• April 2014

Are You Ready to Supersize Your Small Business?

Consider this equation: Effective business strategy +
Savvy communications plan =
Consistent sales and business growth.

Simple, right? And it’s something most small-business owners instinctively understand. But knowing the formula is the easy part. Succeeding at PR and marketing requires a strong PR and marketing plan.

That’s why we are proud to release, PR Rules: The Playbook The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Supersizing Your Small Business With the 8 Steps to PR Success.

In 176 pages, entrepreneurs gain access to our Inkandescent PR Playbook, which features our effective 8 Steps to PR Success. It has helped hundreds of small-business owners maximize their visibility—and we are confident that it will help you, too.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

Part 1—The PR Playing Field. What is the difference between PR, marketing, advertising, sales, and social media? In this section we feature insights from eight experts in each field to help you understand the landscape.

Part 2—The 8 Steps to PR Success. From creating a stunning website (Step 1) to paying it forward (Step 8), you’ll learn what each tool in the PR toolkit is (and what it isn’t), why it’s important, and how you can use the PR toolbox to supersize your small business. Here are the 8 Steps:

1. Create a stunning website
2. Develop an explosive PR campaign
3. Make a splash in the news
4. Write a column in a magazine and launch a radio show
5. Network wisely
6. Join a speakers bureau
7. Write a book
8. Pay it forward

Part 3—8 Case Studies + Inkandescent Insights. What do the big players do to make their businesses glow and grow? In this section you’ll find case studies of 8 of our Entrepreneurs of the Month who are rocking their PR and marketing campaigns:

You’ll also discover:

  • The three mistakes we see many small-business owners make = “The Trifecta of Small-Business Failure.” A sneak peek is in this month’s Tips for Entrepreneurs.
  • What you are up against when it comes to pitching your story to reporters. We asked our friend Gene Weingarten, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose humor column, “Below the Beltway,” has appeared weekly in The Washington Post Magazine since July 2000. In May 2012, he penned Flack Yourself, a biting explanation of why reporters generally have contempt for PR folks.

Weingarten granted us permission to run it as the preface to our “Playbook.” And, he provided this testimonial: Hope Katz Gibbs is far less pathetic, incompetent, and shameless than most PR people. Her book actually contains some smart advice, not that any of those clueless frauds will take it. Here’s what others are saying about the Playbook.

“PR Rules” is also sprinkled with quotes we hope will inspire entrepreneurs, including this one from “We Bought a Zoo:” You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.

Here’s to your incredible, indelible, Inkandescent PR success.The PR Rules team: Hope Katz Gibbs, Kathleen McCarthy, and illustrator / designer Michael Gibbs

Why PR Rules

From “PR Rules: The Playbook—The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Supersizing Your Small Business.”

By Hope Katz Gibbs, with Kathleen McCarthy

Illustrations and design by Michael Glenwood Gibbs

As a small-business owner, you want to be featured in the news, right? So you hire a PR person to pitch your story to the media, or you do it yourself.

Here’s why it’s a challenge: Many journalists are wary of PR specialists, who sometimes act like pushy salespeople. Reporters believe their job is to provide readers with legitimate news—not copy for an ad. And they know that publicists are being paid to pitch a story, and that doesn’t sit well with people who make a living sniffing out the truth.

The key is to think like a reporter. Know their publications, their audience, and the stories they like to tell.

At The Inkandescent Group, everyone on our team has worked as a journalist. The reason we got into the PR business is the same reason we wrote PR Rules: The Playbook — to help small-business owners figure out how to best spread the word about what they are doing so their companies glow—and grow.

So what does it take to Supersize Your Small Business?

For a preview, check out the comments of a few of the industry experts whom we interviewed for the book, who share their advice in this issue:

• PR guru Lee Woodruff, author and broadcast journalist
• Marketing genius Guy Kawasaki, author of “Enchantment”
• Social media specialist Ronnie Bincer, Google+ Hangout guide
• Master of the soft sell Buddy Teaster, president of Soles4Souls
• Advertising expert Erin Hood, a TV producer at WJLA-TV

Before you try to generate any PR or news interest in your business, answer these three essential questions about you and your business:

1. What do you do? Tell us in under 30 words (the fewer the better). If you can’t, people will assume that you don’t know what you do. So think it through.

Example: The Inkandescent Group is a PR and publishing company that helps entrepreneurs get more visibility using 8 Steps to PR Success. (21 words.)

Your turn: What do you do?

2. Why do you do it? Is your business your passion? Does it get you out of bed in the morning? If you didn’t do this business, would it crush you? If you didn’t answer yes to those questions—stop reading. You aren’t doing what you’re supposed to be doing.

