Free 2016 Editorial Calendars for eCommerce Companies, Product Companies and Retailers

To start the holiday season off right, I’ve put together a list of Top Magazine 2016 Editorial Calendars. It’s yours, free of charge.

It’s my gift to you, for checking out my new Do-It-Yourself Online Holiday Gift Guide Pitching Program.

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You can get the Editorial Calendars here.

What Are Editorial Calendars? Editorial Calendars list topics and special editorial coverage to be included in each issue. This is extremely helpful in getting publicity for your products, because you can offer story ideas and products that tie into these topics.

Magazines included in my complimentary 2016 Editorial Calendars list include: O, the Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Parents, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart Living, Shape and more.

 

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Beat the Big Guys by Making this Website Change

It’s not every day that an opportunity comes along that lets smaller businesses compete, and even beat, big businesses. However, the new Google mobile-friendly algorithm does just that.

What is the Google Mobile-Friendly Algorithm?

On April 21, 2015, Google began its release of a new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm designed to lift rankings for mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results.

Not sure if your site is mobile-friendly? Google has provided a handy “Mobile Friendly Test Tool” where you enter your website and Google lets you know if it’s mobile-friendly or not.

Initial reports show that most Fortune 500 companies are not mobile-friendly according to Google’s algorithm, which means opportunity for smaller businesses that are already mobile-friendly, or are willing to quickly make changes to become mobile-friendly.

Is It Really So Important to Get the Google Mobile-Friendly Ranking?

For the first time in history, mobile has exceeded desktop Internet usage, according to a new study by comScore. So if you’re not mobile-friendly, you’re probably missing out on business.

Gulp – My Site’s Not Mobile-Friendly – What Should I Do?

Take a deep breath. If it makes you feel better, my site is not mobile-friendly. I’m in the process of making that happen.

While there are several options, including creating a separate mobile website, I’m in favor of creating a mobile-friendly website. This means moving to a site with responsive design.

By now you’ve probably heard about responsive design. A website that uses responsive design allows your website to conform to any screen size or device. Whether someone uses a phone or a tablet, they will see a website similar to the desktop version.

Responsive design options can be found in several places:

  1. Ecommerce shopping platforms, such as Shopify and BigCommerce, have a large variety of themes that are responsive. These already have the code in place to be responsive, so they are automatically mobile-ready once they are installed.

  2. WordPress. Since more and more people use WordPress to create websites, it’s becoming a more popular choice. WordPress responsive themes also already have the code in place to be responsive. So once you install a responsive theme, you’re mobile-ready. Of course you might have to move your existing site to a responsive WordPress theme, which takes time, energy and often links from the old site to the new one. This is what my website designer will be doing. There are many free responsive WordPress themes. Here is a nice list.

  3. Custom designs. Many website designers will design a responsive site from scratch.

The Bottom Line

If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, make changes quickly, to minimize the loss of business and increase your mobile SEO rankings. Of course if your site is mobile-friendly, keep up the good work! Making ongoing tweaks to your site to keep it updated and fresh is an important best practice.

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Free Holiday Gift Guide Publicity and P.R. Webinar

Are fourth quarter sales important to you? If so, Holiday Gift Guide publicity placements should be important to you, too.

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Why are Holiday Gift Guide Editorial Placements so Important?

The fourth quarter holiday season is the time when most people are in “buying” mode. Publicity placements that occur during that time can (and have) led to thousands, even tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales.

Now is the Time to Pitch the Media for Holiday Gift Guide Placements

Since most major magazines have a 4-6 month lead time, all major magazines have summertime deadlines for Holiday Gift Guide publicity pitches.

Learn How to Get Holiday Gift Guide Editorial Placements During Our Free Webinar, Sponsored by ShipStation

Thanks to client and ecommerce shipping solution ShipStation for sponsoring this webinar!

Sign up here for our free Webinar on Thursday, June 25, 2015, at 1 p.m. Eastern.

What Will You Learn on this Webinar?

I will be the host of this Webinar, and have owned a P.R. company focusing on small business, ecommerce and product P.R. for over 14 years. My clients have been featured in top media, including O (The Oprah) Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Us Weekly, USA Today, Good Morning America, and thousands more. You can learn more about me, here. I work with top media folks every day, and from them, and from experience, I can share tips that will help maximize your Holiday Gift Guide coverage.  Here are some things you’ll learn on the Webinar:

  • Insider tips from top magazine Holiday Gift Guide editors
  • How to make a so-so item become a Wow! media-worthy item
  • This year’s media hot buttons for Holiday Gift Guide coverage
  • Why your product’s price point is so important and the key price points the media is looking for
  • Typical mistakes and how to correct them
  • The five pieces of information you must include in your pitch to make it successful
  • Examples of successful product placements – and why they got in
  • And much more!

Who Should Participate on this Webinar?

  • Ecommerce companies
  • Product manufacturers
  • Retailers

You can sign up for this free Holiday Gift Guide Publicity and P.R. webinar now. But hurry, there’s limited space. We’ll send you the call-in information closer to the time of the call. You can sign up here.

We hate spam as much as you do. Your information will never be rented, traded or sold.

What’s a Webinar?

A webinar is a live meeting that takes place over the web. Participants can view documents and applications via their computers, while shared audio allows for presentation and discussion.

What Will You Need to Participate in This Webinar?

Just two items:

  • A phone (you’ll call into a conference line)
  • A computer with Internet access (you’ll click on a link to join the Webinar and view the presentation)

There is limited space available, so Sign Up Now. You Can Sign Up here.

I look forward to catching up with you on the webinar!

Warmest Regards,

Margie Zable Fisher

President, Zable Fisher Public Relations

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Amazing Zebra Wedges from Helle Comfort

Just bought these Helle Comfort shoes from Zappos.  If you’re not familiar with this brand, it’s amazing!  Hey Helle Comfort – want to barter P.R. for shoes?

 

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Huffington Post Weird Mother’s Day Gift Guide Placement

Coolest weird Mother’s Day Gift Ever!  From client Calendars.com, featured in the 2015 Huffington Post Weird News Mother’s Day Gift Guide.

 

tampon flask

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Holiday Gift Guide Pitching and Publicity Tips from David Moye, Huffington Post Weird News

Over the years I’ve pitched ideas and communicated with David Moye, who has a 25-year background in news with a specialty in weird news, which made him a perfect fit for his position as a Staff Writer at Huffington Post Weird News. The Internet and social media have made weird news and products more popular than ever. In addition to his daily news posts on drunken zombies and people arrested for aggressive mopping (yes, that’s mopping), Moye writes five Weird Huffington Post Gift Guides each year, for Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

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Klingon Blood Wine – Valentine’s Day, 2015 – Huffington Post Weird Gifts

The Weird Gift Guides are very popular, receiving an average of over three million impressions. Products featured in his Gift Guides often see a jump in sales. “One year I included a $350 wine holder made out of a cow’s hoof. The owner told me he sold 170 of them solely from being featured in my Gift Guide,” notes Moye. That’s almost $60,000 in sales from one placement!

While he looks for very specific types of products (the ones that make you say, “That’s the worst gift ever. I’m getting it for my uncle,” Moye quips, he recently shared some universal pitching tips:

1. The number one mistake product companies make when pitching products is bad product photography. “My guides (and Gift Guides in general) are photo driven. I need cheesy photos that explain what the product does in one shot without writing. It’s best if you can see a person using the product, not just a photo of a product in the package.”

2. Tied for first place in pitching mistakes is pitching a product that’s not a fit for the piece. “Telling me you have a weird product in the first sentence and then cutting and pasting the boiler-plate pitch you send to normal news outlets, with products you describe as “sentimental” or “heartwarming” is an obvious example,” notes Moye. “I want my mouth to drop or my eyebrows to raise when I see a product,” says Moye. “A reaction like WTF is what I’m hoping for.”

3. Don’t penny-pinch on product samples. “It’s a pain in the neck to send back samples. Unless you have a really expensive or one-of-a-kind product, don’t tell me you need the sample back. It’ll make me think twice about including it,” Moye asserts.

