PR/PR is a full-service boutique publicity agency specializing in professional speakers, consultants, and non-fiction authors. We place our clients in front of their target audience through print media and online sources.

Archive for Publicity

Same Time Last Year

This weekend I’ll be “attending” the Indie Books International (IBI) IFF Forum.  It’s not unusual for PR/PR to help promote an event we are sponsoring, we do it all the time with NSA, IMC USA, and Stage Time University, etc.  What makes this event unusual this year is that it’s the last event I attended in person last year at their location; and, it’s IBI’s first virtual event. 

Despite this being a private event (you must either have published a book with IBI or be in the process of publishing a book with IBI to be invited), I feel it’s worth promoting simply because I believe in IBI so much.  I think everyone who’s thinking about and/or actually writing a business book should work with them.  Not only do you have wonderful people like Henry DeVries, Mark LaBlanc, and Devin DeVries at the helm, but they’ve got an incredible support team of talented people working for you.

Now, you probably already know that I have a bias, as IBI published my first book, Sell Yourself Without Saying A Word.  Well, that process went so smoothly that I’m having them publish my next book (soon to be listed on Amazon!).  This one is more of a personal book, One For The Road, but over the years I’ve developed a more personal relationship with the DeVries family, so it seems only natural.  I’ve sent many clients, colleagues, friends, and family members to them for one of Henry’s famous “no-cost book strategy sessions,” something he calls a BookChat.  You should contact him, as well!

Although I’d love to be in San Diego and see my friends face-to-face, having the Forum virtually will still allow us to collaborate and cross-promote and that helps us all to be more successful as authors and speakers!  See you online! 

Benefits of Being Boutique

Nearly 10 years ago when I purchased PR/PR from its Founder, Pam Lontos, my plan was to not grow the agency.  My plan was to maintain the intimate nature of our work and our relationships with our clients.  I never wanted 500 agents and 10,000 clients occupying several floors of a downtown office building.  I never wanted to have to scream, “Bring me their file!” if a client called.  I know our sweet-spot is 20-25 clients at one time, and I want to maintain that.  I like saying, “PR/PR is a boutique agency that specializes in Speakers, Consultants, and Non-Fiction Authors.”

Recently, this has come into question.  I was talking to a potential client consultant the other day, who quickly made it clear he was far more interested in selling me his services than he was interested in learning about mine (thanks, LinkedIn!).  He spent nearly 30 minutes explaining to me that the only way I could stay in business was to grow, expand, add services, build up the business! When I made it clear this is not what I wanted, he abruptly ended the call, which I really didn’t mind.

Frankly, I like what I do and the way I do it.  I only want to work with people I want to work with.  I don’t want to have to take on a client just to make the bottom line better.  I like doing what I say I’m going to do for a client.  It’s very important to me to be able to continue to say 100% of our clients get placements!

“Public Relations Producing Results” is more than just a tagline for PR/PR.  It allows me to walk into the next NSA, or IMC USA, or Stage Time University, or Indie Friends and Family, and other events with my head held high, knowing that anyone I’ve worked with from those organizations got what they paid for and that benefited their business.

Happy (belated) President’s Day, I’m 50 Years Late

I was today many years old when I learned why Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays were lumped together to make President’s Day.  I always remember knowing it was to make a three-day weekend to give federal workers more time off, but I didn’t know until today that is was part of the 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act

The Act, initially proposed by labor unions and the travel industry, also affected Labor Day, Memorial Day, and Columbus Day.  It originally included Veteran’s Day, but veteran’s groups lobbied that their day should remain on November 11th, which is also Armistice Day, regardless of the day of the week, and that’s why that holiday remains a floating one. 

When Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established in 1983 it was the first holiday to be created after the Uniform Holiday Act, and thus was not on his actual birthday of January 15th, but the third Monday in January instead.

Although the Act doesn’t officially call the third Monday in February as “President’s Day,” because so many states were celebrating both Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays, a date as close to the middle between them was selected. 

Even though four chief executives: George Washington, William Henry Harrison, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan were born in February, it is impossible for their birthday to coincide with President’s Day.  Their birthdays are either too early or too late in the month for this to work out. 

So, for every banker and government worker who enjoys the three-day weekend, there is a school child who’s missing out on having two days off in February and now only gets one.  However, most kids who were in school in 1971 surely must have graduated by now. 

                                                                                               

Winning Isn’t Everything, Saying IT is!

I do enjoy the spectacle of the Super Bowl.  The pageantry, the stage management, the commercials, the half time show; but, one of the things I most look forward to is seeing who’s going to say it

The it in this case, is the “what’s next?” question being asked of sporting heroes and MVPs since 1987: 

“[name], you’ve just won [sporting event], what are you doing next?”  The winner of course answers, “I’m Going To Disney…!”

The first person to get the opportunity was Phil Simms, New York Giants Quarterback, after they won Super Bowl XXI.  To hedge their bets, Disney also paid John Elway of the Denver Broncos the same $75,000 to say the tag line just in case his team won.  Since then, the pay has gone down to a reported $30,000, and the sport has gone beyond football to include many types of event winners such as: basketball, yacht racing, Miss America, and Santa Claus! 

Disney also plays both coasts by having the winner say two versions, “I’m going to Disneyland!” and “I’m going to Disney World!” so they can air the spots in different markets. 

The campaign hasn’t always worked out that well for the theme parks or the winner.  In 1994, Winter Olympics figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was recorded saying, “This is dumb. I hate it. This is the most corniest thing I have ever done.” Also, because of a murder trial he was involved in the previous year, SB XXXV MVP Ray Lewis was bypassed for the honor/arium. 

One of the best publicity aspects of the campaign came just last year when the tag line was recorded during the MVP ceremony while the NFL and Walt Disney Company made a joint million-dollar donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation so many children could “Go To Disney…!”

Six More Weeks of Publicity

“Okay, campers, rise and shine. Don’t forget your booties because it’s cooooold out there today.”

If you recognize this quote, you are a fan of good movies, and you also know it’s Groundhog’s Day!  But, did you know, it’s also half-way between the winter solstice and the spring equinox?  This is how the idea of an early February celebration got started.  The pagan celebration of Imbolc became the Christian celebration Candlemas, and the Germans were the ones who added small woodland creatures seeing their shadow to the whole “40 more days of cold” part.  Then the Germans brought the tradition to Eastern Pennsylvania with them.  And, that’s (almost) how we got where we are today.

Picture it, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, February 2, 1887!  A local newspaper editor, obviously a most clever gent, convinced a group of local hunters (the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club) to pull off a publicity stunt!  The formality of today’s celebration, the top hats and all, wasn’t a part of the festivities that first year on Gobbler’s Knob, but it still worked to bring tourists and their dollars into an otherwise quiet little town. 

The 1993 movie quoted at the top of this blog is, of course, Groundhog Day, which bears repeated viewings more than once a year. 

Now, for those who’ve always wondered how accurate a bucktoothed hairy marmot can be, you are correct in being skeptical.   According to the National Climatic Data Center, poor Phil is only right about 50% of the time.  Perhaps his handlers, the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, need to bone up on their “Groundhogese” (the language in which they speak to Phil). 

One thing to be sure of, a good publicity stunt can last a lot longer than six-weeks!  Especially if not kept underground!