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Archive for Publicity – Page 2

In Peace With Goodwill

I’m a man of science.  I’ve had my vaccines.  My parents were people of science.  I had all my childhood vaccines.  That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in the un-seen.  As a child I believed in Santa Claus, and as an adult I believe in a benevolent energy guiding our souls.   Also, I believe in UFOs. 

There, I said it.  I believe there is other life in the universe.  This belief is based on science.  Statistically, it is too far fetched that we are alone in the vast expanse.  The mathematical probability of life on another planet, in another galaxy, in another universe is just too great to ignore. 

Now, it might not be life as we know it.  It was probably divine intervention that put the atoms together on Earth that formed life that evolved into what we have now.  Life on another planet might take the form of something we’ve never considered, or maybe it’s what we know of as trees that are at the top of the food chain on another rock hurdling through space. 

Television and movies have certainly given us our fair share of what life from outer space could look like.  From My Favorite Martian to Mork and Mindy to ALF, aliens have walked and talked among us. 

A favorite movie of mine, from any genre, is The Day The Earth Stood Still.  This movie has a lesson for all people from all planets of peace.  This movie is a 70-year-old reminder of how fear can overrule thinking, and when people let anxiety of the unknown overpower them, they make bad decisions. 

The most famous line from the movie might be: “Gort, klaatu barada nikto,” but my favorite is: “I am fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason.”

Did You Forget National Lost Sock Memorial Day?

Well, don’t worry.  It was last Sunday, when we were all celebrating a much better-known National Day. 

It’s no secret that I love National [X] Day/Week/Month.  This is the easiest way for anyone to get publicity at least once a year.  There’s a day designated for every topic, each expertise, every thought out there.  And, on the rare occasion there isn’t, just make one!

About a week before the day of designation, send out a press release to your local media.  Not to the on-air personalities or writers/columnists, but to the producers, bookers, and or editors.  Tell them something interesting about the day.  Don’t lead with your bio.  They don’t care.  Give them something their readership/viewers will care about.  A stimulating statistic, or a controversial stance, is what they know their audience will find interesting.  Do this in the format of bullet points, make it easy for them to read at a glance and still get the gist. 

Put in a quote they can copy/paste into their outlet.  News moves fast these days; you’ve got to make it easy on them.  Of course, make it your quote.   No point in quoting another author or thought-leader.  The point is to make you the go-to expert on the topic. 

Then, put in your bio.  Give them some credentials.  This is where the publicity comes in; everything above your bio should be content-driven for their audience.  Even though the purpose is to get you publicity, it isn’t about you, it’s about the producer/editor’s viewer/reader.  That’s what they care about and that’s how you’re going to get interviews, by appealing to their needs. 

And, of course, include your contact information and be available.  Don’t send out a press release and then get on a five-hour flight.  If they want to interview you, they’ll want to do it fast!

So, since today, May 11, is National “Eat What You Want Day” and National “Twilight Zone” Day, which fall during National “Craft Beer” Week, I’m going to put out some snacks to binge-watch Rod Serling and crack a cold-one.

Associations Are Listening, Are You Speaking?

Picture it…Orlando, FL, 2006!  A young Russell Trahan, having been with PR/PR Public Relations for less than a year, is attending his first NSA Summer Convention (that’s what they called them back then).  Client Laurie Brown comes up to Russell before he’s even done helping set up the PR/PR booth, and drags him off, telling him, “You’re going to join the Cigar PEG!”  Without knowing what that was, our hero still joins because when a client tells you to do it, you do! 

That has led to a career-long love affair with the Cigar PEG’s Philanthropy through Fun.  I personally joined every year at every annual Summer Convention/Influence, until I bought the agency in 2011 and then I had PR/PR become a Benefactor

The Cigar PEG contributions are too numerous to list, as are the wonderful people involved.  However, none of this could have happened without the captain at the helm, put your hands together for Co-Founder, CEO, & Executive Director: Ed Rigsbee!

As we’ve all learned to adapt and grow this past year, so has the Cigar PEG.  Ed has recently added a Speaker Showcase to the offerings of the Philanthropy through Fun group.  Association Executives and your fellow speakers will be listening!  The fee is minimal, but the potential is huge.

Ed might be the “Association Whisper” for NSA, but they’re listening to him loud and clear, and he can help your voice be heard, too!

Listen Up – May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Being in the publicity biz, I’ve always used the many “National Day of…” as tools to promote clients.  For example, if you’re a health and lifestyle expert, May 1st is National Fitness Day, so send a press release to your local media as a story idea with you as the interviewee. 

However, there’s one that so important, it gets a whole month, and truly deserves a whole year.  May is National Mental Health Awareness Month.  Whether you’ve been quarantined this past year alone, with family, or with friends/roommates, you’re probably very aware of mental health.  The Pandemic has affected everyone, literally, everyone on the planet.

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you, but music is a great way to make you healthier.  Recent studies have expanded the benefits of music to relaxing the mind, energizing the body, and even helping people better manage pain.  Who among us hasn’t used a fast-paced anthem to pump us up for physical exertion, or been moved to tears by a particularly touching ballad?  

The next time you need to concentrate, even though you think you need quiet, put on some background music and see how your cognitive performance improves.  One study found that playing more upbeat music led to improvements in processing speed, while both upbeat and downbeat music led to benefits in memory.  The study did recommend music without lyrics, as they tend to me more distracting.

Are you trying to lose weight?  Try dimming the lights and playing music.  A study found people who dined in low-light restaurants with soft music playing ate 18% less.  You can recreate the same atmosphere at home during dinner time to give your diet a boost.

Even pets can benefit from music in their lives.  I used to leave music playing for my dog, to reduce her separation anxiety, when I left the house.

So, as you become aware of your mental health this month, also be aware of the soundtrack you’d like to use to make the last days of the pandemic fly by!


Honesty Has Gone to The Dogs

It’s one thing to put a positive light on an otherwise bad situation, but you never want to go so far as to lie about it.  And, mostly, just the unvarnished truth is the best policy.

Case in point is a chihuahua named ‘Prancer’ who is labeled as unadoptable.  That is, until this brutally honest ad ran online.  No ‘cute’ or ‘cuddly’ for Prancer, oh no.  It’s all “…neurotic, man hating, animal hating, children hating dogs that look like gremlins,” for him. 

Of course, as always, being brutally honest has worked! The original post has gone viral, the story has been picked up by multiple media outlets, and there’s now a waiting list to give Prancer his fur-ever home.  There is also the ripple effect for the other animals at the Second Chance Pet Adoption League.  If you can’t have Prancer, how about a pet that actually is cute and cuddly? 

Now, one might ask about the original ads that were placed for Prancer?  Were those lies?  Was the SCPAL trying to pull one over on the people looking to adopt?  I say, ‘No!’  I’ve always argued that it’s not a lie if you’re telling the truth as you know it at the time.  If the circumstances change, and you get new information, then your point of view can change to reflect the new-truth that has come to light.  If you continue with your original statement, in spite of knowing it’s not accurate, then you’ve got a lie on your hands. 

So, no matter how tempting it is to “sell” a situation, to dress it up all flowery and perfumed, honesty will always be the best policy.  People are more likely to believe you when you do put on a spin knowing you’ll spin it back, as needed.