MEDIA COACHING STRATEGISTS
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Media training today is more than just print and television - it’s Twitter, podcasts, live streaming, blogs and social networking. Keeping up with the fast changing rules of the media relations game requires media coaching strategy. Media Coaching Strategists makes sure you know what works and what doesn’t so you can handle the bad news, take advantage of the good and better position your company’s public profile for the future.

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The London 2012 Games Goes Out in Star-Studded Bang!

It was a rockin’ end to the 2012 Olympic games! Name a British band from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s or the aughts and chances are they appeared live or in a taped tribute during the Olympics closing ceremony. It was a musical extravaganza that celebrated the vast array of British music, fashion and automotive traditions.

For big names there was Queen and The Who. For new wave –Madness and The Pet Shop Boys.  For heartthrobs –the guilty pleasures of the scandalous, George Michael and teeny bopper delight, One Direction. Only Annie Lennox’s number touched upon the weird gothic vibe that coloured the Opening. Only punk rockers weren’t represented though many would have liked to see The Sex Pistols sing “God Save The Queen”.

 The weirdest and most quirky parts were Fat Boy Slim deejaying from the glass skull of a huge, undulating octopus (better than it sounds) and comedian, Eric Idle being shot out of a canon before singing a sappy song (pretty old school). 

 The much-publicised reunion of The Spice Girls was a highlight - if not a puzzler – as not every viewer understands how they became the biggest selling girl group of all time.  Victoria Beckham joined the other Spice Girls dancing on the roofs of cabs but it was Mel B (Sporty Spice) who stole the moment.

 The cameras loved her singing front and centre in a spangled body suit.  Poor, Victoria (Posh Spice) hardly got a good shot, but it was clear all the Spices were in great shape and ready for their close-up.

 Earlier, it was Jessie J. who captured the attention of the crowd.  Unlike other singers who performed truncated versions of their hits, Jessie J got to sing four songs.

She even sang with “Queen”, taking the lead in “We Will Rock You”.  Jessie J in her skimpy costume, undulating hips and sleek black hair was not the traditional picture of “stiff upper lip” British-ness so heavily conceptualized in parts of the Opening Ceremony.

 But, if one had to pick a star that outshone all others, it would be Olympic Stadium! 

 Never, anywhere has any stadium been so glorious as this one! From the aerial shots, it looked as if a big, blue throbbing Martian spaceship had landed next to the London Eye and the new Orbit.

Inside the stadium, each seat was framed by groups of lights, which were part of a coordinated light show. The lights were so spectacular that it made one look back in embarrassment at the days when holding up a lighter was a big deal.

 The “taste of Brazil” section - as the torch was passed to the next host city - seemed like a low-key “Carnivale” compared with everything that came before.  It was nice to see the greatest footballer of all time, Pele, but the tease was more like Cirque du Soleil doing the samba. It’s a good thing Rio has four years to catch up to the polish of London.

 As the big show winded up, there seemed to be a palpable sigh of relief spreading through the stadium.  London had had a lot of pressure on its shoulders and to many people’s surprise they pulled it off. The Games went off extremely well and it was one heck of a party!

The Who, ended the show still sounding like the powerhouse band they were in the 60’s. As they sang, “My Generation” - red, white and blue fireworks shot from the stadium.  It could not be a more spectacular sight and a perfect way to end seventeen wonderful days that took seven years to plan.  Thank you London for a great show!  May things be as bright when you wake up Monday morning.

 

 

What NYC’s Jefferson Market Forget About its Brand 
The grocery store’s been gone a while now –yet walking by the empty space on 6th Avenue and 11th Street, the former site of the once thriving Jefferson Market, I still get a ping   It’s hard to imagine how the gourmet market, the pride of the neighborhood and a goldmine in the 70’s and 80’s, could wither away and die.  
“The Jeff”, as it was called, brought out celebrities to do their own shopping.  You’d see Jane Curtin at the height of her SNL fame standing waiting for someone to help her check-out around the big square counter where customers found a spot and waited to pya..  No one ever jumped the line cause there was no line.  It all worked beautifully.  Customers here ran tabs in great white books the way your great-grandparents once did.  The clerks knew you and they knew what you owed.
People loved it.  They gladly paid more for what they could buy cheaper a few blocks away because it was so cool shopping at ‘the Jeff”.  What brought the people in was the prime meat showcases but what kept them coming back was the unique feeling of shopping at an old general store.  So, what did management do wrong?  How did a store that thrived since 1929 go out of business?
Well, management forgot what they did well! 

