Sunday, March 23, 2014

Kermit & Miss Piggy Are Finally Getting Married (Would You Wait 40 Years?)

Hold up.  Wait.  Stop the press.  It just got real.... 

The adorable, sweet, soft-spoken Kermit the Frog and the one & only, the O.D. (Original Diva), the fearless and always fabulous Miss Piggy are FINALLY getting married! 

After a 40-year courtship, Miss Piggy has apparently snagged her longtime boo.  Word on the street is their wedding will take place in the new movie, "Muppets Most Wanted."  I haven't seen the movie yet, so I can't confirm it.  The gossip folks say Miss Piggy reached out to Vivienne Westwood recently and asked the designer to create a wedding gown for her.  Hmmm.... Sounds like somebody's walking down the aisle to me!

Listen.  If it IS true, I'll be the first to congratulate them.  Because duh, I love love!   


But, if I can be honest for a sec....  *sips tea*  I love Miss Piggy and all, but I don't know if I would have waited 40 years to marry the love of my life.  I mean, the first thought that comes to my mind is,'What took so damn long?'  But hey, I'm a Virgo and I'm impatient, so there's that.  

I understand people wanting to make sure they're ready for marriage.  But, 40 years?  Geez.  

In reality, there's no blueprint that outlines the appropriate time to date someone before you become engaged and then enter into a marriage.  There's no right or wrong answer.  It's a personal decision based on a lot of factors.  I get it.

Miss Piggy and Kermit's love clearly has no expiration date.  But, let's be real.  They're muppets.  They could have waited another 20 years and no big deal!    

But, would you wait 40 years for love?  Would you wait 3 months? Two years?  Indefinitely?  

Love is amazing, weird and beautiful.  It's one hell of a drug.  And yes, it will make you do some crazy things.  #neversaynever


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kids Have a Right To Go To School & NOT Be Bullied

I've gone on record many times about my thoughts on bullying.  It's no secret how I feel.  But just in case you don't know....I don't just hate bullies, I despise them. 

A few days ago, nine year-old Grayson Bruce of North Carolina was bullied by his classmates because of his My Little Pony backpack.  And by bullied, I mean punching, kicking, pushing and calling this kid names.  School officials eventually got involved and their solution?  Zero punishment for the bullies.  Instead, they told Grayson: "Stop bringing your backpack to school. It's making you a target for bullying."  *slow blinking*

Huh?  What kind of warped, twisted ass logic is that? 

I'll tell you what it is, it's wrong on sooooooo many levels.  Not only is it terribly wrong, it sends a dangerous message to kids who think it's OK to bully people.  It sends an even more damaging message to children who are being bully.  Side Note: It really ticks me off that adults made this decision.  Adults!  Incredibly irresponsible.   

Grayson Bruce and his mother.
Kids have a right to go to school and not be bullied.  As parents, school officials, teachers, aunts, uncles, godparents, friends, etc., we all have a responsibility to protect children from bullies.  We should all do our part to let bullies know that their behavior will not be tolerated or accepted.  And kids need to know there will be harsh repercussions if they choose to participate in any kind of bully behavior.  

See...I could never, ever be on a panel about bullying.  Nah.  No.  Nope.  I have a very unconventional way to deal with bullies.  I won't share it with because you'll judge me.  But, just know this... Bullies are cowards.  They operate on intimidation.  They're weak (never as tough as they seem). They're behavior is rooted in ignorance (any fool can be a bully).  

Once you really understand these things, you see bullies in a totally different light.  Your entire attitude and perspective will shift and...you will act accordingly.  Trust me.  

* steps down off of my soapbox *


FYI....Grayson's mother withdrew him from that school and he is now being homeschooled. He has received an outpouring of support and launched a Facebook page (Support For Grayson) that campaigns against bullying. 


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Say No to Yes People.....

You can totally tell when a celebrity has a team of "yes" people working for/with them.  I'm not calling anybody out, but you've seen these celebs go bat crazy in media interviews, right?  You've watched their performances at awards shows and thought..."What the !$@% was that?!"  And you've raised an eyebrow at some of their questionable career choices.  

