THE MEDIA PUSH

The Daily Scoop from Charlotte Shaff

A Musical Veterans Day Ice Cream Social at Organ Stop Pizza October 1, 2014

veteran day flagDATE: Tuesday November 11, 2014
TIME: 1:30pm – 3:00pm, doors open at 1:15pm
WHERE: Organ Stop Pizza, 1149 E. Southern Ave., Mesa

Enjoy a free concert to celebrate and honor our veterans, with an emphasis on patriotic music and a demonstration/explanation of OSP’s Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ.
No food service will be offered other than beverages and ice cream and they will be available to purchase at current menu pricing. Organ Stop Pizza only accepts cash/checks. No debit/credit cards accepted.

RSVP:  480-813-5700 ext. 975 to reserve your space

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A look back at the start of THE MEDIA PUSH (and lessons learned along the way) July 25, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — themediapush @ 6:43 pm
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Back in the summer of 2005, I made a lot of changes. After enduring micro-managing bosses (twice in 5 years) and not feeling fulfilled or happy with what I was doing, I decided to quit my job at an ad agency and start my own business. Before quitting, I had saved up some money to take a vacation…to Europe. I had never been and thought this would be the best time to do it. It was scary and exciting at the same time to travel alone, which I soon learned was just like starting a business for myself. But I had support for both and I think that is what you definitely need behind you before starting a big endeavor. 

I’ve become very nostalgic this week because the media is hyping up London and the 2012 Olympics and I spent most of my ten days in England (Birmingham and a 2-day trek to London) with my friend Julie who moved there with her UK husband. She let me stay with her family, even though she just had her second daughter just weeks before. Now that I have been through two newborns, I still don’t know how she stayed awake or sane with a house guest who wanted to be a tourist! I also flew to Amsterdam for a few days by myself and other than a little sightseeing and museum tours, I spent a lot of time in my hotel room because I felt really out of my element and was too shy to talk to the locals or make friends. I still regret that, but I also regret some of the things I did while starting my biz, but have learned from them.

When I started my business, I decided to do PR, marketing and event planning. I didn’t really have much of a plan, I just knew I liked these things. My support during the first few months was my former boss, Nancy. When I worked for her in TV when I first moved to Phoenix, she was encouraging, supportive, fun and helped me blossom as a creative writer and producer. She understood her audience, both the viewer and the organizations who worked with us at the station. Ironically, when our paths crossed in 2005, she was leaving her own PR biz to be a PIO for a school district. She still had some clients needing help and she offered to show me the ropes of what she did and bring me on to finish up her projects. Former reporter friends from the station heard I was looking for clients and one got me clients they met while working. This support meant so much to me. I truly believe you can’t burn bridges, and while a select few will not be friends in my past work lives, the majority of the people I worked with are still in my life now…and I think that speaks volumes. 

So, what lessons have I learned in those early months of running my own business?

Let’s start with the PROS:

-You can make your own hours! Granted, they sometimes end up being 24/7, but it is nice to know that if I need to get some grocery shopping done or wait for the cable repairman, I don’t have to take time off of work or explain where I am.

You can find your niche! I started out doing a lot of everything, but soon learned what I really liked to do (PITCH) and decided to just focus on that. As I networked, I found great people in marketing, writing, events, graphics who I could team up with that I liked and could refer to clients who may need that help. 

You are paid what you are worth! I started off charging very low rates, but eventually found my rhythm and began offering competitive rates. And, guess what, the more clients you get, the more money you make! You can only get so many raises or bonuses in a regular job. Plus, my jobs never allowed second jobs, though I never had much time to do anything but work my main gig in the first place.

You can work with the people/biz YOU want to work with! Yes, in the beginning, I wasn’t picky and there were a few times I wasn’t really excited about who I was pitching, but now that I have a solid business and clients, I can choose who I want to work with. And, because there is a “lid for every pot,” I usually am able to refer anyone who is not right for me to another Indie. 

Now for the CONS:

You can go from rags to riches in a month! I had quite a few months where I would borrow from Peter to pay Paul. I know what it is like to have the credit card company call you…or to send a check to pay the mortgage and hope that a client pays me before the check clears. If there is any lesson I have learned, get a GOOD bookkeeper and CPA and stick to a budget. Put money away in savings for those slow months. But, DON’T GIVE UP when times get rough. Sometimes the lessons we learn during those low times are the ones that make us a success later.

You will long for the good ol’ days and friends. I admit to still getting a rush every time I walk into a local news station. The people, the energy, the creativity were what drew me to working in the media. Maybe this is why I do PR now…I still gotta keep my fingers in the industry somehow. But, I also remember the depression, the long hours, the low pay and the BS…and I perk up again about working for myself and having control of my destiny.

