62. How to Get Your School in the News with Suzy Wagner
In this episode of the Mindful School Marketing podcast, we are joined by guest Suzy Wagner, the president of Brand & Buzz, a strategic communications firm. With her extensive experience in advertising, public relations, and communications, Suzy has worked with renowned brands and nonprofits. Tune in as we explore the importance of managing expectations around media coverage, highlighting positive aspects of schools, and finding timely news hooks. Suzy emphasizes the significance of building relationships with reporters, brainstorming ideas, and planning ahead to ensure schools effectively communicate their stories and messages.
About Suzy Wagner:
Suzy is the president of Brand & Buzz, a strategic communications firm specializing in using communications to grow businesses. A veteran of Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and the LA Times. Suzy has worked with some of the world’s most recognizable brands, international clients and nonprofits.
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[00:00:00] Aubrey: Welcome to Mindful School Marketing, your go-to podcast for personal and professional
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[00:00:36] Aubrey: Welcome to Mindful School Marketing.
[00:00:38] I’m Aubrey
[00:00:38] Tara: Burch. And I’m Tara Clays. Today we’re joined by Suzy Wagner. Suzy is the president of Brand & Buzz Buzz, a strategic communications firm specializing in using communications to grow businesses. A veteran of Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and the LA Times. Suzy has worked with some of the world’s most recognizable brands, international clients and nonprofits.
[00:01:01] Her clients say she injects positive energy into every campaign, and having known her for many years, I can say positive energy is a great term to describe both of the women that I’m speaking with today. Welcome, Suzy. We’re so glad to have you
[00:01:13] Suzy: here. I’m happy to be here too. Thank you for having me. I
[00:01:17] Aubrey: can’t even tell you.
[00:01:17] I’m so excited that we’re diving in this topic and I’m so excited that we’re talking about it with you. But before we get started, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
[00:01:25] Suzy: Yeah, I mean, sorry. I mean, I think that intro is like really flattering listening to all the places I’ve worked. It sounds like way more exciting than it really was at the time.
[00:01:33] Um, but I’ve had this cool advertising, public relations kind of events. Communications background, a really integrated hybrid experience, and I’ve been at conference rooms having conversations with someone like the biggest brands in the world, talking about campaigns that you would remember, like things that, you know, you think about television ads and you’re like, oh, I remember that thing.
[00:01:53] Like I, I had. The opportunity to work on a lot of those things. And so, um, you know, about 10 years ago I made the change to leave the Wall Street Journal, which was a job I didn’t love. I will say it, um, it being in the newspaper in the two thousands was really tough place to be and I wanted to take all this experience and have the flexibility to work on the programs that I loved and with clients I really liked.
[00:02:15] And, and I’ve. I’ve really never looked back. It’s been incredible because I’ve worked with foreign governments and nonprofits and healthcare rare disease, um, technology, think tanks, national security, d o d. And so the experience just being in Washington, um, has given me a lot of different awareness. And I did a ton of work with schools, both at the elementary, middle, high school and collegiate level, um, with different programs.
[00:02:42] Georgetown and I went to magazine, so I feel like. Communications all scalable. It’s basically the same principles, um, but you use them in different ways depending on your industry. We’re gonna dive
[00:02:53] Tara: in and, and dig into your experience and how it might apply to the idea of public relations for schools. I mean, everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame.
[00:03:02] Most people do as long as it’s good, right? Um, so schools especially, they wanna have, I hear this all the time, they wanna have their stories picked up in the local press. How can we get our event picked up? How can we get this great story picked up? You know, it’s really hard to get the attention of local news.
[00:03:18] So let’s start off like coming out of the gate. What advice do you have for schools in managing their expectations around this coverage and public
[00:03:25] Suzy: relations? Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s a great question. When I was working with the Embassy of Japan, they actually said the opposite. They said, whenever we do programs in schools, media wants to cover it.
