Aug 16

Free Consultations for Small Businesses

Free Online Marketing Consultation for Irish Owners of Small


Confused on how to make an impact online? We can help for free!


If you are the owner of a small business or looking to embark on a start-up we are glad to announce that we are now offering a free one hour consultancy advising on how to market your business.

Over the course of the hour we can look at your business and advise you on the following types of matters.

1: Market research – Is the product(s) or service you sell likely to succeed online? We can use online research tools to give you a outlook on your prospects for success. If the market ain’t out there there is no point wasting your time after all.

2: Content Marketing and Search engine optimisation – How to attract relevant visitors to your website who are looking for the products or services you offer without paying for the traffic.

3: Getting the most out of your advertising budget – If your product or services will sell online you should be advertising online. If this is not done with a purpose though you can easily waste a lot of money. We can offer advice on structuring your cost per click adverts to minimise wastage.

4: Creating effective e-marketing / newsletter campaigns – Online newsletters can be a very cost effective way of promoting your business but have to be well structured and appeal to your audience. We can help you put the best foot forward for your e-marketing campaigns.

5: PR and media coverage – Getting a write up in a local or national newspaper or a mention of a local or national radio station can be much more effective then spending money on advertising. We can help you create a public relations strategy which can maximise your media coverage prospects.

6: Video marketing – How to go about creating an effective video marketing campaign online

7: Social media advice – Often overstated in importance by so called experts.. We can advice you on anything for setting up accounts to using them effectively.

8: Using other channels to sell – We can advice on how to sell effectively through ebay and other third party sales channels.

We are limiting these free one hour consultations to the first 10 people that contact us on it.

So Don’t Monkey About!

Call Colm today on  01 8428187  or mobile 087 666 1204  alternatively email

May 24

Is it worth opening a Facebook Shop?

Thinking of starting a Facebook Shop? Is it really worth it?

I attended a talk yesterday organised through Dublin City Enterprise Board on the topic of selling through Ebay. It was quite a basic talk on the topic but it would seem that some of those present found it pretty beneficial all the same.

What annoyed me somewhat is when one of the speakers encouraged people to open a Facebook shop! Over the last 18 months I have done quite a lot of research on Facebook shops. Many of the so-called “social media experts”  are encouraging this practice and I have asked many of them to name one Irish business which is successfully selling through this channel. 18 Months on I’m still waiting for someone to give me even one example of a success story. I genuinely hope there is one out there but I suspect there is none.

Unlike Ebay you got to remember people don’t tend to log on to their Facebook account with a view to buying. They generally go there to catch up with friends or let the world know what they are doing at that particular moment in time.

Founder of, Chris Dixon sums it up quite well “Facebook is like Starbucks everyone hangs out there for hours but they buy nothing” Incidentally was recently acquired by ebay which I guess elevates the value of his opinion.

Now I’m not for a second suggesting that having a Facebook page for your business is not of value as it certainly has merit but why bother wasting time and effort on installing a shop and adding all your products and working out the right shipping prices for all the different countries? If it doesn’t work out it will just leave you deflated so avoid it useless you feel you got absolutely no other route to the online market.

Follow the Leaders with your Facebook Strategy

Macy’s in New York is the world’s largest store. At the time of writing they got 5.6 Million fans of their facebook page and its quite a busy place. They don’t have a shop though instead they use their facebook page to direct traffic to website.

On a more local level one of my favourite Irish facebook pages is that of These guys really know how to interact with their audience. Currently they have over 27,500 fans but no shop. They tend to post links with a brief message on facebook informing fans of latest T-Shirt designs, special offers and so on. This gives the visitor the option to click through and read more if they so wish or ignore completely if it is not of interest to them

Conclusions on the Facebook Shop

If the big boys have decided not to implement it then it’s unlikely that there is much merit in you doing it either.

Hey but it would be nice if you give our facebook page a like all the same!

May 04

Online Marketing Training Dublin

Jargon Free Training to help Increase Sales!

