Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Everything old is new again. Especially when your cousins come to visit and they discover the dress up bin. My kids don't do much dress up anymore, but they both love to humour and enjoy playing with their cousins.

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My niece - Princess Nemo


amazonblast

Makobi Scribe is bringing you this Amazon Pinterest blast where one lucky reader will win a $100 Amazon gift card. The giveaway is open to everyone and provided by Makobi Scribe. Every so often I like to share these with my readers. One day soon it will be one of you that wins the contest! Good Luck! If you are a blogger, you can sign up for this blast here.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

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The best part of unleashing my kids in the kitchen is watching them get creative. Late last week we got an Easter shipment of Kellogg's products and a suggestion that we might want to bake something fun. We brainstormed today after the kids spent a huge amount of the day playing outside, riding bikes, hanging out at the park and enjoying the weather. I suggested that for Easter we could make some treats shaped like eggs. My girls outdid me in creativity. Payton is sometimes a hoot to watch in the kitchen. When I give her the tools she gives baked treats as much attention as she does her art work.

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So we ended up with some Easter eggs, some bucktooth bunny rabbits, nests, chicks and flowers. I never would have thought of making the Rice Krispie's treats into a baby chick. We found a great old bunny mould that was for candy lollipops and we squeezed the Rice Krispie's into it to harden a few different Bunny shapes. This one made me chuckle.

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Each of those in the pictures are Payton's creations. Ainsley made a couple and raced back outside. One of hers was a turquoise bunny rabbit that she whipped over to the neighbour's house. 

I am a member of the Kellogger's Network. I receive product from Kellogg's. My opinion is my own.




Friday, April 18, 2014

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My family at the Meet and Greet session before the Harlem GlobeTrotters show at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario
 When the Harlem GlobeTrotters come to town you know it. Their shows are always entertaining and sheer fun, with a strong hit of audience interaction. As a Mom I love that my kids enjoy watching the talented basketball team perform trick shots and whoop it up playfully for the crowd. I also enjoy seeing that they give back. When the Harlem GlobeTrotters come to town they make the rounds, usually visiting hospitals, doing radio call in shows and interviews and they often do a quick Meet and Greet at the YMCA. The Harlem GlobeTrotters Smile Patrol is their community outreach hospital visitation program and they also promote anti-bullying programs as well as healthy activity and play time for kids. That is inspiring for kids and families. 


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See the big happy smiles on their faces? These girls were looking forward to seeing the Harlem GlobeTrotters show for a couple of months now. They recalled seeing the GlobeTrotters two years ago at Budweiser Gardens and it was incredibly funny and exciting. The show is always extremely theatrical. This year we attended as PTPA (Parent Tested Parent Approved Brand Ambassadors) and we were extremely fortunate to do the Meet and Greet before the show. We met Doc Anderson and T- Time Brawner, the tenth girl in the history of the Harlem GlobeTrotters to ever play with the team. Both of the players told the girls where they were from and where they each went to university. Ainsley, 10, who loves basketball, got her ball signed by several players. She was thrilled to see T-Time Brawner, number 6, and hollered encouragement the entire show at her: "You can do it T Time." "Try again."

I asked my basketball loving girls this morning what their favourite part of the show was.  For Ainsley it was: "T-Time." For Payton: "Too Tall." Too Tall is pint sized, five foot twin inches tall, but he is all energy. During the show he climbed up the basketball net and stood on the rim while dancing and clowning around. When asked to Get Down, he proceeded to break into a silly dance.

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You don't have to know that much about basketball to understand the 2014 Fans Rule Harlem GlobeTrotters World Tour. This year the fans truly rule and can click to vote on the rules of the game. Each vote counts. During the game the players then perform whatever the winning rule is. Fans can choose trick shots, Make or Miss, Two Ball Basketball and Hot Hand Jersey. There are a few other options too. Vote for the game rules here and watch the players perform them when they visit a city near you. My kids and I voted for Trick Shot Challenge. That one is the most fun to watch.


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For more information about The Harlem GlobeTrotters you can find them on all relevant social media platforms. In fact T -Time and I have been tweeting back and forth already. I love that the GlobeTrotters are up to speed in more ways than one. https://twitter.com/globies ... https://www.facebook.com/HarlemGlobetrotters ...https://www.youtube.com/user/hrlmglobetrotters ... http://instagram.com/harlem_globetrotters

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I am a PTPA brand ambassador and as such I receive special perks. My opinion is all my own. We had a great night at Harlem GlobeTrotters World Tour.

