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Thursday, December 13, 2018

"Organ Music," an early alarm set, and advice for job seekers

Greetings from Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY, USA where earlier the snow was softly falling outside and now the green tea and water are flowing inside. Yes, I'm sick. Picked up a cold from someone while I was in NYC yesterday doing an on-camera interview training session. I counted six people that I shook hands with throughout the day. I tend to do things like when I'm sick and looking for someone to blame. One more reminder to wash your hands thoroughly during cold/flu season, folks.

By the way, my 90-year old mother Aud refers to sharing updates on your health as "organ music." She only allows 5-10 minutes of it at the opening of her Scrabble, cards, needlepoint and other social club gatherings. It's a good rule. I'll try to follow it here, too.

Hard to believe it's Thursday already. Big day coming up tomorrow with a client going on Fox Business TV at 6:30am. That means I've got to set my alarm for 4:45am. If you know me, you're probably laughing after reading that sentence. Wish me luck. I should probably hit the sack soon...

Also wanted to share a few quick thoughts on the winter holiday season, which can be a tough time of year for many people. There's a lot of pressure to eat, drink and be merry - mostly the latter - no matter what's going on in your personal life. That's not always easy if your business isn't doing well or if you're out of work looking for a new job. I've been in both of those situations over the years and know it's rough.

My general advice is to try to stay positive best you can. If you're out of work, people will inevitably ask, "how's the job search going?" which is understandable, but a really tough question to handle if you're not getting interviews or responses to your applications.

I always fell back on my media training in these situations. Whenever someone asked me a question that made me uncomfortable, or something I didn't want to talk about at the time, I would "bridge" to another topic. "Going ok, how's everything with you, what are you working on these days?" Like that.

Here are a few quick tips for job seekers, too:

1. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated and active. Post news articles relevant to the industry you'd like to work in. Write and post articles of your own on timely and interesting topics to showcase your writing skills. Anything you can do to keep your profile active will increase your chances of attracting the attention of recruiters and people in your network who might be able to help with your job search - either with leads, referrals or recommendations.

2. Work your network. Reach out to former bosses, colleagues, clients, business partners. It's the perfect time of year. Keep it short. "Happy holidays, I'm seeking a new career opportunity, if you hear of anything keep me in mind." Not that short, but you take my meaning. Remember - people want to help you, they really do.

3. Consider reaching out to an employment agency for temporary work. This is a great way to get yourself back in the swing of things - getting up early in the morning, showering, getting dressed, having some place to go, making some money. It all adds up and you never know when a temp situation could lead to something permanent. Plus, it will help you meet new people, make new contacts and give you something to talk about when someone asks that dreaded, "how's the job search going?" question.

Ok, I better get ready for bed. Believe it or not, I've already set my alarm.

Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment. I love hearing from you.

Best,
Bill

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Revelry & Recovery, Recommended Reading - Big Week Ahead

Hey folks, hope you're all enjoying the last remnants of the weekend. I spent last night at a bar called Let Love Inn in Astoria, Queens. My friend Woody did a DJ gig there and I tagged along for the ride and revelry. Saw a few people I knew, made some new friends, and my dear friend Tiffany came by late night after having dinner with her girlfriends. She recently moved from Park Slope to Astoria so it was nice to see her again. Great person all around and super talented actor/singer/comedienne/musician and voice over specialist. She's also a bartender at one of the truly iconic NYC pubs. Speaking of...

Small world - one of the bartenders at Let Love Inn is also a voice over actor and they've been in a couple of commercials together. Sometimes life is just a bunch of concentric circles. Woody played some great tunes and everyone had a fun night - including yours truly who paid for it today, but oh well, t'is the season, right? 

I spent part of the day catching up on my reading and found two very different, but excellent articles that I thought I'd share with you.

This one about a mom dealing with her adolescent daughter's mood swings and aloofness is equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking. I immediately thought of my friend KK and her relationship with her daughter. I hope you enjoy it, mama and papa bears alike, and I know my fellow lucky uncles and aunts can relate to it, too. And yes, the mention of my favorite song by Led Zeppelin in the essay truly melted my heart and reminded me of KK even more - I know she loves it, too.

Speaking of Led Zep, I stumbled upon this article in a Google Alert I have set up to track the news of my fave band. I like the way the writer describes Black Sabbath's seminal album Paranoid and how he breaks down each song and discusses the band's approach to music and lyrics compared to other bands of the time. I love all kinds of music - from classic rock to jazz to the blues to folk to world music to classical and more - but sometimes there's nothing quite as satisfying as cranking up some Sab nice and loud. I do that often with the boys (and believe it or not, sometimes girls) in my Friday night vinyl listening club. Black Sabbath was a great and highly influential band. Too often they've been written off as "heavy metal" and that just doesn't do. They wrote very smart lyrics, their sound was just as jazzy as it was heavy - they could really swing. I know they're not for everybody, but have a look at this article to learn more about their place in the music scene at the time. Truly revolutionary stuff for its day. I hope you enjoy it.

