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Author Archive for Russell Trahan

Everyone Else, Back Up A Step

I find it fascinating that people are fascinated with the British Royal Family.  I mean, didn’t we fight two wars so we don’t have to be concerned with what the Queen thinks or feels?  That being said, there are many facts I found interesting about the latest branch on the Mountbatten-Windsor family tree.

1.  He’s the first Royal born into the family that’s eligible for U.S. citizenship.  Because his mother is an American who’s lived stateside in the past five years, he can have dual passports.  BTW:  she’s the first American to marry into the Royal family since 1937, and the last time it happened the Royal himself had to abdicate to get married. Fortunately, we’ve advanced far enough Harry can stay inline. 

2.  He will not be a prince.  The rule was changed by his great-great-great-grandfather in 1917.  Being seventh in line, he’s out of the HRH succession which gives him a lot more freedom.  The birth of his third cousin knocked his father down to sixth, which opened up the opportunity for Harry to marry Meghan without much fuss.  The new Royal actually has a chance at a pretty normal, albeit very privileged, life.

3.  Exactly when and where he was born was kept a secret.  All of his older cousins were born in London, in the same hospital as their father and the new father, their uncle.  He may not have even been born in a hospital; it could have been a home birth.  And, as of this writing, he hasn’t appeared in public.  His grandmother started the tradition of appearing on the hospital steps within hours of giving birth.  His aunt continued the tradition with all three cousins, but we haven’t seen hide nor hair of him, yet.

4.  His birth was announced first on Instagram.  This shows how quickly tradition can change.  A new (?) tradition was started with the younger two of his cousins when their births were announced via Twitter.  For centuries before, birth announcements were made via official statement.  The Royals are not only keeping up, they’re surpassing each other.

It Doesn’t Have to Be New, It Just Has To Be Unique!

Although I’ve seen the commercial several times since the game in February, when I saw it and heard that trill again this morning a couple of new thoughts occurred to me.

Maybe it’s because I recently read that Cardi B has applied for trademark of her famous “Okurrr.” Or, maybe it’s because Carter is galivanting around Europe and I’m left to come up with a blog topic every Tuesday. Boy, he makes this look effortless.  But I really do think it’s because Cardi B’s application reminded me of a couple of aspects of article writing.

One aspect is to not reinvent the wheel, just put new rims on it.  In other words, use what’s you’ve already got:  a blog post, a key note, a book chapter; all of these make great article topics.  You may need to edit the content a bit for the style editors prefer.  Cardi B didn’t come up with the phrase O.K., she just made it her own with a little reformatting. 

Another way Miss B has reminded me of article writing is in what she’s applied for.  You need to protect your content.  When you pitch out your article never, I mean never, give away or sell the rights to it.  You want to be able to use the content of the article again and again.  You also don’t want to give exclusivity of the article.  Let the editor know up front you’re pitching it out on a non-exclusive basis and it will appear in other industry and association publications.  An exception, and we do this on occasion, is to give exclusivity within an industry.  It’s alright to let one construction association know it won’t be in any other construction association publications, but it still will be in the restaurant or insurance or auto industry publications. 

Saving the best aspect for last – the application made by Cardi B “…mostly covers merchandise, with separate filings made for paper goods.”  Which shows even a Millennial rapper recognized the on-going power of print! 

If I haven’t seen 1-21, will I follow 22?

There’s a movie opening this weekend, maybe you’ve heard of it, or maybe you’ve heard of the first 21 movies that led up to this one. 

For more than a decade, movie goers have been following the Marvel Universe characters through their individual adventures.  These films have introduced the background and special skill of each hero leading up to this final combined battle.

Personally, I never read many comic books as a kid (or adult) and I will confess I’ve never seen any of the movies in this saga, even the one (1) nominated for Best Picture last year.  However, it struck me as I read about the first 21 movies how much they reminded me of an important part of article writing for trade, industry, and association publications. 

Like each previous movie can be viewed independently, writing a series of articles works, and works well, if each one can stand on its own.  You want to give editors the option of running the series, or running individual articles as they see fit for their readership. 

An editor may decide that article 1 is good, they like article 2, and begin to run the series.  Then you could consider yourself a regular columnist!  Or, an editor may like article 1, but decide article 2 isn’t right for their industry right now, but they like 3 and 4 and so on.   Of course, an editor may like article 3, run it, get a good reaction, then decide to go back and run articles 1 and 2.  The point is, you want to optimize the articles for placement at the editors’ discretion. 

The same is true for characters in a series of articles.  You may introduce Barbara, a SVP of Sales in a mid-west manufacturing company in article 1, and carry her adventures into articles 2, 3, or 4, but still make sure each piece of advice Barbara gives stands on its own for the readers advantage.

So, if you’re so inclined, step away from the keyboard this weekend and go see a movie.  I hear some cineplexes are staying open 24-hours for opening weekend.  That’s 96 consecutive hours of opportunities to see the movie.  The first 21 movies combined are 59 hours, leaving you 37 hours to catch the last(?) one! 

Spring Flings …

… I mean Flights!

As I’m writing this, the northern parts of the country are experiencing bone chilling cold and blizzard conditions. Having lived in Delaware, I remember all too well having to push my car out of the snow three times on the 12-mile drive home from work. That was the winter before I decided to move south.

Even though much of our country can see their breath while outside, we are looking forward to some travels coming up this spring.

The first event on the calendar is 18 miles from our offices. The NSA Winter Conference is in our hometown of Orlando! Stop by the PR/PR Public Relations booth and chat.

In early March we’re headed out to San Diego for the Indie Friends and Family Forum. This is a great event open to you if you are “indie” –an independent professional, consultant, coach, or business owner – you are a “family member or friend” – which means a current or past client of Indie Books International, Mark LeBlanc, Henry DeVries, or one of our select speakers – you are open to participating in a “forum” – which means exchanging your wisdom and knowledge about marketing with a book and speech, and possibly being interviewed on a panel.

And, really, why wouldn’t you be a family member or friend of Indie Books International? When they published my book, Sell Yourself Without Saying A Word, they were so great to work with I never considered anyone else and neither should you.

To round out the month of March, we’ll be going back to Las Vegas for the 1st annual Stage Time LIVE!  You’ve known it as Lady & The Champs, so you know you’ll be getting quality from Darren LaCroix & Company to build your business.

Hopefully by the time we get home the weather will be warmer and spring will be in bloom as much as your business will be, having been fertilized by all the great ideas you’ll receive at these events.


You Gotta Have Friends…

As PR/PR Public Relations celebrates its 20th anniversary I’m reminded that no agency is an island. There are many, many people and organizations that have helped PR/PR grow to what it is today; and hopefully I’ve been able to refer back to them enough to help them grow.

As they say in the awards show acceptance speeches, I’m sure I’m leaving someone out, but here are the ones I’d like to recognize in this round:

First is the National Speakers’ Association.  Since my first convention here in Orlando in 2006, I’ve recognized that NSA is the best at helping its members grow. This summer in Dallas was my lucky 13th annual convention. Our founder, Pam Lontos, was a member in her own right prior to starting PR/PR, and the agency has remained a staunch supporter for the seven years I’ve been at the helm.

In fact, PR/PR believes so much in the benefits of the National Speakers’ Association, we offer a discount to members. The discount is equal to the first years’ membership dues, so if you’re working with PR/PR there’s no reason not to join the NSA, and vice versa!

When Patricia Fripp calls, you answer. Several years ago, she was calling to invite me to partner with her and Darren LaCroix in Stage Time University’s annual conference, Lady & The Champs. This has been a wonderful partnership as the conference has grown, and also lead to partnerships with the several Bootcamps they’ve held during the year. I would be remiss if I didn’t include a shout out to Miss Fripp’s FrippVT and the great work she does with people wishing to give more powerful presentations.

Another organization I’ve worked with is IMC USA, whose annual convention I’m headed to this week.

PR/PR also offers discounts to the members of the three organizations above.

One of the first people I met at an NSA convention was Dick Bruso. His company, Heard Above the Noise, is foremost in branding for speakers.  Whether you’re an emerging speaker or an established speaker looking to go in a new direction without losing your current market, Dick will guide you to the right path for your business to be where you’d like it to be.

When I went to write my first book, only one name came to mind: Henry DeVries. His company, Indie Books International, was my only choice for a publisher. They are professional, creative, communicative, and just nice people. Get them involved early and you’ll have a book(s) you’ll be proud of.

Members of Henry’s Indie Friends & Family receive a discount when they work with PR/PR, as well.

Along the lines of my book, I need to recognize my writing coach, Cathy Fyock. True story:  I hadn’t written a word in six-months, and after I met Cathy I had a book in six-weeks! She would question me, in a good way, and support me during our bi-weekly calls. She’ll get you off the block on your book.

To help promote your speaking business and book–besides a campaign with PR/PR—you’ll need a great website. Through Stage Time University I met Cynthia Lay. Her company, Speaker Websites, did the most recent redesign of PR/PR’s own website. She works exclusively with speakers, so she understands your business model and know what your website needs.

Another NSA connection came to me through the Cigar PEG in the way of its leader, Ed Rigsbee. I was already fully aware of the generous philanthropy the Cigar PEG has been conducting for years, what I was happy to learn was how Ed preaches what PR/PR practices. Through his Intensives he goes deeper into marketing yourself from article placements. Ed has been very kind to PR/PR through his breakouts at NSA conventions, referring attendees to contact us to do for them what he has so successfully done for himself.

My apologies to anyone I’ve left out, I assure you it was unintentional. Please let me know and I’ll include you next time!

To everyone above: here’s to the next 20 years of working together!