Friday, 30 June 2006

Finally, the photos from my Fraser Island trip can be viewed here!

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Tuesday, 27 June 2006

Part two of the "Born to be a star" series:

We're Engaged!

Did you hear about the church member who bit a dog because it barked at him?

Well, neither have I, but I got your attention didn’t I?

Last issue, we mentioned how getting reporters from your local paper to write about Seventh-day Adventists is one of the best ways to promote the church and help people understand who Adventists (preferably non-dog biting ones) are. But how exactly do we engage the media?

It means giving the media what they want and they want news that has:
  • Impact - Unless quite a few readers will be interested, the event is probably not news. Put yourself in the reporter’s shoes and think about what they would feel is of interest to their readers.
  • Timeliness - News must be current. Notify reporters about one week in advance of what is going to happen. This will give them time to plan their schedule.
  • Proximity - Local papers almost always feature locals.
  • An element of the unusual -Anything that is different from the run-of-the-mill is potential for a good story. Is someone walking 40km to raise funds for cancer research? Is your church opening its doors to the homeless?
Of course, the best way to know what your local paper want is to read it and find out what they write about.

Engaging your local media is somewhat different to writing for your local church newsletter or the Record. Your local reporter is not interested in baptisms or church seminar programs. What interests them are what people are doing. Which means that if a group of young people at your church is going to South Africa for a mission trip, or if a church member has been faithfully ministering to refugees in the community, you have a very high chance of engaging the media.

So now you know what stories interests your local media. What do you do?

Familiarise yourself with the media in your community. Find out the publication day of the local paper. Have within easy reach the contact details of the newsdesk of your local paper or community radio station so that you can get information out to them in time.

Most reporters are happy to take your phone calls if you have a story that interests them. Just remember that reporters often have very tight deadlines and may ask you to call back later. Do so at their preferred time, but also be able to take no for an answer. Hounding a reporter will not convince them to pursue your story idea, but being polite will help to develop a working relationship with them that come in useful when you call them next time with another idea. And by then, you may have a particular reporter’s direct line on speed-dial!

So why not contact your local media about that piece of news you know they want now?

This is the second of a series entitled “Born to be a star” distributed to local church newsletters in Australia and New Zealand. Find out how to write a media release in the next entry.

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Monday, 26 June 2006

Finally, I'm moving on with the times.

Call me!

Click here to find out more about Skype.

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Friday, 23 June 2006

At about 4.45 this morning, one bleary eyed girl stumbled out of her flat trying not to freeze from the winter chill, walked a few metres down the road to her neighbour's whereupon she falls into the backseat of a car, greeted by two rather unbelievably awake guys, one of whom was rather chirpy.

The car drives about three minutes down the road and parks by the side of the road in front of a house. The occupants get out of the car and invited themselves into the house, making their way into the living room and were greeted by a chorus of cheers and overall enthusiasm.

The living room gradually fills up with more people, some decked out in green and gold outfits, as the minutes go by, as well as with snacks and not forgetting the Australian flag.

This girl has been extremely impressed by just how much the Aussies get behind their team, supporting and cheering them on even though some cannot differentiate a free kick from a penalty and most probably never had an interest in football, much less the World Cup, until now.

It really warms the heart to see the dedication, the love, the passion and the sense of ownership Aussies have towards their fellow countrymen in the world of sports. It is a matter of unquestioning support, simply because they are from Australia.

It's beautiful.

The first equaliser from Australia was great to watch, even better was the second (which saw Australia go through to the second round), but what was the best to watch was the reaction of the eight or so people around. The loud cheers, the group hugs, the waving of the flag, the collective bouncing up and down on the mattress that was in the middle of the living room floor.

It was amazing no coffee, water or chips were spilt during that celebration.

This girl will definitely be getting an early night tonight...

Read the more objective report here.

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Monday, 19 June 2006

My baby was delivered last Thursday at 3.05pm and I fell in love with her immediately.

Oh sorry, not her, I mean, this other baby, weighing a healthy 1,070 kg, looking cute and blue, with four wheels too!

Introducing baby Carrot (if my car cannot be orange in colour, she will at least be orange in name), delivered on June 15 to my workplace.

Unfortunately, as I was on course that day, I did not get back to work in time to collect the keys. As such, the evening was spent instead bonding with Carrot from the outside.

I could not help but smile and gently run my fingers along her smooth, sleek and shiny body. She was such a lovely blue, and so brand new! (She had done a grand total of 20km when I started driving her.)

