Happy Tuesday!

This is one of those weeks of the year where you’re half in, mostly out – and hopefully spending time with those you care about, and those who care about you. I know I am! And, I feel blessed to have friends, family and a community who have a special place in my heart.

This will be the last Robin’s Rainmakers for 2014! Can you believe this year is almost over? I can’t help but feel that we all probably have one leg in the old, one leg in the New Year. This Robin’s Rainmakers will reflect that feeling with one article that looks ahead to 2015, one article to hopefully inspire you to work on your website as it did for me and one article to help you prepare for things when they’re not so great (aka, a crisis of some sort perhaps an opportunity in disguise).

First up, the article 7 Public Relations Trends To Watch in 2015 by Brian Greene for PRNews, highlights seven trends to watch. You and I both know ‘predicting’ anything is just that – predicting – yet it might help you focus in the first few months of 2015. I especially like the ‘real-time marketing’ and ‘more visual content’ (keep a look out for my videos)!

If you’re going to do anything work related this winter break (if you’re so lucky to get one), read this article 6 ‘About Us’ Pages That Are Probably Better Than Yours by Sonja Jacob for HubSpot and evaluate your own ‘About Me’ page. This might be a great time to get a fresh new page up on your site to start 2015 of with a bang. I love the ideas in this piece and love to be inspired!

Last but not least, Fight or Flight: Responding to a PR Crisis by Stacey Hood for SpinSucks discusses how to respond (because you can’t – or shouldn’t ignore an online crisis) in a negative PR situation. Use the lessons here to build a social policy and as my Dad always told me, “Robin, make lemonade out of those lemons”.

I hope you’ll be enjoying your holidays with family and friends. I wish you magical days, rest and relaxation, and of course a Happy New Year!

White Iphone 5S With Site Youtube On The Screen And Headphones L‘Viral’ and ‘Video’ are two words that go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly. Think #icebucketchallenge and you know what I’m talking about!

How can you leverage this moving forward into 2015? Here’s one way — get recording and publishing your own videos! It’s not as hard as it looks or sounds and if you’re in budget mode now, put some money into your marketing plan for creating video. Whether you’re teaching, promoting or ‘splainin’ á la I Love Lucy, video is an investment in yourself and your business, and honestly, there are no substitutions for who you really are!

Here are a few great resources to help you get in the video marketing mood:

First up is “4 Ways To Elevate your Personal Brand With Video” via the Huffington Post by Sunny Lenarduzzi. The take away? “Nothing showcases your personality better than video. Whatever brand you are looking to create, give it real thought, and then put it to the test. Along the way, you’ll make lots of mistakes, but the key is to pick yourself up and make the right enhancements.”

Second is an article by one of my favorite blogs, Marketing Profs. “Mixing Video With Email Marketing: Four Inspiring Examples and Three Quick Tips” by Emily Konouchi. “Video can be key to conversions and sales…but a recent study confirms for email marketers, using video should be a no-brainer; but the email-video combo still feels like a rare pairing.” If you can believe it, not more than 25% of marketers use video in their email marketing! Let’s change those statistics, shall we?

Looking ahead, here’s an infographic with “10 Video Marketing Trends for 2015.” The trends are very revealing and can provide a road map of what types of videos to create in 2015 and how to ‘humanize’ a brand.

I’m editing my own videos over the next two weeks and hope to share them with you soon. Practice makes perfect, though imperfection makes us unique!

Whenever I’m working with a new client, I love to ask a simple question:

Tell me 10 things I don’t know about you.

When I ask, there’s always a pause.  Clients want to know why I want to know. The answer is always the same. Because, it makes you different, it makes you, you — and no one else, that’s why.

Now, there’s typically some resistance, but I want it to be a creative experience for them. And, to be honest, I love reading about what people don’t put ‘out there’ for the public to see. There’s also another reason — it makes for interesting bio and signature material (and so much more).

If I had to tell you  five things you (probably) don’t know about me, they might be:

  • I stayed up all night long as a little girl trying to earn the most Girl Scout badges because the deadline was the next day
  • I got lost in a white out in the Italian Alps with my mother and a group of her friends and luckily found a mountainside tavern – for a shot of grappa
  • I owned a metallic green Checker Cab with opera windows, which I loved beyond words
  • I was stranded in a snow storm for days and had to be picked up by a doctor with Emergency clearance
  • I had a restaurant lobby stand in Boston’s Chinatown and called it Robbie’s Lobby. I remember it well and not just for the line down Kneeland Street for the fish chowder on Friday’s!

