Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Twist on Looking Your Best

People often ask me what are the best clothes to wear in front of the camera. That's an important question. But one that I expect to hear more of is, "Should I get 'a little work done' before I am interviewed?"

As someone who got an extreme makeover every time I went to work for a different TV station, I can talk about makeup techniques and good hair. Since I started in this business nearly 30 years ago, I have learned tricks from makeup artists, stylists and colleagues who participated in beauty pageants. But it was a speaking colleague who took me aside three years ago and suggested I would benefit from Botox. She even offered her dermatologist's name and number. I took her advice and have had "a little work" done in the years since. My husband and mother could tell right away. Another observant close friend was horrified that I'd done such a thing. And another close friend didn't notice. If anyone else could tell, they didn't mention it. But I liked the results and felt more confident. I thought I looked well-rested, not necessarily younger. So, I recommend this to men and women alike to look your best. But consider these thoughts:

1. It can be expensive and painful. Ask about costs and numbing techniques up front.
2. Only go to a dermatologist or other medical doctor. A dermatologist can give you prescription for a retinol cream which can make your skin glow.
3. Do NOT have any work done less than two weeks before an on-camera appearance. As careful as a doctor is, you can have side effects, which include bruising.
4. Ask your friends of a certain age who look "well rested" if they can make a recommendation for a doctor.
5. Have realistic expectations.
6. Botox lasts 3-6 months. Fillers can last as long as a year. Nothing is permanent.

This whole idea may horrify you, like it did my friend. It's certainly not a requirement to being an on-camera newsmaker. But if every time you look in the mirror, you tell yourself you're not aging well, this may be a solution to try at least once. Some of us look older than we are and only want to look our age. Again, this may be a solution.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Being Gracious

Recently, a woman came to our studio to record an interview that would be played on the radio station later in the week. She was nervous and wanted to read her answers. When guests do this, it sounds like they're reading and doesn't showcase them in their best light. However, because her cause was so relevant, we took extra care and time with her and managed to get a soundbite or two that did air.

I was prepared to receive a call from her expressing disappointment about the brevity of the piece that aired. So I was pleasantly surprised when I got a voicemail that said something like this, "Thank you for airing part of our interview. I hope you'll broadcast part two when you get a chance. And I'm available anytime to talk more about this project."

We had no intention of airing any more of the interview. And I probably won't call her again unless she somehow lets me know that she has done something to improve her performance in front of microphones ( Media Coaching?, but take a cue from the pleasant call. Being gracious always helps reporters remember you in a positive light.

Monday, August 9, 2010

When Should You Send Press Releases?

From Business Wire:

A poll findsTuesday mornings are the best time to send a press release, according to 215 professional communicators. The data reinforces longstanding advice on the topic. For decades we’ve told clients that the best time to send a press release is “early in the day, early in the week.” Of course the general disclaimer “It depends” applies here, as the timing of any press release is subject to the nature of the news, goals of that release, the news of the day, and other variables. That said, we’ll resist the urge to say “I told you so,” and enjoy the fleeting affirmation of having PR Peeps confirm our sage advice. This poll was a challenge to analyze, as it was the first time we asked an open-ended question. In retrospect, we could have done a better job framing the survey, as responses ranged from time of day, to day of week, to general musings such as “when you have news to announce” or “you’re the experts–you tell us!” That said, the single most common answer, with 135 votes, was “mornings” or a variation thereof, such as “before noon” or “before 10 AM.” The second biggest vote getter, with 71 votes, was Tuesdays or a variation, such as “Tues. – Thursday.” Below are the details, as best we can present them. When’s the Best Time to Send a Press Release?- Tuesdays–71, or 53%- Mondays –16, or 7 %- Mornings–135, or 63%- 10 AM–17, or 8%.

As mentioned above, the numbers don’t add up to 215, since many people answered with multiple recommendations such as “about 10 AM, Mon – Thursday” while others answered in unique and difficult-to-quantify ways. The numbers above are our best reflection of the data. We apologize for the lack of scientific approach here–any market researchers who want to pile on with advice, please email me at To those who participated, thank you–-and how about helping with our next PR Peeps Poll: Do You Tweet the Links to Your Press Release? This poll is back to multiple choice. Business Wire