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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sally Handley, Webinar, Public Relations, SMPS

This blog title is something a mouthful, but it covers some important and relevant themes, simultaneously.

Sally Handley (see has a marketing/consulting business for the architectural/engineering/construction sector. She focuses on publicity and media relations consulting, an area that I also developing.

A few weeks ago she posted notice of a Webinar on Public Relations called "Craft a Publicity Plan and Get Published!). The fee: $150.00 for the 90 minute session on Friday afternoon. Since I am knowledgeable about these areas, why pay so much money for her Webinar? The answers are on several levels. I've never participated in a Webinar, and am intrigued by their marketing possibilities, a little competitive intelligence is always helpful and (most importantly), even though I am very knowledgeable about the subject, it is my responsibility to continue learning more -- and even a few ideas from her Webinar would be well worth the money.

So I signed up. I am not going to share all her insights on this blog -- at least all at once -- but she indeed offered useful examples and ideas and if you don't wish to use my services, I certainly can recommend her as knowledgeable and capable in her field. (For my own commercial message about public relations consulting services, see this reference.)

There are other issues relevant here, however. How did Sally find me? I'm not exactly sure how I received her promotional email because I don't recall asking to be put on her list (it is okay now, of course, as have purchased her service and am satisfied with its value). SMPS (Society for Marketing Professional Services) members have access to the entire membership list, of course. I don't think blind and widespread use of this list for marketing is a wonderful idea but can see how a well targeted and careful marketing program to parts of the list, or names on the list over time, would be effective. And SMPS membership is a real bargain especially if you are in the U.S. and in one of the many cities with chapters.

The other thing I wanted to see is how the Webinar actually works. First, for Sally, it appears to have been successful. I'm not sure how many were online with me at the time, but if the numbers add up the way I think they do, this truly proved profitable for her -- especially since the Webinar will presumably lead to additional lucrative consulting assignments.

I discovered some intriguing online resources both to co-ordinate the cash and registrations, and the actual Webinar itself, along with principals of preparation and co-ordination. I can see now that a well-executed Webinar can be truly effective marketing resource, but think you need to be well prepared and have a solid base within your market framework before trying something like this.

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