Weird & Unusual: Dragon’s Blood Tree

Happy October, the month of Halloween and all things spooky! Let’s start the month off with an unusual plant with an unusual, slightly eerie name: the Dragon’s Blood Tree. The Dragon’s Blood Tree (dracaena cinnabari) is an evergreen tree native to Socotra Island, a remote island located in the Indian Ocean, with an unusual appearance that looks like a giant mushroom or upside umbrella. It is a flowering plant. In February, small, fragrant white or greenish flowers will bloom at the ...

Reflections: Be At Peace With Yourself…

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Reflections: Be At Peace With Yourself... Peace, Prosperity, Passion... begins with peace within There is a lot in life that can make us feel uncertain. One thing I know for sure is that even when we make plans on how we wish to live our lives, other events over which we have no control, can/do happen to unravel our well placed plans. ...

Life throws me a curved ball

I haven’t posted anything for a while; I have had to deal with some very upsetting family developments which, quite frankly have let me stunned. I had been away to Crete and had a wonderful holiday (post on that to follow hopefully) when on my way home from the airport, I had to deal with a call from a distraught daughter-in-law. My son has moved out of their home.  There have been no arguments, no-one else is involved; he just feels the need ...

Conclusion: Giant Killer

Ricky let out a shrill whistle and waved urgently to stop me from staring at the Scottish lady on the billboard. A mistake. He drew unwanted attention before running away. Chris Ferris and two of his henchmen, Donny Greco and Phil Jaggly, approached like jackals about to pounce on Bambi. Chris Ferris, a head and a half taller than me, had long ago assumed the task of making my life miserable. Jaggly, who had so many freckles it looked like a ...

Sex On Mountain Road

A few days ago I was on my way to a dental appointment when an impulse prompted me to detour through our old neighborhood. Years had passed since I’d driven down these streets and I saw a street sign that made me smile. It wasn’t a traffic sign; it was one of those chin-high decorative brick walls that announce the name of a new housing development or apartment complex. I pulled to the curb and studied it. Written on the ...

What Are We Looking At?

After finding this picture in my file of travel shots I scratched my head trying to remember what was so interesting as to prompt this photograph. It took me a while, and then I remembered; this was a shot looking down from the balcony of our ship as we passed into one of the locks at the Panama Canal. The black line at the bottom is the space between our ship and the concrete wall of the lock. Here it was ...

Inspiration: Grandma’s Special Brand of Love

“Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality.” Viktor E. Frankl Inspiration: Grandma's Special Brand of Love... farming, trading and spreading love It is a blessing to have others believe in us and encourage us.  Some people have the good fortune to be born into families where love and support is a given and some don’t. However, whatever our lot, if we met or knew even one person who at some point in ...

Haiku: Yo Slick… Blow!

“To know when to go away and when to come closer is the key to any lasting relationship.” Doménico Cieri Estrada Haiku: Yo Slick… Blow! Some shit jive is poison… Bell Biv DeVoe – Poison (Remix) Some jive is poison… Endless gossip about nonsense I say, yo slick… blow It’s my prerogative… Bobby Brown – My Prerogative How we live our lives Look, it’s our prerogative Toe the line or… go A friend shared a decision about a difficult relationship and all the clamoring others made. It brought back memories and prompted ...

Happy Independence Day Weekend

Image: nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Happy Independence Day and weekend to my fellow citizens of the USA! For your holiday enjoyment I have put together (1) a brief but challenging trivia quiz and (2) a book recommendation for the occasion. Answers to the quiz are provided after the book recommendation. As a special bonus this holiday weekend I’m also including, via the menu-tab above called “July 4 Tribute,” the full text of Longfellow’s poem about our Mr. Paul Revere’s ride. Trivia Quiz What thirteen ...

5 Things About Your Dad...

My dad in his 20's Heading into Father's Day, I wanted to open the blog for tributes to our dads.  Below are five statements that you can complete in the comment section if you'd like - pick one or all - but let us know what makes your dad great! My dad passed away suddenly several years ago and I still miss him today. If your father is still alive make sure you finish these statements below and tell him what he ...

Memorial Day Tribute

For all the service men and women who give their lives every day so that the rest of us can live ours. Below is a brief, two minutes long, yet  poignant video that I stumbled upon today that really drives home the importance of remembering the fallen, so we can rise up and carry on. If you’ve lost a loved one who served – all I can say is thank you! You may need tissues for this one…. Photo Credit - Creative Commons: Lindsey ...

My SCL Guest Post: Nine Unsavory Bible Snacks

My SCL Guest Post: Nine Unsavory Bible Snacks

Today's a big day for me as a writer. No, I didn't win a Pulitzer or Dayton Literary Peace Prize - but it's almost as good. I've written a guest post that's being feature on Jon Acuff's outstanding web site Stuff Christians Like (SCL). SCL is a satirically irreverrant, yet always respectful, look at all things Christianity. Jon's observations and writing are sharp, witty, crisp, howlingly funny, spiritually provocative and often moving. He's kind of like a Christian John Stewart - that is ...

4 Life-Changing Reasons Why You Should Have a Baby Journal

“…I don’t think it means what you think it means” – Inigo Montoya, From the Princess Bride There is a bit of confusion it would seem, in some of the more common expressions around parenthood. Before the birth of our son, my wife and I would always hear the comment: “Our child is the center of our world.” This sure sounds sweet and endearing, right? Guess what. It’s not. It is a cold, hard fact. After the arrival of our little bundle of joy, ...

"As My Waist Turns" – the Dramatic Saga Continues…

"As My Waist Turns" - the Dramatic Saga Continues...

Let's face it, we all have drama in our lives. Mostly such drama is driven by our personal unmet expectations. Today was my weekly WeightWatchers weigh-in, and to be honest - I was completely prepared for a large dose of drama in the form of a weight gain because my activity was down from the week and my eating was up. So I was shockingly surprised to see that I was actually down -2.2 lbs. for the week, for a total loss to date of ...

Veterans Day Conversation With Cleverbot…

Several months ago I discovered Cleverbot, which is a web-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) application that learns to speak by conversing with humans via an instant messaging platform. While it’s a stretch to say that Cleverbot is intelligent, interacting with this particular learning software can be mildly entertaining. Here’s the most recent interview I had with Cleverbot last month: Halloween Fun With Cleverbot Since today is Veterans Day, I thought it would be interesting to get Cleverbot’s take on this holiday. Here’s the unedited conversation I had ...

A Roaring Success!

What’s better than dressing up in roaring ‘20s style for a fabulous night? Dressing up in roaring ‘20s style for an important cause. Catching up with Stephanie Haney, www.themovemagicians.com CASA of Collin County recently held their annual gala to benefit abused and neglected children, and the night was a huge success! The event is the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year and always receives tremendous local support. Held at the exquisite Hotel InterContinental Dallas, Clarice Tinsley, an Emmy-award winning broadcast journalist, opened ...

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Laura - Marcie Brock
September 15, 2011, 9:03 am

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.

MARCIE

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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