She is small, but not that small I cannot fit five people in and just so incredibly cute.

I really did fall in love with her immediately and it took Daniel a while to pry me away from her. Even though when I first met her, I could only admire her from the outside in the dark.

But I got the keys to Carrot bright and early the next day and life hasn't been the same since. Carrot is one of the most beautiful car to drive in the world. So easy to control, so smooth to drive, just simply...perfect.

I've now got wheels! Hurrah, hurrah!

And in case anybody was wondering, the real baby is Zanna Ackland, daughter of friends Belinda and Joel whom I met up with after my camping trip at Fraser (and yes, the photos will come soon.)

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Tuesday, 13 June 2006

My flight home got delayed by two hours last night and I didn't end up arriving home till about 1am this morning. Am absolutely exhausted, especially considering I had to chair a meeting this morning at 9.30am.

I have to attend two full-day courses tomorrow and Thursday so have a heap of work to catch up and clear since I'm technically losing two days of work this week (three, including Monday's public holiday).

So I will not say much about my camping trip over the weekend besides the fact that I absolutely loved it. I can't believe I would actually enjoy myself so much, but I did.

The rainforests, the bush, the 4WDriving, the sea, the cliffs, the view, the beach...Fraser Island is simply gorgeous.

Of course, we spent the entire of Day 2 permanently wet and even had to pitch a tent in the rain - which was no mean feat trying to keep the non-waterproof part of the tent dry. Boy was I glad to get out of my wet clothes just before going to bed, well, sleeping bag.

Saw some incredible things, experienced some unbelievable things. Unfortunately did not catch sight of any dingoes.

Will have to write more about it later since I'm practically hitting the floor running upon my return and currently my body is calling out for a well-needed rest (and soak in a bath).

But the gist of it is I really really had a fantastic weekend.

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Thursday, 8 June 2006

Queen's Birthday long weekend coming up! Woohoo!

Leaving for Fraser Island early tomorrow morning to enjoy a couple of days of:

and a few nights of:

with a group of friends. Well, technically with two friends and two other people I don't actually know.

Really looking forward to the 4WDriving on Fraser, the sand dunes, the highly anticipated holiday after a few weeks of craziness at work.

The bit where I'll be camping out on the beach in the middle of winter on the other hand...

Back next week with stories and photos!

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Update: And thanks to Faith, here's a clip of my favourite segment of all time where Frank Woodley becomes an Asian kungfu master...

My Wednesday evenings for the last several months have been a period of self-imposed grounding due to wonderful Channel 10's programming where three of my favourite TV shows are aired back-to-back from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.

Thank God You're Here is one of the best Aussie comedies on TV I've seen so far (which is not saying much since I haven't actually watched a lot of Aussie comedy, but that's beside the point.)

Then there's House, who is my absolute hero when it comes to snarkiness, and finally NCIS, because it's just got the right mix of humour and action that particularly appeals to me.

But this is an ode to Thank God You're Here, the show that introduced me to the wonderful world of Lano & Woodley, of whom I'm now a fan and of whom it seems I'll never get to experience again. I saw their farewell tour about two weeks ago that had me doubled up in laughter and becoming a forever fan, but considering it's a farewell tour...

Anyway, back to TGYH:
It is based on a simple premise; get a group of well known performers and make each walk through a door into a scene without any idea of who they are or what they're walking into.
They interact with other actors on stage who have a script, so they're the only ones who will have to think on their feet and well, it often ends up with highly hilarious situations and have on occassions rendered me on the floor with a really bad stomachache from too much laughter.

Unfortunately, the show aired its season finale last night. Wednesday evenings will never be the same again.

But, for all those who really want to know just what in the world I'm raving about, you can download the season finale here!

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Tuesday, 6 June 2006

Second chances don't happen very often. Except I seem to be exceptionally blessed when it comes to concerts.

Came back from lunch this afternoon to find this email sitting in my inbox.

Guess what I did?

I'M GOING TO THE ROBBIE WILLIAMS CONCERT!!!! (we will not comment about the obscene amount I paid...)

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*gasp* There are actually perks to my job!

It was a pleasure to meet Bradley a couple of weeks ago, to present him with his award, to take a couple of photos, to interview him and to know that phenomenally successful people can still be down-to-earth, friendly and nice.

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Monday, 5 June 2006

PR stunts one should never embark on.

Talk about embarrassing...

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