Category Archive for Frugal Marketing

The Clean and Green Club, May 2015

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Shel Horowitz’s Clean and Green Marketing Tip, May 2015
Special Invitation: Have Your Viral Marketing Tip Featured In This Newsletter

This is only one part of a series on making a message viral. I’d like to include your stories in the series—with full attribution to you, of course. Your viral message success can be for a product, a company, a service, an organization, or an idea.

Please write to me at shel AT GreenAndProfitable.com with the subject line, Viral Marketing Success Story, and *brief answers* to the following questions:


1. What were you attempting to market?
2. What steps did you take to make it viral?
3. What results did you experience?
4. How you’d like to be identified if I use your story (name, company, URL)
Like Twitter Forward
This Month’s Tip: Make It Viral, Part 1
Competing for attention in today’s overstimulated, infinitely segmented world is a huge challenge.

In the old days, if you wanted to become known in a market, you could target a handful of local TV and radio stations and print media. And within a few months, nearly everyone in that market would know who you were and what you offered. Even if you were paying for advertising, you could afford to be known.

But these days, every community offers literally thousands of channels. And those channels are no longer bound by geography. Someone in Singapore can easily watch KQED TV originating in San Francisco. A reader in Queens, New York might enjoy Al Jazeera TV in Qatar. Here in Massachusetts, I sometimes listen to an oldies radio station in Monaco I found on iTunes. So the number of possible ways to get news, information, and entertainment is now infinite—and that means any one channel only reaches a tiny fraction of the market nowadays.

That’s the bad news for marketers. But this triangle also has two good sides. Side 1: if you can motivate people in your own network to spread the message, it’s much easier to reach new audiences, and to do so cheaply (often at no cost).

And side 2: It’s so much easier now to find communities of common interest. If someone has an “oddball” interest, he or she no longer has to move to some giant city to find people with the same leaning; a few clicks of the mouse puts that person in touch with hundreds or thousands of others who share that pursuit, all over the world. And that means you can partner with some of the leading lights in that space, no matter where you—and they—are located.

My own experience taking things viral has been somewhat limited; I’ve had more failures than successes and certainly don’t claim to have the magic formula. But I have had successes. Here are my two favorites:

• The launch of my eighth book, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, reached an estimated 5,000,000 people—based on an average of just five people each viewing 1,000,000 of the 1,070,000 pages Google found three weeks after the launch in an exact-match search for the book title (figuring that 70,000 were probably junk pages that nobody saw). Thus, the real number of people touched by this campaign might be quite a bit higher. Achieved through partnership outreach with incentives to launch partners, social media, and mainstream media coverage, this success was featured in a Marketing Sherpa case study: http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?ident=31895# 

• Save the Mountain, the hyperlocal citizen movement I started in my own town (population 5250) and county (population 158,080) that gained thousands of petition signatures, distributed hundreds of lawn signs and bumper stickers, and could routinely bring out 400+ to public hearings. Although the “experts” said there was nothing we could do to stop the massive development project proposed for a mountain abutting a beloved state park, we were able to halt the project—in just 13 months. (I expected to win, but thought it would take five years.) For this one, we had more than 70 mainstream media appearances, but our real secret was direct public outreach: door knocking, tabling, direct mail, use of early-technology Internet communities (as they existed in 1999-2000), phone trees, letters to the editor, networking with existing environmental groups, outreach to town boards and officials, etc. 

Hear & Meet Shel

I just pretaped an interview with Green Divas radio, which by now (or within a few days) should be available at http://thegreendivas.com/archived-shows/.

And I’d like to call your attention to two recent interviews. I think my full-length segment on The Bucket List Life might just be the best of the hundreds of interviews I’ve done: http://thebucketlistlife.com/p59 .

There’s also this very short interview on The Price of Business: http://youtu.be/6vBCNYGi5Mg

If you’re attending Book Expo America and want to get together, drop me a private note, subject Meet you at BEA? Please tell me a bit about you, your book, and your goals, right in that first email. (You can do it all in one short paragraph, trust me).

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About Shel & This Newsletter

As a green business profitability/marketing consultant and copywriter…award-winning author of eight books… international speaker and trainer, blogger, syndicated columnist – Shel Horowitz shows how green, ethical, and socially conscious businesses can actually be *more* profitable than your less-green, less-socially-aware competitors. His most recent book is category bestseller Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet. Shel also helps authors/ publishers, small businesses, and organizations to market effectively, and turns unpublished writers into well-published authors.

Shel Horowitz’s consulting firm, Green And Profitable, is the first business ever to earn Green America’s rigorous Gold Certification as a leading green company. He was inducted into the National Environmental Hall of Fame in 2011.

He began publishing his monthly newsletter all the way back in 1997, making it one of the oldest marketing e-zines (it’s changed names a few times along the way).

“As always, some of the links in this newsletter earn commissions—because I believe in the products and services enough to promote them (I get asked to endorse lots of other programs I don’t share with you, because I don’t find them worthy).”
Another Recommended Book—Explosion Green

Explosion Green: One Man’s Journey to Green the World’s Largest Industry, by David Gottfried

Still think one person can’t make a difference? This powerful memoir from the founder of the US and World Green Building Councils will surely change your mind.


Back to the mid-1980s, Gottfried has been influencing the entire construction industry to green its practices. Without him, we would not have the amazing network of Green Building Councils around the world, which have certified hundreds of thousands of committed architects, builders, and product manufacturers as green. We also wouldn’t have the set of LEED standards now used to certify green buildings in 140 countries. The standards his organization developed are now required by numerous local government agencies, and the planet is noticeably greener because of this organization.
In a siloed universe of specialists, each with their own professional organization, Gottfried and his colleagues created the first green building organization that was open to every sector, discipline, and size. It welcomed Fortune 100 companies, and also solo practitioners with small consultancies. It was open to profit-making businesses and nonprofit membership organizations. This strategy allowed agents of change to dialog with executives at companies often attacked by environmentalists, and get them to see the wisdom of a green approach.

GBCs have directly enabled hundreds of thousands of buildings to be built or renovated in more environmentally friendly ways: 


As of October 2013, there were 56,000 LEED Commercial and Neighborhood Development projects (totaling just over eleven billion square feet) and another 119,615 residential units using LEED. USGBC [just one of the GBCs worldwide] also had about 190,000 LEED Accredited and Green Associate professionals.

