RULE #1: ASK

By Jenny Fujita and Joy Miura Koerte, Fujita & Miura Public Relations

Do you know what the first rule is of getting what you want? Ask. Yes, that’s it. We have been intrigued over the years at how often nonprofits simply forget to ask for a donation. By the same token, prior to the recent primary election, many candidates whom we know, some very well, never asked directly for our vote. Whether it’s fundraising, political campaigning, or selling a product or service, you must connect with your potential donors, voters, or consumers and ask them to do what you want them to. The PR key is asking the right people in a gracious and effective way, at the right time.

As for the right people, begin with your closest allies, from family members and friends to vendors, colleagues, associates – anyone you rub elbows with on a regular basis. Don’t assume that because you’re close to them, they will act on this relationship without your prompting them. Then, make sure your message is clear, brief and delivered politely in a way that your audience can receive it, whether that’s in-person, by email, by mail, by phone, or a combination thereof. Make your request in time for your audience to act but not too far in advance, lest they forget.

If you were planning a party, you would send invitations, and if no one RSVP’d, you would follow up. Otherwise, you might end up at your event by yourself. Likewise, if you want a vote or a donation, ask and secure the commitment or at the very least find out why your audience is apathetic or not going to help you. Only with that feedback can you tweak your message or your goal and move forward successfully. Ask, and there’s a good chance that you’ll receive.

How to Get What You Want: Ask

How to Get What You Want: Ask

Do you know what the first rule is of getting what you want? Ask. Yes, that’s it. We have been intrigued over the years at how often nonprofits simply forget to ask for a donation. By the same token, prior to the recent election, many candidates whom we know, some very well, never asked directly for our vote. Whether it’s fundraising, political campaigning, or selling a product or service, you must connect with your potential donors, voters, or consumers and ask them to do what you want them to. The PR key is asking the right people in a gracious and effective way, at the right time. (more…)

How To Get Your Wife to Stop Nagging You

How To Get Your Wife to Stop Nagging You

I once conducted a marketing training to a group of business professionals. During the training I shared that repetition is critical for audiences to retain messages, and that an individual needs to hear a message at least six times for them to understand and act on it.  I advised these professionals to “repeat, repeat, repeat” their key messages to their customers.

As I was talking, one of the training participants popped his hand up to ask a question.  I called on him and he said, “I feel like my wife is always repeating the same thing over and over and over again to me.  But, the more she repeats, the more I don’t want to listen or do what she says.  Is there ever a time when repeating gets to be too much? And, more so…how do I stop my wife from nagging me?” (more…)

17 Ways to Shake Off the Holiday Funk

IMG_9721Do you ever fall into the holiday funk?  You know what we mean, that feeling of being overloaded with obligations and activities during the end of the year.  The holiday funk can also be brought on by feelings of loneliness or sadness due to a loved one who has passed, a relationship that is broken, or even bad holiday experiences of the past.  I think we all go through periods of the holiday funk from time to time.

While there are many reasons that we and up in a holiday funk, we need to remember that we can choose not to be prisoners of the holidays, but rather drivers of the experience that we want.  A good place to start is deciding what is truly important to you this holiday season and work towards that goal.  Ask yourself, “What will make me happy this holidays?”  For some, it may be spending time with family.  For others, it may be enjoying peace and quiet at home and catching up on much needed rest.  It may even be taking a trip and getting away from home.  Then, stick with your goal. Do whatever it takes for you to achieve it and resist the feeling of guilt if you forgo a tradition or turn down an invitation. (more…)

How Not to Overindulge During the Holidays

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I’ll admit it. I am so guilty of overindulging in many ways during the holidays.  I usually end up wearing leggings everyday after the New Year because my pants feel a bit too snug from all of the food I consumed.

Over-eating, over-scheduling, over-spending, etc. is fine once a while, but with more than a month of festivities from Thanksgiving through the New Year, overindulging can catch up with you, and its consequences may last longer than you expect.  For example, we all know someone who had a bit too much to drink at a holiday party that resulted in some crazy behavior.  These stories are then retold every year, probably more often than ‘The Night Before Christmas.”

This year, I’m intent on reigning in my overindulging and have come up with a few ideas to combat the indulge monster within me: (more…)

How to Best Communicate with Senior Citizens

IMG_2831 copyMy grandfather has a bit of difficulty hearing sometimes, especially when he chooses not to wear his hearing aid (chuckle, chuckle).  Phone conversations with him can be challenging and involves a lot of yelling and eventually spelling out words on my end.  Once a conversation that should have taken 20-seconds ended up being a 2-minute cacophony of frustration on both ends.  That said, I love my 86-year-old grandfather dearly, and he is fairly tech savvy.  He uses a smart phone and email.  So, in recent years I’ve come to text and email him as much as possible.  It’s an easy way for us to communicate clearly with each other.

