Specializing in social marketing and business communications training

7 Everyday Tasks PR Pros Had To Do Without Technology

PRPros_Beforetechnology_edited1At the risk of sounding like I live in the Smithsonian, please allow me to reflect on how times have changed. Modern day public relations preceded the Web by decades, and many working in the profession may not realize how archaic—and different—our daily work really was. Mind you, I began working in PR 15 years ago, but the points I mention below also apply to my first 15 years out of the gate—in a broadcast newsroom as a news director and anchor. Sure, Mad Men shows us advertising execs who were smoking cigarettes and drinking hard liquor as part of their daily routines. However, in the real world of PR and news, what was happening before Google, YouTube and satellite media tours? In 1947, the Public Relations Society of America was formed. In the 1950s, PR executive Dan Edelman, founder of the global agency bearing his name, created the first media tour. Fast forward to the 1990s or so, and the work of PR pros had evolved, but was markedly different than how we roll today. Every day, we depended on:

  1. Rolodexes, not databases. Without Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and other repositories to connect reporters with sources, offices and desks were decorated with tattered overstuffed rolodexes. They were bursting with weathered business cards and scribbled tabs with coveted names, home phone numbers and private extensions of elected officials, civic leaders and community movers and shakers. Oh, to clarify, the word “community” meant neighborhood or geographic area.
  2. Press releases, not direct message pitches. These documents were often typed on Olivetti or IBM Selectric typewriters. PR budgets included white out, corrector ribbons and paper that wasn’t recycled. Envelopes and postage stamps, too.
  3. File cabinets, not online archives. These ugly metal storage boxes contained news clips, magazine articles, and other placements you secured with blood, sweat and tears.
  4. Research, not Google Alerts. This depended on previous projects, microfiche records and speeches recorded on cassettes and videotapes. Trips to the local library were frequent, and lengthy. World Book Encyclopedias were also part of the PR practitioner’s toolbox.
  5. Telephones, not smartphones. With phones hard-wired to the wall and no voice mail, if you weren’t at your desk when someone returned your call, oh well. Some really important people had electronic pagers. When their “beepers” went off, they found the nearest pay phone and dialed. Callers never had to worry if a live person would pick up. What other options were there?
  6. Press conferences, not Satellite Media Tours. These events were scheduled. And people actually came to them, especially if there was food.
  7. Press kits, not infographics. Overpriced and glossy is how I remember them. Documents contained in these folders took weeks to write and edit. The design, off-site printing and subsequent stuffing gives a new meaning to collaboration. The cost of mailing five of these packets was equivalent to a catered office lunch for 12 executives.

You may want to hold onto this post and re-read in five weeks, five months or five years. If you’re a digital native, you’ll likely be able to write your own version. Addingmachine_PR

5 Ways to Effectively Use Native Advertising

Riverwalk water shadows sept 2012Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post by Alicia Lawrence.

The phrase native advertising (NA) has been buzzing around ad agencies since 2012 but only a few communicators have truly grasped its benefits. It’s time to demystify NA.

Native advertising refers to the placement of ads that seamlessly blend in with the format and style of whatever platform they are on. Hence, the term “native” as it appears to originate from the site and not a third party.

What Makes NA So Popular Now?

If you’ve kept your eye on the effectiveness of online ads, you’ve seen it drop from 9 percent in 2000 to only .2 percent in 2012. People have developed ‘selective seeing.’ This is why 2012 experienced a spike of interest in NA. Native advertising became a viable option to solve the online ad problem.

Native advertising is focused around the user experience. Since it’s seamlessly woven into consumer content, it forces the eyes onto the brand. You’re not trying to put a mask on the ad so people read it. Instead, it’s about appealing to the needs of a particular audience.

It puts the consumer first by offering relevant content.

 5 Types of NA

-Social NA: Social media platforms have caught on to the effectiveness of NA. Facebook created their promoted stories. Unlike many forms of native advertising, social NA is very affordable.