It's natural to want people around you who are supportive and positive.  I get that.  Trust me, I get it!  However--and this is a big however, if your squad consists of a bunch of "yes" people, be careful.  "Yes" people will try to convince you that average is good enough. They'll have you believing that mediocrity is the norm.  They're uncomfortable with telling you the truth.  "Yes" people will have you out here looking...foolish. 

Having supportive and positive folks in your circle is a must!  Make sure you have genuine people who have your best interest at heart also.  People who will tell you the brutal, honest truth when everyone else is stroking your ego.  People who aren't afraid to tell you flat out, "Dude, you're f***king up."  People who will look you square in your eyes and say, "I disagree with you and here's why...."

I recently finished a major project and shared it with a close friend/mentor for feedback. This friend is wickedly talented and very successful.  I respect his opinion and I know he cares about me.  After reviewing my work, he gave it a 7.5 out of 10.  Ugh!  My heart sank.  It was tough to hear, but you know what?  He was right.  

I carefully reviewed his feedback, examined my work and made some adjustments.  And now?  My project is much better and scheduled to launch this summer (Yes!).   

Anywho...the moral of the story is this: Be cautious of folks who only tell you what you want to hear ("Yes" people).  Be open to constructive criticism.  Be 'OK' with being wrong sometimes and make changes if necessary.  And always surround yourself with people who will push you to be your best.  






Friday, March 7, 2014

Pic of The Week (The Color Pink!)

Look at singer Kelis in all of this pink fabulousness.  I give this an overwhelming...YEEESSS! 



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Social Media 101: Beware Of Twitter Bullies

I'm a news junkie, so I love Twitter.  It gives me a variety of up-to-date information at lightening speeds.  I get tidbits of national news, local politics, business tips and pop culture in a matter of seconds.  If you're in PR and you're not using Twitter as a resource?  *side eye* 

Anywho... I enjoy Twitter.  But like everything, it's not perfect.  Case in point: A lot of people use Twitter to bully, degrade and harass folks.  They sit behind their computer (lurking, I imagine), spewing out mean and hateful comments whenever they want.  Twitter bullies.  *sigh*  Unfortunately, most them do this on a daily basis.  And what's more troubling is, a lot of Twitter bullies have a large number of followers, which essentially fuels their twisted egos.   

They think it's cool to make fun of celebrities, laugh at children's shortcomings and tell people they're ugly, fat and unwanted.  I personally don't know what's going on with your spirit that allows you to put someone else down on a regular basis.  You've got to be a sad bucket of broken dreams to do that, and enjoy it.  

In 2012, a study showed that there were 15,000 bully-related tweets posted every day. That's more than 100,000 tweets that pollute Twitter each week.  Terrible.  But there are things we can do to stop this Twitter bully nonsense: 
  • Don't engage with them or acknowledge them (Ignore them)

  • Block them (Prevents a person from following you or seeing your timeline)

  • Reporter them to Twitter (Twitter has a strict policy about bullying, abuse & harassment)
Most important, always focus on the positive.  Twitter is not a bad thing.  Don't let others ruin it for you. 


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Olivia Pope Quotes That Will Make You Smile, Blush & Giggle

Scandal premieres tonight and like millions of other viewers, I'll be sitting at home at 10:00 pm (EST) glued to ABC.  I'll have my favorite glass of Riesling, and my phone will be close by for hilarious text commentary with friends during the commercial breaks.  Great times, man.  Great times. :)

What can I say, I love Scandal!  And I love the character, Olivia Pope.  Key word: character.  I know she's not real, but Shonda Rhimes and Kerry Washington have given her life.  Olivia is a smart, scandalous, unethical woman who is impeccably dressed with stilettos on deck with every outfit.  She's known for a lot of things (LOTS), especially her unforgettable quotes:   


"I don't want normal and easy and simple. I want painful, difficult, devastating, life-changing, extraordinary love."

