Well, I haven’t posted in a few days because over the weekend I received news my husband’s motorcycle trip from Asheville to Argentina was cut short due to a taxi cab crashing into him head on leaving him unable to walk and to be air-lifted not once but twice. He had surgery on Monday in Lima, Peru where I had to fly with moments notice. One thing’s for sure, it’s nice to work virtually and so I didn’t really miss that much work and am ever impressed with tools, like Skype, that make our world globally accessible through the Internet. I found an apartment in one day’s time with WIFI where I could work and connect with clients the same as I do in the states. Until now through the end of the year, I’ll be sharing my experiences here on my blog about working abroad quickly and with little notice. There are plenty of challenges and plenty of perks. If you want to read more about my husband’s trip, please check out his friend’s blog which details the entire experience, both challenging and funny.
Have you ever been asked a question that’s impacted your business choices? I remember a long time ago, we had an additional business partner and in a meeting with a high level business CEO, we were asked why we are not paid by the results we produced? One business partner thought it was a great idea and the other thought it was terrible. I’m still partners with the former. So why don’t publicists get paid by results? Some do. Some don’t. My firm does both and recently we have a lead generation guarantee program called PR Launchpad. People are really interested in it. So, I guess in the end, the risk-takers win the day … and the business. What are you risking today so you too can earn the title Rosie Results?
Do you work hard? I don’t think most people do. I feel like I do, but today my mom (who’s visiting for a few months) said, “Wow, you got a lot of work done today didn’t you?” I said, “Well it looks like I did a lot of work, but in reality, I just took a lot of phone calls and didn’t move forward much on the big picture goals I want to complete this week.” She said, “Oh.” I then thought about that. Wow, busy work. It doesn’t really make a big difference, does it? I’m glad some of my busy work is eliminated with the use of online press kits. At least I’m not sending out overnight packages to reporters who prefer them digitally in any case. Are you working hard today so you can play harder this weekend? I hope so.
What is it about bad penmanship today? I guess it’s the Catholic school girl in me scared a nun will slap my fingers if I have bad penmanship. My business partner pointed out to me today that Gen X (my generation) was the last generation to really be taught penmanship in school because now the focus is typing skills. I hadn’t made that connection before and it’s true, I find people older than me with better penmanship skills than even my nun-burned hands. It’s important, though, to media coverage. You have to reach out personally to the media and write them thank you notes and cards to keep them personally related to you. If they can’t read your writing, you’ll have a hard time catching their attention. While email and digital connections are also important, be sure to brush up on your hand-writing skills. You never know! You might even be on a date where your hand-writing is checked out. When I was dating my husband, Shannon Nicholson, he leaned over to view a note I was writing. I asked, “What are you doing?” He said, “That’s acceptable.” I said, “What?!” He then told me he simply could not date someone seriously if they had messy hand-writing. I laughed hysterically. Sister Ancilla, Sister Alfreda and Sister Angelita did me proud after all. Looks like my good penmanship even landed me a husband!
Do you watch Law and Order? I do. I love that show. I find myself often unwinding from a busy day catching one or two of the episodes. What I’ve noticed is the writers of the show take their story-lines from breaking news. Smart cookies. No new ideas, right? Well, we should learn from Law and Order writers — steal those ideas from what’s happening in the breaking news … it is what the public is interested in. You don’t have to be creative necessarily, you just need to be a good detective. Listen to the news and incorporate your content, your expertise and what your service or products provide with seasonal and breaking news through the year and you’ll find you have media coverage time and time again.
I’ve been working with the media for 20 years now and I find myself saying, “Can you call me back, I’m on deadline.” What people don’t realize is that the news breaks and gets distributed within seconds in today’s fast paced, Internet world. So, when media knocks at the door, you better turn around your content within 24 hours or less. That’s the golden rule at my PR firm. What do you do when the media knocks on your door? Do you wait? Do you think you have a couple of weeks to turn around what they’ve requested. If you do, you’re out of touch. I once heard of a restaurant not willing to share their creamed spinach recipe with Southern Living. I think that restaurant had to close some of its locations. It probably would have been a smarter idea to go ahead and share that recipe and within 24 hours of their request. When on deadline – they mean on deadline. So if you don’t jump at it, opportunity lost.
You know what I’ve been getting into lately? On demand TV. I love it. I’m sure you do too. Even if I caught my favorite TV show at its scheduled time, I find myself watching episodes and recaps again. Are you accessing your favorite shows this way? How is this continued trend going to shape and direct the way we pitch media and news? Try it if you haven’t already. Try some of my favorites and let me know.
Lots of people get shaken when on live TV, but it’s always great to see our beloved celebs being human, like us. Recently, Nicole Kidman was on Oprah talking as if they were on a commercial break and then realized, oops, we’re live on-air. This clip is so much fun because Nicole was so natural about her mistake – what a pro! Not all people are naturally that natural and if you’re one of those and have an upcoming TV appearance, I recommend you get a great media trainer – even if you are pro, get a great media trainer.
We all have bad days, right? Well, so do news rooms and if you can help them on their off days, you’ll be covered in the news. How do you do that? One way to attract slow news day coverage is updating your online presence, especially our online press kit which I recommend has extensive story and segment ideas developed for rushed media contacts. As a booster, include stats and links to other information. To see examples of what others are doing visit Search Press Kits.
So many businesses issue press releases and when the information doesn’t get reprinted, they figure oh well that was a waste of money. Not so fast. On the Internet that press release has life beyond today. When media interview you they want to see past press release so be sure you are archiving all your releases online and when you don’t first succeed try, try again. Consider the angle and pitch in the press release. Does it promote you and your news only? Chances are media can’t use it and they’ll refer you to the advertising department. Instead try to educate with your press release and when possible send your release out to special media contacts with whom you’re building a lasting relationship.