Ad Equivalency: How the Press Can Work Just Like Paid Advertising for Businesses and Non-Profits

Team Rubicon members taking part in flood relief operations

One of my passion projects is working on the marketing and public relations needs of Team Rubicon, the veteran-led disaster response organization. I manage this department for the Northwest United States, from Alaska to the Dakotas. 

In particular, I focus on using the media to spread Team Rubicon’s message, to recruit volunteers, and encourage donations.  This past month, Team Rubicon has been actively engaged in responding to wildfires in Utah and Colorado.  Working with media outlets in both states, I was able to generate press coverage for Team Rubicon equivalent to paid advertising in the amount of approximately $2.1 million dollars across online news, blogs, and television news.  

All for the price of a few emails and a few hours of drafting press releases.

Small to Mid-Sized Businesses can use the same tactics, particularly when engaged in charitable work, to market their products.  A business can – and should – reach out to media outlets to encourage others to join in helping at a homeless shelter, to offer matching donations to help in response to a local tragedy, or to encourage others to work with larger charities, such as local chapters of Habitat For Humanity.  The act of helping others, in itself, generates goodwill for businesses, and the postive media exposure provides the sort of attention that paid advertising does not – and cannot – generate.  By spending money on working with non-profits instead of on paid advertising, businesses can also benefit from the tax savings related to charitable donations.  

Click here to schedule a meeting for us to discuss how you can use media relations and non-profit work to market your business.

Buying local for veteran entrepreneurs



buying local for military families and location independent freelancers

I had the pleasure of working with talented graphic designer Rhonda Negard on a discussion of what it means to support local/small businesses when living the transient life of a military family. Rhonda has some great suggestions for freelancers regarding this topic – and a great site, overall – so head over there and check it out.

How to create a commonplace book with Bookcision and Day One

 Using Kindle, Bookcision, and Day One for maintaining a Commonplace Book.png

While there is no ideal method of reviewing your work, I find that I like to experiment with different processes. In the past, I talked about using Google Forms to maintain a commonplace book. Another option for doing this is to use a combination of Kindle (whether for a particular piece of hardware or the web version), Bookcision, and Day One to create a Commonplace Book that, due to Day One’s ability to recall when you uploaded notes, regularly appears for review.

With Evernote slowly sliding into obsolescence, I began looking for an alternative that could handle note-taking. I had already been using Day One for journaling, and reasoned that it could actually work as a primary notebook solution that did not require an astronomically-priced subscription service (at the time of this writing, Evernote costs $69.99 per year. I purchased Day One before it became a subscription service, so I do not need to pay for multiple notebooks (although I prefer to use tagging to separate my notes). I question whether I would recommend this method to those who have to pay the subscription price, but I suppose that’s a personal choice.

For me, one of the most significant challenges to assimilating knowledge from books is remembering to use that data regularly. Repeatedly reviewing material has a definite value when it comes to gaining knowledge. The benefits of repeated review are part of the reason why I considered this process concerning learning from books.

The process works under the following conditions:

  • books are read on Kindle;
  • Bookcision is used to obtain my notes and highlights;
  • My notes and highlights are copied into Day One;
  • Notes and highlights are categorized based on the four primary categories I use for all data, along with relevant sub-categories; and,
  • I use the “On this Day” function in Day One to review past journal entries, including books.


Productivity Tip for Small Business

My Kindle notebook


When reading in the Kindle ecosystem (i.e., on the web, in an app, or on an actual Kindle device), all notes and highlights are stored in the Kindle Notebook. When I finish a book, I go to the Kindle Notebook page and use Bookcision (instructions for installing the Bookcision bookmarklet can be found here ) to download truncated versions of all notes and highlights from the book, which I then copy and paste into Day One.


Productivity tip for Entrepreneurs


Note: This is not a perfect system. Amazon only allows truncated downloads from the Kindle Notebook page, but I do not need an exact copy of everything I highlight. What I need is a reference to my ideas so that I can go back and review things. The ideas are cues or starting points.

Once the material is copied into Day One, I categorize with tags as follows:

  • Author Name
  • Book Title
  • Categorical Tag, i.e.,
    • Business
    • Household
    • Health
    • Community
  • Sub-Category (this is more specific to the book’s topic, and could really fit within any category used by, say, the Dewey Decimal System or the Library of Congress Catalogue)


Productivity tip for small business owners

An example of a Day One Book Entry

Additionally, if someone wanted to keep track of all things read, say, in a particular year or month, they could add chronological tags.

Each day, as part of my writing routine, I review past notes using Day One’s On this Day feature. As works I have read in the past are dated, they eventually come up once per year, so that I have an opportunity to review things I learned in the past, and the knowledge is less likely to degrade completely.