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Booklet Tips From Paulette

Writing, producing, and promoting tips booklets for marketing, motivating, and making money.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Booklets - Attention Grabbing Hooks - Part 1

A local colleague and client of mine here in San Diego, Henry DeVries, sent what I see as a very useful list of publicity hooks the other day in his ezine. The entire list is 27 ideas. Here are the first 13. Ponder them to see what jogs your thinking for your booklets and the rest of your business. The remaining 14 will be posted later this week.


Why do you read the stories you read in the media? No doubt there was something that hooked your attention. Before you got to read it there must have been an angle that hooked the editor or the producer. I hear people talk about something called free publicity. Is there such a thing as free publicity? The old adage says: "The sun comes up, and the sun goes down, and nothing else is free." Publicity isn't free, your earn it by capturing people's interest. To be newsworthy, you must identify with the needs, wants, concerns and interests of your potential clients. The next time you are brainstorming ways to create earned publicity, try this checklist of 27 proven publicity hooks (examples are drawn from a variety of industries so you can cross pollinate ideas). This is also handy for blog posts, newsletter articles and stories within a speech. When I ghostwrite books for professionals and consultants I write each chapter with a publicity hook. That way when we use the chapters to market the book and the consultant, the media-pleasing publicity hook is already built in.

27 hooks for speeches, articles and blogs (13 here)
Henry DeVries
1. The Trend Hook. The media love to report on trends, and they can use all the trend watchers they can get. UC San Diego Extension garnered national media attention by issuing a list of the top ten hottest careers for college graduates (even picked up by CBS Sunday Morning Show). Wawa convenience stores won media attention with its trend stories about the 133 million Americans that eat outside the home daily, and their need for family sized dinner deals on the commute home. Organizers of a lingerie and swimsuit trade show in England announced before the show that major retailer Marks and Spencer announced an end of its policy for
charging higher prices on bras sized DD or above. The protest was about a tax on women with bigger busts. The media called it a "Storm in a DD-cup."

2. The Essay Contest Hook. How can you get publicity in 50 words or less? Ask for essays and offer a unique prize. For example, the Better Business Bureau seeks essays on workplace ethics. Quick Chek convenience stores garnered publicity with its hockey themed Devils Night Out essay contest, tied to a trip to go see the New Jersey Devils play. "We get TONS of PR on the San Diego 50 Best Mom's Essay Contest we promote annually with Time Warner Cable," says publicist Joice Truban Curry.

3. The Charity Hook. Faith and hope are nice, but charity gets coverage. Hitching your publicity wagon to a worthy cause lets you give back to the community that supports you. Two examples involving Wilson Farms convenience stores are when the chain supported the Variety Kids Telethon by tying in March bread sales and community hospices by selling paper sunflowers. "We do these a lot. With Disney on Ice one year the show was Princess Wishes," says Curry. "We got two sick Make A Wish children - took them in a limo to a salon, got them all dolled up as princess, back to the arena in the limo with a red carpet arrival in the limo and they had a tea party on the ice with their parents and got to skate with the cast and meet Snow White and the Dwarfs. It was great show PR for the engagement and made those kids and their parents day. It was one of the cooler and touching events. Another one that I still fondly think of that we enjoyed doing was a Blind Touch Tour. We contacted the San Diego Braille Inst. and invited kids and families to come and did a real blind touch tour where our sight-impaired guests we able to try on costumes, pet exotic animals, even do an act - a special behind the scenes circus experience. It was amazing to do and I sill have the smiles on their faces in my memory today."

4. The Title Sponsor Hook. Tying your name to an event that will get coverage can also get you coverage. For instance, Kwik Trip convenience stores used this hook with its sponsorship of the American Speed Association Midwest Tour.

5. The Celebrity Hook. Linking with a celebrity is a proven way to boost visibility by association. Anthony Pezzo understood that when he linked his Brooklyn car wash and convenience store with former New York Knick basketball star Charles Oakley. When the NBA Allstar Weekend was in Las Vegas, the Harlem Globetrotters promoted their game that they played against Dennis Rodman. The Globetrotters aligned themselves with Rodman to raise their profile and sell tickets to their show by doing an exhibition game of Dennis' Bad Boy team against the Ambassadors of Goodwill - the Globetrotters. It worked great sales and PR.

6. The Seasonal Hook. You don't need psychic powers to predict the news. Certain seasonal stories appear with regularity. January is fitness, February is romance, March is college basketball March Madness, May is moms, June is dads and grads, September is back to school and so on. Station Stores tied the holiday season in with its publicity on sponsorship of a local Parade of Lights. An example is the Discover Boating campaign that the National Marine Manufacturing Association does is a great example. The push is Memorial Day through Labor Day (summer) and the objective is to grow boating and boat sales.

7. The Anniversary Hook. Another predictable aspect of media coverage is the anniversary story. Major news events are re-examined one, five, ten, twenty and twenty-five years later. Create something that ties to the anniversary and spread the word.

8. The Book Hook. Books are revered. Publishing a book is a great way to open up publicity opportunities. For instance, Wawa convenience stores did this by publishing a history of its 200-year-old dairy and retailing. The Noteworthy USA National Convention hired author Shel Horowitz as a speaker. They used five of his articles at no charge in their newsletter to promote the value of what would be communicated at the convention.

9. The Scam Hook. This is a special type of advice hook that warns consumers about cons, rip-offs and pitfalls. When bad news broke about local identify thieves, Wesco convenience stores warned consumers about credit card fraud possibilities, especially at the gas pump.

10. The Publicity Stunt Hook. Gimmicks still work wonders. The New York Auto Show attracted attention with a pre-show Monster Truck Crush, featuring a pair of 15-foot high monster trucks demolishing six aged vehicles dolled up to look like those owned by local celebrities. Typically for best results, try to tie in a visual symbol such as a child or an animal. Allie's restaurants had a salad eating contest for charity, pitting an elephant vs. a team of college students recruited by a local radio station (elephants eat 150 pounds a day, it was a pachyderm rout). "With Ringling Brothers circus, we have done elephant racing kids, elephant buffets in Vegas, we have taken the Globe of Death and the Wheel of Death acts out of the SD Sports Arena and put them in Seaport Village as stunts," says Curry. "We have also done watermelon eating contests with kids vs. elephants. We got kids from the SD Boys and Girls Clubs to do it. All pulled incredible coverage! But if you are doing a costly stunt, shoot video yourself and take tape to hedge your bet!"

11. The Survey Hook. Use numbers to capture interest. The media love to report numbers, so pick a provocative topic that relates to your position and commission a publicity-generating survey. For example, if you like steamy sex conversations over dinner, you're probably single, according to a survey of 300 adults by Sfuzzi restaurants.

12. The Analysis Hook.
Borrow some numbers to analyze that relate to your positioning.

13. The News Event Hook. Tie in to a news event of the day. Heritage Dairy Stores raised money to purchase calling cards for the soldiers in Iraq so they could call home more often.

Henry DeVries
New Client Marketing Institute


Until next time,
Paulette - who realizes this is more than 2 years' worth of monthly publicity hooks!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Booklets - I Can Write Dozens of Them

Whether it's been in the booklet business or when I was a Professional Organizer or when I taught string instruments, one of the biggest challenges for many of my students or clients was focus, thinking in units of "one" while still maintaining the big-picture view.

The way a dozen booklets gets written is by writing one, then another, and another. The way a pile of papers gets sorted and filed is by reviewing and deciding on one piece at a time, and then another and another. In learning to play violin, it is one note at a time until an entire composition is learned.

You may find that after writing one tips booklet your best interests and those of your market are better served by leveraging that one body of content into other formats instead of writing a series of booklets. Or, in fact, you could find that a series of tips booklets really does make sense, one more at a time, related to the first one in some way to begin a cohesive library of choices for your market.

The big picture is valuable. Taking one step at a time is the way to create the big picture.

