4 Myths of the CEO as Crisis Spokesperson


One of the most important decisions your company will make is to choose the right spokesperson for your brand/company. Many people make the assumption that it should always be the CEO. While that may be true some of the time, during a crisis think twice about using your CEO in that capacity.

Myth 1: The CEO is the only person who should speak for the company.

The CEO should definitely be visible and even make statements, but in a major crisis it is best to appoint a separate spokesperson. Spokesperson duties removes the CEO from his work and can be a waste of their valuable time. A crisis situation requires an individual who has the right personality and is trained to handle the stress for this type of position.

  • For Example: CEO Tony Hayward (ex-CEO now) during the BP crisis. Tony made many statements that were unfathomable to the public and the people injured by the oil spill. He was the bitt of jokes on every network and he brought the value of his company down even further by giving unrealistic comments.

Myth 2: There should be only one spokesperson.

Each company should have “one voice” for your company or brand. Though, you can have that one voice come from different people. As long as your message is consistent, you can have a couple of spokespersons – especially if there are technical or operational areas to be discussed. You can use experts from each area to explain their fields and have a main spokesperson to give statements.

Myth 3: Legal counsel should decide what is said.

While it is important to know what the lawyers tell you is legal and not, etc. you need to follow what is best for the company and its publics. An organization can win in a court of law, yet still lose in the court of public opinion.

Myth 4: The CEO must be ‘on the spot’ to take charge.

The CEO should be visible, but does not need to take charge. There is a time and place for everything and everyone – each crisis is different and needs to be handled on an individual basis. Example:

  • CEO Tony Hayward was inundated with work as the spokesperson for BP. The crisis was extremely large and Hayward became quite irritable. Listed below are a few of Tony’s quotes and a couple of late night jokes that came out at the same time.

Fact: The BP oil spill disaster claimed 11 lives and has since spewed 20 to 100 million gallons of toxic oil into the Gulf of Mexico, May 31, 2010. These are some of Tony Hayward’s comments after the disaster:

  • “There’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back.” BP CEO Tony Hayward, May 31, 2010.
  • “When do we ask the Sierra Club to pick up the tab for this leak?” –Blaming the oil spill in the Gulf on the Sierra Club, arguing that the environmental group had driven oil producers off the land to more high-risk situations offshore, May 17, 2010.
  • “I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest.” —Tony Hayward, interview with Sky News television, May 18, 2010.
  • “What the hell did we do to deserve this?” –BP CEO Tony Hayward, speaking to fellow executives in London about the Gulf oil spill disaster, May 2, 2010.
  • “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume.” —Tony Hayward, May 14, 2010.
  • “Yeah, of course I am” —Tony Hayward, when asked if he sleeps at night, Forbes, May 18, 2010.

In the end Hayward lowered the value of BP by billions of dollars and lost his job.

Jokes at Hayward’s expense:

“The BP president said yesterday that the company would survive. That’s like someone running over your dog and saying, ‘Don’t worry, my car is fine.'” —Jimmy Fallon

“This Tony Haywire guy, whatever his name is, he told the BBC on Sunday that he believes the new oil cap that they’ve installed will eventually capture the vast majority of oil spewing from the well. You know, if they could capture half the BS spewing from Tony Hayward, people would be thrilled.” —Jay Leno

“BP wants Twitter to shut down a fake BP account that is mocking the oil company. In response, Twitter wants BP to shut down the oil leak that’s ruining the ocean.” —Jimmy Fallon

Final thoughts:

If you were CEO of BP – what would you have done after the oil spill in the gulf? How would you have handled their PR?

Do you believe that a CEO should ALWAYS be the crisis spokesperson?









Using social media for event planning

When it comes to planning an event – social media may quickly become your best friend. Social media is free, easy to use, has a huge following, and is oh-so-available…All of which make social media a very valuable resource. Whether you’re promoting a new product, sporting event, concert, or fundraiser – when used correctly, social media will engage your audience and create a buzz around your event. If you put in the time, social media will do the work!