See? Not all about McCuenications PR or my clients today. Trying to find the right balance in content, posting more frequently, trying to keep these updates relatively short. I know you're all busy and have plenty of other things to do and read. I appreciate you stopping in here from time to time to read my thoughts and observations.

Comments? Questions? Please share. I love hearing from you.

Ok, maybe some quick biz-related stuff. Big week ahead with a Bloomberg briefing in the morning tomorrow and then a Fox Business TV segment on Friday - both for the same client. Fingers crossed everything goes off as scheduled and everyone is happy with the outcomes. Pretty sure the prep and planning is buttoned up as tight as can be. Will let you know!

Enjoy the rest of your night and sweet dreams.

Best,
Bill

P.S. Are you ready to tell YOUR story? Reach out to me at bill.mccue@gmail.com and let's chat.


Friday, December 7, 2018

Victory! On the Board! Videos?

Super excited to let you know that I secured the first piece of media coverage for my newest client Veras Partners today. Company founder Paula Fredericksen is quoted extensively sharing expert commentary in John Edwards' article on "How to Keep Your Staff Current on Emerging Technologies."

Always a huge thrill for me to break through and get media coverage for my clients for the first time. Love spreading the good word across all social media channels - hey, it ain't bragging if you can back it up, right? What's particularly exciting is that in our business, "coverage begets coverage" - meaning, once you get that first "hit," you can leverage it to secure more media interest. It puts your client out there as a qualified and validated thought leader.

Paula and her business partner have been great to work with since day one, and my personal relationship with Paula goes back many years through a mutual dear friend. We've battled against each other in March Madness tourneys going all the way back to the early 90s (I think). It's been a blast working together on a business level and I'm hopeful we can continue to do so successfully for many years to come.

But as I mentioned in a previous post, now is not the time to get complacent or celebrate for too long. Now is the time to build on that momentum by lining up more opportunities, getting our two completed thought leadership pieces posted, and driving more brand awareness in general across all possible channels. I do my best to reiterate that sentiment in every media coverage notification email I send by signing off "We'll keep pushing for more."

So we celebrate tonight and then it's #back2work on Monday.

Speaking of next week, it's shaping up to be an exciting one for the client I work on in collaboration with my business partners at Indicate Media. For our client Alpha Innovations, we've got a briefing with a Bloomberg reporter scheduled for Monday and an appearance on "Mornings with Maria" set for Friday (our first broadcast media opportunity). I'll let you know how both go next week.

Finally, I'm toying with the idea of posting some videos on LinkedIn. My idea is to film myself walking to the coffee shop in the morning and commenting on either news of the day or giving a quick summary of these blog posts. Short and sweet - no more than two minutes or so. What do you think?

Happy Friday everyone. Shabbat Shalom to my Jewish friends around the world celebrating Hanukkah. Have a great weekend.

Best,
Bill

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Momentum - Once Established, Keep it Going

Right now - 6:10pm ET on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 - I'm feeling pretty good about where I'm at with most of my clients. Things are going reasonably well. Coverage is being secured; briefings and interviews are being booked; content is being drafted, finalized and pitched out for placement.

Momentum has been established and things are heading in the right direction.

Now don't get me wrong. Just because things are going well, that doesn't mean I can get complacent or ease up on the throttle. I can always do better and do more for my clients. Line up more briefings, generate more coverage, book more speaking opportunities, write better content and get it placed in more prestigious outlets/websites/publications.

And I can always offer up more creative ideas, make more recommendations on how to raise brand awareness, generate more sales leads, attract the attention of potential investors and more.

Why? Because PR is a results business and you're only as good as what you've done for your clients lately. Yes, it's always important to provide good counsel, deliver proactive and responsive client service, and manage everything going on efficiently and professionally. Yes, you gotta be buttoned up. Those are all positive and valued things.

Ultimately, though, PR pros are evaluated based on the *results* we generate for our clients. Despite what some experts are out there saying to the media, hustle and a positive attitude will only get you so far. In PR and in life. That's my opinion anyway.

To use a baseball analogy, no one ever escaped getting cut from the major league roster by hustling if they weren't also hitting or pitching well. You stay in the big leagues by producing consistently. Otherwise, there's always someone else in the minors ready to take your place.

That's how it is in our industry, too. There are so many PR agencies and independent contractors out there. We can never forget that. Clients have a gazillion choices. We need to provide value and deliver results as often as possible. Or else we're just asking them to walk away and do business with someone else.

Don't let that happen. Things are going well? Keep that momentum moving forward. Work hard to put points on the board every week. Points can be everything I mentioned above - coverage, interviews booked, speaking opps secured, content placed. Be creative, make recommendations. Make your clients feel good about the $ they've invested in you every day.

Agree? Disagree? Leave me a comment below. I'd love to hear from you.

Best,
Bill

Friday, November 30, 2018

Advice - Giving and Taking

There are few things in life more rewarding for me than working closely with a client or a friend to help them overcome business or personal challenges. I love sitting down with them and devising an action plan - one that includes concise steps we can track to help us measure progress and success.

I do my best to practice what I preach. Over the years, I've found that nothing makes me more productive - personally or professionally - than cranking out a good old fashioned "to do list." For work, I try to make one every Sunday night so I can hit the ground running on Monday morning. For my personal life, I try to carve out time over the weekend to pull one together. In either case, it's a good way to take stock of where I'm at, write down what needs to be done immediately, and what I want to accomplish over the next few days.

I also try to include more long-term goals and projects - just to keep them on my radar. For example, I can't reasonably expect to lose 10 pounds in a few days, but I can set that amount as a goal and put in the daily steps (exercise, cut down on beers, bread and desserts, drink more water, etc.) to help me reach it.

I've also got a brand new guitar that's been neglected for years now. It's on the long-term goals section of the list. Now I can't expect to rock like Jimmy Page after practicing for only a few weeks, but I should be able to strum a song or two in a few months if I play the darn thing every day like I'm supposed to.

Back to business...

Over the past few months, I've been working with two clients (one for McCuenications PR and one in collaboration with my business partners at Indicate Media) to help them use LinkedIn more effectively. I'm not a social media expert, but there are some basic tips that I believe will help businesses effectively raise their profiles through this particular channel. I've touched on this in previous blog posts - don't let your profiles get "dusty" by updating them on a regular basis, make sure you strike a balance between self promotional company news-related posts and helpful/insightful expert commentary on industry news, etc.

These two clients are doing it and it makes me really happy. I see them posting more, commenting more, striking that balance, and inviting their followers to engage on topics. I love it! What would make that even more worthy of celebration is if they get business leads from that activity. Jury's still out on that one. Will keep you posted.

Hopefully you can see that I'm trying to take my own advice by posting here more often, balancing the personal and professional, and keeping my LinkedIn profile page updated on a regular basis. So far so good, but I can always do better - and more. Will keep it on the list.

Thanks for reading. Please leave a Comment and let me know your thoughts on what I've written today.

Best,
Bill





Tuesday, November 27, 2018

I survived! (root canal)

I was in very good hands this morning with my endodontist Dr. Alison Mancia. I agree 100 percent with Leah F's Yelp review posted here. Dr. Mancia does have a soothing manner and she took good care of this big baby/coward. I also imagined someone I really love was holding my hand throughout the procedure and that helped a great deal. Thank you, KK, for being there with me in spirit.

According to Dr. Mancia, it takes about 24 hours to fully recover but I'm feeling ok so far. A little sore but nothing too bad. I was able to get back in the game this afternoon for my clients and prepare for two weekly update calls and a briefing tomorrow with a reporter at HFMWeek (see yesterday's blog post).

I also got a tremendous assist from a former colleague who hooked me up with a list of contacts who accept contributed content. He saved me hours of research on my own. Todah, havevrim. I owe you one, big time.

On the personal life front, this past Sunday night I was feeling a little blue and decided that getting out of the apartment and hearing some live music would help me shake it off. As always, it worked like a charm. I went to see gypsy guitar player Stephane Wrembel at Barbes - a small bar just a few blocks away. Wow - Stephane (my Facebook friend) is astonishingly good. I've seen him before and he just gets better and better every time. His second set started with two solo pieces that were mind blowing and then he brought the band back on for this number. Amazing. What made the set even more special was a guest violinist who played beautifully and complemented Stephane just like, wait for it, Stephane Grappelli complemented the legendary Django. I didn't catch her name, but she was fantastic.

Wasn't sure if I'd be up to it when a friend offered me a ticket last night, but I decided to take him up on it and go see Thom Yorke at Kings Theater tonight. I don't know Yorke's solo music very well, but I'm sure it will be an interesting show. Meeting my friend Tyson down at The Gate for a pre-gig beer and then we're taking an Uber to the theater, which is an incredibly beautiful venue.

Ok, that's enough personal stuff for you today. Like the hyperlinks? Please leave comments - I'd love to hear from you. Especially if...

You're ready to tell your story.

Best,
Bill

Monday, November 26, 2018

Media Coverage Update - McCuenications PR quoted in The Green Sheet

I recently spoke with my long-time media contact Dale Laszig about the importance of storytelling in the sales process. Dale was kind enough to quote me (and reference my client Christine Chang, CEO at 6th Avenue Capital) in a feature story that is included in this month's issue of The Green Sheet's e-magazine. You can read the story by clicking on this link: https://lnkd.in/e_CP2Rs

Are you ready to tell your story?

Best,
Bill

Kicking off the week - November 26, 2018 - Persistence Pays Off Again

With the Thanksgiving holiday celebrated here in the States this past Thursday, it only feels right to say "thank you" for visiting my blog and reading what I have to say. I appreciate the feedback that some of you have shared with me, and I'm glad to know the advice I passed along has been helpful to you. I hope more of you will reach out to me - either in a comment here or by contacting me directly at bill.mccue@gmail.com.

This week got off to a fast start with a briefing for one of my clients with a reporter at Bloomberg. I'd been after this contact for a while. It felt extremely rewarding to connect him with my clients this morning. Persistence does pay off as noted here previously. Persistent without being annoying. The conversation went well overall. My client did a solid job describing their backgrounds and business models for their two new companies. The reporter is still settling into his new beat/coverage area and building up a "Rolodex" of experts to call upon for commentary and perspectives. So the timing was right. Best case scenario is he'll be reaching out to us soon for quotes. It's also on me to stay in close contact with him so my clients don't fall off his radar.

I have another briefing set up for the same client with a reporter at HFMWeek this coming Wednesday. This time we'll be meeting in person for a coffee in NYC. In person meetings are always an effective way to build a relationship with a media contact. At the end you're more than just a voice on the phone or a faceless person on the other side of an email exchange. Publications like HFMWeek reach a significantly smaller audience than a Bloomberg or WSJ or NYT, but it's a highly targeted audience and one likely to be composed of decision makers. I've already met this reporter on behalf of another one of my clients and it will be good to see her again and keep the lines of communication open between us.

Thursday represents another first for the same client - a podcast interview with the discussion centering around blockchain and upcoming trends using the technology. I still have some prep work to do for that one. Need to make sure my client has the right equipment in place and spends some time testing it beforehand. The interviewer is essentially allowing us to dictate the questions and agenda for the interview so we need to nail that down, too. I also need to coach my client on best way to respond to the questions i.e., keep responses relatively short, think in terms of "sound bites" and compelling anecdotes and analogies. I've been targeting another podcast that's a higher profile opportunity and it will be great to get this one on the books so I can point to it when trying to land others. I'm hopeful my client will enjoy the experience and want to do more. As always, a client's enthusiasm and desire to do something will have a positive impact on their performance.

On a personal note, please send positive wishes in my direction at around 8:30am ET tomorrow (Tuesday). I'm having the first of several root canal procedures done. Fun times. I've had one done in the past and don't remember it being too painful. Hopefully that will the case this time, too. Wish me luck. I'm heading down to Whole Foods tonight for some soup and other mushy food to eat tomorrow as I convalesce.

Thanks again for visiting with me here today. I hope you will also check out www.mccuenicationspr.com and let me know if there's any way I can help you. Most of all, what I really want to know is...

Are you ready to tell your story?

Best,
Bill



Monday, November 19, 2018

Balance & Consistency - Maintaining Your Social Media Channels

My clients often ask for counsel on best practices for maintaining their social media channels and blogs. My advice is to never let those channels "get dusty" - meaning, keep them updated on a regular basis.

So what did I do?

I went way too long between blog posts here. Shame on me. You can't expect your readers to come back to your blog again and again if they don't find new content during a visit. If they keep seeing the same old posts, they won't bother checking again. There's far too much competition out there for your audience's attention to risk losing their interest.

And remember - your posts can't all be self promotional. Sure, you can sprinkle in some sales pitches here and there, and it's always a good idea to include any recent media coverage around you or your company. But it can't be just that. You need to offer constructive and thought provoking content and commentary to go along with the self promotional stuff to keep readers engaged and returning to your social media channels and blogs.

Case in point. One of my clients is in the financial services industry, and he's doing a great job on LinkedIn lately. He's posting articles from top-tier media outlets on topics relevant to his current business/past career experiences, and commenting on them. In return, he's getting a lot more hits on his profile and his counterparts are starting to add comments to his posts. By gaining their attention that way, it's much more likely those same people will also see the more self-promotional company news and media coverage posts. That's how it works. It's all about maintaining that balance in the content of your posts

I have another client in the enterprise software industry. She just founded a new company and wants to spread the good word. She's determined to be an active participant on LinkedIn in terms of regularly posting on the site so we're starting with the basics. We've updated her profile with a new head shot and added some updated bio information. Then we posted the press release on the launch of her company. It's all part of our collaborative strategy to "wake up" her LinkedIn connections and grab their attention. Now we're trying to establish a steady drumbeat of weekly posts with her commentary on industry news and other matters relevant to her company's business. As a woman founder/executive/entrepreneur, she can also add posts with commentary on "women of the C-suite" and "women in technology" issues of the day, too.

Balance and consistency - those are the two keys to your social media channel posts - including your blogs. It's all part of telling your story and keeping your target audiences coming back for more new chapters. Clearly, I need to follow my own advice more closely. I promise I will. In the meantime...

Are you ready to tell your story?

Best,
Bill

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Nice way to close out the day/Get a client quoted in the WSJ (hey, I rhymed...)

Had a call with Alpha Innovations today. Part of the agenda was providing an update on any coverage resulting from the conversation CEO Larry Newhook had with Wall Street Journal hedge fund reporter Rachael Levy last week re: D.E. Shaw.

I let them know nothing had been posted as yet, but we'd keep a close eye out. I could tell the Alpha folks were a little disappointed because the conversation had gone so well and expectations were high. I did my best to assure them it was a worthwhile time investment and even if nothing panned out from this opportunity right away, there was a great chance there would be more in the future.

To back track a bit, I blogged about setting up a coffee discussion with Larry and Rachael a few weeks ago. I touched base with Rachael again the first Monday after to see if she was working on anything that was a good fit with Larry's expertise. Sure enough, she was and we set up a call for them to chat.

I'm convinced it was that follow-up that made today's coverage happen. You can't just sit back and think, "well, I got them a briefing with the WSJ - it's on the reporter now if anything comes from it." No, it's on YOU the PR professional to build and cultivate a relationship with the reporter, and establish yourself as a resource. And you don't do so by hounding them or calling them every day. I call it "persistent without being annoying." PR people have to constantly remind ourselves that our media contacts get dozens if not hundreds of pitches per day. They can't use all of them, and they certainly can't respond to all of them. Use your best judgment. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you want someone calling or harassing you over email every day? Nope - you'd ignore their calls and wouldn't be able to hit delete fast enough. Don't be that PR person.

Be a resource - and even better, a trusted resource who reads a reporter's work and knows the right people to connect them with for stories. That's how it works. See above.

Best,
Bill

Friday, November 2, 2018

McCuenications PR back in the news (careful what you wish for)

It was a classic case of "what goes around comes around." No sooner did I finish typing an email teasing one of my clients about her head shot being featured so prominently in an online article than the exact same thing happened to me. Also...

Note to self: don't forget to shave the day of a photo shoot. Kidding aside and cringing over my photo notwithstanding, it was fun providing responses for a Q&A conducted by The Authority Magazine (Medium). You can see the resulting coverage - and my scruffy head shot - posted here.

Reading over my responses, I found a few typos and some thoughts I should have tightened up. Don't let that happen to you. If a reporter asks for your responses to be sent over email, be sure to read them over a few times and then ask a colleague or a friend to review it before submitting for publication. It's always helpful to have another set of eyes review your work - whatever it is. Don't rely on a publication's editor to do your editing for you.

In any event, I'm grateful to The Authority for providing an opportunity to discuss running your own business and skills to develop as a PR person. I hope you find it helpful and will benefit from the tips. Any follow-up questions? Let me know by leaving a comment here or on my Facebook or LinkedIn posts. I always welcome your feedback.

Big week for my clients with press releases going out for Veras Partners (official launch of company) and Laureate Digital Securities (partnership with AlphaPoint). I was able to secure some media placements for both to help spread the good word about their businesses.

I also enjoyed meeting Miluska Berrospi from HFMWeek today at the offices of 6th Avenue Capital. 6th Ave Cap's CEO Christine Chang hosted the conversation. Always great to see Christine and hear the latest news from the most reputable small business funder around. As a former Chief Compliance Officer, Christine holds her business to the highest institutional quality standards - and it's paying off.

Miluska is also interested in learning more about Alpha Innovations and Laureate Digital Securities. I'm hoping to set up a background briefing for her with co-Founders Nicole Biernat and Larry Newhook some time over the next two weeks.

Hard to believe it's already November 2 - especially when it was 70 degrees here in Brooklyn today. Sitting inside McCuenications PR HQ and typing up this blog post, I'm wearing a ZZ Top Tejas t-shirt and long shorts. Being able to shed the suit and don the casual wear is one of the many benefits of having a home office.

I hope you're able to close out the week on a high note and head into the weekend feeling good about your business and life in general. Don't forget to take some time out from your smartphone and emails. Do something fun and let yourself unwind a bit. I know that's hard when you run your own business, but it's important to give yourself a break, too.

Ok, that's enough wisdom and advice for this week. Have a great weekend, everyone, and thanks for stopping by.

Best,
Bill


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Houston, we have lift-off - Veras Partners Launched Successfully Today!

Congratulations to my new clients and friends at Veras Partners. We issued their launch press release earlier today. I spent a good chunk of the afternoon getting the word out to relevant media contacts who might be interested. Short version - former J.D. Edwards and software industry veterans launched an application management outsourcing (AMO) company with a mission to help end users of insightsoftware and ARCTOOLS(r).

Early this morning, I paid a visit to Board Studios based in the WeWork space on Broad Street. Board Studios, Broad Street. Got a little confusing at one point, but I sorted it out. Nice guys at Board Studios. They've turned an office space into a video production studio. While I was there, I got to meet my long-time media contact Dale Laszig who writes for The Green Sheet and other financial publications. Dale is a sweetheart and it's always a pleasure to work with her. We've done so for a few years now but had never met in person. Great to make that face to face connection today. We rode the R train together back to Brooklyn after meeting with the Board Studios guys.

Late afternoon, I moderated a phoner between Rob Daly at Media Markets/Intel Alley and my client Larry Newhook from Laureate Digital Securities. The two gents had a good chat about Laureate engaging with AlphaPoint to help build out Laureate's blockchain driven platform for asset management. Rob's a pro and always brings lots of energy, smarts and enthusiasm to every interview with one of my clients.

After getting into the city for an hour, I was stuck inside for the rest of this awesome fall day and missed all the trick or treat-ers in their costumes. My doorbell never rang. Either word is out that I ignore it no matter what, or Brooklyn kids mostly stick to hitting up the shops along the avenues. Guessing it was a combination of both.

So a day of lots of email pitching, meeting a long-time media contact in person for the first time, connecting one of my clients with another long-time contact over the phone, and meeting a possible new "Trusted Resource" to do business with down the road.

Think I'm going to shut it down for today and watch a few episodes of Bodyguard. Anyone else out there watching it?

Will be ready to get back on it in the morning. How about you? Are you ready to tell your story?

Bill

Monday, October 29, 2018

Kicking off the week - Oct. 29, 2018 aka "Breaking it Down"

Hey there, thanks for stopping by. Busy week ahead here at McCuenications PR. Later today I'll be doing a media coaching session for my newest client. These sessions are always fun and even though I'm the instructor, I learn something new every time from my clients' feedback.

Here's a tip from the session. Many of my clients are in the technology and financial services industries. As you can imagine, much of the information they have to share is complex and hard to understand for your average person. During each session, I counsel everyone to break down this information into easy to understand language.

As an example, I talk about a scene in the movie "Cast Away" with Tom Hanks and his friend Wilson, the volleyball. In the scene, the two of them are taking cover from a rainstorm inside a cave at night. The character played by Hanks is trying to explain to Wilson what they're up against in terms of being rescued, and the chances of it happening. To do so, he draws on the wall of the cave, showing where they were when the plane ran into trouble, how fast the plane was likely going at the time, and where it probably hit the water. While he's describing all of this, he's writing numbers down on the wall and pulling together a calculus equation to determine the size of the search area. He finishes the equation, draws a big circle indicating the search area and tells Wilson how many miles it is. Then he says, "that's roughly twice the size of Texas...they'll never find us."

The equation he's doing while describing the situation is extremely complex with a big number at the end, but it doesn't really hit home or make sense until he makes the analogy with Texas - well known as a HUGE state. The film makers throw in some lightning and thunder crashes outside the cave during the scene, and Hanks does a very dramatic pause in between "that's roughly the size of Texas" and "they'll never find us" to emphasize how hopeless the situation is for them.

It's a great piece of acting and film making, yes, but it's that mind blowing analogy that always stuck with me. I hope that's helpful to you as you prepare for your next media interview and have something complicated or "in the weeds" to share with your media contact who then has to break it down for his or her readers/audience.

Later this week, I'll be regrouping with a former client to get an update on how things are going with them, and an introduction to an editor at HFM Week which should be helpful for one of my current clients.

I'm also putting out a press release for my newest client and looking to put some points on the board for them early on in our relationship. First impressions in every client/agency relationship are always super important. At a firm I once worked at, we had data that showed the clients that were highly satisfied with us during the first 60 days of every engagement, were more likely to stick around for a long time, renew contracts, provide referrals for new business and more. So always good to get off to a fast start.

That's all for today. I hope you'll take a look around my website and let me know if you have any questions. You can do so by leaving a comment here, or reaching out to me directly at bill.mccue@gmail.com.

Are you ready to tell your story?

Bill

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

It's all happening - McCuenications PR website officially launched today

The press release announcing my new website went across the wire today at 1pm. You can click here to check it out. I also posted the link to Facebook and LinkedIn. Many thanks to everyone who left a positive comment or gave me a "Like" or a "Love."

The day started out well, too, with a very interesting discussion between my clients at Alpha Innovations and Landon Thomas Jr. at the New York Times. Even after being in this business for more than 20 years, I still get a buzz from these conversations and making these connections. Landon worked at Morgan Stanley in their Asset Management Group back in the mid/late 90s so it was a very high level chat with lots of shop talk. All good - he has a few potential story angles in mind that might be a good fit for Alpha's expertise. Fingers crossed.

I also had a catch-up call with my contacts at clarkmcdowall - a branding agency based in NYC. Super smart and genuinely nice folks. We worked together earlier this year on a project and hope to do so again in early 2019. Always cool to hear what they're up to and their plans for the future.

I also booked a few more calls with potential new biz prospects and business partners so the press release investment is already paying off. Sometimes you need to spend money to make money, right? The trick is spending that money wisely and on the right things.

I also heard from a close friend today who gave me invaluable feedback on the release and some helpful suggestions for making it better. I'm indebted to her for the solid counsel.

Tomorrow's a busy day with two clients calls, a new business call, and more proactive outreach to my media contacts on behalf of my clients.

I had to pass on an invite to see Kamasi Washington in Denver this weekend, unfortunately. Need to tighten my belt a bit until the dental issues are sorted out and the insurance company weighs in on how much they will cover. Disappointed to miss out on the show and the great fun of hanging with the G4 crew. Next time, for sure. Thanks, AG.

That's all for today. As always, I welcome your comments and questions. Have a look around the new site, in particular. When you're done, ask yourself one question - are you ready to tell your story?

Let's talk.

Love,
Billy (there's a story behind this sign-off - please ask)


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Kicking off the week - October 21, 2018

As a lifelong Led Zeppelin fan, I spend many days during the fall season with the song "Ramble On" playing on a loop inside my head. The song opens with the lines "Leaves are fallin' all around/Time I was on my way/Thanks to you, I'm much obliged/For such a pleasant stay/But now it's time for me to go/The autumn moon lights my way..." Now I'm sure you understand why.

Every Monday morning, I send my clients a "Kicking off the week" email that lets them know what's ahead in terms of media interviews, project deadlines, priority projects I'm working on for them and just a general update on the state of our engagement together. It's a good way to keep everyone on track and provides my clients with full transparency on how I'm spending the time they've invested in me. One thing I'm going to add for all McCuenications PR clients moving forward is a "Closing out the week" email on Fridays. This will - hopefully - show progress on everything we set out to do at the beginning of the week, outline what's going to carry over to the next week, and when appropriate, provide a "sneak preview" on the week ahead.

So we kick off the week, and we close out the week. But the truth is, the work is never done in our business. We're always seeking out new media opportunities, trying to find new outlets and contacts to reach out to on behalf of our clients, and we can never stop brainstorming and trying to come up with creative ways to draw attention to our clients, their business and their executive teams.

During the coming week, I'm looking forward to meeting Landon Thomas Jr. from the New York Times with my clients at Alpha Innovations. I've also got my second team call with my newest client Veras Partners.

I've also got a consultation tomorrow morning with an endodontist to talk about root canals which should be really "fun." Yesterday I had a tooth pulled. Wasn't as bad as I feared going into it, but not a lot of "fun" either. Yet another painful reminder to stay on top of your health, address issues as soon as they happen, and just take good care of yourself in general.

I'm also planning on putting out a press release this week to announce the launch of my website. It looks like everything is fully buttoned up with the desktop and mobile versions, and the friends and former colleagues I've shared the beta version with have been enthusiastic and positive in their feedback.

That's it for today's update. I hope you'll visit my website, have a look around, and let me know if you have any questions. Here one for you - are you ready to tell your story?

Hey, before I go, and speaking of Led Zeppelin and Ramble On...some friends of mine are helping to put together the latest lineup of "Virtual Zeppelin." They're seeking a singer for the project and guess which song they've chosen for auditions? You can check it out here.

Have a great week, everyone.

Best,
Billy

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A great day to meet and speak with new media contacts

Today was a picture perfect fall day in New York City. Just the right temperature for a PR guy hustling around town in a suit.

This morning I met up with my clients at Alpha Innovations and introduced them to my new media contact, Rachael Levy from the Wall Street Journal, at Zibetto's Espresso Bar - right across the street from Radio City Music Hall.

The three of them had a great conversation about the current state and future of the hedge fund industry along with some background on Alpha Innovations' official launch today. Rachael asked smart and informed questions, and I thought Nicole Biernat and Larry Newhook at Alpha Innovations provided expert and forward thinking commentary. Hopefully today's discussion will inspire Rachael to call on them for quotes and perspectives for future coverage.

After that meeting, I left Larry and Nicole so they could grab some lunch, and jumped on a Q train back to Park Slope to catch up on emails and moderate their afternoon conference call with Madeline Shi at Business Insider - another new contact for me. Prior to joining BI, Madeline was a reporter at CoinDesk. The three of them spoke for about 45 minutes about a wide range of topics related to asset management, blockchain, Bermuda as a domicile and more.

Today was also a good media coverage day for Alpha Innovations with write-ups on the launch and profiles on the company posted to Institutional Investor, Hedge Fund Alert and PE Hub.

We've also got an office visit on the calendar with Landon Thomas, Jr. - an international finance correspondent at the New York Times next week. Landon is another new media contact for me and I'm looking forward to meeting him in person.

The New York Times building is across the street from the Port Authority and it's awesome. Fun fact: my high school friend Kevin Murphy was the project manager for all of the iron work on the building. Murph was also the project manager for the Freedom Tower and you can see him in much of the media coverage around the opening a few years back.

I spent the rest of the day gathering up info and making myself smart when it comes to my new client Veras Partners. A lot to learn about application management outsourcing and other software-related topics on this one. Looking forward to our kickoff call tomorrow afternoon.

Thanks for reading today's update. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Are you ready to tell your story?

Best,
Bill

Monday, October 15, 2018

McCuenications PR in the News - SoftwareAdvice.com

Here's a blast from the recent past. I was quoted in SoftwareAdvice.com in a story written by Andrew Friedenthal on What's Your Nonprofit Social Media Crisis Response Plan? here.

I've worked with Andrew on several occasions on my behalf of my clients. Always a pleasure.

Would you like me to put that type of media relationship to work for you? Reach out and let's schedule a call to chat about how it's done.

Best,
Bill

Thursday, October 11, 2018

I got to say it was a good day

With a tip of the cap to Ice Cube, today was a good day indeed. Here's the run down.

As noted in my earlier post, I was interviewed in a Medium blog here.

I also worked with Seth Fineberg, editor of AccountingWeb.com, to place an article written by my client Pranav Ghai, the co-Founder and CEO of Calcbench here.

Last but not least, I also exchanged signed contracts with a new client - will tell you more about that exciting development soon.

I also had a quick beer with Bobby Gagnon, owner of The Gate, the best craft beer bar in the five boroughs, to celebrate all of the above.

Now I just need to keep it going tomorrow. Wish me luck. How was your day? Reach out and let me know. You can contact me at bill.mccue@gmail.com.

Bill

McCuenications PR in the News - Medium/Pop Quiz Monday Q&A

I had a great time filling out Ricky Singh's Pop Quiz Monday questions and providing a few photos for his Medium blog here. I hope you enjoy learning a bit more about me and my reasons behind launching McCuenications PR this year.

If any of my responses in particular sparks your interest, don't hesitate to reach out so we can discuss in more detail. Contact me at bill.mccue@gmail.com. I hope to hear from you soon.

Bill

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

McCuenications PR in the News - Quoted in US News & World Report, August 14, 2018

McCuenications PR also provides life/career coaching services. In fact, I was quoted here in US News & World Report on how to ensure lending money to friends is a positive experience.

It was a pleasure working with my new contact Geoff Willliams on this article. Be sure to read Geoff's expert commentary on personal finances and small businesses. His work is always insightful.

If you're seeking advice on dealing with personal finances, your career, starting a new business, or looking for a referral, please reach out to schedule a consultation with me. The first one is always free. I look forward to hearing from you.

Contact me at bill.mccue@gmail.com.

Thanks for stopping by.

Bill

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Welcome to my blog!

Hello and thanks for visiting!

Once my new website is up and running, I'll be posting here on a regular basis. We're nearly finished with the construction so shouldn't be too long now. Until then...

Best,
Bill