Archive for the ‘Hidden Jewel’ Category

New services in the pipeline

Wow. January has been a cracker for us at PublicityShip. I’ll give you a brief update.

Publicity services are changing. We started our business with a press release service, and quickly added services around that to cover planning, distribution and monitoring. We’re just launching a new service called Get Newsworthy. We’ve had a few situations where the best angle we can come up with isn’t good enough to warrant attention in the target media. So, we are borrowing from Guy Kawasaki who advises (I think from The Macintosh Way, but its a lot of years ago) that if all seems grim, ‘get better reality’. Our Get Newsworthy service is all about helping small business figure out ways to do things differently and become more newsworthy.

New online marketing services are about to be released. Our publicity and blogging services are useful tools for companies that want to get their message out. Running an online business now opens up an incredibly wide range of marketing options. So we plan to offer services in bite size chunks, building on our journalism and copywriting skills.

Registrations have continued to come through for the PublicityShip Hidden Jewel Awards. We are approaching 300 entries. We didn’t have any real idea of how many would enter, but this is a fantastic result. Jane has worked her magic in terms of getting the message out to all the right places. We get a buzz out of hearing from so many small tourism ventures around Australia.

We are working with a significant proportion of clients from NSW and Victoria at the moment – not surprising really. Its a great sign for us, new clients are approaching us directly from the web, with a good understanding of what we do and what they want.

Our new email based publicity course is steadily building subscribers. We aren’t getting feedback from everyone, but those who have told us about their experience have been really positive. Its an 8 part series, and we were worried it would be too long. Feedback to date has been its spot on. After we launched ours, I noticed that Joan Stewart at PublicityHound recently launched an email publicity course as well. Her material is always very interesting, and at 89 parts, this is one of the longest autoresponder courses I’ve heard of. I’m thinking we will see more resources of this nature appear.

Paul and Jenny’s blog is coming along hugely. Traffic is growing consistently, and they are getting new bookings directly from the site. Once we have enough stories collected, we will help publish their first eBook. Julia and I really enjoyed a comment from Jenny last week “I’ve been so busy today I haven’t had a chance to look at AdWords”. Paul and Jenny have a small (but very effective) AdWords campaign running, and are both expert with Google Analytics.

Angie and Shelley at Mardon are so busy its just amazing. They are operating a flourishing recruitment company in a boom economy, so its not a surprise. Blogging for recruitment is a lot harder than we thought. We’ve talked about what we can do differently – content is key. A trail is definitely being blazed here.

Janet Shaw’s blogs are both travelling exceptionally well. For some reason Google took quite a lot longer to index than it did to index While we aren’t pure SEO specialists, we pride ourselves on our sites having strong SEO fundamentals, so its surprising to see a delay like this. I am constantly inspired by Janet’s determination to get past barriers – she does this with her sport, her writing, and her approach to blogging.

New blogs that we are working on include an integrated photography blogsite, and we’ve advised recently on a number of startups. I feel the WordPress platform is on a growth curve of extraordinary proportions – now I’m no statistician, but surely Google Trends on blog platforms suggests there is some basis to this. I’m convinced that many people haven’t realised exactly what WordPress has achieved in terms of bringing together a blog platform with a content management system. Sure it might not be the *best* content management system in the world – but its very good. Very good coupled with very easy coupled with an open source community tells me that WordPress is going to dominate blogging and user-editable websites (in fact, they will merge). Pity you can’t buy shares in it.

Our publicity work is going full tilt right now – travel, fashion, cosmetics, and personal coaching are some of the main industries.

For a new business (well, we’re nearly a year old now), this is just such an exciting period. Making sure we are able to grow and maintain our level of service is going to be tough. We rely heavily on our freelance journalists and writing skills, so we have to keep on getting better at finding good freelancers and getting their skills applied at the right time and the right place. If you know of journalists who might like to do some additional freelance work, please get them to contact us, we would love to hear from them.

Keeping up with Hidden Jewel registrations

Hidden Jewel logo

What Jane and I thought would be a gentle launch of the PublicityShip Hidden Jewel Awards has turned out to be anything but. Thanks to the efforts of some very helpful regional travel organisations, the word spread and registrations of interest from potential entrants have started to come in very quickly. Registrations are coming from every state & territory.

To make sure we can keep up with demand while keeping records about opt-in decisions (a requirement to be able to send award information via email), we’ve set up a more efficient response mechanism. We’ve chosen an email management service called Aweber because they automate the whole process of letting people register their email address, collecting opt-in confirmation, providing an easy way to unsubscribe … there are lots of details involved! They take email privacy very seriously, which is important to us.

Like any web based business that starts to deal with a lot of clients, efficient use of business systems is critical.

Will keep you posted about Hidden Jewel as we progress. Entries close on 31 Jan 2007.

Finding the Hidden Jewels

Hidden Jewel logoThe PublicityShip Hidden Jewel Awards have just been launched. The awards are designed to assist a small tourism operator who has a great story, but for whatever reason hasn’t been able to get their story out. The winner gets a publicity campaign that operates over almost a full year, planning and executing four major story initiatives targeting major travel publications and programmes. They also get a travel blog.

Cable Beach fishingThe feedback has been fantastic. Jane spent quite a bit of time putting together the awards, and drew on her travel industry colleagues for help in the judging. Channel 9 Postcards, AAT Kings and Australian Traveller magazine will each provide a judge to work with Jane on the judging panel. Here is what they have had to say about the awards:

We are constantly on the lookout for innovative new products that offer a top quality experience for travellers looking to get out and explore Australia. Les Cox, CEO, AAT Kings

Australian Traveller is delighted to support any project that helps small and worthy tourism businesses to stand out from the crowd… Hidden Jewel is a little gem of an idea. You can be sitting on the greatest product in the world, but without an effective way to get your voice out there, you’re going to struggle every inch of the way. Greg Barton, Editor, Australian Traveller

It is a credit to PublicityShip to create a concept that encompasses our philosophy on tourism promotion … every day in our travels we meet small tourism operators who work tirelessly to run their business. We certainly understand how difficult it is to ‘spread the word’ and how costly advertising campaigns can be. Alex Ristevski, Channel Nine, Postcards.

There’s quite an investment involved in these awards for us, as we are providing the prizes. That is not just the national winner, but also a single story publicity campaign for each state and territory winner. From our perspective, we are hoping it will help get our story out to travel and tourism operators. So its an investment that we hope will deliver a return all around.

We wrapped up final approvals from Postcards, Australian Traveller and AAT Kings this week, and we have now started distributing the release. Our newsletter also mentioned it. Its great to see such a rapid response! In the space of about an hour this morning, we got 10 registrations of interest in the awards. We expect to see surges of interest as the different regional tourism groups start to spread the word. And of course we are hoping for some media coverage. There are no guarantees here, we’ll just have to wait and see whether the court of media opinion deems the Hidden Jewel Awards newsworthy enough.

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