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Meet The Vick’s VapoRub Plant!

Mint has a nice scent, but it has nothing on the Plectranthus tomentosa, or “Vick’s VapoRub Plant! This perennial succulent has fuzzy leaves that smell just like the popular cough and congestion rub, which has a strong, distinctive menthol and camphor scent. The scent is more prominent when the leaves are crushed. The plant can be identified by its light, green leaves that are covered with fine hairs. It can reach a height of 30 inches (75cm) tall. Small, purple flowers ...

Perspective: Walking On Thin Ice…

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air, a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white cloud, the green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child, our own two eyes. All is a Miracle.” Thich Nhat Hanh Perspective: Walking on Ice... It is five thirty in the morning, ...

Reflections: From Anger to Awareness…

“Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.” Gautama Buddha Reflections: From Anger to Awareness… Anger symbol...a needle eager to burst a balloon   Anger: A strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire. Dictionary.com Several years ago, as I boarded a subway train in Manhattan, a face caught my attention; it was the face of a woman seated at the ...

Reflections: Today I Choose…

“There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.” Henry David Thoreau Reflections: Today I Choose… To be happy; so should you! Complete the following sentence five times “Today I choose …” Robert Holden. Today I choose to declare that I have the grace I need… Today I choose to believe I am full of power, strength, and determination… Today I choose to affirm that nothing I face ...

Londons Olympic Blooms

What used to be a predominantly neglected industrial area is now London’s newest pride & joy – Olympic Park. The final wildflower meadows were seeded a few days ago and should be in full bloom by the opening of the games, creating a sea of gold around the Olympic Stadium. Photo credit: london2012.com There has been a lot of hard work involved to take this neglected industrial area and transform it into this 250 acre public park. The largest urban park created ...

Contemplations: The Space Between Each Breath Is…?

“The language of God is Silence. Everything else is a poor translation.” Father Thomas Keating Today, my friend Esme and I took a yoga blend class; a mix of several classical yoga styles. We drove to the yoga studio in our village as the raging winds howled around us. The sky was gray, the trees swayed perilously, and anything that wasn’t tied down or planted firmly in the ground was carried away; swiftly, hurtling forward, a potential weapon. Yesterday, the temperature ...

Happy National Women’s Friendship Day!

Today is National Women’s Friendship Day! It is a holiday created by the Kappa Delta Sorority in 1999 and is celebrated on the third Sunday in September. It’s a day to celebrate and acknowledge the special bonds of female friendship, which can be sometimes be taken for granted. While male friends/boyfriends/husbands are nice to have around, there’s nothing quite like having female friends. You can do girlie things together. You can share clothes and gossip! And a lot of times, it’s ...

Guest Post: Why People Aren’t Listening to You

Guest Post: Why People Aren't Listening to You

Today I'm honored to have my writing featured on the wonderful blog belonging to Alise Wright  http://www.alise-write.com.  Alise has graciously afforded me the chance to share some thoughts with her readers. Here's an excerpt of the guest post I wrote for her today: Sociologists estimate that we are bombarded with more than 5,000 different types of messages every day in the form of news, advertisements, email, social media and plain old conversations. We simply are not equipped to process all that input and a lot ...

5 Delivery Room Survival Rules For Dads

My blogging buddy and mentor Michelle Shaeffer told me about this great, free site called Piktochart that enables non-PhotoShop mortals like me to generate cool infographics. An infographic is a graphical representation of information in a highly-visible, easily digestible format. Given that we’re about to have our third child, I thought I’d share five rules to help expectant dads survive and navigate the newborn experience. With that, here’s the world premiere of my first infographic – Baby Delivery: 101. Question: What’s a topic you’d like ...

Stupid Men Of The Sea

Time was running out and I realized I was going to die, just another amateur fishermen lost at sea. I blamed myself; I was too stupid to live. It was the late 70s and I was employed by Mervyn’s in Oxnard, forty miles north of Los Angeles. I designed windows and dressed mannequins, often chatting with friendly Frank Diaz, the company’s youngest store manager. Frank was only a few years older than me and his passion was fishing. He’d recently purchased ...

New Tabbed Section of My Favorites

I have succumbed. I decided to take advantage of Amazon’s template for displaying and commenting on my favorite books. It’s just a neat way to see the covers and read a quick sentence by me about each, then to click to read more about the book, and then, if you want, to add to the shopping cart and go from there. Or, of course, to make a note to yourself and go support your local bookstore! I’ve named favorite books in ...

Best Blog Posts of 2011 – #10

Through January 3rd, 2012 I’m going to share with you the 10 most popular posts as determined by readers of this blog. I hope you enjoy these and find them to be interesting or funny. With that, here’s the 10th most popular post from The Daily Retort for 2011: Top-10 Traffic Pet Peeves City Traffic Jam - courtesy of Wikipedia For whatever reason, climbing behind the wheel of a car transforms the average rational individual into a self-absorbed idiot. I’m not immune to ...