Here are some ideas on how social media can help you with your next media event:


  • Choose a venue, date and time – use social media to read boards and chat with others in your field regarding venues, etc.
  •  Determine program – speakers, time limits, prepare message points for speakers, collect all speeches prior to event (to edit/check for cohesiveness)
  • Use social media to send invitations.


§  Create event listings on social networks

§  Integrate social media with registration

§  Use a hashtag
 on social media sites

§  Create promotional video to post on sites

§  Use Pitchengine to create multi-media enabled press releases, and send the URL for the release to any and all “maybes” on your list.



    §  Locate supplies online using message boards and reviews       

 § Prior to the event, issue a short media advisory alerting reporters of the event      

 §  Collect RSVPs online



  • Via Ustream (iPhone app) you can stream live video of your event for free. 
  • Have Twitter walls displayed
  •  If showcasing different items or a venue, have different check-in locations for attendees (use Four Square)
  • Start a Twitter contest – give away prize for people that can correctly answer marketing trivia via their Twitter feed.
  • Create event pages on: Facebook Events
- Evenbrite – Upcoming – Linkedin
  •  Provide Twitter transcripts to attendees, and also post it to your various event pages. Backupify has a super cool new, free service called Session Tweets  where you can automatically make a PDF of all tweets using your event hashtag.

Social media can help find a venue and supplies, send invitations and record RSVPs, disseminate information, record transcripts and videos, engage attendees, encourage attendee interaction, can enhance attendees experience, and much more.

Here is a list of social media sites that are helpful when planning events:

  •        Facebook Events
  •        Linkedin
  •        Twitter
  •        Pitchengine
  •        Ustream
  • –       Google+
  • –       Eventbrite
  • –       Hootsuite
  • –       pinterest
  • –       instagram
  •        snapchat


Producing a Killer Media Pitch


Producing a Killer Media Pitch

By Annie Alvarado

Producing a killer media pitch takes knowledge, above average writing skills, the ability to know what your public(s) wants, research, and restraint. So, before you start writing, there are a few things you need to do.

First, you must learn everything there is to know about the product or services that you will be pitching. This way, you will be able to write only the most pertinent information in your pitch and you will be ready for interviews, if necessary. This task includes research on the product or service and on it’s public(s).

Next, when thinking about what to write, there are four aspects that a pitch must contain to get noticed:

The pitch must be….
1.   Newsworthy – it must be significant & interesting
2.   Timely – is it current
3.   Unique – is it distinctive/special – different than every other story
4.   Compelling – does it evoke interest from the reader. Don’t include EVERY bit of information – just give them a taste and leave them wanting more!

Now that you have your newsworthy, timely, unique, and compelling pitch – you’re ready to write! While writing remember, to ask your self, “will this make the reader’s life or business easier or better in some way?” Is it giving some kind of information that is helpful to the reader? Also, make sure your writing is concise. Remember, a pitch is not a press release; you’re asking for exposure, help or attention of some kind. (A press release is a news announcement.)

An editor is only going to read the first few sentences of your pitch before deciding to read further or to paper file it. Some editors don’t even make it to the first paragraph and make their decisions based on the subject line; so be sure to make your point in the one sentence placed in the subject line, or your pitch may not be read.

Most editors receive a lot of mail and do not have the time to read long pitches, so be concise. This is where your restraint comes in. Being concise takes practice and hard work, but it will pay off in the long run. The other type of restraint is used when contacting an editor. Before first contact with them, find out how and when they like to be contacted and make a note of it. Each editor has their own preferences and you should abide by them.

Editor Contact Tips:

  • Find out how and when the editor likes to receive pitches – Email, phone call, etc.
  • Contact the editor exactly as they wish – how & when.
  • If necessary, be able to set up interviews immediately (be ready!)
  • Always keep your tone friendly and professional (remember if they do not want/need your piece now, they may work with you in the future.)
  • With each contact you are building a relationship with the editor – make sure it is a positive one!