[00:03:36] Um, which is a real positive for schools and education outlets to start thinking about it. Um, it can be hard to have some of the mundane things, I think, too often. Schools, uh, get attention for things they kind of don’t wanna talk about. Maybe it’s, you know, drugs or suicide. I mean, what we hear is so often is live shooter, and that’s just devastating to everyone to think about.
[00:03:55] Schools wanna pivot that to something positive. Um, anniversaries, healthy eating, walkathons, charity, community engagement. Whenever they can kind of elevate those ideas, especially if there’s, um, a really good opportunity to get cameras. So maybe it’s. You know, walk-a-thon or girls in the run is doing something and they’re tying it back into community involvement, like through fundraising or something like that.
[00:04:16] Uh, I think they’ve got a better shot at getting immediate attention there. Anything new and different? You know, the tree plannings maybe not so much, uh, major change in the lunchroom for healthy eating to combat cancer and diabetes and other illnesses like really positive. So it, it sometimes is being thoughtful about what’s happening in the world at that moment.
[00:04:38] And then tying in a news hook. You know, mother’s Day, maybe there’s like some really beautiful thing, um, that’s supporting a, you know, breast cancer survivor or moms in the community. Things like that. Schools can kind of be thoughtful about, or maybe it’s pivoting to curriculum to address, uh, AI in schools.
[00:04:56] So, so it’s really just kind of thinking about where people’s attention is going at that moment in time, holidays, vacation, going back to school, and then thinking about the hooks and the stories that will get there. Out there.
[00:05:10] Tara: So that’s really interesting if you think about, um, how to approach this.
[00:05:15] Mm-hmm. Uh, you know, would you say that you actually just sit down and brainstorm some of these things? Is that what totally what you’re doing right now seems like brainstorming, like, you’re coming,
[00:05:26] Suzy: this is my process, Tara. I just like, I roll out a bunch of ideas. Um, yeah, I mean, in, in communications it’s always helpful to work from the reverse.
[00:05:35] So it’s Who are you talking to and what do you wanna say? I. And then once you have those two ideas defined, then you can rewind the clock and come up with the right pitch, right angle, and then tell it in a very succinct way to a news producer, editor, um, journalist, especially if they’re already writing on that topic.
[00:05:53] You know, schools would be very well advised to get to know the people that are writing the stories that they like to read and build the relationship. Um, you know, my, my rule number one in business is, People do business with people they like, and you can also add no interest to that list. And so, If you know all the education reporters in your locality, wherever you are in the world, and you start to build that relationship, they know that you will respond at speed, um, accurately, honestly, and you’ll, you’ll be straight with them.
[00:06:24] You’re not gonna, you know, just give ’em the party line. You’re gonna be as, as candid as you can. You start to build credibility, and then journalists, reporters, media outlets, know that you are a trusted source and we’ll keep going back to you, and then they start reaching out to you. So it makes it a lot easier to get the attention.
[00:06:39] I’m really glad
[00:06:40] Aubrey: that we’re covering this topic and that I, I love what you said cuz so often schools will be like, we’re gonna just, you know, send out, uh, a press release. And I’m like, well, how is that, how is that relevant to what the reporter is actually like? I was like, think like a reporter, like, what’s going on?
[00:06:55] Is it World Art Day? Is it something like, what is your school doing that aligns with what’s going on right now? Right. Make it timely. Interesting. And something a reporter actually would want to write about or cover. Um, so I, I really appreciate you you talking about that. Now I’m curious because like just talking about the press release Yeah.
[00:07:14] A lot of schools have that ingrained is that is the first step that they need to take and they write this official looking thing and then they send it off. And we talked about relationships super important, but like what other things. Can they do? What other tools are there to connect with reporters?
[00:07:29] How should they be presenting this information to reporters in a way that’s digestible for and usable by reporters?