-Branded Images: Creative original content is another form of NA when combined with a brand. For instance, Porsche sponsored an image-heavy post on The Atlantic that went viral. And there are branded web graphics like this one from Clarity Way.

-Sponsored Videos: Native video ads in particular have become increasingly popular on the web. While they may cost a pretty penny to create, the ROI companies are seeing from NA continues to make it an attractive choice. Native advertising is also a trendy pick for video games.

-Promoted Posts: Public relations professionals have created this form of NA for years. They write and pitch relevant articles that their audience would find educational and enjoyable. The only connection back to the business is a brief mention in a bio line at the end of the post. SEOs have recently picked up the power of promoted posts to further their cause of link building. The article is usually not marked as advertising and most times the owner of the blog has no idea it’s even taking place. How can that be? The anchor text and brand is seamlessly woven into the content.

-Creative NA: Due to its very nature, NA harbors the need for creative advertisers to innovate. This form of NA is open for interpretation because that is what makes NA so appealing to the consumer.

The Difficulties and Benefits of NA

Native advertising didn’t come without its challenges, which deter many agencies away. Since NA must match the website’s tone, style, and format in order to be effective, it requires tailored content for each site. The non-scalability of NA is a major turn-off for fast-paced agencies. This also means the creation and placement of NA is typically quite expensive.

Native advertising is still considered a gamble in the advertising world. We have seen great success with promotional stories on Facebook and natural product placement in videos. However, we’ve also seen great failures.

What is your experience with Native Advertising?

Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for WebpageFX and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land. Her work has been published by the Association for Business Communication, Yahoo! Small Business, and Spin Sucks.


7 reasons to use multimedia when communicating

corner picture at folawnsThese are numbers that PR and marketing professionals simply can’t ignore.

PR Newswire and PR News recently conducted a survey of how companies are usingor not usingmultimedia in press releases and other communication.

The research finds:  

  • 56 percent of PR and marketing executives rarely or sometimes include multimedia in press releases
  • 9 percent of respondents always feature multimedia elements and rich media in their press releases
  • 75 percent of those surveyed plan to increase visual storytelling in 2014


I was invited to discuss these findings on a webinar with Michael Pranikoff, Global Director, Emerging Media at PR Newswire  and Matthew Schwartz, Group Editor at PR News.   

Here are seven takeaways from our conversation:

Matthew: There’s a big appetite out there to include visual elements and rich media in press releases and other communication channels. The survey offers encouragement but there’s still that chasm between the desire among PR and marketing executives to use visuals and the challenges of budgets and resources. It’s really finding the link between what visual storytelling can do to enhance your communication and public relations while making the case to the C-suite for increasing budgets for these kinds of channels.

Michael: PR Newswire has looked at 60,000 pieces of content that’s been syndicated over the past couple of years. You get almost 10 times the amount of views when using multimedia than just doing a plain text news release.

Matthew: You would think right now that the static press release would be antiquated in that you have an oncoming generation of decision makers who have been conditioned to the visual and multimedia elements in a release, in a piece of text, in a brochure, or in an annual report. For those companies who continue to distribute plain text and vanilla press releases, I don’t know how much those companies are on the right side of history.

Susan: Our minds think in pictures, not words. That’s why this is so important. Communicators must convey our messages through a blend of pictures and words, not one or the other.

Michael: Layering video in any kind of media leads to an emotional resonance and component that people are looking for in brands…audiences are craving this and gravitating to visual.

Matthew: PR people should start thinking about their own behavior as it relates to video…They go through their workday and they tend to click on a video that caught their attention. It’s not unlike your customers and prospects. They are doing the same things. It’s really changing a behavior.

Susan: Business communicators must understand how their clients and prospects are consuming information. It’s not about how you want to deliver the content. It’s about how the audience wants to receive it and engage with it.