4. Follow pitching instructions. Moye often posts on HARO (Help a Reporter Out). He usually includes instructions on how to pitch him. Here is an example from his recent request:

40) Summary: Looking for weird and wacky Christmas gifts Name: David Moye The Huffington Post Category: Lifestyle and Fitness Media Outlet: The Huffington Post Deadline: 7:00 PM EST – 4 October Query: Every year, I do a guide of weird and wacky Christmas gifts for Huffington Post. Help me make this year’s guide the weirdest. 1. Please review my previous weird Christmas gift guides. You can find them by going to the HuffPost site and doing this: “David Moye” + “weird Christmas gifts.” Last year’s guide included a crime scene terrarium and a Santa Claus costume for hamsters. Help me make this guide even weirder 2. Good photos are crucial. I prefer photos showing humans using the product (the cheesier the better). WARNING: HARO strips out photos so let me know if you have good photos. 3. If your product only qualifies as “quirky” or “unusual,” don’t pitch — helpful keywords for me include “weird,” “crazy,” bizarre,” “stupid,” “asinine,” “wacky” and “delusional client.” 4. Send complete product detail in the body of the email. Don’t send only the link and say “click on this.” 5. My gift guides average 1 million page views. 6. Yeah, that’s a lot. 7. No, I don’t anyone at another section who is working on a normal gift guide. 8. No, I’m not interested in interviewing your client about the product. As you know from the extensive research you’ve done, you are aware it’s a photo-driven gallery with a few pithy observations.

In a typical HARO request, Moye will receive 100 pitches, “Most of the people who pitch don’t read these instructions, which is why only about 10 of the pitches contain products that are viable for the Gift Guide.”

Last but not least, I’ll end with my favorite answer from David to one of my questions: 5. What wording do you like to see in Subject Lines? “I’m actually familiar with your work and didn’t get your name off a mailing list.” (He’s still waiting to get that one!) We hope these tips lead to more successful pitching and media placements. Thanks to David for an entertaining and informative interview! You can check out his posts at the Huffington Post here.

Oh, and if you’re interested in more information on Holiday Gift Guide P.R., you can get it here.

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Free Sample Publicity Calendar

One of my toughest jobs as a publicist is to explain the difference between the business/sales calendar and a publicity calendar. Understanding the publicity calendar can have a significant effect on your business.

Publicity Calendar

While businesses sometimes wait until the last minute to implement sales strategies, the media often has longer lead times to create editorial. How do you avoid missing opportunities for press coverage? The answer is simple: Create and follow a Publicity Calendar. A standard publicity calendar will help you determine, by month and quarter, when you need to pitch the media, taking into account the lead times for various types of media, as well as seasonal and holiday coverage throughout the year. Submitting pitches to meet editorial lead times is critical. You might be surprised to learn the lead times of the media:

  • Websites, Blogs, TV, Radio – 1 Month
  • Newspapers – 2 Months
  • Weekly Magazines – 3-4 Months
  • Monthly Magazines – 5-6 Months

These lead times mean that you may be submitting up to four different types of pitches each month, depending on the type of media coverage you’re interested in.

Sample Publicity Calendar

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If you don’t want to miss opportunities, follow a Publicity Calendar. You can download a free sample Publicity Calendar, and get our award-winning P.R. Tips and Special Offers. Just fill out the info here:

 

We hate spam as much as you do. Your information will never be rented, traded or sold.

 

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Contagious – A Book Every Marketer, P.R. Person or Business Owner Should Read

Sometimes a book comes along that makes you say Wow! Contagious: Why Things Catch On, is one of those books.

contagious

This book provides “the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission,” through six basic principles that drive things to become “contagious.”

As I read the book, ideas for clients came rushing in, and I took notes throughout.  This is a book you’ll want to keep coming back to, for your own business, or to help in the marketing and P.R. efforts of your clients.

While I thought of writing a full book review, I found an excellent one written by Ivana Taylor, at Small Business Trends.  You can learn more about the book, and the six principles, here.