[00:07:36] Suzy: I’ve written so many press releases, it makes me sad because they’re, they’re terrible. You know, I mean, it’s, it’s all the standard stuff. You’ve got your header, you’ve got your passionate quote, you’ve got your stats, and they tend to get really long, sometimes they get picked up brilliantly, and so, so I wouldn’t say don’t use them, that they’re, um, they’re an important tool.
[00:07:56] They’re an important way to get your ideas clearly on paper, and, and a lot of outlets, especially when they’re pressed for time, will pick it up, run it verbatim. Good to go. Um, it becomes its own story. Uh, but, but what you just said was so smart and, and what I would encourage schools to do is, yes, keep writing your press releases, but, but take a minute.
[00:08:15] Especially in, um, over the summer when they’re having the planning meetings, they’re talking about curriculum changes or books that they’re gonna be buying or, you know, whatever the things are that they’re gonna be studying. And, and then take a step back and, and just say, well, how and when should we be talking about these?
[00:08:30] Things publicly, are there gonna be any issues? Right now banned books are becoming a, an issue, um, in certain localities. You can’t talk about family health education depending on the age of the kids. Um, Even more into that, you know, we, we live in this world of, um, LGBTQ IA plus plus pride. Are you allowed to talk about non-binary and gender issues?
[00:08:53] So schools have to be really thoughtful about all of the things they’re juggling, and then in, in that planning time over the summer, they can take a just a few minutes or, or an hour and say, okay guys, let’s look at the calendar of the year. You know, we’ve got Mother’s Day, father’s Day, the holidays, um, election day, what’s.
[00:09:10] You know, when do we wanna roll out messages elevating the great work that we’re doing, and maybe even some of these sensitive topics that could be getting different kinds of media attention. So I really encourage schools to have a planning time, um, and then they can really be thoughtful about those press releases.
[00:09:26] And they will come up over the course of the year, but at least they can have some things ready to go and then they won’t be caught, you know, flatfooted.
[00:09:34] Tara: Yeah. So good. Uh, but I think Avi and I are both getting more and more questions as we’re listening, so, so here’s another one. Um, so you have all of this information.
[00:09:43] You put together all this planning. Mm-hmm. Um, where do you find contacts? Like how do you even know, like, I know what my local news stations are, but I have no idea how to contact them, or I might be missing some that are important. So what are some resources for, for how to actually then get your information in front of somebody?
[00:10:04] Suzy: Um, it’s a really, really good question. Believe it or not, you know, like we live in the DC area, the Washington Post, most reporters have, if you click on their byline, you can get right to their email address. Um, and you can send them emails, you can connect to ’em directly. Social media is a great outlet, so if you’re following some education reporters or news reporters that cover education topics or, or issues like that that you wanna cover, you can start just direct messaging and tweeting to them and say, Hey, I work at this school and we cover these topics.
[00:10:33] We’d love just to. Set up a, a lunch and learn or a coffee, have you buy the campus. You can just, just really simple touches like that. Um, or you can even just connect with some PR consultants in the area. Most of us have subscriptions to things like cissy and Meltwater and databases where we can pull lists of reporters, bloggers, um, all different kinds of outlets.
[00:10:54] And, and I I would also say don’t ignore podcasters. I mean, the service that you guys are doing, you’re, you’re, you’ve got a great audience and, and you’ve got people who are following you. And so there’s, you gotta think really broadly, um, because there’s so many different places where people get news and information.
[00:11:10] It’s not just channel four. So,
[00:11:12] Aubrey: That’s really helpful. Thank you so much for sharing that. It’s true, like as we’re thinking, like we always think, you know, when you’re thinking pr, you’re like news channel written. But what about podcasting? I mean, there are so many, and as you know, things grow and change. We need to keep in mind that there are different places to get your story featured.
[00:11:31] Suzy: I mean, think about next door. I I, I, I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen something happen. You know, maybe it’s a car accident or maybe it’s a, I don’t know, something. Something’s happening in the news, and I see journalists on next door. I see them on Twitter. I see them on Instagram Live, and they’re saying, Hey, can I use this video?
