5 Healthy Snacks to Eat at Your Desk

If you have a job anything like mine, you’re probably sitting in a chair for 10+ hours every day with few chances to walk to a co-worker’s desk for a brief moment. Boredom strikes from every angle, cunningly disguised as hunger. Wait, sidebar– who brought donuts for breakfast?

Before you know it you’ve eaten your daily carb, sugar and calorie intake for the day in less than 10 minutes.

AM I JUST BORED- GRINCH

I didn’t always have a desk job (even the name for it sounds dreadful). Actually, I’ve NEVER had a job where all I do is sit on my behind until my current one. I used to run around malls, hotels and restaurants in six-inch heels for hours. Once I even ran up a couple flights in heels with a broken foot! There wasn’t even time for snacks, much less meals. So, needless to say, the transition has been tough on my ever-growing love handles. It’s been tough to try to lose the pounds I’ve packed on, so I researched some healthy alternatives that satisfy the hunger demons without compromising my waist size.

1. Air-popped Popcorn

I placed this snack first on my list because it’s my saving grace. Depending on how much sugar, oil or salt you season it with, the calories can add up. It’s best to go without any add-ons. Popcorn is actually really good on it’s own, but I make an exception for Skinny Pop’s Sharp Cheddar Popcorn Mini Cakes (pictured in featured image)! At a mere 60 calories per 10 ‘cakes’, they are a snack STEAL. It’s low-calorie, gluten-free, non-GMO, whole-grain and rich with antioxidants!

2. Fruit and Greek Vanilla Yogurt with Chia and Flax Seeds

A great distraction for your gurgling stomach before lunch is fruit with Greek vanilla yogurt. It’s sweet and satisfying. Why Greek yogurt you ask? It’s so much better for you all around. It has twice the amount of protein than your standard yogurt. I usually add an assortment of mixed berries including blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries. Then I sprinkle  3 pinches of chia seeds and a single pinch of flax seeds for extra benefits.

If you’ve never used Chia seeds before, you are in for a treat. Chia seeds are full of nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids and have been proven to help people feel full for longer with their high fiber content. You add them to cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, water or even coconut milk. If you add them to your meal and leave them for a little while, they will swell. Don’t freak out, they taste best like this. I sometimes even purposely wait for them to swell before I eat. Another healthy snack idea while I’m chia ranting: add 2 tablespoons to a cup of coconut milk, put it in the fridge and wait for them to swell. Add fruit and some honey if you’d like. It’s like a gourmet dessert pudding– but better for you!

Same goes for flax seeds. This versatile topping has a very healthy reputation. According to WebMD, some even call it one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet. Recent studies have proven that flaxseed can protect against heart attacks, Parkinson’s disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer.

3. Toasted Whole Wheat English Muffin with Smart Balance Peanut Butter 

Whole wheat English muffins will save your dollar and your diet. You can dress them up in a variety of different ways, so you’ll never get bored of them like the usual diet food. They are high-fiber and low-fat with a dash of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium. All great ingredients that make up the perfect weight loss breakfast food.

Beware, the more you add to the toast, the more calories you take in. To help me feel fuller, longer I add Smart Balance’s Crunchy Peanut Butter. This option is healthier Image result for smart balance crunchy peanut butterfor you than the standard low-sugar peanut butter for a few reasons. First, they add flax oil to their product meaning you get a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Second, eaten in moderation, it provides you with less saturated fat and sugar. Third, if you add whole grain to this peanut butter choice the combination gives you access protein. Lastly, Smart Balance Peanut Butter promotes the health of skin and nerves with 20 percent of your daily value of vitamin B3 per serving. It also contains vitamin E, thiamin, potassium and iron.

4. Hard Boiled Egg

This one’s not as cool or exciting but it most definitely keeps your hunger at bay. Hard-boiled eggs good, heart-healthy fats called monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. This healthy snack is a great source of protein which helps you build muscle and repair tissue. It also provides you with vitamin A which promotes eye health, and vitamin D which promotes strong bones through calcium.  I workout after work four to five days a week so I need my protein. If you don’t work out much or you’re having a slow week cut the egg in half and throw out its yolk center. Also, refrain from adding salt– please and thank you.

