1 December 2014 - MEDIA RELEASES


G'day folks,

Here are a few ideas I found along the way for those of you who will or are about to put out a media release. I guess the simple rule is less is best.

  • Use a header of only five lines on your existing business stationery.
  • The first says M E D I A   R E L E A S E. Put it in caps, large type, boldface, 18 point Ariel typeface with a space between each letter. Justify it on the left of your page.
  • Leave a space and enter CONTACT: in 14 point, Ariel caps. Left justify it. If you’re the one who knows the most about what you are publicizing, this is your name, phone, fax, and e-mail address, each on its own line. Revert back to upper and lower case for the details. Include this information even if it is in your letterhead. I have read advice to authors that they use a fake name and pretend they have a publicist. Don’t do it. Editors are on to it. If you’re not a consummate actor/fibber, you’ll only make yourself look foolish.
  • Release information goes one space beneath that. Type in For Immediate Release in 12 point bold Times New Roman, also left justified. Change this only if there is a very good reason for doing so, in which case it would read: For Release After…with your chosen date. Space is an issue for editors. Don’t limit them unless you must.
  • Your headline is centred in 16 point Ariel bold. This catches an editor or producer’s attention.  Study headlines in the newspaper. Avoid anything cute or elaborate at first. More advanced party-goers will learn how to make their headlines catchy. Choose the most newsworthy (read that original, unique or honour-driven) element of your story to feature. 
  • The lead should be simple and brief. It is the first sentence in the body of your release. State who, how, where and what.  Check to be sure that the “when” includes the day of the week and the date. Here’s a sample: “Joseph Martin was honoured by Authors of America at a gala ball Tuesday, March 8, at Rockville’s City Hall.”
  • The body of the release follows, single spaced. Leave a space between paragraphs. Do not indent. Mention the single most newsworthy aspect of your story in the paragraph after the lead: “Martin was a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1976.” Or even, “Martin has been a Rockville resident for more than a decade.” Add details to the next paragraph: You might credit those who are involved with planning and include the town in which they live after their names. This gives editors an idea for local angles, if needed.
  • Your permanent promotional paragraph comes next. Put it together once and it may only need an occasional update. It is your sales pitch or mini bio and it lists your most important (and relevant) experience and honours. Also include and/or any local organizations you belong to or important offices you’ve held. This kind of information can convince an editor that you are newsworthy. Use it in every release you send out.
  • Your pitch might be a quote about your book, a blurb or short or synopsis about your book. Loglines work here, too. Look up an easy way to write a great logline in The Frugal Book Promoter.
  • Media kit or photos are mentioned next in parentheses, 10 point bold, Times New Roman, centred: (A  media kit and photos are available on request.) 
  • Fax or e-mail your releases; those are the cheapest ways. A fax, however, is most likely to get attention. Include a Fax cover sheet to direct it to the proper editor or use the subject line. This will usually be the features or book editor. For radio and TV, it will be addressed to the producer of each show. Check by phone to make sure the name is current and spelled correctly. If you send photos with your release, use envelopes to match your letterhead and print each address using the envelope feeder on your printer.
Warning: When this simple release is complete, you won’t want to be overdressed.

Warning #2: One page or less is best.

Clancy's comment: Hope this has helped.

I'm ...

30 November 2014 - AFRICA


G'day folks,

Time to sit back and check out some magnificent pictures of Africa, courtesy of some brilliant photographers. 

Clancy's comment: What a stunning place. Many of the women are stunningly beautiful as well. And, if you flew them to New York, dressed them in an evening gown and asked them to walk down a catwalk, the entire audience would gasp. Yep, I could spend years in Africa, just photographing the people. An amazing place.


Think about this!

29 November 2014 - FOOD ART


G'day folks,

Man, the world is full of creative people. I'm always amazed how some people can see art in anything. Every kind of material can be shaped, everything is malleable and can become spectacular art. Take these fruit and veggie artists. Where I just see a possiblity of a nice salad, they have created stunning and clever sculptures I would never even think of. What a feast for the eyes, as well as being an actual feast!


