New State, New Lessons

Long time no blog!  Wow!!  I can hardly believe it’s been over 3 months since my last post, but I may just have a good excuse: I’ve been “getting settled” in the new state my family and I have relocated to!  It’s been fun and interesting, and from day one, I’ve been preoccupied with all the beauty of Alabama and the almost “too nice” peoplethat I’ve met.  The summer heat here was quite reminiscent of the Louisiana heat I’ve known all of my life, but now fall is approaching, and the cool air is a welcomed change.  I can hardly wait until the leaves start to change colors and I’m certain I’ll begin sitting outside, enjoying the fresh air, as I blog!  

Sweet Home in Alabama

While I’ve been learning my way around, getting lost trying to get to the grocery store, I’ve also been learning more about the importance of building strong business relationships.  The community here in Alabama is pretty tight-knit and most business is conducted on referrals (sorry YellowPages®).  And as big as the “Big Easy” may seem, it’s really a small town!  It’s amazing how my moving quite a distance away hasn’t stopped the effect of my efforts in New Orleans, neither has it stopped my contacts from benefiting from my dedication to seek worthwhile business ventures and positive publicity.  

At this particular moment, I’m smiling as I think about my most recent efforts yielding fruit!  

I’m thinking about the negotiations that I started with my contacts back in late 2010 that have finally resulted in a fundraiser by Raising Cane’s benefiting The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation.  Of course, I don’t dare try to take all of the credit for the deal “getting done” as it were, but it feels great knowing that little ol’ me opened the door and introduced the necessary parties to one another to even make the deal a possibility!  I’m glad that I wasn’t intimidated by my own “novice status”, but instead, I proceeded with the same vision that has always helped me to be successful in my business endeavors.  Sometimes having the right name or phone number will bring poor or no results if we lack the ability to approach business contacts with persistence, respect and consistency.  Getting the attention of the right Raising Cane’s executives was no easy feat, but it was a challenge worth the effort!   

Raising Cane's sign announcing Malcolm's visit!!!

And how awesome is this!  While I was in the middle of typing the first draft of this post, I got an email from one of my contacts with the Times-Picayune alerting me that she’d posted this: 

New Orleans Saints Malcolm Jenkins to visit fans at Raising Cane’s in Kenner 

Hooray for Raising Cane’s for their support of a great cause!!

My other exciting project is still in the works, but so far I’ve secured two very good interviews for emerging filmmaker Dui (pronounced like Dewey) Jarrod with two of the top radio stations in New Orleans!  These stations both cater to the audience his film, “Lesson Before Love”, is aiming to inspire…PERFECT!  I’ve got to give my all in getting Dui more attention!  Right now, while some people are waking up and taking notice of this very creative young man, too many are saying “Dui WHO?”.  I’m aiming for the day that they’ll be saying “you don’t know who Dui Jarrod is?!!”  As the “Lesson Before Love” tour makes its way to several U.S. cities, my goal is to not sleep until the people of New Orleans clear their calendars, and as many as can fit in the Zeitgeist Arts Center, come out to enjoy this creative and original film.  There would be no way that I could, from Alabama help Dui, who is in Arkansas, to promote the premiere screening of his film in New Orleans if I was not only friendly, but also consistent so my contacts don’t wonder if he’s even a legit filmmaker. I know my goals sound lofty, and for some I may ask for too much, but I don’t think so.  The bottom line is that my contacts know that, while I’m a newbie to Media and Public Relations, I’m driven to deliver, no matter how long it may take.

Take a look at the “Lesson Before Love” trailer:

So when I say that I’m living in a new state, learning new lessons, maybe that’s not so accurate.  After all, there’s really nothing new about being determined to produce good results.  There’s nothing new about being consistent, focused and persistent in business.  And there’s certainly nothing new about building lasting business relationships; it’s what small and large businesses count on for growth and survival.  So perhaps I am living in a new state, while experiencing “old values”, in new ways!  Hmmmm, I like that!

-Toni L. Rousell, Publicist & PR Professional

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