Sunday, March 20, 2011

Can Studying The Beatles Help You Collaborate Better?

Here's an interesting premise: Can studying the way The Beatles worked together to create great songs, even in times of conflict, help you be a better business person. There's a new book out on the market that says, "Yes."

The Sunday Business section of the New York Times ran an article about the new book, "Come Together: The Business Wisdom of The Beatles" by George Cassidy and Richard Courtney. The article begins with an anecdote of how Paul and John collaborated on "Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da." Paul wrote the song. John didn't like it but still came up with its beginning after storming out the of studio and returning. The authors said this showed how John Lennon and Paul McCartney were able to put the common good ahead of their own feelings to get the work of songwriting done.

It's hard to find people with whom you can collaborate and find a common ground on which to grow your business. So why not look to unusual models that worked? It certainly makes for a different approach to a business book. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Here's a link to the Times article. You can also order it on Amazon. Happy reading.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Six Tips for Great PR

I may have an MBA in marketing from Wharton, but it took the local Girl Scouts to teach me the basics of great local PR. That's right, the Girl Scouts of Southwestern Connecticut didn't care squat about my MBA. If I wanted to be the Public Relations volunteer for the Darien Girl Scouts, I had to take a one-day workshop.

Guess what? The workshop was really worthwhile because it taught me how to deal with local media. And I've taken what I learned from the Girl Scouts, plus my marketing training and corporate advertising experience, and used them to do great campaigns for my clients and for local nonprofits. Recently, I've been expending my energy on the PR for the Darien Antiques Show, which opens today. My church (The First Congregational Church of Darien) runs the show to support local charities. I've had a great partner to work with who understands PR and does it for a living. That made the job a pleasure -- even fun!

 We've used traditional and new media to get the word out about the show. And we've applied a few tricks of the trade.

1. We had a hook -- we highlighted something uniquely special about the show.
2. We wrote up the facts in an interesting way - who, what, where, when, why
3. We used interesting opening sentences
4. We tailored the copy to the needs of the media.
5. We sent in eye-catching photos that we either took ourselves or got from our antiques dealers.
6. We worked with the show chairs to make sure their needs were being met, too. Were we targeting the right audiences and communicating specifics that needed to be communicated?

You, too, can develop and execute a PR plan like ours. Take a look at the result:
You can try this at home! Or contact me, if you want some professional help.