Are your children safe in the media?

Read the following, and be ready to be shocked:


One of the biggest offenses is attacking children in the media.

Elizabeth Lauten, Communications director for U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, publicly scolded President Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia for doing what most teenagers would do if they thought something was kind of nonsensical. As a teenager myself once, I remember many times thinking half the stuff my parents did was ridiculous and I’m sure it was clearly demonstrated on my face too. But luckily for me, I wasn’t made headline news for such a display.

One of the biggest offenses in media is attacking children publicly, and privately for that matter too. Anyone in communications should innately know that thinking before you write, is crucial. And anyone who breathes, knows attacking children in anyway is wrong, smacks of being a bully and clearly is demoralizing.

We need to change how we conduct ourselves in the media and how we treat other people. To get a fuller picture of what happened and the details read the articles here:

Lesson 101 for being in the media, is clearly think about the impact of your words before you speak and write, because it leaves a permanent mark. Once your thoughts are out in the public, apologies often times aren’t enough. Posting on a personal social media page doesn’t make your thoughts private, it socializes your thoughts and stirs up emotional frenzy if you write about a taboo topic. There will always be someone who screen captures your thoughts and offers them to the public.

The first rule I believe, is children in the media are always off limits. They didn’t ask for the spotlight and shouldn’t be made public figures or in this case targets because of their parents occupation.

I thought long and hard about whether I should write my thoughts about this situation, and if I were adding to the problem. But the reality is, if we don’t talk about issues that affect us we are all at fault for not standing up and making a change.

Ask better questions of yourself. Better still just be the person you want to encounter in life. Show up as a human being who inspires others.

What would you do if it were your child?

Please share with me your thoughts about children in the media and whether we should enforce media privacy for children.


5 great ways to start the marketing of your film


Film slate

I just finished 2 days of shooting a short film I co-directed and produced with OneRiver Media and prior to shooting I did some research to decide how best to market my film. Big name production companies have full PR/marketing departments to get the word out and create buzz for their project, but small indie films like mine have to do it all themselves. For a start here are five great ways to begin marketing your film.

1. Logo – Capture the essence of your film with a great logo. Never underestimate the power of a logo to create a visual identity that the audience will connect with. It must be something that immediately strikes a chord in the heart of the moviegoer. Pay close attention to colors that will make an impactful statement. Think of red for horror movies and blue tones for action movies.

Check out American Horror Story and their use of red in their logo. The use of red adds the element of blood and violence to its logo.

On the lighter side of things look at how Ice Age chose to use blue in its logo to define the edges and added a 3D effect to the font. The color capitalizes on the theme of water, hence the use of blue.

For more in formation about the uses of color, view this link

2. Trailer – Your trailer should be, in a few words, DRAMA, COMEDY, TENSION and MEMORABLE. Creating a trailer for your short film is one of the most crucial elements toward marketing your film. What you include and what you leave on the cutting room floor will determine if your audience will hand over their hard earned cash to see what you have to offer. Know specifically what category your film belongs to and cut the trailer towards that end result. Add key words from the movie that give the audience something to connect with and couple it with high impact scenes and you will have yourself something worth viewing.

3. Print/Marketing materials – Most movies have print and other types of marketing materials to create visuals that coincide with the film. Indie films should be no different in this respect. Create postcards, posters, stickers, standees or whatever to get the word out about your film. Create some promotional giveaways to entice viewers to connect with your social media and follow the films progress. Which brings me to, the use of social media for film.

4. Social Media Vimeo/YouTube – Creating attention online is a great way to gain attention and attract followers to your film. The big three, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are always a good start to get the marketing ball rolling. However there are more social media outlets available to garner attention. Check out the following and see how they might contribute to your marketing potential: Vimeo, Pinterest, Google+, Foursquare, Tumblr and Instagram.

5. Forums/ Groups/ Networks – The marketing fun doesn’t stop at social media. If you belong to any forums, online industry groups or online networks, these places are a great way to share your film. But a word of advice, don’t spam the groups with blatant promotional posts and links. Find a more subtle way to educate and entertain your colleagues by creating posts that share what your learned or challenges you had to get them interested in what’s on screen as well as behind-the-scenes. LinkedIn has a variety of groups available in the filmmaking community, as does Facebook. Choose groups that closely resemble the niche that you are involved with. Be active in the group and support other filmmakers works. Grow your network through engagement rather than solely relying on self promotion.