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Pro Tip: Avoid stinking up your entire house for hours by making a quick run to your local grocery store and grabbing sodium free, pre-boiled eggs.

5. Hi I’m Skinny, Superfood Sticks ‘Mean & Green’

I am totally a chip person. I love CHIPS. Hi I’m Skinny Sticks have helped me replace my unhealthy finger-food habit. They have a variety of flavors, but the overall best I have found is their ‘Mean & Green’ Superfood sticks. Although it’s certainly not the best tasting option they sell, it’s their most nutritional option. It’s packed with vitamin C, calcium, fiber, protein and iron. My favorite part is that they have familiar ingredients that I’m not afraid to put in my body, so there’s no guessing. Their very first ingredient is green veggies including kale, peas and spinach! The best part is, they are only 130 calories per 35 sticks.

Image result for Skinny sticks mean and green

Happy eating,

Chelsea Suzanne

What healthy snack did I miss? Which is your favorite? Tell me in the comments section below!

Millionaire’s Digest: Spark A Viral Trend In Your Product

The #FlashdrivesForFreedom viral social media campaign article posted yesterday touched on each of the topics written by Millionaire’s Digest seen below.

I also would like to add share-ability to the list. Ask yourself… can this be easily shared with a friend or family member? Some things that touch on the share-ability of your promotional idea is covered via visibility, simplicity and accessibility.

If you’re looking to go viral with a product, service or idea check off these 6 items below when planning your promotion.

Now that you have that down packed, read the short list below:

Source: Spark A Viral Trend In Your Product (2 min read)

1. Social currency. Consumers are more likely to adopt a product if it makes them feel special or ahead of the curve. For example, Gilt’s exclusive sales helped it become one of the hottest online shopping sites.

2. Triggers. Products that catch on become part of our everyday lives, so successful products create reasons and reminders to return on a regular basis. For example, Facebook and Twitter drive you back to their sites every time they email you to say you have a new message or mention.

3. Emotional impact. People tend to evangelize a product if it affected them emotionally, whether it solved a stressful problem or brightened a bad day. For example, if a Buzzfeed article makes you laugh, you’ll likely share it with friends who need a lift.

4. Visibility. Giving a product a distinctive feature, such as a standout logo or color, helps consumers notice when others are using it. For example, you immediately recognize iPods because Apple made the headphones white when other companies all used black.

5. Practical value. A truly useful product that helps the user become more effective is more likely to be recommended often. For example, Evernote is very good at helping users remember and organize information, so it’s often recommended for research.

6. Stories. If people are going to share your product, they need to be able to tell its story. That can be as simple as a clear statement about what the product does, or as complicated as a really interesting origin story. For example, people who buy TOMS shoes love telling others how one pair is donated for every pair you buy.

(For Beauty, Book & Fashion Bloggers)
Article Credits Go Respectably to Entrepreneur Media, Inc.

#FlashDrivesForFreedom Social Media Campaign at SXSW

Flash Drives for Freedom is a Human Rights Foundation and Forum 280 initiative aimed at informing and educating the citizens of North Korea through the use of USBs. Activist groups based in South Korea secretly bring flash drives into the country via balloons, rivers or land. They are loaded with current news, books and even entertainment like reality shows. Their end goal is to arm North Koreans with freedom of mind by providing them with facts that dispel Kim Jong-Un’s propaganda.

When I first started my position at USB Memory Direct we were already sponsors of the project. It wasn’t until Flash Drives for Freedom pitched a tent at SXSW 2017, one of the largest most influential conferences on the globe, that I became more actively involved with our partnership. To be honest, it has always been a dream of mine to work for a tech lead non-profit and our sponsorship gave me a little taste of what it would be like.

It’s not every day a small company gets the chance to be represented by the Human Rights Foundation in front of a massive crowd. So for this event, we thought big.

