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Posts Tagged ‘Oprah’

Powerful women influencers on this budding social alchemist

For the next 26 days, we’ll be taking a little detour from the traditional marketing posts you’ve come to know and love on the Marcie Brock blog as I lead by example and follow my own writing prompts for the Author Blog Challenge. There’s still time to register. Join today and qualify for drawings for daily giveaways for every day that you post.

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Day 3 writing prompt:

Who are the writers you most admire? Who are your writing mentors?

The writers I most admire are good fiction authors, hands down. Writers whose seemingly effortless prose paints word pictures that etch themselves indelibly in my mind. Of course, I’m reminded of the quote from Spanish writer Enrique Jardiel Poncela: “When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.

Writers whose work I have loved include Steinbeck, particularly his classic, Grapes of Wrath. His attention to details amazes me still. I can still picture that turtle on its back all these years later after my FIRST reading of the book as a junior in high school. Contemporary word-picture painters include Sue Miller and Ken Follett. Their attention to the tiniest details (cutting your leg shaving and onlookers’ necks tiring from looking up as stone masons built a Renaissance cathedral, respectively) brought their work alive for me.

Another brilliant book is Sting’s autobiography, Broken Music. No surprise that a superstar songwriter should be a good storyteller, but there’s a magical lyricism to Sting’s words that I’ve seldom seen anywhere else. What I would give to be able to spin stories in such a fashion.

I can’t say that I necessarily have writing mentors at present. Two of my instructors from my days at the University of Arizona still inspire me. I’ve written before of Richard Shelton, writer, poet, and emeritus Regents Professor of English. The other is Nancy Mairs, author, columnist, feminist, and overall inspiration. I can only imagine meeting her today, instead of as a still-green, fairly unevolved young writer all those many years ago. But her words and our conversations continue to remind me that I have an important message to share.

In general, I admire powerful, successful women. Not Miranda Priestly, Devil Wears Prada powerful, but powerful because they know who they are, what they want, and they are using their large public platforms to do great work that is making a huge difference in the world. Madonna. Hillary Clinton. Oprah. Marianne Williamson. Anne Lamott. Lady Gaga. Lilly Ledbetter. Obvious? Perhaps. Authors? Some of them. But women of influence, all. That’s my goal in life: to be a powerful influence, a catalyst for change … a true social alchemist.

Who are YOUR mentors and influencers?

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out and register today!

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The secret to contacting a company may lie in their MEDIA ROOM.

It’s no secret that I love the Internet. I remember the days of searching the World Book Encyclopedia for info or begging my dad to take me to the library so I could do research for my term papers. When I worked at the Arizona Daily Star newspaper library in the pre-Internet days, we used to get queries from the public on all kinds of random topics:

  • How do you spell “Schwarzenegger”?
  • Is Anthony Quinn really Greek?
  • What was Mariel and Margaux Hemingway’s relationship to Ernest?
  • What are the words to “Auld Lang Syne”?
  • What are the names of the seven dwarfs?

Can you even imagine calling a newspaper library – or a library of any kind – to ask a question like that? In 2011, it seems ludicrous, but just 20 short years ago, it was actually a good idea. The #1 reason people use the Internet today is to search for information. All kinds of things, from job listings to the name of artist who wrote that song, to movie times, biographies of artists, both famous and obscure, reviews of smart phones and hundreds of thousands of other products, the number of calories burned during given activities, fast food menus, home remedies for burns, what to do when your cat keeps bringing dead birds into the house … the kinds of information you can find online are just about endless.

One excellent use for the Web is to do research on people or businesses with whom you want to connect. With the myriad social media platforms, people are slightly easier to research. Any smart, reputable company has a decent website with all manner of information about it. However, the one thing you may not be able to find on a company’s website is contact information for a particular individual, such as the PR or media relations person. Quite often, the email address available is one of those infernal info@ addresses that might occasionally be read by an intern and whose likelihood of being answered is unfortunately slim.

Say you’ve compiled an anthology of stories and witticisms from quilters of a bygone era, and you’re trying to make contact with a store like Hobby Lobby or Joanne ETC to pitch book signings and events in your area. How do you get around the gatekeeper or find contact info for a real person?

One idea is to find the company’s media room on their website. Posted there, you’re likely to find media releases the company has issued about its own news and events. And within that media release, you will likely find a nugget of gold: contact info for the company’s media relations person, usually a name, phone number, and e-mail address.

Now before you go contacting this individual, make sure you do your homework.

  • If you will make a phone call, rehearse your pitch ahead of time.
  • Be prepared to leave a message and, in the perhaps unlikely event that the person answers their phone, also be ready to speak to them live.
  • If you will send an e-mail, double check your spelling – especially of the contact person’s name!
  • Be brief and to the point in your pitch/query.
  • Make sure to position your pitch in terms of how hosting your event or working with you will benefit the company.

Realize there are NO guarantees that this person will respond to your first query. Or your follow-up query, for that matter.You might also think about tapping into your social media network, particularly LinkedIn, to attempt to find another real name inside the company to whom you can reach out.

It took Greg Godek, author of 1,001 Ways to Be Romantic, more than 10 tries before he got through to Oprah and eventually became a guest on her show. If he can succeed with the queen of all media, YOU can succeed at getting through to the right person in a national chain of craft supply stores. Be creative, be thoughtful, be direct, and be succinct. Most importantly, be determined.

Happy pitching!

Laura

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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).

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Marcie Brock and Madonna, comic contemporaries

Marcie Brock is about to be joined by very regal company. Galleycat announced in a June 24, 2011 post that Madonna is about to become a comic book star.

I remember it because it was the summer I met my best friend, Jane. Like a Virgin was released when I was 14, and the then unknown 19-year-old Madonna, seemingly of endless arrogance, declared she would one day be the biggest pop star in the world. At the time, I had no use for her music, and as her fame grew, I thought she was just a trashy sellout. How the years and a little perspective can change one’s POV.

Now I’m not saying I’d like to hang out with her, but I soooooo admire what Madonna not only declared, but accomplished. I don’t give a rat’s ass how she did it she set a BIG fat hairy goal (also known as a BHAG), and then went out and accomplished it. I immensely admire her chutzpah, so  much so that she’s in my Success Book as one woman’s success I’d like to model.

Bluewater Productions, creator of the new Madonna comic, also features Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and JK Rowling in its Female Force series other women who appear in my Succes Book. 

If YOU want to accomplish something huge, set a big goal, tell people, and then take all the baby steps necessary to get there!

Laura

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Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation.

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.


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