Know your Customer:  Just because you can move doesn’t mean you need to move.   Maybe there’s another way for the new generation to make their mark on the business instead of moving across the street and homogenizing the business so all the quaint charm goes out the door with the customers. Asking the customers what they want might have helped. Do some market research. Surveying customers is never easier than it is now with Google Notes and SurveyMonkey.com. 
Don’t Forget the U.S.P.:  At “the Jeff” there were as many workers serving you as customers. They knew their job was to serve you and they would go overboard trying. Once I forgot a package behind that I bought at another store and by the time I called to ask them to hold it for me, they already loaded in the van ready to be delivered. That’s great value added service.
When I was recovering from an operation, the guys at the meat/fish counter wrapped two weeks of individual fish and meat portions in special freezer paper and marked them so I knew what was inside.  No extra charge.  I came home loving “the Jeff” as I loaded the freezer.  Today every small business needs to define what customer service is going to be like at their store and live it.  Empower your employees to make some decisions on their own.
Let your team be themselves: Each employee had a unique personality and they were allowed to shine.  Some had graying hair and been butchers for years.  Others were young, handsome and had their fan followings. My favorite was “the Captain” who manned the prime meat counter for years wearing a yachting cap and when it was slow would give you a recipe that used fewer than 5 ingredients.  The team was professional, knew their stuff and a meat counter with 20 guys working behind it is a sight to behold. 
Your Customer Will Wait:  When your products are the best around people will gladly wait to be served.The meat counter was always packed. So, packed the crowds sat on benches waiting to be called. It was a good way to catch up with friends and neighbors.  People enjoyed sitting and looking at the woodcarvings of rabbits and antelope hanging on the walls. You could see so many interesting people ordering - from the men at the local firehouse who would drive up in their red fire truck to lots of celebrities.
Do What You Do Best:  Competition came to the Jefferson Market when Balducci’s expanded and added an elaborate prepared foods area.  Somehow, the great guys at  “the Jeff” felt lacking.  They forgot they sold the best prime meats for 50 blocks.  They forgot people would walk miles to come to their store.   They forgot about their fish store selling only fish in the Village and instead coveted their neighbors prepared foods. 
When “the Jeff” expanded across the street half the store became a huge prepared foods area you had to navigate to get around. Only the hot items were made fresh and there was nothing sadder than looking at a lasagna in the showcase you know was made last week.  I used to wonder “who buys this stuff” and the answer is – nobody.  So, if you have a product that people love, like the prime meats at Jefferson Market, make it the star of your shop.
Stubbornly Stick with What Ain’t Working:
After the Jefferson Market moved across the street to the for rent spot in the picture above - it wasn’t the same. The little market with the big heart transformed into any run-of-the-mill small grocery store. The meat counter was smaller to make room for the prepared foods.  The benches where people once sat waiting for service now held bread and other items. Nobody wanted a more efficient shopping experience. People liked the weird old place that was like no other place on earth.
Gone were all the workers that had grown old working at “the Jeff”.  In their place, a were folks from neighborhoods far, far, away.  Girls who couldn’t make eye contact manned the registers and answered every question with a mumbled, “I don’t know”. If you were buying arugula they would ask you what it was and then not be happy to be told. The cleverest thing that crew ever said was  “Next” as they called the next customer forward to check out.  
The new system threw the old customers off.  Now arguments would now break out among people waiting in line and those who accidently cut ahead not realizing the line continued after a short break.  What was once a pocket of happiness, jokes and neighbors greeting neighbors was now a line snaking thru the store filled with disgruntled people wanting to go home.

 I approached the new owner after they opened and said, “You made a real mistake here with this change. You cut out the heart and soul of the business” and he said, “Yeah, I know” to quiet me down quickly. He didn’t want to hear the business he went into debt to expand was a shell of itself.  He was in denial and he stayed there.

