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THE ONLINE INVENTOR -- April 2001

(c) 2001 Market Launchers, Inc.

http://www.marketlaunchers.com

Publisher: Paul Niemann

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FAMOUS / INFAMOUS Quotes Ö

"To err is human Ė to forgive is canine," Anonymous dog lover

"When we have done our best, we should wait the result in peace," J. Lubbock

"Vegetarian Ė an ancient Indian word for ĎLousy Hunter,í " Anonymous

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In this issue:

Article # 1:    "Turning your Media Pitch into a Media Hit: Increase your Coverage by Increasing Your Pitches," by Todd Brabender / President of Spread The Public Relations, Inc.

Article # 2:    "Using Tradeshows to Meet Your Market," by Mark Davis, Inventor of the Eggsercizer

Article # 3:    "You Canít Steal Second Base with One Foot Still on First Base," by Paul Niemann of MarketLaunchers.com

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Article # 1:    "Turning your Media Pitch into a Media Hit: Increase Your Coverage by Increasing your Pitches," by Todd Brabender / President of Spread The Public Relations, Inc.

Anyone who has ever read a book on sales or taken a sales course has heard it -- on average it takes anywhere from 3 to 10 contacts before a sale is reached. Although sales and publicity are very different animals, the same rule of thumb applies when pitching your release/story idea to the media. Because of the Internet and email, media outlets today are bombarded with hundreds if not thousands of media pitches each week. So, it's more important than ever that to make sure your release gets noticed. This doesn't mean pitching to more media outlets -- it means your publicist or PR staff should take the time to pitch to your specific media market multiple times.

Whether you pitched the release yourself or hired someone to do it for you -- did the release make contact? Sure it arrived, but is that the release that the editor needs that day, for that article or for that issue. Hopefully so, but many times that is not the case. So the release is either saved for future use (again hopefully) or more than likely it is set aside, trashed or deleted. The releases/pitches that get used are the ones that are, in fact, newsworthy, media-friendly and arrive at opportune times. As you might imagine a perfect combination of all three translates into your best chances of media coverage and publicity.

Using a release distribution service gets your release pitched ONCE. But the most successful campaigns are those that are strategically and effectively maintained and/or re-pitched with calculated frequency. Most media outlets don't or can't respond to your initial release or pitch.

Based on my professional experience as a PR/Publicity specialist, I would estimate that media placements occur in the following manner:

25% occur after the 1st - 2nd pitch
50% occur after the 3rd - 5th pitch
25% occur after the 6th - 8th pitch

Sometimes (in fact, most times) a strong placement happens when a release hits an editor at the right place at the right time. Sure you may have pitch that media contact three times over the last few weeks, but perhaps that reporter/editor/producer didn't have the time or the editorial space to work your release into a placement. Your opportunity for placements increases with meticulous, media follow-ups and re-pitches. What many business owners/entrepreneurs don't realize is the majority of media outlets fail to respond until after the third or fourth pitch. I continue to be amazed and amused at the editor/producer who, upon receiving my pitch for the fourth time, says "I'm so glad you reminded me of this release!" or "Great timing! This will fit perfectly in a feature were doing this week/month!" If the release had just been pitched once and not followed up, those placements would not have taken place.

So make sure your PR staff or the company you've hired isn't afraid to wind up and pitch your campaign multiple times. Just like in baseball, the more pitches there are -- the better chances you get to make a hit.

# # # #

Todd Brabender

Spread The News Public Relations, Inc.
Generating publicity & media exposure for innovative products / businesses / web sites.
(785) 842-8909
[email protected]
 
http://www.spreadthenewspr.com 

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Article # 2:    "Using Tradeshows to Meet Your Market," by Mark Davis, Inventor of the Eggsercizer.

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: A listing of trade shows can be found at http://www.expobase.com, http://www.tsnn.com and http://wwwtscentral.com

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A trade show is the best place for a first time inventor to attend. A trade show is the first place I send many inventors. Why?

