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 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?

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?

3 WAYS TO LOVE YOURAs you may know, Brand Ambassadors are coveted and rare professionals who effectively communicate the essence of their company’s unique story, and personify its core values in what they do, what they say, how they act, and even how they think.

What’s more, Brand Ambassadors are extremely valuable “assets” who measurably increase the bottom line, and deliver an ROI that often out-performs advertising, sponsorships and other initiatives. Plus, they help their company retain its top performers, and attract new talent.

Ultimately, Brand Ambassadors are an invaluable part of any company success story, because they’re the “real deal” who get up close and personal with vendors, partners, customers, colleagues – heck, even strangers sitting next to them on a flight or seated next to them at a conference.  They can be outsourced to join an existing team, or developed through in-house training to build even better relationships and connections with the outside world.

What you may not know is how to thank Brand Ambassadors – even love them – for all that they do.

Here’s a list of 3 Ways to Love Your Brand Ambassadors:

1)      Acknowledge that a Brand Ambassador has an important role, just as important as a sales or marketing team member.  A trained Brand Ambassador will not only wear your brand, but give a face to your company and hopefully convey heart and soul as well.  Show them the respect that they deserve as they interact with your prospects, clients and colleagues.  There’s an incredible upside to being valued as part of a team.

2)      Appreciate Brand Ambassadors as front line reps and show them love, even if it’s in small ways; invite them to company meetings, trainings, and give them VIP access and parking if available when they’re working a high profile event. If tickets are plentiful at a certain venue, consider offering them as a thank you. Often, complimentary tickets get discarded, and it’s heartbreaking for some to see the waste. As in life, the gesture of sharing goes a long way and generosity is seldom forgotten.

3)      Allow Brand Ambassadors to deliver your message, in their voice.  Every Brand Ambassador, like every person, has their own unique style, tone and timing – and the ways that people listen can be as varied. Be open to different communication styles to reach a wide and multi-cultural marketplace and honor their freedom to express themselves within the guidelines of their job.  With the high-tech world that we live in, there’s never been a better time to reach out and touch someone.

YOUR TURN

What are the three most noticeable traits of a great Brand Ambassador?

If you were to outsource Brand Ambassadors for your company, what would you look for?

From body language alone, could you tell an employee from a Brand Ambassador in a mixed setting, on location? What would be the tell-tale signs (if any)?

RSI Boston Love (1)I’m a native Bostonian and have had the pleasure of knowing and loving Boston intimately — from my college days at Boston University, and as a more than frequent visitor having worked and played within an hour of the city for most of my adult life.

At 24, I launched my first real business in Boston (a lobby stand called Robbie’s Lobby in the garment district) which led me to open a small restaurant at the Boston Marine Industrial Park. Little did I know then, that I would be drawn to learn marketing, sales and PR in the cable television world, work with the Boston Red Sox and Major League Baseball, and start a PR and promotions company that works with Fortune 500 companies and helps experts across the country get recognized for their greatness.

Though I love to travel, I’m still a one city girl. I love Boston.

Somehow, when bad things happen to a place you love, you can’t help but love it more. And, from the front row of the VIP grandstand at the Marathon bombing, when your life and those you love are at risk, love becomes more important as loss looks you in the eye.

Closer than many, I saw Boston Strong — defending our city, our wounded and above all, our freedom.

I was inspired this morning by a friend who told me that “love isn’t love until you give it away.”

Let’s send and share our love with those who make Boston Strong, day after day.

Let’s send PR love to a city that bounced back after tragedy — with a fearless attitude.

Let’s send PR love to Boston, a city that has its twinkle back — for the world to see.

After all, ‘love isn’t love until you give it away.”

Your Turn:

What do you love most about Boston?

Do you have memories as a child about Boston that you’ll never forget?

Is there a story about Boston Strong that moves you to share?

RSI-EatPRLoveThis month, I’m dedicating all of my blogs to love – not that I don’t pay special attention to it year round, but showing love to those you care for has the power to change the energy within and around you, and transform your life.

Love also has the uncanny ability to make you feel more attractive, bolder and have a stronger sense of self and confidence – all of which are important in the mindset of PR and branding. Blame it on your hormones, the butterflies in your stomach, or just being happy — love works to accentuate the positive.