All of this might not mean a hill of beans to you — except that it might make you think about your own life and what you may have forgotten or what may be interesting to other people — to sprinkle in stories, bios, speeches, profiles and conversations when you are engaging others.

What we do in our lives makes us human! And fun! And not so boring, in case you think you lead a boring life.  Moi? Not a chance.

Your Turn

What are a few things that I don’t know about you?

Are your accomplishments ho hum really, or are you just shy? Toot your own horn here!

If you don’t own your greatness, then for goodness sakes, who will!?

RSI PR waveSummer in New England is the most fantastic of times, especially when you’re a guest at a magnificent beach house near Weekapaug, Rhode Island. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be relaxing for a few days with friends and enjoying fresh oysters from the pond, lobsters that were harvested hours earlier and a new mussel recipe, that I’m happy to share!

Vacationing doesn’t mean that you have to stop all PR efforts while you’re riding actual waves – it just means knowing how to capitalize on current PR and extending it to maximize exposure, especially if you’ve got some good press going on.  And, what’s great is that you can ride the PR Wave whether the sea is flat, or it’s a surfer’s dream.

3 Ways to Ride the PR Wave

  1. Quoted? Make sure you’re noted!  If you’ve had the good fortune of being quoted in the media – whether it’s in a newspaper, blog or article, make sure to share that mention as part of your own PR plan.  Quoted content is better than any advertising – it comes from an outside source.  Share notable links on LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook or other social media channels you’ve designated as part of your PR and marketing campaign. Be sure to vary it up, and don’t post the same material on all media, at the same time.  It takes a few extra minutes, but it’s worth it!
  2. Add Expert Content to Your Press Room. If you have a website and are proud of your accomplishments, you may want to build or add to your press room, or a media room as it’s sometimes called.  When you’re ‘in the news’ you can showcase your story and why you’re an expert – from the media’s viewpoint. Ask permission to use logos from selected media to jazz up visuals, and don’t be afraid to feature video, radio, podcasts, articles, sections of white papers you’ve created or presentations. It’s not bragging, it’s sharing!
  3. Keep Your Clients and Prospects up to date. We’re all so busy with projects and planning for the future that we often don’t stay in touch with our client base as much as we should.  That’s a lost business opportunity in some ways because out of sight may mean out of mind. Create a postcard (and send via snail mail) of a recent press success with a special offer, and target those you want to be ‘in the know’. Monthly communication via direct mail, email campaigns, phone calls, lunch appointments, birthday cards, and networking meetings are but a few of the fantastic ways to share your good news, build business and share opportunities to help others.

PR is all about putting your best foot forward, and positioning your product or service in a way that helps you stand out from the crowd.  It’s creating messaging why you or your product may be a better choice to help solve a client’s problem.

This summer, heck this year, ride the PR wave with confidence.

YOUR TURN

Where have you been noted recently and how have you shared that content to make a splash?

Besides social media, what other innovative ways have you used to broadcast media mention?

How many of you have a press room, and what are you most proud of?

RSI ElevatorI’ve been advising clients for years to write about what they know and then include that information – where appropriate and bit by bit – into articles and books. I’m in the process of writing my first book now and will be including content, like this article below, in some form. What I love about articles and writing, is that the material can be re-purposed in so many ways – for blog posts, press queries, white papers, social media content, quotes and the list goes on.

Take a sneak peek (from Peak’s Island) at a new article:

5 Tips to Keep Your Elevator Speech from Getting Stuck Between Floors

As a corporate professional, you’re often asked “What do you do?” by current and potential customers, clients, colleagues and partners. In fact, next to “How are you?” or “Has anyone seen my iPhone?”, it might be the most common question you hear!

However, despite how frequent this question is in the corporate world, I’m always surprised to discover that some professionals don’t have their personalized Elevator Speech down pat. That is, they don’t have a customized, clear, concise and compelling answer to what could be the most important question they’ll be asked all day, all month – or maybe, all year.

Fortunately, creating a winning elevator speech – one that ensures you don’t get “stuck between floors” — is easy, quick and extremely rewarding. Here are the 5 things to keep in mind:

1. Aim High

Trying to summarize “what you do” so that it can be conveyed in about 20-30 seconds is easier said than done. After all, there are many important aspects of your professional life. What do you hang onto, and what ends up on the proverbial cutting room floor? The key to answering this is to aim high. That is, focus on the principles and priorities of what you do instead of the specifics and details.

