Keep Ahead of the Google Game

March 20, 2015 – 2 Comments

If you weren’t aware that Google is getting ready for an algorithm update, let this be a timely heads-up for you.


The game is changing once again.

Google is still in pursuit of providing its users the most relevant search results it possibly can. This is something that Google will, of course, pursue for the rest of its days.

But this time, it’s all about mobile.

Think Panda, think Penguin, think Hummingbird. But think of them coming out on a much sunnier day.

A few weeks ago, Google announced on its blog that it will be updating its algorithms, and changing the way that it ranks mobile-friendly websites for mobile searches.

And what we’ve been given this time is a month and a half heads up before this change actually happens and affects businesses and websites! That’s pretty kind if you consider how it has usually operated.

I’ve covered this change in detail within an external article called The Google Mobile Algorithm Change That Will Make Or Break. 

I urge you to check it out. But if it’s an overview you’re after, then look no further.

If your website isn’t currently optimised for mobile, then you need to do something about it. Otherwise, you’ll probably see a drop in your organic traffic (and probably notice that your mobile-friendly competitors will see a surge in their traffic.)

That’s really it.

Pretty straight forward, if you compare it to the changes and confusion that Google usual produce as a consequence to their past algorithm updates.

The number of people using mobile phones and tablets to access the internet is increasing. This is a trend that we’ve seen growing for years – and it doesn’t look like slowing down. It’s somewhere in the 25% region of all internet users. So naturally, Google is working to better serve this increasing population of internet users. If you’re looking to be speaking to these users, then now is that time to adopt the change.

You have one month to do so until this algorithm shift kicks in on April 21st.

Don’t be an Island

March 15, 2015

The one single thing that you shouldn’t be doing in your business.


I’m going to keep this one short because this doesn’t need to be a long post – the title says it all.

I once discovered that women, apparently, live longer than men.

Now, when I first found out about this I was appalled. Surely sex shouldn’t be a factor that would determine long life? Well as it turns out, though, it does.

Author Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, also points us in the direction of a similar statistic that the inhabitants of a small US town by the name of Roseto, Pennsylvania basically live on longer than anywhere else in the US, and would mostly die of old age alone.

What’s interesting about both of these things is that they all come down to one thing, and that’s community.

Just like women, the people of Roseto lived longer because of the close-knit social and supportive community that existed around them. The people there had formed tight networks and would talk to one another about everything – including their problems.

Facing challenges alone is just going to make you an older person quicker. You’ll also find that the solutions to these challenges are difficult to come by when there’s only one person doing the thinking. In business, it’s the same. But problem-solving is just one example where it works.

In life, just as in business, you’ll face a lot more problems. Problems with money or even problems with other people (strangely enough). To overcome these problems you need that support system around you, and that’s why if you’re an island, you won’t have that luxury. You’re by yourself.

Businesses cannot function without people around it – people internal and external to that business.

Women live longer because they meet socially with their friends and discuss things that are truly personal to them… their problems. What I found out – just be doing a little research – is that women don’t tend to meet up with their friends any more than men do. Women also don’t speak to their family any more than men do, either. What women do in the time with these people is speak about the things that are holding them back in some way.

Could this be the same in business?

The people of Roseto didn’t just make an effort to speak to the people in their neighborhood. They would spend hours talking to people on the street, have meals with generations of family members and would naturally spent most of their time within the community. Always with other people. Those people and their families were definitely not “islands”.

So look at yourself. Look at your business. How can you ensure that – by combining both – you are giving yourself a platform to prosper? The answer is simple, of course: just don’t be an island.

Build up the people around you and look to always have deep and meaningful relationships with these people so that when you have a problem you need help solving, for example, you’ll have someone there to help you with that solving.

You and your business can live longer AND experience more success if you take on board this small but hugely influential factor.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words…

March 2, 2015

Take a look at the photo below. What do you see?


We’re currently in the middle of a dramatic shift.

