Publicity Predicament Number 4 – Must We Buy Ads to Get News Coverage?

A well-known product development expert claims that few magazines feature new products these days, and of those that do, almost all of them print articles only about companies that advertise in the magazine. The game is “pay to play,” he says, so if you write and distribute a release about a new product without buying ads in the magazines that reach your target market, you are wasting your time.

Is that true?

As a publicity expert and a former freelance writer for national magazines, I’m a bit more tuned in to magazines than the average person, and from my vantage point, this claim seems wildly mistaken.

Here’s what I find in a consumer magazine that happens to be on my kitchen counter today – Everyday with Rachael Ray. This magazine covers cooking and entertaining tips, tied into a popular TV show on the Food Network. In the front of the magazine, Everyday contains a section called “Yum” that highlights new products from Orville Redenbacher, Target, Bed & Bath, Hammacher Schlemmer, and products or services from smaller companies Ilium Software, ThinkGeek and Banpresto. Not a single one of those companies has an advertisement in that issue.

Taking the same kind of look at a business magazine, Fast Company, I find in the “what’s new” section near the front (which is where most publications cover new stuff), articles on new offerings from Panjiva, David Rockwell, Philips and StemSave. Again, not one of these companies has an advertisement in that issue of the magazine.

I agree that sometimes, in some magazines and papers, advertisers do get favored treatment in the non-ad pages, either in advertorial columns that are not clearly labeled as such, or through implications by sales representatives or editors that they’ll be covered if they advertise. But this happens almost exclusively with smaller publications. The larger and more prestigious the publication, the less this happens. That’s because it’s a time-honored principle of journalistic ethics that advertising and editorial copy must be functionally separate.

By and large, then, you do not have to buy advertising to get media coverage for a new product. Follow the tips below and maximize your chances for publicity.

New Product Publicity Tips

1. Focus your release or product pitch on the benefits buyers get from the product. What can they do, have or avoid because of it? Whenever pitching, don’t forget to mention the price and where people can buy the item.

2. Take advantage of three prime opportunities to promote your product: First, whenever it’s brand new; second, for the Christmas holiday season; and third, for special sections related to other holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or graduation season, or to a traditional time of year for promoting certain items, like cruises in January, wedding guides in February or March or back-to-school items in late August. For the Christmas holiday season, get the scoop on who’s looking for which kinds of items at

3. Make photos available. Some press release distribution services now allow you to send a photo or even a short video along with a release for no extra charge. And if you go to the trouble of sending a product sample to publications, include photos too or indicate on your accompanying cover letter how they can get high-resolution photos from you instead of having to take them themselves.

4. Do you have a do-good angle? If you donate a portion of profits to a charity, or have something like organic or LEED certification, mention it in your publicity materials. Some publications and some product roundups focus on environmentally safe or child-safe or charity-friendly products only.

How Your Presence Affects Your Business Online Marketing Results

Whether or not you are doing business online marketing for yourself or for another company, you will continuously need to know how you can improve your strategy. Aside from being updated with the latest tools developed to help you promote a business, you will also need to know how you can grow with it. This means your online marketing presence. The more people know you, the better chance you have of getting the business known throughout the world.

I have compiled some tips that will help promote your online presence. These tips will help you become more successful in your venture and will help result to more money for you. Unless you are not interested in these both, you should consider these tips I have compiled below and practice them!

Volunteer for interviews- This is one way you will be able to get people to know about you and your business. Research on website directories that promote products like yours so you can get more people to find them. Share tips about the business and relevant information.

Look for top bloggers- Nowadays, almost everybody has a blog. These blogs also vary in content and topic. If you look for the top bloggers who concentrate on the same area as the business you wish to promote, you will be able to start its business online marketing. Offer these bloggers a free try of the products so they can feature it on their blog.

Join an online community- Aside from having a blog, people are also joining social networking sites such as Facebook. If you join these sites, you will have to comply with the rules before you start an account. In these sites, you can promote the business by giving out free trials, invites to events, and exclusive discounts.

Share your story- Everybody likes a success story. This is why you should share how you were able to come up with the business and let other people know the story behind it. By doing this, you will be shocked by the number of people who will show interest in your product.

Your presence is important in business online marketing. Think of yourself as a celebrity that people will associate with the business you are promoting. If you carry yourself well enough, you will be able to succeed in this marketing strategy.

Can You Really Purchase Off Plan Property For Up to 70% Below Market Value?

You know how the saying goes “if it’s too good to be true, then it most likely is”? Well in most cases that is correct, however many property developers who put these “two good to be true” concepts together are making investors a fortune if taken advantage of. How? Because the developers are simply selling their off plan property far below current market value.

Before going any further, it’s important to know what off plan property even is. Off plan property is a property that is either currently under construction or has not begun construction yet. At some point or another, every single property in the world went through its off plan phase. When a developer decides to build in a certain area, he or she first needs to obtain planning (building) permission from the state or government before allowed to begin construction. The developer can still buy the land and hold on to it while planning permission is pending, and in some countries the developer can even start pre-selling units before planning permission is even granted. This is of course very risky to the investor as permission has not been granted but is done quite often. Because the risk is far greater before planning permission is granted, the developer decides to incentive property investors with a discount that rewards them for taking on such risk. Often times, the developer will state in the contract that if for any reason planning permission is not granted that the investor will receive a full refund plus a certain percentage of interest for tying up their capital. (Don’t ever invest in to an off plan property unless this is clearly stated in the contract between you and the developer).

So let’s consider the fact that you, the investor were looking for a heavy discount in the market and decided to contact developers or investment firms that were recommending off plan property as an investment. Take the price of a one bedroom apartment for example in North West London that costs on average £204,000. If you were to purchase this apartment at market value, you are not leaving yourself with very much upside potential, unless of course you wanted to wait for the markets to appreciate over the next 7-10 years to see a sizable return. To most aggressive investors, this is NOT an exciting investment strategy. So you decide to look at off plan property as an option and you are told of a property that is currently being sold for only £170,000, but has not yet begun construction. How can this be? This is a 20% instant savings on a 1 bedroom unit very similar to the completed properties you have been looking at. Because the developer is still obtaining planning permission, but is very confident that they will be granted rights, they decide to start selling units at a very heavy discount. Remember, at this time the developer and his team have everything in place including renderings of the development, but are just waiting for the planning committee to give them the green light. With a completion date set for two years out, you only need to put down 30% and nothing further due until the property is finished. Depending on the location, a mortgage is not required until the property is built which gives you more time to build up your savings and borrow even less when it comes time to apply for a mortgage. In many cases, by the time the property is complete, you may not even need to apply for a mortgage because you have saved enough funds to go ahead without it. So with a property price of £170,000 and only 30% needed to lock in this transaction, you only need to come up with £51,000. And it’s get better…

Once planning permission is approved, the investment case dramatically changes because now the property is guaranteed to be built. This gives the developers the confidence to ask for more money on each unit. It also gives the banks the confidence they need to finance the development in line with the developers needs. Immediately the developers raise the prices on each one bedroom unit to £185,000 giving you an instant unrealized gain of 8.8% in just a matter of months. Typically at this time, there is a rush of investors to get in on this new build, and if there’s enough hype you may even be able to sell your property to the next investor which would give you a profit of £15,000 or a 29% realized capital gain on your initial 30% deposit. Because you only invested £51,000 and your take home is £66,000, you genuinely are able to see big returns in a very short period of time.

Now let’s imagine that you decided to hold on to your property or there wasn’t enough hype in the market for you to be able to sell just yet. You now wait until the second phase in the property investment which typically occurs when the developers break ground. At this time, you can expect the prices to go up again, but not by as much as they will when the property is completed. On average you may expect the price of the property to rise roughly 5-10 percent and in some cases maybe 15%. Let’s be ultra conservative in this case and say that the property only went up another 5%. The value of your property is now worth £194,250 and the developers begin to list the investment at this price therefore giving you another opportunity to make even a bigger gain on your 30% deposit. If at this time you were able to sell your property you would now be taking home £24,250 which increases your gross capital gain on cash employed to 47.55% in just one year.

Finally when construction is complete, the developers officially launch the development to the public and sell each unit at market value. By this time, you have two options. One, take out a mortgage and continue to wait for the property to appreciate to a price that you would be happy with. Two, sell the property to a new investor that is happy to purchase this completed property at market value which in this case is £204,000. Let’s say that everything worked out perfectly and you were able to sell the property immediately before applying for a mortgage. You would now be taking home £34,000 (£204,000 – £170,000) giving you a realized capital gain of 66.67% increase in just two years.

This aggressive property strategy is known to many savvy investors as “flipping” and must be done in line with your financial situation. If you cannot afford to hold on to the property when it comes time to apply for a mortgage, then you should not enter this strategy with the intentions of flipping it before completion. You may get caught out not being able to sell which then forces you to take out a mortgage, therefore generating a massive burden on your financial situation if the mortgage payments are not in line with your financial budget. On the other hand, for investors looking for “a quick buck” (or pound in this case) can absolutely do so through the use of off plan property. It doesn’t always work out this way of course and more times often then others will you need to hang on to your property for a little bit longer then you originally planned, but if your financial situation permits it and your financial advisor highly recommends the investment, then go for it! It’s OK to take on little bit of risk every once and a while in order to see the potential big rewards.

So now that you understand how the strategy works, how do you know which off plan property to select? You should always speak to an investment advisor regarding the purchase of off plan property. Real estate agents aren’t qualified to give you the investment advice needed, and if you want the real story it’s best you speak to a financial advisory firm.

Easy Steps to Following a Whole Foods Lifestyle

Anyone that wants to challenge themselves to a better way of living should consider following a whole foods lifestyle. Everyday there are people fighting with themselves trying to balance the desire to eat healthy foods with the desire to eat what tastes good. This can be quite a struggle for some people. Even with the large number of people that have health issues and are required to change their eating habits, adopting healthier eating habits is just not as simple as some people would like to think it is. Those that want to improve their health for the long term should know that only a commitment to eating foods that are natural or whole will change their health status and lower the risk of obtaining certain diseases. The process of adopting a whole foods lifestyle is only as hard as one makes it. Below are some easy steps to following a whole foods lifestyle.

1. Speak to Your Doctor- There are times when people are more likely to see the significance of a certain activity if they have the advice and support of a professional. Speaking to a doctor about the decision to adopt a whole foods lifestyle is a good decision particularly if the person has health concerns. A physician can offer candid information about one’s current state of health and how improving eating habits can drastically improve one’s overall health. A person can also consult with a nutritionist to discuss what whole food is and the many benefits that are derived from adopting a whole foods lifestyle.

2. Removing and Avoiding Temptation- As with any lifestyle change, the best way to obtain to stick to a whole foods lifestyle is to avoid the temptation of processed foods. Many people say this is easier said than done, but it is possible. Instead of buying groceries form traditional markets it may be best to switch to markets that specialize in carrying healthier food options. There are a number of health based food stores where people can shop. Likewise, it is also recommended for people to seek out their local farmers markets. The food at the farmers markets are usually picked straight from the farm that day to ensure freshness.

3. Get Creative- Just because a person is following a whole foods lifestyle doesn’t mean that the joy of eating is now diminished. There are multitudes of ways in which an individual can create wonderfully delicious foods options. With the increasing popularity of whole food living, there are more cookbooks, recipes and ideas that are available to assist a person in making the most of the all natural foods that are around.

4. Adopt Other Healthy Habits-People are more likely to follow a whole foods lifestyle if they have committed to being healthy overall. This means coupling healthy eating with an active lifestyle. People that exercise are more likely to support the exercise they obtain on a regular basis with healthy eating habits. This makes sense being that being healthy in a physical sense would also make a person want to be healthy in other ways too.

5. Be Patient and Strong- All lifestyle changes take time and such is the case with a change in the way one eats. It would be foolish to deny the fact that there will be cravings to eat processed food in the beginning. However, a people must remind themselves why they are dedicated to a whole foods lifestyle. The prospect of improving one’s health for the rest of one’s life is more appealing than indulging for a brief moment.