Now I’d like to throw a topic out to you – do you have any unique or successful ideas on ‘how to write killer pitches’ that you would like to share? If so, please attach your comment below – I look forward to hearing your ideas!

Let me leave you with this – I believe the old proverb is true, “If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well”…but to do it well, you should enjoy it! Life is too short to work without joy. Now – go forth…write, pitch, blog and enjoy yourself.

Works Cited:

Carole M. Howard, W. K. (2013). On Deadline: Managing Media Relations. (5th, Ed.) Waveland Press, Inc.

Ennen, D. (2013). simple-secrets-to-pitching-success-how-to-develop-that-pitch. Retrieved from International Freelancers Society: http://internationalfreelancersacademy.com/simple-secrets-to-pitching-success-how-to-develop-that-pitch/

“I’m not stressed, just very, very alert.” Top Four Stress-Busting Apps

Are you a stressed out? Do you worry too much? Are you overwhelmed? Are your shoulders as tight as rocks? Most of us have some sort of stress in our lives and if you are anything like me, there is a lot of it! (Pay the bills, get the kids to school on time, go to work, pick up the kids, go to the grocery store, go home and make dinner, and don’t forget the laundry! Then it starts all over again the next day!)

What? You don’t have time to go to a yoga session at the gym? How about doing it at home with an instructor right on your very own phone! Or, you could take five minutes to yourself and meditate while deep breathing to relax. We found many different apps for relaxation and listed here are our top four. As always, there are many more in your app store, so if you don’t find one that you like here, go to the app store and find one that you are comfortable with. It’s important to keep trying apps until you find one that you like so that you will stick with it!

Now, take a deep breath inlet it out slowlyrelax and take a look at our top four relaxation apps…

1. Long Deep Breathing ($.99) iPhone

Relax and calm yourself now with Long Deep Breathing. This app offers a simple way to learn and practice the Long Deep Breathing technique. Practice a few minutes a day and it will make a major contribution to your health, longevity and happiness. According to the ancient yogis, Long Deep Breathing will calm the mind, balance the emotions, and harmonize body, mind and spirit. Long Deep Breathing can be used everyday when you want to be in control of your emotions and think clearly and effectively. Long Deep Breathing is also used in meditation and in yoga. Long Deep Breathing is a fast way to trigger your parasympathetic nervous system, and induce a relaxed state in your body and mind so the body can heal and repair itself. Long Deep Breathing also releases endorphins into the circulation system. Endorphins are our body’s natural painkillers. This can help relieve general aches and pains, as well as help to lower blood pressure. This application contains two bonus features: Using Long Deep Breathing to Help Overcome Insomnia. Using Long Deep Breathing As A guided Meditation for Self-Healing.

2. Relax and Rest Guided Meditations ($.99) iPhone & Android

This app is rated for newbies, novice, and advanced meditation users. There are three meditations of varying lengths allow you to relax deeply regardless of how much time you have available. Also, there are written Meditation Tips to help support your experience with the guided meditations. “No previous meditation experience is required.”

  •   Breath Awareness Guided Meditation (5 min) – to get centered and relaxed when you only have a short amount of time.
  •   Deep Rest Guided Meditation (13 min) – allows you to sink into a deeply restful state. Great for falling asleep.
  •   Whole Body Guided Relaxation (24 min) – Relax totally and completely with this meditation which helps you locate tension in     every part of the body, and let it go.

There are controls on the meditations, so you can choose to listen to them with music or nature sounds or without. There are also separate volume controls to adjust the mix of music-to-voice ratio to suit your preference. You can even listen to the music alone.

3. Yoga Relax ($.99) iPhone

Yoga Relax is the sequel to the popular app Yoga Stretch. Yoga Relax is designed to calm the body while improving strength, balance, posture and flexibility. 
Yoga Relax is your own personal Yoga instructor that takes you through a full Session including audio commentary, images and music. This session caters to a gentler morning or night session and benefits all levels. Yoga Stretch is a focused mind and body workout.

4. AntiStress – ($.99) iPhone & Android

Shake your stress away with AntiStress. Shaking your iPhone just might be what some people need to fight the stress. If you are a person that likes to “get physical” when your emotions are high, this is a good app for you. (Just be sure you don’t accidentally throw or drop your phone!)

With AntiStress you can also:

  • Calm yourself before you have a bad reaction
  • Calm yourself for a panic attack
  • Calm anxieties and worries
  • Refresh yourself when you feel exhausted
  • Calm down your phobia

Click here to take a stress test: http://www.stressTest.com


Top Four Intellectual Wellness Apps: Train Your Brain While Playing Games

A man went in for a brain transplant operation and the surgeon offered the man a choice of two brains. He could choose either an architect’s brain for $10,000, or a politician’s brain for $100,000. “Does that mean that the politician’s brain is much smarter than the architect’s?” exclaimed the clearly puzzled man. “Not exactly” replied the surgeon, “The politician’s brain just hasn’t been used.”

Don’t let your brain go soft! Your brain needs exercise just like the rest of your body. So, we found four different and fun apps that can help keep your brain challenged. These apps have fun, challenging games made specifically to exorcise different areas of your brain by solving problems and answering questions. Play these games a few minutes each day and you could give your brain a ‘tune-up’ or even an ‘upgrade’. Challenge yourself, your friends and your kids while playing games and having fun.

1. Brain Trainer by Lumosity (FREE) iPhone

Brain Trainer has 10 brain games designed to enhance your cognitive abilities: including memory, processing speed, attention, flexibility, and problem solving. To achieve the best results, you should play brain games a few minutes each day. Over 14 million users have trained their brain using Brain Trainer and they reported the following benefits:

• Improved memory

• Enhanced mood

• Better problem solving skills

• Ability to think more quickly

Start improving your brain NOW!

2. Words With Friends (FREE) iPhone & Android

Do you have a large vocabulary? Test your vocabulary knowledge with Words With Friends. This app brings the joys of Scrabble to your smart phone. You can sign in to Words with Friends through your Facebook account to find friendly opponents with ease and when you prevail you can post your victory.

3. Clockwork Game (FREE) iPhone

Discover a series of ingenious mini-games especially created to test various cognitive abilities such as visual, spatial, logic, language, arithmetic, and memory. Train your brain and challenge yourself with Clockwork Brain!


★ Scrolling Silhouettes: Trains Visual/Spatial Ability

★ Anagrams: Trains Language Processing

★ Missing Tiles: Trains Arithmetic

★ Chase the Numbers: Trains Memory

★ Size Matters (Unlockable Bonus): Trains Visual/Spatial Ability


★Word Length: Trains Language Processing

★Sculpt Away: Trains Memory

★Directions: Trains Visual/Spatial Ability

★Points of View: Trains Logic

★Label It: Trains Language Processing

★What Changed: Trains Memory

4. Sudoku(FREE) iPhone & Android

Sudoku free has unique handcrafted puzzles across four different skill levels, and is a great introduction to the fun and puzzle solving challenge of Sudoku.

Sudoku Features:

• Multiple color schemes
                 • ALL puzzles are solvable WITHOUT guessing

• Unique handcrafted puzzles
        • 4 color schemes

• Four different skill levels
              • Challenge a friend

• “ALL notes”: tap the “All notes” button on to show possible answers for each square. Tap the “All notes” button off to remove the notes

• Pause the game at any time and resume where you left off

• Best times, progress statistics, and much more

• Hints: shows the answer for the selected square or a random square when one is not selected

Top 10 Nutrition Questions Answered

Good Nutrition is difficult to master, so we’ve listed 10 of the most frequently asked questions and answers to nutrition questions written in an easy to understand format. We’ve also included 5 nutrition tips on things you should know and easy ways to eat a nutritious diet.

1.  How are “liquid calories” and “solid calories” different?

Liquid calories are not as satisfying as solid calories, so we tend to drink more fluid calories to stay “full”. Which results in us taking in a larger amount of calories. Studies suggest that drinking liquid calories causes weight gain even more than solid calories.

2.  What are a “Healthy Eating Plate” and “Healthy Eating Pyramid”?

This is the “Healthy Eating Plate”. It shows a picture of a plate and what size portions should be made up of vegetables (green), fruits (red), whole grains (brown), and healthy proteins (orange).


(Click on image to enlarge)

This is the “Healthy Eating Pyramid”. It shows all of the food groups, a representation of what is in each food group, and how much of each we should consume each day and that we should exorcise each day.


(Click on image to enlarge)

3.   Which type of oil is best for cooking? 

Oils that are high in unsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. The top three are canola oil, olive oil, and coconut oil. The difference in olive oils (virgin, extra virgin, or light) is all a matter of the flavor you prefer. (I use canola oil when I do not want the food I am cooking to have a taste/flavor from the oil and use olive oil when I want the flavor of the oil to come through in the food and coconut oil when I am feeling really health conscious – its super healthy for you and cooks clean and relatively taste free.)

4.  Should I take a vitamin? 

Multivitamins are used when people do not get enough vitamins from their food. If you have a well balanced diet rich in a variety of fruits, whole grains, lean meats, vegetables, and low fat dairy, you probably do not need a multivitamin. But, if your diet is not balanced or changes from day to day, you should take a multivitamin to fill the gaps left by your diet. Everyone should take a vitamin D supplement because it is not in much of our foods.

5.  Why should I eat breakfast? 

Yes! Here are 5 benefits of breakfast:

  • Breakfast gives your brain fuel to help you concentrate and perform better at work and school.
  • Breakfast essentially means breaking the overnight fast – helping you jump-start your metabolism for the day!
  • Breakfast can help increase your overall energy.
  • Breakfast helps keep your blood sugar level steady.
  • Breakfast can help reduce the likelihood of overeating later in the day.

6.  Why should I eat healthy? 

Eating a healthy balanced diet supplies essential vitamins and minerals that are necessary for good health. Eating Healthy can prevent illness and chronic diseases, adding years to your life span.

7.  How much protein should I eat daily? 

If lean meat, tofu, low fat dairy, and beans, are a part of your daily diet, you should have no problem getting the right amount of protein. The average amount of protein that men should have per day is between 50-60 grams and women should have 40-50 grams. Keep in mind that a person’s weight and height do play a part in the amount of protein you require per day (i.e. a man 6’6” tall and 300 pounds will need more than 60 grams protein.)

8. What is the difference between good and bad carbohydrates? 

Good carbohydrates are unprocessed foods. Examples are:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grain breads, cereals, and pasta
  • A number of dairy products
  • A number of dairy products

Bad carbohydrates are highly processed foods with additives, preservatives and have a low nutritional value. Examples are:

  • Baked goods with refined white flour
  • Soft drinks
  • White pasta
  • Candy and cookies

9.  How many carbohydrates are necessary to maintain a healthy diet? 

Your total carbohydrates should total between 54-60% of your total calories for the day. You should select GOOD carbohydrates and try to stay away from the bad carbohydrates, as listed above.

10.  How can I lower my cholesterol? 


  • When serving yourself a meal, use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate for portion control.
  • Never skip meals! Eat at least 3 meals a day. Skipping meals can cause long-term health effects later, such as heart disease.
  • Read food labels! Know what you and your family are consuming!
  • A balanced diet will help you lose weight and keep it off much more so than a low carb or low fat diet. Carbs and fiber help you to feel fuller longer! Also, you will be able to continue this way of eating the rest of your life, where the low carb and low fat diets are for shorter periods of time.
  • The most important thing remember in nutrition is that moderation and diversity are keys to any healthy diet. Do not exclude any single food group and do not eat too much of any one food.

