Have the Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media changed about sharing your political views? I guess it depends on how you heated up you are personally (or not) over the current state of affairs—and if you want to share that publicly as a business or brand.

Brands have a core message and stand tall for what they believe in. They can also influence, motivate, alienate or outrage prospects, customers and audiences. We see that in a big way today with swings to the left and to the right in Washington, and all over the country.

As a PR Mentor, I suggest to my clients that they keep their brand or company comments on target to their core message and core values. If your brand is a political one, that’s a completely different story.

In the past, there were 5 Subjects we never talked about on Social Media:

  1. Sex
  2. Politics
  3. Money
  4. Sports
  5. Religion

Today, each of us is the media.

We can share our opinions openly and for free. I honor that and am grateful for that right. But, how will your message affect your brand if you are the spokesperson – or you are the brand?

  • Do comments about sex, partying and boozing it up online affect a job search?
  • In a divided society with emotions high, do political comments help or hinder your ability to be a leader, get a promotion or win a prize client?
  • Does talking about having lots of money alienate you in a world where many are struggling?
  • Are you infuriating fans of one sports team (and possible customers) when you are obnoxious about a recent win of your rival?
  • In a world of many religions, faiths and beliefs are we helping or hurting our brand with off the cuff or insensitive comments?

Ultimately, it’s up to you how to position your brand, and what to say or not say on social media.

Before you post ask yourself two questions. What’s my intention? What’s my end goal?

Whatever message you share, be sensitive to how it will be perceived.

It does matter.

My tagline is “Don’t Be the Best Secret in Town” and it’s no secret that I love to teach small business owners, experts, authors and professionals how to promote your business and brand. Why? I’ve studied and practiced PR and promotion for over two decades and it comes naturally to me.  I also love to see people succeed and share their gifts so they can sell more products and services.

Even though there are hundreds of ways to promote yourself, there are a few timeless principles that I’d like to share.

1)  Go outside your comfort range and step into the brand you want to be. If that means faking it until you make it, go for it. The feeling is what you’re going for, hand in hand with inspired action. Determine your core values and make every decision from there. You won’t go wrong.
2)  Keep moving forward. We all get discouraged and may want to hide in bed, but that’s precisely when you have to jump back up and restart the engines. There isn’t one flower that I know of that blooms 365 days a year.
3)  Make a dedicated effort to learn. There are countless videos, programs, articles, webinars, classes, and experts in your subject field that know more than you. That’s a good thing. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. I’d rather grow today, thank you.
4)  Acknowledge that you’re an expert in training. We can all learn from one another and even the smallest piece of advice that you take, digest or tweak can move your business in the right direction. Sometimes these experts are disguised and are at networking meetings at 7am. Set your alarm clock for 5:30.
5) Hang with, hire or be a part of a group that’s smarter, richer and more successful than you. You’ll get to where you want to go quicker when you listen to the voice of experience. It’s worth the time, effort and money to hear how others have accomplished goals.
I would add that you want to be accountable to yourself, a group you’ve put together or a Mastermind. But, don’t underestimate the power of a mentor or coach who you trust. Find the right one and they can transform your life and business. You still have to do the work though!
Oh, and write down your goals. When you follow these timeless principles and put pen to paper, or pen to pictures, you’ll become a manifesting machine.

If you’ve ever walked into a room and sensed a tense energy, I’m sure you’ve also seen this body language; arms crossed, polite but stiff interaction and most probably, limited eye to eye communication. Most people look at others but not into their eyes.

Is it because our eyes are the window to the soul?

We can all improve our body language and the way we communicate, which eventually could change or influence certain outcomes.  It could also improve our sales and marketing!

Michael Michalowicz, author and business mentor who writes for American Express Open Forum, outlines best body language practices for selling in 7 Body Language Tips to Help You Sell. He says that body language can kill a deal, and 90% of our communication is non-verbal.  You knew that, right? Tips to show our more confident selves? Slow down, practice the 3 C’s (be cool, calm and collected) and for heaven’s sakes, don’t touch your face, scratch your ears or rub your eyes. It could be a sign that you’re lying.

