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writing a fairy tale

magical and inspirational… can be used to write fiction, a press release, article or a book (children’s, romantic fiction and more)… check it out…

enjoy the journey…

http://www.upworthy.com/imagine-the-best-time-of-your-life-if-youre-not-imagining-right-now-watch-this-v?c=utw1

I especially like the way he changed the ant and grasshopper fable.

http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-write-a-fairy-tale

1. I added another character: Spider, who’s role is only minor one and many other animals with even less important roles. We’ll meet them later.

2. I expanded setting with a tiny twist: this time Ant comes to Grasshopper. You see, she is concerned about her neighbor. We don’t know if she came to her place to offer a help or to mock her misery, but we also can’t accuse her of cruelty as we can in Aesop’s version.

3. As you have already noticed, I didn’t change the basic plot. I definitely want people to know where the idea came from and how I used it to make something new, useful and hopefully beautiful.

4. This time Ant is on a mission. As I said, we don’t know why she came to the Grasshopper, but she is the one who goes out.

5. Now the Spider enters as a helper. He, not the Grasshopper, opened Grasshopper’s door. That’s it. I said it is a minor role. But Ant is shocked and listeners are all ears. This is what a storyteller wants. To be heard!

6. We don’t have one on one confrontation here, instead of that Ant is confronted with great discovery: Grasshopper’s home is really a concert hall where she performs her music to wide audience. She is not hungry at all. She is even selling tickets for her performances!

7. Happy ending for everybody: Grasshopper is still enjoying playing her music, all other animals are enjoying listening to her music.

And if you insist on the moral: Everybody has his own way to happiness!

http://www.squidoo.com/story_telling

20 questions

Dear PR folks… before you send me or other reporters, editors, bloggers your press release(s), answer these questions honestly…

1. Have you ever read anything that the reporter, editor or blogger has written?  If so, have they ever written anything about the topic/subject of your press release?

2. Is this breaking news, a really interesting story or something your client wants to tell others and you don’t have the nerve or knowledge or expertise to tell them that this is not newsworthy?

3.  Do you know if your client’s competitors have written on this topic ? If so, what angle did they take on it?  If not, why not?

4. Is the copy longer than 300-400 words? Can you make it shorter?

5. Are there any typos, grammatical or spelling errors?

6. Have you fact-checked all statistics and confirmed quotes?

7. Do you know how the reporter, editor or blogger prefers to be pitched?  Are you following their preferences?

8. Have you personalized the story/pitch to each reporter, editor or blogger?

9. Do you follow the reporter, editor or blogger on Twitter and know what they like to discuss so you can pitch them intelligently?

10. Is your pitch a sales pitch, advertising or news?  Do you know the difference?

11. Is the reporter, editor or blogger male or female?  Does that matter in how you approach them?

12. Have you included a phone number with your pitch in case the reporter, editor or blogger wants to talk to you?

13. Are you sending attachments with the press release?

14. Do you follow-up with the press release with numerous emails and phone calls?

15. Are the links accessible without having to register or subscribe to a website?

16. How is your timing?  Do you know the reporter, editor or blogger’s deadline?

17. Does your press release/pitch have an intriguing title/subject matter ?

18. Can you sum up the pitch/story message in ONE sentence/ or 30 seconds?

19. Is your message controversial, timely and/or a different take on a subject and adds to the topic/subject?

20. What is your client’s expertise about this topic?

13 Most Annoying Client Comments

 From a PR professionals perspective…

If you do not know why the comments below are unreasonable/insane, you do not understand the news business/cycle / media… and it would behoove you to LEARN. You could ask your PR professional to teach you, ask questions, take classes, educate yourself.

But the gist of this is that it is NOT up to PR professionals whether an article/story gets into the news / media or not no matter how hard they try or want or desire or beg. Bottom line, even if your PR professional does a Fantastic job, ultimately, the Editor/Newspaper Boss decides what goes into print. And if your PR Professional follows the RULES, does NOT send the media ads or advertorial copy disguised as news, has great contacts, and is persistent eventually their hard work will PAY OFF in lots of media coverage… AND it takes TIME, ENERGY and being in the WRITE Place at the Write Time…

Most people want to succeed, do a good job and make money, WIN WIN WIN… so STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and LEARN…

I wrote a few additional comments in parentheses…at the end of some…

http://www.72point.com/blog/our-top-13-most-annoying-client-comments

Ah clients….

They pay us the lovely money so we can’t be too mean about them…but sometimes they make us want to saw our heads off.

Here is our list of the most common, idiotic and maddening client comments we hear on a regular basis – and what we would LOVE to answer them with – if they didn’t pay us the lovely money…

1. “We really need this to make” – Oh, OK thanks for telling us because before you mentioned it, we weren’t planning on trying very hard.

2. ‘“Which papers are going to use the story?” – Um – whichever papers decide it’s OK and that they’ll use it?

3. “Do you know what the news agenda is like for June?” – Hang on a second *looks into crystal ball for updates on future murders, natural disasters etc*

4. “Sorry but the release can’t be sent unless the brand name is in the intro paragraph” – OK fine, let’s get absolutely no coverage for you whatsoever. Not any. Not even a Sun Spot.

5. “Do you guarantee coverage?” – Um, No. If you want guaranteed coverage – pay for an advert.

6. “Can you give me a reason WHY the story didn’t make?” Not unless I call every national news desk in the country and ask them directly, which will make us both look like complete tools.

7. “How many papers will the story make it into? – Hang on a second *looks deeply into crystal ball for updates on future murders, natural disasters etc*

8. “It’s what the brand people want, the story has to stay like that” – Grow a pair and tell them it’s crap – and then do your job by telling them how it’s actually going to work.

9. “Can we send the journalist a free gift to coincide with the story being distributed?” – Are you insane?  (sending a journalist a free gift/bribing an editor, is a good way to get BLACKLISTED)…

10. “Can you send this picture of the product out along with the story? –Are you COMPLETELY insane?   (NO Attachments unless reporter ASKS for one)

11. We need more information in the story about where you can buy the product? – Have you lost every single one of your marbles?  (Consider yourself LUCKY if the media prints your website link page or a phone number)

12. “We need to make sure we get page leads with this one” – Oh, OK – could you just hand me that silver wand?

13. At 4pm: “are you able to send this story out to the nationals today?” –Are you in an entirely different time zone?

http://www.aquiziam.com/quizzes/body_language_short.php

Happy New Year !

One  of the most important things for people who say they want to obtain publicity for their book or biz is knowing the who, what, where, when, why and how of pitching the media.

 

For the New Year, you might consider doing some coaching to set your New Year UP for Success.

 

You might learn a few things such as who are the best media contacts for YOU, when and how to approach them specifically and customized/personally, and what the benefits will do FOR YOU.

 

Just saying.

 

Now, I am listed as a freelance journalist on Cision (used to be Bacon’s) and every day I receive pitches from people just like you, who would like me to write about their book, product and/or service business and/or interview them.  Many of the pitches, too many, even from PR companies, unfortunately miss the mark.

 

Here’s an example, from a CEO who has an interesting product. And her pitch was for the upcoming New Year’s EVE holiday. I bought her pitch and immediately responded to the pitch (within half an hour). Too bad she was NOT at all READY nor prepared to receive a YES, all systems are GO. She wrote back to me saying that since her staff was gone for the holidays, she would have to send me a sample of the product AFTER the New Year. Anybody see the Problem here? Instead of OVERNIGHTING the product to me, she LOST out on an opportunity to get her product written about BEFORE New Year’s Eve. No PR, no sales.  If she sells her product to me via a pitch and then DOES NOT DELIVER, how does that bode for her customers and her business? Not good news.

 

If/when you send out press releases and/or pitches to the media, bloggers, reporters, editors and so on, BE PREPARED and READY TO GO. Otherwise, you are spinning your wheels and wasting people’s time. And busy bloggers, reporters and editors DO NOT like having their time wasted.

 

Just saying.

 

Call or email me if you’d like to do some PR coaching to Set UP your New Year for Success.  Good reasons to Celebrate.

 

 

 

gobble up these turkeys

there are badly written press releases and there are worse than bad, here are 25 turkeys … press releases my dog would not even eat up… would not touch with a 10 foot pole… (and she will eat anything and everything)…

Here are seven reasons why these news releases fail:

  • No news – totally lacking in “news” value for readers or audiences.
  • Headline sucks – without a great headline, your news release is headed to the waste basket fast.
  • Crammed with corporate-speak – your CEO may like his quote but if it sounds silly, it is!
  • Filled with marketing-speak – a news release is not a marketing brochure.
  • Poorly written, badly edited, terrible grammar – remember, you’re pitching people who write and deliver news for a living.
  • Loaded with techno-babble – geek-speak reeks.
  • Did I mention “no news?”

http://www.theprcoach.com/bad-news-releases-25-press-release-turkeys/

This one features a too long first sentence and the headline is blah blah blah… if you do not know what a Target of Opportunity is you are gone. This book is supposed to be Action Packed Thriller… So write the Press Release the same way, with SHORT exciting sentences, duh…  Plus, this PR person sent me eight other press releases all in the same day. Don’t email blast me all of your press releases no matter the subject matter. Consider what the reporter/editor writes about. Otherwise, BIG FAT WASTE OF TIME. I’d NEVER read a book like this nor write a review of one. And the other releases range in subject matter from Uncle Al Capone to small business tips, Big Medicine and Family Court and party planning. Hello, is anybody discerning?  I DO NOT write about all of those topics. Nor will I interview all of those ‘experts.’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Just When You Think It Can’t Get Deadlier – Another Radical Force Joins The Assault On Targets of Opportunity in the U.S.

