Stephanie Cion

wellalarm inc - CEO and Founder
new york city, NY
http://wellalarm.com/
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  • Tip When Pitching Your Company and/or Product - Especially to TV from Stephanie Cion on Vimeo

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  •  Hopefully, you have the chance to watch my very first post by now! (If not, you can watch it here on STS or on Youtube.com or on The WELLalarm Blog.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, I learned alot the hard way in doing my first few vlog posts! So during my next two posts I am going to share all of my new found wisdom with you!

    1. Whatcha going to say?. How do you approach that very first post? Do not write a script. Keep it short. We live in an ADD culture. No offence, but few people have enough to say to keep anyone interested for 20 minutes at a clip. (Not to mention the size of a 20 minute clip!) Go over your post a few times in your head and practice it out load - Consider outlining the key points on paper as it may be helpful.

    2. Figure out what you are going to say in your 20th post. No, I am not joking! Try to really figure it out. It will help you determine early on if you really have enough things to discuss via video and will want to do 20 plus posts therefore a [...]

  • Finally! My First Vlog Post!

    February 16, 2009

    Okay, sadly, starting a vlog has been much more technically challenging than i imagined - and I am pretty technologically inclined... (Keep a look out this week for a post from me on "Top 10 things to do when starting to vlog"). That said, VICTORY! As promised, here is my introductory post:

  • I apologize in advance for the length of this post. I hope you will humor me this once and read through it.

    I am an extremely private person. I agonized about the fact that I would be the face of WELLalarm prior to starting the company - and specifically, that I would need to discuss my illness as it inspired me to start the company.

    However, I have repeatedly shied away from discussing any details about how my illness continues to influence my life. I have many times downplayed the challenges I face. After much thought and consternation, I have decided it is important for me to venture FAR out of my comfort zone - about as far as i can go - and through a series of video blog posts go right to the heart of what it is really like to be in your early 30's, be a female entrepreneur, and to be one of the third of Americans today living with a chronic illness.

    Why My Change in Attitude?Why Venture Out of my Comfort Zone?

    My reasons are three-fold:
    •    I hope to inspire those who are [...]

  • Update On Meeting Our Goal

    February 4, 2009

    Update

    First off, I want to appologize as I have been a negligent blogger recently and I am sorry. My only excuse is that we have been super busy working on meeting our end goal for this blog! (Being the focus of a National TV Segment such as a morning show)

    On monday I participated in not one, but TWO tv tapings! One was a very brief spot on MSNBC “Your Business” in their Peer-to-Peer section where i provided sage advice to other entreprenuers. I said something to the effect of:

    In this economy you must be solving a problem.  People will buy a product or service if it is solving a problem for them or saving them money.  For example, my company http://www.WELLalarm.com  is solving a big problem by protecting people's lives.  We are the first technologically advanced emergency alert product on the market for people living with severe allergies, medical conditions and serving as an Identification Solution for children.

    The show is broadcast Sundays at 7:30am EST on MSNBC with a [...]

  • As I have received many requests for more info on Twitter that is theme of todays post!

    1. Twitter Buttons
    Lets you Create Buttons and Badges for your website or blog (or even to add to your facebook page)

    2. Twitthis
    What is TwitThis? Direct from the their website: TwitThis is an easy way for people to send Twitter messages about your blog post or website. When visitors to your website click on the TwitThis button or link, it takes the URL of the webpage and creates a shorter URL using TinyURL. Then visitors can send this shortened URL and a description of the web page to all of their friends on Twitter.

    3. Chirrup
    Allows you to put your twitter comments on any webpage, blog or wiki. It's a PHP/Javascript that is hosted locally so that any html page can be used as a twitter commenting system - great for social communities!

    4. EasyTweets
    Great web based management tool to manage your twitter accounts. Lets you manage multiple accounts from one interface with easy, automatically shorte [...]

