What's the word? Need something out of the norm? There is a solution!

Everyone who is in public relations or marketing has sat down to a blank screen and just stared at it.  After a while you get up, go to another room, visit someone’s cube, get some coffee, check the clock to see if it’s lunch time, come back and, yes, screen is still blank.  Some of us might even shed a tear in frustration… where to begin?

Then you get the courage to start; you nail down a sentence or two and stumble—you’re stuck on a word. It’s always easier to edit or add to a draft that someone else has started than type that first word on your own. 

Now, some of us who have the gift of writing may not struggle with this issue often. But for those of us who at times wrestle with finding the right words (yes, those who know me, no laughter here!), I have a found salvation in a word site. Who does not like a short cut from time to time!?

It’s called Word Hippo. If you’ve heard of it, you can move on to the next blog. But if you haven’t check it out. It’s ideal for helping you find the right word or -- better yet -- breaking your writing pattern and getting away from relying on the words you have grown to used to.

And no, I do not own stock in the app nor am I married to the site founder. I just want to spread something useful and positive to others who may struggle with the blank screen!

For me, it’s – what’s the word – “revealing?” No, “edifying?” No, oh… it’s “enlightening!”

Publicity On Slow Days

Let’s face it: Companies launch a few products or have just a few big announcements each year, if that.  How are they supposed to generate buzz and interest the rest of the time?

Here are four ideas you can leverage to keep the interest level for your company humming throughout the year.

1. Look at the calendar. Oftentimes, holidays are an excellent touch point to create and distribute content relevant to your products and technology. Big trade shows, such as Consumer Electronics Show (even if you’re not attending) can be opportunities to reach out to media beforehand to help them with their event previews.

2. Take advantage of breaking national news. Some call this “newsjacking” but I like to call it being in the right place at the right time. A big national story is covered by hundreds of outlets, but the media is always looking for differentiated stories. Did a storm knock out power to a million people? If you’ve got battery technology or back-up power products, you have a perfect opportunity to tell a timely story. Warning: Steer clear of major stories involving tragedy.

3. Be a useful and consistent source of information. The media (and readers in general) are always hungry for new information. If you come across any number of reports that are published on any given industry each year, share them. Bring them to reporters’ attention or blog about the on your site.

4. Go to the well. If you’re in the technology business, your company or clients have brilliant people working for them. Take time to get to know the domain experts and talk to them regularly about technology and product trends with an eye toward creating content or pitching stories to the media. These off-product-launch opportunities can be catnip to reporters. And if you’re blogging about for your own audience, it helps build the authenticity of your company’s voice as you share useful information.