The best oil to use in cooking are: Canola oil, Olive oil, or Coconut oil because they are high in Unsaturated fats good fats) and low in saturated fats (bad fats).







Positive Affirmations Can Make You Healthier!

Positive Affirmations Can Make You Healthier!

By Annie Alvarado

Be kind to yourself and you will be healthier, happier and will achieve more in your lifetime! Our bodies and minds are linked and are so closely related that positive and negative thoughts (self-talk) can reflect in the way we feel and can even affect your health!

It’s common for people to engage in negative self-talk, where we tell our self that we “can’t”, “shouldn’t”, or “don’ts”, which stops us from actualizing our full potential. A good example of this would be a young person being told by their teacher, adult or parent that they do not have the ability to do something, or that they were overweight or awkward. Unfortunately, those negative thoughts will probably stay in that child’s conscious or subconscious mind throughout their life.

Negative self-talk can sabotage our health, relationships, and even our life goals. If our subconscious perceives a beneficial goal, such as stopping us from doing something out of fear, it will do just about anything to stop us – even so much as becoming sick or even breaking a limb. Some believe that negative thoughts can even cause serious illnesses, such as cancer. Of course there are many reasons we get sick, but being healthy mentally can prevent sickness and even strengthen our healing abilities.

Positive affirmations are things you tell yourself to help achieve goals, feel better, stop negative feelings, and self-heal. “You can do it,” and the opposites of the other negative talk words, “can”, “should”, and “do” are examples of positive affirmation words. Our best defense against negative talk is to have a healthy mind and healthy self-image. We believe positive affirmations are the best tool, both in fighting negative self-talk and the way to a healthier self-image.

There are several different ways to use self-affirmations including: saying the statement several times a day, writing the statement down (I like to put PA’s on sticky notes and place them in strategic places in my home – on the refrigerator, bathroom mirror), and thinking about of the statement as often as possible. These affirmations are conscious thoughts that, when thought of enough, will become subconscious thoughts.

How to Use Positive Affirmations (PA’s) –

  • Find a reason to feel what’s being said is true. (You must believe what you say.)
  • You must commit! Practice everyday and say PA’s daily to get positive results.
  • Avoid all negative thoughts and do not think about negative situations.
  • Do not share your PA’s with others until you are completely comfortable with the process, as others may pose self-doubt, reducing the power of your PA’s.

How Positive Affirmations Work –

Our minds cannot differentiate between things that are real or fake. It’s like when you cry at a movie…you know the person in the movie really didn’t die, but you cry anyway. Or when you cry at the though of something that it isn’t happening now, but you cry anyway. Affirmations work when they become subconscious thoughts. So, when we use PA’s, we are introducing the beliefs that we want our mind to have and if we keep introducing this thought over and over, it will be memorized and become a part of our subconscious (we will think it automatically). Our brain will not know that thought was placed there; it will think it’s reality…and that is how they work. The one trick is that while placing this thought into our subconscious (saying the PA over and over), we need to believe it. So you have to choose PA’s that you believe in.

Daily Exercise –

Take 30 index cards and write one positive affirmation on each. One card is for each day of the month – read one positive affirmation a day. When you finish a month, start again. You will end up writing one affirmation for each day of the year. You can hold the 365 cards in a recipe box and reuse them each year. Add new affirmations as you need them or as you find new fun statements.

I’ll leave you with some positive affirmations for health (from Law-of-attraction-Explained.com) to get you started:
“I radiate good health”

“I am well, I am whole, and I am strong and healthy”

“My sleep is relaxed and refreshing”

“I am healthy, happy and radiant”

“My mind is at peace”

“I am healthy in all aspects of my being”

“I have balance in my life”

“I have vitality”

“I have the choice to change”

“I am healthy, healed and whole”

“My body heals quickly and easily”

“Every cell in my body vibrates with energy and health”