Matthew also notes that a B2B product or service that may seem bland or dry on paper can come to life with visual elements.

The three of us agreed there are many opportunities to repurpose content that contains visuals.

To listen to the free webinar, visit CommProBiz.

Entrepreneurs: 4 ways to use press releases for publicity

car 003One of the most confusing parts of a small business owner’s marketing plan is the press release. While virtually all entrepreneurs understand that marketing and publicity are essential to business success, how and when to write a press release is baffling.

In the social media landscape, many wonder if press releases are still relevant. As a former radio news reporter and news director, I say, yes they are relevant. But ONLY when used to announce something that’s newsworthy. 

Therein lies the confusion. How do you know what’s newsworthy? What do reporters and bloggers look for and cover?

Here are four press release strategies for small business owners:

1.      Avoid self-promotion. Remember that in the word “newsworthy” is the word “new.” When writing a press release or a pitch, be sure you have a fresh angle on a story, trend, or issue. Your announcement must be timely, relevant, and compelling to the public. It must fit with the reporter’s niche or demographic. Sales pitches are for the advertising department, not the newsroom. Hire a PR coach or read books on how to write and frame your story. Many of my blog posts cover this topic. Discover how you can help reporters and editors. The key is to build relationships and become a trusted resource. Before you begin writing a press release, ask yourself, “Who cares?” If your announcement doesn’t impact the public, you’re on the wrong path.

 2.      Keep your news antennae up. News is about people. People love great stories. You have great stories right under your nose but you’re busy running your graphic design company, staffing firm, or retail shop. And of course you’re consumed with learning social media. Take your ear buds out and pay attention to what’s happening around you.  What trends can you comment on? Is your company celebrating an anniversary? Have you recently expanded or gotten a small business grant? How have you helped a client to succeed? Do you have an interesting hobby or talent that’s out of the ordinary?

3.      Think multimedia. Reporters expect to see more than words; they want images, action, and video. They want to hear something. Have you considered using a flip cam to record your press release or pitch? These tools allow the reporter to get to know you by hearing you explain your story and watching your body language. Think about how a Pinterest board can visually tell your story. We live in a creative space. Stand out by inviting news decision makers to connect with you on an exciting and deeper level.

4.      Write tip-sheet style releases. To build your credibility, help people solve their problems. Position yourself as the expert in your industry. People have a pain and you have the medicine that will ease their discomfort. The tip-sheet format (like this list) is effective because it’s reader-friendly in our crazy, busy world.  The bullet points allow readers to skim the content and glean nuggets of information. Our cognitive bandwidth is more limited than ever. Brief tips are usually appreciated. 

Once you have a few press releases, think about how you can repurpose them into blog posts, short video clips, and content for e-zines. Minor tweaks to the format can easily create new content and marketing pieces.    

The bottom line: Your presence affects your prosperity. Don’t be the best-kept secret!

PS: If you want lots of tips like the ones above, you’ll want to see this! Hot off the Press: My new Kindle book, The Badass Book of Social Media and Business Communication.  It’s packed with hundreds of pointers and strategies on PR, news interviews, pitches, writing, blogging, and social media.

5 secrets to successfully pitch a Mediabistro editor

Patrick Coffee is the Editor of PRNewser, a daily blog published by Mediabistro.com.  Coffee and his team write about news, trends, and announcements in PR. He is based in New York.

Here are highlights from our recent conversation: 

On contacting him:  I get lots and lots of e-mail pitches every day. They come from most of the major PR firms, especially in New York City. Occasionally I’ll get phone calls, but it’s very rare, and that’s a good thing. I personally want e-mail. The more often someone calls me the less likely I am to run their story.

On subject lines: The most important part of an e-mail pitch is having an effective subject line. It has to get my attention without pandering or telling me, ‘I must read this.’ Writing subject lines is a subtle art form. It’s similar to Twitter, where there’s a limited space to get your message across. In terms of tone, convey to me there’s something interesting for me in the e-mail, without being too pushy about it.

