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Category Archives: Resources

Recommended Reading: Media Magnetism

Media Magnetism bookI’ve been keeping a little secret under my hat, shhhh, don’t tell anyone but I’m a writer. Well, too late now.

The cat’s out of the bag and wreaking havoc on the print world as my first written contribution to a published work is on Amazon.com. Media Magnetism: How to Attract the Favorable Publicity You Want and Deserve edited by Christina Hamlett hit the shelves in July and I just received my signed copy this week. While I’d love for you to pop open a new window and hit Add to Cart just because my name is in the table of contents, that’s not the reason I’d recommend this book.

The truth is after reading the accomplishments of the more than two dozen authors who contributed their tips, tricks and funny stories to this book I’m definitely the rookie on this bench. But for me, and for you, that’s a good thing. We get to benefit from the vast experience of others and I’m learning as much as you. Because Media Magnetism is filled with fantastic DIY tips for anyone in business or caught in the public eye.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Make influential connections
  • Become sound-bite savvy
  • Work with photographers and videographers
  • Manage a cost effective campaign
  • Improve your TV, radio and phone interview skills

And for my part I’ve contributed suggestions for improving your DIY ad design skills, using Twitter wisely and I snuck in some of my favorite online design resources.

In addition to the print edition of Media Magnetism the editor has created a great website MediaMagnetism.org for expanding your knowledge and putting you in contact with the amazing and accomplished authors in the book. You can submit questions to the Answer Bag and read guest posts from the industry professionals on topics covered in the book and beyond.

It’s fascinating to meet and network with this diverse crowd of PR pros. The collaborators hail from across the U.S., brought together by editor Christina Hamlett to help you, the reader, improve your DIY business skills. I’m enjoying reading through my copy and taking notes on ways to communicate more successfully by email, what not to wear on TV, and how to improve my press kit. There are also some, “I can’t believe anyone would do that,” stories that will leave you laughing at your desk.

I have a rule against writing in books. But I may have to make an exception, or keep a notebook with my copy because there are just too many good tips in here that I’m going to want to remember. I hope you find the same result.

The retail price of the book is $14.95 and is currently available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Powells.

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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Design, Resources, Social Media

 

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Everyone Loves a Resource, Better Yet a Free-Source

Whether you’re a freelancer still relishing that first box of business cards sporting your name, an in-house designer with a limited budget or a small business owner taking a DIY approach to cut the ad spending, everyone needs resources for quality fonts, images and design inspiration. And what’s better than resources… free sources.

After scouring my email newsletters and RSS feeds recently for some quick and easy — and better yet, cheap — solutions to solve a recent design dilemma, I discovered a few fun sites that I want to share. For the sake of good karma, and a possible bone the next time I need one, I shall lay them before you.

Findicons.com

This site made my day. I was working on a design for a client and needed to find a more customized look for their social media icons. I would have loved to use the same clever bottle cap images shown on their website. But their developer was unavailable and I hadn’t the time to design them from scratch. In a twist of fate or luck or answered prayer I discovered findicons.com. Would you believe I found the exact icons I needed? True story.

Perks:  Over 300,000 icons on the site. Enter a search term and your off. Easily download in multiple formats.
Pains:  Mostly web-resolution icons, not always great for print. But if the finished size is small it should work.
Pocketbook:  FREE, gotta love that.

Dafont.com

I may have mentioned this site before but it bears repeating. Dafont has hundreds of decent typefaces that are free to download. You’re not going to find Adobe, Linotype and ITC living at this address. Those are type foundries. They make their living designing the highest quality fonts for a multitude of professional uses. And they’re fabulous. But, if you’re looking for some funky grunge font for a t-shirt design, or quirky dingbats for a company holiday party invite, this is a great place to start.

Perks:  Creative, wild and unusual designs live here. Sometimes you just need some inspiration. If they don’t have what you’re looking for the website syncs with myfonts.com and fonts.com to search the foundary databases.
Pains:  Scrolling through pages can get tedious, and the search function is limited.
Pocketbook:  FREE, but read the fine print as some are intended for personal use only, not commercial.

GraphicLeftovers.com

Every designer has at some point, searched for royalty free images. They used to cost hundreds of dollars and come with strict stipulations on when, where and for how long they can be used. And if the project warrants it, professional photographic stock or custom work is a great option. But most of us are digging through the coin jar when the boss asks for a nice image for the company newsletter…or make that two photos and two vector graphics that can also be used to promote the winter carnival on event posters and the Facebook page. Enter low-cost stock image sites.

I’ve long been a lover of istockphoto.com, and continue to recommend that resource. But this is my latest playground. And like a new cocktail I’m anxious to share the recipe with my friends and see what you can think.

Perks: Royalty vectors and images from hundreds of sources means a lot of variety. Like shopping in a new store, the styles are different and it’s fun to look around. The finished product is high-resolution, professional art.
Pains: It’s member based, so I’ve only been window shopping thus far. But it appears to be free membership.
Cost: Ok it’s not free, but priced in increments from $1 to $20 I think even Scrooge would call this a bargain.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Design, Resources

 

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