USB Memory Direct launched a viral social media campaign during the weekend of SXSW that would match any number of mentions using #FlashDrivesForFreedom with a USB donation to support the cause. As tens of thousands of conference goers passed by the booth of Flash Drives for Freedom, they either donated a memory stick of their own or took to social media and posted #FlashDrivesForFreedom to @USBMemoryDirect.

Flash Drives For Freedom Tweet

The response was overwhelming. At first, we limited the mentions to Twitter but due to the activity on all platforms we opened the donations to include mentions on Facebook and Instagram as well. Within two days over 550 mentions were posted, reposted and shared. Since there were no limits set, we counted each and every hashtag @-ing our company. We also responded to each tweet with either a comment or a ‘like’ as a receipt of donation.

The campaign took off on the first Saturday of the event. I was out at lunch with my family when our social media manager, Jon, called me. He said our social was blowing up like never before. We were super excited! To keep the momentum going, we put together a list of political influencers keen on the North Korea debate to Tweet the campaign’s shareable at. The list included some Ted Talk activist, public officials and companies at the SXSW conference.

The initiative captured so much attention, that the Human Rights Foundation came out on top as the 3rd most loved brand at SXSW on Twitter alongside Nickelodeon, IBM Systems, Twitch and WWE.

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Creative Director, Doug Burnett, did a great job capturing the project in his recent video titled “Flash Drives For Freedom”. He is the brains behind the brand’s image and artwork. Check it out below or watch it here:

 

If you were given this same opportunity, what would you have done differently or added to this campaign to expose your company further?

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A Hogwarts Event

Events are my absolute favorite. It’s so much fun bringing an idea to life. Recently, I had the privilege of planning a Harry Potter themed bachelorette party and it turned out totally AWESOME. Personally, I am a huge Potterhead so this event was a breeze, but I could definitely see how it could be challenging for those lacking a Hogwarts degree ;). Anyways, that’s who this blog post is for~

So, the plan included a 2-day 2-park pass to Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, FL. They’re home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. I surprised the bride-to-be with our mini-vacation. The unveiling included a white balloon with a hand-drawn owl’s face on the front tied to an acceptance letter. I placed it on her bed for her to find a-la owl post. It was adorable and magical.

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For the letter, I put my own spin on a downloadable Hogwarts Google Document I found online. I visited a FedEx print shop and printed the letter on a long sheet of custom sized paper. Then, I filled a cookie sheet with dark roasted coffee to stain the paper. I placed the wet sheet on a tray and baked it at 250 degrees for about 8 minutes until it started to become a crispy, light brown.

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Since we didn’t want our apartment to accidentally burn to the ground, my boyfriend helped me burn the pages. He used a lighter to slightly burn holes and spots for an authentic, aged look. It was a little nerve-racking considering we only had one shot to get it right. There’s a trick to it… wet the tip of your finger with some saliva and outline the area around the spot you’d like burnt. This creates a ‘fence’ which keeps the flame from reaching other areas. Hold the paper about 3-4 inches from the flame, never keep the flame still by moving it around. When we had our first hole burn through, I freaked out but turns out it looks even cooler with some holes in it. We also burned the edges and very top of the paper too.

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You can view the letter here: Hogwarts Acceptance Letter PDF

I had a blast creating a fan-tastic Harry Potter scavenger hunt too. With some help from Reddit’s R/HarryPotter I got some great tips about the park only true Potterheads would pick-up on. For example, in the movie Hagrid teaches his students to bow before they ride the Hippogriff. Since there is a ride called ‘Flight of the Hippogriff’ they suggested I add a bow in the game.

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You can view the scavenger hunt here: Scavenger Hunt PDF

For the scavenger hunt, I created a 3-section brochure mimicking Marauder’s Map that begins with an ‘I solemnly swear IMG_0078I am up to no good’ first page. It also included a House Points section where each person marks their points once a task is completed to make it competitive. Since we lacked a talking sorting hat, each witch was assigned to their appropriate house through mystery cupcakes!

Yes. CUPCAKES.

