Casting Several Projects – AT ONCE

Having an opportunity to help make things that many people will see, to shape large messages, has always been exciting for me. 

That’s part of why I enjoy my role at OsagePhoenix Productions so much. We’ve recently been moving forward with several of our projects which, for me, means casting several projects simultaneously. It’s been a lesson in the many types of personalities there are, a test of my organizational skills, a grateful glance into the human condition, and a fun adventure . . . all at once. 

What adventures are you currently embarking on?

Is something really better than nothing?

Oftentimes, I have potential clients approach me in a frenzy. They’re in a rush to get some last minute buzz for an event they threw together. They may be scrambling to take advantage of some trending news in their field of expertise. In cases like this, the urgency and desperation almost always means the ideal plan is just not feasible. Like shopping for a big Thanksgiving meal the day before, the items you want are not available. When it comes down to the wire, we need to have a frank conversation and answer some serious questions. For example, “Is doing it fast better than doing it right?”

So how do you know when nothing is better than something? If any effort is one you wouldn’t be impressed by from someone else, you’re better off without attaching it to your brand. There are certain red flags to warn you that you may need to wait until you are better prepared. Here are a handful of instances were you should definitely take your time to ensure what you are producing reflects positively on your business.

  • Content – What you say and how you say it are two of the most unique things about you, in both personal and professional life. Don’t push out rushed content for quantity’ sake. Taking your time to craft messages specific to your audience is the only way to build a truly loyal following.
  • Events – Holding an event is a big opportunity to get people familiar with your brand, to gain some media coverage, or to bring attention to a cause. It’s also a big risk. Attendees easily equate shabby or poorly planned events to cheap or non-expert brands. Put forth your best effort when hosting events and opt for fewer extraordinary events over numerous mediocre offerings.
  • Gifts and Thank Yous – Saying thank you or offering a thoughtful token of appreciation can go a long way in solidifying relationships. A simple thank you card will help you stand out, and cause the recipient to root for you. Be careful. You will loose whatever brownie points you have earned if that person finds out you sent the same card, with the same exact message, to someone else. Personalize any gits by finding out what the recipient enjoys. This way you seem sincere and not cheesy.

Remember, your brand needs protecting just like anything else you care about. Avoid hasty and half-baked decisions you’ll regret later. It is far easier to make a good impression than to clean up after making a bad one.

Hope this helps,
Alicia Brownell – Founder of A, B, Seize

Right Place, Wrong Time

Have you ever thought of the perfect response to a friend’s light-hearted jab at you . . . only after you get back home? The perfect message is one thing, but timing and delivery make the difference. When providing content, or distributing it, the reception of what you have to say can be greatly improved by when you say it.

So how do you know what the right time is? Well, here are a few ways to help you better determine your own perfect timing:

Search & Research – Conduct a few searches on your topic. See who is getting the most buzz and take note of any time trends around that type of content. For example, if you are a travel writer you’ll see an abundance of articles during the summer months. How can you position your expertise in the conversation around that time? Or, better yet, could you offer tips for winter getaways when your industry may be slower? Would that help your message stand out?

Don’t Get Your Story Squashed – There are certain things you can anticipate will be hogging attention. You probably wouldn’t be talking about fashion during fashion week unless that is part of your angle. Put together a calendar of both competing and complimentary recurring stories that impact your message, industry, or audience.

Be Prepared – Often, an unforeseen circumstance becomes major news and provides opportunities for those who can help make sense of the moving pieces. When a court case ruling shocks the nation, lawyers are in high demand. Having your image, message and connections polished and in place can make all the difference. This is one major benefit to having a Public Relations specialist working with you. Media outlets will contact these PR reps seeking suggestions for these openings.

Talent vs Trust

Gaining, sharpening and promoting your skills is always a must. Often the areas where we are most effective are those that make use of our natural talents. As great as it may be, talent is not the most important thing to cultivate. When running a business or building a brand, Trust trumps Talent. The most skilled professional may never be as successful as the most dependable one. Here’s why.

I’ve recently had conversations with everyone from clients, to mentors, to friends who have recently had to redirect their search for a particular service. A client who needed a photo shoot first reached out to a photographer he’s worked with in the past. This particular photographer is very talented, with a unique artistic view. Unfortunately he failed to answer phone calls and made scheduling impossible within the project’s deadline. Eventually, another photographer was brought in and the photo shoot went off without a hitch. The thing that was most impressive was the fact that the new photographer was not only just as talented, but also provided plenty of information up front and was easy to communicate with. He was trustworthy.

If you provide a service, or work directly with customers, be sure to purposefully build a trustworthy environment. Make policies clear. Respond to calls and emails within the next business day. Be consistent with the level of service you provide (you never know who knows who). Your talent may get a customer in the door. In order to create a lasting relationship you will also have to focus on trust.