Posts Tagged ‘stories’

2012 Counselors Academy Conference Keynote – Groovin’ to Your Own Beat: How to Build Your Business by Merging Your Personal and Professional Selves

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Colleen Flood*

The 2012 Counselors Academy kicked off on Sunday, May 6, 2012. The evening’s keynote session featured Jay Baer, president of Convince and Convert, and Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich. The duo asserted that “it’s difficult to tell a client they need to be using the Web if an agency principal doesn’t believe it themselves.”

How to Build Your Personal Brand into Your Professional Brand
During the session, Baer and Dietrich discussed “how revenue follows capabilities and capabilities follow beliefs” and presented agency leaders with best practices to “finally ‘get off their duffs and start becoming social’ in order to build their businesses.”

Here are some key takeaways from the presentation:

  • If an agency has several employees, why not tweet under the agency name?
  • Videos create a human being behind the brand. We remember personal stories and want to do business with the people we know.
  • Network – social media connects you with people you cannot connect with in 3D and helps with national recognition.
  • Agencies need to spend time on leadership campaigns (e.g., blog posts). Tech has made us all self-servers of information and we want to find the answers ourselves when it’s time.
  • Can a junior staffer handle social media? Social media is not something you should delegate and you can’t outsource your voice.
  • People will remember your “branding.” So, give away what you know. Remember, “giving away a list of ingredients doesn’t make you a chef.”
  • Figure out your circles. Listen and find opportunities to be helpful. The best way to be helpful is to setup searches. People buy from people they like and trust. Your client wants to work with you!
  • Commit to social media regularly – say, 20 minutes a day – and fill in the “tiny gaps in your day.”
  • How do you measure social media success? Understand how it pays off in terms of leads, new business, and client retention. Listen. Assess the conversation. Engage. Measure and then improve.

The audience also had the opportunity to ask a few questions. One question focused on “what PR firms should stop doing and start implementing instead.” The answer? Stop chasing the hot new thing and start having policies in place for brand ambassadors.

How are you “groovin’ to your own beat” and “merging your personal and professionals selves to build your business?”


*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 

A ‘Typical’ Week in the Life of Dallas Cowboys Public Relations

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
Katie Levy, Southeast Missouri State University

Katie Levy, from Southeast Missouri State University PRSSA Chapter, tried on Rich Dalrymple’s Super Bowl Championship ring exclaiming, “It’s prettier than an engagement ring!”

Rich Dalrymple, Dallas Cowboys spokesperson and vice president of public relations and communications, recently spoke to eager PR students at the PRSSA Regional Conference in Nashville, Tennessee and I was fortunate to get to hear him as well.  He gave a rundown of what a “typical” week is like for him in Dallas Cowboys PR, along with a number of career tips.  

In this post, I thought it would be fun to share the “week in the life” and save the tips for a later post.

The weekly drama crescendos on Sunday – game day.

Monday (after Sunday’s game) he starts off by reading the newspapers. He catches the radio round-up while showering, and then reviews ESPN and other reports via his iPad. This is all before he even leaves the house! Once at the office, he preps for post-game press conference with the head coach to comment on all the analyses.

Tuesday the players are off, but this is typically the day when all the network pre-game shows are calling asking for interview appointments. He acknowledges this isn’t your typical media relations job as most would be begging media to pick-up a story but with the Cowboys, they have to “beat them off with a stick.”  Although, admittedly, Dalrymple does have to sometimes pitch the media for non-football stories, such as a player volunteering at a local hospital.

Wednesday and Thursday the team practices. He requests (pleads with) the players talk to the media as they open the locker room to the media after practice.

Friday also is team practice and Dalrymple spends time talking with broadcasters, feeding them tidbits of information that they can use for discussion and filler during the game broadcast. (I always wondered how those guys knew that a player, for example, just had a birthday dinner with his 100 year-old grandma. Well, now I know!)

Saturday is travel, or if a home game, then tying up loose ends with the players, the media, the coaches, and whatever / whoever else needs attention.

Sunday is game day. Dalrymple says he’ll arrive at the stadium at least 3-4 hours prior to kick-off to check on all last minute details. During the game, he sits in the press box and listens to be sure the broadcasters are not spewing misinformation or mispronouncing players’ names. He also plays host by ensuring food is available for the media, the Wi-Fi is working properly, etc. As soon as the game is over, they allow the players a 10-minute cool-off before opening the locker room for post-game interviews. He’ll usually be able to leave the stadium two and a half hour or so after the game.


What is a typical day like for you in PR and the media? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

5 Tips for Incorporating Brand Journalism Into Your Communications Strategy

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

January 2012

If you’ve spent any time looking at last year’s PR and marketing trends, you’ll find no shortage of buzzwords such as, “engagement,” “SEO,” “hyperlocal,” and “mobile outreach.” We can now add “brand journalism” to the mix as communications professionals look to move beyond traditional content marketing and strengthen their storytelling game in 2012.

With the web saturated with content, more audiences control how, when, and which types of content they receive. Thus, it is no surprise that organizations are taking a journalistic approach when writing their stories, in an effort to emulate more of the tone and feel of the media in their own content creation efforts.

Read more to of this BurrellesLuce newsletter and discover 5 tips to help you and your organization get the most out of brand journalism.

Lessons for Leaders: Dancing with PR Star Patrice Tanaka in Her Book “Becoming Ginger Rogers”

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Be sure to RSVP for the Holiday Party and Celebration of Ballroom Dancing, featuring Patrice Tanaka, co-chair, chief creative officer, whatcanbe Ambassador CRT/tanaka and co-hosts Fay Shapiro, publisher, and Todd Grossman, VP, Multivu™, a PR Newswire company.


This book review by Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce SVP,  first appeared on and is reposted with permission. 

Patrice Tanaka: "Becoming Ginger Rogers"

First, let me say that I love biographies. People are fascinating and their stories rarely fail to compel and inspire me to think differently, try something new or just try to be an overall better person.

Patrice Tanaka’s book “Becoming Ginger Rogers…How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner and Smarter CEO” was, as advertised from the front cover, “inspiring.” And, for me, a page-turner because I’ve met Patrice personally, but also because she is a public relations pro telling her own story. In essence, whether your personal “style” is rumba, foxtrot, tango or the samba—you’ll really like this book. Reading this book IS the mirror-ball of communications—and it’s A WINNER!

Not only is Patrice co-chair, chief creative officer and whatcanbe ambassador at PR firm CRT/tanaka, but she is also is an artist of words. Throughout her career she told the story of her clients and organization so eloquently; this is no less true in her book. She turns her storytelling into a master class of “take care of you” for every professional. Within her book she wins and loses love, she struggles and succeeds in business and she follows her passion to develop new skills. Patrice teaches lessons of endurance and empowerment through life and specifically through dance. As she transforms her physical appearance and mental strength she learns and fills gaps of vulnerability with confidence, poise and glamorous gowns.

A few lessons I learned that you can apply to your daily life and career, as well:

  1. Be a leader. Be in tune with yourself and allow wonderful things to happen all around you. Patrice, while herself is a dominant leader, her strong lesson came from her taking cues from her strong partner and instills those same traits with her “whatcanbe” program at her agency.  
  2. Be a follower. My favorite lesson is from the mambo where Type-A Patrice let her partner lead. She didn’t rely on a routine, but allowed herself the freedom to live in that moment of the dance in the power of her knowledge to guide her and trust in her practice and experience.
  3. Love yourself. When times are tough, remember that unless you are strong and take care of yourself it’s hard to be strong for others.
  4. Love what you do. It will show. No matter what you’re doing: PR, marketing, dancing, knitting, accounting—love it while you’re doing it and you’ll find the best YOU. If you don’t love it, don’t worry, but don’t force something that doesn’t feel right. There’s a “Ginger Rogers” in you waiting to bloom.
  5. Follow your gut. Patrice suffered loss in her life, but you would NEVER know it. She commands an audience whether her feet or her mouth are telling the story. She is inspirational and truly in tune with her heart and her instincts.

This book is a tapestry of communication and life lessons and skills exemplified at the highest level. Each day we all dance our own mambo and after reading Patrice’s book you’ll be reminded to master the basics and the routine will follow. So many times in a world trying to be clever, the simple lessons are the most powerful.

I read this book in two days—just the pleasure and the mental vacation I needed. The real joy is that it’s a business book too. Patrice is an entrepreneur who has a keen business sense and places high value on people to make her organization thrive.

Through all of the stories and lessons the secret ingredient to this book is, in fact, Patrice. She transforms herself and reminds me to prioritize and be diverse. Communications plans are very much the same. You know the moves you have the technique and you need to trust your skills to execute and rely on cues for subtle adjustments as needed. When you meet her in person, don’t be fooled by Patrice’s tiny stature … her presence is large and in charge on the dance floor and on the PR scene.


About Patrice Tanaka: Patrice is Co-Chair, Chief Creative Officer and whatcanbe Ambassador at CRT/tanaka. She’s also author of “Becoming Ginger Rogers…How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner and Smarter CEO.” Her personal philosophy is that of “whatcanbe,” CRT/tanaka’s brand vision, cultural ethos and approach to business that involves helping the agency, its clients and the community-at-large to envision and manifest a bigger, brighter, better future.

PRSA-NJ Panel Discussion: PR Strategy Tools for Effective Online News

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Colleen Flood*

Effective Online News

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend the PRSA-NJ panel discussion on Tools of the Trade:  Effective Online News sponsored by BurrellesLuce.  The event was held at the beautiful Monmouth University campus and had a great turnout of emerging journalists and up-and-coming publicists. 

The panel had one consistent message across the board for students and professionals in attendance: 

  • Know who you are pitching.
  • Know your news hook.
  • Be relevant, specific and succinct.

Judith Feeney —  digital editor for NJ Press Media,  Asbury Park Press (, Daily Record (, the Home News Tribune, and the Courier News — started the discussion by reminding us there are a vast number of new tools and a lot less time to get the job done.  She suggested that PR and media relations professionals need to become familiar with all of the tools out there.  Know who you are pitching and don’t blanket your pitch to multiple people.  Look at the type of material the publication and journalist produces and tailor your pitch accordingly.

Christopher Sheldon, the Long Branch editor of, a hyperlocal publication, said to make sure to include the who, what, where, when and why in the first paragraph.  If it’s not local to his area, he cannot write about it.  His audience is looking for community news.

Christy Potter Kass, assistant editor of The Alternative Press, agreed with Chris and said her publication is also hyperlocal and stories must tie into the values and interests of local readers.  She emphasized not to confuse hyperlocal publications with national publications.  When asked the definition of “hyperlocal,” Christy said the more local the story the better.  News must be about something going on in town or have a connection to the community.

Joan Bosisio, group vice president of Stern & Associates said that (with all the recent layoffs) PR people have an opportunity to help journalists, who are working on stories, do their jobs.  Journalists are now doing more than one job and by presenting them with not only the story, but the materials to help them write the story (e.g., video, spokespeople and social media) you make their job easier.

Kristine Brown oversees PR for St. Barnabas Health, the state’s largest hospital system.  She gave us some real life examples of crisis communications and advised that essential PR skills have not changed with all the new online tools available.  Kristine said you still need to know your audience, know your story, cultivate relationships with the media (this has helped her in time of crisis) and move at the same pace the news is moving.

As for journalists and PR professionals alike, essential skills include: spelling, grammar, and attention to detail. The ability to take your own photos, as a journalist, will also help prospective media professionals stand out.

How are you using online tools to help you connect with journalists and the media? As a member of the media, what other ways can PR and communications professionals work with you to get their stories out? Please leave your comments below on 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