Becoming a More Engaging Writer with Sean Lawless
In this week’s PR 360, we talk with Sean Lawless, Content Specialist at Global Results Communications. A little about Sean:
Sean Lawless is a creative content specialist at Global Results Communications (GRC), responsible for conveying succinct client messaging across all channels, with a focus on writing impactful press releases, engaging blog posts, concise web copy and contributed bylines. A self-motivated leader with an extremely high capacity for retaining information, he is disciplined and always eager to tackle new challenges for clients. Before GRC, Sean was a technical writer at Conectrix, where he established the company’s online presence while developing case studies and managing campaigns. He then served as a creative writer (aka, the wearer of many hats) at TaxRise, where he took on a wide range of projects—from email campaigns and direct mail to restructuring its website and crafting advertising copy. Sean graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing
· [01:05] Are you a coffee or tea drinker?
· [01:57] Similar to ginger tea?
· [02:22] Can you summarize your expertise?
· [04:04] Why writing?
· [05:30] Is it because you practice writing?
· [06:04] How do you create good content?
· [09:02] Is short-form content popular because of short attention spans?
· [10:36] How can content specialists create interesting content and keep their clients engaged?
· [13:26] Pallet cleanse your writing?
· [14:47] How often do you experience writer’s block?
· [16:22] How can PR pros improve their writing?
· [19:38] Similarities between editing your writing and podcast
· [20:26] What is content going to look like in 2023?
· [22:08] The press release effect on content?
· [23:26] Fun question: What was your favorite children’s book as a kid?
· [26:05] Final thoughtsPeople and Companies, We Mentioned in the Show
· Sean Lawless was our guest today.
Episode Length: 27:05
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175. Explaining AI and its Potential with Jason Wells, CEO of AI Dev Lab28:03Jason Wells is the CEO of AI Dev Lab, a machine learning development consultancy, and the managing director of MWest Ventures, an organization making early-stage investments in AI, 5G IoT, and Media Tech. Jason has developed over 20 AI products and worked and lived on six different continents. Here, he provides a clear description of the current state of AI, its potential, and how AI Dev Lab is pushing the technology into the future. Key Takeaways:- A brief AI explainer- The differences in ChatGPT iterations- How AI learns through repetition- How AI Dev is creating breakthrough AI technologyEpisode Timeline:2:00 A brief overview of practical AI4:30 The difference in Chat GPT iterations7:30 Tod is happy to be the interviewer in this situation8:00 What’s the next version of AI that will catch on with the mainstream?9:45 AI is a learning process.10:30 AI can replicate Tod's writing.12:30 Common misunderstandings surrounding AI15:00 How do companies train AI for specific purposes? 18:45 Jason's dream project23:00 Let's create AI umpires.23:45 The connection between Jason’s love of running and his professional lifeThis episode’s guest:• Jason Wells• www.AIDevLab.comSubscribe and leave a 5-star review: https://pod.link/1496390646Contact Us!• Join the conversation by leaving a comment!• Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn!Thanks for listening!
174. Finding the Essence: The Art of TV Promos with Becky Wilson and Patrick Hamilton29:23Becky Wilson and Patrick Hamilton, the brains behind the "We Write Good" creative content shop, write promos and taglines for some of the biggest shows on television, such as “Abbot Elementary,” “Jeopardy!,” and “Dancing with the Stars.” Here, they talk about their wild ride from Universal Studios tour guides to marriage to running their own creative shop. They also explain their creative approach to writing TV and film promos and taglines. Key Takeaways:- Becky and Patrick’s journey from Universal Studios tour guides to founders of a creative shop- Finding the "essence" of a TV program- How to write in other people's voices- The lack of female POV in the entertainment industryEpisode Timeline:2:00 How Becky and Patrick met3:00 How Becky discovered her talent in copywriting at an ad agency6:30 The birth of We Write Good7:30 Tod and Becky's similar early career8:30 What are the elements that make a TV promo work?10:30 Distilling the "core" of the show into one line12:45 Dealing with feedback from clients14:10 The difficulty writing promos for "House"17:10 What's the hardest type of show to write a promo for?19:00 Becky's ability to pick up "character" and "cadence"23:00 Becky's Baby TV storyThis episode’s guest:• Becky Wilson and Patrick Hamilton of We Write Good• We Write Good's Website, Kill By Kill PodcastSubscribe and leave a 5-star review: https://pod.link/1496390646Contact Us!• Join the conversation by leaving a comment!• Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn!Thanks for listening!
