Monthly Archives: February 2012

Networking Like a BOSS

I don’t have a business card. I know business cards are like a compulsory networking item. Yet every time I make a solemn vow to get them printed, something goes terribly wrong.

For example:

1. I procrastinate. I do the dishes, I play with my hair, I lie on the floor, I have a nap, I instagram random stuff like this:

2. I argue with the Kwik Kopy girl about this design:

-Kopy girl: “You want a double sided card? That’ll be about $220 for 100 copies.”

-Me: “It’s alright, just print them for me right now and then I’ll cut them out and glue them together myself. I’m going Lean.”

-Kopy girl: “….Weirdo….”

-Me: “…..What?”

3. I file a complaint on an Office Works girl:

-Me to Office Works girl: “I’ve been in here twice today, I bought the right memory stick and changed the file format like you asked me to do and NOW YOU TELL ME YOU DON’T PRINT BUSINESS CARDS??”

-Me filing a complaint: “She moves like a SLOTH, has no idea as to what she is and isn’t trained to do and she tried to hide behind the printer when I confronted her.”

So there you have it. I’ve given up. I’ve developed a parasitic way of networking. I just hoard people’s business cards and the poor dears get my details through manual labour. So this all may seem a bit stupid, but actually this type of laziness did spark a trend of startups for paperless business cards. I’m not sure if this trend is still going but I’m down with it.

There are a few apps for online business cards and virtual networking, so obviously there are others who are ready to move on from the cave man custom of swapping little pieces of paper.

Have a look:

1. Cardcloud

You can sync the app with Linkedin to create a business card based on your profile info and send it to someone’s email address by typing it in. OR if someone else is using the same app you can beam your details to them wifi style, but only if the app can detect them.

2. Cardflick

Works in a similar way

3.Bizzabo

Is an interesting one: It’s an event based app that allows people to RSVP to events and see who else is attending the same event. People can share their information with each other, eliminating the need for exchanging business cards.

Have a look at the demo.

4. Identyme

A one stop shop for your profile, resume, business card, portfolio and social networks. Not quite a virtual business card, but it’s on the right track.

Here’s a demo.

I’ve actually installed most of these on my phone…but then I realised I was too lazy to bother with them too. However, I’ve come up with the perfect solution for paperless networking.

High fiving.

Seriously. Imagine if you could get any person’s details by high fiving them? High five networking. How awesome is that?  It would make every event so much fun, especially after a few drinks. Drunken high fiving crowds. Sure your hand could get a little sore but that’s a small price to pay for paperless networking, I say.

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under networking

Press Idols: Pitch to Media

My event wanderings took to me to Press Idols (where 5 businesses pitched their businesses and media releases to a media panel), back to The City Hotel. The place is seriously becoming my second home because of how many events I attend there. I was particularly interested in this event though because I love learning about how media knowledge can help startups and small businesses.  

So let’s get to it.  

THE EVENT

Blurb: Press coverage and PR are great ways to get the word out there about your business so practical information from experts is priceless. Press Idols allows small businesses to pitch their ideas and media releases to a panel of journalists and media experts. The panel then gives their feedback and provides presenters with useful tips about how to improve their media releases in the future.

Hanging out before the event

GUEST PANEL

Editor of Nine to Five Editor: Matt Young 

Inner West Courier Journalist: Rashell Habib 

Shoe String Launch Founder and Editor: Matt  Beeche


BUSINESS PITCHES

Five businesses pitched their ideas to the audience and the panel and from what I understand they are all very new ventures, which makes it all the more exciting.

#1. Evolvex Furniture (presented by co-founder Priyanka Rao)

 

Evolvex is a family business, that Priyanka started with her father and allows people to design their own furniture online. It offers affordable, environmentally friendly products that are made with the input from the buyer.

#2 MyShout (presented by co-founders Myron Festejo and Arri Khan)

 

MyShout lets friends send friends free drinks through an iphone app and redeem them at their local bar. In other words you get a virtual voucher for a free drink. The aim is to give people an incentive to socialise with their friends, using free drinks as bait to get them out and about.

#3. Jane Winter (also known as The Princess of Sales she helps SMEs and startups develop their sales skills)

 

Jane offers sales coaching programs to women in business. According to Jane, the problem many women face when running their own businesses is their inability to effectively sell their offering or get customers.

#4. Women As Entrepreneurs (presented by founder Orsolya Parkanyi)

 

Orsi is the creator of a meetup for women entrepreneurs (Women as Entrepreneurs) that seeks to connect entrepreneurial women and to offer them support.

#5. Think Big Online (presented by co-founder Samuel Junghenn)

 

Think Big Online is a marketing agency which created an e-book report to reveal dodgy practices of SEO companies that only claim to be experts in their field without actually knowing how to get results.

LEARNINGS FROM THE PANEL

  • Supporting facts and figures should be included in the media release.
  • Use dot points instead of writing long paragraphs and essay styled media releases.
  • Saturate social media with your message. Make it tailored to your business.
  • Don’t formalise the language in the media release.Use the language the reader is going to understand. Don’t use technical jargon that no one but you is familiar with.
  • Use quotes from existing customers as something to catch the journalist’s attention and illustrate business traction.
  • CRUCIAL: Include contact information such as phone number, email and the website on the media release.
  • Press kits do work – packages catch attention.
  • Include high res photographs of your team or the product when sending out a media release.
  • Think of an angle (an aspect of your business) that makes it unique or interesting.
  • You are part of your brand. If there is something interesting about you, use it.

JOURNO TERMS

  • Photo Op/Photo opportunity: You can grab a publication’s attention by offering their photographer a photo opportunity (for example if you’re running a PR event such as a launch party or a promo). When sending a photo op suggestion, include your contact details, the location where the event will take place and briefly state what will be happening.
  • Press Kit: a package with information about your product/service. This can include product samples, backgrounders, photographs and much more.

THE ORGANISER SPEAKS

 

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Sean Grobbelaar and I’m the host of Pitch to Media run by Press Idols. I am the Networking Coach, Sydney’s leading networking coach. I do training in effective networking. I also run a company called Night Out With The Socialite.

How did Pitch To Media come about?

Press Idols was already started from September Small Business Month last year. We ran three events (as part of Press Idols): Pitch to media, Pitch Your Website and Pitch For Funding. Pitch To Media was a real success so we set up Press Idols. Pitch to Media allows small businesses to engage learn and meet actual journalists and people in the media profession. That way they can learn how they can write an effective press release to capture attention of the journalist and get media coverage.

Favourite Meetup?

Mobile Mondays is really fun for the techy space and there are a lot of others. Young Professionals meetups are a lot of fun.

VOX POPS

My-linh Dang

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m an ex lawyer and I’m actually starting my own business in retail online. Mylo*dee is women’s active wear with a customisation aspect, which means women can design their own active wear. The concept is finding things that everyday women (not necessarily athletes) can wear and be excited and motivated to wear.

What did you want to get out of tonight?

I have no background in PR at all so  I wanted to get information about press releases and getting in contact with the media to help me with my business. I’ve learnt loads today, so it’s been fantastic.


Izhar Basha

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m the co-founder of Firehosiery, a premium Australian leg wear label. I was a lawyer for five years prior to starting the business.

How did you find out about this event?

From Shoestring Launch Magazine. I also contribute to the magazine and write various articles about legal strategy.

Favourite meetup?

Generally entrepreneurial things where we can attend and meet like minded people, discuss new business opportunities, help people out.

EVENT REVIEW


1 Comment

Filed under Media and PR event