So there you have it, a quick sure fire way to start promoting your film.  I’d love to hear what you are doing to be creative in your endeavors, leave a comment or questions. Contact me for a setting up a private consultation to strategize for your film.


Go forth and be creative!



Image credit: Posterize


Promotional poster of American Horror Story.

Promotional poster of American Horror Story. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Book Tour Promotion – Lili’s Strawberry House Book

Lili’s Strawberry House

One of the greatest things in the world is to see a child’s face light up with enjoyment because of a book. Today I had the pleasure of producing Lili’s Strawberry House Book tour event with the Iron Horse Mother’s Group in San Ramon, California.

Book author, Sahar Berjis is a registered dietician in private practice and has written a delightful children’s book. The book is about a little girl who delights in fruits and vegetables that she grows in the garden. The story takes us on a nutrition journey through the eyes of a child.

Following the book reading, the attendees for the event were entertained with several activities promoting nutrition, healthy eating and just plain fun. Four signed books were given away at the event and autographed to make the book more memorable for each child.

To learn more about the book Lili’s Strawberry House visit the highlighted link. The book is available for purchase through Amazon or your local bookstore or through the link provided on the website.

If you are interested in activities or recipies related to the book connect with the author on Pinterest at this link. (SaharB Pinterest)

Event table

Sahar Berjis, Author at Iron Horse Mother’s Group

Nutrition activity for the event

More fun activities for the event with the author.

Photocredit: Suzette Mariel for Zette Media

What Solo Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Nordstrom

Nordstrom is known for its incredible customer service and return policy. But what you may not know is they have quite a following among high end luxury shoppers who have exclusive access to in house fashion shows, pre-sale events, and special shopping days. Nordstrom knows how to give a great shopping experience.

Wondering what all this has to do with the solo entrepreneur? The quick answer is loyalty and rewards = continued support and more money.

National stores sometimes have to compete on price, service or some other type of characteristic to maintain loyalty. And one of the ways they maintain a following is offering their customer special events or rewards.

Nordstrom’s Collectors Department, on occasions throughout the year offers a select few of their luxury shoppers access to items before the general public and a style event showcasing their high end products such as Gucci, St. John,  Marni and Burberry.

Nordstrom, Walnut Creek , California

Using these techniques from Nordstrom and applying them to your business is a great way to interact with your loyal clients and reward them for their support. And who wouldn’t like a little recognition for loyalty? Everyone wants to feel special.

Create a loyal following by treating your customers with an extra perk now and again, and you will garner publicity by word of mouth. This kind of buzz is worth it.

Let me know your thoughts and comments about how to create a loyal customer base. Have a special reward that you want to share? Leave the information in the comments with a link to your site.

I look forward to reading your  great ideas.

Photocredits- me

Part 3 – Procrastination R.I.P.

Procrastination R.I.P.

You made it to Part 3 of Kill Procrastination.  Congratulations. It’s not easy to keep up the momentum. But you did and I am happy you made it here.

So let’s dive right in and get to what needs to be done today.


Now that you have made your list, it’s time to organize it and get it ready for following in an easy format. Because once everything is organized it’s easier to follow what comes next on the list and do it.

Look at each task and put it in a logical sequence. Let’s take creating your publicity campaign for instance. I’m going to create a random list of 3 items and then arrange them and explain how I did it.

Here is the random list.

1. Submit your press release.

2. Create a business bio.

3. Make a list of places you want publicity.

Here is the correct format for organizing these 3 items.

1. Create a business bio.

2. Make a list of places you want publicity.

3. Submit your press release.

Let’s look at number one. It’s important to create your business biography because it helps determine your business standpoint. It encompasses your industry, awards, contact information and product and services. Obviously there is more to it than this but for the purpose of this blog let’s keep it simple.