173. Sharing Your Sustainability Story with Helen Neal of HN Communications25:15Helen Neal is the founder of HN Communications, a thought leadership consultancy that works with some of the world's most popular brands (Bosch, Asahi) leading the way to net zero. She is also the host of the Leaders LIVE podcast, an online thought leadership platform that brings together businesses, government, and NGOs to debate the biggest challenges facing our world today. Here, she shares how organizations can get better at telling their sustainability stories and why there's reason to feel optimistic about the planet's future.Key Takeaways:- The debates leaders are having over how to reach net zero- How businesses can better tell their sustainability stories- Creating affinity with consumers through sustainability- Reasons for optimism about the planetEpisode Timeline:1:30 What are the topics that spark the liveliest debates on the Leaders LIVE podcast?3:45 Is there a singular 'golden goose' solution to the climate problem?5:00 What's the biggest problem businesses have when communicating their sustainability stories?6:00 The importance of honesty and authenticity in telling your story7:20 Businesses that are uncomfortable sharing their faults9:45 Why it's ok for companies to admit their sustainability faults10:35 How important is sustainability with consumers?14:30 How acceptance of EVs has changed over the past decade16:30 How do companies create a sustainability message that cuts through the noise?20:10 What's the most exciting current development on the journey to net zero?22:00 The importance of collaboration on the road to net zeroThis episode’s guest:• Helen Neal• Follow Helen on LinkedInSubscribe and leave a 5-star review:https://pod.link/1496390646Contact Us!• Join the conversation by leaving a comment!• Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn!Thanks for listening!
172. Taking Out the Trash from Your Past with Performance Coach Brian Bogert29:11Brian Bogert is a performance coach, motivational speaker, and business strategist who strives to create unparalleled growth for individuals and organizations. He’s worked with businesses and nonprofits, including the Lockton Companies and the American Cancer Society. Bogert is also a member of the Forbes Council, an invite-only community for the most successful executives and entrepreneurs. Here, he talks about how we can improve our performance in business and life by addressing the “trash” from our past.Key Takeaways:- How people's past interferes with their ability to succeed in the present- How a traumatic injury inspired Brian's journey- How to process trauma- The Five Pillars of Taking Out Your TrashEpisode Timeline:2:30 Brian's traumatic injury5:00 The trash from your past7:25 How people are boxed in by "shoulding"8:20 A client success story11:30 The many faces of trauma13:40 Your trash isn't your fault14:30 Processing Tod's trauma17:45 The Five Pillars of Taking Out Your Trash20:30 Nobody's gonna judge your intention23:00 Flipping the lid27:00 The Take Out Your Trash ChallengeThis episode’s guest:• Brian Bogert• www.BrianBogert.com Subscribe and leave a 5-star review: https://pod.link/1496390646Contact Us!• Join the conversation by leaving a comment!• Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn!Thanks for listening!
171. A Brief History of Going Viral with Adam Albright-Hanna of A-Ha! Audience Builders29:14Adam Albright-Hanna is the founder of A-Ha! Audience Builders and a digital strategy and creative consulting specialist. His clients include "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson," the 2008 Obama campaign, Upworthy, The Onion, GOOD Worldwide, and Someecards. Here, he talks about being an early trending-content innovator and the dos and don'ts of going viral in 2023. Key Takeaways:- The early days of viral Facebook content- How to make sponsored content work- Why you can't buy your audience - The power of ChatGPTEpisode Timeline:2:10 Adam was one of the first viral publishing strategists. 4:00 How Upworthy took advantage of Facebook's algorithm change 5:00 Using "generations" to determine if a story is viral6:25 A/B testing headlines7:10 How to write a viral headline8:00 How quickly did publishers steal Upworthy's style?9:45 When did Facebook start to crush news publishers with its algorithm?11:30 What publishers don’t understand about creating viral content12:45 You can't buy the audience you want15:30 The ingredients that make a story go viral16:30 Affirmational content is king18:30 Tod's most popular viral stories22:00 Adam's biggest viral story24:00 The role of ChatGPT in viral contentThis episode’s guest:• Adam Albright-Hanna• Learn more at www.ahaaudiencebuilders.com Subscribe and leave a 5-star review: https://pod.link/1496390646Contact Us!• Join the conversation by leaving a comment!• Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn!Thanks for listening!
170. Managing a Nonprofit Crisis with Jo Ann LeSage Nelson26:47Jo Ann LeSage Nelson is the Vice President of Client Services at Pierce Communications in Albany, New York, and a former member of the Executive Committee of the National Board of Directors of the Public Relations Society of America. She’s an active community volunteer and frequently speaks on the topics of media relations, crisis communications, and business writing. Here, she discusses crisis management for nonprofits and the importance that writing plays in the communications industry.Key Takeaways:- The importance of clear and concise messaging- Managing a nonprofit crisis- PR is a 24/7 business- The importance of quality writing in PREpisode Timeline:1:00 The difference in PR strategies between nonprofits and traditional businesses3:20 How to create a coherent and consistent PR message4:30 Staying on message during a crisis6:00 The types of crises faced by that nonprofits9:00 Averting a nonprofit crisis10:00 When a crisis isn't a crisis12:00 How goodwill can inoculate you from a crisis13:40 PR is a 24/7 job15:20 How to calm a "spinning" client16:45 Help with communications writing18:00 The importance of proofreading21:00 Why clients have trouble being concise This episode’s guest:• Jo Ann LeSage Nelson• Connect with her on LinkedInSubscribe and leave a 5-star review:https://pod.link/1496390646Contact Us!• Join the conversation by leaving a comment!• Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn!Thanks for listening!