If you are interested in learning how to increase your online presence and ultimately get more sales this course is for you.

Restricted to a maximum of 6 people this engaging and jargon free half day course is all about you and your needs.

Who Should Attend this online marketing course?

If you already have a website but are struggling to get sales or leads from your online presence this course will help you.

If you don’t yet have a site up and running the course should help you avoid making some fundamental mistakes from the outset many of which I made myself when I started my online business 2 and a half years ago.

If you want to have a strong online presence but you don’t have a big marketing budget this course should assist you hugely as long as you are willing to put the work in after attending.

When and Where does the Course take place?

The course takes place on Friday May 25th at the Metro Hotel, Santry Cross, Ballymun Road, Dublin 9.

Commencing at 9.30am the course will run until 1pm with a 15 minute break for tea, coffee and light refreshments.

Watch Presentation on What this Online Marketing Course is About

What do I need to bring with me for the course?

All you need to bring with you is a pen and some paper to take your own notes. Slides presented to you on the day  will be emailed on to you at the end of the course.

What’s Different Between this and other online marketing courses?

During the course of the day I will show you a report with a breakdown of the visitors to my own online retail site, I will then go through the different ways people arrived to my site and show you how I managed to get people to visit the site through these different channels.

Basically everything will be laid on the line here and ultimately this course is being run my someone that actually owns and runs an online business which depends on online sales to survive.

Its not being run by so called  “social media experts” or people that tell you what to do but have never actually been there and done it themselves.

Over the course of the session you should learn

1: How to improve how your site ranks in google for key terms relevant to your business sector.

2: How to avoid spending silly money on pay per click advertising.

3: How to create and build your online contact database and measure how people engage with you.

4: How to use google analytics to measure your online success and more importantly how to make changes to what you are doing.

5: How to share your way to success. Using social media (and not just facebook, twitter and linkedin)

6: How to use content marketing to increase your online presence. A look at blogging and video marketing.

7: How to give your business the best chance of media coverage.

Who am I?

My name is Colm Griffin and for the past 2 and a half years I have been running my own online retail business To date has been selected as a finalist for a Dublin Living Award as best retailer in the Green Awards in 2012. has received extensive media coverage including on the Pat Kenny Show on RTE Radio One, the Breakfast with Hector Show on 2FM, the Sunday Business Post, the Irish Independent, the Irish Examiner, the Sunday Times, Silicon Republic and many other local radio stations and newspapers.

I hold an honours degree in Human Resource Management from the National College of Ireland and recently completed a FETAC approved train the trainer course.

I worked in newspaper and TV advertising for over 10 years most of which was spent with the Sunday Tribune and Setanta Sports. was started on a tiny budget and to date has received no funding or investment from outside parties.

How to book your place on the course?

Simply click on the buy now button and pay your 99 Euro. This price is VAT inclusive and we will email you back booking confirmation and a VAT invoice. When the course is booked out a sold out message will appear on this screen.



Feb 27

Where to send a press release

Where to Send a Press Release

After you have written your press release and structured it in a professional and eye grabbing way the next think to decide is where to send it.

Local Press

The story should always carry some weight on a local basis so always send it to the local newspapers, magazines and radio stations. Remember if there is a specific journalist that tends to cover stories on your industry sector it is always best to get the press release directly into that persons hands.

Maximise your Localisation

When sending to local press always localise the story. For example a new company with three directors from three different counties might well expect to get local press coverage in all three counties.

To achieve this it is vitally important to tweak the release slightly when sending it out to the press in the different counties. In Dublin the press release might have a heading “Clontarf woman involved in high potential start up” whilst in Tipperary it might be “Thurles man involved in high potential start-up

Its best to go a little bit further than this by including direct quotes from the most relevant director in the press release that goes out.

If the company has only one director. Lets say its a woman from Cork who is starting a business in Co Clare don’t forget the fact that she is a Cork native would make the story relevant to the local media in Cork as well.

