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Internet Marketing: Great Public Relations Tips

Without doubt, public relations is big business and a true skill. When you’re building an online business, public relations is all the more important because some people have an inherent distrust of online merchants that don’t have a brick-and-mortar store. Here are some public relations tips to get you thinking about how to boost your business’ public face.

Instill confidence – You need to make your potential and existing customers feel 100% confident in you and what you have to offer. Creating a trusting bond with customers means being open to answering questions, making sure communication is ongoing, providing solid warranties and guarantees, and so on.

Differentiation – When writing a press release, sending out newsletters, or promoting your website in any way, you want to pinpoint the differences between you and your competition, and then promote them. You want to make what you sell stand out so more people will be interested in buying.

Take advantage of holidays – If you sell products for women, for example, you can have a Mother’s Day sale during April – and target men in your advertising. Similarly, you can offer a discount on anything red for Valentine’s Day.

Nonprofit connections – If possible, find a non-profit organization with which you can connect your online business. For instance, you might be able to use a slogan for the product and/or service that you sell that supports some type of not-for-profit agency. You can also work closely with a non-profit organization, giving a small percentage of your sales to a cause you care about. While you are doing something good for the organization, you are also leaving a lasting impression with customers.

Choose a slogan – Every company needs a tagline. If you are not able to come up with something smart and catchy on your own, you can always hire someone to write a slogan for you. Your goal is a tagline that’s professional, unique, and interesting.


Web Companies are a Great Investment

One of the greatest reasons that a company that makes money via websites is because of the low costs that are involved with the initial startup. It gives a lot of people that know their way around a computer a chance to make money really fast. Well, at least faster than the traditional way of starting a company at a very slow pace until it proved successful over time. Many companies require a lot more equipment than just a computer. Also, you can run this business from almost anywhere that you can get an internet connection. That’s very appealing to many. It’s not always physically demanding, but it will drain your brain juice in a big hurry if your not prepared mentally.


Does Streaming Music Help Sales?

Lastfm has been allowing a limited amount of plays for free to be streamed through the speakers for an online user looking to listen to some music. This was done in order to see if allowing the public to listen to a sample of an artists music would help to increase total music sales. It looks like this experiment has worked after all. MySpace is also getting ready to offer free streaming music players for many to listen to.


Business goes to Cyberspace

It is a well known axiom of doing business in any industry that those who do not stay in step with the times will be the companies that eventually die out.  There is no place where that truism is more evident than in the way that companies in virtually every business sector are finding to integrate an internet marketing strategy with their traditional communications and to provide the public with an internet “presence” to supplement their public profiles in other venues.

Of course, the value of the internet for sales and promotions has been well known in the industries that service the youth markets and for the companies dealing with entertainment and the arts.  Because the internet is in virtually every home and even now on hand held devices of every description, the access it gives to reach a target market are phenomenal.

This explosion of an entirely new marketing model has introduced the world of business to entirely new paradigms of marketing and new ways to achieve greater market penetration and sales.  And so any business who has had to get out on cyberspace to keep up with the competition has already had to learn a whole new vocabulary that has grown up around the internet marketing phenomenon.  Now terms like “Search Engine Optimization”, “Auto responders” and “Viral Marketing” become important and powerful tools to any business that wants to tap the power of the internet to increase sales.

The second wave of businesses that, perhaps reluctantly, ventured out into cyberspace were traditional retail business that you would not associate with cyberspace at all.  This includes sport teams, restaurants and even retail giants such as Wal-Mart and Border’s Book Stores.  In fact, the wave of change in how products and services are sold has been so rapid that entire market niches have been virtually revolutionalized by internet sales techniques.  Book and music outlets have been virtually hard hit as a large percentage of their customers have abandoned the “brick and mortar” sales outlets entirely to use the more convenient tools of internet shopping. 

This has made it tough on some retailers to keep up.  For the “mom and pop” business, the change has been particularly devastating.  Already small, home grown businesses were struggling to compete with the giant mega-stores like Wal-Mart to keep their loyal clientele coming back.  Add to that the migration of customers to the internet and the need for change just to stay in business became even more urgent.

But even businesses who do not depend on marketing at all have seen the need to build and maintain a well functioning business web site so they will have a “face” in cyberspace.  In the modern marketplace, the consumer will go to the internet first to find out about a company and it’s goods and services.  This has turned traditional ways of connecting with existing and new customers upside down entirely. 

The good news is that these rapid changes in how modern markets work have made the business world more diverse, more able to adjust to changing business dynamics and more open to the creative and innovative minds that have always been the real life blood of the business world.  And, ironically, it is often the small business that is most capable of making rapid changes to its online presence and ways to doing things. 

In that the internet is a phenomenally dynamic place, new ways of reaching our customers change almost annually.  Where one year a simple web page may have been sufficient, soon we had to have chat rooms, MySpace pages and YouTube compatibility.  Any business that sees these changes as chances to do something new and exciting with their business will be the companies that thrive in this modern world.  And, as always, those who do not thrive with change will be destined to be made obsolete by it.


A Hidden Gold Mine in Every Business

In many companies, most seem to operate by a completely different set of rules and communicate in a different language than those the IT or computer services sector of the business.  This division is somewhat artificial and partially maintained by the IT people themselves because of a certain culture technical people have about their specialized knowledge and application areas.  But at heart, those strange people down in IT have the same goals as every other business person which is to succeed both personally and corporately in shared projects.

But those of us on the business side of the corporate landscape depend on the computer folks to let us know how things are going with that highly valuable asset that we have in our IT systems, hardware and software.  Most medium to large businesses run very high capacity computers or multitudes of computers connected through a network and those systems must perform at top capacity each day to accomplish the goals of the business.

The upgrade and maintenance budgets for the computers that run your business no doubt represents a fairly sizable percentage of the corporate budget each year.  But because those systems are what make you competitive in the marketplace, that investment is worth the money to assure that the mission critical jobs those powerful systems do get done on time each week and month.

When a computer begins to show signs of straining under the load of work, we are giving it, that can be a cause of significant concern for a business.  If your business paradigm dictates that the load of traffic or system resources could be pushed to beyond what the computers can do with their existing computing power, that weakness in the IT infrastructure represents a significant risk to the company should the system become overloaded when there is a large body of work to be done by these machines.

What not every business person knows is that there may be a hidden goldmine of computing capacity already resident in your IT resources that simply is not being tapped to its fullest.  You know that it isn’t uncommon for your IT professionals to report that your systems are at 80-90% capacity and must be upgraded to handle the next big increase in business.

That hidden goldmine is a discipline that has actually been around for quite sometime but is infrequently tapped in the modern business world.  That discipline is called “capacity planning”.  By implementing a capacity planning office and monitoring function, you can put the tools and the talent in place to precisely measure scientifically if your computer systems are at capacity of if there is just a need for system tuning or realignment of computing schedules to get more out of the systems you already own.

Recently a large oil company in the Midwest noted that many of its mission critical functions were being delayed in processing, seemingly because the computer systems were overloaded and in dire need of an expensive and time consuming upgrade.  Capacity planning measurements were taken and the system was diagnosed to determine what the real problem was and it was found that job priorities of new functions were not tuned to the load of the system at critical time frames.  The adjustments were made by talented systems administrators and the IT infrastructure continued to perform at top-notch capacity and the delays were eliminated with no additional hardware or upgrades needed.

By utilizing capacity planning software tools and enabling your IT team to take advantage of this highly scientific computer measurement and prediction method, the business can get the most out of its computer resources and use its corporate resources to further the business objectives of the company.  And that benefits everyone.