When my financial planner asked me a few months ago how old I expect to be when I retire and I said 75, she told me in so many words she thought I was nuts.
"I have the best job in the world," I said. "Why would I want to put The Publicity Hound out to pasture?"
I’m sending her an article I saw in a recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about Arline Ruhs, who works at the Oconomowoc Manufacturing Corp. here in Wisconsin. Arline awakens each weekday before 3 a.m. She has breakfast, packs a lunch and snack, and arrives at work at 5, an hour before her shift begins.
She also works an hour of overtime past the normal quitting time every day, and she has been punctual most of her 35 years on the job. She has accrued 11 weeks of vacation and her managers can’t even get her to take time off.
Arline is 85 years old. The article would have been good enough on its own. But the "hook" was one that many of you in the corporate world and nonprofit sector can use, too.
Last week, the American Association for Retired Persons Foundation launched a nationwide employment program to help match people 50 and over with job skills testing, training resources and 13 selected employers committed to hiring older workers. AARP launched the campaign, in part, because of the projected drop-off of available workers as Baby Boomers start turning 60 next year.
That’s a hot trend that the media already are covering. If your organization has workers in their 70s and 80s, it’s "the local angle" to the AARP story. The older the employees, the better the story. Call your local newspapers and TV stations and pitch profile stories of employees who would agree to be interviewed.
Sometimes even the most boring stories can make it into the national news with just one clever hook. Publicist Brad Phillips, a former journalist for ABC and CNN, took a client’s ho-hum story and gave it just one interesting hook. The story landed on Page 1 of the Wall Street Journal.
Learn how he did it in the March/April issue of The Publicity Hound. The newsletter also includes tips on how to create fun for journalists, how a jobs expert got his own syndicated column, how a personal productivity expert promotes herself as an expert, three new magazines to add to your media database, why you must beware of public records that include information about you, the 3 targets you must hit with your media message, a website that helps promote mystery novels, a terrific book that will show you how to create a media kit to accompany your new book, where to get free PR advice and how to pitch a national columnist for BusinessWeek Online. It even includes a list of March and April story ideas. All for $9.