Manly Me

This morning Mrs. Chatterbox said to me,” So how’s that shampoo I bought for you?” I’d asked her to pick up some more when she went to the store because the bottle in my gym bag was empty. I looked up from my iPad and said, “It’s fine.” “She looked at me curiously. “Did you notice anything different?” “Can’t say I did. But it was nice. Real sudsy.” “Was it different from the shampoo you’ve been using?” I set down my iPad. “What am I ...

Docking With Disaster

Conclusion of The Spider Cruise Read: Part 1 I let out a sigh of relief as I guided the cabin cruiser to the dock; I could hear Mrs. C. pounding fewer spiders in the back of the boat. We’d been boating on Flathead Lake for less than an hour and it had been a horrid experience. Now our dreadful spider cruise was coming to an end. I nearly rammed the dock in my hurry to get my family back on land. I shut ...

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Laura - Marcie Brock

10 creative alternate uses for media releases

10 creative alternate uses for media releases

We’ve spent the last couple posts talking about media releases. First, we reviewed tips for writing a news release. Then we pointed out the fact that the better written a news release is, the more likely that some (or all) of it will go into a story verbatim. Here’s the thing. While newspapers are continue to crumble around us and social media is forcing traditional media to change and keep up – or die – there’s still a place for these conventional news releases. BUT, there are also much more creative uses for news releases, which is our focus here today.

Here are a few ideas for ways to change up your releases and/or new ways to use them:

  • Send your release straight to your fans/readers/mailing list, either as a standalone post or as an item in your regular newsletter. This will give them a new way to appreciate you, and let them feel like they’re receiving “insider” information.
  • Use the Twitter! Take your standard release and chop it into various sound bites. Stream those out to your Twitter feed (with a link to the full release) over the course of a day or two.
  • Distribute your news release as a Note on your Facebook page. Consider creating a special section on your Facebook page that serves as a catalogue/timeline of your news releases.
  • Write your release and then summarize it in one paragraph. Post the paragraph to your blog or website, with a link and contact details for further info.
  • Go the other direction and hang onto that original 4- to 5-page first draft of your release. Use this as a special report or promo piece about your book that you can send out when people request further information. Or save it as a free download for your membership site.
  • Add interactive elements to the media release with links to videos, MP3s, podcasts, surveys, apps, games, cartoons, or slideshow presentations.
  • Post your release on a news release distribution service. PRWeb.com is a fantastic service – the fees are generally worth every penny, but there are also free services that do a decent job as well.
  • Include your most recent media release(s) in your media kit.
  • Read up on other authors’ and publishing companies’ media releases for sources to interview for your blog.
  • Stay on top of others’ releases (at sites like PRWeb, Free Press Release, Online PR News, and PR Newswire) so that you can learn about projects and events in your community (or elsewhere) with natural PR tie-ins for your book.

Two bonus ideas from Brian Solis:

(1) One option is to write a concise, compelling release as if it was the story you’d want to read in the press. You should also include new media elements, such as integrated resource links, video, images, etc. (and lite social elements such as del.icio.us and Digg). This will enjoy greater success with journalists and readers in general and will most likely cost no more than what you already do today in terms of official wire distribution. Plus, it will carry valuable SEO benefits.

(2) Another option (or in addition to) releases is to create a dedicated blog-like platform for distributing information in a way that’s designed to reach journalists, bloggers, and customers. Blog platforms, by nature, are already socially-enabled, and feature integrated comments, RSS feeds, social bookmarking, trackbacks, tags, etc. It shouldn’t resemble a press release, nor a traditional blog, but it should provide what’s new in a conversational, informative and resourceful format – with disclosures of course.

The main point here is to get busy writing your releases! And then, use all the creativity you’ve got to distribute them.


Please contact us if you’d like help putting together your media kit, media releases, or book proposal. Free 30-minute consultation when you mention this post ($99 value).

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

Laura - Marcie Brock

Marcie Brock is my alter-ego. She’s a savvy communications expert who will share with you everything she knows about marketing your self-published books. OK, then – who are you? Oh, me? I’m Laura Orsini, an editorial, marketing, and design consultant based in Phoenix, Arizona. I work primarily with socially conscious speakers, coaches, and authors interested in self-publishing their books. After years of working as an editor to help my clients get their books written and published, I started to notice that most of them had very little skill when it came to marketing these books they’d worked so hard to create. It was a natural fit to expand my services to include the marketing aspect. I now specialize in teaching my writers to think like marketers. I also incorporate enthusiastic expertise in the areas of communication, creativity, brainstorming, visualization, inspiration, networking, social media, and handwriting analysis into my work.

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