"I'm going to need you to refrain from calling me a whore...at least not in front of my face."

"I'm many things, stupid is not one of them."

"Going up against the white house is the biggest thing we've ever done. It will be hard. It will be mean. It will be personal." 

"Normal is overrated."

"I always have cards left to play." 

"Give me your tie.  Take it off.  Off, off, off, off." 

"It's handled."

#Scandal

Thursday, February 20, 2014

THIS is Girl Power!

Printing this on 5,000 t-shirts:



The wink at the end though....  #priceless

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

PR Tip: Think Like a Reporter/Journalist

Reporters get TONS of pitches from PR folks every day.  There's no way they can do a story for every pitch that comes their way.  It's impossible and unrealistic.  

If you're contacting the media about your company, product, event or client, be sure to put yourself in their shoes.  A reporter's day is pretty hectic.  The worst thing you can do is get on their bad side.  And by bad side, I mean...not knowing some simple, basic things. Try to to make it easy for them.  Here are a few helpful tips:  

Do Your Homework - Make sure you understand the reporter and the reporter's audience.  Do some research.  Ask yourself--Will my story appeal to the reporter's readers/viewers?  Is my pitch something this reporter will likely cover? (Be honest with yourself!) Tailor your pitch to fit the reporter and his/her audience.

Deadlines - If you don't know what a reporter's deadline is, ask.  Nothing frustrates a reporter more than receiving a call from someone when they're working on deadline to finish a story. Typically with TV news, you don't want to call/contact them any time before a newscast. 

Yesterday's News (Be Timely) - News has a cycle. The term "yesterday's news" is real. Make sure that whatever it is you're pitching is timely and relevant.  Old news is not news and reporters will not be interested.  Things are moving fast in the newsroom!  Keep up!

Stick To 5W's - Reporters have a big appetite for information, but they also want you to keep it brief and stick to the facts.  Remember, you want to make it easy for them. Give them the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE & WHY of your pitch.





  

Friday, February 14, 2014

These Two... Ossie & Ruby (Happy Valentine's Day)

I've always loved these two....

Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.  Their love, talent, chemistry and commitment to their community and each other remains unparalleled.  When I think about love & relationships, they always come to mind.  

Their union lasted 56 years (Ossie died in 2005).  Can you imagine loving someone...sharing this journey of life with your soul mate for almost 60 years?  On their time together, Miss Ruby has said, "That we arrived at fifty years together is due as much to luck as to love, and a talent for knowing, when we stumble, where to fall, and how to get up again."

Thinking about them today... 

#HappyValentinesDay





Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Public Service Announcement: If You Think I'm Writing About You, I Am

I'm a writer (duh), so I get inspiration from everything - EVERYTHING.  I watch people.  I listen.  I pay attention to details (I'm a Virgo too), and I read anything I can get my hands on.  Those things fuel my imagination.  They ignite my energy to create.  Did I mention....I'm a writer. 

If you're my friend, an associate and or even a stranger I've passed on the street, please know that I'll write about you. I will and I do!  Now, I'll never abuse your personal trust.  No way would I ever do that. I won't share your name or any personal, irrelevant details.  But I'll write about something you said or how you made me feel.  I'll write about a situation or a conversation.  In fact, conversations with family and friends have inspired some of my favorite posts. 


So yeah.  If you think I'm writing about you...I totally am.  



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Apple's Awesome PR Sauce: Their Customers

Apple has THE best PR team ever!  Their customers.  

Think about all of the people you know who use Apple products.  Tons of them, right?  They don't just use the products, they're die-hard, lifelong evangelists for Apple.  Say something - anything bad about their iPhone, MacBook Air or iPad and those folks will come for you with the ETHER! 

Not only are they loyal customers, but they encourage others to do the same.  It's almost like they work for the company.  Like they own stock in Apple!  They're so serious that...Apple users will look at you funny when you say your cell phone is an Android.  And if you tell them you're still using a Blackberry???  Whoa.  They'll give you a blank stare, giggle or shake their head in disbelief.  Their passion is undeniable.  