Clancy's comment: Amazing, eh? No doubt many of you have seen this stuff in hotel banquet rooms around the world. Have you ever seen a pig with an apple in its mouth at a large smorgasboard display? Guess what the drunk said when he spotted it? "Jeez, they didn't even let the pig finish his apple."

I'm ...

Think about this!

28 November 2014 - RYAN HRELIJAC - AMAZING KID



G'day folks,

Welcome to another amazing kid who has achieved much - Ryan Hrelijac. Don't forget to watch the video at the end where he investigates the fruits of his labour years later.

 In 1998, 6-year-old Ryan Hreljac was shocked to learn that children in Africa had to walk many kilometers every day just to fetch water. Ryan decided he needed to build a well for a village in Africa. By doing household chores and public speaking on clean water issues, Ryan’s first well was built in 1999 at the Angolo Primary School in a northern Ugandan village. Ryan’s determination led to Ryan’s Well Foundation, which has completed 667 projects in 16 countries, bringing access to clean water and sanitation to more than 714,000 people. Currently, Ryan is a 20-year-old college student at University of King’s College in Halifax. 
Here is Ryan's story ...

 “My story is really very simple. One day in January 1998, I was sitting in my Grade One classroom.  My teacher, Mrs. Prest, explained that people were sick and some were even dying because they didn’t have clean water. She told us that some people walked for hours in Africa and sometimes it was just to get dirty water.

All I had to do was take 10 steps from my classroom to get to the drinking fountain and I had clean water. Before that day in school, I figured everyone lived like me. When I found out this wasn't the case, I decided I had to do something about it. So, I went home and begged my mom and dad to help. After a few days, they told me I could do extra chores to earn the $70 I thought would build a well. I thought that's all it would take to solve the world's water problem. I worked for four months to earn my first $70. Then I learned that it was actually going to cost $2,000 to build a well in a place like Uganda. I also learned that the problem was way bigger than I realized.

I started speaking to service clubs, school classes, to anyone who would listen to my story so that I could raise money for my first well at Angolo Primary School in Uganda. That’s how my little Grade One project became the Ryan’s Well Foundation.

I attended University of King’s College in Halifax on the east coast of Canada. I've just completed my studies in international development and political science but remain involved with the Foundation as a speaker and Board member. I speak around the world on water issues and on the importance of making a difference no matter who you are or how old you are.

My work would not happen without the support of my family and friends. My Ugandan pen pal, Jimmy Akana, who I met on my first trip to Uganda, is now a member of our family. Jimmy is an inspiration because he works hard and has a positive outlook. He always has a great big smile.
  My advice to anyone is that in order to make a positive change in the world, you need to find something you are passionate about and then you need to take steps to act. For me, the issue is water and sanitation. 

Water is essential to all life. I hope my story is a reminder that we can all make a difference - it applies to each and every one of us.”

 Ryan's Awards:
 Ryan has received many awards for his work in helping to bring clean water and improved sanitation to those without and to empowering others to become active, global citizens. These achievements include:

In addition, Ryan is also recognized with several distinctions:

  • UNICEF, Global Youth Leader
  • Global Citizen, United Nations Association of Canada
  • Patron, Jane Goodall Institute Roots & Shoots Program
  • Official Ambassador, Global Kidz Program
  • Honourary Member, Engineering Institute of Canada
  • Honourary Diploma, St. Lawrence College
  • In 2000, Otwal Sub-county in Uganda named July 27 as “Ryan’s Day” in honour of his first well.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) lists Ryan’s Well Foundation as a model for its Healthy Environments for Children Alliance (HECA) Project


Clancy's comment: There ya go. Amazing, eh? Another amazing kid who had a vision and got on with it. Looking at his achievements, it makes you wonder what an entire army could achieve on a global scale. But, as I always say, bigger ain't always better and, without passion, don't even start.

Love ya work, Ryan.

I'm ...

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