Because we all know cupcakes automatically make everything soo much sweeter.

I filled a couple of red velvet cupcakes with colored frosting in the Hogwarts house colors (yellow, red, green and blue). On top, I used white frosting and multi-colored sprinkles. That way, the girls had to bite into the cupcakes to see which house they got. They loved the idea…

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I introduced the scavenger hunt and our matching T-shirts in a wooden box addressed to the bride from Hagrid. I ordered the most perfect matching tees from eScreen Shot 2017-06-03 at 7.28.02 PMtsy (check the image on the right). The bride’s shirt said “I Found A Catch” and the bridesmaid shirts said “She Found A Keeper.” It was a charming pun on quidditch.

I highly suggest tank tops, it helps keep you cool in the unforgiving sunshine state. FYI stay away from Orlando, Florida from May to July unless you enjoy heat strokes – wink. To add a magical touch to the presentation, I stuck some 3-D spider stickers diagonally across the top of the box to tie in with the movie.

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We topped off our mimosas, hidden in disposable coffee cups and headed out to the parks!

The Double Tree by Hilton Hotels at the entrance of Universal Studios made it super easy to get to the parks and back with their free shuttle bus. We also got a free (and very delicious) breakfast every morning. Needless to say, it really helped us stay on budget. The hotel was on the same street, directly in front of Universal Studio’s entrance. We could have even walked there if we wanted to. The bride loved the newly-renovated rooms with a view of the parks from the 7th story. The restaurants and Starbucks on the bottom floor were perfect for some late night drinks and early morning frappucinos!

It was so convenient that we never had to really leave the Hotel or drive. It was absolute heaven. Plus, we got a great deal by booking through Expedia. The only thing they don’t tell you is that parking is about $20 per night…

At first, we went back and forth on buying fast pass tickets, but we are so happy we decided on purchasing them. Some lines run as long as an hour and forty-five minutes. With the fast pass tickets, the longest we waited was about 35 minutes! If you purchase fast passes you will have to carry them around with you throughout the park and show it at each ride. They are little pieces of paper that are way to easy to lose.

If we hadn’t bought our Hogwarts house lanyards we most likely would have lost that $110 paper receipt within the first hour. Since it has a clear holder, the park attendants were able to quickly scan the passes without having us go through the hassle of taking out our passes. We also bought cute pins to decorate our lanyards with. Everyone at the parks had their lanyards completely filled with the coolest pins.

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As a Florida resident and frequent theme park goer I rarely purchase luxury extras, but from this day forward I am forever a fast pass gal. emojinails

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CHEERS

 

Shelley Lowery: Increase Sales by Building Credibility

Shelley touched on some points on domain authority and building credibility on the web like I discussed not too long ago 🙂 Check out her blog for some great biz tips.

Shelley Lowery / 15 mins ago

The Internet has opened a whole New World of information and opportunity for all of us. However, it has also created a breeding ground for scam artists. For this reason, many Internet users are very reluctant to share their personal information and order products online.

As an Internet entrepreneur, it is your personal responsibility to ensure that your visitors feel very comfortable with you and your website. In order to gain your visitor’s trust and confidence, you must build your credibility.

Domain Name

In order to establish credibility, you must be willing to invest in your own domain name and professional web hosting. Websites hosted on free servers are not taken seriously and will suffer a serious loss of business. Your visitors may feel that if you don’t have your own domain, you may not be a credible company. They’ll simply take their business elsewhere.

Contact Information

Provide your visitors with your complete contact information. This information should include your “real” postal address and not a Post Office box number. A business that hides behind a PO box loses credibility. It’s perfectly acceptable to use a PO box as long as you also include your postal address.

Create a page to add to your website called “about” and include all of the following:

• A personal or professional biography
• A photograph of yourself
• A complete description of you and/or your company
• Your website and/or company objectives
• Your name, address, phone number and email address

It is very important that you include an “about” page, especially if you’re selling a product or service. You must do everything in your power to put your visitor’s mind at ease.

