Tag Archives: #ProTip

#ProTip: Dear PR, It is Not “Highest Priority”

#ProTip: Dear PR people, we love you, but please do not send emails marked “Highest Priority.” It usually indicates one of two things. 1) You (or your client) is way behind and this is a last minute thing. To me, the recipient, that says, “This is going to create extra work for you because you have to rearrange your day to try to get it into the publication right away, so you should probably just ignore it.” Or 2) You (or your client) thinks your stuff is so much more important than anyone else’s. This says to me, “I am going to be very annoying and bothersome, and create extra work, so you should probably just ignore it.” Either way, “Highest Priority” always has a bad connotation.

If you want to indicate that something is timely, please just put the date in the subject line. It is so much more polite and it actually conveys useful knowledge to the recipient in a convenient manner. Thank you! via Facebook

Tax Day #ProTip: How to get bonus money from your income tax

#ProTip: Since it is Tax Day, today’s tip will feature how to get bonus money on your taxes. Many people take the tactic of paying in a little extra from each paycheck so they get a nice refund. Do not do this!

This is like giving the government an interesst free loan with your money! Why would you do that??? Pay attention, this is a little complex, but I am going to tell you how to get “free money” from the government, but it does take some work.

Instead of paying in extra, you should pay in as little as you can throughout the year.
* Take as many deductions as you can off your salary, so that you pay in less each month. Get it as low as possible.
* Then, you take that extra money and put it in an interest bearing account. Call it “tax-account”.
* Do not cheat! You have to take that extra tax-money each month/week and put it into the account.
* When taxes are due, take what you owe out of your tax-account and pay that.
* Then you have the extra interest left-over! It is like you are getting money for free!!! Basically, what happened is that the government gave you an interest-free loan and you invested that and get to keep the interest.

If you want to have more left over, just put in a little extra than you would owe each month, just like you have been doing for the government.

Let me give you an example. Say that you normally owe $10,000 in taxes. Usually, you pay in $12,000 from your salary, $1000 per month, so you get $2000 back at the end of the year.

Do it my way. Instead of giving that $1,000 per month to the government, only pay in $500 per month (for a total of $6000). Take that other $500 and put it into an interest bearing account. Say you make $300 in interest throughout the year. Then, at the end of the year, you have $6300 in the account. You pay the other $4000 to the IRS (total of $10,000). You end up with $2300, instead of $2000! It’s like a free $300 and all it takes is a little effort and discipline on your part.

The more you can keep from your monthly pay-in, the more interest you can make. Just make sure you do not snitch from your tax-account throughout the year! With your extra $$$ you can buy me a drink as a thank you.

#ProTip: When You Need Something Done Right, Get an Expert

I am once again reminded of the benefits of working with experts and professionals. Claudia Ximena Figueredo (Action PR) is helping us with our The Arts and the Affordable Care Act seminar and she just sent me a revised copy of our “fact sheet”, which she had fixed up. Though the changes were mostly subtle, the readability went WAY up from what I had put together. She is definitely an expert at crafting these.

This goes back to my #ProTip from the other day, if you want something done right, get an expert. So many people think that just because they own a computer they are an expert at everything: writing, photography, social media, graphic design, public relations, event producer, etc, etc, etc. But, the fact of the matter is, most people suffer from the Dunning–Kruger effect. That means that they are so incompetent that they do not even have the ability to recognize your own incompetence.

There’s nothing wrong with being incompetent at some stuff, everybody is. And, everybody is good at some stuff. There’s plenty of stuff I suck at, and there are a few things I’m good at. The difference is, I recognize that and, rather than trying to do everything poorly, I try to find those who are good at the stuff I suck at and let them do it. For many people, this is one major obstacle they face that is holding them back from success.

I have seen this directly many times. People come to me asking for advice. They think I am an expert at a staggering number of skills like social media (I am not), blogging (no clue), technology (just enough to turn my computer on), art (yeah, I can see it), and all sorts of other stuff. These are questions I get all the time and people have a hard time believing I don’t know it all. But, I don’t, and I don’t pretend to. I know experts in all those fields, and when I need those skills, I go to them to ask for advice or help.

So, one more time, everyone repeat it with me, if you want something done right, get an expert! via Facebook