Animal Welfare Pioneer and Soi Dog Foundation Co-founder Gill Daley dies

We are very sad to learn that the co-founder of the Soi Dog Foundation died from cancer this weekend. We’ve worked with Soi Dog Canada for several years and we sponsor a dog rescued from the meat trade. This woman was amazing and will be deeply missed forever.

Please consider sponsoring or donating today:

Press Release: 

July 2013 SD logo in orange

Posted in Animal Advocacy, Canadian Publicist, Canadian publicity, Headlines, Pets, Publicists, Publicity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

7 reasons why your Pitch hit the Ditch- article by Crystal Richard-

I love reading articles by other PR experts. It strengthens you and it’s always great when you can find someone who understands what you do for a living and can articulate your very thoughts. I love this article by Crystal Richard – and for those of you entrenched in the DIY world of publicity, it’s a great article to read so you can understand how we work, and how you can better your results! The link is here:

The text is below-

7 reasons why your pitch hit the ditch

Don’t let your pitch end up here.

Oh, pitching.

A natural part of any PR professional’s life, many of us would agree that we’re all pitching in our sleep. On any given day, I’m sending out dozens of pitches to dozens of journalists for a handful of different clients. I’m responsible for ensuring that each pitch has the right client, the right founder’s name and the right angle. That’s a lot of juggling.

On top of getting the basics of your pitch right, there are also a number of other important factors to consider.

Here are 7 reasons why your pitch is heading straight for the ditch (and how to avoid such a disaster!)

1. It was a Case of Mistaken Identity. Rule number one when pitching a journalist: get their name right. You may be thinking, that’s easy, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to call a journalist by the wrong name or spell their name incorrectly.

Think about it, we’re busy and firing on all cylinders. Our day is full of contact information: names, outlets, emails, phone numbers. It’s easy for even the most seasoned PR professionals to slip up from time to time and call a Tom, Tim or accidentally write Megan instead of Meghan.

It happens to everyone, so always double-check your email openings and closings.

2. You Were Anything but Short and Sweet. I’ve been pitching for over 4 years and I’ve tried it every way. A medley of short and sweet pitches, to long and jam-packed with industry stats, customer successes and doing all but writing the piece for the journalist. So what’s the trick?

Keeping it short and sweet. Ideally, under 2-3 paragraphs. Give journalists a headline they can’t refuse and a few lines to show direction. If they’re hooked, they’ll reply and then you can start filling in the blanks.

3. You’re Experiencing Failure to Link. I love following journalists on Twitter, so naturally I see a lot of complaints about PR pros. A common one? PR pros failing to include a link to the company they are pitching. Sure, they could easily do a Google search or make a quick assumption it’s but wouldn’t it be nice if we eliminate a few key strokes and link it up?

Journalists are busy people. Don’t make them Google it. Give them what they need: always use links.

4. You Weren’t Realistic. Yes, journalists are accustomed to working on short notice and tight deadlines, but that doesn’t mean you should rely on that when pitching your news to them. Give them notice, especially if you want to increase your odds of coverage.

Most journalists want at least 3-4 business days notice, while many are totally cool with you giving them a week’s notice. Worried about your super top secret news? Slap an embargo on it. Unless a journalist has broken your embargos in the past, trust them. They’ve got this.

5. Be a Storyteller, not a Spammer. Journalists know when they’re being sold and when they are being served an amazing story that will not only impress their editors but get the clicks and shares they’re after. Being the difference between the two is key to ensuring your pitch doesn’t hit the ditch.

PR is all about storytelling. It’s not what your product or service does. It’s how it’s a game changer. Focus on your why and avoid a bad case of the ‘we’re so awesome, cover us’ and you’re well on your way to getting a journalist’s respect and coverage.

6. You Didn’t get Personal. There’s a healthy balance between coming off cold in your pitches to looking like a stage five clinger. It’s incredibly important to find that balance and adding some personal touches to your pitch will go a long way.

Tell journalists about a recent article they’ve written that you loved. Mention a chat you recently had with them on Twitter. Thank them again for past coverage that did well for your client. Ensure at least 1 or 2 lines in your pitch are personal.

7.  You Overfished in Your Media Pond. I have always said the golden rule to PR is building relationships before you need them. ALWAYS be meeting new journalists and making new connections. Why? Because you should never take advantage of a journalist.

Yes, it’s awesome that you just made friends with a journalist at the Times. They loved your angle and they covered your client beautifully. So does that mean it’s OK to reach out again in a week and ask them to cover another client? Or worse – the same client, again?

Slow your roll. Spread the pitching.

Posted in Blogging, Book Marketing, Book Publicity, Business Publicity, Canadian Publicist, Canadian publicity, Pitches, Publicists, Publicity, Resources | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stretching to Live- a short essay on my DVT experience

I recently wrote a short essay about my experience having a dvt. Jody Vance, Sarah Daniels, and Claire Martin were kind enough to post it on their new fabulous website – a safe place to chat about all things Canadian and beyond. Below is the link to the article, with text below that.

Image: Dr. David Phillips

Image: Dr. David Phillips

I’m sitting in my comfy chair watching tv. Every now and then I stretch my legs and do a few ankle roles. Sounds simple but now I think about it. Every hour. Because last year at this time ( oddly around the time of World Thrombosis Day Oct 13) I was diagnosed with a DVT- deep vein thrombosis in my calf and now, stretching is not just something to do when I feel like it. It’s something I do every hour to save my life.

Well that’s a little dramatic, but you get the point. It’s strange that something that you never gave a second thought to suddenly is top of mind.  I’ve become oddly focused on how my leg feels, all of the time.