Privacy Statement

Internet users are becoming more and more concerned with their privacy. Create a page on your website called “privacy” and let your visitors know exactly how you will be using the information you collect.

This page should include all of the following:

•How do you plan on using their information?
•Is their information sold or shared with a third party?
• Why do you collect their email address and how will it be used?
• Why do you track their IP address?
• Let your visitors know that you’re not responsible for the privacy issues of any outside websites you may be linking to.
• Why do you use order forms and what do you do with the information acquired?
•Do you run contests and what do you do with the information?
•Do you have a discussion forum or message board? Let your visitors know that any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information and they should exercise caution.
• Do you have security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under your control? If so, let your visitors know.
• Let your visitors know how they can opt out of your mailing lists.
• Provide your visitors with your contact information, should they have any questions in regard to your privacy statement.

Testimonials

Another great way to build your credibility is to display your customer testimonials. Include your customer’s name, email address and web address with each unsolicited testimonial to increase believability.

Money Back Guarantee

To further increase your credibility, you must completely remove your potential customer’s risk. Provide them with a solid, no risk, money back guarantee. This will put their mind at ease by building their confidence in you and your product.
In addition, you must honor ALL refund requests in a timely manner with complete professionalism.

No matter what you’re selling or how great your product is, you will receive refund requests. It’s just a part of doing business. Don’t take it personally or try to argue the point with your customers, simply give them a refund. You may be surprised to learn that the customers who ask for a refund may purchase other products from you in the future.

Feedback

Many times, potential customers will have questions in regard to your products and services. Create a page on your website called “feedback” and place a form on this page to enable your visitors to contact you. It is very important that you
answer these questions as quickly as possible. Your personal response to your potential customers can literally determine whether or not you’re going to make a sale.

A feedback form will also enable you to gather testimonials and receive suggestions to assist you in improving your website, products or services.

Secure Server

If you’re processing your customer’s orders online, you must place your order form on a secure server. This will protect your customer’s personal information, while at the same time, provides your customers with added confidence in placing an
order with you. In addition, make sure you let your visitors know that their information will be processed on a secure server.

By taking the time to build your credibility with your visitors, you will increase your Internet sales considerably.

Copyright © Shelley Lowery

About the Author:

Shelley Lowery is the author of the acclaimed web design course, Web Design Mastery. http://www.webdesignmastery.com And, Ebook Starter – Give Your Ebooks the look and feel of a REAL book. http://www.ebookstarter.com Visit Web-Source.net to sign up for a complimentary subscription to Etips and receive a copy of the acclaimed ebook, “Killer Internet Marketing Strategies.” http://www.web-source.net

Source: Increase Sales by Building Credibility

UBS: Apple & Wall Street Don’t Lose Sight of Steve’s Vision

As Apple gets pressured to make deal, an analyst reminds them of Steve Jobs’ words
UBS reminds Apple and Wall Street of Steve Jobs’ words: “Companies forget what it means to make great products.”
Analyst Steven Milunovich thinks Apple should keep its focus on the customer and not on making a big acquisition like Netflix or Disney to please shareholders.
The firm reiterates its buy rating and $165 price target for Apple, representing 8 percent upside from Monday’s close. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich used the words of its founder Steve Jobs to remind the company…

via UBS reminds Apple and Wall Street of Steve Jobs’ words: ‘Companies forget what it means to make great products…’ — MacDailyNews

3 Simple and Easy Ways To Improve Your Media Pitch

Every business benefits from media coverage — it all starts with a pitch. 

When sent to the right people, a media pitch is a great way get a company press coverage. There are a lot of factors you have to get just right for a successful pitch well-delivered. Make your email stand out by simplifying it, doing your research, and making your story newsworthy. Once you organize a targeted list of media contacts, draft an email that’s easy-to-read with a conversational tone. Avoid industry jargon and complex vocabulary at all costs. Only use an email template as the backbone of the pitch. Remember, each and every email should be personalized to its intended media contact.

