Last week I was invited to the MIT Sloan Graduation. It was my first time attending and I looked forward to not only seeing our graduate walk, but hearing the guest speaker, Matt Damon.
The reason I’m writing about this is important.
Wherever you go and have an audience of at least one, you’ve got a PR opportunity. Matt Damon, a kid from the hood turned movie star crafted an engaging story and weaved humor, smarts, his experience and desire to make an impact on this world at MIT graduation.

The stage was his personal PR platform to deliver a message and call to action, as well as educate the audience about his own project, Water.org. Funny, engaging and not jokingly poking fun at the banking system, Matt was authentically Matt.  His take and mine: You don’t need to be a movie star to be who you are and make an impact.  

A few takeaways from Matt Damon’s commencement address at MIT:
  • “Go out and do really interesting things, real or imagined because this world has some problems and you need to drop everything and go solve them.
  • Turn toward the problems you see and don’t just turn toward them.  Engage with them.  Walk right up to them, then look yourself in the eye and decide what you’re going to do about them.
  • There’s a lot of trouble out there, but there’s a lot of beauty too. I hope you see both.
  • You’re going to fail sometimes and that’s a good thing. The world wants to hear your ideas, good and bad, but you need to keep listening.
  • And, there’s not always a high-tech solution (or an app) for everything.”
If you’d like to watch the commencement, click here.

Ready to take action? Use your platform wherever it may be to share your message. If it matters to you, chances are it matters to someone else.

One by one, we all can make a difference.

Try it out yourself at http://tweakyourbiz.com/tools/title-generator/index.php

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As the weather is finally warming up in New England, so are our activity levels – of not only doing the work we love as we’re called to share our greatest gifts, but also finding time to enjoy nature’s wonderland, attend family parties and graduations, and think about a summer vacation – where we’d like to go to expand our minds, satisfy our souls and take a break from every day routine.

I’ve never been a big proponent of routine, and have been a master juggler of sorts throughout my life – because in all truth, l believe ‘variety is the spice of life’ and I like to be spicy!

That said, even the best of jugglers can drop the ball now and then, and it’s no fun (repeat no fun) when anyone drops the ball on a project, misses an important deadline and spaces out because there are too many balls in the air.

Here are 3 ways to Juggle, Stay Balanced and Still Have a Ball:

  1. My dear mentor taught me early on to write things down in one place and focus on one project on a time. This little piece of advice helped me communicate more clearly with one person at a time, and allowed me to be fully present and all-in.  In fact, I found that it’s one of the greatest gifts to another human being to be able to listen completely and connect with who you’re talking to, without any interruption or monkey chatter. It doesn’t serve me, any of my clients or even strangers for that matter to multi-task and half listen when you’re with someone. And, if you’re reading texts or checking email while you’re having a conversation? I’d tell you and anyone else, ‘let’s talk when you have time.’
  2. Calendar your time in blocks, not by the hour.  Many years ago, I calendared my time excessively. Now, as a recovering perfectionist and a more seasoned professional, I find that working in blocks of time suits my personality and desire for freedom and flexibility in far better ways. I’m able to do my marketing and PR writing say from 1 – 2a (not a typo); garden from 7 – 9a, consult with clients from 2 – 6pm and make sales calls when my prospects have indicated an interest, when they want to be called.  And, I have haven’t even blocked in any time for media work, open office hours, writing my book, fun, treats, vacations, or exercising.  Think of scheduling as a block party – and you can invite whomever and whatever you want in your life!
  3. Learn to Love saying No.  It may sound selfish at first, but if you’re a pleaser and always ready to jump in and save the day, I ask you to consider saving your own day.  Want to support a friend at their 5th fundraiser of the year and live miles away?  Send a check. Always asked to organize your company’s annual event (and not be paid)? Say with the utmost kindness, ‘I’d love to but my plate is full – try me next year. But, I’m happy to bring dessert!’

If you want to run yourself ragged, and be a Busy Beaver, that’s up to you.

Been there, done that.  Make time for what’s important, yes and do it with aplomb.

But life as a juggling act? Personally, I’d rather have a ball.

Your Turn

If variety is the ‘spice of life’, how are you going to spice things up?

Who can you give one of your balls to – to juggle for themselves?

What balls are really that important to you – and if they weren’t in motion, what would that mean? To you?  To others you’re satisfying, perhaps even out of obligation?

