A Few Thoughts on Friendship

Enjoy these thoughts on friendship. They come from a little book titled, Friendship, a Special Gift for a Special Friend, published by Parragon. A friend gave it to me for my birthday.

“The bird: a nest. The spider: a web. The human: friendship.”
— William Blake, British poet

“A true friend is someone who thinks you are a good egg, even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.”
—Bernard Meltzer, radio host

“Few delights can equal the mere presence of someone we utterly trust.”
— George MacDonald, British author and poet

“True friendship comes when silence between two people is comfortable.”
— Dave Tyson Gentry, author

“A friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.”
— Unknown

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”
— Aristotle, Greek philosopher

I am grateful every day for my friends.

Looking for Publicity?

“Worry not that no one knows you. Seek to be worth knowing.”

Clients and colleagues often ask me how to attract attention to their business. Here are a few tips for getting the publicity you may be craving. You’ll find additional tips in my book, Marketing Demystified (McGraw-Hill, 2010).

Tip 1 – Focus First on ValueWant to know where I found a particular gem of PR wisdom? Inside a fortune cookie. That’s right, smack dab in the middle of a Chinese restaurant. And, I knew that cookie was truly meant for me — a PR Person — when I read the gold inside. The little white slip in my hand advised me to “Worry not that no one knows of you. Seek to be worth knowing.” It doesn’t get more profound than that. So, as soon as I read it, I knew I would share that bit of wisdom with my web community, friends and clients.I hope you love the essence of that message as much as I do. It gets right to the heart of marketing and public relations as it calls us to create value for others. What better way is there to become known, earn a great reputation and serve the world?In today’s cluttered, time-starved, media world, delivering value is the best way to differentiate yourself. Garnering public recognition for your work, accomplishments or special causes starts with delivering value. But it doesn’t end there. If people don’t find out how valuable you are, you may as well be shouting underwater as big waves tumble over. You go glug-glug, but no one notices. First, ensure value, then spread the word.

Tip 2 – Craft a Compelling Message

Behavior is shaped by beliefs. Decide what you want people to believe about you, your product, service or firm. As you do, also consider the benefit to people in believing that. How will it serve them? How will it serve you? That reminds me: more than 20 years ago, when I turned in my first newspaper article, my editor looked up at me and asked, “So What?” As a novice reporter, I had written a grammatically correct, historically accurate account of the news. I was proud of my writing, but I quickly learned that it didn’t command attention. I did what I had been taught in school. I wrote for a crescendo. But news writing is about immediate impact. When you craft your message, go for the gold up front. Get right to the point.

Tip 3 – Think Like a Reporter

Reporters look for the new and different, as well as the meaningful. To get a sense for what writers in your targeted media are after, read what they are writing about and learn what interests them. Can you help a reporter expand on a series, write about a related item, or meet a deadline? Do you have a thrilling insight or tip that can help them win a Pulitzer? (Well, one can hope!) As competitive as it is to get into the news, summer may be just the right time. When people, schools and businesses take vacation, news items slow down. This offers an opportunity for creative pitching, especially if you can offer something seasonal, or if you are thinking ahead for back-to-school or holiday stories. When pitching your story, be prepared with several angles, so when a reporter asks, “what else have you got?” or “why is that significant?” you will have a powerful answer. Plan in advance; don’t wait until the last minute. And always submit calendar notices at least two to four weeks ahead of anticipated publication dates. Check the media deadlines so you won’t get caught short.

Tip 4 – Don’t Wait for the Press

Write and post your own news release on the Web. Make a video to spread on YouTube. Write your nws on a blog. The Internet becomes a more powerful communications medium every day. Jump in and create PR waves that others can surf. Writing selectively on blogs of interest will help you get your name and perspective out there. Developing your own website or blog can provide a worldwide podium. (Be sure to search engine optimize your web pages if you want people to find your news.) As you get used to blogging, you’ll refine your messages. If you blog often, you’ll begin to build a content powerhouse. Write news releases  that you can post on your own website for public consumption. While you are doing your own think, make time to send press releases out. You can email them yourself to your favorite news editors, or use a wire service. Also remember to submit your news to e-zines, company newsletters and friends.

Tip 5- Know the News

A great way to get into the news is to know the news. Watch, read and listen to what is happening around you. Think about where your story fits in. Pay attention to which reporters cover topics in your bailiwick. When doing outreach, choose reporters and publications with an interest in your subject. To maximize results, ask a professional for help.

If you have PR questions or concerns, please contact me. Email your question to: donna@boldmarketingsolutions.com

What Do People Believe about Your Brand?

From the recognizable mark or logo associated with a company to the elaborate sequence of actions that engender emotional and behavioral responses, brands are built from the inside out. Why bother with branding? Because your branding efforts reflect your thinking, values, and commitments to employees, consumers, investors, community members, strategic allies, and other stakeholders in your business enterprise.

Brands are built in many ways — on concepts, missions and beliefs; through taglines, messages, expertise and experiences; via advertising, markets and marketing strategies; through internal relationships with employees and external relationships with customers, the community and the media; and through products, reliability and consistency. We can help you build your brand.