For a while business carried on.  There were lines and people buying cheese at the expanded cheese area.  But once Citarella moved into the old Balducci’s spot it all dried up.
Now at the Jeff nobody manned the fancy cheese counter any more. Now Citarella’s fish was superb –better than what you can buy at the shore and they were selling meat too.  Citarella was the last nail but “the Jeff” had lost the fight long before by forgetting what it did well and not realizing why its customers were so loyal.
The management of Jefferson Market rode the decision to homogenize and pasteurize their one of a kind business all the way to the end.  So, now this place that many Villagers loved since 1929, has become another piece of available real estate. Gee maybe if we are lucky we will get another bank!

What NYC’s Jefferson Market Forget About its Brand 

The grocery store’s been gone a while now –yet walking by the empty space on 6th Avenue and 11th Street, the former site of the once thriving Jefferson Market, I still get a ping   It’s hard to imagine how the gourmet market, the pride of the neighborhood and a goldmine in the 70’s and 80’s, could wither away and die.  

“The Jeff”, as it was called, brought out celebrities to do their own shopping.  You’d see Jane Curtin at the height of her SNL fame standing waiting for someone to help her check-out around the big square counter where customers found a spot and waited to pya..  No one ever jumped the line cause there was no line.  It all worked beautifully.  Customers here ran tabs in great white books the way your great-grandparents once did.  The clerks knew you and they knew what you owed.

People loved it.  They gladly paid more for what they could buy cheaper a few blocks away because it was so cool shopping at ‘the Jeff”.  What brought the people in was the prime meat showcases but what kept them coming back was the unique feeling of shopping at an old general store.  So, what did management do wrong?  How did a store that thrived since 1929 go out of business?

Well, management forgot what they did well! 

Know your Customer:  Just because you can move doesn’t mean you need to move.   Maybe there’s another way for the new generation to make their mark on the business instead of moving across the street and homogenizing the business so all the quaint charm goes out the door with the customers. Asking the customers what they want might have helped. Do some market research. Surveying customers is never easier than it is now with Google Notes and SurveyMonkey.com. 

Don’t Forget the U.S.P.:  At “the Jeff” there were as many workers serving you as customers. They knew their job was to serve you and they would go overboard trying. Once I forgot a package behind that I bought at another store and by the time I called to ask them to hold it for me, they already loaded in the van ready to be delivered. That’s great value added service.

When I was recovering from an operation, the guys at the meat/fish counter wrapped two weeks of individual fish and meat portions in special freezer paper and marked them so I knew what was inside.  No extra charge.  I came home loving “the Jeff” as I loaded the freezer.  Today every small business needs to define what customer service is going to be like at their store and live it.  Empower your employees to make some decisions on their own.

Let your team be themselves: Each employee had a unique personality and they were allowed to shine.  Some had graying hair and been butchers for years.  Others were young, handsome and had their fan followings. My favorite was “the Captain” who manned the prime meat counter for years wearing a yachting cap and when it was slow would give you a recipe that used fewer than 5 ingredients.  The team was professional, knew their stuff and a meat counter with 20 guys working behind it is a sight to behold. 

Your Customer Will Wait:  When your products are the best around people will gladly wait to be served.The meat counter was always packed. So, packed the crowds sat on benches waiting to be called. It was a good way to catch up with friends and neighbors.  People enjoyed sitting and looking at the woodcarvings of rabbits and antelope hanging on the walls. You could see so many interesting people ordering - from the men at the local firehouse who would drive up in their red fire truck to lots of celebrities.

Do What You Do Best:  Competition came to the Jefferson Market when Balducci’s expanded and added an elaborate prepared foods area.  Somehow, the great guys at  “the Jeff” felt lacking.  They forgot they sold the best prime meats for 50 blocks.  They forgot people would walk miles to come to their store.   They forgot about their fish store selling only fish in the Village and instead coveted their neighbors prepared foods. 

When “the Jeff” expanded across the street half the store became a huge prepared foods area you had to navigate to get around. Only the hot items were made fresh and there was nothing sadder than looking at a lasagna in the showcase you know was made last week.  I used to wonder “who buys this stuff” and the answer is – nobody.  So, if you have a product that people love, like the prime meats at Jefferson Market, make it the star of your shop.

Stubbornly Stick with What Ain’t Working:

After the Jefferson Market moved across the street to the for rent spot in the picture above - it wasn’t the same. The little market with the big heart transformed into any run-of-the-mill small grocery store. The meat counter was smaller to make room for the prepared foods.  The benches where people once sat waiting for service now held bread and other items. Nobody wanted a more efficient shopping experience. People liked the weird old place that was like no other place on earth.

Gone were all the workers that had grown old working at “the Jeff”.  In their place, a were folks from neighborhoods far, far, away.  Girls who couldn’t make eye contact manned the registers and answered every question with a mumbled, “I don’t know”. If you were buying arugula they would ask you what it was and then not be happy to be told. The cleverest thing that crew ever said was  “Next” as they called the next customer forward to check out. 

The new system threw the old customers off.  Now arguments would now break out among people waiting in line and those who accidently cut ahead not realizing the line continued after a short break.  What was once a pocket of happiness, jokes and neighbors greeting neighbors was now a line snaking thru the store filled with disgruntled people wanting to go home.

 I approached the new owner after they opened and said, “You made a real mistake here with this change. You cut out the heart and soul of the business” and he said, “Yeah, I know” to quiet me down quickly. He didn’t want to hear the business he went into debt to expand was a shell of itself.  He was in denial and he stayed there.

For a while business carried on.  There were lines and people buying cheese at the expanded cheese area.  But once Citarella moved into the old Balducci’s spot it all dried up.

Now at the Jeff nobody manned the fancy cheese counter any more. Now Citarella’s fish was superb –better than what you can buy at the shore and they were selling meat too.  Citarella was the last nail but “the Jeff” had lost the fight long before by forgetting what it did well and not realizing why its customers were so loyal.

The management of Jefferson Market rode the decision to homogenize and pasteurize their one of a kind business all the way to the end.  So, now this place that many Villagers loved since 1929, has become another piece of available real estate. Gee maybe if we are lucky we will get another bank!

1 out 13 People on Earth are on Facebook!  The World Obsessed with Facebook!


WORKING TOO HARD?  TRY A STRATEGY?
More often that not, people turn to me when they hear the words media strategy and tell me they have one already. But, do they?  Having a strategy is a road map for accomplishing goals. In my business, that’s all about learning how to get in front of the camera and become a fabulous communicator - a rock star.  
With clients we start with a one year plan.  We prepare and practice so that when you have the first opportunity on the air you get asked back. We work with your team developing sophisticated pitches built around your messaging tying in to current events.  Then, we advance it.  Having a media strategy is an amorphous growing thing we are building together.
We leverage booking opportunities into bigger shows, more air time resulting in more eyeballs watching you.  When you have grown from a last minute fill-in guest at 2:00 P.M. on a no news day - to sitting on the set with a big name anchor - you are seeing the strategy at work.

So, remember having a strategy doesn’t mean you learned to do the hokey-pokey in grade school and now do it every time you get up to dance. Sticking only to the hokey-pokey is a one trick pony approach. It will take you about as far as any pony can.  But remember you aren’t on a horse.
Having face time before the cameras is not an end. It’s a start. You have to work the steps and build and become in demand by being good at being a guest.  Then, you must bring new value every time you are on the air and tie in with current events.  Show the anchors and producers you know the job you are there to accomplish and get it done. So that’s a strategy.  Grab the reins.
Are you going to work hard.  Yes.  

WORKING TOO HARD?  TRY A STRATEGY?

More often that not, people turn to me when they hear the words media strategy and tell me they have one already. But, do they?  Having a strategy is a road map for accomplishing goals. In my business, that’s all about learning how to get in front of the camera and become a fabulous communicator - a rock star.  

With clients we start with a one year plan.  We prepare and practice so that when you have the first opportunity on the air you get asked back. We work with your team developing sophisticated pitches built around your messaging tying in to current events.  Then, we advance it.  Having a media strategy is an amorphous growing thing we are building together.

We leverage booking opportunities into bigger shows, more air time resulting in more eyeballs watching you.  When you have grown from a last minute fill-in guest at 2:00 P.M. on a no news day - to sitting on the set with a big name anchor - you are seeing the strategy at work.

So, remember having a strategy doesn’t mean you learned to do the hokey-pokey in grade school and now do it every time you get up to dance. Sticking only to the hokey-pokey is a one trick pony approach. It will take you about as far as any pony can.  But remember you aren’t on a horse.

Having face time before the cameras is not an end. It’s a start. You have to work the steps and build and become in demand by being good at being a guest.  Then, you must bring new value every time you are on the air and tie in with current events.  Show the anchors and producers you know the job you are there to accomplish and get it done. So that’s a strategy.  Grab the reins.

Are you going to work hard.  Yes.  

The legendary CBGB’s in gingerbread.  Love the snowman passed out in the doorway.  

The legendary CBGB’s in gingerbread.  Love the snowman passed out in the doorway.  

(Source: getbackvassifer)

HAVE A VERY BOCA CHRISTMAS!'Twas the night before Christmas and down here in Boca,I was sitting at Starbucks, drinking my mocha.I know we’re all Jewish, but was wondering still,if Santa would come here and give us a thrill.On my way home, no Christmas lights did I see,on the houses, the windows, not even the trees.What a strange feeling Not a decoration in sight.Was it really December or a warm summer’s night?I drove past the deli’s, there were lines out the door.People were waiting for kishka and more.The restaurants were busy, Christmas dinners not planned.Never, not here we’re in Boca Land.At home all was quiet. left out Kosher wine,In case Santa came to Boca for the very first time.Snoozing came easy to me Christmas Eve.I wasn’t waiting for presents to be left under a tree.I could hope all I want. I could fuss and then see,if Santa would make time for little old me.Then all of a sudden he pulled up in his Jag,with a sack full of presents each sporting a tag.Oh Bloomies, oh Saks a computer and more.He knows where to shop, he frequents my stores!He looked for the lox, the bagels and jelly.He came to Boca first to fill up his belly!"I have a long night ahead, I want you to know.>From Boca I leave for New York and the snow.”He stayed for a while, he chatted and ate.Then he left in a flash before it got late.What a great night I thought with a sigh.That jolly old Santa is a really nice guy.As I cleared off the table I heard with delight"Shalom to you all, and OY, what a night!!

HAVE A VERY BOCA CHRISTMAS!

'Twas the night before Christmas and down here in Boca,
I was sitting at Starbucks, drinking my mocha.

I know we’re all Jewish, but was wondering still,
if Santa would come here and give us a thrill.

On my way home, no Christmas lights did I see,
on the houses, the windows, not even the trees.

What a strange feeling Not a decoration in sight.
Was it really December or a warm summer’s night?

I drove past the deli’s, there were lines out the door.
People were waiting for kishka and more.

The restaurants were busy, Christmas dinners not planned.
Never, not here we’re in Boca Land.
At home all was quiet. left out Kosher wine,
In case Santa came to Boca for the very first time.

Snoozing came easy to me Christmas Eve.
I wasn’t waiting for presents to be left under a tree.

I could hope all I want. I could fuss and then see,
if Santa would make time for little old me.

Then all of a sudden he pulled up in his Jag,
with a sack full of presents each sporting a tag.

Oh Bloomies, oh Saks a computer and more.
He knows where to shop, he frequents my stores!

He looked for the lox, the bagels and jelly.
He came to Boca first to fill up his belly!

"I have a long night ahead, I want you to know.
>From Boca I leave for New York and the snow.”

He stayed for a while, he chatted and ate.
Then he left in a flash before it got late.

What a great night I thought with a sigh.
That jolly old Santa is a really nice guy.

As I cleared off the table I heard with delight
"Shalom to you all, and OY, what a night!!

VIEW FROM RADIO CITY’S XMAS SHOW –  MOMMY!  I CAN’T SEE A THING!

Check out my view from the orchestra!  It’s impossible not to sympathize and it stayed this way throughout the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

The show is great. The audience, not so much

I was lucky to see 3 Rockettes and only if they danced over to the far, far right side because the couple in front of me wouldn’t take off their hats.  But, it gets better.

The woman couldn’t stop moving. Every time she moves I move which sets off a chain reaction of little kids all screaming behind me who can’t see anything either. And it gets better.

She sat all “lovey-dovey” with her man – often her head resting on his shoulders completely killing my sight line. They were having a great time and could completely care less if anyone else did.  

In some strange way, I guess I should thank them as I wouldn’t have known it was possible to go see a show yet end up seeing absolutely nothing. 

 

 

 

TOM HANKS, SANDRA BULLOCK AND NEWCOMER, THOMAS HORN AT NYC PREMIERE "EXTREMELY LOUD INCREDIBLY CLOSE"

Never have I seen a movie so driven by one character as in EXTREMELY CLOSE INCREDIBLY LOUD and it’s a kid!  Even the horse in War Horse doesn’t carry a movie like this.  Thomas Horn plays Oscar Schell an 11 year old trying to make sense out of his Dad’s death in 9/11.  Horn, whose diction rivals Martha Stewart’s, is in every scene of this tearjerker that had the woman next to me sniffling from beginning to end. 

It seems strange to do a fictionalized account of 9/11 when the reality of the event was far-fetched enough.  We were all were stunned and asking, “why”?” so it’s easy to feel Oscar’s pain as he searches for answers.  What isn’t easy is sitting thru it while this pretty unlikeable kid, who’s never heard the word NO, and brazenly tells his doorman (John Goodman) to “succotash his ball sac “ makes sense of it.  The kid’s character is over art directed.  No kid this smart would need a parent.

Sandra Bullock looked stunning last night at the NYC premiere - taller than Tom Hanks and very thin, she appeared to be wearing a corset under her suit giving her waist Scarlett O’Hara proportions.  She looks at least ten years younger in person than she does in this film.

Viola Davis has a wonderful cameo where she once again showcases her runny nose.  Max Von Sydow doesn’t say a word yet has some of the only scenes that warm up the screen. 

As you may have guessed this movie reminds me of War Horse.  It’s really well done but it’s long and depressing.  I am renaming it EXTREMELY SAD AND INCREDIBLY LONG. In any case, there could not be a more Twitter unfriendly name so proficient at eating up the 140 character limit. 

HOW TO TURN OUT THE BEST - “BEST OF 2011” LIST!
This time of year everyone produces a year end wrap-up - usually a top ten list of movies, mistresses, misspeaks and missteps.  For a guest, these are easy segments to do well because you know how they begin and end -s0 work the middle (good advice for the gym too!)
Do the math -Ask how much time you get.  Plan about 1 1/4 minutes after introductions, questions and interjections.  
With so little time - say very little.  For the first five items keep your comments to an enthusiastic short sentence of about six words saving the bulk of time for those top five finishers.
Pause dramatically before announcing the #1 spot.  It’s part of the tradition with these things and audiences like predictability. 
Remember you want to end strongly because it’s the end they remember.
And just in case you thought otherwise- You aren’t the straight man!  These lists are pure entertainment so rack up the laughs, smile and enjoy the show.  It’s like you planned it.  Oh wait- you did!

HOW TO TURN OUT THE BEST - “BEST OF 2011” LIST!

This time of year everyone produces a year end wrap-up - usually a top ten list of movies, mistresses, misspeaks and missteps.  For a guest, these are easy segments to do well because you know how they begin and end -s0 work the middle (good advice for the gym too!)

Do the math -Ask how much time you get.  Plan about 1 1/4 minutes after introductions, questions and interjections.  

With so little time - say very little.  For the first five items keep your comments to an enthusiastic short sentence of about six words saving the bulk of time for those top five finishers.

Pause dramatically before announcing the #1 spot.  It’s part of the tradition with these things and audiences like predictability. 

Remember you want to end strongly because it’s the end they remember.

And just in case you thought otherwise- You aren’t the straight man!  These lists are pure entertainment so rack up the laughs, smile and enjoy the show.  It’s like you planned it.  Oh wait- you did!




BERGDORF GOODMAN’s HOLIDAY WINDOWS - NOT AN ELF IN SIGHT!

Bergdorf Goodman is calling their Xmas windows The Carnival of Animals but it is more like the Carnival of Chic Clutter.  It all works but what doesn’t work with a $10K dress?  It is hard to make outfits like these look bad.  I would love to go to a party where people dressed in these kinds of clothes as they are even nicer than what we the stars wearing on Oscar night!