2014: Cheers to the Best Year Ever

I love this article from Mashable, 10 Mister Rogers Quotes to Remember on Bad Days. This quote in particular seems to sum things up: "Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else."

Honestly, I had a lot of bad days in 2013, but I also had some really, really good ones. I started out the year with a lot of questions, mainly, "Now what?" I didn't know what my next move was going to be. But piece by piece, things are coming together. My job at CCFA is giving me structure, my acting and modeling gigs are bringing me excitement, and my Rodan + Fields business is guiding me along the long journey to rebuild my confidence. 

A successful professional. On my own terms. Dreaming big again.

I ended 2013 with a big confidence boost -- a return to TV! The hosts of The Morning Blend asked me to sit in on a segment to chat about wedding planning. (Yes, wedding planning -- another theme of my 2013.) I had a wonderful time. 


Farewell, 2013! I won't say good riddance, but I'm definitely looking forward to 2014. The Best. Year. Ever.


Honored to Be a "Future 15" Recipient

I've embraced my transition from newsroom to agency, partly because these "normal" hours allow me to volunteer and use my communications skills to help the community. Apparently, my efforts have been noticed!

I'm honored to be selected as one of the Current Young Professionals Network's "Future 15" emerging young leaders in Northeast Wisconsin. (Current is a Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce program.) Last Sunday, the 2012 recipients were featured in a special insert for the Green Bay Press-Gazette:

We were recognized with other award winners at a wonderful event Thursday evening. Organizers tried to lighten up the evening by having the emcees "roast" the award recipients will jokes from our application materials. I'm still not sure how everyone felt about that, but it was fun to learn about the recipients through video interviews produced by the Press-Gazette:


Thank you for all your support!


A Year After Leaving TV...

I got an interesting comment on my Facebook Wall yesterday. Of course, I couldn’t let it stand without a snarky reply:
Obviously I blurred out Rick’s last name, so I’m not posting this to embarrass someone. I bring it up because I think I’m in the midst of a nostalgic phase. Isn’t it just astounding how life can change so drastically in a matter of months? Then you think about years and eventually decades. I’ll be turning 30 in a little more than a year. If life had gone “according to plan” when I was 20… wow. 
Now I'm hitting the one-year anniversary of starting my new career.
What have I been nostalgic about? Mainly my TV days, I suppose. It’s like anything else – give it a little time, and the aspects you hated won’t seem as terrible, and the good times will seem that much greater.
I even dug out the DVD of my final newscast as anchor and producer of NewsChannel 7 at Noon in Wausau. I posted it to YouTube because I thought it would be fun for people to see – those who could reminisce with me, and others who would get a kick out of how long my hair used to be. But I think there was also a selfish reason: I don’t want people to forget about me.

Forget about me? It sounds so silly, but that could be why I feel the need to type it out and put it on the Internet -- so I can get it out of my system! If I wanted to be known and liked, I could have stayed in TV. I could pursue more opportunities with the casting agency that has me listed in its talent database.
Instead, I feel as though I’m keeping a few aspects of my life in the public eye. It’s quite easy with social media, since that “public eye” is largely online, if you want to look at it that way. I have Twitter followers, Facebook friends and website visitors I don’t know. But you know a part of me, and I’m comfortable with that.
Although I’m not on television everyday, my voice is still heard. I can even offer my opinion every once in a while! And when I do remind myself about the unstable and explosive environment I left behind, I know I made the right choice for right now.
So apparently Rick thinks I was on TV yesterday morning. See? It’s like I never left…

5 Tips For Your Next TV Interview

The phone rings. You answer with a cheerful voice, but your tone quickly changes. Your stomach drops and you notice you’ve begun to sweat. On the other end of the line? A television reporter asking for an interview – likely as soon as possible.
As a former television reporter specializing in live interviews, I’ve calmed the nerves of hundreds of interview subjects. Trust me, under most circumstances, we don’t want you to be a nervous mess on camera. Reporters want their interviews to seem intelligent and capable. That shows the reporter has good skills in interview selection.
(The exception to all of this is when you’ve obviously done something wrong and are trying to cover it up. Then it’s your own fault if you screw up.)
Here are a few simple things to know before your TV interview:
  1. Don’t look at the camera. Have you ever been watching a TV story, and all of a sudden one of the people being interviewed is just staring at you? It’s jarring, isn’t it? Don’t be a deer in the headlights. Just look at the reporter and pretend you’re having a conversation without the camera. (For live interviews, you can do whatever feels natural.)
  2. Most interviews are edited. Especially for short stories, a producer or reporter will pick out about five to ten seconds from your entire interview to actually air. The rest of your interview will be used for information. If there’s something you want people to know, come up with a good soundbite ahead of time. The editing also means you can mess up a few times. If you start stuttering, stop talking. Take a deep breath and start your thought again.
  3. Stick to the basics in live interviews. Rambling is generally frowned up in any interview, but it’s especially painful with the reporter has an urgent producer in her ear, telling her to wrap up the liveshot. You will generally have fewer than two minutes to cover a lot of information, so make sure you know what the reporter expects beforehand. Don’t overthink and come up with a script, but don’t go in unprepared either.
  4. Look in the mirror. I’m not saying you have to hire a makeup artist or visit your stylist. Just avoid the awkward moment when a reporter asks you if you need to blow your nose or check your teeth before the camera starts rolling.
  5. For heaven’s sake, don’t swear! As soon as that microphone comes near you, assume it’s on. Especially for live interviews! I had a lovely Christmas Eve interview spoiled by some foul language one year. The actual interview was complete, but the microphone was still on and the live signal was transmitting. Just be careful.
Of course, there are many other tips reporters probably don’t want you to know!
If you’re preparing for an interview, your public relations person should be your first call after you hang up with the reporter. We can walk you through the process, and hold your hand if necessary. (We’ll also make sure the photographer doesn’t shoot the hand-holding part.)
This post originally appeared on the Insight Creative, Inc. blog.

Using Video on Social Media or Your Website

If you're looking for another way to engage your fans or customers on the web, consider using video.  Check out this video I made to give you some ideas:



Here are some reminders:

  • Be engaging
  • Don't concentrate too much on a script
  • Show something
  • Use graphics
  • Integrate keywords in description
  • Keep it short

Remember, this doesn't have to be commercial quality.  Social media in particular is much more accepting of things like shaky video. 

This post originally appeared on the Insight Creative, Inc. blog.