Keeping Things Simple Isn’t Always The Case In Business…the bill always comes due

By Michael Harris-Arzon, The Simplistic Professional

Our love of technology has given professionals, such as myself, the option of working our own way…what ever that may be. For me, it is from where ever I happen to be, at any hour of the day. There is no need to see clients face to face when we have FaceTime and real time collaboration apps and tools.

Recently I learned a very hard lesson. That no matter how hard you work, nor what you may achieve…the bill always comes due. For the past year I have been working, quite diligently I might add, on building and launching a new brand in a consumer space that I was not an expert in when I began. The Food and Lifestyle space, while I have lived it well, I didn’t understand the inner workings, until now.

While I am extremely good at my job, and have launched and helped build some of Americas biggest brands over the years, I have to ask myself if I can still do it. Everyone says 40 is the new 30 and when I look in the mirror, I forget at times that I am almost 50 years. Like a woman told me yesterday, I wear my age well, but actions still wear a person down.

For the past few months I have literally been working 60-80 hours a week. And it finally caught up with me. I have heard of people being hospitalized for exhaustion and kinda of wondered how it was even possible for a person to get to that point. Now I know. It hits your like a house being dropped on you. I was down for an entire week and couldn’t even eat, let alone work or take care of my family. The bill came due.

As the person that has been preaching balance, I failed to live by my own words. Take time for yourself. Be good to yourself…whatever that means to you. Make sure you are getting rest. The human body cant keep going on 2-3 hours of sleep a day. It will always protect itself by shutting down and going into a hibernation type mode.

Lesson learned, I am back to work and keeping things balanced. Which for me, means shifting set deadlines, asking for help and being proud of the way our brand has evolved. It is not the company I envisioned 10 years ago, but what has emerged is a brand that I honestly, can’t believe I built. Once the revenue streams are in place, our family will be set for a long time to come. It is becoming a true family business and I had nothing to do with it. They asked to be involved. I couldn’t be more proud.

I am working on our companies first real commercial and mapping out the media outlets to place it on. One of the interesting things I have found is my target audience has chosen me. While. I was working towards millennials, it is actually Gen X that has showed initial support. And I’m talking across all platforms. Isn’t it amazing the information you can find with out paying an outside firm? The analytics provided by social media, Google and WordPress are indispensable.

My point with telling you all of this and being so transparent, is that many of you are friends and peers that I would not want to see this happen to. Learn from my mistake. Keep the balance in your life or you will pay the price. For me it was exhaustion but just as easily could have been a major heart attack. I have already had one, when I was 20 and it runs in the family.

Calling All Media!  How And Why To Call A Press Conference

By Michael D. Harris-Arzon  
Rarely do I see supposed marketing experts or consultants provide old fashioned marketing advice to their clients or online target audience.  It is so easy to get caught up in the latest trend and push the latest technology that basic marketing techniques are forgotten about completely.  

There are so many reasons that the average Entrepreneur, Luxury REALTOR or Professional Brand Manager should be using traditional press releases and press conferences.  If anything, there is a much higher need by bloggers, reporters and media curators to be invited to your press conference.  Americans consume a lot more news and media today than they ever have before.  When you combine that with the fact that content is consumed in small bites, you can see how there is an organic need for fresh information that can be shared.

It’s time to celebrate that new product launch, new hire, Celebrity Listing, Grand Opening, book release and anything else that has you personally excited about.  Share that excitement with the world and let the bloggers and reporters help you with your promotional efforts.

When calling a press conference, do it the morning of the announcement. 

1.Email the Media Alert 

2. Call the editorial desk to confirm receipt of the emailed Media Alert.   This should be done before 10am as by that time the days assignments are usually handed out to the staff reporters.

3. Ask if they will be covering the event. 

4. Set up the space well in advance and hire a conference room if need be. Expecting people to cram into your office will have then simply walk out.

Do not be surprised if they ask for a quick sound bite or interview right then and there. This is very common with Radio Stations. 

  •  Location that the news will be shared from. 
  •  Time of the announcement. 
  •  Length of event.
  •  Be sure to tell the media whether it is a Simple Statement being made or if there will be a Q&A Session. 
  •  Provide Detailed, Mobile Contact Information for questions prior to the event. 

Technology Allows For Content Creation On The Spur Of The Moment

By Michael Harris-Arzon, the Simplistic Professional 

Flashback to mid 90’s and I am reminded of the very first ad I ever created.  It was for our first company, Arzon Harris, and computers weren’t used by the average professional to create anything really.  I went down to the telephone company there in Manhattan and filled a cab with phone books.  I then proceeded to cut out individual words and place them on a blank sheet of copy paper.  About 50 copies later (we had to use white out on the lines that showed up once the cut and paste document was copied) we had a full page ad that listed all of the services and office supplies available to our clients.

Now, thanks to technology, I am able to start an article the second an idea pops into my heads.  No matter what device I have at hand, I am able have a stream of ongoing content projects at my disposal.  Gone are the days of having to drive back to the office to work on or complete a marketing project.  I can now post just as easily from the bathroom as I once did from my desk.  This is all thanks to connected technology, the affordability of Apps VS Computer Programs and Cloud Services.

While a lot of professionals will never admit to taking their iPad to the toilet with them or using their Smart Watch to send a Tweet, I freely admit that I usually am wearing my smart watch while carrying my iPad in my hands and having my iPhone in a pocket.  The flexibility and freedom I now have as a marketing professional simply astounds me at time.  

My advice to all of you professionals out there is to utilize the tools you already have at your fingertips.  Gone are the days of working 9-5.  No matter if you are an entrepreneur or a drone working for Corporate America, you are officially a brand ambassador for whomever is your boss.  This is thanks to social media and the fact that you have listed your current place of business on your public profiles.  So every Tweet, post or share directly influences the brand(s) you are associated with.  It may be the curation of news articles, an original blog post or some form of imagery/video.

The point is, that I get asked all the time by clients how to come up with enough original content on a daily basis.  Simply start a notebook that is designated solely for the purpose of content curation and creation.  Make sure that whatever App you choose is synced across all devices and computers.  While it is important for certain professionals to be creating original content, many simply need to curate information that is relevant to their target audience, friends, followers or peers.  Just don’t worry about it.  Share what is of interest or helpful to you.  Make sure that the wording and imagery has no negative connotations to it and you will be able to say that you support your brand in a positive manner.