engines place heavy emphasis on new, current and quality content, a blog is a great vehicle to ensure that your site is fresh.

Blogs can also increase communication with your organization and with customers, providing added value for your services. They raise the organization’s profile online, and engage interest in issues within your market, presenting the organization as a leader in the field.

 5. E-Newsletters

  • Can be sent out as e-mails in HMTL format or as attachments in PDF format
  • Create lead generation
  • Identify and track recipients who click through
    • 15%-25% of relevant content-related unsolicited e-mails are opened
    • 25%-35% of e-mails sent to pre-existing contact/customer/client lists are opened.
  • Third party vendors increase likelihood that e-mails reach intended recipients
    • Provide HTML and text options and decipher which to deliver to recipients, such as sending a text version to a BlackBerry
    • Integrate with sales force automated programs

6. Social Media Sites

  • Most popular examples – Facebook, LinkedIn & Plaxo, MySpace, YouTube, etc.
  • Most important use is to increase the number of quality organic links to your site
  • Quick, layman’s vehicle to tell people what is happening in your business as compared to regular e-mail and snail mail campaigns
  • Ads now available on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube that give opportunity to micro-target demographics
    • Facebook captures postings to create analytical data on what people are talking about, which can then be used to target market certain keywords

7. Directories/Links – Place your links on free directories, and pay for directories that can prove that they have high traffic and click-through results. Reciprocate links to relevant content on your website.

 8. Advertising

  • Ad Words – PPC (pay per click); drive traffic, especially when topics are in the news
  • Banner Ads
  • TV – Purchase on websites, such as New York Times
  • Social Media

 9. TV – Stream video on the web. 20%-80% of people who go to the website will view the video, which should be your best foot forward.

 10. PR Newswire/Marketwire – Post articles and events online. Use press release distribution services such as PR Newswire and Marketwire.

 From website development and optimization to blogging and e-mail marketing, PRMG’s experienced staff can develop Web-based solutions to help you develop and build your business or organization within a budget you can live with. We’ll develop your website and help you achieve top search engine ranking, and you will have peace of mind knowing that all of your techniques are “white hat,” meaning we’ve never had a client site banned from Google.

 Isn’t it time that you let your website work for you? Contact PRMG today to learn more about our comprehensive and customized Web solutions at (631) 207-1057, or email: johnzaher@theprmg.com.


One of the most common projects PRMG is asked to work on is to develop or re-develop a client’s website for the purpose of obtaining high search engine ranking. The article below provides an outline of the steps to take toward developing a strong website for improving search engine ranking, as well as some of the techniques the firm utilizes to acquire and maintain high rankings.

Why SEO?

Search engines provide the majority of traffic to websites across the Internet, regardless of website focus. Therefore, if your site cannot be properly located and indexed by the leading search engines, you are missing out on the best opportunity to drive targeted visitors and potential revenue.

Download Top 10 Tips


One of the areas of PRMG’s business that is least understood is our public relations and media services. While it takes years to develop media contacts and experience in handling these matters, here are some of our favorite techniques to obtain media coverage as part of our comprehensive PR/marketing strategy. 

METHODS

Press Release v. Press Conference — A press conference is effective for crisis management, and to address an issue affecting your organization. While you hope you never need to address such critical issues, you definitely need a PR agency to help you defuse any explosive situation. 

To ensure more exposure for a press conference, media advisories are used. These are invitations to the media which succinctly describe the “who, what, where, when, why and how” and what photo opportunities (also known as “photo ops”) are available. 

If your announcement is not sufficient enough for a press conference, you can simply use a press release. A press release draws attention to yourself, giving media outlets the “who, what, where, when, why and how.” Press releases can be used for just about anything — announcing a successful merger, a new hire, your organization’s recent accomplishments or the publication of your article in a peer-reviewed journal, to name just a few.

Media Availabilities — This is an effective way to get the added exposure your organization needs. The trick is to keep an eye on the issues of the day and stay “ahead of the curve” so that, by the time the media availability is sent out, it is not a dead issue. Such media availabilities have garnered coverage for our clients in daily and weekly publications and on local TV stations.