On the e-mail pitch: The message has to be very clear and interesting to me.  Make it clear to me why my readers would be interested in the story, why does it stand out?  E-mail pitches should be personalized, beyond just copying and pasting my name and a greeting. A certain degree of personalization in the first couple of sentences is a very good idea. Tell me why you thought of me for this story and the people who may like this story. What is appealing about it? I always appreciate a quick summary of what the entire story is about in just a couple of sentences.

On building a community through blogging:  A lot of my readers come from my Twitter feed.  I tweet a lot and that attracts readers. For anyone who blogs, there has to be some degree of interaction. Everyone loves when someone responds to something they say. I’m not a big fan of people begging for attention. If you write a blog you’ll take some satisfaction knowing that people are not just looking at what you do, but that they are thinking about it and that they are responding to it in their own way. You can encourage that by retweeting what they have to say and following them back. 

On PR and social media: A lot of people in PR are very familiar and comfortable with social media. One concern is they are too comfortable. When working to promote a client or your own brand, you have to be disciplined in your message. It gets too casual sometimes, like with automated messaging. You want to be sure people know there’s a live person behind your account.

Final thought: Always think multimedia.  

PS: Do you want hundreds of tips on news pitches, PR, blogging, and content development? Get my new book, The Badass Book of Social Media and Business Communication. 

10 PR stars reveal secrets for social media success in 2013

Seats at a tableWant to kick-start your social media optimization in 2013? Of course you do. 

I asked 10 distinguished PR and social media pros to share their views on how it can be done. 

Here are their responses, with my appreciation for their insights!

Margo Mateas, Founder, The PR Trainer:  “PR pros need to remember to take time to become part of the communities they want to reach, and not just engage in ‘driveby’ social media. It only takes a second to ‘Like’ someone else’s post or to leave a supportive comment. This strengthens trust and makes it more likely for them reciprocate the next time you’re promoting something.”

Deirdre Breakenridge, CEO, Pure Performance Communications:  “Take the best of your communications past into 2013; your ethics, accountability, critical thinking and great communications skills. At the same time, be open to different types of engagement through social media, by experimenting and embracing new technology to build stronger relationships with stakeholders. You need to be 10 steps ahead to counsel senior executives about the changing media landscape, and on the same page with savvy, wired consumers to understand their preferences and to better serve their needs.”  

Brad Phillips, Mr. Media Training, author, The Media Training Bible: 101 Things You Absolutely, Positively Need to Know Before Your Next Interview: “Few public relations professionals can keep up with all of the new social networking sites that seem to pop up on a monthly basis. So as a New Year’s resolution, PR pros should try to familiarize themselves with each of the platforms—and then commit to participating in the one that is most likely to help them reach their audiences and accomplish their goals.” 

Amy D. Howell, CEO, Howell Marketing Strategies, LLC “Our firm will be measuring how the social posts are driving more traffic to client websites and how that is helping their SEO. We have completed upgrades to client websites to include integration of social platforms.”  

Jeff Domansky, The PR Coach & Principal, Peak Communications: “I’m excited about 2013. It will be the year of the ‘visual.’ Whether you’re storytelling, blogging, content marketing, doing media relations or social PR, great pics and video will drive your success. And everything you do better work on mobile, too.”

Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs: “Focus less on what you think you ‘have’ to do to maintain a social presence. Focus more on what is meaningful for your brand.”

Stacey Acevero, Social Media Manager, Vocus/PRWeb: “Think about social media as a book, or a timeline of the story of your business. But it’s not storytelling, it’s telling a true story well–so write social media posts that inspire conversation, share thoughts and real outcomes that resonate with your audience. Be less ‘braggy’ and involve the insights of others in your PR story.”