[00:11:47] Hey, can I pick up this tweet? Hey, can I, can you call me? And so, They’re really trying to work at speed, um, using social media channels as well. So it’s, it’s really just about being creative and, and thinking about where you get your news and, and then asking, you know, it’s great to pull parents and kids, like, is TikTok still a thing?
[00:12:04] All right. Who, who’s popular in that? And then, and then you can kind of, you know, build your, your old school Rolodex of, of people to reach out to. Yes, so
[00:12:14] Aubrey: we’ve also used board members who are connected. Anyone on your board or your parent community connected with the media is always a good option. Um, absolutely.
[00:12:23] I’m curious, like some, I know some entrepreneurs have used HARO or Harrow. Oh yeah, that’s it. I don’t know if that’s, is that, would you recommend that service for school or what are your feelings on
[00:12:35] Suzy: that? I actually kind of like it, but I ha, you know, as a PR professional, I have not had a tremendous amount of success with it.
[00:12:41] The acronym stands for Help a Reporter Out, and so you, I think it’s free. You can just sign on to their newsletter and, and check the boxes on the topics that you care about. Um, what’s nice is it pops in your inbox every day and it has specific, you know, queries. I’m, I’m a reporter working on deadline. I want information on this stuff.
[00:13:00] So it is nice. Um, and it’s a good way to, to meet some different tier, um, journalists as well. They’re not all top tier. Some of them are working at smaller publications. Even community news, um, is really important. C because you gotta think about who you’re trying to reach. And for the most part, schools are, except for some of the bigger boarding schools, I think are trying to reach within their zip codes.
[00:13:22] Tara: If I take, if I’m taking a step back and thinking about this from a, a higher perspective, like as a general marketing strategy, right? As we are marketers, and I know you are too, right? This is one piece of a marketing strategy and so, you know, getting excited about getting in the, in the press, sometimes it’s not something that you necessarily plan for.
[00:13:43] Um, but if you do plan for it, as you’re talking about, like you’re being strategic and thinking about it, Um, I, I wanna ask you about how it overlaps with social media, because that’s happening, that’s in your control, right? You’re posting it there. So should you be putting stuff on social media? Um, That you’re also trying to get in the press.
[00:14:02] Do you wanna wait till it’s in the press to put it on social media? How, how does that work and how do they, how do they work
[00:14:07] Suzy: together? I think it, it’s a great question. Um, and it’s such a timely question and there’s two answers. One is, um, yes, you wanna have an integrated communications campaign, especially about something positive that you can control.
[00:14:21] Um, but something else you said about social media and, and public relations, you know, reaching out to media. As being some of the, the tools that you have. Absolutely. And I, I can’t tell you how often in communications people, you know, clients just want the silver bullet, like, what’s the one thing we need to do?
[00:14:37] It’s like, wow. It’s lots of things. It’s not just one thing. And you know, there was this great study done. I mean, honestly you guys, like 50 years ago by Roba Research and it was the first time. The term word of mouth had ever been coined. And over the last 50 years, they keep refreshing the survey and it’s still consistent.
[00:14:57] And what it comes down to is one in 10 Americans tells the other nine where to shop, what to buy, what restaurants to go to, what schools to send their kids to. And word of mouth is the most powerful. You know, influencer and, and I believe word of mouth happens when your own media, all the stuff you can control, you know, your outrage and your websites and your content and your earned media.
[00:15:22] Anything people were saying about you. So your parents and your board members and your school board like, um, you know, news and, and PR stuff. And then your paid media, that sponsorships, anything you pay for. When those three things work together and you have that really thoughtful message that goes consistently across all those things, then you start to build that kind of brand awareness and word of mouth that everyone’s seeking.
[00:15:45] And, and that to me is the biggest differentiator. It requires discipline. So then you need, as your school, you need to make sure that your, you know, your teachers and your administrators and your, you know, external communications people, your internal and external marketers that you all are, are being consistent in your language.