Then be sure to pick up this book.  It’s an essential addition to anyone’s business book library, including mine.

 

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Winner List – Margie’s Favorite Products – 2015 Birthday Giveaway

Margie's Favorite Things Birthday (1)

 

Thanks to everyone who entered to win in my birthday giveaway!

Also I’d like to give a big thanks to our sponsors, listed below.

As promised, here is the list of winners:

  • Dale Miller
  • Todd Greenfield
  • Kiriath Masters
  • Jocelyn Murray
  • Jennifer Thornton
  • Todd Brabender
  • Karrie Klimas
  • Jennifer Regan
  • Shari McPeek
  • Nanette Saylor
  • Marcy Schackne
  • Lynne Gyorey

Congratulations to all of the winners!  Your prizes will be shipped to you soon.  As a reminder, here are the prizes:

PRIZES

celticcompCeltic Complexion – $100 Gift Certificate

Celtic Complexion offers luxury artisan, hypoallergenic products ranging from its popular Calming Serum (for rosacea), to moisturizing creams, anti-aging serums, tinted moisturizer, face cleansers, and cosmetics. Discount of 20% off all products on the website, March 1-31, 2015, using code “margie”.

Hot Girls Pearls – 18” White Vintage Cooling Necklace w/insulated travel purse – $80 value and Blush Vintage Cooling Bracelet w/insulated travel purse – $40 value

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Oprah added Hot Girls Pearls to her O List! This fun jewelry literally keep wearers cool, using a special technology.  The high-quality large faux pearls are filled with a non-toxic cooling gel that gets icy in the freezer.  Discount of 20% off all products on the website, March 1-31, 2015, using code “Margie”. Also featured on the Today Show, the View, the Huffington Post, and many others!

ShipStation – ShipStation Fun Pack, including 2 ShipStation t-shirts, a phone cleaning cloth, gel stress ball, and sticker – $65 valueshipstation

ShipStation is the leading web-based shipping software to help you easily & efficiently ship out all your eCommerce orders. With automatic order importing from over 50 marketplaces & shopping carts as well as easy shipping label creation in batch with all the major shipping carriers, ShipStation can take you from shipping nightmare to shipping nirvana.

Calendars.com – “Margie’s Favorites” – Eco Staple Free Stapler – Purple; Starlet Stickystaplerpurple Notes; Office File it Calendar and Folders; Purple Essential Medium Notebook; Live Boldly Planner – $46.77 value

Calendars.com is a Top 500 Internet retailer, and the largest online calendar company in the world. In addition to calendars, the company offers thousands of planners, office supplies, gifts, toys and more.

Clipa – Swarovski Crystal “Victoria” handbag clip (top seller) in hematite – $39.99 value

Celeb-loved Clipa instant handbag hangers keep your bag off the ground and away from clipavictoriagerms, water, dirt and thieves then slides back onto your purse strap after use. Fast and easy to use; hangs most anywhere including bathroom stalls and restaurant tables, even rails! MSRP: $14.99-39.99. Discount of 15% off all products at www.clipa.us, March 1-31, 2015, using code “SPRING” plus FREE U.S. shipping on orders over $24.

Berry Sleepy – All-fruit, all-natural sleep aid bottle – $39.95 value
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Berry Sleepy is a proprietary blend of three superfruits that are proven to induce sleep.

Discount of 15% off all products on the website, March 1-31, 2015, using code “healthysleep”.

Pirouette – Botanical Perfume, 5ml Oil or 15ml Spray (winner’s choice of scent) – $38 valueANT_15ml_pirouette-4143993_c15728b6-9200-443e-95d0-6e4c860643e0_large

Pirouette offers Natural Artisan Perfumes and Body Luxuries. Products are handmade using only earth friendly ingredients and packaging. In the spirit of giving, 10% of profits are donated to charity. And of course, all Pirouette products are cruelty free. Discount of 15% off all products on the website, March 1-31, 2015, using code “BIRTHDAY15”.

Sweet & Saucy – 3 Jars of Caramel Sauce in your choice of flavors – $32.97 value3sauce

Sweet & Saucy offers unique, made in the U.S.A. caramel and chocolate sauces from Sweet and Saucy. In addition to the popular Salted Caramel, other caramel flavors include Amaretto, Cranberry, Butterscotch, Chardonnay Peach, Cinnamon, Coffee, Whiskey, Rum and Spicy Mango. To receive discounted ($8.99) jars of chocolate and caramel sauces on the website, March 1-31, 2015, call Jane at 303.807.5132.

Nardo’s Natural – Facial Cleanser, Intense Moisturizer and USDA Premium Lip Balm – nardosnarev$30 value

Shark Tank Winner Nardo’s Natural, Organic Skincare was established in April of 2009. The four Nardo brothers collaborated to create an effective & healthy skincare line with ingredients derived from nature. Nardo’s Natural organic products are suitable for all skin types and loaded with skin-loving nutrients. Discount of 20% off all products on the website, March 1-31, 2015, using code “MARGIE”.

Bacon Addicts – Sir Francis Bacon Sampler (3pc Set) Bacon Peanut Brittle, Milk Chocolate Bacon Brittle & Dark Chocolate Bacon Toffee – $29.95 value
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BaconAddicts.com offers a vast selection of bacon items from gag gifts to gourmet food products, including delicious candy and snack items such as Bacon Chocolate, Bacon Brittle, Bacon Popcorn, Bacon Jerky, Bacon Coffee, Bacon Mayonnaise, Bacon Salt, Bacon Ketchup and Bacon Hot Sauce, plus a wide variety of popular non-edible Bacon Gifts, including Bacon Bandages, Bacon Air Fresheners, Bacon Socks, and more. Bacon Addicts is also proud to offer many Vegetarian, Vegan and Kosher bacon products – so they truly have something for everybody!

Stain Rx – Stain Removal Starter Pack – includes 10 oz., 3.75 oz, 5 wipes – $18.99 valuep829126271-2

Stain Rx is the most effective all-in-one stain remover for all your stain removal needs, in the home, or on the go with our wipes.  Made in the U.S.A., Stain Rx is non-toxic, and removes stains from red wine, to berries, to coffee stains, to pet messes and everything in between.

Green Virgin Products – 8 Oz Soap Nut Liquid Laundry Detergent (totally Non-Toxic) – $18.95 value and Bar Soap Combo – $13.35 value

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The mission of Green Virgin Products is to offer the finest green cleaning products from around the globe. We provide non toxic, eco-friendly cleaning products that will do the job as well or better than any other leading brand, but without the side effects. We also offer the world’s best natural laundry detergent – soap nuts – and a range of other non-toxic, healthy products. Discount of 15% off all products on the website, March 1-31, 2015, using code “fisher15off “.

For more information on this giveaway, please go here.

Check out the Official Sweepstakes Rules here.

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Get Publicity from Mom Blogs

After many years of publicity pitching, I’ve come to the conclusion that publicity placements in Mommy blogs are extremely cost-effective, and offer great sales opportunities for small businesses.

MOM

Typically, Mommy blogs refer to blogs written by women with at least one child, generally writing about topics of interest to Moms. Often these blogs will contain reviews and giveaways of products and services that will be helpful to other Moms.

Readers of these blogs are eager to check out new products and giveaways, and trust these Mommy bloggers to provide information on great products. This leads to more sales, and more positive exposure for your products.

The best part: for ONLY the cost of sending your product, and sometimes sending another product (if you are offering a giveaway prize), Mommy bloggers (assuming they like your product) will generally provide:

  1. A first-person, descriptive, positive review of your product (if they don’t like your product, they don’t post a review)
  2. Links to your ecommerce website that will generate more traffic, sharing and, most importantly, sales
  3. Traffic to social media sites (some reviewers will list your social media sites in the review)

The icing on the cake: Large product companies realize the value of Mommy bloggers, and work with them all the time. Yet Mommy bloggers are open to submissions from small businesses, and they have the same opportunity to get publicity coverage.

So if you’re looking for product publicity, look at Mom blogs.  They may be just what you need to increase sales!

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