Joan Stewart, aka The Publicity Hound: “Recycle your content, create it in multiple formats, and share it on the social media sites. Example: Take a how-to blog post and turn it into an MP3, and then a video (record yourself offering 3 tips from the article), and then a slideshow for LinkedIn, and then a series of photos for a Pinterest board. Note to self: Do this in 2013 and stop creating content from scratch!”   

Michael Cherenson,  APR, Executive VP, Success Communications Group; 2009, Chair and CEO, PRSA: “Social media is public relations and today’s professionals, to better serve their clients and help advance their own careers, need to invest in training and learn how to re-learn the art of communications. Every public relations professional must become an active participant, native to various social media platforms. And PR pros need to recognize Google’s algorithm is now one of our most important publics; your content needs to entice your audience and Google’s search engine.”

Shonali Burke, Principal, Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.:  “I see far too many PR pros functioning in a bubble. Offline, they live and work in the bubble of the agency world, and online they don’t interact with people from different industries and walks of life. One of the best things about social media is the way it can connect you with just about anyone else in the world who is using that platform. It’s amazing what we can learn from people so very different from us. So as we embark on 2013, let’s rediscover what makes social media so wonderful-the ability to converse with literally just about anyone.”

Which piece of advice will you be focusing on in 2013?

Communicators: You are in sales







Don’t be shocked, but marketing, PR, and communications pros are in sales.

Think about it.

We are:    

  • Selling messages to clients
  • Selling ourselves to execs in the C-suite
  • Selling (pitching) stories to the media
  • Selling our time
  • Selling our intellectual capital
  • Selling our creativity
  • Selling access to our media and social contacts


To be a holistic business communicator, it’s time to stop selling and start building. Build your listening skills and relationships with prospects, the C-suite, colleagues, and reporters. We must move away from the “What can we get?” attitude to “What can we give?”

The holistic communicator

In a typical day, people are trying to get our e-mail addresses. They are trying to get us to sign-up for something. They are trying to get our hard-earned money. They are trying to get access to our personal information. They are often trying to get over on us. Get, get, get. This approach only brings short-lived success.  

The flip side of get, get, get is give, give, give. 

The most successful people in business are those who focus on what they can give to others, and not what they can get, get, get. High achievers are comfortable in deflecting attention away from themselves. These givers have absolute faith that by being tuned in to others, success will one day come to them. Individuals who live by this mindset aren’t in a hurry to get the deal. Instead, their priority is to build relationships and give value. The givers trust that they will be rewarded with abundance because that’s the way the universe works.

The proof of this is most evident in sales. When people in sales stop chasing money and shift their attention to genuinely helping a prospect, they won’t have to sell anything. Prospects will want to buy from them based on the generosity of the relationship. 

Say what?

Our attention is a hot commodity.

The concept of silent listening is the genesis of holistic business. Silent listening requires us to mentally slow down and quiet the unrelenting soundtrack that plays in our heads 24/7. Silent listening requires our undivided attention, free of distractions, judgments, and response planning. It calls for us to be fully present and in the moment.

How many times have you asked someone a question that you were genuinely interested in and as soon as they responded, your mind was jumping around aimlessly with random thoughts?

These mental interruptions occur in a flash. They pull us away from conversations and leave us at a disadvantage as we miss important information that is essential to connecting with people.

For example, you are meeting with a prospect about doing PR for their credit union. Someone mentions that they have ‘service centers,’ not branches. If you write up a proposal to promote their 18 branches, you lose. A split second distraction becomes a costly lesson. 

Silent listening is an essential business skill. It shows people that you are fully engaged, and care about the message.

Welcome to sales. 

PS: I invite you to take a peek at my new Kindle book, published today!


11 news and PR memories from 9/11

On September 11, 2001, my PR company had just marked its first anniversary. 

I had been working on client accounts from my home office in central New Jersey, just 45 minutes from the World Trade Center. 

The Towers were amazing; I had worked in Tower No. 2 after graduating from college.  