Photos and Captions — These highlight the good your organization does, and provide positive publicity. It can be your organization making or receiving a donation in the form of a mock check, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the celebration of a successful inaugural event or the hosting of a local youth group at your office.

It is always better to have the photo op take place in a location that resonates with what you are doing, and to invite elected officials whenever possible to present certificates of appreciation or proclamations to you. Having elected officials come to photo ops helps in a two-fold manner: it makes the politicians look good, and it gives the impression that your organization has a strong ally in local government.

If your organization has opened up a new office or an additional office, let everyone know! Send out the announcements, and follow up with the media. Invite local elected officials, as they like to be involved in ribbon-cutting ceremonies. After the event, send out photos and releases for added exposure. It can also be posted on your organization’s website.

Op-Ed Pieces and Letters to the Editor — An op-ed piece or a letter to the editor focuses on important issues in the news; it can also be a message to raise people’s awareness about certain issues such as environmental conservation, drunk driving and domestic violence. 

If someone has made allegations against you and/or your organization, sending out a statement via press release may help, but that may not be enough. An op-ed piece or a letter to the editor gives your side of the story, so to speak. Good op-ed pieces address each allegation or argument made against you, and refutes them in a clear, concise manner. It is also advised that you refrain from any ad hominem attacks, and stick to “just the facts, ma’am.”

Columns and Articles — A monthly column could be written by you or someone else in your organization. These could be sent to the media, placed on your organization’s website or newsletter, or used in a blog. This column could be used to address the issues affecting your organization, or give people an update of what your organization has been doing.

Public Service Programs — Public service programs also have a place for you to get the word out on your organization. All TV, cable and radio stations are required to provide various forms of public programming and access. Take advantage of these opportunities. Contact public access program hosts and radio stations to suggest yourself as a guest. 

Posting Releases Online — It’s not enough to just do e-mail blasts and faxes. With news moving at the speed of light as fewer people get their news from newspapers and magazines and more people receive information from online news sites, your name should be out there as soon as possible. 

Distribution sites like MarketWire can get your press release to more nationwide and niche publications, but, depending on how far you want your release to go, it can cost you a few hundred dollars. If your budget is limited, look to websites that offer free press release distribution. PRMG uses free sites such as PRLog and, locally KIOLI.org, to help get our clients’ names out further; however, the reach for such free sites may be limited to Google News, Yahoo! and MSN. In any case, using these distribution sites provides that needed additional reach.

If your organization has its own website, then your press release can be posted in the “News and Events” section. That same press release can also be incorporated into upcoming editions of your e-newsletter. 

Social Networking Sites — Teenagers aren’t the only ones turning to Twitter, Facebook and MySpace to keep in touch. Many professionals are using these sites to give themselves more visibility on the Internet. If you have a professional Facebook or MySpace page, you can post a notice stating you have a press release out there, and you can post the press release on your page. Your press release can also be picked up through postings on Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit and other sites. Word of your organization will spread fast.

TIPS

Press Events — Client events always need publicity. A press event is good for getting media coverage. First, send out a calendar of events release, which describes in one paragraph what the event entails. This should only go out to the “Calendar of Events” sections of newspapers, TV and radio stations.

Later, send out a press release publicizing the event — who, what, where, when, why, how (and how much); a media advisory should be sent out the day before the event. At the event, distribute media kits containing additional copies of the press release to members of the media to help them supplement their stories. And, as always, hand out business cards, and let them know they can call you for further information.

Anniversaries, Milestones and Recognition — An organization’s anniversary or milestone always gets attention. See if a local elected official can come down to issue a proclamation. 

Promotions and new hires make for good news and get your organization recognized. Add a quote from the organization’s director or president, and the new hire to liven up the release. These types of announcements are ideal for business magazines which dedicate a section of their publication to these announcements. Always send a head shot to the papers along with the release.

Awards and Competitions — Local newspapers, civic and charitable organizations, chambers of commerce and municipal governments seek “Man of the Year” or “Woman of the Year” nominees for their awards. Some also look for the “Business of the Year” as well. Check with local media outlets, chambers of commerce and governments to see which contests they are running.