But if you answered yes, you are on the path to success. Passion is the key to every entrepreneur’s success. It takes a whole lot more than that to be successful, of course—time, patience, capital, and human resources—and an amazing product or service. But if your business is not in your guts, like a child or a lover, then you’ll never take it to the level you dream of.

Your turn: Why do you do what you do?

3. How do you do it? Now dive into the nitty-gritty. The devil is in the details, especially when a reporter is quoting you, or, even better, writing a story about your company. So be sure your message about your business is clear, concise, and as specific as possible.

Example: At The Inkandescent Group, our mission is to promote, educate, and inspire entrepreneurs about best practices in small business. To walk that talk, our team provides a series of services that help businesses get more visibility, and accomplish their business goals, including: building websites, crafting newsletters and magazine columns, to hosting radio shows, networking, writing books, and getting out on the speakers circuit.

Your turn: How do you do what you do?

We’d love to hear what you come up with! Click here to email us with your ideas, and to order your copy of PR Rules.

Click here to find out if you are suffering from the Trifecta of Small-Business Failure.

Are You Suffering From the Trifecta of Small-Business Failure? Good PR Can Help!

From “PR Rules: The Playbook—The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Supersizing Your Small Business.”

Available in April 2014

By Hope Katz Gibbs, with Kathleen McCarthy

Illustrations and design by Michael Gibbs

Why do so many small businesses fail?

Because the very characteristics that make an entrepreneur want to start a business are the ones that cause them to stumble.

Sitting on our publicist’s perch at Inkandescent PR, we have been privileged to work inside more than 100 companies—from solopreneurs and start-ups to multimillion-dollar corporations. We have helped them create fireworks, and we have witnessed their trials and tribulations.

From these observations, we culled the philosophy of the “Trifecta of Small-Business Failure.” These three traits can trip up even the most experienced entrepreneur. If your business is struggling, odds are good you are suffering from one or more aspects of the Trifecta. Not sure?

Then see if any of these monikers describe you:

1. The Control Freak

  • The Problem: When it comes to your business, have you ever thought this, or said aloud: “I want to do it all by myself,” “You’re not the boss of me,” or, “Everything is horrible; the sky is falling!” If so, you aren’t alone. Many entrepreneurs have a tendency to want to hold on tight to every single facet of their business. After all, being in control is why many people start their own companies. But beware: No one is good at everything. Even if you are, there aren’t enough hours in the day to think of, perfect, and execute all the necessary tasks required to ensure a business succeeds.
  • The Solution: So let go—delegate, share, outsource! Collaboration is the key to success. Find partners you trust, and build your business.

2. The Small-Picture Person

  • The Problem: Do you understand the icing-and-cake metaphor? If not, you may not be making the most of your core competencies—your “cake”—by leveraging them to make more money.
  • The Solution: Start by identifying your core competency, then step back and look at the big picture. Find all the additional revenue streams available—your “icing”—and incorporate them into your business. For example, if you are a chef and you are cooking only for your restaurant, then you are leaving money on the table. Consider catering or selling some of your products online. Don’t try just to break even. Aim to supersize.

3. The Win-Meister

  • The Problem: In this scenario, the “win” comes only when you beat someone else—at the game of business, and probably in other aspects of life. In fact, for years this philosophy was a popular way to succeed in business. But that has changed. Today, if your competition or colleagues have to lose for you to win, you are operating with an outmoded, inefficient model.
  • The Solution: To be more effective, embrace the 21st-century concept of winning—the win-win-win—in which you win, and your customers and colleagues win, too. And best of all, the world at large wins, too. Many Millennials work under this belief. If you don’t, you are not only behind the times—you are missing out on the next generation of sales.

The good news is that a strategic PR and marketing campaign can help.

But only if you as an entrepreneur start asking for help and accept guidance from the professionals who have a different sort of experience. Having a sophisticated strategy is the key. So is being patient about the timeline for your business success.

You’ll know you are on the right path when:

  • Your sales exceed your expectations.
  • Reporters consider you an expert, and are eager to hear what you have to say.
  • Feedback from customers is glowing, and they want more of what you are selling—in ways that you may have never thought of. Open up to their ideas for innovation. It could take your company to a new place.

And that’s the goal of our 2014 book, PR Rules: The Playbook. In its nearly 200 pages, we encourage you to play with the ideas and exercises, and dive into the expert interviews. We hope the information will inspire you to think about your business, and yourself as an entrepreneur, in new and exciting ways.

Go ahead—laugh out loud at yourself. We’ve all made the same rookie mistakes. After all, growth is an inside job. So be bold about discovering what holds you back, and find ways to leapfrog over the hurdles in your way.

Here’s to turning the Trifecta on its head!

Are you ready to supersize your small business? Then check out “PR Rules: The Playbook,” where you’ll have the opportunity to play with dozens of ideas and exercises, dive into expert interviews, and be inspired to think about your business—and yourself as an entrepreneur—in new and exciting ways. If you are willing to be bold about discovering what holds you back, and finding ways to leapfrog over the hurdles in your way, then use this book to help you create some fireworks! Order your book today by clicking here.

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”

– Charles R. Swindoll

Confidence is the most important thing you can teach someone… if you can teach them confidence, you don’t have to teach them anything else.”

– Vin Diesel

Passion makes perfect.”

– Eugene Biro

The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. The greatest failure is to not try.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

– Jimi Hendrix

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”

– Anna Quindlen

I always maintained that the greatest obstacle in life isn’t danger, it’s boredom. The battle against it is responsible for most of the events in the world — good or ill.”

– Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Dexter

The dove descending breaks the air / With flame of inkandescent terror.”

– T.S. Eliott

Change is a math formula. Change happens when the cost of the status quo is greater than the risk of change.”

– Alan Webber, author, "Rules of Thumb"

The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business.”

– Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"

You don’t go into a field that requires cracking people’s heads open or operating on something as delicate as the spinal cord unless you are comfortable with taking risks.”

– Dr. Ben Carson

The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”

– Buddha

To find what you seek in the road of life, leave no stone unturned.”

– Edward Bulwer Lytton

I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun.”

– John D. Rockefeller

Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

– Basil King

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., U.S. Supreme Court justice

You must learn to be still in the midst of activity 
and to be vibrantly alive in repose.”

– Indira Ghandi

Find somebody to be successful for. Raise their hopes. Think of their needs.”

– Barack Obama

We are all of us born with a letter inside us, and that only if we are true to ourselves, may we be allowed to read it before we die.”

– Douglas Coupland

Speaking more than one language is no longer just an asset in today’s job market; it is a requirement.”

– Tom Adams, CEO, Rosetta Stone

He who wants to tear down a house must be prepared to rebuild it.”

– African Proverb

Entrepreneurs are willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise.”

– Victor Kiam

A person who learns to juggle six balls will be more skilled than the person who never tries to juggle more than three.”

– Marilyn vos Savant

A man without a smiling face
 should not open a shop.”

– Chinese Proverb

A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.”

– Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

A lot of people have ideas, but few decide to do something about them now. Not next week. But today.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Atari

But all the while I was alone, the past was close behind, I seen a lot of women, but she never escaped my mind, and I just grew, tangled up in blue.”

– Bob Dylan

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. 
Now put foundations under them.”

– Henry David Thoreau

A man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out.”

– Chinese Proverb

Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all.”

– Carlos Castaneda

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

– Bruce Lee

My goal was to tell the life side of the story. We have become a nation of voyeurs that expect sensationalism, and that offends me.”

– Kathleen Jo Ryan

There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”

– John Lennon

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”

– Alfred Adler

The gem cannot be polished without friction; nor man perfected without trials.”

– Chinese proverb

Never never never never give up.”

– Winston Churchill

Part of your destiny is to live in the zone of maximum satisfaction.”

– Martha Beck

If you were independently wealthy and never had to work a day in your life, would you still choose to spend your time attempting to become a successful entrepreneur?”

– Steven Schussler

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

– Thomas Edison

Success is the necessary misfortune of life, but it is only to the very unfortunate that it comes early.”

– Anthony Trollope

Don’t follow, lead. Don’t copy, create. Don’t start, finish. Don’t sit still, move. Don’t fit in, stand out. Don’t sit quietly, speak up. (Not all the time, sure, but more often.)”

– Seth Godin

If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.”

– Joseph Addison

Traveling is one way of lengthening life, at least in appearance.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!”

– Madam C.J. Walker

Do not say, ‘why were the former days better than these,’ for it is not from wisdom that you ask this.”

– Ecclesiastes, 7:10

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”

– Abraham Lincoln

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

– Carl Rogers

Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth. Tame the dragon and the gift is yours.”

– Noela Evans

Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

Advertising

Are You Ready to Advertise on TV?

Before you invest in TV ads, check out 8 tips from Erin Hood, an Emmy Award-winning producer, writer, and director in Washington, DC.

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Books

Are You Going to the IPPYs?

With 76 categories and regional awards for 8 US regions—not to mention a spectacular awards ceremony in NYC on the eve of BookExpo America—the IPPY Awards are an effective marketing tool for authors and publishers.