The Globetrotters continue their 2014 “Fans Rule” tour throughout the U.S. and Canada through the end of April. In all, Globetrotters’ tour will visit over 250 cities. Check out their schedule at http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/tickets. Save $7 off each ticket by using the promo code “PTPA” when you make your purchase. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Shutterstock photo - paid for by me - copyright - Sign N Symbol production

Today I am feeling ranty. And a little bit stabby. But yesterday was worse.
Let's start with the why. Yesterday, I landed two amazing absurd, totally missed the mark, offers to blog about dental products. They came from two different boutique PR agencies. Well, clean teeth and healthy living are subjects I love to write about actually and I am heading to the dentist this evening because I have a sore tooth and it's that time of year. The teeth cleaning time of year. So I read the emails with some interest. Because everyone can relate to dentists, teeth, and teeth cleaning issues.

Tonight, though when I go to the dentist I am going to try something different. I think I will leave my wallet at home and take a tube of toothpaste with me to pay my dental bill. Then, I will try to give the dentist another tube of toothpaste when my daughter finishes. That should spare my Visa card. After all it seems fair, right? Fair trade for service rendered. Clean teeth all done for another nine months usually costs me at least $200 each. You'd do the same, right? Pay people in toothpaste. I mean what does a dentist need more than toothpaste? He must be dying to get his hands on some. Just last week I was driving around town in my horse and buggy with my chickens ready to pay the shopkeep downtown. So toothpaste and toothbrushes make sense as currency to me. 

Pitch number one yesterday:

Here is a great guest post about tooth decay provided to you for free. 
For additional product information or a sample of  XYZ Toothpaste, editorial media may contact Charlotte for a sample tube of this all natural fluoride free toothpaste.

This was pitch number two yesterday:

Obviously Easter is all about chocolate, candy and treats, which are filled with sugar, sugar and more sugar -- and can lead to cavities. Let your little ones enjoy the holiday, but after the festivities are done it’s important to implement a “Candy Rehab” to get those youthful gums and teeth in tip-top shape. 

I would like to send you samples of X toothbrush. You can share this information and review with your audience. (Your audience will love this generic prewritten impersonal post about getting kids to brush their teeth.


There were other various really poor blogger outreach efforts yesterday and even a sad attempt by a former client to have me give them a blueprint for running a twitter party for free. Over the years these have added up in my trash box. 

Dentists don't work for free and neither do bloggers or social media strategists. Most businesses don't work for free. Have you ever taken out an ad in the newspaper and suggested to the ad department you would send them a tube of toothpaste? No? I didn't think so. I wrote a post about this last year. Before You Ask Bloggers to Write for Free. Then I wrote another one because companies still were not getting the message.  Five Reasons Why Your Blogger Outreach Program is a Fail

A few months ago I got a suggestion from several public relations teams that I might want to post reviews for dog products. Now what's wrong with that? Well, I don't own a dog and I never have. (save for a six month period in grade 11 when I bought my brother one that broke our fence and pooped all over and eventually went to a family with a big backyard that knew something more than I did about raising dogs.) I digress. The dog blogger campaign ask was really great also because everyone that wrote about the products could be considered for a potential prize of $100. One blogger would win. One blogger would also get a badge to place on their blog. So imagine that you showed up for work at school as a teacher and you competed for who taught the best lesson and at the end of the day one of you got paid. Out of 14 employees.

Recently a great friend of mine and a funny lady about town Mara Shapiro (ChickyMara) and Be Nice or Leave, Thanks! was asked to write about a major tourism destination for the honour of using their hashtag. #PRfail. So now apparently we are also trying to pay people with hashtags? That was a trick I hadn't yet seen. 

I have seen a lot of great pitches in the last year. I have had some amazing clients and fantastic opportunities and I love the work I do. I have created a program and I have built several successful blogger outreach campaigns over the last two years. Each one is different, targeted to different audiences with distinct goals and a well thought out strategy in mind. Each one of these programs represents countless hours of nurturing relationships so that a business partnership is formed. The R O I is measurable and fast. This ROI  is also often generated for an extremely long time. A well done sponsored blog post, or a well done promotion, can bring traffic for years. Right now there is no better way for your brand to connect effectively and efficiently on line. Ask yourself where do people consume media right now? The average person checks their mobile phone around 150 times a day. People get their news from twitter, their referrals to brands and products and information from blogs, and they connect with genuine experiences on line. Not to mention some of the best writing I have seen in the last two years has been done in the on line space. For instance, this post One by Karma. Perfection.

Blogger outreach is an art when it is done well. When it isn't done well it is a waste of money. I run a a business. I contract people to help me with that business and here's the trick, the top secret key to the kingdom of on line influencer marketing programs - lean in, listen really close, YOU CAN'T BUILD True Influence WITH DOG FOOD OR TOOTHPASTE OR HOT DOG BUNS. You can't build relationships or strategy or business with those either. Feel free to connect with me when you are serious about social strategy. I am on Linked In as Paula Schuck. I am here as well inkscrblr@rogers.com.

 
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