 

RSI Shower PRIf you’re in sales, PR, business or a field where you have to communicate and influence someone, there’s a common problem we all have — the ability to share our story without losing someone’s interest. Ever think it’s possible to shower your personal and business brand without getting someone wet?

Here’s my take on it:

Talk yourself or your business up, but know when to stop. If you’re at a theatre and paying for a monologue performance, you know what to expect – one person carrying the show. That’s not the way it works anymore, or has for some time. We’ve been taught to be polite, but honestly – it’s boring, irritating and alienates conversation and opportunity for connection. It’s a two way street in life, love and business, and if you’re not getting that message, you’ll get it in ways that don’t serve you. Give room for dialogue, not monologue.

Engage, Express, Excite. PR, business building, networking, sales and even dating should follow the ‘3 Big E’s‘ strategy — Engage, Express and Excite. Communication involves the give and take of engagement, expression and excitement. Naturally, there are other factors, but when we can engage an audience, tell our story, and excite them, we’ve got a willing audience who wants to hear more. Ever go on a date with someone who doesn’t engage you, express themselves, or excite you, at least with their words? We’re not going anywhere else with this. B O R I N G .

Be consistent in your desires, but don’t be too overzealous. Your over-desire will fight you all the way. Ask and you shall receive, yes. But ask too much, want too much, or demand too much fights a basic universal law, the Law of Paradoxical Intent. Sandra Anne Taylor, who’s a great author and prosperity expert talks about how if you’re desperate to make something happen, you’ll push it away and turn your original intention into failure instead of success.

I’m an advocate about mindful and purposeful promotion and self-promotion, where there’s a benefit to all sides, and there most often is – otherwise we wouldn’t have business.

I’m also an advocate of getting out there, sharing your gifts and strutting your stuff, in a cool way, because if you don’t, you’re doing a disservice to the people who need you.

I’m not into too much blah blah that I didn’t ask for or a monologue I didn’t pay for. But that’s just me.

Next time someone’s showering you with their brand and getting you wet, you have the choice –to take out your umbrella, or move. Remember, you have the control to let what you want in – or out – of your space or head.

YOUR TURN

What are your tactics for exiting when someone is carrying on with their monologue?

Besides engage, express and excite, what other words would you use when we talk about communicating?

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you turned it away?

Please share your answers below.

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?

PR expert Robin Samora’s new article introduces experts, entrepreneurs, authors and other business professionals to 8 powerful, proven, practical and cost-effective ways to promote an event in order to grow their business. The full article is available on the Robin Samora Inc. website at www.robinsamorainc.com.

In her latest feature article, PR expert Robin Samora has 8 powerful, proven, practical and cost-effective strategies for experts, entrepreneurs, authors and other business professionals who want to promote an event in order to grow their business.

“Events are memorable and fun ways to make a business stand out from the pack,” commented Samora, the principal and founder of Boston-based PR firm Robin Samora Inc. “However, many people aren’t sure how to promote their event in powerful and cost-effective way. My latest article helps unravel this mystery and puts readers on the path towards more bottom-line success and personal satisfaction.”

Samora’s 8 ways for experts, entrepreneurs, authors and other business professionals to promote an event and grow their business are:

  • Get Talking: Reach out via phone – not email – to friends, associates and other contacts who might be interested in attending the event. Even if the invitation is politely declined, use this opportunity to make a personal connection that could pay dividends down the road.
  • Get Visual: Create professional-quality marketing collateral (e.g. flyers) and mail them to targeted contacts, along with a personalized post-it note. As a bonus, the marketing collateral can be re-purposed for invitations, banner ads, social media and more.
  • Get Newsworthy: Submit professional news releases to local media, including TV stations, magazines, newspapers, and industry publications. Remember to reach out to the online community, including blogs and websites. Also be prepared with a media kit or other information when contacted.
  • Get Dialed-In: Connect with radio stations who may be interested in an interview. If invited to speak, ensure that the story is compelling, and that there’s an irresistible offer with a time-specific deadline.
  • Get Social: Leverage the power of social media to spread the word. Be sure to post targeted content on various platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.). Also keep in mind that several impressions will likely be necessary before target audiences take notice and act.
  • Get Wordy: Blog about the event and request that others in the network do the same. This not only extends the life of the promotion, but it expands the reach beyond traditional target markets.
  • Get Hooked-Up: Ask colleagues in a (non-competing) business to publicize the event. Be sure to make the referral arrangement simple, easy and clear. It’s also wise to provide referral partners with collateral, such as emails and social media posts, which they can quickly send to their network.
  • Get Educational: Launch a pre-event teleclass to share information with both registered and prospective event attendees. As a bonus, this is also a great opportunity to generate feedback to make the upcoming event even more compelling, relevant and meaningful.