Tying Events into Holidays and Awareness Campaigns — See how local governments celebrate Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. Get your organization involved in a local Memorial Day or 4th of July parade as a sponsor and/or a participant. What special events are taking place for Earth Day? Clients love to be seen as a good neighbor in being “green.” (Getting the media to cover this in today’s day and age is a big plus.)

Thanksgiving and Christmas are major holidays in which the events usually consist of food donations, or toy and clothing drives. These are tricky for getting post-event coverage, especially for Christmas, as most weeklies close down for that holiday. Try to set it 2 weeks before the holiday; if you wait any later, many media outlets will have covered enough food and toy drives to consider your event irrelevant. Remember: For the holidays, timing is everything.

But if everyone else is doing toy drives, food drives or clothing drives, maybe your organization can think “out of the box.” Animal shelters could do animal adoption drives; local anti-DWI groups could do a “Drive Sober for the Holidays” campaign. Doing events that are off the beaten path will become more newsworthy.

Tying an event into a campaign always helps. For example, May is National Youth Traffic Safety Month; if your non-profit specializes in promoting safe teen driving, create an event around that. Environmental groups can create events in the month of May, which is also Clean Air Month.

The list may seem quite lengthy, and this might seem like a lot of information to absorb. But this information will be helpful in getting your organization the necessary coverage. This will keep you happy, and in the papers.

If you have an event or an announcement you need help in publicizing, please contact PRMG for a free consultation at (631) 207-1057, or email: johnzaher@theprmg.com.


 

Love it or hate it, television has revolutionized the business world. Many of PRMG’s television production clients are small businesses, non-profits or law firms with big dreams. Our clients have come to us to produce commercials, documentaries, direct marketing videos and web content to help achieve those dreams.

Television advertising is the cost-effective way to reach the most potential customers in the shortest time. The cost of production and airtime for a commercial is a wise investment and is surprisingly affordable, even for small businesses. Television advertising brings the message into customers’ homes and instantly brands the company as a leader in its field.

Direct marketing is another powerful use of PRMG’s Television Production service. A DVD illustrates all the lifestyle benefits the product or service provides, with more effectiveness than another brochure. Unlike most junk mail which ends up unread, people will watch a marketing DVD.

Many organizations have come to PRMG for a boost in fundraising efforts. An historical or issue-based documentary showing the organization’s goals and achievements can secure grants, donations and media attention more efficiently than traditional methods, at a lower cost.

Just as the web has revolutionized business, it has revolutionized how video is used to promote business or to gain attention to a cause.

 

Marketing Online with Video

Online video is one of the best venues to engage an audience — don’t even think about excluding it! This new medium allows the video creator to communicate a message on multiple levels — via visual imagery, the spoken word, music and visual text. It may sound like a commercial for a Montessori school, but this is the way people learn, and consequently, the way legendary brands are created. As a case in point, think of traditional Internet marketing; when was the last time that a paid search listing or banner ad raised your blood pressure or induced you to forward something to a friend? Get the point?

With online video, you can also reach a huge audience for a minimal investment, thus the ROI of online video marketing can be astounding. Consider that, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, more than 50% of the US population will watch video online next year. That’s 155.2 million people, and we’re just talking the US! Increasingly, people are watching a lot of video as well. According to comScore, Americans watched 9 billion online videos just in the month of July.

Like everything else, there is no “free lunch” — the video-sharing sites don’t charge to host your content, but getting your target audience to watch and forward your video is no easy feat. That’s where we come in.

“Secret Formula” — .50C + .15M + .20T + .15P = Success

Alright, we admit that an exact formula may be a bit over simplistic, but when it comes to deciding how to allocate time and resources on a video intended on marketing something virally, the weighting of these four components should follow closely to something like this: That’s it.  Write down the formula above on a cocktail napkin and you have the code cracker for getting people to watch and forward your video.  The formula above says that creating a video is a weighted function of four components:

 

50% C = Content and Production — this is storyline, style, lighting, production, etc.