2. Be Different

While the corporate world can be a serious place, inject some fun and joy in your Elevator Speech (for example, sometimes I introduce myself as “Rockin Robin”!). The goal here is to help you stand out and be remembered. Plus, it helps you quickly demonstrate that while you take what you do seriously, you don’t take yourselftoo seriously. That’s an attractive trait that sets leaders apart, no matter the industry, field or sector.

3. Add Energy

Obviously, what you say in your Elevator Speech is vital, but so is how you say it. Use action words to make your message energized, upbeat and enthusiastic, and always smile – even when you’re writing your Elevator Speech in an email, or communicating it over the phone. Believe it or not, this will influence your attitude, which in turn will positively impact your delivery in ways that you can’t imagine!

4. Focus on Solutions

Yes, your Elevator Speech is in response to the question “What do you do?” (or some variation). Frankly, however, the real question being asked is: “What do you do, and why should I care?” As such, your answer should focus on solutions. How do you help people? What service do you provide? What problems do you solve? Wrap your answer around the person who is asking, and you’ll instantly make a connection that could prove valuable to you both.

5. Have a CTA

In my experience, the most common problem with Elevator Speeches is that they don’t have a CTA (“call to action”). Now, by this I don’t mean that you should try to sell something. I simply mean that you should invite whoever you’re speaking with to take the next logical step in the relationship. Perhaps you agree to connect on LinkedIn, or to set up a time to chat further, or grab a coffee — the specific CTA is up to you, and will change based on the context. Just make sure you have one. Awkward, confused post-Elevator Speech silences are the enemy!

The Bottom Line

Creating and consistently using your personalized Elevator Speech – in person, emails, social media, over the phone and everywhere else – can give you a distinct advantage, help you stand out from the crowd, and take your career to new heights. After all, you already know the meaningful and important work that you do. Isn’t it time you shared that information with allies and influencers who want to be a part of your story?

If you’re ever stuck, call me.

All I have to do is look out my window and see a garden that is full of potential, without much help from yard workers. You see, left in its natural state, a flower will bloom without much encouragement as long as the environment is cooperative, and it’s not held back.

So are we, full of life and potential until we’re held back – by what we think are outside forces, but are actually inside forces – fear, doubt and worry. “I’m not good enough, smart enough, I don’t have the time to do it right, what will others think of me”, and on and on the list goes.

Today, we’re weeding early in the season so there will be nothing holding the flowers or you back from your beauty or greatness. Because in truth, we all are great and have unique gifts to share. No one flower is the same, and how boring would it be if every bouquet were the same!

I once took offense to being different, and carried on as a teenager when my BFF told me ‘when they made you, they threw away the mold.” I felt as if something were wrong with me, rather than celebrating my uniqueness. Now I know better so I can help others and share with you:

3 Ways to Blossom So You’re Awesome

1) IDGAF – It’s an acronym for ‘I don’t give a &^%&’. One of my dearest mentors taught me this, and although I was a little shocked hearing it come out of his mouth, I got it. What I find more interesting is that far wiser people than me have coined it, IDGAF, which tells me that they have the courage to be themselves and live their truth. When you live someone else’s truth, you forget who you are. IDGAF has color and personality and can be expressed appropriately in multiple ways in your personal and business life – kindly, boldly, passionately and quietly. When it pops up, take notice then decide how to communicate. Use IDGAF as a meter.

2) It’s wonderful that you’re blessed, but are you a blessing? I heard this on the radio as I woke up this morning. Somewhat groggy, I tuned in a little more closely. It’s fantastic that the world has given you so much and you are grateful. The question is, are you sharing that (your gift) not only in your work, but in your everyday life? Start the habit and watch not only your personal work blossom, but your career too. Don’t be surprised when opportunities seem to come to you more readily. Remember how the floodgates open.

3) Use your gut. We are so conditioned to use our head to make big decisions that we don’t listen to our intuition, one of the most guiding indicators of if we’re on track or not. My thought is that when we check in with what’s right, we’ll never go wrong. Perhaps it’s that I’ve lived a full life, had my share of ups and downs and can see things more clearly. When I reflect upon those tumultuous times when I didn’t use my gut, things didn’t turn out so well. We wait, when sometimes we should run. Listen to your inner music.

Blossoming will happen when you marry your inner most with your outer most. Your intentions with your desires. It’s a natural expression of who you are and a DNA-able blend of your greatness. If you like yourself, fantastic. If you love yourself, even better. Loving yourself is the first step in having others love you!