[00:16:04] Um, so if you say, we do this, then that has to go across everything and absolutely. Social is a, is a really good place to play on it.
[00:16:11] Aubrey: Oh, I think you hit the hit nail on the head with that one, with like a clear, consistent message across all people, all platforms so important. It
[00:16:20] Suzy: sounds easier than it’s right, like no one ever does it, but it’s the goal.
[00:16:25] Aubrey: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I, we see schools struggling with this as people, you know, change out of positions and then how is that onboarding process handled and everything like that. So yes, definitely a great reminder to schools. Now, um, you kind of may have covered one of these in that last, um, discussion, but what are some mistakes that you see organizations make when it comes to pr?
[00:16:50] Suzy: This, they talk to their hand. It’s like, who are you talking to? It’s like, like, put your hands down. I, I feel like so often, um, people get nervous and, and they think they know what they wanna say, but when they go to say it, it, it doesn’t quite come out. It doesn’t quite land, you know? And, and I think that that’s where you have to get consensus buy-in from your team.
[00:17:12] You have to say, okay, we’re, we’re gonna launch this initiative. We really wanna get some buzz about it. We want people talking about it. This is what it means. And, and they make sure everyone in the room who’s gonna be, you know, talking to different influencers and audiences that they, they lean in and, and embrace that same language.
[00:17:28] You, you, that everyone is on the same page. I mean, to me that’s the biggest mistake or any size organization makes.
[00:17:36] Tara: You actually script things out and practice them? If in that,
[00:17:40] Suzy: I mean, I do, I mean, not for today, but in general, I spend a lot of time doing that for clients. Yeah. And then evolving those messages to the parents, to the board, to the teachers across your social, in your press release so that then you have that, again, that consistency of message, continuity of brand, um, you’re not going off script and, and, and then you’re true to the thing that you’re working on.
[00:18:03] Then it’s like, Kumbaya, we’re all proven together. Um, and people know what you’re trying to accomplish. But you know, Aubrey, you, you said it perfectly, like too often people are like, you know, they, they, they’re sort of going away in their own direction and they kind of wing it and, um, and maybe what they’re saying doesn’t match what’s on their website or, or their marketing materials, prospective families.
[00:18:25] Then there’s confusion. That’s great.
[00:18:28] Tara: That’s great. Yeah. I, I, I’m sure that’s something that people don’t think about preparing for that specific thing too. Okay, so we focused all on sort of the press that everybody wants, right? That we wanna get our messages out there, we wanna get covered for all this positive news about what’s going on in our school and all the great things that we’re doing.
[00:18:45] But sometimes things happen, uh, that generate negative press coverage, unfortunately. And, um, so I just wanted to ask you to talk a little bit about handling negative press, that, that stuff that you can’t control and that you would really rather not
[00:19:02] Suzy: be there. It’s, it’s kind of funny cuz I, I worked a little bit in crisis communications, um, but I feel like as professionals we’ve all learned so much from, you know, the kids growing up with phones in their hands who’re documenting everything that happens and, and there has been a pretty big shift in terms of consumption.
[00:19:21] The kids won’t put up with anything but. Honesty. You know, they, they, they will fact check, they will source you, they will multiple vet. They, they don’t, they sort of don’t trust anything, um, because they’ve been up on social media and they’ve seen, you know, the manufactured appearance versus, you know, the truth.
[00:19:37] Bad things do happen. Sometimes teachers make mistakes. Sometimes parents do bad things. Sometimes there might be, you know, something that happens. There was a. There was something happened at one of our schools in the area years ago now, um, where they tried to put up a banner of the, all of this kids in the, in the graduating class and the yearbook company put together, and for some reason they decided to kind of use shading to, to have the school’s, um, emblem in the middle of the spanner.