There are now Green Building Councils in approximately one hundred countries with about two dozen green building rating systems. Some 63 percent of global new construction starts are planning green projects for 2105. [p. 230]

And that, in turn, has helped to bring down the prices, so that green advocates can now make a very successful case for going green on economic grounds. Gottfried notes that the price of doing a green commercial building dropped 38 percent from 1995-2003 (p. 131)—and that workers in green buildings tended to be 6 to 16 percent more productive (p. 132). Oh yes, and when these buildings change hands, they fetch about 11 percent higher prices than comparable nongreen buildings (pp. 245-246).

Much of the early LEED construction took place in California, and Gottfried posits that this may be why California was able to hold energy use more-or-less constant for the last 40 years, even as the US as a whole chewed up 50 percent more energy. This is especially remarkable, considering how many power-slurping massive computer installations have been installed to power California companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, and Hewlett-Packard.

In Chapter 20, Gottfried lays out USGBC’s 9-step success formula:


1. Dream big
2. Create an inclusive, noncompetitive model
3. Exercise leadership
4. Recruit volunteers
5. Demonstrate business savvy
6. Achieve LEED
7. Have a strong sense of purpose
8. Collect data and using it to create change
9. Pay attention to the lessons (from both the successes and the challenges)

Near the end of the book, Gottfried build on Amory Lovins’ concept of negawatts and negabarrels (the energy we save through deep conservation) to discuss “negafootprint,” extending to carbon, energy, water—which he sees as crucial in the coming years, as I do—and waste (p. 270).

And on page 276, he calls for businesses to take advantage of the massive “global business opportunity” in green building—advice that the entire construction industry would do well to heed.

The Clean and Green Club, December 2014

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Shel Horowitz’s Clean and Green Marketing Tip, 

December 2014

This Month’s Tip: How to Get Famous People to Help You

Last month, I talked about some of the well-known people who have helped me with one thing or another: a book endorsement, an interview, a joint venture…
Some of these folks are famous in their own community…and some, like authors Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul series), Jay Conrad Levinson (Guerrilla Marketing series) and Madeleine L’Engle (A Wrinkle in Time), musicians Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Arlo Guthrie are international superstars known widely beyond their own circles.

How have I been able to get so many celebrities to help me? Sometimes, they help you out of simple generosity, or because they feel your passion and believe in what you’re doing. But usually, it boils down to one thing: offer them something they want or need.

What do you have that a celebrity wants or needs? Here are a few possibilities:

  • Publicity
  • Credibility
  • Help for a cause he or she supports
  • A visit to an exotic location
  • A chance to meet others he or she admires
  • Ability to grow his her own community
  • Income streams

Now, here’s the key: once you know which hot button to use, make the approach in ways that immediately build a connection around that hot button.

Publicity
Do you have access to an audience the celeb would like to get in front of? That could be a major newspaper or magazine–but it also could be a small newspaper in a community where that celeb is doing a live event soon and needs an audience. It could be your blog, a telesummit or conference you’re organizing, or even a large number of active followers on social media.

Help for a cause he or she supports
Appeal to their higher purpose. Do some research before you approach them and find out what jazzes them. Approach the celebs whose higher purpose is aligned with yours, and show them how their participation will help that purpose. Hint: find the cause first, and then dig around to see who supports it.

Credibility
Can you increase the celeb’s star power? I did this for “Mr. Guerrilla Marketing,” Jay Conrad Levinson. I’d read enough of his books and articles to know that he was sympathetic to environmental and social justice issues, but not active or particularly well-known in those worlds. He was what I call a “lazy green” in my “Making Green Sexy” talks. I was able to show him that partnering with me (a subject-matter expert in the green business world) would give him some “chops” in the green world. That was something he valued–and I got the benefit of being part of the biggest marketing brand in history.

A visit to an exotic location
If you’re organizing an event in a place people like to go (Hawaii, the south of France, Bali…) and can cover travel expenses, celebs may make time in their busy schedules to participate. My first trip to Turkey was because I was flown over and paid to give a talk; I liked it so much that my wife and I spent two weeks there last year.

A chance to meet others he or she admires
If you’ve already got some famous folks on the program, others will more easily sign up. Just like the rest of us, they like chances to network with their peers. In the marketing, publishing, and green business conferences I’ve attended, I’ve noticed that the speakers generally like hanging out with the other speakers, even with those who aren’t as well known; you can often find them talking shop–or just having fun–in the breaks or after-hours. The smart and nice ones also make themselves accessible to non-presenter participants.

Ability to grow his her own community
For both joint venture promotions and events, a celeb expects to cross-pollinate with the other presenters. If you bring together 10 people who each have lists of 10,000 non-overlapping names for a telesummit or live event, that means each featured guest gets to be in front of 90,000 new people. If they wow the audience, they’ll add many people to their databases–and their marketing funnels.

Income streams
As shown above, it’s not all about the money. But it is partly about the money. If your celeb is setting aside precious real estate in followers’ minds to promote you, you’ll want to make sure there’s something in it for them. They can only go back to the well so many times. If, for instance, they do a solo mailing for you, that might mean they have to say no to someone else. So if earning some dinero is part of the agenda, they’ll want to make sure you follow through. Your e-blasts should be tested and perform well, your offers should be compelling, and it really help if your track record is solid.

This three-part series concludes next month with some ways you can more easily get noticed by that celeb in the first place. While it may seem that I have the order backward, I’m doing it this way so that when you do get through to a celebrity, you know what to say.

Another Recommended Book—The New Sustainability Advantage

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About Shel & This Newsletter

As a green business profitability/marketing consultant and copywriter…award-winning author of eight books… international speaker and trainer, blogger, syndicated columnist – Shel Horowitz shows how green, ethical, and socially conscious businesses can actually be *more* profitable than your less-green, less-socially-aware competitors. His most recent book is category bestseller Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet. Shel also helps authors/ publishers, small businesses, and organizations to market effectively, and turns unpublished writers into well-published authors.

Shel Horowitz’s consulting firm, Green And Profitable, is the first business ever to earn Green America’s rigorous Gold Certification as a leading green company. He was inducted into the National Environmental Hall of Fame in 2011.

He began publishing his monthly newsletter all the way back in 1997, making it one of the oldest marketing e-zines (it’s changed names a few times along the way).

“As always, some of the links in this newsletter earn commissions—because I believe in the products and services enough to promote them (I get asked to endorse lots of other programs I don’t share with you, because I don’t find them worthy).”

The New Sustainability Advantage, by Bob Willard

Bob Willard originally published The Sustainability Advantage: Seven Business Case Benefits of a Triple Bottom Line back in 2002. In 2012, his publisher, New Society Press, brought out an updated 10th Anniversary edition, and changed the title to The New Sustainability Advantage.