This shift exists within our browsing behaviour, where today (as customers) we would rather engage with and consume, visual content rather than text-based. People have become progressively more interested in seeing information and content rather than reading about it, which is why I firmly believe that images and videos will fully take over pretty soon.

Just look at the ever-increasing popularity of visual social media on networks such as Vine and Instagram, amongst others. The main benefits of these sites give you the ability to communicate messages quickly. This is just another case of people not having the time to take notice of all of the marketing messages thrown at them daily. We as consumers look for shortcuts. So, it’s no surprise that around 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual because everything else, mostly written information, is completely ignored. This is because there’s just too much information out there.

That’s where thinking visual will set you apart from the competition. Interactive videos and quality photos can provide users with the information they need at a glance. Not only has it got a better chance of grabbing attention, it also has a better chance of leaving a lasting impression that enhances the ability for more (and better) engagement. Our ability to process visual information is what makes us choose products, brands and content over others. It’s critical to attracting business.

Okay, so you want more customers. Therefore, you need to use more images and visual content. But, it’s vitally important that you use only the right images. It’s only right when those images convey and offer a better selling point than what text could ever do. Remember, they’re not only there to grab attention, they’re there to inspire, and to push the desired action. Keeping this in mind, it’s also equally important to take your time and choose where you’ll use this image so that it gets shared more. You may have a great photo with a great message, but if it doesn’t relate to your target audience, then what’s the point? Therefore, it’s crucial that you assess the browsing patterns of your audience. Finding this balance early on will really set up your content strategy.

Now you know how visual content can represent your business, the next step is to build
a narrative (remember how important storytelling is) around this image or video. It’s key to remember you’re selling something here, so look to create an experience around your visual content. You can use visuals on absolutely everything that you do, from your social posts to your web pages, so look to add some visual content where you wouldn’t usually do so. (Sure, I could have written this section, or even this whole book, through visuals, but the difference is I’m not selling you anything!)

Now we know what you need to do, let’s look at the options and possibilities for getting visual content and materials out there. First up, is video. There’s a reason why it’s up first. Up to 80% of internet audiences watch videos online, and the number of people watching on mobiles is also on the up. They’re fun, informal, interesting, but more than anything, they give you more power when it comes to persuasion and reach. It can also be very personal if it’s coming directly from you.

Next up is images. You can really change your marketing by dropping high-quality images within all of your content. Though stay away from boring stock images because we’ve seen them all before. The goal is to be unique. How? Think about using funny memes that personify your personality. Try and tap into your audience’s emotions. Then there’s the more informative stuff. Here I’m talking about charts, infographics, whiteboards and presentation slides. Sometimes, complex data and numbers need to be presented to your audience, and if so, just do it in a way that’s easily digestible and fun to read! Remember that seeing something is believing in something.

In order for your content to grab attention, be it tweets, emails, web pages, sales letters or even point of sale posters in a shop, it needs to be able to connect with your audience on a personal level. Here are a few simple rules that need to be followed if you’re going to be successful with your online and offline visual content. 1) Keep everything simple. The saying “less is more” certainly applies to visuals as the main goal is to create content that can be digested in seconds. 2) All visual content needs to be appealing to the eye, so think about everything, including the colours, fonts etc. Also, consider how they can be integrated with your current identity. 3) Don’t just drop any old image on a page for the sake of it – put some thought into the layout.

Now, let me turn your attention back to the photo at the top of this post. Yes, it’s a stock photo. Yes, it was free. Yes, there could have been thousands of more suitable photos to use. But isn’t there something about it that makes you think? Something that opens your mind to a whole new world? It did for me. 

Nature made us the visual thinkers that we are today. Tapping into this innate ability is absolutely essential now if you’re looking to get your business or even your blog posts noticed. Not only will you be able to reach your audience, but you’ll be able to see your business expand into new worlds and grow to whole new levels you never thought possible.

All with the slightest of tweaks.

The Creative Unorthodox

12 February, 2015

To be unorthodox is to be creative. Here’s some starting points where you can begin the process of thinking a little differently… like an unorthodox marketer.


“What exactly is Unorthodox Marketing?”

