Saturday, December 19, 2009

Miamore's Week In Review: Dec. 19, 2009

As a small-business owner myself, I understand: there is barely enough time in the day to address day-to-day biz activities and crises, much less keep up on the latest news on marketing and PR. So, Miamore has decided to start boiling down, each week, the most important updates upscale businesses need know about in the areas of public relations, social media marketing, branding, and the luxury & lifestyle sectors. Here's the first of our weekly summaries:


  • In my “past life” as a magazine editor, my favorite art director used to say (in regard to photography): if I find it on Google, it is mine! As the number of bloggers and web activity grows, however, this isn’t necessarily the case anymore. While the usage of images isn’t generally policed very well, there are still rules and laws regarding your use of images for your blog. It’s a little like the speed limit or (for you fellow Rhodies) the new texting-while-driving laws: you might not get caught if you break the rules, but you take a risk if you do. Here is a must-read outline of how to keep your blogging on the up-and-up.
  • If your company is social marketing savvy, this is a bit basic. But for those still dabbling (and wondering why/if they should) in social networking it is an excellent read.
  • For newbies and experts alike: This outline includes everything (and we mean everything!) you need to know about using Facebook effectively to promote your business.


  • We would like to hug the writer of this article. If you are considering venturing into public relations with Miamore or any agency, please read this for the low-down on how to “Be a Good PR Client” (could also be titled: How to Make your PR Agency Succeed in Growing Your Business)
  • Hopefully you don’t have to worry about “crisis” PR, but in case you do, here’s a very good read on how (and why!) you must be prepared.


"Once you start discounting, or accepting deals, there's no way of getting back up," he says. "In down times, there's the impression that the simplest thing to do is discount. But when confidence returns, the consumer's going to wonder why you want to charge $48 when just a few years back you'd sell for $30. You're effectively telling people that your product was too expensive to begin with."
  • For those in the travel sector, the luxury (leisure travel) market is staging a comeback, according to this AFP report, but only for true quality. Best quote:
"The bling has gone. It's all about the quality of the experience and the feeling of space."


  • Time's a-ticking for this one-of-a-kind holiday gift certificate: Speaking of luxury and travel, you officially have 6 days left to purchase gift certificates that will give the special women on your list the upscale adventure travel experience of their lifetimes. Your purchase will not only be the most memorable gift you’ve ever given her, it will also support one of four charitable organizations (at no cost to you). More here.
  • Music expresses (and aims to raise funding to support) the universal challenge of caring for our aging loved ones: Almost everyone has had to face the difficult moment when they realize the passage of time has taken place, and that they must take over the role of caretaker for those who cared for them. As such, we all understand the challenges of caring for our elderly loved ones. A new initiative, Life in the Years, is raising funds to support a national program for elderly foster care, through sales of a beautiful compilation CD set that features 30+ of the world’s finest musicians, from the famous Natalie Merchant to Rhode Island’s own Sue Brescia.
  • StyleWeek Providence adds to agenda: This week, StyleWeek Providence added the legendary Betsey Johnson to the list of designers who are showing during Providence, RI's first annual weeklong celebration of fashion and design in June, 2010. The roster is nearly full with phenomenal established and up-and-coming fashion, accessory and jewelry designers, but a few spots are still available. Contact us if you’d like to be considered!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

On a Mission...

What is your mission statement?
That simple question is the very first I ask of clients and prospects. Because, from that answer springs all PR, marketing (and, ultimately) sales strategies. And yet, so many small businesses reply to that question with one (or a mix) of three responses:

1.) An uncomfortable squirm
2.) A lengthy monologue starting somewhere around "well, when I was 12..."
3.) A quick: "to sell my stuff"

We understand that business owners are not necessarily writers (and we work with clients to help clarify that message), but if they can't succinctly describe who they are, what they do and why, then how can clients relate to them? More: how can the business, or its PR agency, craft a message that the media and public will understand?

Many business consultants recommend that mission statements be no more than a paragraph. I, on the other hand, take that further: you should be able to summarize it in a sentence (2 at the most). It should describe what you do, why you do it and how you do it... without getting into nitty gritty details. This isn't easy... even for professional writers (as my old journalism school professors said so correctly: it's a whole lot easier to write long than to write short), but it is a necessity. From your mission statement springs your brand and image... including tagline, creative materials, PR message, marketing initiatives and advertising plans. While every business owner knows this in theory, many small creative firms find it difficult to execute.

As an example/case study, I'll use Miamore Communications. At Miamore, our mission is:
To utilize the press, social networking tools and promotions to introduce, inform and educate the public about goods and services provided by small businesses in the luxury lifestyle category, thereby assisting those firms in reaching sales goals and growth.

From that mission comes:

  • Our tagline: "spreading the word about life's finer things"
  • Our various services: public relations, social media marketing, brand development, creative services and special event planning.
  • Our marketing focus: small businesses in the luxury and lifestyle categories
  • Our media targets: editors and bloggers in lifestyle beats
  • Our social media outreach for ourselves: groups, fans and followers in the above areas
  • Our social media outreach for our clients: consumers who dialogue about upscale and lifestyle goods and services.

If we were to say our mission is "to sell PR services", everything else would be similarly vague and ineffective... who would be our target client? Our target press contacts? We would be aiming our efforts in a million directions and spreading ourselves thin on all.

So, as you look forward to 2010 and business plans for the year, please take a look at your mission statement (or develop a succinct one). Once you have that down, you'll be surprised how much simpler everything else will come.