How to Sell Like Cookie on Fox’s Empire Show

Taraji P. Henson as Cookie on Fox's Empire TV Show. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. Digital Marketing and Public Relations.
Taraji P. Henson as Cookie on Fox's Empire TV Show. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. Digital Marketing and Public Relations.
Taraji P. Henson as Cookie on Fox’s Empire TV Show. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. Digital Marketing and Public Relations.

Millions of viewers tune into Fox’s new show Empire created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong.

Each week, people are glued to the set. Some watch it for the relatable family drama or great soundtrack, other the business tenacity and some just for the all-star cast and guests that appear each week.

As an entrepreneur and marketer, it is easy to focus on how the Empire business and some of the challenges it faces can compare to real life. There is always an employee like, Becky, Gabourey Sidibe, who is outspoken, but knows her stuff; or like Anika, Grace Gealey, who will do anything to get ahead. And if you’re around long enough, you’ll find yourself running into a Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) or Lucious (Terrence Howard) if you are not them yourself.

With every broadcast of Empire, viewers are left talking about at least one big scene in the show. Well this week’s episode did not disappoint. Cookie stepping in for Lucious at the investor party was one of the most talked about scenes. The writing of her “impromptu” speech was spot on. Who wouldn’t want to invest in the company at that point? The speech she gave was composed extremely well. It had the five things in it we consider are vital to pitching your brand to potential clients or investors.

If you are wondering how to sell like Cookie, here are 5 things to keep in mind when pitching or selling like Cookie.

  1. Be authentic. When people buy your brand, they are buying you. You must remain true to the overall experience, work and outcome the stakeholders can expect to receive. If you are not a major corporation of 50 years, do not attempt to present your brand as such. Starting off with a false persona will always show during your pitch or during the evaluation of your brand.
  2. Tell a story the audience can relate to. Stories can cause the mind to be stimulated and makes it much easier for people to remember information being provided. Give them a good story that they can relate to and they will always remember it. Or at least during their evaluation phase.
  3. Skip the jargon. The new buzz words are great to mix in with the old ones, but if your presentation is based around how many of them you can use to sound professional, you will just end up sounding like a long, boring white paper or case study. If you are in front of your demographic, they more than likely already know you are an expert. It is your job to be sure they understand what you will do for them and not how good you can recite terminology.
  4. Show irresistible value. What makes your brand stand out from all the others? What skill set do you bring? What problem can you solve more efficiently than any competitor? Value is not just about a price point, it is about worth. What is it worth to your potential customers or investors to give you money?
  5. Close with suggestive next steps. By tying in the points above and letting them know how you can move forward in success with your brand, you can excite them about purchasing your brand or investing in it. Let them know what is needed to begin and suggest a timeline in getting started.

While every deal cannot be closed quickly, with a large sum or even at all, it helps to have a reference point before beginning your pitch or marketing efforts.

Be sure to practice these areas before a presentation. Organize your thoughts and deliver with confidence. One thing I always advise our clients during training sessions for the media or marketing is no one knows your brand better than you. This alone should give you the faith in your ability to nail what you are presenting.

What do you think? Are there any other areas we missed from Cookie’s speech? Even if you do not watch the show, Empire, what other things would you consider for pitching your brand?

Let us know your thoughts. They may be used in a future article.

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Above Promotions is a digital marketing and public relations agency with B2C clients that promote brands in the food, fashion and family entertainment industries. We build and protect brands by creating and executing digital resources to sell products or build positive public sentiment. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

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Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation” which is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other stores and a contributor to various media outlets.

How Technology Changed Our Marketing Efforts

Technology has changed marketing. Above Promotions Company. Digital Marketing and Public Relations. Tampa FL.
Technology has changed marketing. Above Promotions Company. Digital Marketing and Public Relations. Tampa FL.

The evolution of technology has definitely been an endless one. Over the years we have seen advancements in every industry imaginable due to the newest ideas, gadgets, apps, and the list goes on. The marketing industry has definitely benefited from the numerous technological advancements. With the new strides that social media applications have been taking, the marketing industry has been able take off in a new direction. Now more than ever we see successful brands and marketing professionals directing their attention and efforts towards popular social media websites as a way to directly reach the masses and control the messaging. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are only a few; the list is constantly growing with new platforms vying at a chance to get a piece of the advertising pie. Taking a closer look at popular media trends, we see how much of an impact they’ve made on brand recognition.