[00:20:07] They, but the, the shaving they used were. Non-white students. And so they literally grouped and repeated pictures of, of, um, you know, black, Hispanic, um, you know, people of color and they used the shading. And so it became a huge, like, backlash. And what was crazy about it was yearbook company did it. They, and, and I’m sure there’s no malicious intent, I’m sure it was a, you know, um, an algorithm in, in their platform that when they put together this thing, that’s how it spit out.
[00:20:38] But the fact that it went through, The school and people looked at it, even the people that hung the banner up outside and it took families walking by saying, Wait, did they use those kids as shading? And the kids were tweeting about it? Um, obviously they took it down. They apologized, and, and that was an opportunity for, you know, really a reckoning of insensitivity and, and to, to be more thoughtful about the diversity of our students.
[00:21:05] And they’re not shading. I mean, it was in a situation like that, you just have to own it, apologize, address it, and then keep learning from it with something like that. There isn’t just moving on. It is we’ll do better. We’re gonna be thoughtful, we are gonna be conscientious. Cuz it was just such a, you know, such a bad story and bad optics, especially at a time, I think this was in Covid or something.
[00:21:29] So it was a time when everyone needed something good and that was not great. Um, and that’s a kind of a light story compared to some other things that happened in, in, you know, education and in the world today, but, Whenever something happens that you didn’t plan, didn’t intend, um, blows back backwards. You just, you have to own it immediately.
[00:21:50] I, I
[00:21:50] Aubrey: think that’s really interesting, um, because I think, um, some people, I think they need to wait till they have the perfect language to send out. But in the meantime, as they’re panicking inside internally about what this message will be, everyone else is creating the. Their own narrative, their own narrative outside.
[00:22:12] So, um, I think that’s really helpful and a good reminder to schools. Um, is there, I. A follow up. Like if, let’s say it is on the, like the school has done something unintentionally maybe that like this school did, um, is there then a, a follow up to that to say, here’s what we’re working on? Like, is it it’s a longer term process than just the immediate, yeah.
[00:22:34] Right. Yeah, because then you almost need to show, hey, we didn’t just say that to say that we’re actually doing something about that. Mm-hmm. Um, is that your recommendation as
[00:22:43] Suzy: well? Um, Totally. And I think that also fills that void, right? Like is because exactly what you said in the vacuum, people are gonna create their own narratives.
[00:22:51] They’re gonna, they’re gonna create their own story. And you actually look worse. You know, you’re stuck plummets like you, and you don’t want that. You don’t want people unhappy. And, and that’s where it’s also really good for the schools in this situation. You know, they made a mistake, they didn’t look carefully at it.
[00:23:07] Um, and that’s also a good time for them to re-pivot and, and just say, We’re really embarrassed. We’re really sorry. This never should have happened. You know, we are gonna take a hard look inside at the systems and how this thing happened, but in the meantime, you know, educating the students is our priority.
[00:23:23] Making sure that kids have a safe place to go during the day. And that our, our curriculum, you know, teachers can teach the best curriculum. You can also kind of re reflect on. This was a, a, a bad thing, but our priority is always in the kids and their safety and their mental health and wellbeing. We’re taking this thing under advisement.
[00:23:41] You’ll hear more from us, and then smart schools will kind of pun intended. There will go back and, and follow up and, and, and it’s okay to say we made a mistake. They don’t have to keep raising it up again and again. But they can say, you know, we’ve learned we’re becoming more thoughtful. You know, diversity matters.
[00:23:59] We’re, we’re being sensitive. And then talk about the programming that they’re putting in place or the, the training that they’re doing internally to make sure that they don’t make those same mistakes. Whatever the mistake is. Yeah,
[00:24:10] Tara: that’s perfect. Um, wait for me to transition into the next question, which, um, is the other part of our podcast is about mindfulness.
[00:24:19] So what we’ve just kind of talked about, I think really it’s the nail on the head in terms of mindfulness as it applies to these types of circumstances for schools, but maybe in PR in general. So, can you talk a little bit about how mindfulness to you, what mindfulness means to you, and how it, how it might, um, apply?
