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  “Within two weeks of consulting with Raleigh and applying just a small portion of her media-marketing plan, my business increased 23%.”  -Maurice Edwards, Principal Mortgage Broker, President, Reliance Mortgage Brokerage, Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, FL  

  “I implemented your networking suggestions and my client base increased 16% in three weeks”  -Suzy Prudden, Suzy Prudden International, CA

I was shopping in an environmental products store.  I engaged the store owner in a conversation about PR on the issue of chemical products eventually ending up in drains leading to the oceans, rivers and water table, causing havoc with the ecosystem. She loved my idea of being on radio, TV and Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  I told her not to worry, I would help her in her social media journey.

I crafted a media release / pitch letter that got her on three radio talk shows lasting 20 minutes each, six minute segments on two community oriented TV shows, and a feature in the Lifestyle Section of her local newspaper. Six free interviews which would have cost her well over $100,000 in advertising costs.

Her crafted and well-prepared interview brought her a $50,000 consultation fee to spearhead a cleanup campaign project in a neighboring town. It also increased the foot traffic into her store, raising her business by 23% in a period of 3 months.

   
And then there is the story of Michael Laskow, co-founder of TAXI (http://www.taxi.com), a Los Angels based company that connects unsigned artists, bands and songwriters with major record labels, publishers and film & TV music supervisors in 1992.

As a start up with no advertising budget to launch their fledgling company, I planned an aggressive media release campaign to the general interest media with the headline "Do You Have a Song In You? We'll Help You Write It and Get it Published." Why not the trade magazines? That was like preaching to the choir. We needed to get the word out to the "closet song writer," the once upon a time teenage band member who buried his or her dreams, but were still alive inside.

He never considered sending a news release to Cosmopolitan. That free paragraph yielded 756 responses. Translation: $15,000 in business. Before, the same response numbers came from 4 ads at $1,200 each.

"We lost count after the first 500 member deals, ranging from song publication deals, staff writer deals, film and TV placements and record deals with major labels," said partners Laskow and Lederer.

Since 1992 TAXI has been featured in scores of media outlets including the LA Times Sunday Magazine, Continental Airlines' Continental magazine, Southwest Airlines Spirit magazine, The Zone News- Zone Venture Capitol Partners, and of course the traditional industry media outlets Billboard, Hollywood Reporter, Recording Magazine, Musician Magazine, Electronic Musician, Music Connection, and Spin Magazine.

This notoriety supported his getting a monthly column in the prestigious Recording Magazine interviewing top record company A&R executives, the people who sign the bands and plan their career campaigns. The column led TAXI into a strategic alliance with Alesis, a manufacturer of digital recording equipment for home recording enthusiasts. They sponsor his A&R Insider, a five page informational monthly supplement about the industry. From the column he was interviewed on NBC nightly news.

Laskow figures he's spent less than three thousand dollars on getting print publicity since 1992 and attributes his publicity efforts to making a business start up seventy thousand dollar investment into a multi million dollar business.

   
Phil, Mike and Mark Maddox started Nature's Health Connection (www.natureshealthconnection.com) in 1997. Their first product, Arthritis Relief Cream, was initially test marketed out of Phil's Campton Discount Drug Store in Campton, KY.

He was in the audience of a Jay Abraham seminar I was speaking at. He has an incredible Arthritis Cream he wanted to tell the world about. So we mounted the media release campaign with the headlines "The Only Arthritis Cream Guaranteed To Stop The Pain In Fifteen Minutes Or Your Money Back") and "Only Greaseless-Fast absorbing and Odor Free Arthritis Cream, Go Out As Soon As You Put It On or Your Money Back." This copy became the focal point of point of purchase display ads and your basic homegrown black and white flyers for bill and bag stuffers.

The traditional "celebration release" that shouted "1000 Store Growth" got the biggest return. The Lexington Herald was so impressed with the cream and the company, they wrote a four page cover story in the Living Well section which jump-started the company into the success it enjoys today.

This free coverage, that would have cost them sixty thousand dollars, not only brought an increase of monthly sales of twenty-five percent but got them the attention of a well-read countywide newspaper that reached into surrounding states. Readership demanded their local drug stores carry the cream, leading to a spike in revenue that add another steady increase of thirteen percent.
For follow up, I had them send the article to the already on board one thousand stores accompanied by a customized media release they could send directly to their local media. Now each time a store runs the release the orders and customers come flying through the door.

With the success of the no cost - low cost PR and marketing Arthritis Relief Cream campaign, Nature's Health Connection has expanded to a fifteen-product catalog, and are currently developing a no-cost, low-cost campaign based on what they learned from the Arthritis Relief Cream adventure.

   
Bill Lampton, PhD, author of The Complete Communicator: Change Your Communication, Change Your Life!, is the CEO of Championship Communication (http://www.commlampton.com), an Gainesville, GA. He is a communications consultant, speaker, and seminar leader on improving professional communication.

Before the book release date I mapped out a media release plan to approach radio and TV talk shows, newspapers, magazines, trade journals and Internet newsletters.

The Gannett Newspapers Syndicate interviewed him for their column On the Job column. He was featured in the Competitive Edge, Atlanta Constitution, South Bend Tribune, Atlanta Business Journal, Sharing Ideas, Working Mother, and Investors Business Daily. Delta airlines Sky magazine spotlighted Dr. Bill in the October 2000. Because of his visibility, he was one of thirty authors honored by the Atlanta Press club.

Many lucrative speaking engagements and consultancies resulted from these articles. The Atlanta office of the Social Security Administration found him through publicity he did on his Web site. Their deciding factor for hiring him was the credibility he established through media third party validation. And yes, book sales spiked measurably each time he was featured in the media.

I also met Bob Berry at that Jay Abraham Seminar. His company manufactures big transformers. I watched as he sat there shaking his head, and at the appropriate moment asked him about this negativity. He told me that no way would his local paper write anything about his business. He couldn't connect with anything of the angles I had so far touched on. It wasn't touchy feely or a product for the masses. When I customized his approach he still wouldn't buy it.

I was so sure he could get coverage that I challenged him to dinner at my favorite exclusive restaurant. I outlined the pitch letter and the follow up phone conversation and with a little self-esteem coaching set him on his way.

Response? Two weeks later Bob sent me a copy of a quarter of a page feature article in the business section, that prominently positioned him standing in front of one of his transformers. Free advertising worth $4,000. Results? Two hefty clients for the hefty transformers, and a transformed believer in using the media to attract business, explode referrals, increase lead generation, enhance the sales network, expand his client base, cut his advertising budget and substantially add to his bottom line.


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