A brief marketing brush-up

Talk the talk: What's one of the key secrets of getting through toreporters? Speak to your audience. If you're talking to a business reporter,use hard numbers--dollar growth, financial projections, initial investment,number of employees and the like. If you're talking to a tech editor, talkabout how your company uses technology to improve sales. TV and photo editorsunderstand visuals, so use phrases such as "picture this" to better communicateyour idea. If you tailor your pitch to each specific reporter, you'll create abetter rapport and improve the chances of seeing your product or service inprint.

Sell the American dream: Know the value of "Made in America." The USAname retains tremendous selling power in much of the world, so promote yourcompany and products as American. Put a "Made in the USA" label on allproducts, and tout the fact that your company is U.S.-based in all your writtencommunications, marketing materials and ads.

Kid stuff: Many companies have found that if they put a widget thatappeals to children in their product's package, the parents will follow.Fast-food franchises learned this trick a long time ago. Their smartestmarketing ploy has been the invention of the "kid's fun pack" meal. Each month,a new, inexpensive plastic toy is bundled with a child-sized burger-and-friescombination to draw kids and (drag) parents in for a meal. To get in on theaction without shelling out a lot of cash, partner with a children's businessor toy manufacturer that can provide you with goodies.