  • I don't know about you guys, but I have been completely buried with Mother's Day - and graduation for long lead publications! If you don't know, many long lead publications such as monthly magazines close their Mother's Day Issues between 1/30 and 2/15 - so if you haven't started pitching yet - get cracking! You can find out the specifics for the publications you are interested in by going to their website and looking on their editorial calendars. These will also give you some specifics as to the article topics they are planning on for the issue.

    I have been working like crazy on our new marketing collateral. It is almost all done! We are just putting the final touches on something that I thought might be an interesting idea for some of you!

    It's a 4 page "Best Sellers" line sheet we have decided to include in our press kit. As our regular line sheet is 10 pages  (we have a bunch of products, multiple styles and finishes and our main line sheet is our of necessity rather detailed) [...]

  • Who here IS interested in social media pr, buzz marketing, word of mouth marketing or anything related???

    I know I am and if you are on Savor the Success reading this post I am willing to bet you are too! BuzzMarketingDaily.com has issued a very cool "challenge" - if you simply subscribe to their blog (and we have already established everyone here is interested in the topics covered...) They are:

    • social media pr
    • buzz marketing
    • word of mouth marketing
    • anything related

    And did i mention these are pretty credible folks we might all really learn from? Kbuzz, the authors of the blog, are Winners of the 2008 WOMMIE Award (shared with McDonald’s & their agency and HP & their agency) and the marketers behind Tweetsgiving! Not a bad resume...

    If you just go ahead and subscribe to their RSS feed they will donate $.50 to the MS Society! (Great cause!)

    They will give up to $2500 if we get 5,000 subscribers in the next 48 hours, plus matching funds, of course, if anyone wants to [...]

  • We all know how important it is to protect our reputation and develop our brands in the online world. There are numerous tools and strategies to help you do this. Below is a list of my top 4 FREE personal favorites:

    Google Alerts
    I have mentioned these before, but they are an INVALUABLE way to manage the reputation of your product/service, company and your personal brand in cyberspace. They are also an invaluable competitive intelligence tool. Its soo easy to set up. Set them up for your name, name of your company, your products and services and then do the same for all of your competition. You will be shocked how much info these little gems bring in and how many stories, blog post etc you will find and be able to quickly respond to of people looking for you or your competitors - or some thing like your product/service. For example, we have so many alerts set up that I can keep count, but a few are :

    medical charms, medical alert bracelet, medical alert ID charms etc

    at least onc [...]

  • Does PR Lead to Sales?

    January 11, 2009

    As an entrepreneur and CEO of a small,  growing company - resource allocation is HUGE issue. One question that has come up repeatedly in the past several months when speaking to fellow entrepreneurs - specifically Founders and CEO's of consumer product companies is:

    Does PR really produce sales?

    Exposure of any kind certainly is a good thing for a young company - but that is really a different thing than actually producing sales.Lets be honest, there is something sexier and more glamorous about PR  than there is about sales. We certainly talk a lot more about PR than we do sales strategies. However, sales are our bred and butter...

    Many new entrepreneurs rely on their PR campaigns (DIY or otherwise) to generate sales. I have spoken to many experienced entrepreneurs who put significant time and effort into getting substantial PR placements (think top magazines and shows) only to find it does little, if anything, to increase their sales.  They have learned the painful lesson that simp [...]

  • Happy New Year! I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday!

    Thank you for the fabulous feedback on my twitter post! It is gratifying to know people found the material useful. I really wrestle with the overall value of twitter in building a business. As the CEO of a start-up hands down, my primary goal is sales. For a social networking business, like Savor the Success, I can certainly see the value and how they would easily gain customers and build traffic…however, for a product/service company like WELLalarm, though I certainly concede that any traffic is great, I am not convinced twitter is one of the best uses of our time to increase sales.

    One quick way I have decided to promote WELLalarm on twitter is to tweet a WELLtip every couple of days about what to do/how to handle an emergency situation! (And of course, how WELLalarm can be of help in many of these situations!) Should be interesting to see how this helps WELLalarm's overall visibility. Again, visibility and sales are [...]