Number two is researching your list of places that you want exposure. Let’s take a children’s author as our case study. This particular author’s research list should be comprised of youth related places, such as Mommy’s groups, children’s bookstores, and toy stores. Therefore it makes sense to organize your list with the biography first, then pull your focus information from there, and lastly, determine where your publicity should be placed.

Your last item on this list, is submitting your press release about your product or service to the places you have researched. In this case we will use the children’s author again to make it easier to understand how everything fits in to place.  The author or publicist will send the press release in a timely manner to the mommy’s groups, children’s bookstores and toy stores. There is more to just sending out the press release but this gives you an idea of what to do, why you do and how to organize your workflow.

Once you have the organization of your list, break the items in to small achievable tasks to ensure following through on the activity. If you make your task too big you will feel overwhelmed. It you make the tasks too small it will take a long time to reach your goal. Finding a balance is what makes it manageable to kill your procrastination.

Once you have your organization list ready, contact me for how to get your publicity campaign underway. I look forward to the opportunity to help you achieve your greatness.

Thanks for taking this three-part journey with me on how to kill procrastination and jumpstart your workflow.I would love to hear your ideas about how you killed procrastination. Leave me a comment with your thoughts and stories.

Keep publicizing your passion! 


Memoriam by Simon Howden

If you happened to land on this page and would like to see Part one of this post click here:

For reading part two, click here.

Part two – Kill off procrastination

Make a list.

Welcome back to kill off procrastination! It’s part two of how to get moving forward, get things done and stop procrastinating.

Here  is a quick recap of Part one, I talked about if you procrastinate, then you need to do one small thing to get you going, because motivation follows action and kills procrastination. (Read the post of Part One here.)

To get you even further down the road to ending procrastination is making a schedule. Creating a schedule eliminates the “What’s Next Syndrome”,  which happens after you have put forth the effort and completed the one thing that you have been putting off for ages.

So first things first, write down all of the steps big or small and just create a list. You don’t have to get super detail oriented at this point. Just create the list. That is your job for day two.

I’m going to stop here and let you catch up on what it is you need to do. So go and make the list. Are you making your list yet?

If you are writing a book maybe you need to get research. Make a list of topics for the book that you need to get it going. If you are trying to save money, make a list of all the things you can do with out or cut back on. If you are looking for publicity for your product, make a list of all the places that you want to be seen. Get the idea?

Here is my action point for killing off procrastination. Yes I sometimes procrastinate. It was a learned behavior from my childhood. What can I say? But it’s one that I struggle with because there are so many things in life that I enjoy experiencing that I get side tracked. Like crafting, and reading, creating styles for new photo shoots, writing stories for my comic ,and well, you get the idea. I like to do stuff, not just sit around. But as a result I procrastinate because I think just 5 more minutes on this project, which then turns into 50 minutes and BAM! I run out of time and put off doing what I should have been doing in the first place.

So making the list is crucial. Because if you have broken the tasks into small pieces you can focus on the one item to finish and still get moving forward AND be able to do all the fun things that might get you sidetracked.

So on my list of things to do is reorganize the chapters for my book. A big task, but I’m breaking it down into smaller bite size portions so I can handle it. It’s not easy running multiple companies.  I break things down into small projects, so I don’t feel overwhelmed.

Completing a task, whether big or small, makes you feel good.  And when you feel good you become motivated to keep going with the end goal in mind.

So keep up the good work, and come back tomorrow for part 3 of Kill procrastination. Tweet me your progress @suzettemariel , I would love to hear from you.

Keep life fabulous, authentic and live in style. 


Photocredit: Making a list by Stuart Miles



Tanabata Festival

Tanabata (七夕?, meaning “Evening of the seventh”) is a Japanese star festival, originating from the Chinese Qixi Festival.[1] It celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair respectively). According to legend, the Milky Way separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar. The date of Tanabata varies by region of the country, but the first festivities begin on July 7 of the Gregorian calendar. The celebration is held at various days between July and August.


Jannovation Jam is a pitch contest connecting Japan and Silicon Valley. Winners receive sponsors and media coverage in the United States and Japan. This is the third annual Silicon Valley Tanabata Festival.

For more info visit this link:

Source is Wikipedia.


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