Monthly Archives: April 2015

If not NOW, then WHEN

So often I’m asked when is the best time to send emails to the media. Here’s some wise advice from Michael Smart.

The second-best time of day to pitch media is between 10 am and noon, their time zone.

That used to be a slam dunk time slot when they weren’t as busy. It was a sweet spot after they had rolled in, had their coffee, got through their overnight email, and started moving forward with their day. But before lunch and looming deadlines.

But now they have to turn in multiple stories a day. Many are expected to post to multiple platforms. And then promote their work on social media.

So even that morning window has gotten cluttered. Absent any additional insight into your target media’s workflow, it’s still a decent time slot, if you have to guess.

That’s because the actual best time to pitch a given journalist or blogger is unique to each one.

One reporter might check email religiously at 8 a.m. but never after 5 p.m. (like the USAT reporter I spoke with recently). Another might put off non-urgent email until she turns in her primary story for the day around 7:30 pm (like a WSJ reporter I used to pitch).

And, of course, the best time of day to pitch varies widely depending on the type of media you’re pitching. A general rule of thumb for pitching TV and radio producers, especially for morning shows, is to contact them within an hour of the end of that day’s show.

So how can you find the best time of day for your target media? Short of asking them, which is usually unwise until you’ve earned their trust, here’s what you do:

Whenever you receive an email from one of your target journalists, record the time it was sent. Same thing with any contact from them via Twitter. Over time, your record will show if there is any rhyme or reason to their typical workflow (for some, there isn’t – they’re in their email constantly or virtually never).

What if you’re not receiving emails or tweets from them? Give them a reason. React positively to their work. Then add value beyond simply complimenting.

Be systematic about logging timing clues. Anything you can do to inform your guesses increases your probability of success.

For more tricks, tips, and techniques to boost your success with the media, check out The Ultimate Online Media Directory. It’s available here:

Marcia Reece is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at or on

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Saying thank you is a little tough after the fact

Recently I was given a copy of Nora Ephron’s book, I Feel Bad About My Neck.

It’s a quick read and brought back so many wonderful memories.  I just love when books do that.  Thanks, Nora. 

Having just finished reading this book, I had an inkling in the back of my mind that Nora has passed away. So, I googled her, and I was right. Seeing the confirmation and the details made me sad as I wanted to write Nora and thank her for a fun trip down memory lane.  I often write notes to famous (and yet to be famous) authors telling them my thoughts on their writing.

You’d be surprised the responses I get back (and those I don’t hear from…)  Her book is cute and worth the time to read – especially for women of a certain age. I wanted to write her and thank her for her body of work and how much of it has touched me at different points in my life; but now it’s too late.

Lesson to be learned: live every day to your fullest; always say thank you to those who touch your life; and don’t worry too much about your neck…you’ll be sad once it stops working properly.

Take a moment today and say thank you to those who make a difference for you.  You’ll be glad you did and so will they.  Thank You for taking time to read this and for taking your time to reply.  I value your thoughts and love hearing from you.

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Sharing is Caring

Some people give up because they look at how far they have to go, instead of how far they have come. This sentiment describes my journey to try to become proficient on social media.

Just about the time I want to give up because of frustration, I look at how much I have learned and keep on keeping on.

Today I had the privilege to learn from Keith Renninston. He is gracious, giving, sharing, and caring…What more could any of us ask?

Keith has a broad reaching body of work. He was struggling as to how to build the entire body into “his brand”. We brainstormed several different approaches and I saw his light bulb come on.

What a joyous day! We came together each needing something that comes more naturally to the other. Our sharing atmosphere brought good progress for each of us.

That’s how I like life best. Thank you, Keith.

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Just Ask and your wish shall be granted

As many of you read last week, I was smacked up aside the virtual head when I made a social media mistake. Since that time, my focus is on learning how to engage in social media correctly.

One of my peeps asked me how long I had been using social media. I told her just a little over two years. I first put up a website and blog while I was writing my first book. I had been on FB and LI but not in a serious manner for a bit longer.  She laughed and told me not to be so hard on myself. She started her site and social media reach in 2001…14 years ago!!  No wonder I feel so stressed out that I am so far behind the curve.