Added Samora: “Ultimately, those who apply these strategies will ensure that their event is well publicized, that they’ll have fun sharing their knowledge, and that they’ll go a long way towards filling the room with great new customers and clients.”

The complete version of Samora’s new article “8 Great Ways to Promote an Event and Grow Your Business,” which includes an expanded discussion of each of the above-noted tips, is available at: http://www.robinsamorainc.com/2013/06/8-great-ways-to-promote-an-event-and-grow-your-business/

For more information or media inquiries, contact Robin Samora at (617) 921-3448 or Robin(at)RobinSamoraInc(dot)com.

About Robin Samora Inc.

Telling a story is personal. Sharing it is an art. Technology makes it global. Robin Samora Inc., a Boston based PR, branding and promotions firm blends all three to take its clients’ businesses and brands to the next level. With clients like Comcast, WBZ-TV and Blue Man Group, and a roster of authors, entrepreneurs and experts nationwide, the firm prides itself on being a “Promotional GPS” that takes its clients’ brands where they want to go to be seen, heard, engaged and remembered. With over two decades of experience, the firm is as comfortable on major media highways as it is on out-of-the-way niche back roads.

Learn more at http://www.RobinSamoraInc.com.

 

PR expert Robin Samora’s new article highlights 8 little-known ways that experts, entrepreneurs, authors and other business professionals can “market like the big boys” – but on a shoestring budget. The full article is available on the Robin Samora Inc. website at www.robinsamorainc.com.

Experts, entrepreneurs, authors and other business professionals who want to “market like the big boys” and yet need to make their limited funds go as far as possible, can now get the practical, proven and little-known tips they need in PR expert Robin Samora’s latest article “8 Tips for Marketing on a Shoestring Budget.”

“With so much competition today, effective marketing is more important than ever before,” commented Robin Samora, the principal and founder of Boston-based PR firm Robin Samora Inc. “And yet without big budgets, how can small and mid-sized businesses compete? My latest article answers this in a quick, clear and easy-to-read way.”

Samora’s 8 little-known tips for marketing on a shoestring budget are:

  • Share Knowledge: Offer an initial consultation that provides meaningful value, and explains how clients will solve their problems and achieve their goals. The time investment can be as minimal as 15 minutes, and this can be done over the phone, via Skype (web cam), or in person if it’s practical to do so.
  • Stay in Touch: Quick emails, hand-written birthday cards, or low-key yet thoughtful gifts are all excellent – and virtually cost-free – ways to stay on the radar screen.
  • Target Messages: Aim all messages to customers and prospects via email, blogs, video, invoices, brochures, newsletters, premiums, signage, etc. Post on social media as frequently as possible and share information.
  • Build a Referral Base: Always send a small thank you gesture (e.g. a gift certificate) to referral partners. Also, never shy away from asking for referrals – just ensure that it’s done in a polite and clear way, and reciprocate the gesture.
  • Send Updates: Twice a year, write a personalized letter to clients and share a “State of the Union” that includes what projects and community initiatives you’re involved in. Also remember to thank everyone who has helped make the achievements possible, and single out inspirational role models.
  • Invite Clients to Speaking Events:  This is a great way to impress clients with your expertise. If invitees can’t make it, send a video, press link or a follow-up article that summarizes the presentation.
  • Get Mentioned: Hire a PR, social media assistant or office admin to respond to online media requests such as HARO (“Help a Reporter Out”) or Profnet. Also set up a Google Alert to track mentions and publicity.
  • Get Published: Promote articles and post links on the web and social media. Include hard copies in a press kit (and a digital version) in an online media room. Also consider paper-clipping a business card in places that might seem out of the ordinary, but that are frequented by target audiences.

Added Samora: “Above all else, there’s one thing to always remember: you’re the spokesperson for your brand. And that means your priority is to get `out there’ and make an impression. You never know what relationship will blossom and turn into your next – and possibly greatest – business success story.”

The complete version of Samora’s new article “8 Tips for Marketing on a Shoestring Budget,” which includes an expanded discussion of each of the above-noted tips, is available at: http://www.robinsamorainc.com/2013/06/8-tips-for-marketing-on-a-shoestring/ 

For more information or media inquiries, contact Robin Samora at (617) 921-3448 or Robin(at)RobinSamoraInc(dot)com.

