Ooh! I am sooo distracted!

Click. It’s the Olympics. Ah.  Cool. Downhill.

Tap. It’s a text about an upcoming voice over appointment.  Time change. Got it. I’ll be there.

Tap.  It’s another text. This one from my cell phone provider telling me I’ve won some contest.  Marketing Spam. Delete.

Buzz.  It’s a DM Tweet from a Social Media author who would like me to write a guest blog. Yes. Would be delighted.

Brring.  It’s Scotty on the phone. He’ll be bringing a pizza home for dinner.  I don’t have to cook? Awesome.

 ◊    ◊    ◊

pizza

That was all in the spread of about thirty minutes.  I’ll bet you can more than relate.

In our world today, we’re becoming more and more fragmented and distracted. Everyone and anyone can reach out and tap, buzz or brring us at any time.  We’re expected to be constantly available.  We go to meetings and presentations with our smartphones and tablets, so we don’t miss anything from the outside.  Unless we purposefully “unplug,” we remain connected even during so-called vacation time.

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Our brains are filtering information at a rapid pace. I read somewhere, for example, that the average person is so adept at scanning, they only read parts of the headlines, let alone the articles.  I don’t remember where I read that; I probably got distracted.

So! It’s obvious we ONLY pay attention to what really captivates us.   What are we to do about that? Here are three ideas.

  1. Learn how to become captivating.   How can you expect to sell anything? To persuade someone?  To motivate people to action? If you’re communicating like everyone else on every social media platform out there, you can set yourself apart  when you open your mouth.   For your personal and professional brand to stand out from all the noise of social media, smart phones and the like – your competitive edge is how well you can engage your audience when you speak.  If you don’t speak well, the people in the boardroom or in the audience are going to turn right back to their lap top or their smart phone.  You know this is true.  So do something about it!
  2. Don’t just broadcast, engage.  When you use social media to post something about yourself or your company, are you just throwing information out, or are you trying to genuinely talk to people?  Do you have an automatic Tweet follower response, or are you personally thanking people?  Forming relationships may take more time, but they will likely be deeper and more loyal if they feel you care about them.
  3. Quality over quantity. That leads me to this: a smaller network of trusted influencers is going to help you more than 100K anonymous followers.  Again, these kinds of relationships will likely take more time, but will also be more likely to remain with you and help provide real connections to your next great thing.

No matter what it is you’re trying to do, the trick is to make yourself heard and remembered ABOVE of everything else.

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Doesn’t becoming captivating sounds like so much more fun than being just another piece of white noise?  Buzz! Opps, gotta go!

Til next time, how do you try to captivate others? What captivates you? What distracts you?

Baci, Gina

 Copyright 2014 Gina London. All Rights Reserved.

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Stop the Press!

Although I’ve always wanted to say that, that’s not really what today is about.  What we want to learn is how to make the press, aka the media, stop and take notice of you.

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If you are an expert or have a story to tell, one of the best means for free publicity is to get press coverage.

As a veteran newspaper girl and Emmy award-winning network TV reporter – who used to get about a hundred pitches a day in my e-mail in-box – I know the press can be a cynical, surly bunch.

press conference
Look at the sneer on that guy on the upper left. He is not impressed!

But, now, more than ever, reporters need to compete in a 24/7 news cycle.  They are always looking for content from new sources.

Paid publicists and PR agencies will charge to pitch you.  If you can’t afford their services, here are a few doable tips to begin getting the word out about you – by yourself.

Know ‘em before you need ‘em.  Begin your research now by reading and watching your local press outlets, include worthy blogs and radio shows.  Make a list of names of reporters and hosts.  Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn if you can. Begin to engage  -not stalk – them by adding relevant comments to articles or other items they may post.  Invite them to coffee! Seriously, the point here is to try and establish relationships before you pitch anything.

Prep before you pitch.  Write your provocative headline.  Know your main themes and points.  Practice speaking in soundbites (good for electronic and  written interviews) before you make your first  pitch. What if a reporter or producer says, “Yes?”

Be grabby.   Since you’re likely going to send your pitch to a reporter’s already jam-packed email in-box, aim for the most attention-getting , yet accurate (don’t get tossed out with the Viagra nonsense) subject line you can think of.  Once you get them, don’t lose them.  In the email itself, write a compelling pitch too.

Make sure there’s a hook.  Consider your angles.  Are you a child psychologist and it’s back to school time? An international manager who can speak about a business issue currently making headlines? Try to find something to “hook” yourself to and you’ll have a much better chance being interviewed, then to simply try and land a story only on you and your issue.

Keep it short!  Nobody wants to read more than a few short paragraphs.  Use bullets to say why readers / viewers will be interested in your story/article/whatever it is.  Make sure you’re contact information is easy to find.  Don’t ramble.  Don’t be boring.

Don’t give up.  Don’t be a total nuisance, but do keep trying every few weeks to reposition your pitch idea until the reporter gives you a definite yes or no.  Then, if it’s no, go on to your next – timely and relevant – pitch idea and start again!

Like any worthwhile relationship, the process of courting the media is a long-time affair.  It may take six months before you see any return love.  And don’t aim for the most popular girl (or guy ) in school:  meaning sure, you’d like to see yourself with a large network, but at first, think small.

You need to court this guy!
You need to court this guy!

More often than not, you’ll need some local news media coverage to practice being interviewed.  Then, you can use your local news appearances as leverage when you begin courting the networks and national publications.

Good luck!

Gina

 Copyright 2013 Gina London. All rights reserved.

 

Childhood Connects Us

A Facebook friend messaged me today writing, “It is so fun listening to your Lulu say what kids say. Brings back memories of when my kids were small.”

She hit it right on the head.  I mean, of course, I love my daughter like a mad-woman and want the whole world to know it – so I post mostly about Lulu and the funny things she does and says.

Notice the name “Lulu” under her feet!

But when other parents add comments about their own kids’ adventures or sayings or general eccentricities, it’s even more tremendous. Because we all love our kids and marvel at the world through their eyes.  It’s no wonder our shared experiences of the adorable or crazy or even innocently brutal things they say and do  – ring true among us.

For those of you raising kids — There they are.  Right now. Reminding you what’s important: bugs, and candy, and giggling.  And what isn’t:  uptight business meetings, cell phone calls and texting, and stress.

And for those of you with children already grown–   You nostalgically remember the moments. When they hugged you in public with joyful abandon.  When the world was conquerable with a cardboard sword.  When a skinned knee instantly felt better with a kiss and some “magic dust.”

And for those of you who don’t have kids yet or don’t want them at all– You were once a child yourself.   Remember?

Of course you do.   That’s what connects us all.

P.S. I am so delighted that my book, Because I’m Small Now and You Love Me is in final edit.  I sincerely think it will be a connection. For all of us big kids.

Baci, tutti!

Gina