Amanda Cleary Eastep
freelance writer and editor (because my nunchuck skills are underappreciated)
I had never heard of this @biggreenpen. Thank you for sharing your experience and for the reminder to be sensitive toward those who we may not understand.
1 day, 5 hours ago on Face Blindness in the Workplace
You'll never get a cupcake this way.
1 day, 8 hours ago on Eight of the Worst News Release Mistakes
A comment, too, on #3. There is a lot of pressure from above (and God isn't getting the blame this time) to get your organization IN THE NEWS. What some administrators never seem to grasp is that "our" news isn't necessarily "the" news, depending on the audience of the media outlet.
And #7. Since I don't have time to pitch first, I usually write a summary in the body of the email to each contact, then attach the finished news release. That way, the editor/reporter gets the gist up front and can decide if it's worth their time to read the release.
Lovin' this post if you can't tell.
1 day, 13 hours ago on Eight of the Worst News Release Mistakes
@ginidietrich Did I earn another cupcake? I think that would put me at two.
@ginidietrich @bobledrew Wasn't me. He started it.
1 day, 14 hours ago on Eight of the Worst News Release Mistakes
Yes, eight times over. And what timing.
This morning I called a local editor to see if he saw the news release I had sent yesterday. (Big news for our organization with a new president.) After having written hundreds, if not a bazillion, news releases in my time, I can attest to all of your points and #1 is HUGE. In fact, I keep this particular editor - Jack - in my head when I'm writing. Today, our conversation went like this:
"Hi, Jack, it's Amanda from ..."
"What the matter?"
"Nothing, we have big news, and I'm checking to see if you got my email."
"The one from two weeks ago?"
"No, the one from yesterday, we have a new president."
He finds it and starts scanning.
"Hm, so you went with the 1950s lede 'we're pleased to announce,' [chortle], oh, and you got that in there about, [incoherent mumbling], that's good, and...hmmm, this is good, this is a really good release."
What higher praise from a news editor can there be?
[Btw, why do you want news releases to die, Gini, why???]
@bobledrew I was wondering that, too!
1 day, 15 hours ago on Eight of the Worst News Release Mistakes
Last year my friend was launching her first non-fiction book, and I told her about the brand ambassador plan for the Spin Sucks book. Great how you have outlined it here. Next time, I'll just hand her your NEW book.
4 days, 5 hours ago on How to Ignite Your Brand Ambassadors
Corina is one of those people who you are absolutely sure is the same fun, smart and wonderful woman in person as she is online. I'm with @Digital_DRK. Corina is always there with a like or comment or share, and she is great about sharing her knowledge on LI. Happy to see her featured! Love the photo!
2 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Corina Manea
@ginidietrich I would have been complimenting more often if I had known prizes were involved.
2 weeks, 3 days ago on A Business Pivot: What You Need to Know
@ginidietrich Best definition ever.
@jolynndeal Oohh, right. Btw, good point about the restaurant. Some places are so "behind the times" that it adds to their uniqueness.
Great story and business pivot points to consider. This is a great exercise even for someone like me who freelances and is owner/workerbee/manager/custodian. Btw, what is an "internet"?
@Jen Palumbo I have experienced this as well. And with allowed "service time," no less, which was time off we were given for pre-approved volunteer hours. Instead of dealing with the fall out, I used vacation time to volunteer.
Some expectations are not fair. Having them is one thing, letting them then affect how you treat an employee or co-worker is another.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on The Horrible Case of Unwritten Rules
@jolynndeal I was thinking the same thing about you!
4 weeks, 1 day ago on 5 Out Of 10 Businesses Fail: How A Mentor Can Help You Beat The Odds
Excellent advice for increasing the chances of business success! Reece's recommendation is one I first experienced when I was preparing to begin building my freelance writing. I read everything by stellar freelance writer Carol Tice, printed her posts, arranged them in a binder, and checked off things I needed to do before and after I launched. Your blog and Jackie Nagel's, as well as good conversations, have proven invaluable as well.
Excellent ideas. I do this on a small scale but haven't been this intentional. I saved my contacts to a CVS file on my Mac; it looks a bit of a mess, but I'll try to open it in Excel and see what happens. Great post!