Basically, Willard takes apart every conceivable factor in business economics and shows how greening the company (when done right) yields vast financial benefits for businesses large and small. In other words, the entire book is a validation of something I’ve been saying for years: business can profit strongly by going green.

The book covers obvious and non-obvious savings and income possibilities in many areas, with entire chapters on revenue/market share, energy, waste, materials and water, employee productivity, HR expenses, and risk reduction; these are the seven benefits in the subtitle. The risk reduction chapter is particularly detailed—covering reputation damage (with five subcategories), cost spirals (six subcategories), compliance, and other areas.

What’s a non-obvious saving? One example would be the cost of water embodied in the production of paper; it turns out to be an astonishing 60 liters per ream (page 88). I certainly didn’t know that!

Willard uses a mixture of real-world examples and two hypothetical companies, one quite large and the other much smaller—and uses very conservative projections for both. For the smaller company, with $1 mm annual revenue, the profit boost tips the scale at 51 percent. 51 percent growth in profit—that is, income minus costs—is not too shabby. But the large company, with revenues of $500 mm per year, showed a truly astonishing 81% net increase.

Once again, Willard is using extremely conservative assumptions, bending over backward to avoid sensationalizing the results.

Still, I would have preferred two real case studies of companies that have taken these steps, with real numbers. Fortunately, he does cite many real-world examples to illustrate specific categories of savings and revenue. To name a few of them:

  • GE’s Ecomagination line of earth-friendly products brought in $18 bn in 2009, up from $10.1 bn in 2005. This was roughly 10 percent of total revenue, and was expected to grow at twice GE’s overall rate in the following five years (page 42).
  • IBM turned a $1.5 mm cost into a $1.5 mm revenue stream by selling something it used to throw away, adding $3 mm to profit each year; the US Postal Service turned a $9.1 mm annual disposal cost into $13 mm annual income, or $20 mm in profit (page 72).
  • The UK department store Marks and Spencer’s internationally recognized Plan A sustainability initiative was adding £50 mm (approximately $80 mm) per year to the bottom line through its original 100 sustainability commitments; this was part of the incentive to up the number of metrics to 180 (page 159).

He also cites statistics that show overall growth in consumer awareness and shifts in purchasing habits. Examples include findings that 77 percent of consumers describe themselves as green and/or health-conscious; 57 percent had made a green purchase in the previous six months; 40 percent chose particular products or services because of the values the company espoused (page 43). 92 percent of young professionals want to work at an environmentally friendly company (page 120), while at least 57 percent up to 83 percent of employers acknowledge that their corporate responsibility policies influence employee retention and loyalty (page 125).

While the book is definitely tilted toward larger entities, even small companies with just a few employees will probably find some ideas to implement that produce substantial savings and generate new revenue. For example, trash reduction can help even very small businesses lower costs. Here’s a link to a trash consultant who works strictly on a percentage of what he saves you, http://greenandprofitable.com/slash-your-solid-wastetrash-bill-50-or-more-at-no-cost/, so that would be an easy “low-hanging fruit” place to start.

Does Your Inbound Marketing Suffer from Outbound Mindset?

Outbound marketing: you go out and solicit your prospects. Inbound marketing: they come to you. And they require different mindsets, different approaches.

I really enjoyed this article on <http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/june2012/why-green-consumers-are-leading-inbound-marketing-revolution?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=brandsweekly&utm_campaign=jun21>traditional, marketer-driven outbound (“push”) marketing versus consumer-driven inbound (“pull”) marketing—and it had a really good insight I want to share with you:

Whereas outbound marketing often provided consumers with fantasies (think of Budweiser commercials or luxury car ads,) inbound marketing provides consumers with facts. People aren’t researching and gathering information on what fantasy a company is trying to sell them on, they are researching the efficacy of their products, and (with ever-growing regularity) the social and environmental policies of specific brands.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I’m a huge believer in pull marketing, in putting the consumer in the driver’s seat to actively seek out solutions and find you. All the way back in 1985, when I published my first marketing book, I talked about effective Yellow Pages presence. Yellow Pages was the web browser of its time, a way to seek out and compare all the providers of a service and make a decision based on who could serve you best. By the time I did my most recent (sixth) marketing book, the award-winning and category-best-selling Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, I devoted significant space to inbound/pull strategies, from social media to Internet discussion groups. This kind of marketing is not at all intrusive; in fact, prospects actually welcome it.

But the insight that the reason it works so well is that it’s based in fact rather than fantasy is something I’d never articulated.
Conventional marketing wisdom tells us that emotions do the selling, and intellect serves only to justify the purchase to others.

That may or may not be true for outbound marketing. I’ve always been quite skeptical of that claim; I have said for years that the best selling uses both emotion and rationality, complementing each other. To put it another way, selling is much easier when the buyer has both the need and the desire. Either one by itself is rarely enough to close a purchase.

But it’s certainly not true of inbound marketing. When a prospect comes to you, he or she is presold on the purchase, or at least seriously considering and actively researching how to solve the problem or meet the goal. But the prospect may not be sold on which vendor to use.

This is your opportunity with inbound marketing: to show how your company is the right solution for the already motivated prospect. And here, intellect is often going to trump emotion. That doesn’t mean you eliminate all the emotional appeals—but you make sure they are rooted in an informational approach, and assume that the prospect already knows why he or she wants what you sell.

In last month’s newsletter, I reviewed a book right now that says businesses don’t need to advertise—but it makes a huge exception for directory listings (including Yellow Pages and search engine ads). I was having trouble with that differentiation, until I read this article. Now I finally understand what the authors are getting at: outbound advertising = fantasy, while listings (inbound advertising and marketing) = fact.

I’m not sure I agree, but at least now I see where they’re coming from.

What do you think—and feel—about this?

Pitching Journalists A Bit Off-Topic Without Pissing Them Off (February 2011 Tip)

One of the rules in pitching journalists through services that send queries from journalists seeking stories–such as HARO (helpareporter.com), ReporterConnection.com, and the others I discussed in the July, 2011 issue–is to stay closely in tune with what the journalist is looking for.

Still, it IS possible to answer a query where you’re a near-miss. I’ve gotten quite a bit of coverage over the years, writing to journalists where I didn’t have exactly what they were looking for. It happened I wrote two pitches on the same day last month.