Well, that’s a question I get asked a lot having coined the term in an eBook of the same name and having it as the core theme around this blog. By the way, before you read, on you should take a look at the chapters within that eBook to see whether or not there’s a marketing strategy that you can introduce or review from some of the ideas you’ll discover. I’m sure there is…

Click to take a look at Unorthodox Marketing.

But to answer the question, I consider ‘Unorthodox Marketing’ a marketing strategy or an outlook on how to market to potential customers that isn’t common or replicated like you’ll see throughout the corporate or marketing landscape today. Being unorthodox in the way that you carry out your marketing, sales procedures, customer service experiences (or in fact anything at all to do with your business or brand that has the ability to influence others), means that there’s more chance of those on the other end of your campaigns taking notice.

There’s more of a chance that you’ll get attention and be able to speak to potential customers if you’ve approached them in a different way to, say your competition or the other businesses in other industries have done so previously that day.

Unorthodox Marketing is not about listening to the academics, marketing experts and other sales trainers when they teach you how to do marketing. This is because they teach you based on what others have already done. And this is wrong. Unorthodox Marketing is about quite the opposite.

It’s about discovering precisely what your market doesn’t respond to, and then building new and more creative marketing messages and experiences that they haven’t had the opportunity to respond to before.

Unorthodox Marketing gets recognised. It gets attention. It not only better builds the relationships that consequently turns more potential customers into customers, but it gets people talking about your business, your brand and your products. It gets you noticed.

Think of all of the big businesses that have made news stories, ones that have won marketing and advertising awards, and ones that are seemingly successful in everything that they do. What do they all have in common? They are creative. They build their businesses around a unique idea with a unique outlook that no one else has thought about doing. People love that. Customers love that. And this is precisely what Unorthodox Marketing is about.

This kind of creativity comes from you and you alone though. From your head – and that’s something you will need to think about. That is, way to bring that inner creativity out into something tangible.

But right now, let me give you a few ideas of how you can try and penetrate the market that’s there waiting to be approached differently, just by looking at a few factors within your business to begin the creative process. Think of this as a stimulation exercise.

Marketing & business model. Okay, so your brand has a business model or a marketing model? Disrupt it. You have access to tons of new technological advancements (nearly every day) so why not use them and challenge the models that have been around your business for too long. Stop relying on the things you rely on.

Turn your business into a game. What, your customers don’t have to work to get hold of the products that they buy from you with their own money? Crazy! I’m deadly serious here. Make your customers work that little bit harder to become part of your organisation by testing them in a little bit of friendly competition. They may appreciate it.

Employee role-swap. Today you’re the business analyst, tomorrow you’re the creative director. Use the employees in your company to their full potential and get them thinking about new things. If you’re a one-man band, then do it with a business friend or partner. Something extraordinary might happen.

Budget allocation. So your business is spending on marketing already but isn’t seeing the desired results? Then get rid of it (or at least partly). You may find that with less money in the bank to spend you’ll develop more low-cost ideas that are more unorthodox. Your target market may respond to better.

Go back to old-school. Yes, my first point here observed the advances in technology and how you can benefit from them. But maybe your customer has had enough of the techy stuff. Maybe they want to go back to a more personal approach that focuses less on the technology and more of the face-to-face on-paper type of environment for a little while. Surprise them!

Anything that’s unusual is potentially unorthodox.

And when it’s unorthodox, it has a great chance of standing out from the crowd of just ‘typical.’ Isn’t that the main aim of marketing anyway?

Your SEO Strategy for 2015

February 7, 2015 – 9 Comments 

The only SEO strategy that you’ll ever need in 2015. Seriously.


You’ve probably read tons of articles, blog posts and whitepapers on SEO already this year. You’ve probably also been told a load of different things – sometimes conflicting – about how to get traffic, how to optimize your websites and how to avoid getting punished by Google. Quite frankly, that’s SEO for you in a nutshell.

So many digital marketers, SEO experts and other ‘gurus’ are giving you information for which essentially will not make any difference to that all important organic traffic figure within your Google Webmaster Tools account.

But what I present here is not one of those SEO gimmicks or quick fixes. No. What I will present, though, is a simple SEO strategy that you and your business can implement that WILL make a difference. All you’ll need is a Google AdWords account, a couple of free tools and a blog. Oh, and the desire to want to increase the size of your business, of course.

If you’ve not guessed it already, I’m talking about doing proper keyword research alongside producing content for business blogging.

Whatever you do off-page (or even anything else on-page to an extent) doesn’t have the significance of what producing high quality and highly researched – and, therefore, optimized – blog posts has. This is SEO in 2015.

By all means, you’ll need to include the relevant tags etc. that I’ll also cover, but if you stick to this SEO guide you’ll not go wrong.

So here goes…

1. First of all you need to do the ground work.

Fire up Google’s Keyword Planner tool and focus on the ‘Keyword Ideas’ section. Obviously you know the keyword area and topic of your SEO post, that is what you’re blogging about, but you need to narrow it down to something more specific to have a ‘long tail’ keyword to work with. So for example, instead of “make money online” you’d want to target “make money online using amazon.” Or, instead of “how to lose weight” you’d be looking for “how to lose weight on my arms and legs.” See the difference?

With business blogging, you’ll need to be specific because the chances are that there are stronger SEO websites out there focusing on such keywords as opposed to your blog post.  For a little extra help with finding possible long tail keywords (or sub-niches if that’s how you refer to them) explore ‘Uber Suggest’ – it’ll give you loads more ideas that you can research for this process.

Use Google’s ‘Related Searches’ also to find what people as searching for, and assess this figure alongside the ‘Average Monthly Searches’ and ‘Competition’ in the Keyword Planner. Ideally, an average search figure of around 2,000 – 5,000 is what we’re looking for, with a low SEO competition number and anything around the 5,000 figure in the ‘About…’ results section that’s just below your search terms in Google itself.

This process isn’t that difficult. Really.

2. It’s now time to get competitive.

Now you’ve found perhaps 2-3 suitable long tail keywords, it’s time to check out the competition – that is, who exactly are the first 10 searches that currently appear in Google for those terms. This is the exciting part in SEO, because these are the people or websites or businesses that you’re going up against so we’ll need to look at their pages and find out how and why they’re currently ranked on that page for your keywords.

There’re many ways to go about this. I’ve previously recommended ‘Market Samurai’ on this blog to do SEO competition review, but this time I’ll suggest you use another free tool called ‘Traffic Travis’ that’ll also give you the data you need. Simply drop your long tail keywords in the search on the Traffic Travis website and you’ll instantly get an idea of how difficult or not it is to rank these keywords (Google would never tell you this) in the first column – here anything with ‘Medium Difficulty’ is okay to go forward with for SEO. This is how I’d narrow down the say 2-3 long tail keyword ideas, down to just the 1 you will be writing your post about.

Here’s where it gets exciting. For that long tail keyword, click on ‘View Report’ and you’ll see the 10 websites that are ranked in Google in order (these will be the same 10 that you’ll see in Google) for that keyword. Specifically look at the checklist section in the middle that gives you information on the on-page assessment i.e. Page Title, Description and H tags. If you’ve followed my steps above, I almost guarantee that over half of these pages will not be SEO optimized correctly. That’s perfect for us. Here you’ll also get an idea of how these websites are doing in terms of off-page stuff too aka backlinks. So basically whatever they’re not doing, we need to do or do better to make sure we out-rank them.

3. Building the masterpiece. 

So now we have a long tail keyword; that we know people are searching for; that we know has low competition and a low number of results; that we know ranking won’t be very difficult; but more importantly; that we know we can outrank the competition with. Now we have an SEO strategy!

A lot of people will curate or steal or outsource the content creation process. DO NOT DO THIS. You or someone within your organisation will need to write the post. If need be, ask a guest to blog for you on your website, but this should only be done scarcely. Write this post using unique, thought provoking, engaging and great quality content. Make sure that each post is in the 700-1,000 ballpark for number of words. Short blog posts are nice, but they don’t rank as well as longer posts in SEO.