15% M = Metadata — the text title, keywords, descriptions, and categories that help people find your video

20% T = Thumbnail — the packaging which draws people in when displayed on the page

15% P = Promotion — just good old fashioned marketing

 

These aspects help communicate your message far and wide in a way that makes an emotional connection with the viewers in a way that motivates them to pass it along to others.

Consider submitting your videos to other “Web 2.0” websites that employ voting systems to promote content. Some of the most popular sites are Digg, Reddit, Del.icio.us and StumbleUpon. As your video or article gains more votes, the video will attract even more attention and may even end up in a featured or “top 10” type category which can generate hundreds of thousands of views in a day.

Generally, deploying videos to multiple sites makes sense as different sites have different content niches and audiences. Essentially, each site represents a community opportunity that you can tap into. TubeMogul “Load and Track” is an easy tool to deploy to multiple sites at once. Here is a handy grid that provides some information on a few of the top video-sharing sites:

Description Demographics Registration Upload Notes
YouTube No intro needed here Evenly female/male audience, even age distribution, U.S. East and West coasts. Easy Fast review process, mainly automated Experimenting with ad sharing
Yahoo! Video An original video destination, but late to the game Slightly more male viewers, slightly older, even US geographic distribution Medium Relatively slow and unpredictable review process  
MySpace Primarily a social networking site, but video is still huge High percentage of female and under-18 viewers Easy No review process. Videos go live immediately Being rebranded as MySpaceTV
Metacafe Popular worldwide, prides itself on community votes driving featured content sharing Skews towards older, more educated, male viewers Easy Fast human review process Offers ad sharing
Google Video Increasingly becoming more of a video search engine Slightly more male viewers, disproportionately more Hispanic audience Medium Limited review process. Unlimited content length and size Integrates with other Google apps like Web Albums and Picasa
Revver One of the first video sites to offer ad revenue sharing Slightly older, white male crowd Easy Discriminating human review process Ads inserted into all videos
DailyMotion The YouTube of Europe Overwhelmingly white male. Higher age and income than most Easy Fast and easy Growing in the US
Blip.tv Publisher-friendly video sharing and distribution site Slightly more male, slightly higher income level than most video sites, even ethnic distribution Easy Easy Publisher can choose to insert ads
Brightcove Trying to bring TV to the Internet Even split male and female. Few under-18 viewers Easy Easy Ad share options available
Crackle Focused on making people stars Largely male, disproportionately African-American audience Easy Slick Flash upload tool allows many videos in one shot Owned by Sony
Veoh Focused on full-screen video programming for anyone with a broadband connection Slightly more male viewers, predominantly Asian, distributed across all age categories Medium Easy Investors include Michael Eisner and Time Warner

Contact PRMG to learn how our digital video production and web design and promotion services can help expand your business or organization. For more information and a free consultation, fill out this form or contact our offices at (631) 207-1057.


Just 2 weeks from opening day, and with the promise that both New York major league teams will be competitive (hopefully playoff bound), it is a good time to look at advertising opportunities.

The Met games will appear on WPIX on Sundays and mostly on SNY. The Yankees will appear on YES, while ESPN will carry its Sunday game of the week. SNY and YES can both be purchased for the entire network, or by cable system, locally through Time Warner, Cablevision, and FIOS.

Baseball is one of the hottest products on cable, with inventory already tight for the 2009 season. This is for good reason as the Mets and Yankees are certain to post the highest ratings on cable during the summer months, and in many cases, will beat broadcast network programming seen on Fox, ABC, NBC and CBS.

With such high ratings, the networks aren’t cheap and neither are the cable systems. However, you can purchase Mets or Yankees throughout LI for about $700 for an evening, primetime game. Fios for $75. For a single system you can purchase Cablevision Huntington for as little as $60 per spot.

One cost-effective option may be daytime baseball games. These games are discounted, but are excellent for targeting a daytime male viewing audience. For example, Cablevision rates are about 25% cheaper. PRMG clients have successfully advertised on sports, especially during the summer months. If you are going to be on tv during the summer, baseball and its loyal viewers is the place to be. For more information, contact johnzaher@theprmg.com.


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.)