Why?  They genuinely believe Apple products are THE best.  And that's PR at it's best!  Great PR influences people's perception of a company, product or brand.  So much that they want to share that enthusiasm with others.  So much that the cost of that product or service is secondary.  So much that they will defend that company, product or brand to the very end! 

Apple's awesome sauce is grounded in phenomenal PR.  Their reputation has created this army of supporters and customers who carry that Apple torch (proudly) through the rain, sleet or snow. 

Whether you're an Apple fan or not, you gotta respect that.  

    


Monday, February 3, 2014

Pic Of The Week: Maya Angelou #BlackHistoryMonth

I love seeing people in their natural element.  No partitions.  No airs.  No filters.  This is one of my favorite pictures of one of my favorite writers, Maya Angelou.  



Growing up, I read a lot.  My favorite books were written by great authors like Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary and Astrid Lindgren.  It never even dawned on me as a kid that black people wrote books.  That's until I read "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings."  I remember reading the author's bio.  Her picture was included too.  Her name was Maya...she was pretty, smart and she wrote books.  

I thought that was THE coolest thing ever! 

Friday, January 31, 2014

So You've Asked People To 'Like' Your Facebook Page, Now What?

I have a lot of friends who are small business owners.  Unfortunately many of them haven't included social media tactics in their overall business strategy. *sigh*  But, THAT's another topic for another time.   

Back to the subject at hand... 

So...you've asked people to 'like' your new Facebook company page.  Now what?   First and most important, look at your company's business goals.  Remember: 

Social Media is Not a One-Off  =  Your social media strategy shouldn't have its own agenda.  It should align with your overall business strategy.  For example, if one of your key issues as a company is to raise the level of awareness around a new product or service, then your social media efforts should support that.  


Create An Editorial Calendar - An editorial calendar is basically a daily listing of posts that will go on your page. Relevant, consistent, engaging content is super important on Facebook.  Sure, being spontaneous is a part of social media.  But remember, you want to focus on your overall business goal(s) too.  An editorial calendar will help you do that.  It will help you stay on track.  

Keep Your Posts Short & Sweet - No one has time to sit and read a thesis about your product and whatnot.  Keep it short.  The shorter, the better. 

Add Images - A post without an image is like a cupcake with no icing.  Blah.  Content is moving fast on Facebook. People are seeing all kinds of things in their feed.  You want to grab someone's attention quickly.  Great images can do that.    

Real Time Engagement - Not only do you want to add fans to your page, but you want to interact with them too. You want to answer their questions, respond to their compliments and assist them if they have a problem.  If you can't do these things personally, hire someone who can. 

Understand & Utilize Facebook Insights - Insights is sooooo valuable!  This tool will show you who your fans are, where they live, what posts they like, what times of day they're online, etc.  Get familiar with Insights.  It will help you find out which content works best for your audience and how you can improve. 

Scheduled Posts - You can schedule posts on Facebook.  In fact, you can schedule posts up to six months in the future.  How cool is that?!  With this feature, you'll be able to post more content without being strapped to a computer all the time. 

I know this seems like a lot, but if you really want your business/brand to have a successful Facebook page, you have to take it seriously.  Start with these things first.  I think you'll be pretty impressed with your results.  





Monday, January 20, 2014

Photos Of The Week: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr - The Family Man

As we take time out today to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights leader and humanitarian, we shouldn't forget what an amazing family man he was.

I love these pictures of him!  They tell his story much better than I ever could.... 








Friday, January 17, 2014

You're Being Interviewed By The Media? Here's What NOT To Do!

Take a look at this interview with former reality star Kate Gosselin and her twin daughters.  Brace yourself.  It's brutal.



Awkward, right?  My guess is that Ms. Gosselin's publicist prepped her and her girls for this interview.  But when the cameras started rolling...something happened.  The kids became nervous (understandable).  Emotions took over (common mistake).  And the interview took a left turn with the reporter's questions (it happens). 