1 month ago on How To Sell To LinkedIn Contacts Using Facebook, Twitter and Google+
Sounds like an amazing course and very helpful. Have you considered re-purposing some of the content and doing a one-time webinar for a broader audience?
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Ready to turn your expertise into an online course?
Interesting, Gini. I love the idea of everyone on a team contributing content, since, in my experience, "content creation" tends to fall with the writer, even though content is more than that. But breaking out of silos isn't easy. Did the CEO in your example lead that charge, too? How do you encourage team content creation when higher ups aren't thinking that way and others have the mindset that it's not in their job description?
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Where Does Content Marketing Belong?
Would you add to #1 a crisis communication plan? Maybe not a crisis in terms of a tragic event but rather situations that could potentially damage a company brand.
1 month, 4 weeks ago on 6 Questions A Social Media Manager Should Ask Before You Hire Them
I love learning something new. Very interesting post, Laura. I'm with @biggreenpen. The three categories are spurring me to think even more deeply about the type of message I'm sending.
Do you have examples that came to mind for each category?
1 month, 4 weeks ago on Three Approaches to Effective Brand Storytelling
@DwayneAlicie Yes on the communication. Sometimes we wait too long and then our communications explode out of our mouths. I had a similar meltdown once in a meeting. I think I ran to the bathroom then, too.
2 months ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Dwayne Alicie
I wish I would have thought of the whole texting from the bathroom thing when I met Gini, Laura, Jason and other great Spin Sucks people at Content Jam 2013. I was so excited to finally meet IRL then hardly said a word b/c the shy thing that I thought I pretty much conquered kicked in. I may have been more interesting if I had stayed in a nice comfy stall. But I did last long enough to find out that @jasonkonopinski gives great hugs.
But anyway, this was a super inquisition, and I appreciate a good story, especially one that involves thinking something isn't your job. I would argue, however, that certain boundaries have to be set so that you can do the best job possible in the position you're hired for and gifted at. And also to maintain your sanity. :)
@rosemaryoneill That's what I was ranting about in my comment. I'm not sure how it works, but I'm wondering if they get points for every level they reach in the call. Like 1 point for getting their questionnaire answered, 2 for getting my email address, 300 for not getting hung up on...
2 months ago on Media Relations Done Well: Ten Ways to Personalize
@ginidietrich @belllindsay Ha, then you would have loved the moment she then called my colleague and he jumped out of his chair, pointed at me menacingly, and made a mad face. Like it was my fault she called him next!
What you're talking about here takes effort, but some PR people just want to be able to say, yep, I contacted a bazillion people, did my job.
Our mar com office gets calls from a media/sales person who makes the rounds from one person to the next, never bothering to note that "Amanda said she doesn't handle the IT budget for the entire organization, check" or "They said they don't use that tool, check." Instead she just keeps pitching whatever.
Yesterday I even tried to have a human conversation with her, and she kept trying to get me to answer her questions with one word instead of actually listening to me. "So your answer is 'undecided'?" Oh, no, lady. I've definitely decided.
I have a small list of media contacts, not hundreds or thousands, and I've worked hard to build it and nurture those relationships, because that's what they are, relationships. Two way streets.
I've said this here before, but starting in the newspaper industry was the best education for me today in PR. Love this post, Gini.
@Digital_DRK Wow, that sounded even better with an accent than I imagined.
2 months, 1 week ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Darryl Robinson-Keys
@Digital_DRK Wow, that sounded even better with your accent than I imagined.
A cool accent and West Side Story karaoke? Gini! Do over on this inquisition; yes, to the video, and I think Darryl should be kayaking. Great to learn more about you, Darryl. Loved the spin analogy.
@Marissa I agree. There is the safety of knowing, at least on paper, you don't HAVE to change certain things, but this is a great exercise for considering options you may not have considered.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Five Tips for When Your Small Business is Your Second Job
@jolynndeal I noticed that after I commented, but "evergreen" is a testament to valuable posts. And I would LOVE to work on a project together.