[00:24:38] For this in these times of constant news and social media, the stressful situations that it can present, you know, what are your thoughts on mindfulness and how it can help people working in this environment, in a school comms office?
[00:24:51] Suzy: You know, it’s something I don’t do enough. I need more like meditative moments just to chill and, and kind of be thoughtful about this work that I’m doing.
[00:25:00] I feel like a lot of times in communications, and I know the schools feel this way, um, you’re stretched really thin. You’re jumping on grenades, you’re running from one thing to the next, and, and you’re so busy, honestly, like multitasking. You might be on a zoom and doing emails and kinda listening and, and when you’re spread that thin and you’re that fragmented, um, you’re really not.
[00:25:19] Doing the best work for yourself or or for your school, or for whoever you’re working with, whatever organization. And so to me, mindfulness is about putting the genetic disturb on, turning off notifications, time blocking, and putting it on my calendar, like focus time. I’ve got two hours. Focus time. Do not bother me.
[00:25:41] I will not be checking email if you need me. You know where to find me, but please don’t. Um, and then you just have the, some that quiet space to do some thoughtful writing, to respond to emails, to, to be, you know, just in that moment for planning so that you’re not constantly reacting and, and missing things.
[00:25:59] Because I think people feel like if they move at speed, they’re, they’re doing their best. And oftentimes it’s the opposite.
[00:26:06] Aubrey: That’s really helpful. I was just, um, I do a monthly, my, um, a monthly small school leaders meetup for small school leaders nationwide. And this was a thing that came up. It was, it was about how do I, like, keep, do, I’m doing all this like running, running, running.
[00:26:22] Yet I, I don’t have a chance to step back and like, Just, you know, plan thoughtfully, um, think things through. And so often that’s probably when these things do happen that kind of set us back, um, in many different ways. So thank you for sharing. Um, I’m excited to, uh, kick off our rapid fire que the questions we ask.
[00:26:44] All our guests are rapid fire questions. Are you ready to go?
[00:26:48] Suzy: I am, but one more thought on mindfulness before we go. Yes, please. I’m so sorry cause that was such a great question. No, I just, I, I just thought about it. Um. I think you also need to ask, is this a meeting or an email? And then really good leaders will, you know, give their staff the time to breathe and, and own their own time.
[00:27:06] So like maybe no meeting Monday because just getting their job done is enough, you know? So just another thought I had about mindfulness I think is that is great. People we benefit from. Yes. Excellent.
[00:27:17] Aubrey: I love that. That’s really helpful. I’ll be sure to pass that along to our audience and also these small school leaders that I work with as well.
[00:27:26] Perfect. Um, alright, so let’s get started with our rapid fire question. So the first question is, if you could put one book as mandatory reading in the high school
[00:27:35] Suzy: curriculum, what would it be? Okay. I’m obsessed with the book, the Midnight Library, by Matt Hogue. And to me it was like one of the most transformational books I had read as a grownup and I loved it.
[00:27:47] It’s about, um, a woman who is in a really difficult moment and. She’s desperately unhappy and she kind of goes to this middle place, um, of consciousness and she ends up meeting up with a librarian who says, pick a book off the shelf, and she falls into it to see what her life would’ve been if she’d made a different turn.
[00:28:06] Little bit like the 1990s sliding doors. Little bit like, um, the new Oscar, winning everything everywhere. All at once, I think is the title and. When you’re in high school coming out trying to figure out who you’re gonna be and, and what you’re gonna study in college. I just think this idea that you could do anything and, and it, it sort of doesn’t matter cuz you’re gonna get on the right path is like a, is a good one.
[00:28:29] Tara: Excellent. Thank you. I read that and I enjoyed it a lot. Did
[00:28:31] Suzy: you love it? Yes. Yes I did. Oh God, I loved it.
