Monthly Archives: April 2011

Prominence Marketing Group Spirits & Wine Division

Prominence Marketing Group provides the wine and spirits industry with integrated marketing and branding solutions for existing as well as new products.  From new product launch parties, distillery press trips to celebrity seeding and event sponsorships, Prominence Marketing Group has extensive experience. Our strength is developing strategic programs that enhance each brand’s personality to help bring it to life for their key consumer and maximize media coverage beyond the traditional wine and spirits arena.

Prominence Marketing Group is extremely well connected to the spirits and wine media—consumer and trade, national and key market, print, digital and broadcast—and to influencer groups whose opinions create and sustain trends. This national network of media and influencer contacts, combined with our breadth and depth of experience in food and wine communications, is a powerful competitive advantage for our clients, lending unusual credibility to our clients’ marketing messages and gaining valuable access to trade and consumer media.

For more information contact us at info@prominencemarketinggroup.com

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Get Connected Entertainment Industry Mixer

Get Connected TV & Film Networking Sets New Record – 900 Attendees in Four Hours
Follows Up with New Venue and New Opportunities for Entertainment Industry

Atlanta, GA, April 11, 2011 – The Get Connected TV & Film Networking Event has hit the ceiling with over 900 attendees at March 2011 event and moves to new venue for networking among the movers and shakers in Atlanta’s entertainment industry. Interest and support has also going national seeing people from Los Angeles, Orlando, Pittsburgh and Nashville, just to name a few and saw people representing all aspects of the industry including Kim McClure, Account Executive, Comcast Spotlight, Marlon Gregory, Music Industry Development, GMC Gospel Music Channel, High School Musical 3’s, Justin Martin and Kim M. Jones of Brand Nation.

In addition to gathering the industry in one place, Bailey also thought it was important to give the attendees a night of fun as well. Last month’s event offered a night in Las Vegas, provided by Avalanche Entertainment and Caesar’s Entertainment Group who gave away trips to one of their casino locations. Lucky winners Maritza Seda – Harrah’s Tunica, Harold Ray – New Orleans and Drew Peters – Las Vegas will enjoy a two night stay with accommodations. April 28, 2011’s event will highlight production studios Local studios will be in the building to hire crews and demonstrate the services they provide and current and upcoming projects will be discussed for opportunities to participate in.

April’s event is sponsored by the Gospel Music Channel (GMC). GMC is the uplifting destination where viewers go to be entertained, inspired and to feel good about the faith & family friendly values they cherish. Music, movies, dramas and comedies are the building blocks of the new GMC…It’s Uplifting Entertainment. GMC director of human resources will be seeking the following positions: production assistant, marketing assistant, affiliate marketing, manager affiliate, marketing coordinator, traffic coordinator, web design content coordinator and gmc is encouraging screen writers to visit http://abff.com/festival/talent-discovery/gmc-screenplay-competition.php now to sign up for the “Faith and Family Screenplay Competition”. And what is a social event without a raffle?

But like all great things the event is growing and will be moving to the Fox Sports Grill on April 28th to better accommodate the event. “I am excited about the change and very happy that Fox Sports Grill has opened their doors to us. Jennifer Tillis, Director of Sales and Events has been great in helping make April 28th another big day in the movement. I thank the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant for their support and belief in the cause and will always be a part of the Get Connected family”, says Bailey.

As Get Connected moves into a bigger venue the experience gets better for the attendees including a film screening by an independent film maker, vending and catering spaces and a larger open floor plan. Independent film makers are encouraged to submit their films to getconnectedatlanta@gmail.com for consideration to be screened at a future Get Connected event.

And what are the attendees saying about Get Connected?

“So EXCITED! My First “GET CONNECTED” was in FEB and it lead to “2” jobs for my children! I was nervous to attend alone so I brought my brother with me…..we had a blast!! And now my children are working on a Theater project and my son just had a screen test for a 1-hour TV drama!!!!! ALL from Get Connected!!! Just one nervous visit. I will not be nervous this time!! My Children are ACTORS and ready to work Hard for you!!!” Karen M. Hunter Hipp

“This is the place to be 4th Thursday of every month things are happening it’s a movement going on” Loleita Antone-Barber

“I had a great time last night. It was great seeing people I already knew and meeting and networking with those I didn’t. It was def the place to be last night. I def got CONNECTED!! Peace & Love!!!” actress, Leta Lagaunda

Join Get Connected Film & TV Networking Event on April 28th, 6pm – 10pm at the Fox Sports Grill, 261 19th St NW # 1180, Atlanta, GA 30363 (www.foxsportsgrill.com/atlanta/default.aspx).