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Hiring

Hiring Expert Barbara Mitchell Shares a Page From Her Personal Playbook

Do you have a list of all the things you want to do in this lifetime? If not, you’ll be inspired to create one thanks to HR and hiring expert, author, entrepreneur, and world traveler Barbara Mitchell.

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History

Erin Carlson Mast Takes Us Inside President Lincoln's Cottage

For American history buffs, visiting the home of a former president is thrilling—especially when it’s the home of a president as admired and beloved as Abraham Lincoln. Don’t miss our Q&A with the director of Lincoln’s Cottage.

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Leadership

10 Tips From Ana Dutra's "Onboarding" Playbook

“When we read about ‘onboarding,’ the entire responsibility for the success of a new hire is typically placed on the organization or on HR,” says leadership expert Ana Dutra. Here’s why this is wrong.

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Marketing

"Enchantment Is the Key to Marketing Success," Insists Guy Kawasaki

“Truly, the best way to make your marketing great is to have a great product,” says Guy Kawasaki. “Step two is to keep an empathetic perspective—don’t ask people to buy, register, or do anything that you wouldn’t do.”

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Networking

Play a Round of Golf to Honor DebiJo Wheatley's Late Husband—and Benefit LLS: April 29

“We’ll be honoring Howard Wheatley at a joyful golf outing, and raising much-needed research dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society,” says DebiJo Wheatley. Grab your clubs and join her!

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PR Rules

Lee Woodruff Helps Us Understand the Purpose of PR

Veteran PR expert, broadcast journalist, and author Lee Woodruff has spent her career working in the news—including a long career as a senior VP at one of the nation’s largest PR firms, Porter Novelli. Don’t miss her insights on what it takes to do PR like the pros.

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Public Speaking

The Business of Breathing

“Whether you are speaking to a group—or just want to be heard by your employer, employees, or colleagues—being clear and believable are the keys to your success,” says public speaking guru Hilary Blair, of Articulate Real & Clear.

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Publisher
Hope Katz Gibbs
Art Director
Michael Gibbs Illustration
Managing Editor
Kathleen McCarthy
Editorial Assistant
Ashley Freund
Website developer
Max Kukoy
Photographers
Steve Barrett
Anna Paige Gibbs
Inkandescent Interns 2014

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PR Rules

Step 7—Write a Book!

Why is it important to write a book? In this chapter of PR Rules: The Playbook, we offer in-depth insight into why it’s beneficial to pen a book.

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Inkandescent Radio

Learning From the Past—Adam Goodheart Takes Us Back to "1861"

Goodheart wrote the New York Times best-seller, “1861,” and the forthcoming “1865,” two books that capture the stories of the people who fought and lived during the Civil War. Don’t miss his insights on what we can learn from this historically important era.

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Retirement

CFP® Michael Egan Offers 7 Tips to Remember Before You File Your 2013 Taxes

Are you forgetting something? Financial planner Michael Egan, a founding partner at Egan, Berger & Weiner, LLC in Northern VA explains what many people tend to overlook on their taxes.

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Sales

Soles4Souls' Buddy Teaster Uses the Power of the Soft Sell

Countless pairs of used shoes and millions of pieces of clothing are donated to needy people worldwide. The bad news is, a lot of perfectly good items still get chucked. Here’s how Soles4Souls President Buddy Teaster uses the soft sell to change that.

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Speakers Bureau

PR Workshops—Dive Into the 8 Steps to PR Success

No two PR firms will approach PR and marketing your business the same way. But, we all use the same tools in the PR toolbox. In this engaging, interactive workshop, you’ll learn how to use the 8 Steps to PR Success to set your business apart and maximize your visibility.

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Inkandescent TV

The Art of Launching a Political Campaign

Reta Jo Lewis has been running for mayor of Washington, DC! Don’t miss our Q&A with the savvy, sophisticated government exec on the Truly Amazing Women TV Show.

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Truly Amazing Women

Alyson Fox Is Having SeriousFun—And kids around the world that she works with are, too!

Helping kids with life-threatening illnesses have fun at summer camp is “pretty darn easy,” says Alyson Fox, director of the Global Partnership Program of the SeriousFun Children’s Network. Here’s how.

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Wealth

10 Strategies to Save You Money on Taxes—Today and in the Future

Are you waiting until the last minute to file your 2013 taxes? Don’t despair. Here’s a primer by CFP® Rita Cheng on ways to get ahead of the curve.

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To learn more about becoming a client of Inkandescent Public Relations, or becoming a Be Inkandescent Magazine columnist. send an email to publisher and founder Hope Katz Gibbs at hope@inkandescentpr.com.

Here’s to your incredible, indelible, Inkandescent success!