[00:28:34] Tara: Yes. Okay. Next question. What’s what app you could
[00:28:37] Suzy: not live without? Um, there’s two right now. Both begin with, I, I’m borderline obsessed with Instagram. I spend too much time on it. Like I love the reels and I love seeing the stories.
[00:28:48] And Instacart, Instacart has given back my sanity. So my two Instas, uh, are my, go-to my thumbs, get so happy when I’m, I’m moving towards them. I
[00:28:59] Aubrey: don’t know what we did before. All that grocery, online grocery shopping thing, like it’s changed my life. I don’t go into grocery stores anymore. I’m like, why can’t they get the good
[00:29:08] Suzy: grapes?
[00:29:09] Why are I grape? That’s true, squishy. It’s like the produce is always a little hit or miss, but it’s um, I’ll take it. Just have
[00:29:17] Aubrey: exactly. I feel the same way. Thanks for sharing. Um, what are you
[00:29:21] Suzy: reading right now? Okay, so I just finished, um, this 15 book trilogy, the Ruth Galloway Stories, and I’m like, Ugh, I don’t know what to do.
[00:29:30] I was bereft cuz I just got so involved in these characters. They’re like my family. But I, um, Kind of a funny thing. I’m friends with an author named Sarah Kinnan, and she’s written like 12 New York Times bestsellers, proving once again, my friends are all way cooler than me and she’s letting me read her new book called The Shattering, which is going to be published next year.
[00:29:52] Um, and so I’m, I’m actually waiting for the next set of chapters and one of her beta readers, so she said she’ll send me the next, like, the ending tomorrow, so I’m not gonna be able to sleep all weekend. I’ll be reading that. I’m so jealous. That’s amazing.
[00:30:07] Aubrey: How
[00:30:07] Suzy: cool is so, and she’s letting me do this cause I found a mistake in her last book.
[00:30:13] Oh. Oh good. Oh, good, good. Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so, so I can’t wait to read that. She wrote the younger wife, the wife between us, other books that didn’t mention wives, but she’s a really good page turning thriller. Yeah, check her out. Awesome. Yeah.
[00:30:28] Tara: Awesome. All right. Our last question is, what is one great piece of advice, not that you haven’t already given us a lot, what’s one great piece of advice you’d like to sum up
[00:30:36] Suzy: the our chat with today?
[00:30:39] Well, I already told you that people do business, people they like, which is my favorite thing. But the thing I always tell my kids and, and now some of my clients is nobody plans an accident. You don’t get up in the morning and say, I’m gonna fall down a flight of stairs. I’m gonna crash my car. I’m gonna screw something up.
[00:30:56] So maybe just give yourself some grace. Cut yourself some slack. We’ve been through a lot. It’s gonna be okay. Most problems are fixable and it’s just, you know, Don’t get too beat down by life. You’re, you’re doing a good job. No one’s better than you at this. Keep going.
[00:31:11] Tara: Thank you, Suzy. Thank you so much for being with us today and sharing with us today.
[00:31:16] Where can people find online? Where can we find you
[00:31:19] Suzy: online? Spt URL ever. Brand and Buzz Bizz. I like Alliterations. Spell out the, and
[00:31:29] Aubrey: thank you again, Suzy, for all this wonderful advice and we learned so much, and I know our audience will be eager to hear all these strategies, so thanks for being a part of our show today.
[00:31:40] Thank you guys. Inquiry Tracker is the all-in-one CRM solution used by over 250 schools. Easily manage all your inquiries, tours,
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[00:32:08] Aubrey: Best of all the system is designed by K through 12 education, marketing, and admissions professionals. Check out inquiry tracker, inquiry tracker.net. That’s inquiry with an e tracker.net.
[00:32:20] Tara: Thanks for joining us on the Mindful School Marketing Podcast.
[00:32:24] Aubrey: We’d love it if you pop into iTunes and leave up review five Star Preferred. Let us know how you like the show. It helps us improve what we’re doing and helps others find us too.