STAY CONNECTED and Join the FAN PAGE at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=53202400#!/pages/Get-Connected/150061968382511

*Prominence Marketing Group does not represent Get Connected. For more information contact getconnectedatlanta@gmail.com *

Getting the best from your PR agency

Taking on a PR agency can be daunting for startups and established businesses alike. The whole process can be made less stressful if you invest time prior to contacting an agency to understand why you think you need a PR agency, what your expectations are of what they can achieve on your behalf and, to consider how much budget you have to spend.

At this time you should also be considering if you need a retained agency, or an agency that can be contracted on a project basis to launch your company to the media.

All too often agencies are asked to pitch for business and the company can offer no formalized brief and no details of the size of budget. You wouldn’t go and buy a new car without knowing whether you wanted a people carrier or a sporty little number and you’d certainly know how much you can spend. So why is buying PR any different?

Producing a concise, but thorough, brief ensures a company reaps the benefits of the effort they have sown. Agencies are then able to respond intelligently and creatively and most importantly, within the financial parameters they have been given.

There is nothing more frustrating for an agency than to produce a proposal with hundreds (or at least tens) of ground-breaking ideas only to be told by the potential client that instead of the £5,000 per month budget being suggested, they only have £2,000.

Think about what you’re looking for in an agency. PR is inevitably the domain of the marketing team, but when developing your brief check out the requirements other colleagues may have of PR, particularly those responsible for sales.

PR isn’t just about column inches and self-congratulation, it’s about establishing a persona for the company that brings in the sales leads. This reality is unfortunately often overlooked.

It’s also worth doing some investigation outside the company. PR is about the media, so why not talk to them? Speak to the leading titles in your sector-trade, vertical and online titles – and find out which PR companies they recommend. Journalists are usually only too happy to tell you which agencies understand your markets.

Companies should also be wary of agency charge out rates: unfortunately all too often agencies seem to charge what they feel fits. The standard charge out rates should be 3.5 times the cost of the consultant to the agency.

Also ensure there are no hidden charges. Prior to signing contracts make sure you know how your chosen agency charges for disbursements. A handling charge on third-party invoices is the norm, but all the hidden extras can add up. How do they charge for telephone, Internet connection, stationery, etc?

 

It may sound rather petty, but a full understanding of these issues at the outset can rule out the need for unpleasant conversations at a later stage in the relationship.

Also, if you have a set budget for disbursements, ask the consultancy to build into the contract a ceiling for such costs, e.g., a statement confirming that disbursements will not exceed £500 per month without prior approval from the client.

After you have drawn up your list of selected agencies (which maybe seven or eight), ask them to undertake a credentials presentation at their offices. This will give you the chance to see first hand their company in action. Is the place buzzing? Do the people exude creativity? Are the phones constantly ringing? Is there a good atmosphere – keep an eye out for the sweat shops!

Also ensure that the PR consultants doing the mainstay of the presentation are the people who will be working on your account. Make sure they can answer the probing questions without the new business director jumping in with all the answers.

Having established that the pitching team in front of you would be your designated account team – think about whether you actually like them. PR is a people’s business and it’s crucial you get on with your team.

Considering that our subconscious rules our conscious mind, it’s tricky because it means we’ve already made a decision about someone as soon as they walk in the room, but your first impressions need to be taken on board.

Without doubt, PR is down to personal chemistry and if your account manager grates with you every time they call, you have to wonder if they have the same effect on a journalist, and if so, how does this affect the amount of coverage they are achieving on your behalf.

Once you have selected your agency be careful when contracts are being drawn up. Any agency worth its salt should include a six monthly review in the program. If they don’t, ask for one. Also make sure you have a “getting started” meeting at which time objectives can be set, which then become the benchmark on which to assess the campaign at the six monthly review.

Insist your PR company becomes a satellite to your in-house marketing team, the interface should be seamless as successful PR campaigns are those generated by two organizations who only communicate constantly, not just at the monthly status meeting!

And, finally, a PR company can only be as good as the information they are given to promote. Keep your agency in the loop when it comes to news and business developments, confidentiality is not a problem as agencies will happily sign an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement), invite representatives from the PR team to marketing strategy meetings, don’t grumble when they’re always on the phone (when they’re not constantly calling is the time to complain) and remember they should be fun, focused, energetic and give you maximum return on investment.

