Monthly Archives: January 2013

Media Magnetism – 21st Century Publicity Foreword Written by MJ Pedone


About    Inspiration often arrives at unexpected moments and in diverse forms. Media Magnetism, for instance, owes its origins to a pack of Crest Glide dental floss.I had been sent by the local newspaper to do a feature story on the latest charity project of a prominent philanthropist. He graciously invited me to his office, pointed me to a comfortable chair and listened with interest to my prep-talk on how the interview would proceed as I set up my audio recording equipment on his desk.Within the first minute of my starting the tape, he casually reached into his shirt pocket and withdrew a white plastic container. I initially thought that it contained breath mints and was, thus, perplexed when he unspooled a long strand of dental floss. Having interviewed former smokers who occasionally rely on “props” to give their hands something to do, I assumed this was just one of the quirkier choices.

You can imagine my reaction when he began using it for its actual purpose. If you’ve ever tried to decipher what someone is saying when they’re in a cavernous mid-yawn, try doing it when they’re aggressively going after mystery particles on their back molars. Over the course of 20 minutes – although it seemed much longer – he not only executed an intensely methodical cleaning worthy of a dental hygienist but also deposited all of his floss shrapnel in a messy, discolored mound right next to my microphone. No matter how scintillating or insightful the takeaway value of the feature story which was subsequently published, I can no longer see this man’s name or hear about the good deeds of his organization without recalling that unflattering image and feeling instantly repulsed.

I’m guessing that’s probably not the message he was going for.

What possesses an otherwise articulate, intelligent and well groomed person to perform personal hygiene tasks in front of a total stranger?  Were his actions a purposeful show of disdain for media intrusions on his life? Did he have someplace else he had to be immediately after our appointment and was just multi-tasking to save a trip to the bathroom? Had I inadvertently donned my cloak of invisibility and caused him to think he was talking to himself?

You’re right. There is neither an acceptable excuse for the full-frontal floss fest nor a rewind button to pretend it didn’t happen.

Although he currently holds the unofficial record for bizarre interview behavior, he’s also by no means an isolated case when it comes to putting the wrong foot forward. Interactions with media professionals sometimes have a funny way of making people say too much, say too little, or fall victim to the conversational equivalent of a wardrobe malfunction. No matter how accomplished they are at running a business, raising money or engaging in creative endeavors such as writing or art, these talents may not be evident to the reading/watching/listening public if they’re predisposed to view every reporter as (1) their new best friend or (2) their worst enemy. In truth, reporters are neither one: they are just there to help you deliver the best possible story to your target audience.


FOREWORD Written By: MJ Pedone

There has always been a certain stigma attached to “dream jobs” – acting, modeling, sports, advertising –  the type of professions that a lot of people wish they could have and, more often than not, mistakenly perceive as being more “fun” than actual “work.” Who wouldn’t, for instance, want to play exciting roles, be photographed in top designer clothes, play the same sport they’ve loved ever since they were kids, or schmooze with celebrity clients at the hippest restaurants and night clubs?

What you have to take into consideration, however, is that the general public usually only sees the finished product – the blockbuster movie at the Cineplex, the gorgeous spread in a fashion magazine or the success of a charity or red carpet event that raises big money and brings out the A-list stars. The fact that it looks like such a flawless presentation is a testament to how much time, effort and creativity took place behind the scenes, much more than most can even imagine.

This is the reason why I always say that people will never really know how long it takes you to do something; they will only know whether it has been done well. If you have ever opened a new business, you’ve probably already discovered that you can’t just send out one generic press release and wait for the world to beat a path to your door. In today’s competitive marketplace – and given the challenging economy – it requires a more aggressive approach if you want to make your brand a household name that stands out from the competition. What I call “backstage readiness” is not only the ability to understand how 21st century media really works but also how to deliver what it wants from you in a way that projects confidence, credibility and professionalism.