In business, PR, marketing, sales or any field where you share your thoughts, ideas and strategy, it’s the blossoming of your personal brand – who you are, your message, and clarity. Are you vibrant and growing, or is your season done?

Everyone wants to work with someone awesome – why wouldn’t it be you?

YOUR TURN

If ‘IDGAF’ had a color, what would yours be?

Do you prefer random acts of kindness, or are you strategic in your blessings?

My gut has saved my life. Has yours? Do tell!

TV Commercial (1)It’s May Day – a day of celebration around the globe, often heralding spring – and I’m hopeful here in New England that we’ll see it soon!

I’ve always been a believer in celebrating. Some people reflect their accomplishments at the end of each day, others take stock at the end of each month, and some not at all. If you’re not a celebrator, you’re missing out on one of life’s greatest joys. Taking time for reflection and acknowledging accomplishment is powerful, and creates a visual smile line of where you’ve been so you can determine where you want to go!

This week, I celebrated a birthday with a dear friend at the White Barn Inn in Maine (yes, it was fantastic), and to top it off, we both had a part in a TV commercial for the Nova Star cruise line which is launching its new ferry service from Portland to Nova Scotia on May 15. We were extras with part of the Partner Promotions team, and even had a few wardrobe changes!

Going to Maine without enjoying lobster or the ocean isn’t celebrating in my mind, so we also shared love with Mabel’s Lobster Claw for their famous lobster roll, then walked the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, a beautiful ocean footpath that’s not to be missed.

Life’s journeys take us to places we’ve never been, and you can complain or celebrate. Small celebrations can be just as powerful as big ones. It’s the thought behind it.

In business, celebrations could be a sale you’ve just closed, a positive review of a book, program or workshop, a referral from a former client, a press mention (had a great one this week, thank you Monster) or getting a prospect to say yes to an appointment, after the 8th phone call.

Take a moment to celebrate something today. It’s an opportunity to reflect upon your attitude and interaction with life. A high five is always there – the question is, where’s your hand?

YOUR TURN

What has to ‘click’ in order for you to celebrate?

Did you grow up as a family celebrating small successes with a pat on the back, or something more?

What’s the most fun celebration you ever had – this year, last year, in your whole life?

RSI TURN RAINIf it’s rained on your parade recently on some of your projects that were earmarked for success, it’s only natural to become dampened by the drizzle of what could have gone right, but just didn’t.

I’ve found through stormy times, that one of the secrets of success is turning a negative into a positive by an honest assessment of the situation, facing fears straight on, forging ahead and expecting good things to happen. The Art of Expecting in business, PR, marketing in Boston and all over the world for that matter, combines attitude, tuning and timing. Personal alchemy is optional.

Here are 3 Ways to Turn Rain into Rainmaking

1) Attitude: In life, love and business, the truth is: it is what it is. We can fool everyone but ourselves. The darkest days turn into the brightest tomorrows with a change of attitude, heart and mindset. When we change our attitudes, our results will be different. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself. You’ll have more success when you think you’ll make a sale, then if you don’t. And, your energy will show it. Give good aura.

2) Tuning: In and Out. What we allow in our heads has the most profound impact on what will be. Each one of us can tell a story of that in the making. A new client of mine believed his way to health from near death with scleroderma. He’s not only an inspiration to those who face adversity, but a poster child of belief. He tuned in to health, and tuned out the sickness. Magic, no. Magic Mindset, yes. Grateful, absolutely.

3) Timing: Time is a concept we create. Fast, slow, here, now, next year. What matters most is now. Or, as a friend of mine tells me, ‘now and 5 minutes from now’. If you could, what would you do now to tame the rain, and turn it into rainmaking? Regroup? Apologize? Reposition? Look at what’s best for your customer, not just you?

Seneca tells us that ‘luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity’. Perhaps rainmaking happens when you take that luck and ride the wave of desire.

YOUR TURN

What do you believe are the 3 key components of a successful rainmaker?

Is rainmaking, like charisma, a gift or a learned skill? If it’s a skill, how do you learn it?

How does the attitude of a rainmaker differ from that of a salesperson? What makes their dance so special?

RSI Stay on BallNo matter how dedicated you may be to your life and business, paying attention, being mindful and going with the flow – sometimes the ball slips from your hands  and there’s a choice – to run after it, ask someone to help retrieve it, or let it go and find another ball.

Outside circumstances change the landscape of the best laid plans and the secrets of success – and there are many – often include the ability to be flexible in your thinking, adapt quickly and change your attitude. Whether you’re a believer in ‘everything happens for a reason’ or not, I think it’s always helpful to look at what life delivers you and find the good – even if you don’t see it in front of you. Staying on course is a process, and course correction is part of the game.