Senior citizens, individuals who are 65 years or older, are one of the largest, and growing, groups in our population. They are also some of our most important publics.  In our personal lives, seniors are our grandparents, aunties, uncles, mentors, and neighbors.  In business, older individuals can be the most loyal customers with big buying power.  Communication needs to take into account specific needs and preferences for people of all ages, including seniors. (more…)

Connection is Key

5.10 207 copyJenny recently happened upon a blog post by Rob Myers titled “There’s a Way to Stop Mass Shootings, and You Won’t Like It,”  and she immediately shared it with me.  What Rob asserts in the post is revolutionary and instantly makes so much sense.  He suggests that the way to stop mass shootings is to “Notice those around you who seem isolated, and engage them.”

Myers continues, “If every one of us did this we’d have a culture that was deeply committed to ensuring no one was left lonely. And make no mistake, as I’ve written before loneliness is what causes these shooters to lash out. People with solid connections to other people don’t indiscriminately fire guns at strangers.” (more…)

5 Ways to Invite Positivity into Your Life

IMG_7314“Be positive!”

“Have a positive attitude.”

We hear phrases and quotes all the time encouraging us to be more positive.  Deep down inside, we know that being positive is always better for our soul, actions and outcomes, but sometimes it’s very hard to keep an upbeat demeanor.

I was recently asked, “How can I be positive when so many bad things are happening in my life?”  To which I answered that being positive doesn’t mean that you constantly have a huge, fake clown smile on your face or are bounding with enthusiasm when you don’t feel it in your heart. Rather, it means you have a genuine feeling of optimism and block as much negativity from your experiences as possible.  Heading in this direction invites positivity, in people, in conversation, in results and more, into your life. (more…)

Too Late for Marriage?

Too Late for Marriage?

One of our PR Fix Facebook friends asked for advice because she felt she was “too late for marriage,” yet didn’t want to remain single. We hope our response might be helpful to others as well. Here’s what we recommended:

Dear Friend,

There is someone for everyone, regardless of age, and many people worldwide find love and marry later in life. Believe this. Be confident and optimistic, have faith, be open, and make room for another in your life.

It has helped many people to write down the type of person they are looking for as well as the way they will feel when they are in a good relationship. Think about all of those beautiful emotions and the happiness and contentment you will feel when you are married — and then let the dream go and know that it will come true. You do not need to worry or attach to the dream.

Also consider the many wonderful qualities you have to offer someone and continually remind yourself who you are. When you know who you are, it shows to others.

Make sure you are socializing with people you enjoy and that you are acting in a way that attracts people (rather than pushing them away).  Many of the posts on The PR Fix for the Everyday Person talk about ways to attract versus repel.

Finally, there have been many accounts of single people who have made room in their life for someone and then that special someone appeared. For example, sleep on one side of the bed (instead of in the middle), use only half of your closet, leave empty space on your bookshelf, etc. These examples are all ways you can act in expectation of someone special arriving in your life. We wish you all the very best. Please keep us updated. We look forward to hearing good news from you soon!

If you would like some PR Fix advice from us, please message us on our The PR Fix for the Everyday Person Facebook page or in the comments below.

The PR Fix for Kids: Everyday Conversation

Beach BudsWe believe that one of the building blocks of fostering good relationships is being easy and comfortable with conversation in everyday social situations, such as at work, school, the drugstore, the gym, etc.  Having a friendly demeanor, grace and tact in everyday conversation are learned skills that take practice.  Many of us hone these skills through experience.  Often, this happens as we get older, move away from home, and become independent.

When I look back on my younger years, I realize that I only began thoughtfully considering my social etiquette in college, where I found myself in a new city full of strangers and a variety of cultural and societal norms that I was a bit unfamiliar with.  I grew up in a small island community where everyone knew each other or were somehow connected, and this set a scene for mostly casual, comfortable personal interactions.  I didn’t consider myself uncouth or anti-social, but apprehensive and awkward at times.  I think that this resulted in somewhat holding myself back on exploring a handful of opportunities.  As the saying goes, I lived and learned, and I am appreciative for my experiences as it helped me grow. (more…)

End Your Civil War

IMG_0567Given the choice, few people want to visit or live in a country in a state of civil war. Likewise, few people want to visit or be someone who is at war with themselves. When you’re facing internal battles you are just like a country in a state of civil war. You’re distracted, you have little attention for anything besides your unrest, you may be irritable, you may collapse and isolate yourself, and when you do finally see the light, it’s hard work to fully recover.

Many people don’t even realize that they’re in a state of civil war. Like those who live in war zones, they get used to being on edge, to living in conflict, to that feeling of malaise, and to being in survival mode all the time. They don’t remember what it feels like to be happy and at ease, or to be confident and decisive, or how to thrive instead of just survive. (more…)

Relationship Boost: Keep In Touch

Baptism 063One of the easiest ways to boost your relationships, whether it may be with a friend, family member, colleague, etc., is to keep in touch.  This may seem like a simple act with minimal effect, but it will truly enhance any of your relationships from those with whom you are the closest to casual acquaintances.