And then the unthinkable. 

These are 11 news and PR-related events that happened on or after that clear, sunny morning that I reflect on today:  

1.  TV and radio broadcast antennae on top of the towers knocked major NY/NJ stations off the air. People were asking what happened to the damn Emergency Broadcast System warnings. 

2. One of my clients was scheduled to host their annual networking party on the rooftop of the Hyatt Hotel in New Brunswick. Close to 1,000 people were expected that night. The organizer called me at 11 a.m. wondering if we should postpone the party until the following evening. My thought: There’s no way in hell I’ll be on any rooftop tonight. As we began to grasp the enormity of the events, the networking party was rescheduled for October. 

3. Another client, a commuter ferry service that runs between the Jersey Shore and New York City, had several boats in the water when the planes hit. They were among the first on the scene to bring people out of lower Manhattan to NJ. Later that day, the ferries were transporting volunteers and emergency responders from New Jersey to New York.  They also brought medical supplies, water, food, and other items that businesses had donated. 

4. Novice PR reps were trying to call news outlets in the tristate area to pitch stories. Any clues this was not a routine day and the phone lines would be better served with emergency calls?

5. When the WTC towers fell, a WCBS radio news reporter covering the carnage at Ground Zero was running down the street with her tape recorder. She was unsure if she was working a story or trying to save her own life. In the pandemonium, she was thrown under a parked car and briefly lost consciousness. When she came to, she remembers clutching her black, Marantz tape recorder. 

6. For days and weeks after 9/11, the only pitches and stories reporters listened to had to be related to the terrorist attacks. There was no other news. Period.

7. I was doing PR for a local United Way chapter. Months after the attacks, one of the most difficult stories that transpired was that of experienced social workers, therapists, and religious leaders who were so emotionally consumed with counseling and supporting survivors and their families, that they too, needed professional help. But who could they turn to? No one had been trained for this.  

8. When I picked up my kids at their elementary school on 9/11, they were puzzled because they didn’t have any doctor appointments or advance notice that we had to go somewhere. At the time, they didn’t know that I simply needed them home with me. They watched goofy videos for most of the day. When they wanted to switch to the TV, I panicked. No mother wants her children to see this.  

9. When the cell phone lines allowed, my husband Andrew was able to randomly call me. His office in midtown Manhattan had been evacuated, and because he worked in IT and disaster recovery, offsite backups were the priority. After the tech part was complete, Andrew went to donate blood. He was shell-shocked after watching the planes fly into the World Trade Center. When he arrived at a midtown hospital to give blood, a TV reporter told him there were no injured people inside. No need for blood donations. There weren’t any survivors being brought in to the triage. Andrew finally got home from the City at 10 p.m.

10. The night of 9/11, one of my neighbors was standing on his front porch smoking a cigarette. He had worked at the World Trade Center and had gone downstairs for a smoke. He was interviewed by the media who reported how a cigarette saved a man’s life. 

11. A guy I knew from high school and later reconnected with in our new community of East Brunswick, worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. He was killed on 9/11. Two of his three children went to school with my kids. His wife would go on to be one of the four “Jersey Girls” who demanded that government officials in Washington, D.C. investigate how the terrorist attacks may have been prevented. 

On September 11, 2001, so many reporters and news professionals I had worked with and knew were covering chaos.  There was no Twitter or citizen journalism.

Today, we remember the innocent people who were killed on 9/11.  

Their faces and lives are the stories. Never forget.

5 signs that PR leaders are impacting business results

Public relations is coming into its own and the industry appears more than ready to embrace a new level of respect.

How do I know this?

Consider the following points:   

1. PR is more strategic than ever. There’s an increased understanding that a broader view of business is required in today’s marketplace. PR pros who fully grasp how their work directly impacts sales and marketing are sitting at the table with the C-suite. Messaging and money go hand-in-hand. 

