Paramount PR Tips from Weinstein PR

May 4, 2012

I consult with the leaders of small and mid size businesses who are often peripherally wondering how they should best be publicizing their story to the public.  The media landscape has shifted dramatically in the last few years with the influx of social media and the crumbling of traditional print media sources.  No one can afford to not engage with their customers today, rather it has become an imperative.  Here is a crystal clear list of tips from Portland’s own Weinstein PR, who together have more than 284 collective years working in PR, communications and design, for your PR considerations:

  •  The best PR efforts start with the brand. PR should nurture and nourish your brand, and ring true to your audience.
  • Human beings love great stories. Find your most compelling stories, and tell them strategically.
  • Consider your audience. Reach them where their interests intersect yours.
  • Hone your messages. Simplicity. Clarity. Focus on just 3 or 4 messages, and perfect them with great writing.
  • Provide great visuals. Compelling graphic design and iconic imagery make your message stick.
  • Prepare and rehearse. Anticipate questions. Practice answers. Be sure the people who will deliver your message are equipped to succeed with proper social/media training.
  • Control your own media, and frame the conversation for others. Tell your stories directly and engage your audience with blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr and eNewsletters.
  • Boutique PR firms like ours offer great creative chops, are cost effective and have experienced people. The people you initially meet should be the ones who work on your account.
  • Build authentic relationships. Meet face-to-face with the media whenever possible, and share your stories with confidence and transparency.
  • Engage your employees, friends and vendors. Expand your inner circle to include everyone who can spread the word and feed the energy. Trust them with the truth.
  • Define what success looks like. Always articulate what you are trying to achieve with a PR campaign – so that everyone will know when you’ve done it!

What has your most successful PR initiative been and what did you learn along the way?

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How to Unlock Your Storytelling Genius

April 18, 2012

Last night I had the high honor of hearing Michaela Murphy speak at my favorite place to connect with like minded professional women, Cindy Tortorici’s The Link for Women’s monthly event.  Michaela is a master storyteller whose work has been featured on NPR, Off-Broadway, The Moth Mainstage, and the Clinton White House and in The New Yorker, while her talents as a digital storyteller and social media guide have produced both happy clients and measurable results.

What I found the most fascinating from all the juicy tips that I am about to share from her was her observation that we often dismiss the part of ourselves that we are most gifted. This is a lesson she learned when she first began her career. She believes that what impedes many of us from being more vocal and forthcoming about this one particular ‘gift’ is our fear of being dismissed and as a result being ‘crushed’ by this rejection (because we know it is our core strength). Michaela went on to explain that as she has matured and developed a stronger ‘ego’, she is now very comfortable sharing her gifts and not being wounded by potential rejection or dismissal, etc.  What do you think?  Do you think that you refrain from deeper and more revealing storytelling in order to protect and cover parts of yourself that you are perhaps ashamed of, don’t understand or are protective of?  Well, read on…..

Here are some of the key takeaways that I learned from her:

Every story should have a CONFLICT, CLIMAX and REUNION

Begin with a hook-and establish it and the tone of your story in the first three sentences.  After delivering the first three lines, pause, let the audience ‘come in’

SHOW rather than TELL-tell a descriptive story rather than give an example.

Keep it ACTIVE

Make every word COUNT

Communicate from within to my audience WHY I do what I do, what the work I do DOES for me on an emotional level. What’s the tipping point of my work-where people get what I do?

Every story should have a beginning, middle and an end. The beginning is the set up and hook (only share what the audience needs to know, which may mean omitting characters and condensing time). The middle is where you spend the bulk of your story-delivering the action and the climax.  The end is the climax and the denouement.

When you tell YOUR STORY, start with what scares you. Where is the resistance? What is something you have done that you can’t understand? Share something risky for you.

Thank you Michaela, Cindy and Natalie Molina Nino for making this event happen!


Contents: My Big Dream Job & how I am getting started….

September 21, 2011

Greetings friends and fans,

Today is the day I have decided to share with you all the grand plans I have for myself professionally for two glaring reasons. First, I think it will be helpful for those of you who have similar ambitions and are curious as to the process and methods by which I am going about reaching this overarching, awesome and universal goal.  And, secondly, because I need your support, humor and overall feedback on how I am doing and what you think I should do differently, etc. If it takes me 30 years to reach this goal, so be it, but in the mean time, let’s begin….

Drum roll please, I feel deep in the core of who I am that I will eventually end up with my own television show.  Yes, that’s right, and I am talking, move to Los Angeles, syndicated, cable type of show.  This is just something that seems like a logical evolution for myself given my drive, the messages I want to share with the world and frankly the type of lifetime goal that I feel up to taking on.  Now, when I share this LOFTY goal, people either go silent or smile, rather glibly, I might add. I can see their mind working, they are thinking to themselves, “Oh, good Lord, listen to the ego on this one??” or the ones I choose to embrace as friends are those who say things like, “I’d watch ya” or “You rock on with your bad self Katie”, or my FAVORITE is my own father, whose best response to all of this is, “Katie, you have never been short on dreams”.

I figure, the best I can do is shooting to make this dream a reality and in the short-term have fun and continue to expand my business and who knows where I”ll actually land. However, for those of you who are curious as to how one goes from where I currently stand in the world, both professionally and personally, to joining the ranks of Ellen DeGeneres, Rachael Ray, Anderson Cooper of the Goddess of all that is, Oprah, this is what I am beginning to work on based on the amazing professionals I have consulted with in the last few days:

1) Developing my online presence by branding myself as a media personality via my personal Facebook Page and Twitter account and dedicating my Legacy Builder Coaching website, FB Page and Twitter Account to just my corporate work. Basically, beginning to distinguish myself between these two identities. (Thanks to Maggie Palmer of MKP Creative & Jill Daniel of Pasta Queen Public Relations for that advice)

2) Begin to blog on a weekly basis (here I am!)

3) Hire a Writing Coach (@BrookeWarner in San Francisco) to hold me accountable to completing an e-book by years end to begin to establish my platform.

Okay, that’s it for now….let me know what you think this sounds, etc. I need your help!


How To Plot Your Career Change

August 30, 2010

Determine Your Ideal Profession & Life-style This is the most difficult stumbling point for people who are not enjoying their current work and who also feel blocked around what might bring greater satisfaction.  I encourage people to be patient and know that this process will likely take longer than they’d like but that their current situation is not permanent and will eventually change.  It is also important to take the time to step back and look at their entire life situation and determine what other aspects of their ‘whole’ life might be lacking in fulfillment.  These areas are: Work and Education, Relationships, Personal Growth and Health and Leisure.   Through this process, many people find that their unhappiness at their day job is bleeding into other aspects of their life and that there are areas that they can change for the better immediately.  For example, a client named Susan realized that she had completely given up on her dating life waiting for Mr. Right, as well as sticking to a regular exercise regimen, because she was feeling so dissatisfied with her current job.   Her unhappiness at work was becoming an energy drain in other aspects of her life. As she began evaluating what type of job would be more ideal, she also committed to exercising three days a week and making an effort to say “yes” to dating, even if the guy didn’t immediately have Prince Charming potential–at least she was getting out and having fun meeting people, which increased her energy.  Over time, Susan’s improved sense of overall health and personal happiness also helped to propel her commitment to pursue her career transition.   

Do Your Homework Once you have identified one or even a few desired professions-collect as much information as you can about them through online research, recently published books and journals, and most importantly informational interviews with people who are currently in that industry.  Many people are aware that LinkedIn is a free online resource where you can search within your greater network of your friends or colleagues for their acquaintances who are working in your industry of interest.  Ask your colleague or friend for an introduction and then request a brief 20 minute telephone call or a meeting over coffee.  These people can be your best ‘real world’ resources for what employers will be looking for when you are ready to make a move. It is critical to understand whether the industry is growing, what they are looking for as far as talent, and whether you will need to acquire a specialized type of education or certification or job experience to be considered for the profession.    

Formulate Your Strategy Once you have a solid idea of what type of skills, experience and/or training you will need to make your career transition, I then work with clients on sketching out a strategic action plan.  Some of these beginning actions might include: opening up lines of communication with previous bosses so that they are ready and willing to act as solid references, updating your resume and any online profiles, and evaluating whether you are prepared for relocation and/or having to take a pay cut to enter into your preferred industry at a lower level than where you currently stand at your company.  One of my clients’ Eric wanted to transition from working in the financial services market into a medical device sales position.  He had learned from the informational interviews that sales companies were going to want to see concrete examples of his desire to win, self-direction and proven public speaking skills.  So, Eric sought out opportunities at his current workplace such as presenting at large staff meetings, proposing a new initiative to improve client confidentiality concerns, and  dedicated himself to improving the ‘areas for development’ that were raised in his last performance review.  Eric also learned more about what he needed to prove along the way of his interviewing process with a variety of different sales companies and eventually made his transition after almost a year’s time.  

Be Prepared to Sell Yourself The concept of selling oneself can be very anxiety producing and uncomfortable for many people.  One can best overcome these concerns by focusing their efforts on learning as much as they can about what it takes to be successful in their targeted profession.  Having this ‘curious focus’ takes the pressure off of the individual to always be talking about themself and allows them to approach potential leads and eventual employers with a clear understanding of how they will be an asset to that particular industry and that specific company.  For example, Dan had been working in the editorial world for 8 years and was eager to make a transition into work that was more personally meaningful.  He set his sights on sports marketing but was very apprehensive about how he would break into such a popular industry and how he would overcome his discomfort with the concept of networking.  He began by learning everything he could about the industry as a whole as well as what companies had offices in his hometown of Chicago and how they differed. Next, he found out about a specific networking group for marketing professionals, through an informational interview and eventually began attending their events. Over time, Dan built up contacts within the sports management field as well as the confidence that he would be able to convince an employer that he would be an asset to their particular company and composed a portfolio of his work that highlighted his selling points.   

Ramp up Your Life Outside of Work! It is equally important to be sure to balance out the other aspects of our lives: Personal Growth/Health, Relationships and Leisure, while we plot our professional transformation.  While your professional situation may not change as quickly as you would like it to, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a life! So, try to focus on what can be controlled in your life—and ramp up your personal life.  For example, push yourself to accomplish something you might not have ever imagined for yourself like: completing a triathlon, joining a music band or writing a short story.  Oftentimes, people end up opening doors to their desired path when they are not even looking.  An example is a woman named Patty who was determined to break into the wine import industry but had not had any success in setting up an informational interview or making a personal connection so to learn more about the field.  She followed my ‘homework’ and finally pursued a long postponed hobby—starting to practice yoga.  Within two weeks of joining a yoga studio, she discovered that the studio’s owner was a big time wine importer and generously invited Patty down to his business to shadow him for a day once his wife made the connection. You never know where your ‘breaks’ are going to come from!


Masterfully Managing Your Vision

August 23, 2010

How central is your business vision statement and purpose as you navigate your daily grind?  How often do you reflect on what your ultimate value proposition is to your clients and partners as you trudge through the ups and downs of your business life?  If you have not yet decided what your vision is for your career or your business–please, take the time, to do so.  Take advantage of my 30 minute complimentary session and we can get your started on this essential task.  Then, once you are crystal clear on what it is you are setting out to accomplish for yourself, your clients, your partners–here are some suggestions for ways that you can best manage your aspirations in the long haul:

  • Crisply communicate not only what you are ultimately in business to accomplish but also why there is no one else like you who can deliver on your value proposition and why you are in a class of your own.
  • Describe the future reality for your clients and partners that is a result of your work, so that they know what they are working towards with you and why they chose you.
  • Be prepared to address apprehension and objections that may be a by-product of them choosing your ‘way’ versus business as usual as well as an explanation of your ROI.
  • Remain open to necessary adjustments and tinkering that will allow you to better serve your customers.
  • Walk Your Talk! Make sure you model the same behavior which you speak and write about.
  • Keep in mind that varying audiences are going to warrant specific core messaging and value propositions.
  • Ask yourself how you are inspiring change within your community.  You have to instill hope and faith that you  have the answers that the world needs. Get creative!
  • Like it or hate it-you are selling your vision and purpose.  So, think about questions you have as a consumer as far as ‘satisfaction guaranteed’, commitment time frame, consumer reviews, etc.
  • Remain open to and committed to learning about future trends within your industry and adapt accordingly.

Developing Your #1 Asset: YOU!

August 10, 2010

Whether you are a business professional working for a medium to large corporation or you are sharpening your saw as a small business owner or aspiring entrepreneur–everyone is looking for ways to shine and stand apart from the pack these days.  In this pursuit, I begin by bringing to my client’s attention the themes as well as the core self-limiting beliefs that I hear (with my psychotherapist turned coach ears) as they tell me about their struggles and challenges in breaking through to the next level of where they would like to be professionally.

What do I mean by this?  Well, as young people we all develop certain coping techniques and beliefs that enabled us to navigate our early relationship patterns.  It is that Darwinian response that allows us all to survive what for some may not have exactly been a “Leave it To Beaver” type reality, and adapt in a way that is not always totally reliant on adequate and positive responses from our caretakers.  As we evolve, and are fortunate enough to find lovers, friends, and a community where we have healthy and balanced relationships–sometimes our former coping mechanisms and negative core beliefs we interpreted about ourselves from our early world, can get in the way.

Now, the challenge as adults is to:

1) IDENTIFY your negative core beliefs and maladaptive coping mechanisms

2) PROCESS how and why they played a functional role for you as a young person

3) UNCOVER what the cost is to you as an adult when you continue to hold on to them

4) LEARN to let them go and to live your life with less conditions, more freedom and greater possibilities!

So–what’s holding you back today?


Building Your ‘Field of Dreams’

May 4, 2010

Brick & mortar businesses are up against the convenience of on-line shopping.

Freelancers /”Solo-preneurs”/Consultants are all up against an overall cutting back of spending and a trend of ‘doing it yourself’ rather than employing ‘us’ to support their businesses.

Grass roots manufacturers & designers are up against China and the scale of major chains and franchises’ band widths.

However, with the explosion of online social and professional communities providing free and limitless growth opportunities for our businesses, the need to succinctly and enticingly communicate who we are, what we offer and how we deliver our product has never been more important. This ultimate goal of branding ourselves as our core business offering is differentiation and specialization.

To stay ahead of these trends, you need to clearly and consistently communicate to your ideal target audience your very own why, who, what, how and where. Here’s what I mean:

Why?

What is your ultimate vision & mission for your business?

What do you intend your LEGACY to be?

Who?

Why are you the best person to do what you do?

What are your core values as they relate to your business identity?

What unique story is YOUR business telling?

What?

What are you doing to ensure that your business model is aligned to attain your vision?  Have you positioned yourself appropriately for growth?

*It is critical to design multiple streams of revenue so that you can work on optimizing various audiences at different times for different reasons and simultaneously cross-pollinate clients to additional products and services within your business model.

How?

How are you delivering your core value proposition, your unique business story and your product/service to your ideal target market?

Where?

Are you part of not only networking organizations but also national and international forums, organizations, conferences, social media, etc. where you are staying on top of the global, national and local trends of your specific industry? You goal is to develop expert status within your industry amongst these communities.

Are you clearly and consistently communicating the right message throughout everything you do?  Where/how do your clients spend their time (at work, home, leisure)—and how can you infiltrate/share your business offerings with them at various times throughout the day?

Are you developing strategic partnerships and gaining increased visibility as well as giving back to your own community through sponsorship of events/philanthropy?