Editor’s Note: The following video originally appeared as a guest vlog for Maria Peagler’s blog. She requested I create this to better help her clients and students who want to feel comfortable on camera. I hope it helps you as well!

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Some time ago I created a video and a blog post called “Ten tips to feel comfortable on camera”  I got the idea after chatting with my friend Maria Peagler of SocialMedia OnlineClasses.com. Maria mentioned that many of her students are afraid to appear on camera. She knew that I once worked in television news and she also knew I loved helping people build their personal brands. We live in a society that is more and more camera and particularly video- camera conscious. Recently Maria asked me if she could turn those video tips into an infographic to help her camera shy students. She teaches them ways to profit from YouTube videos.  I said, “absolutely!” and here is the resulting infographic. Could you or one of your colleagues benefit from this infographic? If so please share it! Which tips resonate with you?

On camera do's and don'ts

On camera do’s and don’ts

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MarketingMel's article is featured in PRNews Media Training Guidebook.

MarketingMel’s article is featured in PRNews Media Training Guidebook.

It was truly a privilege to be invited to write for the was 2013 PRNews Media Training Guidebook. Being selected as a featured author, along with other top media trainers to provide ideas, tactics and tips to guide those who deal with the media for their clients, was an honor. The guidebook covers topics ranging from social media to building relationships with journalists.

My  article, “10 Tips to Help Clients Feel Comfortable in Front of a Camera” focused on camera readiness. Everything from what to wear (skip the loud patterns), to how to act, (hint: consider all microphones live!) was covered in the featured article.

In the article I urge other P.R. and Marketing professionals to “Remind your clients that a personal brand is portable; it is what makes them unique and what differentiates them from everyone else.”

The media guidebook is available for purchase online at PRNewsonline.com and also by phone at (888)707-5814. (Note: I did not earn any income on this although I wish I had. I wrote it truly for the pleasure of writing and helping others.)



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MarketingMel Discussing Personal Branding with REALTORS

MarketingMel Discussing Personal Branding with REALTORS

What are your New Year’s resolutions? When I conducted some video “man-on-the-street” interviews people fell into a couple of categories:

1- People who do not like to talk about resolutions. Most likely it’s because they remind them of broken promises but I’m going to share with you some tips you can act on right away and feel good about yourself in the New Year!

2- People don’t want to talk on camera. Some people obsess about their clothes, hair, make-up, etc. (This goes for men as well as women.) I created an award-winning video on “Ten Tips to Feel Comfortable on Camera” that can help you feel better on camera in the New Year.

No matter how you feel about resolutions, this is a great time of year to assess our personal brand. What we can do to better ourselves in 2013? Here are some tips to help you. I’ll be sharing more on personal branding as a speaker at the SoloPR Summit in Atlanta in February 2013. Hope you can join us!

  1. Google yourself– What do you find? Is it fresh? Is it negative? Does it need a PR boost?
  2. Does your image transfer to mobile? With more cell phones than toothbrushes in the world people will be on their phones more than ever in 2013. I recently optimized this site for mobile. You can check out your sites mobile likability by running it through http://www.mobilegrader.com/
  3. Who is your target audience? What communications channels are they using? Do you have your elevator speech planned for the next time you bump into Future Big Client X?
  4. How do you plan to promote your brand in 2013? Through guest media appearances? Your blog? Podcasts? Social media? Your e-mail signature? Video?
  5. Do you have an editorial calendar planned for 2013? Remember, you are a publisher. Now is the time to think seasonal and timely in your future writing and publishing. I posted a few social media calendar examples on the MarketingMel P.R. Facebook business page.

All the best of luck to you in 2013 and remember, your personal brand is always with you!

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Editor’s note: I am now a regular monthly columnist for Out N’ About Magazine, writing on the topic of social networking for business.  The following is excerpted from my May 2012 post.

Image by Martin Canchola

One of the first tips that anyone, with even a small amount of experience in social networking learns, is the karma effect of it. The more you give the more that comes back around to you.  I’ve come to the conclusion that personalities and true colors really shine when people are online.

When I give my social networking for business talks I always compare social media to a cocktail party. Everyone has seen the loud, obnoxious guy who shows up at every after-hours event.  You know the one wearing too much cologne and talks in your face? A thought comes to mind:  Your posts have the same look and feel you do. If you’re loud, obnoxious and pushy….well, enough said. Contrast that with the helpful guy. When you ask a question, need a referral or some other assistance, that guy is always there. We all know folks like this too.

Just last week I was chatting with a friend “IRL” (in real life ) at our church café about that pit we get in our stomach when we allow someone in to be our “friend” on Facebook or other channels only to instantly be asked to take part in their fundraisers, event, survey, etc. Ugh. I’m thinking, “I’ve just been used to get your numbers up!”  To make that old baseball/dating analogy I haven’t walked over to home plate and you’re envisioning a home run!  Hold your horses friend. I’m still on deck!

