Artisan Marketing Communications offers clients PR and marketing communications advice, practical support and implementation.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

More effective negotiating from Bill Doherty

Manchester Junior Chamber of Commerce ran a fantastic seminar this week.

Entitled “Effective Negotiating” the presentation was given by Bill Doherty of Persuasion. He gave some fantastic insights on how to get the most out of sales and negotiating.

I feel we only touched on his knowledge but it kept the audience gripped for more than an hour and a half.

So here are some techniques to consider when you have that important pitch or contract talks:

Decide you entry price, exit price and cannot agree point before entering the room

Start big on price then go smaller

If you present yourself as an expert price disappears from the negotiations as the driving force

Body language is key! We have all heard that the majority of communication is through body language, but there are dos and don’ts:

Never touch your body during negotiations
Never put your hands together
Turn out palms outwards
Stand on the right of the person you are negotiating with
Be interested: eye contact vital

Glancing to the left indicates truth and to the right lies

Formal dress will be taken more seriously, even if you are in a creative industry- in fact it is three times more effective in terms of the attention you will be paid (I trust Bill has some statistical evidence for this)

A clean desk is also advisable.

There are three types of negotiator: visuals (60%), auditory (30%) and Feeling (10%) and this changes the nature of the dynamic.

There are seven decision patterns that can be predicted before you enter the room. So the majority of CEOs “want the facts.” If you can show a quantitative return on investment you have a real chance of winning the business. So, if you know the position of the negotiating partner you have a chance to present the right pitch.

Bill has written about his experiences and can be contacted should you wish to find out more: it should be worth the expense

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Iran and the free press: the twisting of logic

Frances Harrison of the BBC needs to be congratulated for her article about Iran: supposedly promoting free speech while hosting holocaust denial conferences.

The twisited logic and lies is summed up by the deniers claiming to be working to promote free speech and thanking Iran for being a beacon of the free press that allows them to express their views. The fact is thousands are imprisoned for just voicing their opposition.

I think this sentence reflects the article nicely:

"They were vague - happy to whitewash Iran without knowing the facts. As a journalist living and working in Iran I found it particularly galling to be told that I had freedom of speech by these people (holocaust deniers)."

To see an insightful and well argued piece of journalism click here

Monday, December 11, 2006

Simply Networking Early events to be launched in the new year

Networking4Business is to make Simply Networking Early a regular part of its programme.

The Manchester based networking organisation usually holds its meetings in the afternoons but had a trial breakfast event in November. The success of the event has led to managing director Mark Greenwood setting up fortnightly Tuesday meetings at Chancellors Hotel & Conference Centre in Fallowfield.

Simply Networking Early will start on the 16th January. For the full list of events click here.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Connect Media: Christmas gathering

Connect Media, Manchester's networking group for communication professionals, is meeting for a Christmas bash this Wednesday at 6.30pm at Obsidian Bar on Princess Street.

There will be no speaker on this occassion, just a chance to network and have a drink with fellow professionals. As always, it will be a friendly and fun occassion.

Defeating the 419 scammers: a heart warming story for the festive season

The 419 scam is not new, but the problem is growing.

Cheap technology flooding into Nigeria and other west and south African countries has made the proliferation of such schemes endemic. It is a real problem that yields one billion pounds for the criminals yearly.

We are all too clever surely to fall for the scam, which works by promising vast amounts of cash for help to release a fortune stashed in a third world bank or a variation on the theme?

Well, some notable victims include a former congressman and a Brazilian banker. The New Yorker published the story, at some length, of John Worley, a respected psychotherapist and committed Christian who not only fell for the scheme, but also got charged with fraud and was sentenced this summer to two years imprisonment. He still owes $500,000.

While we might not have much sympathy for a “victim” that displays so much greed and gullibility, we must recognise that they play on our better selves. Many scammers pretend to be representing Holocaust victims, Pakistani earthquake victims or political refugees.

I think most of us would like to see these heartless scam artists punished.

Well, the Guardian featured a man whose life work is to entrap the scammers. I think a little heart- warming story is called for approaching the festive season. Mike Berry, a Manchester based IT professional, baits, ridicule and out cons the scammers. Helped by 23,000 members on his site he tricks scammers by inviting them to turn up at airports (often some distance away) that he has no intention of visiting or by stringing them along with promises of cash.