After setting up your page – making sure you don’t do all the mistakes your competition has made – run your page through SEOQuake. This is a browser add-on that you can also download for free that will diagnose your page. It gives you tons of information, but just keep to the ‘Diagnosis’ tab because this gives you the best overview. Having said that, I would suggest you take a quick glance at the ‘Keyword Density’ tab and see how the actual content is looking – I don’t need to tell you that your main keywords should be at the top of the list at around the 2% mark. This is probably recommended for less experienced bloggers. So if your long tail keyword is “make money online using amazon,” then a few of the main keywords itself in that long tail keyword (and I mean words here like “money” “online” “amazon”) need to be at this figure. This just strengthens your overall case.

Next step… is hit publish and share! Do this 2-3 times a week and you’ll build huge organic traffic to your website through your blog posts. You’ll also build huge authority and will start to see a following behind you and your business. Measure and evaluate all of this through your Google Webmaster Tools. SEO isn’t short term, remember.

One thing I would always suggest when doing anything like this, in SEO particularity, is to discover and work with the right tools and add-ons to help you with your strategies – to make you a smart marketer. There are hundreds of these out there that you may or may not find useful, but just give them a try. Really, it’s all based on your preferences and your budget.

So there you have it. The only SEO strategy that you’ll ever need in 2015, and it’s really simply (and free). All about the right research, and good content.

Consistency Is Key

January 30, 2015 — 4 Comments

Sometimes you get that aching pain in your stomach that’s telling you today is the day where things just aren’t happening. It’s a pain that’s sometimes hard to get rid of, but that doesn’t make it impossible to leave behind.


Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

Okay, let’s go with the bad news. The bad news is that today will be the last time (at least for a while) that I’ll be writing a blog post from my home office. That’s because from Monday onwards I’ve taken up the challenge to work for one of the most exciting creative agencies in Cardiff, UK.

The good news, however, is that I’m not abandoning this blog to turn into something that would resemble overgrown New York from the movie ‘I am Legend.’ My writing will go on.

And that’s because of one reason: consistency.

Think for a second about the brands that you’re most familiar with – McDonald’s and Coca-Cola come to mind straight away.  For as long as I can remember, these brands have kept consistent within ever-changing and ever-growing markets. Despite what the economy has thrown at them, they have always remained the same. What they have done – and have done so from the very beginning – is establish a simple and yet persuasive message, and have stuck with it in everything that they do.

Marketing is ALL about this consistency: brand consistency and consistency of message.

And really it all sounds straightforward enough until you consider all of the platforms that these messages need to be consistently broadcasted; the competition that enters with similar messages; and the perceived lack of ROI initially. That’s why consistency in message, and more than anything, consistency in portraying this consistent message is so important. It that ‘hanging around’ that makes or breaks a brand.

Without consistency, you don’t really give your marketing strategy a chance to prosper. You’re stifling your growth.

Okay, I know it’s going to be difficult. Keeping consistent for a long period of time isn’t easy by any means. I know at times things don’t go the way you’d hoped and that it seems like you’re unable to complete or continue doing something. Perhaps you think that whatever you’re pursuing isn’t worth pursuing in the first place. You must RESIST this and the temptation to drop tools though.

It’s that numbing pain in the side of your stomach that just won’t go away no matter how hard you try to get rid of it or ignore it.

Rest assured, be it online or offline, whatever it is that you’re seeking to achieve isn’t going to be achieved overnight. Yes, you’ll make mistakes along the way, and yes, there’s no quick fix to any of it. This is something that I’ve discovered in business, in life, and especially in marketing.

But how do I overcome this? I’ve found that each time I question the progress of any project I undertake, getting back on track can be done by reviewing your plan at the end of each day, and writing down anything of worth on a piece of paper. Writing down your feelings at troubling times is a great way to relieve pain and put your mindset back in the great scheme of things. Reflect.