5 Ways that PR and Love Make a Perfect Couple

  1.  It’s so much easier to talk about, promote, and share thoughts on something or someone you love. Granted, there are a million kinds of love – and they’re not all following in the footsteps of Romeo and Juliet. There’s love of an idea, a service and even love of an underdog, who’s finally being recognized. ‘Like’ can be bumped up to love, when you make the decision to love.  When love meets PR and makes a commitment, anything is possible.
  2. If you’re an expert or entrepreneur and marry PR with love, you’re positioning yourself for success in the most authentic and transparent way. Like love, PR is about sharing someone’s ‘best’ – whether it be their qualities, features and/or services.  Love has a magic all of its own – and positive PR is always welcome on stage.
  3. Love, like PR, requires time to deepen relationships. Rarely does a one-night stand turn into a long term love affair, though it can be steamy for sure! With PR we want to build relationships for better understanding and to foster communication. Just as when we fall in love, we want to like, know and trust the other person. The same holds true with a brand. Ten years from now, we’d like to still be in love — and still be holding hands.
  4. PR is about the Art of Engagement with a variety of audiences, day after day, and year after year.  Engaging our partners in the workplace with integrity, kindness and respect is equally as important with our loved ones. If you engage others with loving kindness, do you believe you’ll receive it in return?
  5. And lastly, when you make love a part of your life, it will become a natural expression of who you are. Every day that you use PR as a positive light and part of your business strategy – even in a small way – you can highlight your expertise, share your story, be part of a community who needs you, and up-level your personal or business brand ping by ping, tweet by tweet and post by post – to make this a better world.

You see love and PR have a lot more in common than you may have ever had thought. When you put love out there – or PR for that matter—the rewards can be overwhelming.

YOUR TURN:

“When love meets PR and makes a commitment, anything is possible.” What would you like to be possible?

If you could bump up a ‘like’ to a ‘love’ in one area of your life, what would it be?

How do you include love as part of your daily life, and how do you carry it over into the business world to share?

RSI promote eventDeciding to host an event and share your expertise is a bold decision, and one that takes guts – so BRAVO if you’ve got an event slated for 2014!

Creating an event is one of the quickest ways to showcase your expertise to a group who may want to learn more about you, invest in your products or services now or down the road, or have an interest in ‘what you’re up to’, for their own professional growth. Well done, an event provides an opportunity to tell your story, up-level your brand and – let’s be honest, capitalize on your knowledge.

That said, you’ll want not just a boatload of people at your event, (whether it’s live or online) but a boatload of your target audience. They’ll resonate with your message and brand more than anyone else, and you’ll have multiple opportunities to make an impression and suggest that they become raving fans!

Here are7 Ways to Promote an Event in 2014  

1. Get Talking

Step away from the keyboard, and call friends and other people in your network who may be interested in attending your event. Even if your invitation is politely refused (i.e. due to a prior engagement or something to that effect), this is a prime opportunity to make a personal connection that could pay dividends down the road. It’s also ideal for reaching people who you don’t know, since you’re offering them something. Make it an easy, no-stress phone call with no end game in mind.

2. Get Visual

Create flyers and graphics for your event, and post them in an area frequented by your target audience. You can also send these in the mail (yes, the old fashioned way with stamps) to your targeted audience with a personalized post-it note.  Make sure that your graphics have a consistent look, and that the artwork can be re-purposed for invitations, banner ads, and social media.  This saves time, money, and gives your branding efforts maximum exposure.

3. Get Newsworthy

Submit media releases about your event to local news stations, magazines, newspapers and industry publications, as well as on-line blogs and distribution channels.  Be sure to be crisp and clear in your delivery, and include contact information for the press. If you have video, use it here as well. Above all, be media ready to capitalize on the publicity and opportunity for maximum exposure.

4. Get Dialed In

Find local radio stations and targeted blog radio networks that may be interested in an interview. Make your story compelling and be a fun and entertaining guest.  By following these simple guidelines, you’ll build a loyal following, get recognized for your expertise and be able to use the recorded interview in your own promotional strategy. And you’ll probably be invited back!

5. Get Social

Use the power of social media to your advantage.  Post targeted messages to your database and audience on a frequent (though not too-frequent) basis, using various platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube. You can also make a list of groups who might benefit from the event, and target them on-line. Keep in mind that it typically takes multiple impressions (a.k.a. touchpoints) before people notice a message and take action. As the best sales professionals advise: be persistent, but never pushy.

6. Get Wordy

Blog about your event, and ask others to do the same.  If you’ve been a guest blogger, ask your colleagues to give you a mention and share it with their list, and do the same with your social media contacts. This not only extends the life of your promotion, but it allows you to reach beyond your traditional target audience.

7. Get Hooked-Up

If you have a room that needs to be filled, consider asking fellow colleagues who are in a complementary — but not competing – business to publicize your event to their list.  Before presenting this type of opportunity, be sure that you have all the details outlined. Make it easy for your partners to promote you by providing pre-launch copy and emails, and copy for social media postings. Always strive to be a good partner, because your reputation will follow-you long after the event is over.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, if you apply some or all of the strategies above, you’ll:

  • Ensure that your event isn’t a “best kept secret”
  • Provide some valuable help by sharing your wisdom
  • Potentially fill the room with great new customers and clients
  • Have fun doing what you love!

YOUR TURN

What is the most challenging part of promoting a live event?

How do the promotional tactics differ from promoting a live event vs an on-line event?   

Do you typically have a team of people to help with the event? What are their primary roles?  

Let us know your thoughts — and KUDOS to those who dare to dream big, hosting their own event (live or online)!

Best of luck this year, and always!