Most inventors tell me "I have been to Wal-Mart and I did not seen my idea. That may be true but this is not your best marketing evaluation tool. A trade show is where you see the latest ideas and products. Especially those trade shows that have New Product Sections as in the Super Show, the largest sporting goods show in North America. About 150,000 people attend the Super Show with about 35,000 to 40,000 products shown.

I introduced Eggsercizer at the Charlotte Gift Show in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1990. It was a great success in that I met other inventors and other people displaying their products and ideas. I learned a lot. I met sales reps and distributors.

Once an inventor contacted me with an idea of a product that would be attached to a lawn chair. This holder would allow the user to place a can of cola, a book, and sun glasses into the holder. I thought it was a great idea for those "soccer moms" and other parents that take their lawn chairs to the field to watch their kids. The inventor stated that she had been to the stores (specifically, Wal-Mart) and had not found a device like the one she had thought of.

The next month while showing Eggsercizer at the Super Show in Atlanta, in the New Product Section, I just happened by a booth with a variety of products. I always try to walk the show to see the latest products. Well, I just happened to see a product just like the inventor described. I felt bad for the inventor. Most products you see at the shows take about one to two years before they get widely distributed into the retail market, especially with Wal-Mart.

When I returned from the show I called the inventor about the product that I saw. Well, this example specifically addresses the topic of this chapter.

Attending a trade show is probably the most powerful idea for product evaluation, product development, selling, marketing and distributing an invention or idea. First, who is your customer? Mr. and Mrs. Joe Consumer? No, it is the "Buyer" for a department store, a sporting goods store, a gift store, a hardware or houseware store, etc.. In my opinion, attending a tradeshow is kind of like going fishing in an aquarium. Where else could you get in front of all those buyers (fishes) that make the decisions to place your invention or product in their store?

If you don't attend a trade show to market your invention, then you will be fishing in an ocean to find the right buyer for your invention. Go where the fish are biting. Find the right tradeshow for your invention / idea.

It is true, you may find a friend or a family member that would buy your invention, but until you sell the "Buyer" at a retail store you will probably not make any money on your invention.

There are several things that I believe you can accomplish attending a tradeshow:

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This article is from Mark's book, "From Mind to Market." Mark's first product, the Eggsercizer, sold more than one million units at outlets such as QVC, the Home Shopping Network, and various retail stores. It was also featured on CNN, ABC's 20/20, Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Inventors' Digest, Inc. magazine, People magazine, and others. To purchase his book, go to: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0966351509/qid=973376600/sr=1-3/103-9027718-9827846 or just go to: http://www.amazon.com and type in "From Mind to Market" under the heading of BOOKS.

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Article # 3:    "You Canít Steal Second Base with One Foot Still on First Base," by Paul Niemann of MarketLaunchers.com

This is one of my favorite cliches about taking chances. Like most cliches, thereís a lot of truth to it.

I get a steady stream of calls and e-mails from people saying that they have this great product idea -- one that is going to make them millions -- but they canít reveal it to me and havenít told anybody else because they are afraid that someone might steal it. I can just sense a certain paranoia in some of these people.

While itís important to protect your ideas from being stolen, there is still the problem of being overprotective about oneís invention that can cause them to do nothing with it Ė and freeze up like the proverbial deer in the headlights.

Thereís a fine line between adequately protecting your ideas versus doing nothing with them out of fear that they be stolen.

Another way to look at it is to consider the team thatís losing a close game yet continues to play it cautiously, fearful of taking any unnecessary risks. When youíre losing, it does no good to sit on the ball and wait for the other team to make a mistake; you have to make something happen in order to have a chance of winning.

Before you successfully market your invention, consider yourself as being behind in the game at that point. Yes, you should still protect yourself with the necessary confidentiality agreement and patent protection, but donít be so afraid of having your idea stolen that you freeze in the headlights like a deer, while someone else comes up with the same idea -- your idea -- and does something with it.

The clock is ticking, but itís also ticking for the other guy, so make something happen before he does.

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Copyright 1999 -- 2001
Market Launchers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

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Click here to read the March 2001 issue.