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Monthly Archives: April 2010

Fight Right Friday – Finding God’s Desires

A friend of  mine mentioned on Facebook how much he loves connecting people, especially when he feels certain the meeting was a God-thing. Someone posted a response question. How do you know when it’s a God-thing?

Good question. Just a day before seeing those posts, I read an article about the Christian tendency to believe “God is in this” if everything falls into place. Yet, this can’t be right. Hard work is a good thing, isn’t it? Overcoming obstacles, not letting limitations decide your course of action, charting a path through the muck and mire – these are qualities we admire and aspire to, right?

So, if you’re blocked at every turn…how do you decide that pushing through is the right thing, or that giving up is the right thing? Which is it? In short, what tells you that you’re making the choice that keeps you in God’s will?

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Posted by on April 30, 2010 in Fight Right Friday

 

Dream Deferred?

Ever heard that Tim McGraw song, “How Bad Do You Want It?” When the challenges of growing Glass Road and chasing other dreams pile up, I listen to that song. It reminds me that success is determined, at least to some extent, by my commitment to the course.

Which is why I found this sentence in my inbox striking, “Since I never heard back from you, I just put it on hold.”

I’d emailed a gentleman who had inquired about our services and my ability to partner with him on writing a particular project. We had exchanged several emails months ago, but he was also working with others and waiting to see if any of those initiatives came through.

It’d been about six months since I heard from him, so I checked in to see how his other initiatives were working out and to see if he was still pursuing the writing project we’d discussed. His response: “Since I never heard back from you, I just put it on hold.”

Really? The six-month silence of one individual made you ignore what you’d presented as a dream?

For all you writers and publicists out there who hear, “No,” about seventy-three times per minute, take heart and ask  yourself: How bad do you want it? Ugly grammar, fantastic question.

Can the silence of one person  – can the actions of a multitude, even – make you give up your dream?

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2010 in Life Lessons

 

Ready for Flight?

As I drove to pick up Anderson from preschool yesterday, I saw a hawk flying with a mouse in its mouth. It had to have just taken off as the hawk was still low to the ground. What caught my eye was the frantic twisting of the mouse. No sooner did I notice that, though, than I saw the hawk bobble in mid-air.

I watched the hawk as it stabilized its course and rose into the air, bound for a tall tree in the distance, it seemed.

I’d never seen a hawk just after it caught its meal. How the hawk took off with a wriggling creature in its mouth never occurred to me. Not even once in all the time I’ve spent admiring the graceful flight of a hawk.

But it now dawns on my caffeine-riddled brain that I – and a lot of my clients – are like that hawk. We eye a prize, we strategize, we attack, we dive headlong into the fray, then we victoriously snag our prize and lift into the sky on exultant wings.

Only to bobble in mid-air.

We plan our path for securing the prize – best-seller list, number of copies sold, which publications to secure coverage in – and we zealously set off on our mission. Yet we forget to plan for victory. What will we do when sitting across the couch from Ann Curry or Robin Roberts? Are we ready for USA Today to interview us for a trend story about the growth of inspirational fiction? When we see our movie on the marquis alongside Brad Pitt’s latest release, do we know how to properly behave?

I’ve seen more than one client bobble in front of the camera or once the recorder’s been turned on. I’ve winced as the sudden glare of the limelight shone its harsh face on character flaws that remained hidden in obscurity’s shadow.

So, today, I ponder…am I bound to bobble? Or can I put maturity and experience to task and stabilize my wings when the victory windstream comes with turbulence?

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2010 in The Misc Bucket

 

Proper Pitching Position

This morning,  I’ll be working hard to secure more radio interviews for a particular client, the author of a NON-fiction book. I do not do a ton of radio work for novelists because it hasn’t yet proven a reliably effective route for persuading consumers to purchase novels, but I work with enough non-fiction folks to keep my radio relationships growing. This ensures I have the contacts I need when the right novelists come along.

Non-publicists (and some publicists – eek!) are often stymied by the proper position to take when pitching. So, today I’ll share the easiest method for approaching media representatives.

Adopt a servant’s heart.

Pitching media – radio, television, print, or internet – will go best if you adopt (what we call in Christian circles) a servant’s heart. My job as a publicist is to serve the media.

  • I want to give them story ideas, interview opportunities, and good products to review.
  • I respond to them as fast as possible when they ask for or even intimate they might be interested in something or someone with whom I work.
  • I supply them with all the info they need – in the timeframe they need it – to opt to review the product, interview the author, or just write a quick snippet about either/both.
  • I research both them and their shows to make my pitch relevant.
  • I even help them secure interviews with non-clients when they call me and aren’t sure how to reach so-and-so at a publishing house or such-and-such bestseller.

My job (and yours, if you’re promoting something through media) isn’t to garner praise or even recognition for my own work. My job is to make their jobs easier.

As a quick aside, if you approach your promotional work with a servant’s heart, it also becomes a more joyful experience for you. It’s a blast to make others’ days happier!  Have you had that experience? The one where you surprise someone with something that makes their day brighter, their workload a bit lighter, their job a bit easier? It’s an incredible feeling when a producer says to me, “You’re just so easy to work with.” When I hear that, I check the day off as a good one and go find the chocolate.

Have you tried promoting your own products? Are you a professional publicist? Tell me all about your experiences – good, bad, or indifferent. I’d love to do the happy dance with you over the victories and cry with you over the tough stuff!

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2010 in Publicity Tips/Techniques

 

Fight Right Friday

I’ve decided to devote Fridays to Fight Right days. If you know me personally, then you’ve probably been on the receiving end of  my love of debate at one time or another. Fewer endeavors get my blood churning and synapses firing like an intellectually challenging debate.

So, each Friday, I’ll introduce a topic and let you – my smart readers – hash it out. Remember, though, to Fight Right. That means no personal attacks. Keep your comments on the topic at hand.

This morning, as he finished up his English muffin and coffee routine, my husband (Charlie) was watching a recorded episode of Glenn Beck. Beck has been sharing his thoughts for how to take care of the deficit and get American spending under control. Charlie opined that we should close all military bases around the world, tell all the nations if they mess with us we’ll hammer them hard, and then bring all soldiers home. There was a reference to making Iran “glass”.

Which prompted the Christian in me to rise up. “Charlie, think about what you’re saying. There are innocent people in Iran who have no way to stop those in power. You’d take their lives, too? Engage in mass murder in an age when we have technology that allows us to target an individual home from miles and miles away? That’s not Christian.”

“Yeah, but this is government,” Charlie replied.

“You say, ‘government’ likes it’s some evil institution. Government is populated by people – some of them Christians, too. They don’t check their faith at the door of the Capitol.”

And we were off…

Which leads me to the question I’d like to ask you. If you are a Christian and an elected official, do you have a responsibility to exhibit Christian principles through your position? For instance, if a Senator has the opportunity to extend generosity and kindness, mercy and love to someone in a foreign nation and use the resources of his/her position (which could include American tax dollars), to do so…should he/she?

Charlie says the Senator can be a Christian all he wants but when he sits in his office at the Capitol, his responsibility is to the people who elected him and he has no business using American resources to aid non-American people.

I say a Christian’s responsibility is always, first and foremost, to serve God, and that this responsibility is to be carried out in the fulfilling of whatever duties are required of the position in which God has placed him. I also say a Christian has no border distinctions.

What say you?

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2010 in Fight Right Friday

 

Bulk Mail Secret #2

Yesterday, I shared with you the first secret of getting your bulk mail opened. Today, I’ll unveil secret #2…

Relationship.

See, the thing about publicity is that you’re not really paying a literary publicist for her ability to write a good press release, or her ability to hone in on the best hook for your book. Both are important skills and without them a publicist isn’t going to find herself re-hired too often. The most important thing a publicist brings to the promotion of a project, though, is her relationships.

This is true in your life as well. How much more likely are you to open an envelope from Great Aunt Edna than you are from the car dealership in the next town over? The relationship with Aunt Edna makes you care about the communication, so you open the envelope and read.

The same applies to bulk mailings conducted by publicists. If I’m mailing to a group of people with whom I’ve been working for the past six years, then they have a pretty good idea of the communication I’m sending before they even open the envelope. Hopefully – if I’ve done my job well and solidly built the relationship – they realize before ever opening the envelope that its contents will be well-written, creative, entertaining and, most importantly, relevant specifically to their situation.

The relationship serves as the mechanism that allows the recipient to trust the sender, and so open the package.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2010 in Publicity Tips/Techniques

 

Bulk Mail Secret #1

We all get it – a pile of junk mail to sort through in our otherwise happy little mailbox. I make a stop at the trash can before coming inside the house, unwilling to even let the stuff cross the threshold of my haven of home.

But I’m a publicist. Which means I occasionally (read: weekly) send bulk mailings. And I wouldn’t keep my job very long if those envelopes didn’t somehow get opened and read. What’s the secret?

Well, there are two. I’ll share one today.

Hand-addressing. Yep, good ole pen to paper works – in some businesses’ estimation – 100% of the time in garnering enough interest to at least get your envelope opened.

Which is why today I’ll be hand-addressing roughly 200 pieces for one of our clients announcing the launch of his book. Good use of my time? You bet. If I hadn’t planned on hand-addressing, I’d have never agreed to send these pieces out b/c they’d have ended up right where my unsolicited mail ends up: File 13.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2010 in Publicity Tips/Techniques