Until next time,
Paulette - with the reminder that one size does NOT fit all

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Booklets - Easy Products from Your Booklet

Justin Krane of www.KraneFinancialSolutions.com is a Certified Financial Planner TM who wrote a tips booklet last year about managing your money. Every Friday he sends a brief newsletter. Last week's newsletter had 5 items that I instantly saw as grist for a product. Justin identified these as questions. I see them more as affirmations. Either way, I emailed him to suggest these five plus a few more could readily become a card deck, with one tip on each card, packaged, and sold as a customized promotional item to other financial planners, banks, accountants, and financial and non-financial professionals.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself to Evaluate Where
You Are in Making Progress in Your Financial Life

1. I speak with my accountant at least twice a year to evaluate any tax planning / saving strategies that I could do to save money.

2. I have a clearly defined spending and savings plan. I know how much money I can spend on extra things for myself each month. I also have a ballpark amount of money that I am saving every month.

3. I have had at least one conversation with my financial advisor about what a Roth IRA is and how see how it may benefit me.

4. I understand what type of risk taker I am. And moreover, I now understand the consequences of being a conservative, moderate, or aggressive investor.

5. I have rebalanced my portfolio at least 1 time in the last 2 years. Click here to read about what rebalancing is.


What copy do you have in your booklet, ezine, articles, seminar notes, or anything else you've done that can become another product, another format to get your message out there, make more money, and promote what you're about?

Until next time,

Paulette - who loves leveraging



Friday, August 20, 2010

Booklets -Primary and Secondary Publicity

Marcia Yudkin made some excellent suggestions in her Marketing Minutes ezine this past week, things that are easy to do to stay in front of people who buy booklets. Doing even one thing can lead to a sale you had no reason to consider much less find easy to generate by other methods.


The Marketing Minute
by Marcia Yudkin, Marketing Expert and Mentor


When you've achieved recognition or public results, let media outlets and your own followers know. That's secondary publicity. Secondary publicity might focus on what happened or on why it happened as it did. You can see the latter approach at work in a feature the popular site EzineArticles.com published about me last week.

When they approached me about a possible case study, I selected my hig-value approach to article marketing and repurposing content as the theme, knowing they hadn't covered it in their series and that it fit their corporate philosophy.

Some less often seen routes to secondary publicity include:

  • Submit testimonials to vendors about the results you've enjoyed using their tools.
  • Create a step-by-step "how we did it" article for a trade journal, local business paper, or industry forum.
  • Tell your affiliate network what you've achieved, which gives them an excuse to promote you.
  • Use something you've done as a hook to stir up controversy. Secondary publicity can introduce you to audiences who've not yet heard of you and add a beneficial halo for those who do know you.
Read the EzineArticles case study: http://tinyurl.com/ezacase


Until next time,

Paulette - who appreciates being reminded about these things, too!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Booklets - Ask Leading Questions in Your Promo Copy

The following article in a newsletter from a former colleague of mine in the organizing industry provides an excellent model for creating promotional copy for your booklet. This model talks about a special report. The same works well for any information product.


10 things you should know about time management

A special report by Harold Taylor
August, 2010

The report asks...

  1. Why those who keep daily To Do lists work longer than those who keep weekly "To Do" lists.
  2. Why multitasking is unhealthy, inefficient and downright dangerous.
  3. Why work is no longer a place but a state of mind.
  4. How losing control of your time can affect your health and longevity.
  5. Why 70% of New Year's resolutions are abandoned within one month.
  6. Why the paper planner is superior to a Blackberry or smart phone for getting things done.
  7. The single most effective strategy for managing email.
  8. How can you tell if your life is out of balance?
  9. Why people will never have enough time to do everything they want to do.
  10. The number one time problem that people are experiencing in 2010?

>> read the full report on our home page (towards the bottom of our main page)


Until next time,

Paulette - who looks forward to sharing with you some well-learned lessons about creating tips booklets



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Booklets - Connecting the Dots

A long-time colleague asked me how the various parts of my business are connected when I shared with her a new, narrow offer I put together. (I'll share it with you soon, I promise -- just not today.) There was a lot in her question.