His notable successes include getting one criminal to write out a whole Harry Potter book by hand and photographing them holding you signs saying what they are: scum.

Mike has published a book that could be the perfect Christmas present: Greetings in Jesus Name! The Scambaiter Letters. A new past time for 2007? Maybe.

To read more about Mike’s exploits click here

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Press Gazette returns

2006 has seen the demise of the North West Enquirer and PR Business. It was reported on this blog a couple of weeks ago that the Press Gazette had finished after 41 years.

It looked like another bleak story.

Well, after being bought out by information group Wilmington, Press Gazette is happily still reporting. There has been a gap of a week, but the management has assured readers that they are even stronger for the break.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thresher's amazing discount offer: what's the real story

Stuart Bruce, a well-respected professional PR, has come up with an interesting take on the Threshers mistake that turned into a global viral campaign of considerable success.

Stuart points out that far from being the success the media think it undoubtedly is, it is in fact damaging to the reputation of Threshers because amongst many things it shows how much Threshers overcharge. This implies Threshers are greedy and dishonest. Stuart further points out that Threshers must make money even when they offer a 40% discount. Indeed the three for two offer that Threshers offer puts the 40% “offer” into perspective – not such a steal on closer inspection although the clients and media do not seem to have looked so deeply.

Stuart’s points are well thought out and have validity. But how many clients of Threshers think this deeply? Very few I suspect and so the amazing coverage Threshers got has been worthwhile for them; the downsides that Stuart points out will probably be restricted to only a small percentage.

My own view is that a large proportion of the media lap up the light-hearted "isn't that amazing" story without any critical comment. I am afraid the minority think things through like Stuart. But I am not criticising the media. Budgets have been slashed and workloads increased and the time that was once available to analyse stories has disappeared. They have to get the coverage out. And they would still go with teh same angle as it is incredible how it was picked up and spread by so many.

Maybe I am being self-righteous. I must confess that until I read Stuart’s piece I was in awe of Thresher’s success and how it could be replicated. (I am still to some extent). Stuart’s alternative view has made me think otherwise I would be still saying, “isn’t that amazing.”

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Organic search marketing vs paid advertising

Many marketers plump for Pay Per Click and paid advertising without any thought of their online options.


It is because many want a quick hit without the requirement to think further. Sometimes it is because they do not realise the options they have at their command.

Organic search techniques are a real alternative to paid online advertising. They are cheaper and in the medium to long to more effective.

In a recent article, published by Networking4Business, Simon Wharton of online search marketing specialists PushON explains the opportunities we are all missing. Click here to read more.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Manchester becomes a wi-fi city

Manchester is leading the way in becoming a wi-fi city.

The Digital Development Association is determined to make the city of 2.2.m the largest free wi-fi hotspot in the country. Initially 100 square miles will be covered rising to 400 sq miles.

The ambition is to compete internationally: better infrastructure more investment. The UK's second city will certainly be first in more things than football and music.

Full story on the BBC

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Should prospective clients pay for pitches?

It’s not a new question and there are many answers, but should clients contribute to the cost of pitching?

A pitch isn’t simply an hour or twos at the client’s office: it is preparation, follow up and the proposal. This amounts to a full day’s work.

We can take some satisfaction in winning the business or even coming second although to quote the great Bill Shankly, “Winning is every thing, second is nothing.”

But, it is those cases where there is no feedback, indeed I have had one experience of a prospective customer not even returning calls! And they called me after they had heard good things, stated they were happy with the ideas and thought that it would be a "yes" to the proposal.

Yet, the issue is not just the time, it is about the profession. Marketing suffers in comparison to other professions. The professional body cannot strike you off for malpractice. Marketers do not need mandatory qualifications or indeed on-going training to practice. If compounded by the intangible elements of the profession then marketers have a real problem in selling in their profession as well as the work at many pitches.

Paying for pitches would help raise the professional image of marketing and PR. If we continue the way we are on this and many other issues we will always be the downtrodden of the professional classes.

Is it possible though? The answer is yes and no. If every agency asks for a fee for pitching then the client will reveal if they are serious or just fishing for ideas.

Will it happen? No, it won’t. There will be a pitch fee breaker and just one will ruin it for everyone.

The outlook remains as always: some good pitches resulting in business, some close misses and some disillusioning experiences.

I would really appreciate comments from both sides of the pitching process.