In this PositivityBlog article by Henrick Edberg, 18 Ways to Improve Your Body Language the author gives, you guessed it, 18 ways to change up the way you present yourself to show more confidence and appear more agreeable, even if you don’t agree! Some suggestions? If you’re in a conversation, mirror each other’s actions but not to the point of being weird, sit with a wider stance to look more comfortable in your own skin, and lower your drink holding it below your heart to look less guarded!

And finally, in CareerOverview.com, we have a comprehensive list of 50 Body Language Secrets. I’ll list some of the don’ts to see if you’re at fault.

Avoid these Negative Body Language Actions

Don’t:

  • Scrunch your forehead
  • Walk away while you’re talking
  • Tap your feet
  • Yawn or cough (it shows you’re bored)
  • Or, clench your fist

I’ve been in more than a few sales calls, meetings and workshops where I’ve witnessed a collection of these actions, all during the sales process. No one’s perfect, but be mindful of your body. Love it and learn what its’ language means.

After all, the right body language not only influences people, but can help you attract the man/woman of your dreams.

PS – Lots of speaking gigs coming up for me this Spring and I’m excited to be presenting more. This week, I got a Direct Message on Twitter asking me to apply as a Speaker for a big social media convention in April. Social Media works but you have to be in it to win it!

This morning, I got up at 6:00 am to launch my Q2 PR and marketing strategy and attend a Boston University Alumni breakfast networking event.  It’s part of a heavily promoted month-long career month to bring alums and professional together – and connect recent grads with seasoned professionals. (Did you like how I said that)?

It was my first networking event sponsored by BU, other than going to cheer on the Terriers in hockey, and I’m glad I went. Why?

Networking Opens the Doors for Opportunities

  • First, how great to see someone who knows and respects your work. A genuine smile and hug in a room full of strangers is almost always welcome. I’m a hugger, but if you’re squeamish, keep in the comfort of your own boundaries.
  • Networking gives you a chance to hear what others are doing in the marketplace and notice opportunities to connect, partner, refer, work or collaborate together. There were quite a few COM (communications) grads there and possibilities are brewing!
  • Meeting face to face with a brand new circle extends your promotional reach in ways you can’t imagine. It also reinforces your expert status with a whole new group that may one day –become raving fans.
  • There are no rules to revising your elevator pitch. Modify your message according to what you need in the present moment, and the crowd. The elevator pitch police won’t have a warrant out for your arrest if you change it up.
  • Talk with people who may not be your target audience, because they might know someone who might be the perfect fit. Profiling isn’t always in your best interest.

My colleague, who I met while speaking at the Small Business Expo and at the Boston Business Journal enthusiastically endorsed me in front of a room full of strangers. Love that! Thank you, Joy! She’s involved with a new venture working with entrepreneurs and small business owners, and it happens that I’m speaking with her mentor on a national level this week.

From my meeting this morning, I already got invited to speak on a panel in early April and begin preliminary discussions of a potential world-wide tour.

If I didn’t get up at 6 am I would have missed this. Will other opportunities to increase my PR and marketing expertise show up?  Definitely.

Say yes more often than you say no and see what happens.

Oh, and set your alarm clock.

PS:  Sign up now for the Digital Marketing Weapons Event at  Sleek Marketing University on Saturday, 3/26. I’ll be speaking about How to Get Free Publicity for Your Business and Grow Your Brand. Use the code CONTACT for 50% off – since many of you were at the Constant Contact event where I spoke on March 1.

Want more info? Read these other articles on improving your online presence. 9 Cool Free Publicity Tools and Tactics,7 Easy Ways to Get Attention Without Selling Your Soul and How Do I Get More PR and Online Visibility  We’re all experts in training!

I’m blessed to work with clients who want to increase their visibility and take their message to the next level.  They understand that public speaking – or speaking from the stage – allows them an opportunity to reach a bigger audience, have more impact and connect on a deeper and more personal level. 
 
That said, many speakers who haven’t had the privilege to work with Toastmasters, or practice with a private coach or mentor, may feel anxious in front of a room and stop themselves by not sharing their message because of fear of going blank, looking stupid or freezing on stage. I’ve had all those fears and  still take a deep breath and ground myself (as best as possible) before every presentation.  
 
