Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pump up your speech with a personal story

I recently heard a client, Rachel Iskow, speak about the desperate need for apartment rentals that people who earn minimum wage can afford.

Iskow opened by giving her credentials, the years she’s worked for Mutual Housing California as the CEO and how challenging it can be.

But, she also said that whenever she spoke with a former resident whose children were now in college or working as lawyers, doctors and other professionals, she knows that the solid footing Mutual Housing communities give the parents makes the frustration worth it for her.

She also talked about her best friend in childhood, the daughter of a mother trying to make it on her own. 

After two years of friendship, the little girl disappeared from school one day.

No one knew what had happened to her until her mother found out that the family had been evicted from their apartment.

With no forwarding address and no way to contact—or to help—her, Iskow was distraught. But the incident planted an early seed that led her to her current career.

Talking about real-life, emotional experiences did two things for Iskow’s speech. One addressed why she became involved and the other gave an “ah-ha” moment that helps her when the obstacles feel overwhelming.

In talking about her own life, she touched issues everyone could relate to and made what could be a very dry subject resonate. 

For more information on marketing and public relations, call (916) 455-4790 or visit our website at   

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How to create credibility

Studies show that men and women gain credibility differently.

People think men are good at what they do, but aren't trustworthy.

Since sexism is still alive and well, people think that women are trustworthy, but they don’t necessarily know what they’re doing.  

What that means for a speech and other situations where people are new is that men need to mention their wife and children.

Doing so, makes them seem human.

To be credible, women should never mention their husband or children.

If they do, they lose all credibility, immediately becoming “the little wife” or “the mother” in everyone’s mind.  

If at all possible, women should have someone else introduce them and give their credentials. 

One sentence such as "Dell Richards is the CEO of Dell Richards Publicity, which helps companies nationwide tell their stories through the media," will make a huge difference.
For more information on creating credibility, contact Dell Richards Publicity at

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Why knowing the owner doesn't get press

Someone recently called who wasn’t happy with their PR firm even though they had received media at a really good price.

They said they thought they could have got one hit themselves because they knew the owners.

Not so, I said, publishers want to sell ads. The stories are the draw that pulls in readers for the advertising numbers.

Owners will sometimes say they have an upcoming feature that would be perfect, only it’s already closed.

But, they have a special advertising section for it—that comes with a hefty price.

An advertorial looks like an article except for the strip at the bottom that says “special advertising supplement”.

If the person asks about being in another feature, the publisher also could call on the “wall” between advertising and editorial.

If it’s a legitimate publication, the wall usually isn’t breached by the owner.

Even newspaper owners who don’t like what their editors create don’t interfere—as long as circulation is up.   

For more information, please call us at (916) 455-4790 or visit

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Public relations is one of the best-kept secrets

When I say I do public relations, people usually ask “Is it advertising”? 

When I say it’s the stories—the news and features that go along with the ads—they’re surprised.

Most people don’t realize that stories are placed—shepherded from an idea to a story with facts, background and clients as sources—by someone like myself.

PR is one of the best-kept secrets in the business world for good reasons.

Publishers and broadcast station owners need advertising. Without it, stories can’t exist.

Journalists and reporters, anchors and hosts don’t want their audience to know that people in the stories are there because they hired a publicist, not because of their expertise.  

Some years ago, the Columbia Journalism Review reported that even the Wall Street Journal, an extremely prestigious newspaper, relied on PR firms.

Some 45 percent of the stories were placed by PR firms.

The next time you watch TV, listen to the radio or read a magazine, newspaper or blog, just remember….

That story probably got there because someone like me put it there.  

For more information, please call us at (916) 455-4790 or visit