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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

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