Like Christina Hamlett and the team of industry experts she has brought together to create Media Magnetism, I’m no stranger to the bounty of elements that contribute to a successful marketing/PR campaign. Yes, it’s exciting for me to do a job that I love all hours of the day and night and work with my A-list clientele in the entertainment and sports industry. My effectiveness, however  –  and, in fact, the effectiveness of anyone involved in media relations – is only as good as the clarity of the client’s message and our mutual understanding of the target demographic that particular message is intended to inspire.

Whether you’re a small business owner, a nonprofit organization or an artist with a new project to promote, understanding how to maximize the media resources available to you is the first step in moving your PR campaign forward, and that is whyMedia Magnetism is a must-read for all who are involved in any aspect of public relations. This book will be the reason why you earn the exposure and return-on-investment you seek for your clients. It will be the reason that members of the media will be excited to shine a spotlight on you and your company’s accomplishments. It will be the reason you succeed.

In closing, I’m humbled to have written this foreword and hope you enjoy what I consider to be one of the most informative communications books available to date.

MJ Pedone CEO & Publicist

Indra Public Relations – New York, NY

Tips For Writing a Press Release

Tips for Writing a Press Release

Author: MJ Pedone / January 28, 2013

I have many friends that are publicists who always ask why our press releases get attention. My answer remains the same.  It is simple if you follow these three easy tips:


  1. The 5 W Rule:  Tell the editors in your first paragraph what they need to know. Who, what, where, when and why. After that, your other two short paragraphs should provide details about the story in which you are writing about and a quote or two about this newsworthy story.
  2. Put emotion into the story.  You will grab the attention with emotional sentences than ones that are just plain boring.
  3. Proofread! Proofread! Proofread!  I like to read my press releases out loud and see if it makes sense and if there is emotion involved.  If sentences become run-ons, I will rewrite them. I constantly go over punctuation and fact check the stats that are given to me.  That is the worse thing to do to a knowledgeable journalist who covers the topic daily. You can be rest assured that all bets are off from there. We have a staff member on the team double proof as a second set of eyes but I personally like to print out my press release and give it a final read through before hitting the send button.

Lastly, know your audience. Be sure and know if the story you are pitching is what the journalist covers.  If you are writing a story about the health industry, don’t pitch a beauty editor. Journalists get bombarded with emails daily and the last thing you want to do is end up on their black list. 


Enjoy and happy pitching!

If you like what you read, don’t keep it to yourself and share it with others. Also, I welcome your comments.

– MJ Pedone – Indra Publice Relations – @indraprgroup



A 3 Point Shot that Changes History

A 3-Point Shot that Changes History

It is an honor for me to interview my dearest friend and client, Trent Tucker in regard to a shot he made that changed NBA history on a very special day. Oh what a game.  I remember it well as I was sitting in the seats of former NY Knicks star Charles Oakley, which were located behind the Knicks bench and it was a very exciting game down to the last .3 tenths of a second on the clock.  It was MLK day and what better way to spend the day but at Madison Square Garden watching the Knicks play Michael Jordan and his Bulls.

MJ Pedone: I know you remember that game as if you just played in it yesterday. Can you take us back to the final seconds of the game?

Trent Tucker:  I can remember the game like it was yesterday. It was the first season they went to tenths of seconds on the game clock. The play designed was an alley-oop pass for Patrick Ewing. I was used as the decoy to empty out the backside hoping that Michael Jordan would follow me. Because he such a smart player, he read the play and we didn’t have a back up option. So I ran along the sideline and Mark Jackson gave me a little flip pass; I caught the ball and shot it as quickly as I could…and the rest is history.

MJ Pedone: I remember the crowd exploding.  What were you thinking after you made that shot?

Trent Tucker: My first and only thought was to get off the court as quickly as we could so they couldn’t bring us back or replay that possession.

MJ Pedone: I know MJ and a few others had some words for you heading to the locker room. Care to share any?                                                                                

Trent Tucker: They just said it was a great shot and a great win for the team.