Here are three trends you cannot ignore if you want your brand to be successful thanks to technology.

  1. Vine and Instagram seemed to have knocked down the most doors when it comes to successful advertising attempts. The both of these methods have a very short, straight to the point method about them which makes it easier for viewers to get stuck into viewing hundreds of Vine videos and Instragram posts for hours at a time. Why wouldn’t marketers jump on this opportunity? While numerous brands have established themselves on Instagram already, only a few brands such as Trident, Samsung, Oreos, and Dunkin Donuts have been successful with creatively marketing themselves through the six-second Vine videos. Dunkin Donuts did a great job with their re-enactment of a NFL play, gaining lots of attention from viewers.
  2. dos equis above promotions company pr digital marketing tampa fl Memes have also had a creative impact on marketing strategies. Memes have sparked wildfires across social media outlets and have ultimately become a source of entertainment. Great memes are very quick to the point, humorous, and easily sharable. These each serve as a major plus in the mind of a marketer. A great example of a meme that took the internet by storm is Dos Equis with “the most interesting man in the world”. After the launching of their commercials and website many users took to re-creating the image of Jonathan Goldsmith with their own messages. This indeed helped the brand gain widespread recognition because regardless of the message, the man pictured was undoubtedly associated with Dos Equis.
  3. Live videos have been around for a while now thanks to YouTube, but users are now looking to YouTube for reasons other than entertainment. YouTube has now become a way for small business owners to market their products through live demonstrations. In return, users are conducting their own reviews of the products giving the brand more recognition and new consumers. Small business owners within the hair industry have greatly benefited from these simple to produce YouTube videos as many women continue to search for that perfect hair product.

These three trends have changed marketing strategies greatly. Businesses are constantly being challenged to attempt to keep up with the fast paced social media world that technology has brought about. Instagram/Vine videos, live videos, and memes are only a few of the major successes. Within the blink of an eye, more and more advancements are arising. As a business owner or brand manager, it is imperative that you remain up to date with the newest technological advancements to stay ahead of the game with all marketing efforts to keep your brand in peoples’ mouths. It is indeed a constant race we are running to stay on top of the game.

Have you started incorporating these tools into your campaigns? How effective have they been?

Let us know your thoughts. They may be used in a future article.

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Selam Belay is a senior studying mass communications at the University of South Florida. Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, she quickly realized her passion for the fast paced entertainment and media world. As a current intern for the Above Promotions Company, she is eagerly perfecting her skills and preparing herself for a long future in public relations. Selam is set to graduate Spring 2015.

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Above Promotions is a digital marketing and public relations agency with B2C clients that promote brands in the food, fashion and family entertainment industries. We build and protect brands by creating and executing digital resources to sell products or build positive public sentiment. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

********************
Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation” which is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other stores and a contributor to various media outlets.

 

Important Things to Consider When Handling the Media in Times of Pressure

Pressure Media Public Relations Crisis Above Promotions Company Tampa FL PR Agency
Important Things to Consider When Handling the Media in Light of a Controversy. Above Promotions Company. Tampa FL. Public Relations.

 

The media is no easy thing to deal with, especially in midst of a crisis. Media professionals, especially public relations practitioners, are faced with these conflicts on a day-to-day basis and struggle to provide the best possible representation of their clients. But what happens when the public relations practitioner loses their cool themselves? Last month there were two separate instances where veteran publicists clearly forgotten a few important “do’s” and “don’ts” of handling the media in times of pressure.

The first situation is the Keene State Pumpkin Festival. The festival is an occasion celebrated annually by the city of New Hampshire. Each year thousands of residents and tourists gather in attempt to beat the record for the largest number of jack-o’-lanterns lit at one time and each year it continues to be a success. However, on October 18 many local college students managed to literally turn the city upside down just around the corner from the family friendly festival. What began as a simple police call because of illegally parked cars at a wild party. Soon after, riots erupted.  Cars were flipped upside down and several of fights broke out. The result ended up being many students injured and arrested for throwing dangerous objects.