There’s an art to pitching. After spending a few years at public relations and marketing companies, here are a few ways I learned to bring email pitches to life:

  1. Do your research.

Do some stalking before you send them an email. Pitch smarter, not harder. Instead of blasting tons of journalists with cold emails, find a way to make their job easier by fitting your pitch into their editorial calendars. For example, if it’s Christmas time and you’re trying to sell a story about toys in the subject line relate it to an article they have posted the year before which had toys in it. Usually, around this time they write about Christmas wishlists or the hottest toys of the season.

Do some digging. First, figure out every outlet they contribute to. Glance over their articles, do they write about similar products or companies you’re pitching? Next, figure out what they are talking about on social media. Journalists have never been easier to follow. Use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to get a feel for what they are like and how to best communicate with them. Don’t be shy to comment on their posts either, building a relationship with target journalists helps your company down the road!

2. Make it newsworthy.

Journalists are always looking for the next great story.

Although companies may go through a couple of big changes and partnerships a year, they don’t always correlate with trends and current events. See what’s currently trending and tie the pitch into it. This will help bring it some positive attention. I use Google Trends and trending items on Twitter and Facebook to help me come up with some ideas.

Google Trends:

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Sneak peek Google’s insights. Track big events and discussions with Google Trends.

 What’s trending on Facebook:

FacebookTrending
Scroll down to see what’s trending on the sidebar section labeled “Trending.”

What’s trending on Twitter:

Twitter Trends
My favorite way to catch up on all things trending!

3. Keep the email short and sweet!

The subject line should be juicy and the receiver should be able to get the gist of your pitch by reading it. In the body of the email always remember less is more. Sorry to break it to you, but journalists don’t read pitches word for word. They have become masters of skimming. Only about 1-2 sentences will actually by absorbed and if they’re not interested in those couple of lines, it’s on to the next. Writing less text gives them more time to soak in what you’re presenting. Limit your pitch to 3 short paragraphs ranging from 2 to 3 sentences each.

In the first paragraph, give them a reason why they should care about your story. Give them some insider information and make them want to be involved in what’s going on.

Make a connection. The next paragraph should show them you’ve done your homework. Refer to previous articles they have written and highlight topics they are passionate about. Also, tell the journalist why you’ve specifically chosen them to break the story. Feel free to bring up titles of previous articles they’ve written.

The last couple of sentences should be a call to action. Tell the journalist what to do with the information. If they contribute to a couple outlets, indicate which outlet you would like to see the story breaking on. If you’re interested in all their platforms say that so. You can also use the last paragraph to suggest an interview, invite them to tour the facilities or give them a time and date to a press conference.

Tip: If you’re launching a product, offer to send them a sample! They love getting stuff and it’s so much easier for them to review it when they have actual experience with the product. If it’s a new menu item, have them stop by for a comped meal. Add this in the last paragraph (it’s a call to action). Score.

Once your email has been created, attach a full press kit for their convenience. I use Canva.com to make eye-catching kits that are simple are enjoyable for others to view. Also, make sure to include several high-resolution photos they can use in articles. Provide a press release if you have one too. The more information they have, the better! After you proofread, as you would with anything else, have another set of eyes review the pitch. I like to ask those proofreading my pitches to relay a couple of points they drew from the email. Do they understand the point you’re trying to get across? Is it newsworthy? If they were the journalist, would they understand the call to action?

Then, proofread it again.

Any little mistake can totally throw away your credibility. I highly recommend installing the Grammarly extension on Chrome for this. It has saved my life about a million times. It’s a 100% free grammar checker that not only reviews spelling errors but sentence structure and punctuation too.

And WHATEVER you do, make sure their names are correct! Even outlets spell the names of their own journalists incorrectly. Cross check their names via social media, Google and Cision.com (if you have access to it).

Tip: If you’re working on a spreadsheet, use the highlighter in black to fill cells after you email contacts. That way you don’t accidentally email the same person twice or worse… call them another name with a different email pitch.

Wow, I even had a mini-panic attack just writing that!

Goodluck ~

Have any tips or tricks that you’ve learned from pitching to media contacts? Share it in the comments below 🙂

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