Hello again, and happy New Year. I hope your 2004 has gotten off to a great start. In this edition of Think, we will begin a series of articles that will help you get your organization positioned properly and ready to crank up the marketing and PR. Our second feature gives you some current media opportunities to consider. And, as always, our briefs provide you with additional information to help you improve your bottom line.

Let's get started.


Harry Hoover
Ink Briefs
This brief is all about words. Do you know what Chrismukkah is? Well, if you visited Wordspy, you'd know that it is a holiday celebration combining elements of Christmas and Hanukkah. This site brings you the latest new words and the latest meanings for old words.

It's late and you are struggling to come up with the perfect word for that piece you are writing. Where do you go to find it? How about One Look Reverse Dictionary? Just type in a description of what you are trying to say - a sentence, a phrase or just one word - the reverse dictionary presents several options.

I admit it, I'm a radio geek. I was a radio, TV, motion pictures major in college and my first news job was in radio. So, Transom caught my eye. It bills itself as "an experiment in channeling new work and voices to public radio through the Internet, for discussing that work, and encouraging more." If you have an idea for a public radio show, you can submit it there, too.

Your new book is written and you want to send it to agents or publishers, but you are having trouble developing the pitch. Author Kathy Carmichael has a tool on her site that helps you develop a brief pitch letter.

McDonald's, the branding legend, has lost its way. Changing consumer attitudes about food and lawsuits accusing the golden arches of nutritional genocide, among other factors has sent the fast-food giant off target. There's an interesting feature on BrandChannel that outlines what Mickey Ds is doing to fix its brand.

About Hoover ink PR

Hoover ink PR helps position businesses that are serious about their success. Then, we craft and deliver bottom line messages that ensure it.

Who are we? We're a marketing communications firm with more than 25 years experience in providing services to financial, high tech, real estate, tourism and consumer products companies.

From employee relations and media relations to collateral material and e-newsletters, we develop the programs and communication tools that will differentiate you from your competitors. And that's the bottom line.
  What's Your Position?

Too many businesses think they must go after all carbon-based lifeforms if they are to succeed. An organization actually will be more successful by hyperfocusing on a clearly defined target. This helps eliminate the tire kickers and allows the serious prospects to self-select.

Positioning forces you to specialize and target, which results in attracting highly qualified prospects. A positioning statement helps you develop a platform from which all communications will emanate. This statement forces you to decide three things: your market, your competitive offering, and what differentiates you from your competition.

You can use demographic, geographic and psychographic elements to define your market. Here is mine: "For organizations that are serious about their success and that understand the need for focused communications." You can see I have defined mine by geographic and psychographic elements.

Next, is the competitive offering. Mine says: "we are the PR and marketing firm that carefully defines audiences and develops market-based positioning."

Finally, is the differentiation. Hoover ink's is: "so that we can help our clients communicate to all their audiences clear, concise messages that have a bottom line impact."

Getting to an acceptable positioning statement can be hard work. When you have a small business like mine, I only had to agree with myself. You may find yourself working your positioning statement through several levels of executives. That is fodder for our next installment. Stay tuned.
  Alert The Media

Another new year has dawned and the media waits to hear from you. Below are a number of media relations ideas from which you can benefit.

First, let's look at the 2004 news cycle and the key 2004 events onto which you can link.

The elections will be big news this year. Do you have a story that can tie into elections? Check The Green Papers for a list of key election dates.

Holidays are always good for a story. February 2 is Groundhog Day, and we have a leap year in 2004. Or develop your own holiday. Let's make January 21 Hoover ink Think Referral Day. [Forwardlink] this newsletter to someone and tell them they should subscribe.

The economy makes excellent story fodder, particularly from a small business angle. Will it bounce back completely? Has the recent economic cycle been good for your business?

Let me give you a few media opportunities that you can pursue right now. New magazines offer an opportunity since they may be more open to new contacts. Check out Mr. Magazine for a list of hot, new publications.

Ladies' Home Journal has been refocused recently to get it in-step with the times. Kieran Juska home section editor; Julie Bain is the health director; Chandra Czape is in charge of the life stories section, and Carla Engler covers beauty and fashion. Ladies' Home Journal, Meredith Corp., 125 Park Avenue, 20 fl., New York, NY 10016, (212) 557-6600.

Or maybe you would like to appear in the No-Spin Zone. Contact information for the Bill O'Reilly Show follows: FOX NEWS, Contact person: Ron Mitchell, Ph: 212-301-3000, Fox News, 1211 6th Ave., New York, NY.

More next time.