One of our FMPR Scholars has kept in touch with us regularly for years.  We ask each of our recipients to send us an update of their schooling at the end of the year that they received our award. So they are  only required to contact us once.  This didn’t stop this one particular Scholar from keeping in touch after every semester as she pursued her degree.  We loved receiving the letters from her.  Her mom would also email us updates and photos from time to time.  When they wrote, they would always express gratitude for our scholarship.  Because we developed a relationship with her and her mother over the years as they continued to reach out to us, we decided to award her with an additional scholarship.  This individual has become so special to us, and we’ll do whatever we we can to help her succeed.  Our feelings for her were cultivated through her constant communication with us.   (more…)

5 Rules of Common Courtesy in Social Media

TandBabyPI’ll never forget the day that I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and one of my friends posted a photo of her newborn baby and somewhat snidely pointed out that this was her first post to announce the arrival of her baby, which insinuated that others had posted her good news before she had. Yikes!

I’m sure that those who had posted about her baby before she did, did not intentionally mean to upset her or steal her thunder.  Sometimes, in the midst of chronicaling our lives, “ATM,” we forego social etiquette that we normally practice in person with others.  We must remember that the same basic rules of common courtesy apply to social media.  In fact, I would assert that we must be even more attentive to our conduct online because of its permanence and reach. (more…)

5 Aha! Uses for Thank You

5I was once pulled over by a police officer as I was driving along a busy road.  When he approached my truck window, he was very stern and gruff.  He explained that he pulled me over for speeding.  As he spoke, I had a million thoughts running through my mind, from “I want to crawl into a hole and die because people are driving by looking at me like a common criminal,”  (or so I perceived) to “Ahhh! Why is this officer so scary?” to “How am going to explain this to my safe-driving-stickler husband?”

When the officer handed me the nausea-inducing slip of paper that was the speeding ticket, the only thing that I could think of to say that made me feel somewhat decent was “Thank you.”  Yes, I gathered myself up enough to quickly realize that any excuse for speeding would be pathetic and that being flippant, defensive, or mad would just make me look like a fool.  So I said “Thank you.”  It was then that the officer looked me with surprise in his eyes and dropped his hard core demeanor. He softened his tone, bid me a gentle goodbye, and went along his way. (more…)

Family Hurricane Plan

I’ve been through two hurricanes in my lifetime.  The most recent was Hurricane Iniki, which was a category 4 storm that devastated our island of Kauai, Hawaii in 1992.  Every year when hurricane season starts in June with the arrival of El Nino or La Nina seasons, we are reminded by media, utility companies, and government entities to prepare hurricane survival kits and become familiar with procedures in the case that this type of natural disaster occurs.  What my family has learned through our hurricane experiences is that in addition to those things, creating a Family Hurricane Plan is a critical component to preparedness.

A Family Hurricane Plan allows for family members to consider and discuss where they will be and what they will need to do in this type of situation.  It also puts a system in place for how you will contact each other after the storm.  One of the most stressful parts of the aftermath of a hurricane is not being able to contact loved ones to either check to see if they’re okay or to let them know how you are doing.  The Family Hurricane Plan is poised to make things in this type of difficult event as orderly as possible.

My family’s hurricane plan encompasses more than 30 individuals spanning five generations. There is no limit to how many individuals can be involved in one plan, and when I say “family” I don’t mean that you have to be blood related to be included in a Family Hurricane Plan. Any group of friends or neighbors that care for each other can develop a plan together.  (more…)

Best Practices: Family Communication

IMG_6708Have you ever been frustrated with your spouse because they forgot to do something that you asked them to do or been accused by your children that “you didn’t tell me” about something that they missed out on (even though you told them five times)?  Does the following sound familiar? “You didn’t tell me I needed to wear shoes!” or “You didn’t tell me that today was Grandma’s birthday!”  We’ve found that the majority of strife within families is attributed to miscommunication or no communication.  While the above examples are minor problems that can occur in families, ongoing miscommunication can lead to more serious issues, such as feelings of neglect and disconnect.  In these cases, family members may seek people outside of the family to fulfill their primary sense of care and understanding.   Strong families want care, understanding, respect and love to start within their unit. (more…)

How To Write Difficult Correspondence

3.10 131We’ve all had instances of things not going our way from mix-ups with a retail outlet, an incorrect credit card charge, poor service from a utility, etc.  Whatever it may be, we suggest that you work toward a solution in writing.  Written communication allows you to have a paper trail of your account so that you can refer back to it if necessary.  When writing to someone to express dissatisfaction, use this format: (more…)