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Happy Friday!

I’ve spent some time on a blog writing about stories that need more attention.  Sure, we all love to read about Kim Kardashian’s exploits and who Blake Shelton is dating, but many times real hard news stories get lost in the shuffle.  Here I will mention three stories I feel need more attention.

1. Greek authorities say five more migrants were found dead in the eastern Aegean Sea.  The story is big news in the world but we seem to bury it after who is dating the latest hot celebrity.


2. The death toll rises to 26 after Pakistan factory collapses. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/06/world/asia/death-toll-in-pakistan-factory-collapse-rises-to-20.html?_r=0

3. Russia to suspend flights to Egypt after crash. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/06/putin-suspends-russian-flights-to-egypt-after-sinai-plane-crash

4. Will Smith said he will tour again with DJ Jazzy Jeff.  (OK, I had to get one in!) http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2015/11/05/smith-says-hes-planning-first-real-tour-dj-jazzy-jeff/75232012/

Have a great weekend!

Recent media attention

May 26th, 2015 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Happy Tuesday!  I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day!

I had authors get some media attention over the holiday.

Cantor Mitch was on Jacksonville, Florida TV on Saturday morning: http://www.news4jax.com/news/cantor-mitch-cooking/33185724

He will also be on Table For Two out of New York: http://www.nachumsegal.com/jm-in-the-am/table-for-two-with-naomi-nachman/

Dr. Ellen Prager was on Tampa’s WFLA today: http://www.wfla.com/story/29135374/daytime-marine-conservation-with-author-ellen-prager

Last week Helen Lindsay was on Fox 9 here in Minneapolis talking about her book, Written on the Knee.   She was also featured in the Sun Sailor newspaper last week.


Lastly, Mehdi Toozhy posted another article to Huffington Post.  Check out his work at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mehdi-toozhy/

Public Relations Pitches

November 6th, 2014 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Good morning!

One of the most subjective areas of public relations is the traditional media pitch.  Some believe they should include a press release while others think a Twitter ping is the best.  In my opinion it is a little of both.  Including a press release is never a bad thing but it should not be the only thing.   Pitches need to be short.  Think about it this way.  You have the biggest piece of gossip in your neighborhood, you see your neighbor and you run up to them and tell them the gossip.  That is your pitch.  Don’t mention the history of the person or who they are in detail, just give them the facts!

Here are my tips for a great pitch:

1. Lead with the most important piece of information.

2. Make sure your grammar is correct.

3. Tell what makes your story credible.

4. Make sure to include your contact information.

5.  Match your story to the respondent.  In other words, make sure your story is relevant to the person you are pitching.

Here is a very helpful link from the program, This American Life.  The released pitches that were developed into stories.



Getting quoted

April 17th, 2014 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I read this article and loved it.  It offers some great advice about getting quoted in the media.


1. Be prepared to start from zero. Given the hectic pace of the news business, be prepared for a reporter to begin with, “What do you have for me?” You’ll be lucky if he or she has done any advance research. This is an opportunity for you to shape the discussion. Being a kind, knowledgeable, and helpful source is the best way to build a relationship with a reporter.

2. Know what the reporter covers. Look at the most recent stories the reporter has written, and make sure your comments are relevant.

3. Know what’s happening in the news. If you’re in the wearables market and Facebook acquires Oculus for $2 billion, you’re going to get asked about it if you happen to have a press call that day. If you prepare a comment in advance, you could get quoted in two stories: once on the breaking news item and once on the original topic of your call.

4. Anticipate the questions. Write down the five most likely questions you think the reporter will ask. Then write down the two questions you hope she or he will not ask. Prepare for all of them.

5. Write your answers. Write two- to three-sentence answers to each question. Then rework them until you have crisp sound bites. Print them out and refer to them before answering any question. Spend the most time on this tip.

6. Practice. Speak your answers out loud. Do they sound like you? Do they trip you up? If so, rework them so they feel natural. Then practice again.

7. Use pauses and silence well. Don’t fill the space after you’ve answered a question. Mindless chitchat is how misquotes happen, and often how major scoops happen. Answer the reporter’s question; then, let him or her take notes and ask you another question.

8. Be yourself. Reporters are people, too. Make a connection and build a relationship. This mean you have to be your natural self.

9. Clarify. If you think the reporter misunderstood your answer, ask. Then clarify.

10. Follow up. Send the materials you promised to supply. This gives you an opportunity to clarify any points of concern. Send a crisp note with the materials and your clarifications, which makes it easy for the reporter to cut and paste the quote you provided.

Introduction to “Pop Op” Blog

April 11th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

According to Wikipedia, popular culture is the entirety of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes,[1] images, and other phenomena that are within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the late 20th and early 21st century.

In short, pop culture is the study of popular ideas and culture.  It may be influenced by media, opinion, and even family and friends.  Our pop culture is constantly changing.  We swing from being bobbysoxers screaming at Sinatra because of a harmonious singing voice to being obsessed with the Kardashians for no reason.

Today I’m introducing “Sara’s Pop Op.”  My name is Sara Lien and I am the owner of Lien Public Relations.

I work with the media to tell stories.  I have a history in journalism and law.  However, since childhood I have loved film, books, celebrity, and media in general.  I confess.  I wake up in the morning, grab my iPhone and check TMZ and USA Today.   I enjoy stories about Halle Berry’s pregnancy and the latest movie reviews.

With my new blog I want to not just report these stories, but discuss these stories.   I am a journalist at heart and love to talk about people.  What makes them fascinating and why are we interested in some stories and not others.

For example, I want to talk about the latest baby bump but also why we are obsessed with pregnant celebrities.   I want to start a conversation about popular culture.

I plan to write two times per week about what is hot, what is not, and my opinions about those stories. I could be about beauty, fashion, media, film, books or even hidden great date ideas and restaurant reviews.

Feel free to write to me and tell me your stories, ideas, and why you think everyone is obsessed with Pop Culture.

I’ll share my Pop Op, if you share yours!

Let’s get started.

Sara Lien
April 11, 2013