Monday, November 10, 2008

The Washington Post and My Name in Print

What a wonderful day! We went to the diner with the pilots for breakfast - what we call "hanger flying" – you go somewhere and just talk about flying. Today's conversation started with, "Did you hear about the guy who had a stroke, yes while flying, lost his vision and still landed safely? (The story from England is here.)

Then went to visit some special friends, Marge and Henry; we stopped by with a cake to celebrate Marge's birthday.

Oh, yes, and then I ratified a contract and listed a new one that's up on ActiveRain with a lot of comments.

Driving home, I got that wonderful call: "You are featured in a story on the front page of the Washington Post!" Immediately I called my friend Peg who I know subscribes to the Post and she had it right in front of her – lead story in the Real Estate section of the Sunday paper. We got off the Beltway to find my own copy of the paper. Sure enough, the headline read: "How do you make an OPEN HOUSE stand out? Sometimes agents go to Extremes, but the Glitz doesn't always help." Not every place in Baltimore carries the Post, so we had to go to several places and bought a bunch of copies, then called Tatiana in New Mexico to share the news, since she's in the article, too.

It started a week or so ago, when I received a call from a Dan Rafter, a freelance writer for the Washington Post. He was interested in unusual open houses, and saw my post on the "Piggy TRAC Barbeque" That's right, Dan found me through Active Rain! When he called, I remembered the key things to know when speaking to a reporter: First, remember they are on a deadline and usually have an assignment. Second, find out what the article is going to be about and focus on that. I wanted to talk about Auctions or my book, but his assignment was open houses, so that's what we talked about. He wanted stories of unusual open houses like the "Piggy TRAC," and wanted to speak to the seller. I knew the barbecue open house seller wasn't available, so how about a champagne and popcorn open house? He liked the idea, and I knew Tatiana would be able to give him a good interview; she's a natural marketer.

And there was the article including a mention of Active Rain! Turns out I didn't need to run around and buy copies of the Post; the article is all there online.

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