Tips to Drive Your Brand Value

Differentiate and empower your brand stories. Decide what makes your company, products and/or services special. Study your competitive landscape and see where you fit. By learning what’s missing in the market — or in the communications of your competitors, you may uncover an opportunity that enables you to capture top-of-mind status in a particular market or category of interest to consumers. Remember that less can be more. Smaller niche markets may be more loyal and easier to connect with than massive markets that you can’t reach with your budget. Continue reading

Never Quit! Success May Be Just a Step Away

“The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done or what they can’t do.” — Denis Waitley

What I love about this quote is the reminder that the language we use reflects what we think, believe and do. The words “I can” demonstrate positive inner beliefs, confidence and ability. The words “I will” express intent for behavior as yet undone. The words “I am (actually doing) …” speak to action, which is where the power lies.

Listen to yourself when you speak. Do your words (“I can’t … I should have… would have… could have” reflect unsatisfying outcomes of the past? Are you dragging along beliefs that lack of success in the past means lack of success in the future? If you want to achieve more than you have to date, make an effort to live in action moments. Make each of those moments count by fostering positive thoughts, then reinforcing your positive thoughts with small (or large) action steps that will lead you to your goal.

When I was a child, I loved visiting my father at his law  office and seeing him behind his big old wooden desk. He seemed so powerful and accomplished. On his desk, he kept a pile of post cards with the poem, “Never Quit.”  The cards were promotions for his friend’s Congressional campaign. To this day, I hear my dad’s voice in my head reciting that poem from memory for my sister and I.  I am grateful that his voice encouraged us and stays with us still. My dad’s attitude helped us learn how to be bold in life and work. He helped us learn to do instead of promise. He helped us believe that we could do anything if we put in the right effort.

When you feel like it is easier to give up than keep going, try reciting the words of Never Quit. Here they are:

Never Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.
Author unknown

This poem may not be enough to change your life or trigger your success. If you need extra help, pay attention to the triggers that lead to discouragement and feelings of inadequacy. Challenge the words and beliefs underlying those feelings. Give yourself permission to believe in you and to learn what you need to know to reach your goals. Then pat yourself on your heart for not giving up! It’s reason to celebrate. You have everything you need tucked away inside you. Open yourself to the possibilities of success and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

“Throw Off the Bowlines, Sail Away from Safe Harbor”

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover.” – Mark Twain

What do you dream about? What inspires you to get out of bed every day? What gifts and bits of wisdom do you pray for at night or upon waking?

Sometimes setting a new course starts with something as simple as a decision to do it. Once you’ve decided to go for it, though, you’ll need to put some muscle behind it. Start by making an action plan. List the steps you’ll need to take to change your life and live the life of your dreams. Then, commit to following your heart.

What is one thing you can do today to put yourself on the path to your dreams?

Never Underestimate the Power of a T-Shirt

Brenda Mulberry, founder and president of Pike Products Space Shirts in Merritt Island coined the phrase, “Never Underestimate the Power of a T-shirt.” Brenda’s company has screen printed millions of T-shirts for thousands of customers. While her company focused mainly on the aerospace and aviation niche for most of 30 years, Brenda’s manufacturing outlet and retail store also custom designs T-shirts, polo shirts and branded apparel for orders as small as one shirt or numbering into the thousands.

One thing I’ve learned from Brenda is that the space on a T-shirt is prime advertising real estate. “It’s all about using the space on a T-shirt to increase visibility,” says Brenda. When people wear a shirt sporting your logo or message in crowds, you increase brand recognition. When your employees wear branded shirts, you increase team identity. When you put product pictures on shirts, you increase interest and can motivate prospective customers to ask you questions. And, when you create T-shirts with beautiful art or meaningful slogans, you can inspire people to take interest in an organization, cause, product, person, place or thing, and to take action.

Ask me how to get T-shirts or other promotional products to help build your business, organization, products or special project. Send me an email at Donna@BoldMarketingSolutions.com or click here for a wide selection of blank customizable apparel that you can use to promote your business.


Thoughts are Things. Think Positive!

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Thoughts are things! And powerful things at that. When mixed with definiteness of purpose, and burning desire, thoughts can be translated into riches.”— Napoleon Hill

Several years ago, my daughter Suzanne introduced me to the video, “What the Bleep Do We Know?” It featured luminaries in neuroscience, neurolinguistics and quantum physics who shared research and perspectives on the power of thought. In essence, these scientists and gurus asserted that thoughts are physical, electro-chemical transmissions that follow specific pathways in the brain in specific ways. Thinking a thought over and over can reinforce the neural pathway; as a result, thoughts can surface faster and faster, as can the emotional and physiological responses associate with them.

When I first watched the video — a while before Lisa Nichols et. al., authored The Secret — I was already convinced that thoughts are the key to mind power. Years later, I decided to focus on sharing “all good thoughts” whenever possible and to practice reinforcing my own neural network for enhanced positivity.

You can try it too, and choose positive thoughts whenever you want. Start by  becoming more mindful of your thoughts and feelings. Try to notice what you are feeling in a given moment. When you notice a feeling, such as sadness, joy, frustration, stress, worry or anger, ask yourself what that feeling is trying to tell you. Also consider how your thoughts might be influencing your feeling(s). Then pick a different, more positive feeling or thought that you would like better. Think about what that feeling looks like, feels like and sounds like in your mind. Get the senses of the feeling you want. Make them feel real to you.

Changing your feelings takes time and practice, but like thoughts, when the effort is repeated over and over, the effects of choosing more positive thoughts can call up and speed up more positive feelings. Let me know how it goes for you. Email me personally at Donna@BoldMarketingSolutions.com. Or leave me a reply on this blog. I would love to hear from you.