Another of my peeps is hosting a 10 Deadly Sins webinar on May 8. I signed up!!!  I know I will learn how to correct a few more of my errors there.

Just this morning, I was IM’ing another peep. I had a long-time friend whose emails were suddenly ending up in my spam. I IM’d him and he told me there is a “Not Spam” button which should put her back in my correct email. Well, guess what?  He was right. I checked the box by her email in my spam folder, and presto!!  Her emails are now being correctly sent to my inbox.

This helpful peep also gave me a very brief one liner which is helping me learn how to use hashtags.

BOTTOM LINE:  The most amazing things about social media are:

  1. No one is too old to learn
  2. Someone knows the answer – it’s up to us to ask the questions
  3. Except for the jerk last week, most folks are very willing to overlook the mistakes newbies make
  4. It works.  It really truly does work. Social media opens a whole new world to those who want to learn the correct ways to engage it.

I’ve made so many mistakes learning, but I certainly want to thank Carol Naff, Aaron Stephens, Harmony Thiessen, Debra Jason, and Kelly Mirabella and so many, many others who have helped me (kicking and screaming) come into the virtual world.

TCO: Day 4

#social media


#building relationships

#social media etiquette


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Rewards Motivate Action

I enjoy Carol’s blogs, but this one really sings with my sidewalk creator heart. It was back in the early 80’s when we created this fabulous creative art product and lives have never been the same. Carol, you could not have chosen a better picture. Thank you.

Carol Naff, Marketing Coach

Anderson's chalk drawing at age 5 Be Bold and Courageous

Many of my clients choose rewards for motivation to accomplish success in securing each new client, meeting with current and prospective clients, completing work for a client or even a personal objective. Choose small, frequent rewards for each objective. It could be a small reward for making a certain number of phone calls, for instance. Or a reward could be to postpone lunch until you’ve completed your objective.

Think about Ivan Pavlov’s (1849-1936) description on how animals (and humans) can be trained to respond in a certain way to a particular stimulus. His work paved the way for a new and objective method of studying animal and human behavior. Use a rewards system to condition yourself to react and just accomplish the most important things. Don’t use your critical thinking skills to postpone behavior. Use rewards to motivate your behavior.

Think big about what you really want…

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Time for Sharing

Yesterday was one of those extraordinary days that don’t happen but once in a while. The drive into the mountains was filled with sunshine and smooth sailing. I met with an exceptionally amazing client and our meeting was more than could have been expected. Thank you. The drive home started out late, so driving through a snow blizzard at Vail Pass to and through the tunnels all the way to Idaho Springs was a bit of a nail biter. Really!! “Snow, you need to be dead to me!”

Today, I’d like to share an email full of great advice I received from my colleague Shel Horowitz.   

Shel says: “Partner with others who already reach your key audience. Make it a real partnership–make friends with them, communicate not just when you want something from them. Be nice all the time: Comment on their newsletters and blogs, send links you think they’ll find interesting, be very friendly when you meet a conference. And also blow them away with how good you are at what you do. Most of my income comes from referrals through other industry professionals, including some of the top names in my field who list me as a resource on their websites.”

–Shel Horowitz, 

Shel, wise advise and I agree with you 100%.  It’s all about Relationships! And never miss a moment to build or enrich a relationship.  Great words of Wisdom for all the member of TCO as well.

Make this a day you won’t forget for a while.




#1 Bestselling author, Secrets of the Marriage Mouse (

The Ultimate Online Media Directory (

TCO: Day 3

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The Introvert’s Guide to Getting Noticed and Picked up by National Media

While meeting with an exciting new client this week, our work focused on how his company can garner media exposure. He is very naturally an introvert but by the end of our time together he let go of his shyness. It’s going to be fun to watch him shine in the media spotlights. We came up with this list of 5 specifics points to keep in mind as he writes his media releases.

1.  60-100 Character headlines lines have the best “Open” rate.

2.  16-18 word subject lines have the best “open” rate.

Keep words short and simple.  Americans read at a 6th grade level.

3.  Odd Numbers in a subject line are most powerful. 

Odd numbers are more believable.  Look at best selling book titles and you will see this proven out ~ 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a good example.  Don’t you wish I knew about this statistic when I wrote Secrets of the Marriage Mouse ~ Find Your Forever Love in 4 Proven Steps.  Oh, well, I live to learn! I hope you do too.