You will learn that some people just SUCK! As most any Indie will attest to, you will get screwed over. Clients will refuse to pay you. You will encounter shady people who want to partner with you on a project and they either don’t live up to their hype or they steal your ideas or client. One thing I have been very careful of now is to not become too close of friends with a client. You MUST keep the relationship professional. “Friends” will get upset when you offer criticism or need to make business changes they don’t agree with. 

You can’t do this alone! Yes, you are working for yourself, but you must have support. I remember sitting on my couch crying my eyes out, with the phone ringing from a bill collector and reading an email from a client saying they were ending their contract. I had a few really depressing months, but luckily, I could reach out to friends to get me out of my funk. I spent my first year networking like crazy. I found a great group of PR Indies to learn and share with. I found organizations I wanted to be a part of and grow myself professionally. 

Well, this is turning into a novel…so, I’d just like to end this by thanking my husband, my friends, my family, former and current clients and all my colleagues and friends in the local media and PR. I could of never done this without you all. 

Char in London

This is me in front of Big Ben in 2005!

 

Thank an AZ Mom for All Her Hard Work with a Free Car March 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — themediapush @ 5:13 pm
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NAPA Auto Care Centers of Arizona are honoring local mothers this spring by giving away a refurbished and updated 1997 Dodge Intrepid. Many of the shops in the network took part in fixing up the donated Dodge and getting it into prime shape for the giveaway. The first annual Worthy Words for Wheels on-line essay contest runs through April 30, 2010.
“Moms never get a day off,” said Michael Conroy, District Manager, NAPA Phoenix, “We wanted to give customers the opportunity to thank their moms for all the hard work they do day-in and day-out. What a better way to do that than to give them an amazing car valued at more than $5,000.”
Between now and April 30th, NAPA customers are encouraged to visit www.autorepairarizona.com and submit an essay explaining why their mom deserves the car. Essays should be no more than 400 words. Customers can nominate themselves, their wives, mothers, or any special woman in their lives.
The essay winner will be chosen the first week of May. The winning mother will receive her new car before Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9, 2010.
NAPA Auto Care Centers of Arizona provides quality car care and helps locate trusted auto repair shops in your area. With 18 endorsed auto repair locations in the Metro Phoenix area, each NAPA Qualified shop is ASE Certified and has earned the trust of their customers.
For more information on this contest, including rules and regulations, visit www.autorepairarizona.com and click on the contest link.
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AZ’s FINEST Couples Chosen for 2009 July 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — themediapush @ 12:48 am
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(My husband and I were honored to be a part of this last year…and even won Top Couple for our fundraising efforts.  Great organization to support! CF is a crappy disease and I hope a cure will be found soon.)

top_CFFlogoAZ’s FINEST Couples Chosen for 2009

After an exhaustive search across the Valley, ten couples have been chosen to participate in the 2009 AZ’s FINEST Couples program from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The couples chosen are:

Joseph Christ and Lisa-Bailey Christ

Tom and Andrea Evans

Luke and Najla Kayyem

Adam and Mindy Lang

Jay and Stefanie Layton

Ryan and Carrie Lehrman

William and Kim Magyar

Kelly and Cindy Mero

Gregory and Johanne Rossi

Ryan and Michelle Schultz

The AZ’s FINEST Couples program is designed to spotlight Arizona’s most influential trendsetters, honoring their professional and charitable accomplishments. Each couple was nominated by a member of their community, completed an application and then underwent an interview process. These nine couples best exemplify philanthropic qualities and overall, have excelled in the community.

Last year’s Couples raised over $60,000 for the Foundation through the AZ’S FINEST Couples event. As part of the honor, each couple has agreed to raise more than $5,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The Couple who raises the most dollars during the Campaign will receive the “Top Fundraiser Award”.

The couples will be honored at a dinner on November 6th, 2009 at the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Phoenix.
For additional information on the couples, please contact Jennifer Robertson at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at 602-224-0068 or jrobertson@cff.org

 

Social Media Basics – Are you socially acceptable? June 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — themediapush @ 3:32 pm
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sociallyacceptablelogoI’ve been asked to talk Twitter and other hot social networking sites a lot lately by the media and local communications groups. Part of the reason why is that the producers and group organizers see me online, being social. I am not wasting time online, but instead building and nurturing relationships with others who are in the biz (media, PR pros, clients, etc.) Thats basically the point of social media. A new way to build relationships and get the word out and learn.