Walking my dogs each morning typically my focus is “true crime podcasts”, but with each step I take I am aware of every tiny twinge, or feeling in my leg.

Engrained in my mind are the words the emergency doctor uttered before realizing I had two clots, not one, “If you feel it behind your knee then get back here- that’s where it will lodge before breaking loose- and you don’t want it to go any higher or then you’ll be in trouble.”

Her words bounce around in my head often.

When I get out of bed in the morning and I step down onto the floor I’m focussed — you see that’s when I first felt the oddness in my calf. It had appeared out of the blue, no warning. Perhaps I’d pulled it in the night? No.

I walk about 10 km a day, sometimes more, and I exercise a bit- nothing major, so there wasn’t really a reason to have a strain, but I elevated it that night, rested, and hoped it would get better. It didn’t.

The next morning it was the same.

That’s when I recalled my doctor mentioning something about calf pain just after I had renewed my birth control. She said if I ever felt any pain or a pull there to get it checked out right away. It could be a sign of a blood clot, which is a known risk with being on birth control. But at the time I never though “oh, that’s what it is” I glossed it over completely at the time.

Day 3 – I took action. I headed to a walk in clinic, told them I was on birth control; they did a d-dimer blood test and booked an ultrasound for me that afternoon. I basically spent the day at the hospital waiting to see what the results of all the tests would be.

Around 4:00pm my emergency doctor told me that I had two small clots in my calf, and at my age, 45, contraception was off the table forever, and I had to report to the outpatient for at least a week to receive injections of heparin. And I was to start on blood thinners right away. Bam. My life changed instantly.

When I finally made my way home to my husband (where I had asked him to wait), I collapsed into his arms crying.

To be honest, I was more upset about going off the pill than I was about the life threatening blood clots. It’s strange what goes through your head when you receive bad health news, but that’s what I thought.

We had only been married two years and I felt cheated, all of a sudden. Cheated out of a freedom that two newlyweds should have. And I was scared at the speed at which I had been thrust into a world of pills that caused bleeding, bruising and hair loss, with no real idea if they would even work.

For the next three months I became an expert in blood clots- what they are, how they work, and what the drugs do. I joined a few survival facebook groups but they only succeeded in making me feel worse because so many people had much more serious side effects and conditions than I did. Reading a thread from some women talking about their first menstrual cycle blood thinners-how it would be like a never-ending flood for days. Woman after woman chimed in on their horrific time.

I panicked. I ran to the store to stock up on every pad, tampon, and cup I could find, terrified that I was going to be left writhing on the floor awash in blood and pain. But the day arrived and nope. Nothing of the sort. Just a usual run of the mill event for me.

It was just that I had forgotten that their experience wasn’t necessarily going to be mine.

I think people tend to do that when faced with a health crisis. You want to hear that you aren’t alone, but it’s hard to disconnect yourself from their pain.

People were very helpful, but after awhile I realized that there was almost too much information and I needed to pull back from them. I had become a “numbers person” from checking my blood levels each week to compare with theirs and I was living day to day instead of planning ahead and that can be a terrible place to be mentally.

I often hear that when a person has a life threatening event they have an epiphany and they suddenly feel like they should seize the day, change their life in some way. But I didn’t really feel that. I didn’t have that “ah ha” moment everyone talks about. What I did feel was that I needed to take charge of my health properly.

I read up on the latest techniques being used, left the groups, stopped checking my results every week and instead – waited on my doctor and my hematologist’s pronouncements instead of guessing for myself and followed the drug protocols. After 3 months my clots were gone and I was off the drugs.

People said I was lucky.

In my case, birth control pills fall under a reversible risk factor and so the likelihood of having another one is low. That’s my case. No one else’s.

Even though I’m off the blood thinners I still use biotin and collagen shampoo to keep my hair thicker. I still wake up after having bad dreams thinking my leg is aching – and sometimes it is. In hot weather my foot swells a bit from a touch of post thrombosis aching.

Forever I will follow the suggestions about stretches daily and precautions when I’m traveling. I am aware of what I have survived and I hope to never go through it again.

So, why did I share this? Well, because it’s good to share stories about your inner struggles with other people, and often strangers are easier to speak to. They aren’t invested in your personal life, but maybe they have had a similar experience and don’t have any family or friend support….they just don’t want to feel alone.

I think that you can read the story of someone else and you can think “ hmm, that’s interesting” and then you will go on with your day. Until you actually experience it you won’t really understand the emotional and physical toll something like this might take on you. But it might make you little more mindful about invisible illnesses. And maybe, when someone comes to you to listen… you will.

BIO: Rachel Sentes is a professional writer. She has been a dinner theatre actor, cake cutter, daycare worker, preschool teacher, karaoke host, bookstore manager, dog rescuer, and most recently, a publicist running her own business gal-friday publicity. Her husband, family, and dogs keep her going every day.

Posted in Blogging, Canadian Publicist, Documentary, Headlines, Pitches, Publicists, Publicity, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

World Thrombosis Day October 13

I am a survivor of a DVT. It’s often an invisible illness. Know the risks, know the symptoms, and keep life flowing! Participate today on twitter- #WTDay16


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CTV-Local Author’s first novel winning great praise! – Client Laurel Deedrick-Mayne

Still having great press for client Laurel Deedrick-Mayne and her book A Wake for the Dreamland and winning the Alberta Reader’s Choice Award. A self-published author who won $10,000! So proud of her! Here she is on CTV talking about it!
Pick one up today!




Posted in Book Marketing, Book Publicity, Bookstores, Canadian Publicist, Canadian publicity, Headlines, Publicists, Publicity, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment