We are so excited to welcome our newest contributor to Writer Unboxed—-Ann-Marie Nieves! Ann-Marie is the founder of the highly respected company Get Red PR, with expertise in PR, advertising, marketing, copywriting, community relations, social media, and more! From her bio:
Ann-Marie is a communications generalist grounded in traditional media and proficient in accessing the power of social media. Within traditional outlets, she has garnered placements in media as diverse as: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN, NPR, Fitness, Parade, Working Mother, Fox Business Network, Life & Style, InStyle, E!, New York Magazine and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
It’s my 20-something year in PR, my 10th in social media, and good ole lucky 13 as a tiny business owner. While I’m thoroughly enjoying the wisdom of my 40s, I can honestly say that each day at my desk, seated in my well-worn chair, feels brand new.
You’ve seen the substantial changes in the media world in 2018—several magazines will cease printing or reduce print schedules. (We’ll miss you Glamour!) You’ve experienced the seismic shifts in social media world. (I can follow #dogsofinstagram hashtag?!) While much has been written in the marketing communications sphere about highlights for 2019, here’s what I’d like my colleagues in words to pay attention to:
- What’s your story? Sure, you write stories, but what stories are you telling about your past and present self? What stories could help sell you to say CNN or The New York Times? “People forget facts, but they never forget a good story,” says Esther Choy, founder of Leadership Story Lab and author of the book Let the Story Do the Work.
- Think holistically about your marketing communications. So you’ve written a book, and the scene from the Lion King when Rafiki lifts Simba above his head and all the animals bow at the new prince of the pride – plays in your head on continuous loop. You want your book to get the most exposure as possible. We do too. There’s a but here. But you will write another. And another. Sure, a meaty project can be adrenaline pumping, but stepping in and then saying goodbye often makes me feel like we missed considering you.
- Pay attention to what’s going on in the media world. Having learned my field working in-house at PR firms, I spent my hours making one pitch call after another. I was hung up on, cursed at, laughed at. I would learn which reporters had left, who changed beats, and who preferred a certain kind of story. I don’t expect my clients to know these things, but I do expect them to have a working knowledge of the media that they could get exposure in. Also, understanding the shifts in the media world—vast layoffs at digital outlets and newspapers alike—gives the client a better understanding of how hard our work is to bring their stories to light.
- Consider the in–betweens. What are you doing in-between your book launches, initiatives, and projects? You should be (in no particular order): updating your website, editing your bio, cleaning up the “about me” sections on your social media, making sure mastheads on social media are up to date, and reviewing insights and analytics on your platforms.
- Embrace a platform. I’m not an all-or-none type of girl. My life—professional and personal—are not well-documented. Truth be told, I forget to take pictures of my kids. (I like to think I’m truly experiencing the moment!) Social media is not just about the #tenyearschallenge; these platforms are also about business, sales, messaging, spin, and building meaningful relationships. Determine which social media platforms you genuinely enjoy and learn the hell out of that platform.
- Find your voice. As you learn the ins and outs of Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook, be able to describe your social media voice in a sentence. One of the biggest issues most of my clients have with their social media is content development, and it’s because they haven’t determined their voice.
- Create a big impact with a tiny idea. Sharon Rowe, founder of Eco-Bags Products and author of The Magic of Tiny Business, offers this sage tip. She brought the first reusable bags to the marketplace some 30+ years ago as a new mom with the desire to rid the streets of single-use plastic bags. I want you to think about something outside of your book that you can share with the world. Make it part of your story.
- Be generous. This may come as a shock, but the social media platforms we frequent can be places of true kindness and generosity. Be a part of that. Take a moment of your day/week/ month to give a shout-out to another member of the writing community. Share a sale, buzz a launch, shout-out a book you devoured.
So, tell me, where will you begin?