Here are 3 Ways to Stay on the Ball (even when you lose it):

  1. When you chart a course or a new direction in any endeavor, including your PR, marketing or business plan, expect changes in the roadmap and be willing to see what comes up with an open attitude. It’s easy to get frustrated when things go off-course, but some of the best ideas (and solutions to problems) are discovered during the process. If you’re a note taker, keep a journal handy – you may see patterns in what’s going wrong and be  able to ‘fix the fixes’ sooner than later.  Observation and the ability to make a change are not only a blessing in business, but a necessity.
  2. Crying over spilled milk doesn’t get you faster to your goal. We’ve all had our share of failures and disappointments and moments of frustration. We’re human! One of my Dad’s favorite expressions was, “Next”! It was a family mantra when things didn’t turn out the way we had planned. An onward and upward attitude and faith that something better is down the road can alter your thinking. Don’t let Debbie Downer in your door, unless she’s paying you big bucks. And, then think about it. You own the mental real estate.
  3. If you believe that you’re a winner, you are – despite setbacks and loss, and even tragedy. I’ve lived in a million dollar home and out of a suitcase, and everything in between. But, I believed in myself, and when I didn’t, I had support and love to prop me back up, heal  the boo boo’s , and get my mindset back in the game.  It’s normal to get off track, but it’s one of the best tools in your toolbox – to learn how to snap yourself back into positive thinking and action so too much time doesn’t elapse. If you have doubts of being a winner, find someone who holds that space for you, and believe in them, even if you don’t (temporarily) believe in yourself.

Life happens, business happens, love happens and it’s all easier when we have the ability to recognize that even a flower doesn’t bloom 365 days a year. We all have our off days.

In Boston, Spring is around the corner – so I’m envisioning those flowers. And they’re going to be beautiful even now, that they’re buried deep in the frozen ground.

YOUR TURN:

How do you stay on the ball, when you lose it?

What’s your strategy for success to overcome the stinkin’ thinkin’?

Is there a favorite mantra you use when things go awry to get your head back in the game?

RSI Slow PRIn the sometimes crazy world of communications, marketing and PR, we often find ourselves running from one project to the next, shifting gears, and diving into the deep to solve the latest crisis. Shooting from the hip, more or less – keeping with our March Madness theme this month.

It’s said that ‘slow and steady wins the race’ – but is there a race? Is it self-imposed, or are we caught up in our ‘to do’s’ without enough time?

Here are 3 Reasons to add SLOW PR to Your Toolbox, and Reap the Rewards:

1) “Haste makes waste.” I would roll my eyes when my mother would say this to me, but she was always right. Take the time to get your thoughts together, organize your material, and really know what your intention is with each project, and visualize your end game. We’re running and doing and sometimes miss the most important part of the ‘why’ because we’re in motion. Sitting still has its benefits. (It takes practice.)

2) It’s about the connections – not all about you. Granted, clients want the best from you, and you want to deliver the best to your clients, but you can’t do that without connecting with the right people. That said, instead of trying to connect with 50 reporters or JV partners (use your imagination here), connect with 10 – on a deeper level. Take time to know a little bit about them, including some personal info. The inside scoop is typically available on social media or from my electronic best friend, Google. Dig, scoop, research, be intrigued. Add tidbits of the human touch to break barriers.

3) Knowledge = Information, Data and Experience Use your past experiences and take your awareness to a new level to notice where you need to slow down. Are you talking too fast and not listening? Is your mind ten steps ahead of your presentation? If you’re with a prospect, are you looking around the room, not fully present? Really, why are you in a rush?

Slowing down is a wonderful exercise to be mindful about the connections you’re making.

Remember, we’re humans. For the most part, we’re the same. We look into someone’s eyes and get a feeling. We shake hands and either yay or nay our partner. We connect on many levels – in person and on line.

Yes, PR is positioning, and influencing and getting all of our ducks in a row – but it also involves the human factor.

Trust can’t be rushed. Love can’t be rushed and all good things take time. And so it is with PR.

My thoughts as I build bridges, connect dots and meet so many wonderful people with my work.

YOUR TURN

Where do you see yourself rushing in your communication? Is there a pattern?

Are your goals realistic or are you shooting for the moon? How’s that serving you?

What are the ways you can slow it down to be more in tune with your awareness?

Please share your answers below.

I’m slowing this wagon down, you?