Don’t Forget the Online Outlets

Don’t forget that most counties now have specialist regional online news sites too. For example in Mayo you got and in Wicklow you got Many people forget about these news outlets and thus your chances of being published here might be greater. The other super thing about have a press release published by an online news outlet is that they will often link the story back to your website and thus help to drive traffic to your site.

National Press

Your Business is Important to you but not everyone!

As important as your business is to you if your press release is not of National significance it is best not to bother wasting your time and energy sending press releases to national newspaper titles, tv stations and radio stations.

To achieve National media coverage you got to be able to potrait how the press release is relevant to the country as a whole as opposed to your locality.

For example if it is a SPAR shop in Waterford that are opening a new deli counter it would be extremely difficult for them to achieve National press coverage. On the other hand you could have a very small start-up business but because your selling online and delivering nationally your press release might carry some weight with the National press.

When sending to journalists who work on behalf of the National press it is therefore important to your terms like “Ireland” and “Nationally” or “throughout the country”

Again it is key to get your press releases in the right hands. If your company doubled its turnover in the past 12 months the news reporter might not give a damn but the Business editor might find your press release very interesting.

The Colour Story Angle

All media outlets like to cover what is termed colour stories. If what you are doing is someway unique or your doing as a result of changes in your personal circumstances this might be a way to achieve national coverage.

For example if John lost 5 stone and decided to become a Personal fitness trainer having been on social welfare payments for 5 years this might well be worthy of National media coverage.

Therefore it is important if possible to add a life-story element to your press release.

This type of press release might get nowhere with the business editor but the editor of the weekend magazine or health magazine might find it appealing.

Sector Specialists

Most industry sectors have specialist sector or trade magazines, online news site or specific radio and television programme so be sure to research those that are relevant to your business sector and get your press release to the relevant contacts.

For example if you running a technology based business you might want to get your press releases to Technology Ireland Magazine and the ComputerScope magazine. You should also submit it to the online technology news site and to  Get the release to specialist technology reporters in all National daily and weekend newspapers. Get it to the George Hook Show on Newstalk as this show covers a piece on technology weekly. The opportunities are endless you just got to find them. A good website for sourcing industry specific media contacts is

Online Press Release sites to submit to

There are a number of websites where you can submit your press releases to for free.

The main Irish sites include and

News4media have an extensive journalist database who receive an email very morning with a brief on the latest press releases submitted on the site.

Another site to consider submitting your press release is


Related Links

Why are press releases important

How to write an effective press release




Feb 26

Why are press releases important?

Why are Press Releases Important?

Press releases are a very important part of the overall marketing and public relations strategy of any company.

By issuing press releases for your business you are maximising the possibility of getting free exposure in the media. Remember advertising can be very expensive but by getting media exposure as a result of issuing a press release is completely free.

Another key advantage of media exposure through a third party (a Journalist) is that unlike advertising there is no commercial agenda on the part of the Journalist and thus the audience (reader, listener) might take what is being said more seriously.

Remember the reader (or listener or viewer) have probably built up a relationship with the journalist over a number of years and have read their articles because they have an interest in what the individual has got to say. If the journalist is talking about your business the reader will often want to know more about you and what you do.

Exposure through one media outlet might well lead to a knock-on effect whereby another reporter might pick up on the story and contact you in relation to doing a piece for his or her newspaper, magazine etc. A good press release can go viral and end up being published in many places.

By releasing regular and relevant press releases at the right time one can establish themselves as an industry expert in their field of business. For example if you sell energy saving products the next time energy rates go up a journalist might well contact you for a comment or some advice for consumers in dealing with the price rise.

Today online media is a very important place with the majority of stories now broken online. Online news sites tend to have a very strong Google PR ranking. If one of these sites publishes a story about your business and includes a link back to your site in the story it can have a very positive impact on your search engine optimisation.

You can also use your website to publish your press releases and link the press release url to your social media accounts such as facebook, twitter and linkedin in order to increase traffic to your own website directly.

A press release will cost you nothing but time and the resulting media exposure for your business could prove very lucrative.