Yes, it does get easier after every speech – and with practice – but it’s always helpful to learn speaker success secrets along the way.  Here are a few I’d like to share:
 
5 Speaker Tips to Take You to the Top

  1. Divide the room into three, and pick one person in each section to look at. This will allow you to connect eye to eye with at least 3 people in the audience, but also give you an opportunity to scan the room.  Think of each of these three people as your friends. They like you.  They want you to succeed. Let them feel that.
  2. Put some energy into your smile. Showcase your personality. Even if you feel like you’re ‘putting it on’,  overdeliver.  Audiences typically have chosen to hear you and want to see that you’re not only an expert, but also enjoy your topic, are informative and in some cases, entertaining. You can be a boring speaker, or an upbeat one. Ask me, I’ll tell you that upbeat trumps boring, any day of the week.
  3. Have a kick to your step. When you walk on stage, come in from the side of the room (so people aren’t looking at your backside, lovely as that may be). Let the audience know you’re enthusiastic about speaking to them. Movement, except jiggling change in pockets, helps a speaker relax and look more experienced as they address the audience from different angles of the room.
  4. Go with the flow.  I once spoke in front of 200 people and the wrong presentation came up on screen. At first I was horrified, then laughed and acknowledged my shock to the audience.  I’m grateful that they laughed too, seeing my vulnerability. The moment of truth came, I showed up fully and got 3 new clients.  Phew!
  5. Give to the audience. Offer to share your presentation. Promote a special offer to connect with them on social media.  Ask for their support  — you’ve got the stage!  This may be the first time you personally engage with them, but it doesn’t have to be the last. Remember that members  of your audience could one day be prospects or clients – and refer you to other revenue generating activities.

Above all, be grateful and appreciative for the opportunity to be in front of a willing audience who is there to hear your message. Practice does make perfect, but you’ll never  know your full potential and power  if you don’t put yourself out there.  

YOUR TURN:

Do you practice a ‘lucky’ routine before every speaking engagement? Care to share?
Who is your favorite at home audience? Your iPhone, kids, or BFF?  
How do you pamper yourself before and after a speech?  

Speak your truth, share your voice, and show up 100%.

September always seems to bring a new energy to work, and if you’re like me, the pace has really picked up!

The Partner Promotions event team has been promoting the Xfinity brand at 125 events over the last three weeks, we’re gearing up for the IBM sponsored Women’s Tool Box Conference on 9/15,  Mara Glazer’s BizCon14 event in Silver Springs, MD 9/18 – 21, and my workshop and booth at the Small Business Expo in Boston on October 2. Sometimes, it’s fast and furious – and we run with it.

That said, what are you doing with your business over the next month?

Are you thinking about how to get press coverage for your business, product or service – and ways to  pitch the media and other JV partners?

Here are 5 Important Tips on How To Pitch so you won’t give up or go crazy thinking it’s too hard: 

  1. When pitching, make sure you have the right person you want to approach.  Do your homework and research.  Look at the magazine, newspaper or blog where you’d like to be featured and notice their style. How would ‘you’ fit in?
  2. You’ve heard it a million times, and I’ll tell you again. Make your pitch short.  One PR mentor told me to make my pitch 50 words.  Yikes – that’s hard, but putting information through the funnel gives your messaging clarity.
  3. Editors, journalists and reporters WANT to be pitched and are looking for a solution to a problem. Your pitch should include a way you can help their viewers/readers.  They’re looking for the HOW. That’s where you share – your story, best tips, ways to overcome, fix, increase, and help their AUDIENCE with their problem – on air, in an interview, on camera and so on.
  4. Don’t forget to tell your media contact who you are, why you’re the best candidate for the job, and a link to your website, plus contact information.  No attachments please!
  5. But, make sure above all, that you always KISS – Keep It Simple and Sensational!

Ditch the old pitch, and energize with the new!

YOUR TURN

Have you noticed a pattern with certain reporters in the way that they like to be pitched?

What’s your favorite success story from a pitch?

Have you pitched via Twitter or Facebook with great results?  Do tell!

