COMMS.BAR is like an Apple Genius Bar for communications advice. You can book an appointment with a small business communications specialist or just drop in and get the help your business needs with PR, marketing and publicity.
What does COMMS.BAR do?
We help small businesses and startups get the advice on public relations, marketing and publicity they need to grow
What’s the difference between PR, marketing and publicity?
PR is everything you do to build relationships with the people that matter most to the success of your business.
Marketing is everything you do to get those people to take defined actions, because they want to support you.
Publicity is about telling people what you want them to know about you. It’s traditionally done via the media - traditional, online and, increasingly social. There’s no attempt to build a relationship or have them take a defined action.
How does it work?
You can book an appointment online or visit us at 20, Camden St, Toronto, M5V 1V1. We'll sit down with you - remotely or in person - and help you create a practical, actionable plan you can start to implement immediately to move you closer towards your next business goal.
How do I know what length appointment I need?
As a rule, quick questions about strategy or tactics are ideal for 15 minute appointments.
More in-depth questions can usually be answered in 30 minutes. If you need help with short-term strategic planning then book an hour.
How much does it cost?
15 minutes with a small business communications specialist costs $39.
30 minutes costs $59.
One hour is just $99.
All our prices are in Canadian dollars, and exclude HST. If you are located outside Canada then you don’t pay HST.
What do I need to prepare?
When your appointment is confirmed we’ll send you a simple one-page document to fill out to bring with you to the appointment. It’ll form the basis of your appointment and allow us to provide as much value as possible.
What value can you deliver in 15 minutes?
You’d be surprised. By focusing on solving specific problems we can provide more value than you’ll get from a long-term retainer relationship.
How can we measure value?
We measure whether you’ve moved closer to your desired outcome within a defined time period.
Public relations can be measured by improvements in the strength key business relationships that provide the basis for marketing activity. The stronger the relationships with key people the greater the chance of marketing success.
Marketing can be measured by whether a defined group of people take a specific action - that you ask them to take
Publicity can measured by awareness by a defined group of people knowing a specific piece of information about your business. The key is to quantify how that adds value to your business.
What happens if I need more than an hour?
After each appointment we’ll provide you with a minimum of three action points you can implement immediately. If you need additional help we’ll tell you what and why - but there’s no commitment
What’s the catch?
There is no catch. Our aim is to get you the help you need and have you pay only for what you need with no strings.
Really. No strings. Your commitment to us is limited to the 15, 30 or 60 minute appointment. We don’t do retainers and never will.
No retainers? Why not?
It’s simple. We don’t believe they work for either side. They tie up cash that could be better used for other things and PR, marketing and publicity should add value to your business, not drain small businesses of the most valuable commodity they have.
What about media relations?
Journalists are one of many groups of people that you may need to build relationships with and, just like every other key relationship, we believe you should own them. We help you identify which journalists you need to build or maintain a relationship with in order to achieve a specific outcome and why. We help you understand the rules of engagement and develop the skills you need.
Do you pitch journalists on customers’ behalf?
No. Never. In many cases media coverage is not what a small business needs to achieve its goals.
There are many reasons, but simply because journalists want to talk with you not a paid representative. We also don’t believe the return on a pitch delivers the results small businesses need.
You might get lucky, but the chances is are you won’t.
So how do you get us media coverage?
We provide you with the strategy and skills you need to build relationships with key journalists that will help deliver the coverage you need short-term and credibility over the longer term.
To help entrepreneurs understand how to use PR, marketing and publicity to grow their businesses.
To make PR, marketing and publicity affordable, accountable, effective and transparent
To change the PR industry by equipping entrepreneurs with the information to make informed purchasing decisions
Who is behind COMMS.BAR?
Lyndon Johnson - a 20-year veteran of the communications industry [and no, there’s no B]
Who is Lyndon Johnson?
Lyndon is a small business communications specialist who has spent the last 20 years helping small businesses to grow. Prior to that he worked as a broadcast journalist.