Know this: Great interviews don't just randomly happen.  No. No. No.  Preparation is key!  

Tips:

  • As an interviewee, you have to know what you want to accomplish in the interview.  Ask yourself - What is my goal here?

  • Decide what it is you want to say.  Create 3-4 key messages and stick to them.

  • During your interview, stay focused and confident.  Remember, you're there to accomplish your goal!

  • If you're asked a question and you don't know the answer, say so.
Being interviewed by the media can be extremely intimidating.  Without the right preparation, you could end up making a fool of yourself.  No one wants that, right?  Right!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Press Release Is NOT a PR Strategy

I received a "SOS/help" text message recently from someone looking for a press release template.  A template?  In all fairness, this person doesn't work in PR.  And to my knowledge, they've never worked with a publicist or a PR professional directly on a project (In other words: They've never hired a PR person).  I don't know why this person needed a press release, and I totally understand their blindness when it comes to PR, but it got me to thinking....  

Sooooo many people think that the magical, enchanted press release is the key to gaining positive exposure for their product, client and/or service. That somehow, sending a press release is going to land them a spot in a national publication or popular network show. Nope.  Nothing could be farther from the truth! 

Now, don't get me wrong.  A press release does serve a purpose.  But, it's simply a tactic; A piece of an overall PR strategy. Tip: In order to be effective, a press release should be relevant and newsworthy.  It should tell a story of value, and it should be well written. Why?  If your press release is created correctly, your chances of having it published "as is" increases significantly.    

Sending out a press release to the media is great, but it shouldn't be the extent of your PR plan.  It's equivalent to trying to swim in three feet of water.  You'll just be flapping and kicking your heart out...and going nowhere.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Pic Of The Week (Girl Power)

The Golden Globes aired last night.  Actress Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave) shut it down in a gorgeous Ralph Lauren ensemble.  Talk about Girl Power!  Whew.  Gah.  Gorgeous.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Don't Downplay Your Dopeness For ANYONE

                                  “A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.”  - Coco Chanel 

I love EVERYTHING about this picture.  This is Iris Apfel.  She's 93 years young.  She's a businesswoman, interior designer and fashion icon.  In 2012, at the age of 90, she became a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin.  Listen.  Miss Iris is the bizness (no typo).  Blue eyeshadow, red lips, funky glasses, gaudy jewelry and all!  

I could do a post about finding your little light and letting it shine, but I won't.  I could remind you to do you and forget about what everyone else thinks, but you already know. This photo pretty much sums it up: Be true to your heart.  Be fearless.  Be you.



  



  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy Birthday Zora!

If you want me to turn into a chatter box, ask me about The Harlem Renaissance.  I looooooove this period of time in history.  LOVE.  

The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement in the 1920's.  It was a creative awakening when African Americans fully embraced literary, musical, theatrical and visual arts.  The movement originated in the Harlem section of New York, but wasn't confined to that area.  Its impact grew and created a huge impact on the consciousness of the world.
  

Zora Neale Hurston was one of The Harlem Renaissance's most popular artists.  An amazing storyteller, her writings were bold and honest.  She was fearless and made no apologies for living her life exactly how she wanted.  If you really want to experience her greatness, read Their Eyes Were Watching God.  Zora wrote it in 1937, after the ending of a love affair she had with a younger man.  A beautiful piece of work.  A masterpiece.


Today is Zora's birthday (she passed away in 1960).  I wish I had an opportunity to meet her.  I think we would have liked each other.  We're both from Florida.  Writing is our first love.  We both have a wicked sense of humor. Soooo much in common!  Yeah, we would have definitely hit it off.  The best way I can honor her now is to try & live my life the way her writings read: Vivid, spirit-filled, fearless and love embodied.  