I was on 12 News Morning show today. Here is a clip.

If you’d like a few bits of info on what social media is about and how it can help you, see below:

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USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS

Social media, broadly defined, is internet communications services that provide the means to interact with a narrowly defined or selected group of people who share similar interests.

Popular Social Media Sites:

YouTube: Videos online of anything and everything. Send, comment or upload your videos to share with others.
Yelp: Allows users to post reviews, photos and descriptive information and can become a top referring website
Flickr: Photosharing site. Post photos, do basic editing, share photos or have others upload their photos with yours (for example a family gathering, everyone puts their photos on one page.)
Facebook: Created as an interface for social interaction where users join groups and share information between people with similar interests.
Digg: Is a way to classify and bookmark web content. It allows users to share important URL’s with others and together build a storehouse of knowledge about a particular subject.
Twitter: Twitter is like a micro-blog, where you can follow people you find interesting and share common interests

Tips to get started: Find a blog that is of interest to you. Or, find a blog about a topic you’d like to learn more from. Comment once in a while.

Start a Facebook page and look for old school friends or neighbors to get back in touch. Become a “Fan” of your favorite busineses, tv shows, etc Start a Fan Page for your business or cause and use it to update others on whats happening in your biz and interesting articles that relate. Post photos, events, news.

Use Twitter to discuss topics, news, etc in 140 characters or less. Use it on your phone to discuss whats happening now, wherever you are!

It’s a Marathon, not a sprint. Learn as you go. Good way to find more common ground with younger generation, too. Social Media is how they converse!

STILL CONFUSED? Take a Hands-On Class for Social Media or WordPress this weekend!

 

WordPress, PR/Marketing and Social Media Workshops this June May 26, 2009

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sociallyacceptablelogoHands on WordPress Workshop, Build Your Website or Blog in a Day
Saturday, June 13, 2009 / 9am-4pm
Gangplank HQ
325 E Elliot Rd
Chandler, AZ 85225

What’s the point of a website if you can’t update it, when the name of the game today is constantly providing fresh content to users? Everyone is blogging- how do you get one of those? The beauty of WordPress is that it allows you to quickly mount a functional, professional website or blog that you’ll be able to easily maintain and control yourself.

Learn the different between posts and pages, what a plugin is and how to get them, how to install and change themes, and how to moderate blogs.
We’ll start from scratch and mount a wordpress website of your own by the end of the day for you to experiment with, or turn into your own online brand. This is a beginners class, but a sense of comfort with the internet and your own computer will be helpful. Attendees may follow along, or actively participate with your wifi enabled laptop.

$99 for small business
$49 for non-profit 501c3

To sign up or for more info: www.areyousociallyacceptable.com

STARTUP right. PR, Marketing & Social Media for your New Biz
Sunday, June 14, 2009 / 9am-4pm
Gangplank HQ
325 E Elliot Rd
Chandler, AZ 85225

Thinking about a new business? Opened the doors but no one is walking through them? Are you a victim of “the new economy” and considering working for yourself?
Don’t make the same mistakes so many new businesses make- save yourself money, time and heartache by knowing how to leverage PR, Marketing and Social Media for your new business.

Sometimes the most important part of marketing is knowing what NOT to do. Learn “Top Ten Marketing Mistakes Startups Make” so you can avoid the roadbumps.
You’ll need to let people know about your new business- how do the companies featured on the news get there? For the basics of PR and how to deal with the media, you can learn how to target the right reporter and pitch the right story to gain free exposure through the media with this step by step tutorial.

You keep hearing about Twitter and Facebook, but you’re not sure how to actually use it for your own business. Is it worth the time? What if my customers aren’t on social media? Learn the answers and how to leverage these tools to engage customers and monitor your brand online.

Even if you’ve got a budget to hire a publicist, and marketing department, arm yourself with these valuable knowledge tools so you know who to hire, can be an active participant in the process, and when you’re being taken for a ride.

$99 for small business
$49 for non-profit 501c3

To sign up or for more info: www.areyousociallyacceptable.com

Hands-on Twitter, Facebook and Linked in Workshop
Monday, June 15, 2009 / 9am-12noon
Jobing Main Offices
4747 N 22nd Street Suite #100
Phoenix, Arizona

Social media. Everyone is telling you to follow them on twitter, from your newscaster to your hairdresser. Your daughter is concerned you’ll show up on her facebook account, and you keep getting emails to LinkedIn, but can’t figure out why people love it. You’d love to send photos online! What’s the hype, and doesn’t this all take a lot of time? Every day, people are telling you why you and your company SHOULD be using social media, but no one is telling you HOW to use it.

Bring your wifi enabled laptop, sit back and get ready to be shocked at how easy it is to dip into Social Media. We’ll take you through how to set up an account, to how to use it and what neat tools each technology has.

We’ll walk through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Flickr, all in one day. Step by step, at a very quick but fun pace. This is a beginner to intermediate class, but requires you have a wifi enabled laptop (you can follow along without one, but will be at a disadvantage) and are comfortable with your computer and the internet.

$79 for small business
$34 for non-profit 501c3

To sign up or for more info: www.areyousociallyacceptable.com


PR, Marketing and Social Media Bootcamp for Non Profits
Monday, June 15, 2009 / 9am-4pm
Jobing Main Offices
4747 N 22nd Street Suite #100
Phoenix, Arizona

Often non-profit organizations get so tied up in their events and their programs, that marketing principles are broken. These marketing principles are simple to fix and crucial to the long-term success of your organization. Make sure your organization gets a clean bull of health by seeing if you violate “The Top 10 Slaughtered Marketing Rules at Non-Profits”.

Non profits struggle to keep up with the competition, not sure where to go next in their marketing efforts. They see others on television or featured in the local publications wondering “How did they do that?” For the basics of PR and how to deal with the media, you can learn how to target the right reporter and pitch the right story to gain free exposure through the media with this step by step tutorial.

Social Media is a big buzzword, but still confusing to so many business owners and non-profits. How do you leverage these tools to engage customers and monitor your brand online? Once you have an audience, how do you measure the impact you’ve had? Learn how to ensure you’re participating in the conversation about your organization online

By the end of the day, you’ll have a slew of new tools in your arsenal to ensure your non profit is being heard loud and clear, raising donations, volunteers, public education and client awareness.

$99 for small business
$49 for non-profit 501c3

To sign up or for more info: www.areyousociallyacceptable.com

 

MADCAP Theaters to Bring Music Back to Mill Avenue May 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — themediapush @ 4:02 pm
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madcap_logoAsk any Arizona resident what they know about Tempe and they will undoubtedly mention Arizona State University, Mill Avenue and the idea that Tempe is the local hot-spot for cutting-edge music, arts and entertainment. Thanks to a recent partnership between Downtown Tempe Community, Inc. (DTC) and Centerpoint on Mill, this reputation will remain intact for many years to come.

DTC, a private, non-profit organization that works in conjunction with the City of Tempe to increase awareness of the cultural, lifestyle and commerce experience in the Mill Avenue District, has partnered together to develop the Mill Avenue District Community Arts Project also known as MADCAP. Located at 730 S. Mill Avenue, MADCAP will provide a creative way to use the abandoned movie theater space to re-establish Mill Avenue as a destination for live entertainment and cultural activity.

“Many people have asked what happened to the music scene on Mill Avenue,” said Nancy Hormann, DTC President and Executive Director. “This area has a rich history of supporting contemporary music and other performance arts. Residents and business owners alike have been looking for an affordable way to bring back these types of entertainment events, we feel MADCAP theaters is a perfect solution for this situation. Long-term MADCAP will not only bring music back to Mill, but will also bring new economic growth to the area as well.”

DTC is working on a simple renovation of the empty theaters by converting them into raw alternative performance spaces. Each space will then be used to host a variety of performances and activities including; live music, comedy and dance performances, theatre productions as well as lectures, film screenings and corporate meetings.

“This space provides a unique opportunity for performers and companies,” said Hormann. “The movie theaters were a great set-up, with each space having fantastic acoustics, it allows the building to have a variety of acts and events going on simultaneously without interrupting each other.”

Hormann added that MADCAP theaters would help assure that local musicians and artists had an affordable space to express themselves while helping Tempe continue to build its standing as an art-friendly community.

The location of the MADCAP theaters will also be beneficial for meeting planners and promoters as Mill is easy to get to whether walking or driving, there is ample parking and there are a plethora of diverse restaurants and bars in the area. Additionally the costs to rent out the theater spaces will still be significantly less expensive than most larger facilities in the area. “By day, corporations and businesses can have speaking engagements and meetings here and at night, it’s a place for live music, dance performances and comedy acts,” said Hormann.
Scheduled to open in early June, MADCAP is currently looking for volunteers and donations to help with the restoration process. For more information, go here.

FOR MORE INFO, PLEASE CONTACT:

Casaundra Brown
Director, Marketing & Communications -Downtown Tempe Community, Inc.
(480) 355-6068

Nancy Hormann
President & Executive Director -Downtown Tempe Community, Inc.
480.921.2300