In the first, the reporter wanted businesses actually using this strategy, and instead, I offered her expert commentary. In hindsight, I would list some case studies I could discuss. Instead, I focused only on my credentials.

The second one was particularly a long shot, which I knew going in: Newsmax is a Rupert Murdock property with an extremely right-wing slant, and I doubted the reporter would be interested in a counter-view. However, it was certainly worth 10 minutes of my time to try, especially since I really want to reach more conservative elements of the business world with the message of my book, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, that good environmental practices are also very good for business.

FIRST QUERY:

19) Summary: Buy Something, Do Good

Name: Alison Miller Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine

I’m looking for companies that are following the TOMS Shoes mold

by donating money, products, or services to organizations in

need each time a consumer buys their product. Any product

category is fair game, not just apparel.

Requirements:

Readers must be able to buy products via a website and have them

shipped to U.S. addresses.

 

MY RESPONSE:

Subject: HARO: Buy Something, Do Good (expert perspective)

Hi, Alison,

If you need an expert perspective to comment on why this is good for business, I’m happy to volunteer. I discuss cause-related marketing in every marketing book I’ve written back to 1985 (before the phrase existed, as far as I know), and go into some detail in my latest book, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet, as well as an earlier book, Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World (both books have won awards, BTW)

Note: Please keep “HARO” or “New Pitch” in the subject line so that my email program will mark it as Priority.

_________

[My lengthy signature for journalist query responses, including book credentials, contact information via e-mail, phone, and Twitter, some of the media that have interviewed me, and talking points, went here

__________________________

 

SECOND QUERY:

8) Summary: Sources needed for EPA-related feature

Name: Jeff Louderback Newsmax Magazine

Category: Energy and Green Tech

 

Query:

The EPA has made a series of aggressive moves that makes it

tougher for business.

Among these moves are:

– Its declaration that carbon dioxide is a gas emission covered

by the clean air act.

– Its crackdown on coal-fired power plants.

– Its opposition to fracking for oil and natural gas production.

For Newsmax, I am writing a feature about OTHER new ways the EPA

is lining up a major power grab to stack the deck against

business even further. What else don’t we know about aside from

the aforementioned concerns?

Requirements:

I am searching for sources anywhere in the United States, but I

am on a tight deadline and need to speak with them no later than

noon ET on Friday, Jan. 21.

MY RESPONSE:

Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2012 06:43:32 -0500

Subject: HARO: Sources needed for EPA-related feature  – counterpoint

Hi, Jeff,

If you want to throw in a little controversy, I’d be glad to make the case for why tough EPA regs can be GREAT for business. I’m the primary author of Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet, write a monthly syndicated column, Green And Profitable, and run a marketing consulting company specializing in green business.

[My signature, as above]

__________________________

 

Notice the appeal I made to the second reporter to inject some controversy into the story. Reporters often love controversy. Also notice how I “volunteer” my expertise to the first journalist. I always try to come across as helpful, rather than self-aggrandizing. This is part of why I got quoted or cited in 143 print stories last year, 131 in 2010.

Another thing you can offer is a “sidebar”–a little sub-article that accompanies the main story, and may expose a different angle. But be prepared for the journalist to ask YOU to write the sidebar (for no pay). This has actually happened to me, and yes, I’ve written those articles when asked.

–>This article is already pretty long–but if you’d like more on this topic, I’ll send an 1174-word excerpt from my seventh book, Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers that includes two successful thin-match queries I sent (one of which resulted in a sidebar assignment, the other, in coverage) plus a story from publicity ninja Jill Lublin (co-author of Guerrilla Publicity) of how she stepped out of her niche to get coverage on NBC and elsewhere.

Drop me a note at shel AT principledprofit.com and use this exact subject line:

Please send thin-match journo query excerpt

– and then I’ll know exactly what to send you. 🙂

Why Tweet? Shel Horowtiz’s Clean And Green Newsletter, March 2012

If you’ve been reading my newsletter for several years, you know I’ve been marketing through social media all the way back to 1995. These days, a lot of my social media goes into Twitter.

People either love Twitter or hate it. My wife can’t stand it; I think it’s great.

Why?

  • You can have a big impact while investing almost no time
  • It’s easy to gain very targeted followers—and influential “followees” (people you follow)
  • Very short learning curve
  • Interface stays reasonably constant, and the changes are improvements that make sense (unlike Facebook, where you have to keep relearning how to do it, or frequently discover that the expensive tools and processes you invested in before the latest redesign are now them obsolete)
  • Third-party tools like TweetDeck (now owned by Twitter), MarketMeSuite, and HootSuite add enormous functionality: scanning the most important contacts quickly, searching topics, scheduling ahead, adding users to groups quickly
  • Trends, posts, and connections can easily go viral through the power of retweets and other devices—and as they do, you can easily expand your circles of influence
  • You can build real relationships with people by responding personally to their tweets
  • While there are lots of ways around the 140-character limit, it does force you to sharpen your brain and be concise
  • Oh yeah, and it’s fun!

I find Twitter a terrific research tool: I get a lot of my information on new trends in the green, business, and  political worlds by following links. I also find it a great way to get into conversations with people I haven’t met before, some of whom are very well-connected. Often, I’ll start a conversation on Twitter and then move it to 1-to-1 e-mail.

Twitter is also a great way to get noticed by speakers: if you tweet highlights of their talks or Twitter chat presentations—and either include a designated hashtag for the event (e.g., #sustainchat ) and/or mention them by their Twitter handle (e.g., @ShelHorowitz), you’ll get on their radar. I can tell you that when someone puts @ShelHorowitz in a tweet, I go visit their profile unless it’s obvious spam, and usually follow back. And when someone at a networking event tells me he or she follows me on Twitter, I pay closer attention.

And yes, I’ve sold books, started conversations about my consulting, copywriting or speaking, and attended networking events that I learned about on Twitter.

This is the first of a three-part series. Next month, what you can tweet, and in May, what Twitter is NOT

Twitter, Part 2: What to Tweet

Shel Horowitz’s Clean and Green Newsletter, April 2012
Twitter, Part 2: What to Tweet

A key principle: Twitter is about building relationships over time.

That means if all you do is shout sales messages, you’re wasting most of Twitter’s potential. Yes, if you have a popular brand or retail store, your customers do want information about bargains. But they also want to feel like a human being is talking–and listening.

Personally, I strive for a ratio that is no more than 10 percent blatant self-promotion. The other 90% is a mix of passing on links to interesting information (often by retweeting someone else, with acknowledgment), responding to requests for–or asking for–advice, commenting on news or trends, engaging directly with people (responding or passing on a tweet, saying thank-you to people who have retweeted me, mentioned me as someone to follow, or mentioned my latest book (Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green), or just bringing a smile with a quote or a cool picture.

However, if other people say nice things about me or my offerings, I will retweet and/or thank them, and I don’t count that toward the 10 percent.

I guess it must be working, as I get 20 to 50 new followers in a typical week, all of them earned organically, without any game-the-system crap.

Last month’s Twitter, Part 1 newsletter brought this comment from Sherry Lowry in Austin, TX (@sherrylowry on Twitter):

“I really love Twitter (or actually the Twittter-related tools) and was expecting when reading your March news to either:

– see clips from your Twitter stream
– a chance to click right into or follow you

Ask and ye shall receive, at least this time. To follow me on Twitter, visit @ShelHorowitz or http://www.twitter.com/shelhorowitz

And here are five of my Tweets (all posted April 1). You’ll notice they illustrate several of the types above.

RT @TalkAboutIssues
Fact: President Ronald Reagan, an icon to most conservatives, supported increases in the debt limit 12 times over his two terms.#Obama2012 [Retweet]

Blog: How Southwest Airlines is Greening Their Planes
http://greenandprofitable.com/how-southwest-airlines-is-greening-their-planes/ [passing on interesting links–in this case, an automatic post to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn from my blog]

Fabulous! Beethoven’s 9 10,000 in the chorus, Japan http://www.youtube.com/embed/paH0V6JLxSI[passing on an interesting link that I found elsewhere]

@maddow I’m hoping for 39 x 3 more years of your speaking truth to power. Very happy birthday. [engaging directly, in this case with TV commentator Rachel maddow]

RT @SW_Coalition: Denise Hamler of @GreenAmerica will be hosting@ShelHorowitz for a talk on green business at (cont) http://tl.gd/goltff [Retweet of someone else’s tweet that promotes me]

I’m a pretty active Tweeter, so you can see lots more at https://twitter.com/shelhorowitz

The Clean & Green Club, February 2012

 

The Clean & Green Club February 2012
CONTENTS
Pitching Journalists
Friends/Colleagues
Hear & Meet Shel
Book Review
Do You Like the New Format?
After 15 years of refusing, I’ve finally joined the 21st century and gone to HTML. Why? Because I think the technology has finally caught up with my need to provide a decent viewing experience, as more and more people have broadband. (Note that if you click the “having trouble” link, it goes to a web page that displays the text-only version–maybe by next month, we’ll figure out how to get the formatted page up there while still keeping the traffic on our own website. If you use GMail with graphics off, you’ll need to turn them on.) Can you fill out a one-minute survey and let me know how you like it? I’ll give away an e-book to 1 lucky entrant.  

 
About Shel & This Newsletter
As a marketing consultant and copywriter… award-winning author of eight books… international speaker, blogger, syndicated columnist  Shel Horowitz shows how green and ethical businesses can actually be *more* profitable than your less-green competitors.His most recent book is category bestseller Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet.

Shel also helps authors/publishers, small businesses, and organizations to market effectively, and turns unpublished writers into well-published authors.

He was inducted into the National Environmental Hall of Fame in 2011.

Shel began publishing his monthly newsletter all the way back in 1997, making it one of the oldest marketing e-zines (it’s changed names a few times along the way).

As always, some of the links in this newsletter earn commissions–because I believe in the products and services enough to promote them (I get asked to endorse lots of other programs I don’t share with you, because I don’t find them worthy).

 

  Pitching Journalists a Bit Off-Topic without Pissing Them Off
(February 2012 Tip) 
One of the rules in pitching journalists through services that send queries from journalists seeking stories–such as HARO (helpareporter.com), ReporterConnection.com, and the others I discussed in the July, 2011 issue–is to stay closely in tune with what the journalist is looking for.Still, it IS possible to answer a query where you’re a near-miss. I’ve gotten quite a bit of coverage over the years, writing to journalists where I didn’t have exactly what they were looking for. It happened I wrote two pitches on the same day last month.

In the first, the reporter wanted businesses actually using this strategy, and instead, I offered her expert commentary. In hindsight, I would list some case studies I could discuss. Instead, I focused only on my credentials.

The second one was particularly a long shot, which I knew going in: Newsmax is a Rupert Murdock property with an extremely right-wing slant, and I doubted the reporter would be interested in a counter-view. However, it was certainly worth 10 minutes of my time to try, especially since I really want to reach more conservative elements of the business world with the message of my book, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, that good environmental practices are also very good for business.

FIRST QUERY:

19) Summary: Buy Something, Do Good

Name: Alison Miller Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine

I’m looking for companies that are following the TOMS Shoes mold by donating money, products, or services to organizations in need each time a consumer buys their product. Any product category is fair game, not just apparel.

Requirements:
Readers must be able to buy products via a website and have them shipped to U.S. addresses.

MY RESPONSE:

Subject: HARO: Buy Something, Do Good (expert perspective)

Hi, Alison,
If you need an expert perspective to comment on why this is good for business, I’m happy to volunteer. I discuss cause-related marketing in every marketing book I’ve written back to 1985 (before the phrase existed, as far as I know), and go into some detail in my latest book, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet, as well as an earlier book, Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World (both books have won awards, BTW)
Note: Please keep “HARO” or “New Pitch” in the subject line so that my email program will mark it as Priority.

(My lengthy signature for journalist query responses, including book credentials, contact information via e-mail, phone, and Twitter, some of the media that have interviewed me, and talking points, went here)


SECOND QUERY:

8) Summary: Sources needed for EPA-related feature

Name: Jeff Louderback Newsmax Magazine

Category: Energy and Green Tech

Query:
The EPA has made a series of aggressive moves that makes it
tougher for business.

Among these moves are:
– Its declaration that carbon dioxide is a gas emission covered
by the clean air act.
– Its crackdown on coal-fired power plants.
– Its opposition to fracking for oil and natural gas production.

For Newsmax, I am writing a feature about OTHER new ways the EPA is lining up a major power grab to stack the deck against business even further. What else don’t we know about aside from the aforementioned concerns?

Requirements:
I am searching for sources anywhere in the United States, but I am on a tight deadline and need to speak with them no later than noon ET on Friday, Jan. 21.

MY RESPONSE:

Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2012 06:43:32 -0500

Subject: HARO: Sources needed for EPA-related feature  – counterpoint

Hi, Jeff,
If you want to throw in a little controversy, I’d be glad to make the case for why tough EPA regs can be GREAT for business. I’m the primary author of Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet, write a monthly syndicated column, Green And Profitable, and run a marketing consulting company specializing in green business.