Keep in mind also that there are people here to help you keep on this track and keep everything you do consistent with the strategy you mapped out in the first place. You have your friends and colleagues at hand to help you, but you can also seek professional help. Why do you think people hire personal trainers in the gym?

Think about it like this. Each time you hit the gym or workout in any way, you’re building yourself. You’re building your strength, stamina, and fitness. Stop going to the gym, and then all that building work is demolished.

It’s exactly the same in marketing, where if you keep everything going and keep it consistent you’re increasing the chances of making an impression…

Just like McDonald’s and just like Coca-Cola.

Remember, you’ve already conquered the difficult part of putting your marketing plan (or your workout plan) together. Now it’s all about implementing that plan, getting your messages out there and building awareness through the various channels at your disposal. That is, building your brand’s strength.

Now’s not the time to quit because nothing in life is a sprint.

The Brand Experience is a Journey

January 26, 2015

Dissecting the elements of a positive brand experience and its importance alongside a lead generation campaign.


I recently did a presentation where I chose a few strategies – that included content marketing, gamification and email marketing and put together an example marketing campaign in the space of 15 minutes.

It was a campaign centered solely on lead generation and conversion that looked at the customer journey, and it went pretty well.

In the digital world, we know too well that the internet is not primarily a method to sell your products to your website visitors. I’d see it as a method to talk to those visitors and find out the motives that drove them to the website in the first place. But in doing that you very much begin the process of turning that visitor into a potential customer. And heck, we are in business after all, right?!

One of the core elements that my audience picked up on though was the limited discussion and implementation of a branding strategy.

That’s something I specifically want to pick up on today. Because before you put together any such strategy where you’re actively producing content for the purpose of driving traffic to a page that’s built to collect leads, you’ll need to make sure that your overall brand experience is up to scratch. That is, everything that you say and do whilst doing everything that you do.

And this will tie in side by side with a lead generation strategy. The customer journey is becoming more complex and harder to define. What you see in the image above is one of the presentation slides I used that maps out a basic progression chart in lead generation and conversion. But what it doesn’t account for is the ‘invisible stuff’ – that is, what may be going on inside the prospects’ mind during those stages. It’s this that makes the sale or not… so it’s hugely important!

Your beliefs, preferences and general outlook on life is shaped by all of the positive and negative experiences you’ve encountered on your journey thus far. This ‘journey’ is what also goes on when a prospect lands on your website, reads your Tweets and meets you in person for the first, second and third time and by itself says everything about your brand.

Therefore, essentially your brand is YOU.

But in reality, it’s pretty straightforward what you need to be doing during these interactions, and that is to provide a positive experience throughout.

What is a positive experience? Well, think about a time where you’ve had a positive, rewarding and memorable time, and dissect all the elements that created this experience to replicate in your business.

Here’s some of the elements that I’ve picked out of one of my recent positive experiences:

1. It surprised me on a number of levels
2. It was personal and human at all times
3. Engagement was present and it stimulated conversation
4. The experience was one where I and the other party both benefited.

These are precisely the type of touch points that I’d be looking to include in any brand experience strategy – and needs to exist alongside any strategy that you put forward (especially a lead generation strategy).

Simply put, everything should just be natural. It should come from how you feel about your products and your services and your industry. If you don’t feel positive about what you do and sell, it’ll be difficult for you to convince your prospects to feel like that.

If you’re not entirely sure, here’s areas where you can improve your brand experience… (Use the 4 elements previously mentioned within these stages to create a mind-blowing brand experience).

Value Proposition. First of all convey what it is that you have to offer based on your potential customers and their personas. Once you have done so then the next step is to connect them to the core values of your business.

Communication Experience. Everything you say that you will do, you absolutely have to do and then over-deliver on that. Make it easy for a dialogue to happen and keep everything consistent with what you have promised.

Personal Touch. If a customer has a problem, it’s the brand that has to care. A customer simply does not disappear once the sale is made and therefore you have to stick around anticipating the future.