2. PR pros are communicating like project managers. We are tracking the minutiae in our assignments. We are in constant communication with team members. Our work is completed on time and under budget. That’s because we can course correct in the midst of a project instead of running out of time and resources. We’re using online spreadsheets, graphics, and images to track progress, next steps, and metrics. Communicators are getting better at this thing called communication.

3. PR pros—the good ones, anyway—are buying into the vision. These are the passionate ones; the folks who are curious and courageous. Those who lack passion, including managers, are crap magnets that are blind to the company vision. Passionate PR pros understand the work that needs to get done every day to achieve more and compete in a fierce market. They surround themselves with like-minded people, leaving no room for the mediocre.   

4. PR pros are well-versed in more than just one language.  The smart ones are able to speak to their clients in their own industry language. Whether it’s Software-as-a-Service, designer jewelry, healthcare, or aerospace engineering, PR stars shine brightest when they can hold their own and engage with niche clients.  These PR leaders exude the confidence and knowledge to not only be invited to sit at the proverbial table, but to actually offer ideas and insights as a valued member of the team. Courtesy seats with the C-suite rarely exist.  

5. PR pros recognize what is required to service business-to-business clients. Delving into the needs of the customer’s customer helps solidify B2B relationships. Creativity and projects move to deeper levels and vertical markets, which has customers coming back, and offering referrals. It’s simple.  You get it.    

Business and motivational speaker Denis Waitley said: “Your success depends on how well you think. You are not paid to collect, sort, store or retrieve information, although you do these things every day. You are paid to interpret that information and create and implement new ideas.”

As we head into the last quarter of 2012, it’s clear that PR means business. Would you agree?


7 ways to communicate like an Olympic star

Opening ceremonies for the summer Olympics take place in London this week.

What traits do athletes competing in the 2012 games need to bring home the gold? 

Determination, focus, drive, motivation, and a competitive will to win are the qualities that come to mind.  

Successful professionals have developed these same attributes as well.

Here are quotes from seven Olympic medalists about their experiences. Their insights apply to each of us.  

 1. “When I race my mind is full of doubts: Who will finish second, who will finish third?”-  Noureddine Morceli, Algerian athlete, 1996 Summer Olympics

 Communications tip: Self-talk is the most important communication you will ever have. It determines your success or your mediocrity.

 2. “It was my favorite memory of all competitive events, because it was brand new and it was exciting.” – Scott Hamilton, American figure skater, 1984 Winter Olympics

 Communications tip: Develop your creativity. Notice that Hamilton didn’t say the games were notable because they were boring and stale. Instead, he goes for thrilling.  

 3.  “When we stage the Olympics it will inspire kids all over the country. A kid in Scotland or Ireland will be encouraged to take up sport.”- Daley Thompson, British decathlete, 2-time winner at the Olympics

 Communications tip: Set the stage for success and inspiration. The ‘stage’ is your website, blog, videos, pins, e-mail marketing and news pitches.  

 4. “A lifetime of training for just ten seconds.” Jesse Owens, 1936 Summer Olympics

 Communications tip: Clear your mind of idle chatter and be in the moment.

 5. “I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match.”- Mia Hamm, American soccer player, 2004 Summer Olympics

 Communications tip: In your PR and marketing campaigns, be sure you know the precise time to light the match. This applies to public speaking and blogging, too.  

 6.  “Never put an age limit on your dreams.” –Dara Torres, Olympic swimming champion

Communications tip: You can reinvent yourself and your brand. You can learn new technology and ways to do things. Don’t believe me? Get out of your own way and see what happens.  

7. “Nobody needs to prove to anybody what they’re worthy of, just the person that they look at in the mirror. That’s the only person you need to answer to.”- Picabo Street, former Olympic alpine skiing champion

Communications tip: If you’re communicating weakness instead of worthiness, it’s time to make changes.  

Olympians are committed to going the extra mile.  Are you?