Pitching on Friday ShareDay


Mariano Rivera

As PR people, we’re all just a bunch of pitchers.

Not like the great Mariano Rivera, or (watch me date myself here) Goose Gossage or Ron Guidry. (Anyone remember Luis Tiant for the win?)

We are storytellers, not only for our clients, but for ourselves. To be successful, we need to relay information in a condensed and entertaining way, so as to provoke the “tell me more!” reaction in the reporters, editors and producers we are pitching, giving them the tools to do the same for their readers, listeners and viewers.

We also all know that there are some basic rules about PR pitching: Never lie, or even stretch the truth; lead with the most interesting facts; have a story with a beginning, middle and end. And make every pitch actionable.

There’s also the rule about not pitching on a Friday, for various reasons. I’ve been guilty of practicing this myself, but this article – presented for this installment of Friday ShareDay – from PR News Online relays some valid reasons to jettison the “don’t pitch on Friday” rule.

Happy Weekend!

Write! Write! Write! Friday ShareDay


Spring2

There’s something in the air, people. Can you feel it?

March 1 is off to a glorious start here in New York City – the sunshine and not-so-chilly-anymore breeze makes me imagine Spring like a rookie baseball player in the on-deck circle: chomping at the bit to step into the batter’s box and take a cut at the first fastball that comes his way.

Yes, I am very excited that warmer weather – even if it’s not officially “here” – is very much right around the corner. And that means the First of May can’t be far behind. (Thank you Jonathan Coulton!)

And since it’s Friday ShareDay, it’s time to revel in the glory that is someone else’s well formulated content. (cue drum roll)

So here’s a post on the most formidable skill you can build, no matter what you do for a living: your ability to write well. Thanks Dave Kerpen for penning a post I wish I had written myself.

Happy Weekend!

Preparation


Preparation

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A baseball player doesn’t just step to the plate and hoist the bat to his shoulder, hoping to knock a 95 mile-a-hour fastball into the upper deck.

That moment (and hopefully the contact between bat and ball) is the result of endless hours of preparation. Yankee great Roger Maris first crystallized this thought, distilled in the caption in the photo. Disclaimer: I conceived of and wrote this post before finding the pic.

Similarly, when we take on new projects, we can’t just throw something together in an afternoon and start working the phones. Success – in our wonderful world of PR – is the result of research, asking questions, and a lot of listening and critical thinking.

It’s also the product of collaboration, on behalf of the PR person and the client. It takes time, dedication and a willingness to experiment to find a winning formula.

They say anything worth doing is worth doing well. Preparation is usually the defining factor between success and something less.

Getting into Fighting Shape.. Again


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As pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, we’re seeing news stories about players who are overweight and out of shape after the off-season. It’s the start of an intense period for them: to slim down, re-sharpen their skills and get ready to play.

We PR people can take a page from this, especially if we’re feeling a little sluggish or stuck in a rut ourselves.

Whenever I find myself this way, I like to shake things up at a fundamental level, usually by going somewhere or doing something completely outside of my routine.

I call it “brain-shifting”: allowing the creative parts of our brains to awaken and stretch their legs (Actually, there’s a medical term called brain-shifting; this is not what I’m talking about). When brain-shifting effectively, you clear the clutter from your head, allowing space for new ideas that can inspire and motivate us and get us excited about the challenges that we are preparing to tackle.

I trigger my own brain-shift in ways that I know work for me: taking a walk on a sunny day, going to lunch or brainstorming with a colleague I don’t normally spend a lot of time with, listening to music that isn’t in my favorites playlist, or reading about a new topic, especially one I’ve heard about but don’t completely understand.

I also tend to find a lot of inspiration from YouTube videos that are topical and creative. Websites like Mashable and Social Media Examiner are also wonderfully informative and brain-shift friendly.

We’ve talked before about creativity and whether it can be taught. While I don’t think “Creativity 101” will ever be on a college syllabus (it’s not, right?), I do believe everyone has some degree of creativity, and learning how to activate it is the real key to your success. Not everyone will be an inspired artist, a Michelin Star chef or a world class music composer. But we all have some degree of creative ability just waiting to be tapped into and unleashed upon our lives.

Try your own brain-shift the next time you’re feeling like an out-of-shape baseball player reporting to Spring Training. With a little effort, I guarantee it will get you back in the swing and ready for Opening Day.