Brand consistency in the marketplace - My company has been about tips booklets for almost 20 years. What happens when there is any deviation from that?

Marketing efforts - As basically a one-person business, how do the marketing efforts get handled time-wise and energy-wise?

Something I hadn't considered until just now came to mind while writing that. My maternal grandfather was in the wholesale grocery business for the 25 years we were on the planet together. My two uncles were also in the business with him. At one point, one uncle suggested introducing frozen foods into the canned and dry goods they sold to restaurants and institutions. My grandfather was against it. The uncle ultimately won out when he took over the business after my grandfather was no longer around. In that case it worked as a good product line extension, without splintering any of the marketing activities. The same customers wanted the additional products. Had they gone away from food into flowers or some other product, it may not have worked.

It's sometimes useful to think about how things work outside of the market you're in, as a litmus test, to see how it flies.

In my business, I've expanded the tips booklets and learning tools and services to include collaborative booklets as well as single-author booklets. This works. I also attempted to bring a broader look at publishing to my booklet authors through a membership site for 14 months. While the marketing efforts were to the same people, it wasn't what they wanted, or at least not from my company, so it didn't work. The new offer I mentioned at the beginning of this post is about licensing booklets and ebooks to a specific and narrow market, which I think will work. We'll soon find out!

When people ask about a good topic for their booklet, I always advise that it be related to the main topic of their business. This maintains brand consistency and centralizing the marketing efforts.

Revisit your approach to see if both those components are there. If not, what can you do about it?

Until next time,
Paulette - who does tips booklets not books, and sells one to many rather than one to one

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Booklets - Instead of Too Much for the Situation

There are many situations where a tips booklet is the very best way to serve that person who is your reader/buyer. Here are two major umbrellas where that can be true:

  • Major life transition - death, divorce, relationship issues, move, birth, unemployment, new job, etc.
  • First exposure to a new subject area - finance, medical issue, hobby, technology, mechanical/construction repair, etc.
Imagine if the very first exposure your reader/buyer had was to a 300-page book, a home study course, an in-depth audio program, or anything that was intended to be a comprehensive reference on the topic. Put yourself in that situation and think about how you would feel -- probably pretty overwhelmed.

Some of the above situations will never warrant an in-depth product. The need for information is immediate, short-lived, and specific. In other circumstances it is, in fact, appropriate to develop tools to help a person progress to the next level of understanding and action.

Think about that the next time you are considering writing a book, developing a home study program, crafting an expanded in-person course or teleclass series, or expanding your products and/or services in any way. Give your people what they truly need by thinking about it in real-life terms.

Until next time,
Paulette - who knows you'll best serve your people and your own company by considering the above suggestion

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Booklets - Respecting Others' Time - Part 2

While I didn't intend for there to be a theme in this week's blog posts, it turned out that way. Here are some real-life things that happened this week just in my immediate interactions with booklet authors. There is a thread here directly related to time. You'll see as you read it.

* A very busy person who was highly enthusiastic about participating in a Collection of Experts booklet was having great difficulty squeezing out what I knew would be a brief moment to complete the 275 words for the booklet page. It was a last-minute registration for the final page of the 14-person booklet to begin with and the person was looking at a very busy week. I sent numerous email and voicemail requests to the person within a short period of time since no reply was forthcoming. This ultimately diluted the person's original enthusiasm and probably put a bit of a strain on our new business relationship. The submission was finally received, the booklet manuscript went to the graphic designer, the proof is expected soon, and all 14 people in the booklet will have the completed PDF before the weekend. All I needed was a reply to know where we stood.

* A booklet author who is participating in a new project I'm starting was working on a request I made to submit a file and cover for the new project. I didn't realize the author was initially attempting to accomplish the technological part of this "in-house." Before receiving the file I was requesting, I had the opportunity to chat with the graphic designer who has also worked with this author, and requested the task be done by the graphic designer to streamline the process. Today I got an email from the booklet author who was quite annoyed at the time that was wasted attempting to do this "in-house" when I had already gotten the graphic designer to do it. All I needed to know was where we stood on this.