Is there a lesson to be learned?  When it comes to social networking, please, oh please engage the person and connect with them as a human being. Don’t make them feel used. Be sure to chat with them a bit and show them that you care about them. The business will come later. On Facebook make comments on their photos and videos and show them you are interested in what they have to say. After all, you have cared enough about them to ask them to be your friend, so be one! Be sure to @ reply to people on twitter in order to speak directly to them and to gain their attention. (For more twitter tips including my one-minute twitter tutorial videos, enter search phrase “Twitter 101” at www.marketingmel.com.)

Last year I had the occasion to create a vlog (video blog) for my friend Maria Peagler of Social Media Online Classes. She asked me to help out her audience comprised of camera-shy small business owners who were mostly women. As a former TV anchorwoman it was easy for me to come up with some simple tips to help folks out on camera now that we live in more of a visual and video oriented society. My topic was: Ten Tips to Feel Comfortable on Camera. Well that video first appeared on her vlog but then “took off” after it was picked up by PR Daily and others.  Later, I entered that video in the Tri-Cities Public Relations Society Awards and it ended up taking top prize in its category. It won an “Award of Excellence” in the Audio Visual category.  Kudos to videographer/producer Kyle Long for his work on the video. We started out trying to provide a helpful service to others who are camera shy and through “social media karma” ended up with an award. Sometimes extending a hand to care about others whether it’s “IRL” or online has its rewards. Ten Tips to Feel Comfortable on Camera may be found at http://www.marketingmel.com/2011/07/06/ten-tips-to-feel-comfortable-on-camera/

By the way, I have already created a follow up video on Finding a Job In Public Relations. Stay tuned!

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MarketingMel celebrating ten years of Tri-Cities TN/VA P.R.S.A. with other co-founders Bob Feagins and Dr. John King.

Working in public relations is like baseball. There is no way you can achieve a win completely on your own. Rather, it takes a group of creative people and approving clients to make it happen. I have several people to thank for their roles in helping MarketingMel capture six awards at this year’s Tri-Cities TN/VA chapter of the Public Relations Society of America awards banquet in Kingsport last week.

Throughout my career I have loved creating and starting things. It was truly an honor to be recognized for being a part of the founding board of the Tri-Cities TN/VA  P.R.S.A. Together, I served with Bob Feagins, our first president, Dr. John King and Jon Lundberg (who missed the meeting because he is serving in the legislature in Nashville.)  We were honored with a cupcake surprise and a round of “Happy Birthday.” MarketingMel, in business just over three years, captured six awards at the Tri-Cities TN/VA Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s annual awards dinner that was held April 17 in Kingsport.  The firm won two “Awards of Excellence,” the highest award given, for Collateral Specialty Item/ Financial Legal Solutions Logo developed for Blackburn, Childers & Steagall and Audio/Visual Productions for “MarketingMel’s Top 10 Tips to Feel Comfortable on camera.”

MarketingMel took top prizes for a logo and video

I teamed with designer Theresa Bellamy to create the logo for client B.C.S., that had to tie five separate companies together under one distinct brand. “The logo had to be non-specific and had to work with any of the five companies as a whole or any combination of the five,” said BCS Marketing Director Kendra Hopson.  “The MarketingMel team also worked well with a large group of business partners with distinct opinions. Each of them wanted something different, and, in the end, it was a unanimous decision.”

The second “Award of Excellence” was for a video, that I created along with Kyle Long of Digital-Fridge. I saw the increase in people using the medium of video on the web and, with my background in television news, decided to create “Top Ten Tips to Feel Comfortable on Camera.” The video, originally created as a guest vlog for Maria Peagler of Social Media Online Classes, was picked up by major P.R. services including PR Daily and has now been seen by thousands of viewers across the world.

Our team took two “Awards of Quality” for Wolfe Development’s Website (developer Jeffery Moore) and for feature writing for a Business Journal article on CapTeeVation’s owner Joy Humphreys. The company also received two “Awards of Merit” for the MarketingMel brochure (designed by Monique Carr) and the MarketingMel e-newsletter.

In the student print category, MarketingMel’s former intern Sarah Rowan, recently hired by the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce, captured three awards for her writing about community activities. Sarah won the student “Award of Excellence” for her news release concerning the Johnson City Public Library board of directors, of which I am a member. Sarah received the Award of Quality for her work with the Johnson City Up and At ‘Em Turkey Trot 5K that MarketingMel helped sponsor. Sarah also received the Award of Merit for a news release about MarketingMel’s attendance at the Inbound Marketing Summit. Congratulations and thanks to all!


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