169. What I've Learned in 15 Years of Podcasting with Tod Perry34:37In a role reversal, PR 360's regular host Tod Perry is interviewed by Global Results Communications Vice President Casey Bush. Tod has a long history of working in media, having worked in radio promotions for 97.1 KLSX, as a copywriter in the tech and advertising worlds, and as a journalist for Upworthy. He's also hosted numerous podcasts in various genres, from comedy ("Low Budget FM") and spirituality ("What's the Tao All About?") to current events ("Upworthy Weekly") and history ("LA's Own Marineland"). Here, Tod shares what he's learned over his 15 years of casting pod.Key Takeaways:- How podcasting has evolved over the years- The importance of preparation- The shows that inspired Tod- What makes a good "PR 360" episodeEpisode Timeline:2:30 Tod's background in broadcasting and podcasting4:30 What’s the difference between producing a podcast versus a radio program?6:45 The early days of podcasting10:30 Embracing the “blank slate” of podcasting11:00 How has podcasting changed over 15 years?12:00 Why attracting advertisers has become easier in podcasting13:10 What analytics matter in podcasting?17:30 What content makes podcasts successful?19:40 What makes a good episode of PR 360?21:30 Tod's technique for loosening up his guests24:10 How to prep a guest26:30 The importance of prep28:30 How frequently should podcasters release episodes?30:00 Tod's new podcast, "LA's Own Marineland"31:40 Tod's favorite podcastsThis episode’s guest:• Tod Perry• @TodaPerry on Twitter Subscribe and leave a 5-star review:https://pod.link/1496390646Contact Us!• Join the conversation by leaving a comment!• Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn!Thanks for listening!
168. Making Memorable Media Appearances with Dan Kloeffler32:25Dan Kloeffler has decades of experience in broadcast news, having anchored and reported for outlets such as ABC News, NBC News, and MSNBC. His background as a journalist and senior media relations strategist led him to create The Salt Standard, a media training company. Here, Dan shares how he empowers people to share their stories with conviction and authenticity.Key Takeaways:- How to be more relatable in media appearances- Dan's unique approach to media training- How to express your authentic voice- Media training basicsEpisode Timeline:2:00 Why is media training more important than ever? 4:30 The pandemic turned everyone into TV stars.5:30 The importance of body language in media appearances6:20 Common mistakes in interviews7:50 Thinking about the audience10:00 How Dan establishes trust with his clients13:30 The value of authenticity16:00 Tod's anecdote of authenticity19:00 Has social media created bad habits that have bled over to traditional media spaces?22:50 Why can't podcasters get to the point?24:00 Dan's favorite success story26:00 Where do you put your hands when you’re on TV?28:00 How to stop saying "uhm"This episode’s guest:• Dan Kloeffler• www.TheSalt Standard.com Subscribe and leave a 5-star review:https://pod.link/1496390646Contact Us!• Join the conversation by leaving a comment!• Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn!Thanks for listening!
167. Lessons in Covering Tragedy with Jordan Mendoza20:18Jordan Mendoza got his start in journalism as the editor-in-chief for The Daily Titan at Cal State Fullerton, and now he’s a reporter for USA Today. His normal beat is trending content and breaking news for Universal Now, but he was on the scene for the horrific aftermath of the Lunar New Year shooting in Monterey Park. Here, he shares the lessons he learned from covering the tragedy and gives the inside scoop on how reporters gather breaking news. Key Takeaways:- How reporters gather trending content stories- How social media algorithms can affect breaking news- An inside look at the USA Today newsroom- Lessons Jordan took from covering the Monterey Park tragedyEpisode Timeline1:20 What’s a typical day like for a breaking news/trending content reporter at USA Today?1:50 How do you get your trending content stories?2:45 Where do you get the data to see what's trending?3:25 How to get an exclusive interview5:20 How algorithms can squash breaking news7:20 Jordan's coverage of the tragic Monterrey Park shooting 10:00 Jordan’s most vivid memories of the tragedy11:10 Learning from tragedy12:50 What makes great sports writers stand out?15:55 Obligatory Raiders question16:35 What role do press releases play in breaking news?18:30 What will journalism look like in 10-15 years?This episode’s guest:• Jordan Mendoza • @Jordan_Mendoza5 on Twitter Subscribe and leave a 5-star review: https://pod.link/1496390646Contact Us!• Join the conversation by leaving a comment!• Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn!Thanks for listening!