These are two examples of the importance of communication. By not communicating with those engaged in your work, there is the risk of time spent less productively than it could be, a ripple of lost time for other people involved in your process, and the potential to weaken otherwise valuable, important, and even enjoyable relationships.

Yes, some people can anticipate better than others, and ask better questions than others. And many booklet authors are quite used to working alone and making solo decisions and choices. However, do what you can to consider your colleagues and vendors who really are there to contribute to your success.

Thus the sermon has ended.

Until next time,
Paulette - whose relationship with time is frequently quite different than those around her

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Booklets - Respecting Others' Time

Whether it's clients, prospects, colleagues, or any other human with whom you interact, the following suggestions are worthy of notice and consideration. My client, colleague, and friend Meggin McIntosh, sent out the following today. Because her perspective is in such perfect alignment with my own, it made for ideal information to bring you. Think about how these things influence your booklet sales process with clients and prospects, and with your all-important vendors who support your success.


Top Ten Productivity Tips for Entrepreneurs

Respecting Others' Time

Productivity and good manners often go hand in hand, and we all strive to be productive and to be viewed as being polite. Unfortunately, when we are less than productive, we often throw our good manners out the window. I'm reminded of a quote: "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part." Notice that most of these tips are simply issues of respect (good manners).

  1. Ask other people for permission to intrude on their time and space.
  2. When you call someone on the phone, say, "Good time? Bad time?" If they say "Well..." they mean it's a bad time. (Note: My brother has taught me this one and I love it!)
  3. Tell folks up front how long you think a meeting, appointment, or task is going to take...and ask whether that will work for them. Be as accurate as possible in estimating these amounts of time.
  4. Pick up on cues when you are in someone's office, home, or other space that give you the message that you are there at an inconvenient time. Tell the person that you've noticed you're interrupting and that you'll come back at another time. Leave immediately.
  5. Listen for verbal cues when you are on the phone that you might have called at an inconvenient time, or that the call has gone on too long. Use the phrase "Well, it's back to work for me!" and conclude promptly.
  6. Avoid sending emails that are of no value or consequence. Especially avoid "bounce back" or "ping pong" emails (thanking them for thanking you, etc.).
  7. Negotiate deadlines for tasks that have been delegated. Don't interrupt others' (including your employees') time and productivity by asking for constant feedback on a task (unless that was part of the negotiation).
  8. Plan well so that you are not asking for things at the last minute, whenever possible. If you must ask for something at the last minute, announce that the deadline on another task will be extended.
  9. Don't interrupt others who are talking as if your issue is more important than theirs. If it is, then at least apologize.
  10. Teach others to respect your time, too. We're all more polite...when we're all more polite. We all respect boundaries better when...we all establish and respect boundaries.

Use this email as a focus point for an all-office meeting. See if there are ways to improve everyone's respect for time, which will consequently increase everyone's productivity.

Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D (also known as "The Ph.D. of Productivity"™) was a university professor for over 15 years and spent five of those years working with faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno. Since leaving the full-time academic life for the full-time entrepreneurial life, Meggin writes, consults, and does workshops for smart people who want to be more productive, thereby being able to consistently keep their emphasis on excellence. Thus, the name of her company is Emphasis on Excellence, Inc.

Do you have questions or topics that you would like me (or a guest) to address in future Top Ten Productivity Tips for Entrepreneurs? Then just send an email to meggin@TopTenProductivityTips.comand I will endeavor to get an answer to you and others in a timely fashion. Your questions are likely to be on others' minds, too, so help everyone by sending me your questions and suggestions.

Feel free to forward this email in its entirety to your colleagues, friends, and family. They may also want to subscribe and receive their own weekly
Top Ten Productivity Tips (from any one of the 8 different specialized series). It helps all of us be more productive when the people around us are also productive!

© 2004 - 2010 Emphasis on Excellence, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D.
'The Ph.D. of Productivity'tm
Emphasis on Excellence, Inc.
PO Box 18390
Reno, NV 89511
www.meggin.com | meggin@meggin.com


Until next time,
Paulette - who appreciates these reminders for how I deal with people