About Me

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Working in a TV newsroom as an assignment editor and investigative producer for almost 10 years , I heard the pitch a hundred times a day. Some were masters of the art, others would flop...and many would ask ME how to pitch THEIR stories. Pretty soon, I began to think, "I can do their job better!" Once a media insider, I know how a newsroom thinks. A move in to a busy public relations office also taught me the other side of the biz. I've collected a few secrets that make the media, magazines, biz journals and public pay attention.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Putting a face on a story

Whew ~ it's been a long time since posting ~ but, that's cool with me. :)  It's nice working with the clients I chose and do stories that are really interesting.

My latest, is a story with my vet, Dr. Kerry Foreman at Lakeside Animal Hospital in Wheat Ridge.  She offers a very unique service for pet owners with senior or ill pets.  She comes to an owners home and helps pet owners say goodbye in the comforts of home ~ mobile euthanasia.

Let's face it -- our animals are our babies, right?   This is one more tip to remember when you are trying to tell a story about a not-so-easy subject and put a personal face on it -- in this case I interviewed one of Dr. Foreman's clients who used the at-home service to say good-bye to her dear, old friend -- her 14-year-old Golden lab, Stewball.

Take a read: http://denver.yourhub.com/WheatRidge/Stories/Pets-and-Animals/Story~947829.aspx

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I'm not too proud to work for doggie medication! :)

My clients, Lakeside Animal Hospital, have been able to increase foot traffic through their doors because of a couple well-placed media hits.

I pitched one of the unique services that LAH offers ~ acupuncture for pets!  

The Wheat Ridge Transcript liked the pitch and wrote a business profile on the animal hospital. 

Here's the business profile that ran in the Wheat Ridge Transcript:

Along with the help from photographer Bill Bond, I wrote up a bio about weiner dog owner Stephanie and her dog Dempsey.  We posted on the local YourHub newspaper website.  YourHub is a weekly paper insert to the Denver Post every Thursday ~ and they printed the web story I wrote in the paper edition.

And the acupuncture story that Bill and I worked on which profiles Dempsey the dachsund:

Remember, most small businesses tend to get their foot traffic from the neighborhood where they reside.  Don't discount the little media guys!!  Hey, don't get me wrong ~ there is a definite power to getting a placement on the big guys like 9News, CBS4 and 7News...but, you will find life-long customers from getting the word out through the little guys.  That's because your neighbors read the hyper-local newspapers delivered to their homes.  Most want to know what is going on their hood.

For my efforts?? ~ I get trade credit that I use towards taking care of my animal brood here at the Graybill house ~ four cats and a 12-year-old Rottie ~ jojo ~ who now needs arthritis medication for a bum front-right ankle.  Thank you Lakeside Animal Hospital!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The three P's...

Here's a look in to my life in the PR biz.  When trying to book a client, I try to think like a news producer and a viewer or reader.  You have to think about what's important to them.

Be prepared, precise and personable

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

She's on a roll folks...

Well, I have landed my second clients!  Woo-hoo....I will be helping my local vet, Lakeside Animal Hospital, with marketing and promoting for their clinic events.

I have a biz brainstorming session with them tomorrow night.  I'm pretty excited to brainstorm, because this clinic is new and provides some unique services, like acupuncture for animals ~ Neat huh?  They are great partners with their local Wheat Ridge businesses too.

Like many people that I talk to about marketing, they just don't know how to pitch their great ideas.....Welllllll, that's what I'm here for silly!!  :)

Here are some examples of how I make my clients think about themselves when we are working together:

     **Who's your target audience? 
          --You have to figure this one out before you go anywhere ~ they are the people you want to talk to and you have to know what to say
     **What's your biz's mission statement?
          --Explain who you are and describe who you serve
     **What makes your biz unique?
          --Do you offer a special service, own a unique piece of equipment, cater to families, etc.?

By first talking about these things, ideas begin to flow...it's really that easy.


Off to pr dreamland....

Monday, August 9, 2010

A hankering for media...

Some people want it, other people need it and some are just good at getting it....media attention, silly!

My secret?  I don't want to tell people how easy it really is to get noticed...sshhhhh!!

I want to see my clients succeed at the things for which they have a passion.