[My signature, as above]
 

Notice the appeal I made to the second reporter to inject some controversy into the story. Reporters often love controversy. Also notice how I “volunteer” my expertise to the first journalist. I always try to come across as helpful, rather than self-aggrandizing. This is part of why I got quoted or cited in 143 print stories last year, 131 in 2010.

Another thing you can offer is a “sidebar”a little sub-article that accompanies the main story, and may expose a different angle. But be prepared for the journalist to ask YOU to write the sidebar (for no pay). This has actually happened to me, and yes, I’ve written those articles when asked.

This article is already pretty longbut if you’d like more on this topic, I’ll send a 1174-word excerpt from my seventh book, Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers that includes two successful thin-match queries I sent (one of which resulted in a sidebar assignment, the other, in coverage) plus a story from publicity ninja Jill Lublin (co-author of Guerrilla Publicity) of how she stepped out of her niche to get coverage on NBC and elsewhere.

Drop me a note at shel AT principledprofit.com and use this exact subject line:

Please send thin-match journo query excerpt

and then I’ll know exactly what to send you.

  Friends/Colleagues Who Want to Help
Attention Green Marketers: Help the US Department of Labor Define the Category (not selling you anything)The US Department of Labor has asked me to put them in touch with people who can help them define the brand new category of green marketers.

If you have at least two years green marketing experience and five years in either marketing or sustainability, you can help: If you’d like to participate, please email or call Traci Davis (tdavis@onet.rti.org or 877-233-7348 ext 109) and provide the following:

Name:
Daytime Phone number:
Mailing Address/State:
Email address:
Total years of experience:

Traci Davis at the O*NET Operations Center at Research Triangle Institute will respond when you volunteer, and will provide further details


Great New Telesummit from Ryan Elliason

If conscious business is important to you (and since you’re reading my newsletter, I certainly hope it is), you’ll want to take advantage of the latest wonderful no-charge training series of four calls from Ryan Elliason.

Ryan interviewed me for another one of his telesummits last year, and he’s a smart, well-informed guy and a sharp interviewerso he’ll extract a lot of good stuff from his guests.

Do better in business while you do better for the world.

Topics and dates:
#1  Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Mindset of Success How To Change The World Without Making Yourself Insane – February 22

#2  The Client Attraction and Enrollment Formula How To Change The World Without Going Broke – February 23

#3  Double Your Free Time How To Change The World Without Burning Out – February 27

#4  Eight Steps To Expand Your Positive Impact, Income and Free Time The Formula for Business Success – February 28

Sign up:
http://shelhorowitz.com/go/visionaryentrepreneur/

Yakamore: Interesting New Social Network
From the creators of Sokue, a social network designed specifically for marketers. Features include longer posts, cross-posting between the two networks, affiliate commissions, and other good stuff. Let’s Yakhttp://shelhorowitz.com/go/yakamore/

To Print, Or Not to Print–That Is the Question
And the answer may be easier to figure out at http://www.pixelandprintlogic.com/ , where my friend Gil Friend (a noted West Coast enviro-biz buy) has put together a spiffy graphic to help you figure it out.

ebookEbook Award to Enter
One of the best ways to market a book is to be able to list yourself as an award-winning author. Dan Poynter, author of The Self-Publishing Manual and numerous other books for authors and publishers, has put together a new Global E-Book Award program. Knowing Dan, it’s likely to be known as a prestigious honor in the fairly near future. Enter by March 12 at http://globalebookawards.com

Build Your Business Quickly and Easily Through Referrals
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a salesperson, work for a business or just have an idea for one, the #1 secret to success is word-of-mouth referrals. Matt Anderson’s Fearless Referrals will show you how to build your business the fast, fun way by systematically developing high-quality referrals. You’ll learn the right time, the right place and the right people to ask. Enjoy valuable additional bonuses when you buy the book now: http://fearlessreferrals.com/

  Hear & Meet Shel
FEBRUARY

  • Are you on Google’s G+ social network? I’m doing a chat via GooglePlus Hangout, interviewed by Susan Silver, Thursday, February 23, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. This is new technology for me, though I’ve been a featured chat guest on other platforms from AOL to Twitter, all the way back to 1995.
  • If you’re a National Writers Union member, you can catch me later that day (7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 PT) leading an open Q&A teleseminar about book marketing. Contact Barbara Beckwith, beckwithb@aol.com (if you’re a US-based author or magazine/newspaper/online/commercial writer and not an NWU member, think about joining. I’ve been a member since 1982among other benefits, I’ve been able to have the union help me collect writing fees owed to me that I otherwise would never have seen, plus contact review before signing with publishers).

APRIL

  • I’m so thrilled that The Shift Network asked me to participate in “Spring of Sustainability.” These folks have put together some of the best telesummits I’ve ever attended. The lineup leaves me awestruckI’m sharing a platform with Jane Goddall, Paul Hawken, Vandana Shiva, Julia Butterfly Hill, Hunter Lovins, Frances Moore Lappé, and about 90 others. I’ll have the signup URL for you next month.

MAY

  • Speaking at the Gulf Coast Green conference in Houston, May 1: “Making Green Sexy.” http://gulfcoastgreen.org/pages/default.asp
  • It’s looking like I might actually be speaking in Bangladesh at a conference in Dakka early May. If you live there, please e-mail me.

Also remember, if you set me up an engagement, you could earn a generous commission.

  Book Review: Brains on Fire
Is there a more authentic marketing strategy than turning your fans into brand ambassadors? I’ve long been an advocate of this approach, but even so, Brains On Fire opened my eyes to possibilities I’d never thought about.In the Brains on Fire approach, professional marketers play an important role–not as controllers or planners, but as nurturers and facilitators.

This book is about not just identifying your deep loyalists, but empowering them, supporting them, and then getting out of the way while the magic happens. It’s a refreshing change from most other books I’ve seen about word-of-mouth/word-of-mouse marketing, because these folks understand that the real marketing arises spontaneously out of the members of a community (often unpaid), and not by faking your way through tactics like recruiting pretty young women to talk up a particular product to which they have no actual loyalty.

The book focuses on several case studies, all clients of the Brains on Fire marketing agency, which we follow through every “lesson” (chapter). Examples range from a 300-year-old Swedish scissors manufacturer to the state agency charged with reducing teen smoking in a tobacco-producing state.