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 RainsApril showers bring May flowers — in your yard and sometimes in your business. Showers come unexpectedly and rain dampens the best intentions of a well thought out plan. What’s a small business owner, expert or marketer to do when it rains, or worse downpours on all your hard work?

Plan(t)!

PPrepare for the worst and expect the best. I once had a boss who insisted we bring 40 bricks to an event in case the wind was blowing and we needed to secure sponsor table skirts. It seemed over the top at the time, but the lesson was learned and we saved them for a ‘rainy day’. I know they’ll come in handy for that yellow brick road…

L Listen to your intuition. More than a handful of times, I’ve been swayed to make a decision to ‘save the day’, but the decision was based on someone else’s vision of what the outcome should be. If you’re ‘saving your day’, make your decision based on your inner guidance. Czech in (I’m in Prague, couldn’t resist), be open and surrender to what reveals itself next.

AAsk a mentor. Many of us have been blessed with a mentor, or a group of colleagues that we trust. If you’re in a pickle, and it’s not so sweet, be brave, be vulnerable and ask for help. There’s a certain calm that comes with asking and temporarily stopping the swirl. The answer may not be what you want to hear, but it may be what you need to know.

NNever forget that today too shall pass. When the bottom is falling out, keep the pieces together by staying in focus, working off a list and remembering that in less than 18 hours, you can go to bed and tomorrow will be a new day. A new day and a new dawn, coupled with some sleep, recharge even the weariest souls.

TThink about your role in this snafu. Do you believe that in some way we’re creatures of our own cause and effect? There’s a great lesson to be learned when we reflect upon our own behavior and how it impacts our personal and business bottom line. We typically attract what happens to us and in some of the most bizarre ways, it serves us and mirrors our beliefs.

Rainy days are inevitable, as are storms – in life and in business. It’s your strategy for weathering the storm that makes the difference, and whether you bring your boots on the journey.

YOUR TURN

If it rains on your business for what seems like 10 days, how do you not get soaked?

Are you a believer in ‘if it rains it pours?’ If so, what have you learned from the downpour?

What shift is necessary to turn a downpour into a flood of opportunity?

Please share your answers below.

RSI SlamdunkMarch Madness in basketball doesn’t have to mean madness in your own self-promotion or in your business. In fact, madness with the right intention and mindset can become a positive energy to get things done in a quick and efficient way, especially if you have a plan. Your plan  doesn’t have to be complicated or color coded, but there is one secret – you have to get off the sideline, and make a move.

Here’s my take on March Madness and How to Slam Dunk Your PR:

  1. Keep your eye on the ball. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. It’s distracting and throws you off guard. Think about the big picture and your role to ‘get er’ done. During times of madness (the crazy kind) we lose our vision and clarity. Stay in the moment and be the best you can be.
  2. Stop Dribbling. If you want to get somewhere, you’ll need a road map for sure, but there’s no time like now to take bold action. There’s plenty of time for course correction along the way. The go for it, pause, go for it, pause tempo gives you action and an opportunity for reflection. Liken the pauses to a short time out!
  3. Motivation to succeed is an inside job. You can hear it, you can feel it, but it’s only you who can make the decision to take action. Success is the result of getting off the couch or from behind the computer and doing what you hate to do, but need to do. A mentor of mine tells me (often) to do what I hate first thing in the morning.  Once it’s done, there’s relief.  Procrastination is a silent killer.
  4. The tallest person isn’t always the best player. Each one of us is blessed with a set of skills, and none of us are fantastic at everything. (Sorry, honey) Share the blessings of your collective team and make the most of it. I don’t know many who won’t offer their best game, when it’s their best skill. If they’re not playing full out, blow the whistle. You want everyone on board if you’re going places.
  5. You have to be in it to win it. Want to score? You have to be in the game, ready for action. That’s not to say you have to be ‘in it’ 24/7. But, when the iron’s hot, the iron’s hot. Work like the dickens, and then dance like there’s no tomorrow.

YOUR TURN

How do you keep your eye on the ball with madness all around you? Take a walk in the morning to clear your head? Work from a quiet restaurant in the middle of the day?

What’s your best tempo for work? Calendaring your time? Setting a timer?

Have you developed a reward system for yourself after a job well done? Do tell!

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.