Sit down, stay awhile and let's chat...a simple conversation to find out what's really important to you and how you run your business are enough to get us started.  And maybe a couple of margaritas to get the creativity going~~  :)

After spending years listening to the pitch, I've turned the tables.  I'm the one who gets to use creativity and savvy to give the media a reason to book you, interview and place you in the newsroom rolodex.   

Really...it's that easy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Get in the game!

If you watched the Rockies game against the St. Louis Cardinals recently...you know where I'm getting my inspiration from ~ in the 9th inning, down 9-2 the men in purple rallied in a clubhouse record setting game winner.   

I figure, what's stopping me from getting in the game and giving it all I got....well, within reason for a hard-working new mommy!  Time is precious these days with a one-year-old running around my feet, but I've wanted to start my own communications firm for a while now.

It all started out of journalism school and into a busy newsroom as a desk intern. 

People always have questions for me when they find out I worked in TV newsrooms.
 "Ohhhh, what was it like?"
                                     "Is that anchor really a prima donna like I hear?" 
                                                    "What did you do?"
                                                                                      "Was it exciting?"

Glamour in a newsroom equals really loud scanners, especially during breaking news!! 

And, let's call the 'ecclectic' newsroom callers an added bonus.  Stack on top of that he stress of the daily/hourly/minute deadline...skipping lunch because you have to get your reporters assigned and out the door....then you have all the beat calls to make and your working your sources and running into a brick wall.

Not to mention following up on the hundreds of newstips you gather each day.....whew...(I'm tired)...when can I stop?
As the student tours pass by, your colleagues always point out to the wide-eyed kids that you have the "hardest job in the newsroom," which in newsroom language translates to :

"Meet Melissa, she's the one of a very small pool that is crazy enough to do this job."  :)  Nadia, my schmoopie knows what I'm talking about ~ wink, wink. 

When asked if I miss working in the newsroom ~ I always pause for some reason. 

Things I miss:

--My colleagues and good friends...We news people are a RARE breed with seats reserved, sitting next to one another, in hell...somewhere.  We deal with stress by making harsh jokes with our colleagues about the interesting, tragic, serious, mysterious and sometimes deadly news that we cover on a daily basis.  If you have ever gone to happy-hour with a newsroom's staff, you certainly know the caliber of topics that  come up around the table.  Unfortunately, spouses of newsroom staff are stuck....listening to us moan, critique and talk non-stop news along with the latest shop gossip.

--The adrenaline rush...
When breaking news hits or you stumble on to an exclusive story that none of the other local shops knows about, it's a pretty good feeling.  Your filled with the pride you first felt when you signed up and turned in your first report in Journalism 101 (so naive) in college.  Adrenaline comes out of the fear of listening to a deadly house fire, highway accident or stand-off with a hostage that ends up in a shooting death of a toddler or young teenage girl.  It's heartbreaking stuff sometimes, but the pride that you feel by helping solve a crime with your all-over coverage or getting a local family the community help they so desperately need....the difficult times seem worth it.

--Inside information....
When you work on a busy news desk, you are privy to information that the public will never hear.  I'm not talking about biased coverage or omitting facts from stories, but the simple nuances of a personal interview, something someone said to you in a phone conversation as you set up the interview for your reporter.  The personal quirks you learn about in talking with a mother about her soldier son, just killed in action.  The real 'heart' pieces of a story that you can never convey to the viewer.

These are the things I miss....Ugh, ...now I guess I'll talk about the things I don't.

The breaking news... that keeps me from a movie date night with my hubby, giving up tickets to a game or concert
Working on your day off to fill in for a sick co-worker.
No holiday vacations and don't even think about taking time off during sweeps! 

That's just my short list. ;)

Every day I would take calls from PR firms around the state/nation pitching stories on people, businesses and events for our media coverage.  I've heard some of the worst and best ways to get on-air....

When I start to tell people how easy it is for me to pitch their stories and get coverage for their products or biz, they want to know more.  That's what I do - everyday.  Let me do it for you.  

So why shouldn't I get in the game?

I hope to market to mommy business owners, inventors, charities, community organizations, etc., who need help spreading the word about their events, their new flavor, their new chef, newest fundraiser and the like ~ the good things they are doing. 

And I really want to be part of my great community and what better way to meet new people living and working in my hood?

Let's chat....