Monday, June 28, 2010

On the PR Trail With `Road to Remember'

Five years ago, toward the end of my time as a freelance reporter for the Chicago Tribune, I wrote a feature on Marc DeLise, then a police sergeant with the Oak Brook Police who was raising awareness and money for Kids In Need and the Illinois Torch Run for Special Olympics.

Since then, Marc's retired from the force, but he's hardly the retiring type. He's now in the midst of walking 900 miles from Chicago to New York in a fundraiser dubbed Road to Remember. (That's him, above, during his law-enforcement career and below in Chicago, on the first day of his walk last week.)

The mission is to raise funds for children of police officers, firefighters and military personnel who perished in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

As it turns out, Marc is a longstanding member of Five Seasons Family Sports Club in Burr Ridge, where I have been the publicist since 2007 and where Marc prepared in anticipation of his cross-country walk.

So it was a pleasure--and a bit of deja vu--this past week to develop a news release in support of the Road to Remember cause, including a tie-in to Five Seasons.

You can see the release here at TribLocal and check out a photo gallery as well.

Want to track Marc's progress? Visit Facebook and type "Road To Remember" into the search box.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

DivorceIllinois: Fiscal Guidance in Tough Times

Divorce is a prevalent fact of life. So, too, is financial fall-out from marital break-ups.

DivorceIllinois, a new client of Inside Edge PR, is working to minimize the latter even if it can't do anything about the former.

A professional association comprised of divorce financial specialists, DivorceIllinois was formed exactly 10 years ago, in June 2000.

The organization came about in response to individuals seeing clients who had been poorly served during the divorce process and had been thrust irrevocably into difficult straits.

Today, I began media outreach in the Chicago area with a news release on some findings from a recent survey of the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA).

You can read the piece, which includes insights from DivorceIllinois President Peggy Tracy (pictured, at left), at Survey: Recession Keeps More Struggling Marriages Together.

“Divorce has far-reaching implications—often more so than any other life event or decision,” Tracy says. “It’s crucial that people invest the time and resources to ensure their rights are protected and their financial future is looked after by a knowledgeable and ethical advocate.”

Friday, June 18, 2010

My Latest Guest Spot on `Smart Behaviors'

Last week, I was a pleased to be a guest on Joe Takash's Smart Behaviors Radio Show. You can listen to the broadcast online here.

I came on after the featured guest, Cheryl Cran, a little over 30 minutes into the program. Joe asked me to discuss the principles of PAVE, which I created about eight years ago and have provided the framework for some of my seminar work:

P Practice active silence--be a sincere audience
A Ask engaging questions--find out what makes people tick
V Value all people--everyone has a story to share
E Expand your comfort zone--you'll be amazed by what you learn

In April, I was also on Joe's outstanding program, which airs on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel. I wrote about my experience at that time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Put Time on Your Side, Give Media Notice

If you are opening the doors to your new business on a Thursday, it's a good idea to spread word of it to the media by Wednesday.

Of course, by Wednesday, I mean the one that falls on the calendar at least four weeks before your Grand Opening. Such advance notice gives the media enough reaction time to pencil your enterprise into its coverage plans.

And depending on the specifics and scope of your business, allowing for even more breathing room (such as two months or more) could provide opportunity for multiple pieces of coverage that build your target market's anticipation of your product or service to a crescendo.

A recent case in point: outreach that I began last week on behalf of Tom & Eddie's, a new better-burger restaurant opening in August at The Shops on Butterfield at Yorktown Mall in Lombard.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Share the Spotlight, Spread Your Success

Last Thursday, I had the good fortune of attending Joe Takash's talk, "The Values that Drive Opportunity," at Via Bella in Countryside.

The event was part of raising more than $3,500 for a program of the Greater LaGrange YMCA. You can read more about the presentation here at (That's Joe in the photo, standing on the left, with LaGrange Business Association President Ryan Williamson.)

One of the outstanding elements of Joe's approach was how he repeatedly illustrated the success principles he talked about by turning the spotlight on members of the audience.

Like a quarterback who gives generous praise to the linemen who protect him, Joe provided a great reminder that life--and success we achieve in it--is very much a team sport.

When's the last time you cheered on someone else who has helped you get to wherever you are? Make it a habit, and chances are you'll go farther, faster--and have still more reason to express your gratitude.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Katy's Passion Apparent in `Heroic Kitchens'

What are you passionate about?

Kathleen Frantz of Oak Park is dedicated to serving those in need. And she's building an entire business model around it.

You can also check out this TribLocal photo gallery of "Heroic Kitchens."

Earlier today, Inside Edge PR posted this news release at TribLocal about "Heroic Kitchens with Katy Frantz" in which she is auditioning for a talk show on the Oprah Winfrey Network

Her proactive style is a reflection of the increasing avenues for entrepreneurially minded individuals to take PR into their own hands.

I call it the "Guttenberg Effect," in which anyone with a little training and a good dose of ambition can develop their own media outlets.

To view and consider voting for “Heroic Kitchens”—remember, you can vote early and vote often every day—click here.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Oak Park Firm Puts Blackhawk Spirit on Display

When it comes to rooting for the Chicago Blackhawks, some area fans wear their passions on their heads (hats) and others literally wear it on their sleeves (jerseys).

But for an Oak Park real estate firm, the zeal to urge on the Stanley Cup finalist recently showed up on their windows.

On Thursday, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Gloor Realty, 114 N. Oak Park Ave., began displaying on its office front space a variety of images of Chicago hockey players in action. The display also has repeated exhortations of “Go Hawks!”

Check out the full photo gallery at

Eric Brightfield, an Oak Park resident and owner of ImageFiction, performed the work for BHG/Gloor Realty, which has been an Inside Edge PR client since 2008.

“We’ll keep it up throughout the week, after the Blackhawks win the championship,” said Rich Gloor, BHG/Gloor Realty president.

Gloor’s confidence is shared by numerous citizens of Blackhawk Nation, as the club heads into Game 4 on Friday night holding a 2-1 series edge over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The last time the club won the Stanley Cup was 1961, or 15 years after BHG/Gloor Realty was founded.