4.  DO NOT use the word “Must” or “Need”  in your writing. 

Headlines with the word “must” or “need” generate a 20% lower click through rate. These pushy-sounding words make the reader resistant to your message

5.  Photos get articles published at a MUCH higher rate. 

As a little added bonus, here are two additional tips to add to  your work:

Maximize your “signature” in everything you write. 

Pop me an email to and I will respond. You will see my auto signature there.

Offer something free. 
What…you don’t have a free ebook to give away.  Spend an evening or two (or three) and create one this week.  You can repurpose some work you have already written.  Find something you can offer your peeps for free; it greatly increases your sell through.  I always give my Marriage Mouse Workbook away for free when anyone buys Secrets of the Marriage Mouse at any of my live events.  My close rate averages at around 82%.  People like getting a deal.

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A simple act of caring creates an endless ripple

As some of you know, I was berated pretty badly after I made a social media faux paux a few days ago. I have become determined to learn how to use social media correctly and also to learn the intricacies of social media etiquette.

Yesterday…it happened again!  I made another social media mistake. HOWEVER, instead of being drug through the coals and made to feel very badly, Debra Jason took her time to write me an email and kindly and with caring explain to me the better way to do what I was trying to do.  What a difference a simple act of caring made.

Debra, thank you for taking your time to help me learn. I’ve been on social media for about 2 years and am beginning to understand the power of the platforms but also the rules within which it’s best to play.

I will be paying your kindness forward today and will think of you as I do so. What a difference the two differing approaches has made.

Many years ago I was humbled to have Sam Walton (yes, THAT Sam Walton) teach me how to work with distribution centers and all the in’s and out’s. I was a farm girl who had never been in that kind of an environment and his kindness in helping me learn what he knew made a lifelong impact on me and helped to cement my belief to pay it forward.

In contrast to the social media man who berated me when he had an opportunity to help me learn and correct my mistake with kindness and a pay it forward attitude.

Life is full of these moments. It’s all how we choose to handle the moment. Lift someone up and take the chance to teach a lesson, or kick them because they made a mistake and miss that chance to be a lifelong inspiration in their lives.

How will you choose?  Sam Walton and I became lifelong friends and I miss him. The social media man unfriended me and missed out on my generosity in spreading the news about his work.

PS: I have just finished reading Debra’s new book, Millionaire Marketing on a Shoestring Budget ( It’s full of her wonderful wisdom and helpful tips, tricks, and techniques. I’ve reviewed it on Amazon and believe you will also enjoy it.


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I’m touched, inspired, and moved.

My colleague, Debra Jason, just posted this on Facebook. I’m so touched by her thoughtfulness. This is a perfect example of building a relationship that will carry her far. She reached right into my heart and made a friend for life.  Debra picked one sentence from our phone conversation yesterday, turned it into a quote, and gave me an incredible gift.

Whose life can you impact in this manner today?

Thank you, Debra, for paying it forward.


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Ah shucks…it wasn’t nothin’

Ever wonder why it is so hard for us to accept thanks and praise gracefully? Me, too. It’s hard to accept a simple thanks for a favorable word or kind deed. We feel the need to explain why thanks are not really due. Usually our stammering could simply be converted to a simple “Thanks for noticing”. Let’s all practice learning to acknowledge our appreciation for kind remarks. And while we are learning to accept praise, let’s also practice offering sincere thanks and heartfelt praises for those who earn them.

Anyone have any great “accepting thanks” one-liners that work? Please share them.

If we fail to accept thanks when given, we are giving the impression to the person giving the praise and to those listening that we are undeserving of it. No need to inadvertently raise questions about your ability if you feel you are unworthy. If you aren’t grateful for the praise, those giving will be less inclined to do so again. None of us want those kind enough to say nice words to feel unappreciated.

How about  “Thank you for your kind words” with a sincere smile and watch some magic happen. Your smile will spread right back to those listening.

In our world today, a smile, praise, gratitude, sharing, and thanks are always welcome.

Please share the last time you received some unexpected praise. I know it made your day a little happier; it sure does mine.

Thank YOU for following and for commenting. I sincerely appreciate your time and thoughts.


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