Along with the focus on fan-initiated, empowered marketing comes a strong commitment to ethicsand to taking the marketing vocabulary away from the war-oriented “campaign” language of crushing your opponent or defeating your customers into purchasing, and into the more sustainable world of community, inclusiveness, and mutual benefit. Scientific marketing becomes less important. Your strategy evolves toward unlocking and channeling the passion of your fans, their desire to make a difference, and their need to be valued. Ask yourself how your product or service makes it easier for your fans to do what they love. Your goal is not just participation; it’s active engagement.

Your fans will be a mix of personalities, some of whom already have a fan base, and quiet, shy others who would not traditionally be seen as influencersyet may have a tremendous impact. And the way you interacteven something as mundane as the way you handle incoming fan mail–can have either a big positive or big negative impact, depending on how you make that person feel.

Among the many wise points in this book:

  • When allowed to lead themselves, genuine movements tend to exceed the expectations of the marketers who assist them
  • You don’t get to choose your fans; they choose you
  • Smart brands become fans of their fans
  • Strive to put as many employees as possible in customer contact; companies with 25-50 percent of their workforce in customer contact wildly outperform those with 5-10 percent
  • Strong movements fight injustice

Yes, but does all this cool and groovy stuff actually work? Yesbig time. Two among many examples:

South Carolina’s 16.9 percent smoking reduction was the largest in the nation (in the state with the cheapest cigarettes and among the lowest budget for smoking prevention programs); Brains on Fire client Rage Against the Haze (a teen anti-smoking group) had a lot to do with this.

Fiskars, makers of the famous orange-handled scissors, puts the ROI for its Fiskateers community of brand evangelists at 500 percent. Fiskateers not only tracked with a 6-fold increase of online mentions, but sales doubled in the four target markets where the effort was rolled outwhile the company R&D department receives an average of 13 new product ideas every month, gratis. This doesn’t even count the impact of 7000 volunteers who can defuse PR problems before the company even knows they exist.

Read this book as an excellent companion to Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green. And be sure to read the introduction, which has enormous value.

GetResponse.com
http://www.GetResponse.com

Shel Horowitz’s Clean & Green Newsletter, December 2011

In This Issue…

If you celebrate any holidays in December, I wish you a joyous season.

Will YOU be the One to Get a Brand New $1299 Multifunction Printer from Dell?

A few weeks ago, I received a gift of a very spiffy Dell 3335dn multifunction printer, which not only prints two-sided at high resolution from any computer on our network, but also scans, copies, e-mails, and stores documents in its memory. I have to tell you, even though I’ve gotten along just fine without in-house copying and faxing capabilities, I’m finding that I really enjoy having them.

Because the company is courting the green market for this printer (which not only can print both sides of the paper but also has some cool energy management features), Dell’s promotion team came to me and asked if I’d like to give one of these printers away. Of course, I agreed. But I put a condition on it. Rather than just give one away randomly, I’ll give it to the person who submits the best sustainability tip via my Twitter account during the giveaway days.

So you’ll be rewarded for your thinking processes, and probably not facing an enormous number of entries. In other words, if you give this your best shot, you’ll have a much better chance of winning than in most contests.

And five runners-up get a copy of my very useful e-book, Painless Green: 111 Tips to Help the Environment, Lower Your Carbon Footprint, Cut Your Budget, and Improve Your Quality of Life-With No Negative Impact on Your Lifestyle.

Disclosure: as is obvious from above, I got one of these printers as a gift and have been using it steadily ever since.

By entering, you agree to both my rules and Dell’s rules for the contest. You’ll find both sets of rules posted at http://painlessgreenbook.com/win-a-1299-printer-december-16-19-2011

Good luck!

This Month’s Tip: Market With Video, Part 1

In this two-part series, I’ll first introduce the context of video marketing in today’s world–which is quite different from even a few years ago. Next month, I’ll follow up with specific things to keep in mind when shooting a video, and some ideas for what kind of content to create.

There are probably at least 1001 ways to promote a product or a service with video–a medium that penetrates the brain like no other (as we’ve known since the popularization of television began more than 60 years ago). Video used to require considerable technical skill and a whole pile of expensive equipment. But these days, anyone can shoot and produce a video. All you need is a pocket video camera or (for interviews) even just a Skype account with the call recorder add-on; distribution is as simple as uploading to a video sharing site like Youtube, Vimeo, Viddler, Ustream, or their many competitors.

(Note: For some purposes, I still advise professional production; the quality will be way better. Your speaker demo reel, for instance, should absolutely be done by a pro, and so should anything that you expect to go head-to-head with footage shot by big studios. But you can do a lot with homegrown videos.)

Video is enormously popular. This list of more than 300 video sharing sites <http://www.reelseo.com/list-video-sharing-websites/> includes Alexa rank (how much they get visited) and Google Page Rank (a vague indication of how much search engines like them). Astoundingly, 46 sites have an Alexa rank better than 1000. That means out of the roughly 300 million websites in the entire world, 46 of the 1000 most-visited websites exist to share video. And many of these sites allow user submissions of videos.

Alexa’s own Top Sites page gives Youtube the number 3 position in both the world and the United States, trailing only Google (which owns Youtube) and Facebook (data checked 12/12/11).

On Youtube, and presumably other sites, you can set up a branded URL for your own channel, building name recognition. You can also easily embed a video hosted on any of these sites into your own web pages and even e-mails.

And don’t forget that these sites are typically non-exclusive. You can post the same video on multiple sites, which may be especially useful if there’s a niche video site covering your area of expertise.

Friends Who Want to Help

Guerrilla Marketing Intensive–$1000 discount just for you

My co-author, Jay Conrad Levinson, “the Father of Guerilla Marketing,” has a few seats left in his next Guerrilla Marketing Intensive, at his Florida home, January 23rd-25th. 21 hours of training over three days. Normally $4997 (payable in up to four installments)–but Jay’s manager (his daughter Amy) has offered a $1000 discount to my subscribers. Limited to just ten people, so this is pretty in-depth. https://gmarketing.infusionsoft.com/go/Int/shelhoro/ If you want my opinion about whether Jay knows his stuff, read my rave review elsewhere in this issue of Guerrilla Marketing Remix.

To get this special rate, just click this link: mailto:olympiagal@aol.com?subject=Discount?cc=shel@frugalfun.com to tell Amy you want the $1000 off for Shel’s subscribers (Also tell her whether you prefer an online payment link or prefer to call in your payment info).

Increase Your Happiness Quotient

Remember the hit song, “Don’t Worry…Be happy?” But how do you GET happy without worrying? Ana Weber’s book/course, “The Happiness Thermometer,” can give you more than a few clues to increase your happiness quotient without having to worry about it. http://3bl.me/rb3y6n

Coop-themed Poetry Contest for Middle Schoolers

Know a middle-schooler who likes to write? Cheese and milk co-op Cabot is doing a poetry contest for students in grades 5-8, on the cooperative spirit. Winner not only gets a cash prize, but his or her poem on a Cabot butter box. For details: http://potatohill.com/files/2011-PoetryContest.pdf

D’vorah Lansky Wants to Help with Your Book Promotion
Virtual Book Tour Course: http://3bl.me/ewsged

Hear & Meet Shel

December
January
  • 1/4/12: Visit http://bigamericangiveaway.com/–I’m that day’s Massachusetts sponsor, and I’ll have some cool stuff for you: a gratis copy of my e-book Painless Green, and a $25 gift certificate good toward any consultation or copywriting. Same Deal applies to the London page of http:// bigbritishgiveaway.com on January 17.
February
  • In negotiation to speak at conferences in Bangladesh and Switzerland. Nothing definite yet.
April
  • 4/2/12: I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be doing a program for The Shift Network. For a year now, I’ve been listening to many of their calls, interviewing the creme de la creme of experts in sustainability and global consciousness. I’ll be part of the Green Business track of the ambitious Spring of Sustainability program, which also features such luminaries as Paul Hawken, Bill McKibben, Hunter Lovins, David Korten, Frances Moore Lappe and Duane Elgin. You will want to sign up for this entire series. I plan to listen to as many of the calls as possible. Watch for the registration link (no cost, I believe) in a future issue.
Also remember–if you set me up an engagement, you could earn a generous commission.

 

Another Recommended Book: The New Relationship Marketing by Mari Smith

About 80 percent of Mari Smith’s new book is about social media–but I’d say the other 20 percent might be worth the closest look.

That’s because Smith is not only a believer in meeting face-to-face, but a brilliant tactician who uses her prodigious online skills to totally win over the people she meets offline (at conferences, for example)–and tells you exactly how to do the same.

Using a powerful yet very accessible set of online research tools to steer her face-to-face encounters, Smith creates quite a bit of “wow factor” by integrating online comments about her presentation directly into the speech, in real time–and to not just show up very prepared to network with other speakers and attenders, but to have impressed them so much ahead of (as well as during) the event that they actually seek you out.

Smith outlines how she does this, step by step, in Chapter 7 of her new book, The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using the Social Web (John Wiley and Sons, 2011). She titles the chapter, Go Offline to Optimize Your Online Marketing–but I’d actually flip that around. Really, it’s about going *online* to maximize your *offline* marketing.

While that chapter alone would be worth buying the book, it’s typical of the other good stuff, all based on the idea of using “radical strategic visibility” to build real relationships in business. She encourages businesses to think beyond B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) to “P2P”–people-to-people. For instance, she talks about how to get your A-list–the people you want to impress–to see you as a valued colleague…what parts of your social media presence you should and should not delegate, and why…how to recovery gracefully and with minimal damage from a social-media faux pas…how businesses with purely local clientele (such as restaurants) can market effectively on social media…identifying and cultivating “superfans” who will advance your brand perhaps better than you can do on your own.

And it all comes from an attitude of service, perhaps best summed up by this quote from pages 193-194: “Always be thinking about how you can tap into the intelligent network of people that will allow you to bring greater value to each and every individual and your community at large. Provide a better product and better service, and consistently build your social equity to establish your brand as the natural “go-to” for your field. You can become a top industry leader by utilizing the inclusion of your marketplace. If you’re really treating people as equals–whether it’s 10 or 10 million–then you are relating to each one with the greatest of respect by including and involving them.”

The book is also crammed with resources, both in the main text and in the appendix, and features a wonderfully comprehensive index (something I desperately wish more business books paid attention to).

 

Some of the links in this newsletter earn me a commission. I only promote products that I think will be useful to you.

About Shel and this Newsletter

As a marketing consultant and copywriter … award-winning author of eight books… international speaker, blogger, syndicated columnist — Shel Horowitz shows how green and ethical businesses can actually be *more* profitable than your less-green competitors. His most recent book is category bestseller Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet. Shel also helps authors/publishers, small businesses, and organizations to market effectively, and turns unpublished writers into well-published authors. He was inducted into the National Environmental Hall of Fame in 2011.

Shel began publishing his monthly newsletter all the way back in 1997, making it one of the oldest marketing e-zines (it’s changed names a few times along the way). Shel brings you a mix of actionable marketing tips, profiles of successful green and ethical businesses, and reviews of worthwhile books.

Does Visibility Marketing Ever Serve a Purpose? Part 2: Frugal/Green Marketing Tip, July 2010

Last month, we looked at the incredible effectiveness of visibility marketing in advancing social causes. Can it also advance a for-profit business, and do so without buying enormous amounts of expensive advertising? Can small businesses take advantage of this kind of messaging?

I’d give the answer a qualified yes. Branding/visibility campaigns can work for small businesses, especially those with a social and/or environmental message. And now that a branding campaign can drive traffic to a website that reveals the whole story, it’s easier to pull one off than it would have been 20 years ago.

A large-scale but very counterculture example is Read the rest of this entry »

Does Visibility Marketing Ever Serve a Purpose? Part 1: Frugal/Green Marketing Tip, June 2010

I used to be really scornful of “visibility advertising”: campaigns that had only a branding purpose, didn’t try to sell anything and in many cases didn’t even try to pass on a message. For most of my career, I thought this kind of marketing was only the province of corporate giants with unlimited budgets: companies like Coke, Nike, and McDonalds.

But ten years ago, I had an experience that caused me to change my mind. We were in the middle of a deep, multichannel campaign to block a particularly nasty housing development going all the way to the ridgeline of our local mountain (right next to a state park on the next mountain over, whose gorgeous view would be ruined). In addition to the press releases, the media campaign, the lobbying, the massive turnout at public hearings, and all the other tactics we were using, we did lawn signs and bumper stickers.They just said “Save the Mountain” (the name of our group) and gave our website. Of course, this was not only branding the organization, but also the idea that the mountain could actually be saved; our action mission was right there in the organization’s name.

One day, some of our canvassers were working a local farmers market when who should stroll by but the developer and his wife. And she turned to our people and said, Read the rest of this entry »