  • Top 10 Twitter Apps Reviewed

    December 27, 2008

    After participating in the Savor the Success call a couple of weeks ago I still remained on the fence about twitter as an effecient way to solicit customers for wellalarn, but I started to think more seriously about it as a means to reach out to the media and to enhance our DIY PR effort! Since the call I have been trying to build our followers (I have gained 115 in 10 days with little effort)  especially journalists and I have been trying to tweet an interesting article or fact about health and wellness every day. One of my new Years resolutions is to tweet twice a day so I hope you will all help hold me to it!Being the geek I am I started playing around the other day with a bunch of Twitter apps and have decide to share my top 10 favorite twitter apps thus far with you bellow with a very brief review:

    1. Twellow

    A search engine of sorts for twitter. You can find people by category of what they do and are interested in...(I cant emphasize enough how cool this is for finding jo [...]

  • Merry Christmas!

    I hope that everyone is having a wonderful holiday!

    I am spending the holiday's working on WELLalarm's branding. In response to a bunch of feedback, we are going through all of our materials (website , written, and press kit) before we do our first big pr push in late January. One of the things I am spending a great deal of time on is the best way to tell my personal story as it is synonymous with WELLalarm. I am sure that this is a challenge many entrepernuers face...developing the personal brand.

    As may Savor the Success members have contacted me since I started the blog asking to learn more about why I decided to start wellalarm today I will share that story with you.

    Stephanie Cion, Founder WELLalarm

    Getting Sick Inspired Me to Launch a Business
    Nobody wants to get sick as an inspiration to start a business, but when I developed a life-threatening nerve disorder called Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, it completely rocked my world and changed my life. I went from hitting the [...]

  • We recently started soliciting testimonials from customers and sending products  and free service subscriptions to some smaller bloggers for review. My idea was that  some small bloggers might not gain us sales right now, but in long tail thinking, down the road when potential customers and even press googled us for reviews  the large the quantity of  positive reviews  out there , the more comfortable they would be with signing up! As a young company, I hoped it would give future customers more confidence! (I also didn’t think it would hurt with SEO). After perusing our google analytics and statcounter accounts it appears I was correct! We are starting to see more customers come and sign-up from these smaller sites!

    Apparently, investing in your online reputations, especially for small stores and brands, can be vital to your success.

    According to a recent study:

    • Some 91% of shoppers admit to searching the internet for online reviews and blog posts relating to small e-tailers’ re [...]
  • I started to notice something really fascinating about week after the thanksgiving holiday . At first, I thought the influx of customers to our site, and the subsequent purchases, were the nature result of the holiday season.  Then I started to look at our most recent search statistics in google analytics and statcounter.  Being a coupon person myself (in any economy I always enjoy hunting for a bargain online), I am not sure why I was so surprised by what I found. I quickly realized that the influx of traffic seemed to be largely due to the coupon codes we had put on our site following the thanksgiving holiday as well as placed on various coupon sites including http://www.retailmenot.com.

    coupon code, wellalarm

    Apparently, a large percentage of our holiday customers came to us through these coupon sites or by doing various searches in google that involve the words coupon or discount.

    Apparently we are not alone.. A recent survey done in November by the Center for Media Research found:

    • 85% of on [...]
  • So here is hands down one of the BEST things we have done to help organize and streamline our DIY pr outreach:  create standard pitches for our primary target categories. For example, we identifies the following seven categories of reporters that we thought would have the most interested in WELLalarmTM:

    • Human interest
    • Health and wellness
    • Parenting
    • Technology
    • Accessories
    • Allergies
    • Gift Guides


    We developed pitches that "spoke" specifically to each category.  We of course tailor them whenever they are used, but this has given us a framework to work from when responding to HARO or other press leads and to utilize when cherry picking reporters from the vocus database to pitch.  I really can't emphasize enough what a time-saver this is - and, how once you have the basic pitches written, the general reduction in anxiety this brings to the pr effort!

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