MJ Pedone:  The Bulls protested that shot.  What was the outcome?

Trent Tucker: After further review, the shot counted and we won the game. They changed the rule the following season.

MJ:  Talk to us about the Trent Tucker Rule.

Trent Tucker: The Trent Tucker Rule is a basketball rule that disallows any regular shot to be taken on the court if the ball is put into play with less than three-tenths of a second left on the game or shot clock. The rule was passed after the 1989-90 season due to the shot I made against the Bulls that season.  There has to be .03 seconds or more on the shot/game clock in order to be able to catch and shoot the ball.

MJ Pedone: Lets fast-forward to the final year that you played in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls.  Did your Bulls teammates ever say anything about that shot once you joined their team?

Trent Tucker: Michael Jordan said, “You know that shot didn’t count.” We laughed about it.

MJ Pedone: Bring us back to when you won the championship.

Trent Tucker: Winning the championship was one of best days of my life. I can go on, but we would need a few hours.

MJ Pedone:  Obviously, I have the privilege of working with you on a daily basis.  Can you let the world know the many great things you are doing post NBA career?

Trent Tucker: I have always been involved in philanthropy and started my nonprofit in 1998 in which we support underprivileged youth. The All 4 Kids Foundation is a 501(c)(3) committed to educating at-risk youth academically, personally, socially and physically through a curriculum that expands their horizons and encourages them to participate in new areas of learning.  Our mission includes striving to develop the whole students mind so that they have the tools to make decisions that are intellectual, moral and ethical. In 2001, The Trent Tucker University Scholars Program was implemented in the University of Minnesota and has been adopted by Columbia University and will begin this spring. I also lend my time to other organizations in order to raise awareness and funds that will benefit children who are in need. I enjoy speaking on a national level at corporations, being a mentor for both youth and adult programs and hosting fundraising events in order to bring awareness to my educational programs. I have a great team that I work with in Minneapolis and of course you and your team at Indra Public Relations in NYC, who I work with daily. I have been blessed in so many ways and will always continue to give back.

MJ Pedone: Thank you for your time and reliving such a historical day with us.

Trent Tucker: My pleasure.

-MJ Pedone Indra Public Relations January 21, 2013

Charities in Need of Media Attention

Author: MJ Pedone – CEO of Indra Public Relations – January 17, 2013

When I first founded Indra Public Relations, I listened to the needs of my clients and heard them loud and clear on why they wanted to hire a firm that offers everything needed to grow a business and that is why we offer a wide variety of in house services that includes, PR, nonprofit management, event planning and production, branding and celebrity integration.

Early on, I had many of my nonprofit clients come to me who were misinformed about earning press and didn’t understand why other organizations were front and center in the media.  I had to explain that those other organizations have outstanding PR and marketing firms, but the ones that don’t, aren’t in the running for growing their funds as competitively as others that do.

Here are 3 reasons why your charity DOES NOT wins press coverage:

1. Those who benefit from your charity’s work are not in front of media enough. Most of the media opportunities you get should feature people your work helps.  The best stories and those that drive donations to a charity, are the ones that tugs at people’s heartstrings. You need to bring a human element to the story to impact your charity’s work.

2. Your charity does too few public events. From a PR perspective, events are a key way to build relationships with the media and broader public. People (including media) like events, and there is no doubt that charity events generally have a feel-good vibe and are a nice counterpoint for journalists, because “news” is usually bad news.

3. Your leadership is not committed to raising the organization’s profile in the media. Like anything in business, very little is going to happen without real commitment from senior leaders. If your charity wants to take PR to the next level, you better have a leader at the top that understands the relationship between earned media and the bottom line.

If you want to let the world know about your amazing mission, then you need to have an experienced team of experts get the word out there for you. At Indra Public Relations, we are available to grow your business and meet your goals. If you like what you read, please feel free to share it.

– MJ Pedone – Founder of Indra Public Relations – January 2013