Greenwich, CT, November 23, 2011 – In Targets of Deception, which suspense master Robert K. Tanenbaum called “a fast-paced thriller,” we were introduced to CIA agent Jordan Sandor in a story praised by bestselling author Steve Alten as “terrific.”  Now Sandor is back in Jeffrey S. Stephens’s riveting Targets of Opportunity (Gallery Books; August 30, 2011; $24.00), playing for bigger stakes and facing deadlier challenges.

Whisked from his Manhattan townhouse to a gabled CIA safe house in Virginia, Sandor faces off with a top terrorist agent from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. In exchange for protection from his own side, Ahmad Jaber is offering the CIA explosive information: word of a secret, unholy alliance forged among operatives in the Middle East, a ruthless South American, and Kim Jong-II’s North Korea. Jaber claims not to know specific details, only that the strike will target the heart of America.

the dog is having a snooze fest… no doubt dreaming of eating turkey…

Contrast the above turkey to this one from another PR…  I would shorten the title but the rest tells me all I need to know. The book also is NOT something that I’d read nor write about though.

 

18 stories by top romance authors celebrating

the heroic men of the Navy SEALs

 

Honor, courage, loyalty and passion combine in these suspenseful, romantic and sentimental tales about the SEALs and the women who love them.

 

Honor, duty, courage, passion . . . the men of the Navy SEALs are a special breed of hero, and in these stories by eighteen top romance authors these heroes are celebrated not only as symbols of devoted service to their country but as the kind of man every woman wants to love. They’ll rescue a damsel in distress and her lap dog, too. They’ll battle hometown dramas and international bad guys. When it comes to giving away their hearts, they’ll risk everything.

All proceeds from sales of SEAL of My Dreamsgoes to the Veterans Research Corporation, a non-profit fundraiser for veterans’ medical research.

Purchase a copy for yourself or your friend here!

 

 

Media shy or Media magnet?

You don’t have to be a Big Star, famous celebrity, politician, singer or movie actor/actress to garner interviews in local or national newspapers, magazines, or blogs and other online publications. If you are an author or business owner who simply would like the media to give you a bit of attention, do a book or product review, quote you in a story or article they’re working on or perhaps have an editor publish your opinion or article in their publication, then read on about how to accomplish this daunting feat.

Some people approach obtaining media attention as if there is something magical, mysterious and/or weird about it (and therefore, there is NOTHING for them to do or learn or educate themselves about). Others shy away from all mention of their name in public. And some folks are hams who are greedy hogs who eat up all the media attention they can get. Most people fall somewhere in between these extremes.

If your business or book could use a boost from some exposure, then here are some tips on how to get the job done without too much muss and fuss.

Fundamentals

Do you have a website? Is your website media friendly? Does your website have your contact info easily portrayed on every page (email, cell and other phone numbers)? Is there a media coverage/press page where you feature press releases, articles, and/or clippings of coverage that you’ve already received?

Are you able to write a press release that gets published?

A press release requires a certain format. A catchy headline. The first paragraph should offer the Who, What, Where, How and Why of the story… a few good quotes, startling statistics, and/or a counterintuitive question to start the conversation.

Imagine that you are at a party and want to talk to a reporter/editor. How do you begin? What might you say to capture their attention? Are you bragging, begging or boring? Is your elevator speech a whodunit, leaves a lasting impression and/or funny but succinct? Can you start with a funny quote or startling statistic? Do you think anyone would want to know more or are you so full of your own jargon that you can hardly talk to regular humans?  Is your  subject matter appropriate for the person you are speaking with or is it old, out of date and who cares?

More about writing press releases

http://ezinearticles.com/?Youve-Got-the-Power-to-Write-Press-Releases-that-Get-Published&id=977808

Do you know how and who to pitch your story to the media?

Is your pitch perfect or fatally flawed? Pitching the media your story is not a slam dunk. It requires research, a newsworthy relevant story, and excellent communication skills.  Have you got what it takes?

https://sites.google.com/site/celiasueink/do-you-have-perfect-pitch

Do you know the process?

1. Write a WOW of a press release/pitch

2. Research who to send it to (compile a list) and when

3. Individualize/customize the press release/pitch

4. Send out your press release/pitch

5. Follow up follow up follow up

6. Results… publish on your website and send to other clients, friends, family, associates

If not, revise, edit and review and start the process again…

7. Create a regular, ongoing, scheduled time of the day, week or month for pitching the media.  Media Coverage accrues over time…

And once you get the Media Coverage, what you DO WITH IT, COUNTS… here’s Brian Tracy on this very important subject:

http://www.briantracy.com/blog/general/how-to-get-on-tv-understanding-direct-media-media/utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BrianTracysBlog+%28Brian+Tracy%27s+Blog%29

 

Getting to know you… Getting to know all about you… Getting to like you… Getting to hope you like me… you are precisely my cup of tea !

when should you answer a reporter’s call?

http://www.mrmediatraining.com/index.php/2010/08/25/whats-your-deadline/