Posts Tagged ‘pictures’


Are You Making Rational Decisions?

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

by Colleen Flood*

Flickr Image: lapolab

Flickr Image: lapolab

When I am making decisions or working with decision makers I am often reminded of the PRSA Counselors Academy conference back in May.  During the breakout session, “The Emotional Context of Rational Thought,” led by Carol Schiro Greenwald, I learned about how the brain works and how emotions influence the way we hear and process information.  This in turn influences our decisions, as well as those our clients make.

Greenwald was informative, filling us in on facts about the brain: 

  1. it weighs 3lbs.
  2. is 7-10 million years old
  3. it does not fully develop until we are approx. 20 years old. 

These facts were interesting, but what Greenwald went on to say got me thinking.  She explained that we can only do one thing at a time!  Despite our best efforts, we cannot multi-task – I guess this why she would not let us tweet during her session. 

She explained that the mind is linear and has not evolved…yet.  Perhaps future generations will evolve in to doing more than one thing at a time since they will be raised in a multi-tasking society with all the new technology.  (So for now, stop trying to do other things and stick to one thing at a time – like concentrating on reading this blog.) 

Greenwald said we can only retain 7-10 pieces of information at a time and we forget 95 percent of what we know.  She also explained 80 percent of brain thoughts are unconscious!  Therefore, for good decision making it is important to “underload in the society of information overload.”  How can we do this? 

  • Begin with a big idea and add the details later.
  • Tell a story. We learn through visuals, pictures – so make it real.
  • Don’t overload the consumer.  Over thinking shuts out emotional context; it cuts out all the knowledge.  Whatever you think is the proper length, shorten it Greenwald says. 
  • Provide all the need to know information rather than the nice to know. Again shorter is better.
  • We see what our brain tells us to see. Keep it lively.
  • Memory is a creative product of our encounters. Make sure you make an impression.

What emotional connections do you see influencing seemingly rational choices or decisions with your clients?  In the workplace? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas. 

***

*Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Pitching the Media: Brooke Siegel, DailyCandy, and Jake Dobkin, Gothamist, Share Tips At Bulldog Media Relations Summit

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

by Colleen Flood*

The timing for the “Meet the Editors” roundtable at the Bulldog Media Relations Summit could not have been a better follow up to my BurrellesLuce colleague Tressa Robbins’ recent post, What Journalist Really Want from PR People. In fact, I had the opportunity to moderate two roundtables with journalists of highly regarded outlets. The morning session was with Brooke Siegel, entertainment editor of DailyCandy.com, and the afternoon session JournalistTakingNoteswas with was Jake Dobkin, publisher of Gothamist.com.  Both conveyed similar messages about pitching:

  • Provide simple, concise details of what they need to write the story
  • Send the type of story their outlet would include

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes a PR person can make when pitching is sending the finished product. I heard from Dobkin and Siegel that “almost never do they use the ‘story’ as you send it.” And I am sure that most journalists would probably agree.  Instead, they recommend “sending the details” and then “they will write the title and the story.”  Be specific with details, especially in the subject line.  Just be sure you don’t include the entire press release (in the subject line) – Siegel joked that this has happened to her and reached for her BlackBerry to show us, then remembered she had deleted it!

For Jake the details he must have include pictures, illustrations, or video.  Since Gothamist.com is a blog it is important to lure the reader with visuals.  Without any it is likely he will not do the story.  Just don’t send large files. Instead provide photos via a “photo-drop box” like Flickr.

According to Dobkin, PR and media relations professionals should also know before pitching Gothamist.com that:

  • Gothamist.com does 10 posts/day
  • Audience is 18-34 year olds known as “affluent hipsters”
  • Contact via email tips [at] gothamist.com
  • Don’t call us – we’ll call you.  Trust us, you will receive a call if we need additional information
  • Provide videos via YouTube or embed with a code

As far as getting your story picked up by DailyCandy.com, Siegel provides some specifics:

  • Dailycandy.com is committed to covering what’s new and undiscovered in 11 cities
  • Audience is primarily geared towards women regarding fashion, food, and fun
  • Exclusives are welcome
  • They have a “deals email” that is a great way to establish brands
  • No “enter to win” or giveaways
  • How-to videos are welcome
  • Always include a website; this is the “biggest business card you have”

It was a pleasure to meet Siegel and Dobkin in person.  They are real people who work very hard to get their stories out to their audiences.  And while some of their points were specific to their publications, I think the biggest lesson they offered was to remind participants how important it is to “research and know the outlet you are pitching.” Now, that’s a takeaway any savvy professional working with the media would do well to heed.   

Are you pitching journalists they way they want to be pitched? What tips have journalists and bloggers given you for working with the media? Share your thoughts with the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

***

 *Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce