Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Happy Holidays from McCuenications PR

Thanks for stopping by. I hope everyone is enjoying a nice winter holiday season. For those of you who struggle during this time of year, hang in there. Only one more big day to endure - New Year's Eve. Until we're beyond that big event, try to keep busy, keep your friends and family close, and best you can, avoid spending too much time alone.

I've been trying to practice what I preach. November and December are traditionally the toughest months of the year for me. Over the past 20 years or so, I've experienced everything from relationships breaking up to losing jobs to dear friends passing away.

I remind myself that positive things have happened, too. Including this year. Like the smile on my nephew James' face when he posed for a pic wearing the Saquon Barkley jersey I gave him for Christmas. And the way my mom called my sister "honey bun" when serving her breakfast on Christmas morning. In November 2010, I met Jimmy Page (yes, the Jimmy Page) for the first time. And his mom, too! How about that?

So try not to let the bad stuff overwhelm the good stuff, ok? But if you do feel like the blues are getting the upper hand on you, reach out to me at I've been there and can help.

I'm using most of this week to line up some year-end media opps for my clients, catch up on admin stuff and complete some project work for one of my business partners. Later today (Wednesday) I'll be connecting one of my clients with a reporter at Business Insider. Should be a good conversation.

More dental work this week, too. Can't wait for it to be done. The procedures aren't all that bad, really - even the root canals. The dread and anxiety leading up to it are far worse. Wish me luck.

Today's soundtrack is provided by The Current out in Minneapolis. Do you ever listen to it online? They play a great mix of old and new music. It helps me keep up with what "the kids" and my dear friend KK are listening to these days. Check it out here.

That's all for today. I'll be back with some thoughts on resolutions for the new year and some changes I'm hoping to make in my daily routine and lifestyle. Come back again later this week, ok?


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Dutch, Dr. Woody, Lunch, Winning and Birthday Greetings

To paraphrase President Ronald "Dutch" Reagan, "there I go again" breaking my own rules. I've let too much time go by in between posts. I'm sorry. In my defense, that cold I mentioned last week turned into a full on case of the flu, and knocked me out for a few days.

Woof, Monday night was the worst of it. I've never felt body aches like that before. My shoulders were killing me! My personal physician Dr. Chris Woody MacDermott prescribed two ginger ale and whiskeys to help with the pain and to help me sleep. They worked like a charm. Come Tuesday morning, I was starting to feel a little better.

That evening I followed the good doctor's same prescribed regimen. I took no pleasure in it, mind you. This was purely imbibing for medicinal purposes. Wednesday, again a little better. This morning I woke up fit as fiddle and ready to play on, to paraphrase Al Swearengen this time.

Ok, that's enough organ music. Now then...

Today was a good day. I had lunch with one of my clients and a reporter from Bloomberg at a very nice restaurant on the east side of Manhattan midtown. The two of them had a great chat and there are several potential outcomes from it. Turns out this reporter is also a good contact for at least one more of my other clients, and I've already set up another lunch. #winning

Tuesday I received a check in the mail from one client, and this morning I found that another had wired funds into my account. #morewinning

Over the past week and a half or so, I've been working with a former colleague. Mostly, I've been helping him with a few projects to lighten his load a bit as he prepares to head off on a vacation next week. We've always worked well together and he's got a great sense of humor so it's always fun with lots of laughs. I banged out some press releases for him, and also did some research for an upcoming broadcast opportunity for one of his clients. We're going to talk tomorrow about more collaborating over the next few weeks and into the new year.

I'm also now officially a member of a PR agency's consulting network. Ideally, this will result in a steady amount of work on projects both big and small. I will also from time to time be asked to participate in new business proposals and presentations. There's great potential here. Will see how it plays out and keep you posted.

I've also got a client finishing up a contract at the end of this month, and another due to wrap-up in mid January so I'll be looking to replace both on the balance sheet, so to speak. It's possible both will come back in time. It's on me to make sure both close out on a positive note and see the value in the investment in my services.

I'll close with a few personal notes. My oldest friend celebrates his 56th birthday today. We met back in high school at soccer tryouts in late August and later had a few classes together. Coincidentally, our parents knew each other from teaching CCD classes, and me and my old friend had our first extended conversation during a Religion class! We've had lots and lots of incredible adventures and experiences together over these past 41 years. From hitchhiking to parties to going to concerts together to attending the same college to even working at the same company after graduation (heck, he was my boss for a short time!).

I tell ya, I could write a book of stories about some of those experiences - some you wouldn't believe, but I swear are true. He married a great gal who's just a sweetheart and one of my dearest friends. They have three amazing kids - one of whom is my godson. I love them all like they are my own. They're super cool adults now and doing really well, which makes me proud of them and proud of my dear friends for being such great parents. Anyway, before I get too weepy, I will say happy birthday, JFS! We'll always be friends.

I'll be back tomorrow with some resolutions for the New Year and some more tips and counsel for you. Until then, I'd love it if you left some Comments. I appreciate everyone who comes here to read my posts - especially you KK - and hope they are helpful in some small way.

Are you ready to tell your story?

Best wishes,

Friday, December 14, 2018

Mission Accomplished! - Mornings w/ Maria

Fired up by the stellar performance by my/Indicate Media's client Larry Newhook from Alpha Innovations today during his appearance on Fox Business TV's "Mornings with Maria."

The segment featuring Larry and my new friend Frances Stacy Newton starts at the 25:20 mark here.

Sad to report, I did NOT get to meet and chat with Maria Bartiromo. Maybe next time...

If you're looking to get on business TV to showcase your expertise and raise brand awareness around your company, let's talk. I can make it happen for you, and will guide you through the process every step of the way - from securing the opportunity to training you on camera w/ mock interviews to help you look and sound your best. So...

Are you ready for your close-up?

Are you ready to tell your story?

Have a great weekend, everyone. Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Comments. I love hearing from you. 



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.


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.


P.S. Are you ready to tell YOUR story? Reach out to me at 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.


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.