About Robin Samora Inc.

Telling a story is personal. Sharing it is an art. Technology makes it global. Robin Samora Inc., a Boston based PR, branding and promotions firm blends all three to take its clients’ businesses and brands to the next level. With clients like Comcast, WBZ-TV and Blue Man Group, and a roster of authors, entrepreneurs and experts nationwide, the firm prides itself on being a “Promotional GPS” that takes its clients’ brands where they want to go to be seen, heard, engaged and remembered. With over two decades of experience, the firm is as comfortable on major media highways as it is on out-of-the-way niche back roads.

Learn more at http://www.RobinSamoraInc.com.

 

PR expert Robin Samora’s new article highlights 7 principles that experts, entrepreneurs, authors and other business professionals should align themselves with if they want to stand out in the marketplace and surge ahead of the competition. The full article is available on the Robin Samora Inc. website at www.robinsamorainc.com.

PR Expert Robin Samora, the principal and founder of Boston-based PR Firm Robin Samora Inc., has crafted a new article that identifies the 7 principles that experts, entrepreneurs, authors and other business professionals can align themselves with to get noticed in a competitive marketplace – and surge ahead of the competition.

“I’ve worked closely with numerous business professionals over the years, and most of them have a compelling and worthwhile story to share,” commented Robin Samora, who regularly writes about public relations, communications, branding and other business topics on her firm’s blog at http://www.robinsamorainc.com/category/pr-blog/. “However, unless they know how to stand out for all of the right reasons, they’re often relegated to being the best kept secret in their marketplace. My latest article helps them avoid that distinction, and elevates them above the crowd, which is where they deserve to be.”

According to Samora, experts, entrepreneurs, authors and other business professionals who want to stand out should align their efforts with these 7 principles:

  • Be True to Oneself: Clients and prospects recognize when someone is putting on an act – it makes them feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Attracting the right people and avoiding the wrong ones begins with staying true to oneself.
  • Stop the Negative Thinking: It’s critical to stay focused on what one does well vs. dwelling on lack, flaws and repetitive negative thinking. Optimism is a choice that can quickly become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Always “be” the Brand:  Be ready to initiate conversations that might lead to new business, and remember that you’re always representing the brand.
  • Spread Joy: A positive attitude makes people feel good, which leads to more business, better clients, and most importantly: more joy in a world that often desperately needs it.
  • Project the Right Image: Use a professional photo across all marketing materials and in all of your social media profiles.
  • Be Your Best Advocate: People don’t buy advice, products or services. They buy solutions to their problems. Be aware of what problem(s) you solve, and then promote this in the context of helping people.
  • Be the Center of Influence: Stay up-to-date on industry trends, and stay connected with people worthy of admiration and esteem.

Added Samora: “Ultimately, the thread that connects all of these strategies is one thing: passion. Love for what you do – and delegate the rest. When you do this, your creative force will empower you to work wonders, and you’ll take your career to a whole new level…and your bank account will soon follow.”

The complete version of Samora’s new article “7 Principles to Help You Stand Out in the Marketplace,” which includes an expanded discussion of each of the above-noted tips, is available at: http://www.robinsamorainc.com/2013/06/7-principles-to-help-you-stand-out-in-the-marketplace/

For more information or media inquiries, contact Robin Samora at (617) 921-3448 or Robin(at)RobinSamoraInc(dot)com.

About Robin Samora Inc.

Telling a story is personal. Sharing it is an art. Technology makes it global. Robin Samora Inc., a Boston based PR, branding and promotions firm blends all three to take its clients’ businesses and brands to the next level. With clients like Comcast, WBZ-TV and Blue Man Group, and a roster of authors, entrepreneurs and experts nationwide, the firm prides itself on being a “Promotional GPS” that takes its clients’ brands where they want to go to be seen, heard, engaged and remembered. With over two decades of experience, the firm is as comfortable on major media highways as it is on out-of-the-way niche back roads.

 

Learn more at http://www.RobinSamoraInc.com.

PR expert Robin Samora, principal of Boston-based branding, PR and communication firm Robin Samora Inc. explores the 5 ways businesses can use promotional products to generate more leads, customers, sales and profits.