As reporter Jared Goodell was broadcasting live from Pumpkin Fest with details surrounding the nearby riots, organizer Ruth Sterling rushed onto the set to grab the microphone from his possession. Sterling, tried her best to ensure the public that the event was still safe for families, but instead she continued on to get into a verbal altercation in attempt to get him to stop broadcasting from the scene. She was under the impression that Goodell was harming the image of Pumpkin Fest by reporting false facts that encouraged a relationship between the festival and riots. Sterling was placed under a microscope as videos were released and viewers were voicing their opinions all over her social media networks.

The second instance of a publicist losing control under pressure occurred on October 28th during Monday night football coverage. NFL Washington Redskins’ star quarterback, Colt McCoy, was surrounded by reporters immediately after an exciting win. Senior Vice President of Communications for the Washington Redskins, Tony Wylie, attempted to rush the quarterback off of the field. As McCoy is stopped for commentary he was ripped away by Wylie as he yelled, “No means no!” This was captured live on camera. Wylie quickly became a social media hit as the hash tag “#nomeansno” instantly blew up and the on air video clip was made into a vine sensation.

What do these two situations have in common? In both cases professionals were caught on camera acting out against the media while under pressure. It’s always important to keep your composure with the media because things can quickly become out of hand.

Here are three things that these professionals should have done differently to avoid being in the line of fire now:

1)      Use the on-air time to your advantage. Sterling was attempting to be proactive by trying to let the public know that the Keene State Pumpkin Festival was still completely safe for families to attend, but it’s the matter in which she did so. Instead of running on to the set and threatening to “pull the plug”, it may have proved to be more effective to ask for a little air time alongside the reporter. At that time she could have made her announcements to the public addressing any safety concerns. She could have even gone as far as having a very quick question and answer session with the reporter. In Wylie’s case he could have politely gone on air to announce the proud moment that both the fans and team have witnessed but, that the player would be unable to comment at the moment. Being live on camera leaves too much room for error when dealing with raw emotions, which is why it’s important to remain fully composed in the face of the media.

2)      Avoid a raw display of emotion on social media. After the incident occurred and proved to be a big hit on the internet Sterling took to Facebook to defend her actions. Any person who is under criticism would also defend their actions, but once again it was the matter in which she did so. She criticized the reporter and went through the lengths of calling him names, “punk” being an example. If anything, social media would have been the venue to redeem herself to the public; in this case it just worked against her. Videos were also later released which revealed what happened on-air before she took the set by storm. It ultimately depicted her as the “villain” of the situation and her social media comments did nothing to help steer away that negative image given to her.

3)      Remain professional at all times. Ruth Sterling is the organizer of the event. As the head of such a large public function it is important that you not only protect the family friendly image of the function, but also the image of yourself as an organizer. Tony Wylie is the Vice President of Communications for the Washington Redskins. As one of the top PR professionals representing the franchise, it’s important that you represent yourself in the best light possible also. One thing that should have remained constant in both situations was their professionalism at all times. Despite the very hectic situation it is important to remain cool, calm, and collected to lead in the face of controversy. Professionalism cannot be stressed enough especially in a situation like this where cameras are involved and no actions can be denied. This tip also carries on to social media. Leave the personal out and deliver as a professional would.

The media is not a source to play with and can affect future interview requests or live coverage. One minor mishap can turn into the controversy of the week or month. Needless to say, one’s actions as a professional publicist can go a long way.

What do you think? Would these tips have helped these professionals? Do you have more?

Let us know your thoughts. They may be used in a future article.

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Selam Belay is a senior studying mass communications at the University of South Florida. Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, she quickly realized her passion for the fast paced entertainment and media world. As a current intern for the Above Promotions Company, she is eagerly perfecting her skills and preparing herself for a long future in public relations. Selam is set to graduate Spring 2015.

*******************
Above Promotions is a digital marketing and public relations agency with B2C clients that promote brands in the food, fashion and family entertainment industries. We build and protect brands by creating and executing digital resources to sell products or build positive public sentiment. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.
********************
Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation” which is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other stores and a contributor to various media outlets.