You know how you can go to church and feel like the sermon was "meant" for you. You have to know this post came just at the right time for me! Building more relationships and exploring the potential for expanding the ones I have will definitely be my focus over the next few months. THANKS for these wonderful guidelines.
I love a good story and you wove this one into your post beautifully. And I don't even like basketball.
I have to say I took this one personally, especially in regard to the idea of taking smart risks. I've been working on a post about my theme for the year, which--first time saying this anywhere--is Be Courageous. As I make plans to go into my small business full time, I can attest to what you said: ...if you aren't a bit scared, you aren't living up to your full potential. And the letting go part. Yep, at some point you have to let the ball fly.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Growing a Business: The Jump Shot Strategy
@ginidietrich Is there a way to reset my password? It's so ninja I can't remember it.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on How to Write Blog Posts that Get Read and Shared
I'll give this "get your blog read" thing another go, but only because it's you.
@biggreenpen Thanks! I imagine @ginidietrich may be crying at random triggers like I have been!
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Losing a Valuable Team Member is Hard
@belllindsay Change is good, especially when decisions are based on values first, like friendship. Good words, Lindsay.
This may be worse than empty nest syndrome, which I am experiencing as we speak as my youngest goes off to mission work in N. Africa. I hope you do not go to Africa, Lindsay, but I do hope you find your joy. I am sad for Gini, the Spin Sucks crew, and the community, although I know good things still await all of you! Best to you, Lindsay!
@Howie Goldfarb Not so much here in the Chicago area. There is one store I know of, so getting Krispy Kremes was always a special treat...of course, until they ended up in grocery stores, which took some of the "special" out of it. They also used to give everyone a free donut, still warm out of the fryer. Talk about some good advertising.
2 months, 4 weeks ago on Newsjacking: The Good, the Bad, and the Super Bowl
Fun and smart post. Love the Krispy Kreme tweet and the Brooks response to the MLK tweet. Great examples of what to do and not to do.
@ginidietrich Fine. But don't start calling me "Grasshopper."
3 months, 1 week ago on An Editorial Calendar Equals Lots of Content from One Idea
#1 is especially thought provoking and the answer drives how you word your website. In regard to #3, we found the same high percentage in nonprofit...women most often decided if and how much to donate. That would be a post in itself!
3 months, 1 week ago on Five Questions You Need To Answer About Your Target Audience
I'm a winger, too. I used these cluster diagrams in my writing classes as a student and (much) later as a professor...but never for my blog. Silly me.
Absolutely a wonderful visit! And a great example of building relationships--both personal and professional.
This is excellent advice for phone contact with clients!
3 months, 2 weeks ago on 8 Game-Changing Steps To Turn Blog Followers Into Clients
Happy New Year (almost) to the team and all the crazies...
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Spin Sucks Brings You: The Best Year Ever!
Great tips and examples! The same question as the one @tnfletch asked came to my mind regarding limited space. Usually I have about one or two sentences to connect with the customer in a trade mag or marketing piece because technical and sales folks want to make sure all the product detail is included. I just finished an editorial for a trade mag this morning (before reading your post, ack!), but I feel inspired to try a bit more storytelling in the next project. Thank you!
3 months, 3 weeks ago on How to Write a Killer Lead
@nataliepetitto I think you're right about the "distrust." In both virtual offices (and freelancing), you develop a "swift trust" with employees/vendors who deliver.
People never ask artists how many hours they worked on a painting; the value is in the final product that has been crafted. That is one of the reasons I love to freelance write. My client cares about my completing high quality work by the deadline. He doesn't care if I put in 8 hours at a desk or three hours late at night in my robe to accomplish that. :)
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Planning Your Virtual Business to be a Success
Looks like a great list and some good vacation reading. Guess I can leave Game of Thrones, Book 1, at home. :)
4 months, 1 week ago on Nine PR Blogs to Read
@belllindsay I tried yesterday but couldn't...giving it another shot.
4 months, 1 week ago on “Way to Wreck Christmas, Lindsay!” and Other Stories
@Eleanor Pierce Funny. That's what happens when you comment quickly while you're at work! :\