carriefreelance communications


March 2011                                                    


   holistic media solutions

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carrie head shot 

Carrie Jaffe-Pickett is an award-winning fiction writer, with 20 years of experience  

in association communications. She has published articles in Redbook magazine and many others, and has received a novel-in-progress award. She has also been named one of 39 writers to follow on Twitter, and is the author of Six Degrees of Twitteration.


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Monarch Notes


When the World is Not Right 


Hi everyone, and welcome new subscribers! March has been a very busy month, as I've been thrilled to be working with a new client, our local yoga studio, which has not only been a great experience, but is completely in alignment (no pun intended!) with the business and personal goals I had set out for myself, when I redefined my "holistic media solutions" initiatives:


communications tools and integrated content for the health and wellness audience.


I've been working full speed ahead and putting my "Gold Package" to full use, with PR initiatives, a revamped newsletter, and a refreshed Facebook page. I'll be posting blog updates  on all of this in the coming weeks along with my tips for best practices and little things I learn along the way, that you can apply to your businesses as well.


This month was also a challenging one, due to the catastrophic news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Indeed, it's hard for any of us to go about our daily lives and not worry about the world. Not to sound corny, but in truth, "we are the world," and to watch the disturbing news stories out of Japan resonates with all of us. As someone who lived through September 11th  in New York, I know what it's like to come close to disaster, and to be afraid. I remember, at that time, being afraid, and feeling embarrassed about it. I hated feeling scared. Would there be another attack? Would something happen on the bus, or the subway, or even at the movie theatre? I organized emergency bags in my closet, and then felt like an idiot -- wasn't that like letting the terrorists win?


Gradually, I learned to handle this suddenly altered state of the world, better.  I learned how to balance things. Even though I might be walking around with a flashlight in my purse, I didn't let fear rule my life.


There are so many mixed feeling we experience whenever a crisis hits. And yet, I've learned over the years, that in many ways the solution, or at least a way of coping with it all, can be found in three important steps:


1. Communicate

Talk to your family, your friends, your students, your loved ones, your coworkers. Telling them how you feel may help them realize how they feel as well. In business, use your social media and communications tools to dig deeper with your clients and stakeholders and establish real connections.  Open up the lines of discussion. It's good for you and them.

2. Give

 There are many ways you can donate to the relief effort.  Choose the organization you prefer, and take that step -- it makes a huge difference and is also empowering. Don't walk around feeling like there's nothing you can do, when you can take action right away.

3. Love

It shouldn't take a crisis or natural disaster to make us realize how much we care for our loved ones, but world events can shed new light on our relationships. Take some time to see your loved ones in perspective and appreciate how lucky you are to have them. A little goes a long way.

How do world events impact your life and your business? Post your thoughts over on my Facebook page, I'm curious to know...

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Facebook: 5-Step Client Page Makeover

The redesigned Facebook page includes photo and video uploads, a more dynamic profile photo, and a custom tab for E-news sign-up
The original Facebook page for the yoga studio was in need of a major facelift. It featured a full photo of the studio space as the Profile photo, which didn't capture the beauty of the studio, and was hard to distinguish when reduced. The URL was the original Facebook link, full of strange extensions and numbers, and there were no photos, videos, or customized tabs. Yipes. Here's what I did over a 2-day period for Phase 1 of the redo:

1. Created a photo and video library to fill out the top image strip.
The Facebook redesign included a film strip style layout at the top of the page. If you didn't have any media there, it was left as basically an empty space --not good. So I spent an entire week taking photos and video of the studio, not only to fill out the FB page, but to use for other media we were doing. This instantly brought life to the page.
2. Changed the profile photo.
The original photo of the studio was flat and uninspiring. In order to reflect the vitality of the studio, I chose one of the teacher photos and used that, with a strategy to rotate different teacher photos in, and keep the page interesting.
3. Created vanity URL.
The default URL Facebook gives you is cluttered with strange symbols and is awkward to use. Take Facebook up on its vanity URL feature, and use your business name for a more pure URL. Be sure it's the one you want, as they won't allow you to change it later.
4. Custom newsletter sign-up tab.
We wanted to capture visitors to get more e-news subscribers, so I used the Constant Contact App in Facebook to create a link and customized introductory landing page. The app has been around for about a year, but was recently updated to allow users to post text on the Welcome page. You can also add your company logo.
5. Moved landing page away from the Wall.
I have read differences of opinion on this, but I do agree that having first-time visitors arrive at your Wall can be too busy and distracting for your Call to Action. So I changed the landing page for first-time visitors, to the newsletter sign-up. This may change in phase 2 of the redesign, as I'm working on on overview video of the studio to serve as the new landing page when it's ready.

Phase 2 - iFrames!

I'll be reporting in my next issue on iFrames and my work on creating a nice customized landing page for new visitors. Stay tuned!


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News and Announcements


    allstar 2010

    Thank you to Constant Contact for naming me 2010 All Star E-Marketer, for the second year in a row. The criteria include best practice for mailing, organizing, and promoting e-newsletters. I know I'm in great company for this, thanks! 


    I've been selected to be one of the judges for the upcoming International Chocolate Salon in April in San Francisco. In preparation for this tough task, I'll be sampling all kinds of chocolates so I have a basis of comparison when I get there. If any of you have any favorite chocolates you've discovered lately, post a comment on my FAN page and we can compare notes. In honor of the occasion, I"ll be procuring some special chocolate treats as giveaways for my Facebook page, so stay tuned and be sure you're a FAN so you can check the updates. 


trust agents
Those who've been following me know that I'm something of a Chris Brogan guru, which culminated in me dropping everything so I could have a moment to chat with him in person several months ago when he was visiting Palo Alto. Am I obsessed? Well,  yes. But in the meantime, I scored an extra signed copy of Trust Agents, his excellent and bestselling book about fostering trust online.

To be in the running, just post on my Facebook page what you feel you need to do in order for people to trust you online. A winner will be chosen by March 31st. May the entrepreneurial force be with you.

Save on Communications Packages

Offer Good Thru March 31 Only 


Bronze: Includes one monthly service (see services listed below) and free one-hour communications assessment  

Normally $500, sale price: $400 

Silver: Includes two monthly services and free one-hour communications assessment and web site review 

Normally $600, sale price $500  

Gold: Includes three monthly services, free communications assessment, free web site review, and free press release or professional bio write-up, plus any writing you need on a retainer basis 

Normally $1300, sale price $1000 


Choice of services: e-newsletters (writing, design, coaching), blog coaching and writing, pr and media outreach, social media brand management and coaching, web site writing, editing and proofreading for all print and online publications, e-book writing and coaching


To get started, call Carrie at 650-206-2682,  or e-mail me at