November 29, 2006

Marketing 101 - Making a great first impression

PR Basics – “You had me at Hello”
Making a good first impression

At the end of the movie “Jerry Maguire” the then estranged Tom Cruise returns to his wife, Renee Zellwinger. After a long dissertation which could be interpreted as groveling, Renee surprisingly responds to Jerry Maguire with “You had me at hello”.

Public relations is about communications. Everything you do is communication. You are a walking communicator, even if you don’t say a word. It’s the image you project, and the thousands of voluntary, involuntary expressions and body movements you make. Flora Davis, author and social scientist claims gestures are a shortcut to language, calling body language the silent language.

Are you a good visual representative of what or who you represent? What you are trying to communicate to your audience and how are you communicating? PR is about managing your reputation. In essence you are the architect of your own reputation.

It is said that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. When you consider that 55% of first impressions are made through body language, 35% through voice and only 7% by your words, this statement cannot be disputed easily

It may be no surprise that 7% of first impact is in what we say, a whopping 93% is in our Body language. Out of the 93%, 55% is interpreted by our appearance and 38% is by the sound of our voice.

Here are the facts: Communications expert Mario Pei estimated that humans can produce up to 7,000 different physical signs. Pioneer researcher in kinesics Birdwhistell estimates that the face alone is capable of producing 250,000 expressions. Researcher M.H. Krout identified 5,000 distinct hand gestures Researcher G.W. Hewes has cataloged 1,000 different postures and their accompanying gestures

Professor Albert Hehrabian’s has broken down the impact of first impressions further. His studies show that Body Language represents 55%, words 7%, voice 38%

Not sure where to make your first good impression? Are you establishing or re-establishing your product, service or event? Here are over 25 ways to make can a good first impression!

Become an expert
Conduct free seminars
Conduct Surveys
Deliver Speeches
Distribute collateral – don’t let them get outdated
Enhance your business card – use the back
Environmental tie-ins
Establish a referral program
Give presentations
Hold Contests
Join online forums
Make appearances on talk shows – radio or TV
Make Public Service Announcements (Radio, newspaper or television)
Make sure your web site is “Media friendly”
Media tour
Mention satisfied customers - get testimonials
Network, network, network!
Personal Endorsements
Piggy back on current partner programs & promotions
Prepare Trend Stories
Press Release
Press conference
Produce E-Books
Service Clubs: Rotary, Kinnettes – Join or attend as a guest – check them out!
Solicit Testimonials, comments
Source out a predominant member of the community to endorse your message
Summarize survey results
Telemarketing – Make use of local college or university students
Use free classified ads on the internet

Write – a book, column, feature articles, letters to the editor of a professional, trade or consumer publication

On a final note – don’t stop or even consider that you are not making a first or lasting impression.

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