Entrepreneurs, experts and other success-oriented business professionals in search of a trusted and cost-effective way to generate more leads, customers, sales and profits, can now get some valuable “insider’s advice” by reading PR expert Robin Samora’s latest article “5 Ways Businesses can use Promotional Products to Boost Profits.”

“From upscale laptop and tablet bags to functional flash drives and everything in between, promotional products are trusted by business of all sizes – particularly solo, small and mid-size operations — to get and stay ahead of the competition,” writes Samora, who is principal of Boston-based branding, PR and communication firm Robin Samora Inc.”

According to Samora, who has been helping clients measurably improve their performance and results for more than two decades, the 5 ways to make promotional products work are:

• Create Differentiation: Don’t just hand out something typical, boring or generic, but instead give away something that audiences will like, talk about, appreciate, and positively associate with the business.
• Get Functional: If the product has a functional purpose or is tied to an event or season (e.g. cooler bags in the summer, wine openers at a wine expo, etc.), it will be used and valued for years – instead of months, weeks or days.
• Avoid Over-Spending, but Don’t Go Cheap: While it’s fine to give away less expensive promotional products in high traffic locations, make sure that it’s not perceived as junk – or else it will end up in a nearby garbage can.
• Know Your Audience: Audiences with higher buying power want a promotional product that fits that position and self-image. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it has to align with their lifestyle.
• Brand, Brand and Brand: Adding a company name and logo aren’t enough. If space permits, be sure to add a tagline, URL and phone number as well.

Samora wraps up her article by reminding readers that, ultimately, customers want to be appreciated. As such, businesses that choose the right promotional products and distribute them in the right way will fulfill that desire – and, in doing so, set themselves apart from the competition.

The complete version of Samora’s latest article “5 Ways Businesses can use Promotional Products to Boost Profits,” which includes an expanded discussion of each of the above-noted points, is available at: http://www.robinsamorainc.com/2013/05/5-ways-businesses-can-use-promotional-products-to-boost-profits/.

For more information or media inquiries, contact Robin Samora at (617) 921-3448 or Robin(at)RobinSamoraInc(dot)com.

About Robin Samora Inc.

Telling a story is personal. Sharing it is an art. Technology makes it global. Robin Samora Inc., a Boston based PR, branding and promotions firm blends all three to take its clients’ businesses and brands to the next level. With clients like Comcast, WBZ-TV and Blue Man Group, and a roster of authors, entrepreneurs and experts nationwide, the firm prides itself on being a “Promotional GPS” that takes its clients’ brands where they want to go to be seen, heard, engaged and remembered. With over two decades of experience, the firm is as comfortable on major media highways as it is on out-of-the-way niche back roads.

This week, there were two networking sessions on my calendar; the first, an Open Mixer for Boston World Partnerships, and the second, an all-day conference, Promote Your Passion, where entrepreneurs and a series of experts met to talk about building stronger businesses through innovative marketing, sales, networking and charismatic relationships.

The theme of the conference was clear.  Connectivity is today’s new currency. Without relationships there are no sales, and without sales, there is no business.

Here are some takeaways you may like to add as Insider Secrets:

  • At your next networking event, meet 5 people, and connect with each of them for 5 minutes. The key people are: the Speaker; the Organizer; and 3 yappers. Yappers are always talking to people, have a crowd around them, and never talk to other yappers.
  • Don’t bring business cards to networking sessions. Just bring a sharpie. Write one of two notes; Dud (in code) or *. Follow up with the stars and ask how you can help them (by asking the right questions). Make a coffee date and begin a relationship. Don’t ask for business, just ask how you can help.
  • Buy from network marketers, instead of Target for items you need (and are available by those same network marketers). In fact, buy one item from each marketer who sells the item you need, because each of those marketers know hundreds of people.
  • Find out which Facebook groups those marketers are in, and join those groups. With each new contact, there are hundreds of prospective customers.
  • If you’re in business, use your phone message as a branded marketing opportunity. One of my colleagues has a company that “brings back desire” in relationships. If she added a weekly intimacy tip to her voice mail, and promoted it on Facebook and Twitter, she might double her mailing list. In fact, her phone might ring off the hook.
  • And lastly, be creative with your marketing. You know all those pre-paid envelopes that come in the mail? (Love this), send your marketing material back in the same envelope, and ask the recipient to pass it on.  Why not, right?

Loving the ideas from the 33rd floor and hope you do too!

Special Thanks to Casey Eberhart who shared this information.