Just like the strategic journey that you’ve planned your lead or prospect to take in your lead generation and conversion strategy, your brand strategy must sit side by side (and hand in hand) along the way. It’s this consistency that produces the best experiences and the most sales.

It’s going to be a long journey at that, but one that’ll be worth it.

Your PR is Your Business

January 16, 2015

Who? What? Where? When? Why? If you have compelling and unique answers to all five questions, you’ll have a killer PR opportunity.


First of all, let’s just roll out the age-old saying: “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” I’m putting this out there because even today, this saying still goes strong. If people are talking about your business, it means they’ve taken notice to something where prior to some ‘news’ they probably hadn’t heard of you before. That’s a given.

One of the best methods of marketing your business, your products or yourself indirectly is through a press release style PR stunt. It’s the most powerful way of making people aware of what you’re doing, that then gets repeated to others through word of mouth. It can spread rapidly. It’s not all that easy to get the right mix within your stunt though. So, first of all, let’s start with how it all works (and how it can work for you).

Journalists, bloggers, and other online news and social media writers are hungry for stories and unique narratives. Every day they scour the internet for a unique story that possesses the characteristics to capture their readers’ imaginations. But, more than anything, writers look for stories to get people reading their magazines, their newsletters, their websites and their blogs, they need readers. Why? Because readers are visitors, visitors are subscribers, and subscribers are money. You get the picture.

With that in mind, thousands of news stories get published every day. Most of them are your “Average Joes”; some will be read but won’t really make an impact; some will be ignored or forgotten; some won’t even make the news in the first place. But, there’s a small number where the story is so powerful that they’ll generate massive positive buzz, putting brands and businesses on the map and generating a handsome revenue figure in the process. In turn, these writers will get their readers or site visitors.

“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
– Oscar Wilde

Some examples that you can consider big successes whether they had meant to be or not, are: Red Bull’s stratosphere skydive; Taco Bell’s April fool’s joke; when Facebook sued ‘Mark Zuckerberg’; or, of course, when Halfway renamed their town The key factors in why these were all big successes are that they were completely unique. They stood out because they were completely unorthodox, and the press loved that.

So, now we know what the press is after (what’s newsworthy), let’s give it to them. We’re after a compelling story. What can you do, with your business in mind, to create this? This is where creativity comes in. And I mean really creative here. This is a story 11 that can be slightly fabricated. This is the harsh reality. Some of the stuff that you read online today, yesterday or last month, weren’t 100% accurate. Far from it! But, they did their job. They got your attention and they got you reading. So, you’ll need to find a unique angle that’s indirectly related to your company. This needs to be a new story, otherwise it isn’t news. And the more outrageous, the better.

There are a few factors that need to be considered when getting the story out too, like customising the message for each recipient (aka the press). This is kind of like B2B remember, so don’t expect to send the same story out to the masses – try and offer some form of exclusivity if possible. You’ll need to understand what that journalist or blogger writes about and understand their audiences and cater to them. In reality, no matter how good you think the story is, if the journalist doesn’t think it has legs, then it won’t get published. Convincing the press to listen to you is a serious aspect of this exercise. Think back to the networking skills I mentioned at the start of this eBook.

Be sure that your company’s message is value driven too, so as not to appear to be selfish – even though that’s exactly what we are. With this in mind, wait until the very last sentence for the call to action; a discount, a coupon code, a social media trigger or any offer that’s related to the story and business. This is why we’re doing all this, don’t forget. A great story is always good, but it needs to have a purpose in the long term.

Most big businesses won’t need to do press releases and look to create buzz through PR stunts often because they’ll feel that they’re already well known. This is great news for you because you’ll have less competition for the front pages.

Okay, ideally a ‘PR stunt’ is what we’re after, but it doesn’t have to be like that because you can easily turn nothing into something just by overdosing it with creativity and uniqueness. Top your PR stunt off with a headline that catches attention; think punchy and completely unique. Include content that’s valuable, exclusive and sharable.

Make it a story, and make that a brief one! But, more than anything make it worth talking about (and worth writing about in the first place).