The universe gave birth to a gift named Zora.  For that, we should all collectively give a heartfelt...thank you. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom - An Inspiring Tribute

Nelson Mandela lived 95 long years.  Amazing.  He blessed us in so many courageous ways.  When I sit and think--really think about his vision, his sacrifices, his strength and his unwavering commitment to humanity, it leaves me speechless.  And after seeing the movie, Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom, all I could do was shake my head in disbelief. This really happened.  

The story of Nelson Mandela.... Whew.  A few months ago, I said to a friend, "How in the world does someone tell THAT story?"  So many layers. Decades of history.  Political control.  Cultural relevance. Apartheid.  Legacy.  Pain and heartache.  What an undertaking!    

William Nicholson's (the film's screenwriter) and Justin Chadwick's (director) interpretation of Nelson Mandela's life is uncomplicated and moving.  This film is the reason why movies should be made: To tell stories that entertain, agitate, educate and make you think.  I'm still thinking about this movie...    

Idris Elba as Mandela.  My goodness.  His portrayal is so captivating that it demands your undivided attention.  The movie begins with Mandela in his 20's.  He transforms from a charming ladies man to a husband and father, who eventually makes mistakes.  Mandela's anger over a friend's death ignites his fire to fight for equality.  That commitment changes his life, everyone who loves him and the future of a country.  Idris physically changes throughout the movie to age 75, but his presence remains strong and dignified until the end.  A commanding performance. An award worthy performance. 


The movie also depicts Winnie Mandela's struggle. Mandela loves his Winnie.  And she loves him, but more poignantly, she believes in him and his vision.  She continues to fight with him, for him and the people of South Africa for 27 years.  Her spirit is fiery and her strength is undeniable, but when she and Nelson touch each other for the first time in 21 years, she is simply....a woman in love.  It is the most heart-rending scene in the movie. Naomie Harris (who played Winnie Mandela) showed up, rolled up her sleeves and gave this role her everything.  Beyond impressive.
   
Idis Elba and Naomie Harris as Nelson and Winnie Mandela.
I grew up knowing Nelson Mandela was a hero of our times.  After seeing the film, I still believe he is.  But now, I realize he was a man with a fearless drive to do the right thing. He was a man who was passionate about humanity and forgiveness. A man who taught the world so many valuable lessons.  An example of love.  A champion of the people.  A great man.  

Friday, December 27, 2013

My Theme Song For 2014....

Being happy is a choice worth making.  Try it.  *sips tea*  Want some?  It's delicious. :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Best. Christmas. Card. Ever!

So yeah...I feel like a failure in life.  My Christmas cards are NOTHING like this.  *kicks rocks*  :-)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

10 Things Santa Will Do After Christmas


  1. Triple check his list to make sure everyone received their gifts.

  2. Check Instagram to see all of the beautiful #MerryChristmas pictures.

  3. Get a massage.  After visiting 842 million homes and traveling 221 million miles to reach each kid, "exhausted" is an understatement.

  4. Date night with the Mrs.  He's been working long hours and she's been patient.  It's "her" time now.

  5. Hit the gym.  A diet that consists mostly of milk and cookies can wreak havoc on a waistline.

  6. Stop by the barber shop.  Make sure his beard is still tight.

  7. Sign and distribute elf bonus checks.  They're the forgotten heroes in all of this.

  8. Take the sleigh in for a tune-up.

  9. Call his publicist - Officially decline FOX News' invite to come on and talk about fictional characters and their racial backgrounds.

  10. Download the new Beyonce album.  #fan


Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Came A Little Early, No? (Thanks Beyonce)

Sooooo, Christmas came a little early!  I went to sleep last night and woke up to: 


Beyonce dropped a *gulp* 14-track video album on iTunes around midnight last night. Yep--each song comes with its very own video. *gulp again*  Listen.  Even if you don't like Beyonce (What the !@$& is wrong with you?), you gotta respect her brand: Bold and freakin' fearless. 

No marketing.  No promotion.  No warning.  Nada.  Just greatness.  Well played, B.  Well played.  #VirgoNation


 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Spread Pink Love!

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