Useful Links

How to Structure a Press Release Effectively







Feb 26

How to write an effective press release

how-to-write-a-press-releaseHow to Write an Effective Press Release


Structuring a press release

When you send a press release to a Journalist you got to account for the fact that you are competing with hundreds other press releases which they receive everyday. Therefore it is vital that you grab their attention straight away.


In an effort to grab the attention of the journalist it is vitally important to use a strong heading which is someway relevant to the media outlet the journalist represents.

For example if new bakery opened in Tuam in Co Galway that was only going to make and sell 100% natural products and source all ingredients locally they might go for the following type of headings

To local press – “New Tuam bakery promoting local business”

To health magazine – ” New Galway bakery promotes healthy eating”


A sub-heading is not always important but can sometimes be very useful especially if you got 3 or 4 important points to relate and you can’t relate this message through the heading alone

For example if the new bakery was opening on Friday and a County GAA player was doing the opening you might go with

Heading “New Tuam bakery promoting local business”

Sub-Heading “GAA Star to officially open shop on Friday”


A great formula to use in decending order of importance is

What is the press release is about

Why is the press release important or relevant

Who are you – (what is the nature of your business, background of owners etc). If relating to an event who will attend it.

Where are you based? (or where did the event happen? or when will it happen?)

When is this press release relevant (is it about something that has already happened or something that is about to happen?)

How did this event happen or if it hasn’t already happened how will it happen?

Be sure to get the press release concise (not more that one page including contact details)

Also be sure to include a quotation in the press release on behalf of the company. This can often save the journalist time in so far as they already have a quote from a relevant party and thus don’t need to track the person down in order to get a quote. Remeber the easier you make it to publish a story the more likely they will use it.

For example in the bakery example you could have something like according to Joe O’ Neill owner of the new bakery ” Irish people are getting more and more conscious of eating healthy and buying locally so we are confident that the business will be a success”

Contact Details

You can structure a press release beautifully and have something wonderfully important to say but if you don’t provide detailed contact  information at the bottom of the press release then it might go straight from the inbox to recycling bin.

If a journalist cannot easily contact you to clarify details on the press release then you might have just wasted a load of time and effort putting it together.

Providing full contact details can also be a creditability issue. If the press release provides no more that a mobile phone number or an email address the Journalist might question the creditability of the business.

Be sure to include relevant contact names on the press release, full business address details, landline numbers, email addresses and web addresses.

 Follow Up

After sending a press release don’t be afraid to follow-up on the release by picking up the phone and calling the journalist.

Thread carefully though! Don’t call two minutes after sending it and asking the Journalist if he or she received it as this will not go down well. If you got their current contact details (which you should have) assume they received it. At the same time give them some time to sit down and read it.

Also don’t call them when they are on a deadline. If its a weekly newspaper that comes out on a Wednesday calling at 4pm on a Tuesday is a big NO.

If its a radio show don’t call the researcher while the show is live on air as they will be under pressure dealing with hundreds of other things and you might risk getting told very bluntly where to go.

Remember though if the press release comes from you rather that a PR company that rings them everyday you might be received more favourably because they probably have not dealt with you before and thus you ain’t got a history of wrecking their heads!

Useful Links

Why Press Releases are Important?




Feb 22 – Helping you grow your social profile

Welcome to is an online learning resource to help business owners and sales and marketing professionals to learn how to communicate more effectively in the ever changing world we live in today.

Through technology advances and the dawn of social media communicating effectively has because quite a complex area over the past few years. endeavours to provide you with extensive free blog and video tutorials which will help you to reach the right target audience with the right message.

From structuring a press release to designing your own website to learning how to use facebook for business effectively will empower you with the knowledge to communicate effectively whilst spending wisely on your marketing efforts. can also custom design in-house training programmes for your business and staff and provide you with expert trainers specific to your needs. also provides a online directory where you can source the relevant professionals your business needs.

The website is in development at present but please feel free to contact us if you got any questions on 01 8428187 or send an email to Alternatively fill in the contact form below and we will be back to your promptly.


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