Archive for the 'Barbara Tortora' Tag

Two Prepositional Phrases that Gots to Go

  Prepositional phrases are often unnecessary and make your writing wordy. Prepositional phrases that most commonly weasel their way into writings (AKA the two I find myself having to edit from my writings most often) include: In order to Of the Let me explain how to nix these grammar parasites from your writing. But first, if prepositional phrases are bad, why do they find their way into so much content?   My belief is that it happens because we are wordier when we talk, and sometimes that wordiness carries into the content we produce. This is but one reason why editing and rewriting are so important. Here’s how to extinguish...

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Why You Should Learn to Speak Well in Public: Part 2

    In  part two our two-part series on why cultivating or grooming your public speaking abilities is so important, I am providing my biased opinion on how to become a better speaker. For those of you who don’t have time to read part one, know this: public speaking – when you are good at it – opens doors that allow you to represent yourself and organizations or businesses professionally. If you can’t speak well in public, all is not lost. You just need to cultivate that skill. Here are a few tips that will help you become a better speaker:   Just Do It! Now, before you go signing up for speaking engagements at...

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Why You Should Learn to Speak Well in Public

Many of us have decided that we just aren’t gifted in the area of public speaking. We’ve told ourselves that it’s OK, we’ll just leave speeches and presentations to those who relish the opportunity to flex their powerful public speaking prowess – the lucky ones. I’m here to tell you this is not an acceptable mindset. Public speaking is a necessary skill in not only public relations, but many professions. And you don’t have to be born with this ability; it’s one you can cultivate. Even if you’re someone whose neck and face flush red as you stutter and stumble over each spoken word. My stance isn’t just one that I was...

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Read This and You Will Become a Better Writer – I Promise.

  If you do only one thing to improve your writing skills, let it be reading On Writing Well by William Zinsser. This book opened my eyes to a “whole new world.” Like me, you may find you’ve been writing with too many words, using words that aren’t even real words and breaking a gazillion other rules. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from this wonderful book: “The more I work at the craft of writing, the more I realize that there’s nothing more interesting than the truth.” “Good writing is lean and confident.” “Every little qualifier whittles away some fraction of the reader’s trust.” “Thinking clearly is...

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Pitching to the Media

  The majority of the pitches you make to the media will take place over the phone- that’s fact. What’s also fact is phone pitching is dangerous territory that leaves little room for error. It’s just as easy for a reporter to hang up on an ill-prepared pitcher as it is for you to hang up on a telemarketer. Believe me on this. The following are what I consider to be the seven deadly sins of pitching article ideas to reporters on the phone. Now that we have cleared the air, let us begin with the sins: 1.) Stuttering- I’m not referring to someone who has a stuttering disorder. That would be quite insensitive of me. I’m actually...

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On the Subject of Subject Lines…

Never underestimate the power of a well-written subject line. Aside from having an email address the reporter recognizes (and a good reputation), the subject line is the first impression you make on a reporter and plays a huge part in whether your email gets opened. Even if the reporter is familiar with your email address and knows from past experience your emails are worth reading, when on deadline, a poorly written subject line could get your email passed or trashed. Here are a few tips for writing effective subject lines when pitching to reporters. 1.) Character Count: It Counts A popular character count range favored by marketers is...

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The Right Way to Celebrate Presidents Day- With a Laugh

  Presidents Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of our first president, George Washington. And while we want to take a moment to remember some of our finer presidents and the honor they bestowed on this country, we thought it might also be fun to share some of our favorite “presidential/politician PR blunders.” While the following is mine, I know there are MANY so, by all means, share your favorite and we’ll get this Monday started off right – with a good chuckle or two. My Favorite: Grover Cleveland’s Sex Scandal Grover Cleveland’s sex scandal involving an illegitimate child is probably the only sex...

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That’s Not My Name.

“That’s not my name” is a catchy tune by the Ting Tings. Addressing a reporter by the wrong name – even if it’ s just a simple misspelling – almost guarantees a reporter won’t respond to your emails. Read this blog for more reasons why reporters don’t reply to emails/pitches. To put it this way, you never send a grammar Nazi a cover letter with misspellings, try to fast talk a fast talker or send a reporter – whose job is to avoid fact errors – a pitch with a fact error that hits as close to home as a botching his or her name. The fact that misspelling a reporter’s name or getting it blatantly wrong  is so...

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Teach us Your Ways Miley Cyrus

Everyone knows Miley Cyrus: the Disney star gone bad who defaced a foam finger during the 2013 MTV Music Awards and rode a wrecking ball – or “moon” as my mom naively calls it – naked.   In light of how she has managed to rekindle her fame and get everyone talking, I’m led to believe she could probably teach us a thing or two about public relations. 5 PR Lessons I Learned From Miley Cyrus: 1.)    Old news is only a makeover away from being new news. That’s right, shave Hannah Montana’s head, and bam! Instant fame for Miley. She’s still the same person, only cooler and more relevant. How does this apply to...

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PR: It’s Either Good, Bad or Ugly

  Everyone practices some form of public relations. It’s just either good, bad or ugly. If your public relations efforts lean toward the latter,  we suggest reading some of our past posts for pointers, or simply ask us to address your unique situation with a future 365 Project blog post. After all, our blogs are written with helping you and your business improve your PR in mind. Contact us...

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