 

Written by Louise Stewart-Muir

Six Worst PR Mistakes

Would you like to do PR in your business but have no idea what to do or where to start?

If you do PR correctly you can get the following results:

Your phone rings, orders come flying in, meeting planners can’t wait to book you for speaking engagements, literary agents vie for your book, joint venture partners call you to do business together. You’re revered and respected. And you’ve got money in your pocket.

But creating and carrying out a PR campaign seems to be an impossible task when there is so much to learn and so many things that don’t make sense.

Maybe we’d all like a publicist or PR firms to do this for us.Someone who has the connections to the media, someone who can write the press materials, make the calls to the media, book the appearances and make sure everything happened smoothly and at the right time. So we can just run our business.

But in working with thousands of clients, I learned that most make so many mistakes trying to do their own publicity or hiring a publicist on the cheap or for a hefty retainer with even heftier promises, that they don’t get very far with it.

Here are “Six Worst Mistakes in Building Your Business with PR”that most people make and what you need to do instead.

1. You write a press release telling all about the greatness of your business, book, product, service or cause.

Most people don’t get this. The media and their audiences aren’t interested in you, your service or your stuff. They ARE interested in a good story or something that gives them what they need that can help them save time, energy, or money. The media are interested in how you can serve their audiences, not what you can get from them.

Most people think about themselves first and talk about “me me me” or “my new neat thing.” But take a look through the viewpoint of the journalist or producer and you’ll see a different picture. A view from their audience and what might resonate most with them from THEIR point of view. Your press release should paint that picture for them.

2. You send a big blast to a list of “The most important” media.

In the PR business this is called “spray and pray.” In order to have the desired effect from your media i.e. for your press released to get “picked up” it needs to go to the right people whose audiences are eager for your information. This means identifying the type of media that would be best suited to your information along with the best people who are interested in your topic.

To accomplish this you can either become a member of a press release service that can help you segment your media list properly, hire a publicist who understands your business and the media who are right for you, or attend a program and learn how to decipher the best lists for you (more on this later).

3. You’re not media ready.

Most people never get media coached. This is their biggest downfall. It’s often the missing link in an otherwise successful PR campaign. They have worked hard for years creating and promoting an excellent business, service or product, but have forgotten the most crucial step to gaining loyalty from the people they want as clients or customers — what they are going to say to engage them.

A long time ago Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message.” This still holds true. And to go even deeper, Gandhi said, “My life is my message.” In today’s environment you and your story are sometimes more important than whatever you’re promoting. And you need to be able to convey that in 10-30 seconds – sometimes less – so people will buy or buy into whatever you are promoting.

4. You aren’t prepared for all the pre-work before a media booking.

Producers and journalists also expect you to be ready to jump at their beck and call when they need something when they’re putting together a show or a print story. So you need to be ready to drop everything to get them what they need now.

It’s a lot of work, but if you’re prepared ahead of time it can substantially reduce the “get ready in a rush” factor and make you stand out from all your competitors vying for the same coveted media spots. Once you understand the most common press kit components and how to create them to the media’s specifications you’ll be half-way there to becoming an excellent, reliable media source.

5. You don’t deliver what you promise.

While there is a lot of stuff and nonsense going on in the media today, and everyone is clamoring for their 5 minutes of fame, the more well-known the publication or show the more professional and prepared you need to be. Producers and journalists have to slog through thousands of inappropriate, dull, or unworthy news items every day from people trying to get publicity.

Most people don’t realize all the work that goes into creating a show or an article BEHIND the scenes to make sure audiences stay tuned or keep reading in today’s competitive marketplace. Once you’re booked on a show or for an interview that’s when the real work begins. You have to give the journalist or producer news that they can use in a way that is already packaged properly. Being “mediagenic” means that both you and your product are easily understood instantly in layman’s terms.

6. You don’t have your systems in place when success comes.

That saying, “Luck favors the prepared” still holds true. Your back-end needs to be set up so when orders start flying in and more media people call you you are set up to handle all your good fortune. I and Karen were just recently working with a client who almost didn’t get her website up in time to handle all the orders generated from flood of responses from the press — over 50 — from major national magazines and TV shows as well as from influential bloggers.

Article Written by: Susan Harrow