Posts filed under ‘Public Relations’


What is a boilerplate and how and when do we use them?

3 examples of a well-written boilerplate:

  1. About Andrea Obston Marketing Communications:
    Andrea Obston Marketing Communications works in partnership with its clients to maximize the impact of their marketing dollars. The firm creates and executes marketing strategies that improve clients’ bottom lines. It mobilizes traditional and social media in an approach it calls B2E (Business to Everyone) to bring a client’s message directly to the people and organizations it needs to reach. The firm’s expertise includes strategic marketing planning, brand development and marketing, public and media relations, social media and other website-based connections as well as communications training. Its subsidiary, Andrea Obston Crisis Management, provides public image crisis planning and management. The firm, which celebrated 25 years in business in 2007, is based in Bloomfield, CT. For more information see: http://www.aomc.comc, facebook/andreaobstonmarketingcommunications, @aobston or 860-243-1447.
  2. About Duncaster:
    Duncaster is a life care retirement community for active, healthy independent seniors who want lifetime protection against the potential costs of long-term care. The Bloomfield, CT retirement community is dedicated to helping residents live life to the fullest by providing security and fulfillment. Its campus includes 190 independent residences, assisted living and a short-and long-term healthcare facility. Duncaster’s Caleb Hitchcock Health Center has a five-star rating from the U.S. Government’s Medicare standards. Duncaster’s emphasis on serving the changing needs of older adults lead to an updating and expansion of its dining and hospitality amenities that reflects contemporary styles of dining and socializing. For more information, see or call (860) 380-5005.
  3. About Forensic Accounting Services:
    Stephen A. Pedneault is the principal and founder of Forensic Accounting Services, LLC, a public accounting firm specializing in fraud investigations, forensic accounting, employee embezzlement, fraud prevention, litigation support services, internal control evaluations, due diligence analysis and various other special projects. A forensic accountant, Steve is also a certified fraud examiner, certified in financial forensics and a forensic certified public accountant. He is an author and frequent public speaker on issues related to fraud. He has authored three books on the subject and is currently working on a fourth. Steve is frequently quoted in the media because of his ability to make sense of the complicated issues surrounding white-collar crime, including fraud and embezzlement. For more information, see:

August 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm Leave a comment

The Elevator Speech

By Andrea Obston, President, Andrea Obston Marketing Communications LLC.

Have you ever noticed how badly people fumble the question: “So, what do you do?”  I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve overheard someone responding to this question with more words than the average person should be required to ingest in a day.  “Well,” they say, gathering stream, “It’s hard to explain.  Actually what our company does is different than any other company’s approach to the problem.  Let’s just say, we innovate; we re-frame; we really clarify the issues our customers deal with on a day-to-day basis through new and exciting approaches using the latest technology and then…”  That’s right– they are just getting started and all the listener hears in her mind is “Shoot me now!”

And that, my friends, is why they invented the Elevator Speech.  A handy-dandy, well-constructed speech that within thirty to sixty seconds, informs the listener of the benefits your company offers and why you (and you alone) are the only solution to their problem.  Everyone in your company from the receptionist to the president, needs to know your Elevator Speech cold so they can deliver it at the drop of a hat.

What’s the Big Idea?  An elevator speech is a small but valuable component to your company and all that it represents.  This often times neglected marketing tool is beneficial to you, individuals in the organization and existing and potential clients.  It can be used as a reference point so that everyone involved can stay focused and communicate more efficiently while spreading a consistent and clear message.

Why is it called an ‘elevator’ speech?  Fear not.  This isn’t typically, a lengthy speech.  It is called and elevator speech because it should be delivered in the time it takes for an elevator to go two floors, or thirty to sixty seconds.  It is essentially three to five sentences that summarize the benefits of your organization that can be translated into action.

What are the benefits?  An elevator speech quickly allows someone to understand and assess your organization.  It reflects the mission statement but is worded in a more viewer-friendly way so that an individual outside of the organization can easily comprehend it as well as put it into action.

Bottom Line  Be sure that everyone in your organization can recite it, understand it and actually demonstrate it.  It must have content that everyone can use and apply daily so each individual in the organization can be a community ambassador.

Comments, Questions, Answers, Suggestions?



June 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm Leave a comment

Is Radio Still Effective?

By Andrea Obston, President, Andrea Obston Marketing Communications LLC.

Remember radio?  It’s words without the hassle of looking at pictures or video.  You just, well, listen.  And it’s still there, still credible and that’s something a lot of folks overlook in the stampede towards “All-Social-Media-All-the-Time”.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love social media.  You can’t beat it for the back-and-forth that drives the give and take of a good a marketing campaign.  It’s an awesome tool, but it’s just that – one tool.

But then there’s good old dependable radio – the credible companion that wakes us in the morning (please don’t tell me you  use Facebook to rouse you for the day) and keeps us company in our cars (when we’re not texting).  It’s the invited guest we actually listen to for a quick hit of news (yes, I do still tune in at the top and bottom of the hour if I’m in the car), contentious talk and unencumbered entertainment (yippee, we don’t HAVE TO respond!).

So, an appearance on a local or national talk show has its advantages and should have a place as one tactic in a PR plan.  Here a few tips to make the most of one of those appearances:

  • Pick three to five key messages you want to deliver – If you listen to the smooth and uninterrupted patter of talk or sport radio, it’s easy to think it’s all spontaneous and that you’ll just go with the flow if you’re interviewed.  Wrong!  I’ve seen the pre-show notes for a few people who this for a living and believe me they prep like crazy.  You’re not going to have to carry a whole show like these guys, but please don’t try to wing it.  Decide on only three to five selected points you will make so you can make the most of your time on the air.
  •  Put your messages in writing – I suggest you arm yourself with one 3 X 5 card for each key message plus one more.  You will spread these out in front of you as soon as you sit down to do the interview.  Why the “one-more”?  Because you’ll need that card for your website and telephone number.  Why?  Because you WILL forget one or both of them when they ask and then you have to make that stupid joke about not calling yourself.  That one was never funny.
  • Get in and get out – This is NOT a social interaction.  You have a limited time to make your points so don’t waste it asking about their health or commenting on the weather.  All interviewers know neither of you cares about these things, so cut to the chase.  And don’t linger at the end.  Get out clean with a “thank you” without blubbering about how much your appreciate them giving you the time.  By the time your segment’s winding down, the interviewer is already on to the next thing.  Respect that and move on yourself.
  • Expect the interview to be on the phone – Most radio interviews are done on the phone.  Make sure it’s a landline to insure voice quality and, for goodness sake, do NOT use a speaker phone.  You’ll sound like you’re doing the interview from a metal garbage can.  Also, I like to stand when I do one of these phone interviews.  It gives your voice more energy.  If you’re going to stand, please make sure you don’t pace during the interview.  I had one client who paced with such fury during an interview that the phone came perilously close to falling off the desk.

It is a weird irony that I am blogging in a Web 3.0 world about a medium that’s from the Web -1.0 world, but there you have it.  It’s old.  It’s effective.  People pay attention to it.  So, why not give it a place in your PR plans?

Comments, Questions, Answers, Suggestions?



April 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm Leave a comment

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Andrea Obston, President

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