Weber Writing & PR

Tips from a working writer and publicity hound.


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Today’s Publicity Tip: Publicity Begins at Home

At a networking event last year, I was talking publicity to a musician who complained that his own parents never attended his gigs. I asked, “Did you invite them?” and he paused and said, “I guess I thought my publicity person would notify them.”

Perhaps there was more to his story about why he didn’t directly invite his parents, but in any case, when a performer or artist wants an audience, Rule #1 is: publicity begins at home. You must tell your family and close friends about your events. People like to be invited and want to know their presence is wanted. In the case of older people, who may not use email or the internet, direct invitations are best. You can also print a calendar of your upcoming performances and post them right on Mom and Pop’s refrigerator.

If you want your publicity agent to notify your family and close friends, provide a list of names, email addresses, phone numbers and other contact information so the names can be added to your publicity list. A good publicity list often has categories including “VIP” or “Family” so key people are never left uninvited. Family and friends are the foundation for many things–and should be your biggest fans.

Performers who hesitate to become involved in their own publicity and marketing can still pack a performance hall, but when an important person like Mom or Dad are not in the audience, something feels amiss.

Audience

Look for more publicity tips on this blog, and if you have any questions, feel free to email me here or post a comment. 


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Today’s Writing Tip: To Serve or to Service, that is the question!

Once when reviewing a client’s resume, I noticed that he wrote, “I service people across the North Shore.” He must have been a busy man. Just a slight change in word choice makes it more professional: “I serve people across the North Shore.”

Used as slang, “to service” means “to interact with someone sexually”.  If you want the more crude definition, look the word “service” in the Urban Dictionary.  For better or worse, slang makes it way into common use, and its best to be aware of any questionable words especially when you’re looking for a job.

Right now check out your resume or website and search for the word “service”. Make sure it does not imply that you are sleeping your way across the state. :)

Call or email me if you want me to scan your resume for awkward or inappropriate words and phrases.  It’s free and you’ll be one step closer to finding the job of your dreams!

eric's resume


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Today’s Writing Tip: Frankly My Dear, I Don’t Give a Dam!!? Or a Damn???

In the middle of a heated email exchange with someone, there’s nothing worse for a writer than getting back this response: “I thought you were a writer and you can’t even spell the word ‘damn’ correctly.” So, if you’re going to curse in writing, you might as well do it right.

But just what is the difference between ‘dam’ and ‘damn’?  The most common definition for dam (no ‘n’ on the end) is a barrier that holds back water. Simple enough.

“Damn” with the ‘n’ at the end, is the curse word. Damn can be used in many ways, kind of like the word s#@t.  But damn most commonly expresses frustration or surprise. “Damn! I’ve been spelling the word damn wrong for twenty years!”

In religion, variations of damn are also used to condemn a person to suffer in that hot place with a lot of fire. I have a feeling there’s a lot of cursing going on in that place…but I am getting off track here.

Cursing does not really have a place in professional business writing. But it does have its place in creative storytelling or in your personal exchanges with people you know, to a point.*  If you’re going to curse in writing, save it for those extra special angry moments, and do it right.  If you’re not sure how to spell a swear, or you only want to mildly offend someone but not push them over the edge, you can always do this: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a d@*% !!”


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Today’s Writing Tip: What’s the Difference Between Decor & Decorum?

Recently I sat with a friend in the Cheesecake Factory having lunch. As he gazed at the colorful glass light fixtures he said, “I really like the decorum in here.” Being a writer, I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. I responded, “Do you like the ‘decorum’ or the ‘decor’?”  And then we both laughed. It was the first of many times I gently corrected his use of the English language. All of us, including us writers, make mistakes with words that sound similar. But just what is the difference between decor and decorum?

Decor is defined as the decorations or furnishings of a space. For example, “The decor of the Cheesecake Factory with its Egyptian columns and gold tones is considered to be elegant by some, and tacky by others.”

Decorum is most commonly defined as the appropriateness of behavior or conduct in relation to the surroundings. For example, “The dinner guests at the Cheesecake Factory displayed proper decorum by not burping loudly or swearing in front of the children eating next to them.”

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