Start getting featured in the media: How to pitch, prepare and present

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Start Getting Featured In The Media: How To Pitch, Prepare And Present | Ep23

Everyone has a story worthy of telling, so this episode is all about helping you get featured in the media. Discover what you need to do to successfully pitch, prepare and present to the media in order to gain the media coverage you need to boost your business.
When you’re a small business it’s often not easy to know how to get your products or services into the media spotlight, so today I’m speaking with Sally Rigney who’s spent the past 20 years working on both sides of the media, as a journalist and in public relations. Stay tuned to find out how you can create a newsworthy story, how to prepare for interviews, and how one small outback Australian town went viral.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Why you need to be start focussing on getting featured in the media
  • What makes a story newsworthy
  • The biggest mistakes businesses make when dealing with journalists
  • Inspiration for media campaigns you can create
  • How to prepare for a radio and television interview
  • How to get your message across
  • ‘Must do's’ for engaging your audience on video and audio

Listen on your favourite podcast platform

Guest: Sally Rigney

Sally Rigney is a resourceful, organised and dynamic rural woman who makes things happen. Using her 20 years of journalism and public relations experience, Sally gives a voice to the people, events and issues in my region, ensuring they have an energetic and vibrant local community. Her definition of success is finding where you belong, embracing it and enjoying it.

Resources

Watch the St George Mate Song

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Thanks! And a big thank you to ConnorDDD for their wonderful review:
“This podcast is a must for any small business owner wanting to grow. Everything’s explained so well. It’s going to make a real difference to how we do marketing”

Transcript

Nicci O'Mara

When you're a small business, it's often not easy to know how to get your products or services into the media spotlight. So today I'm speaking with Sally Rigney, who spent the past 20 years working on both sides of the media as a journalist and in public relations. Stay tuned to find out how you can create a newsworthy story, how to prepare for interviews, and how one small outback Australian town went viral.

Nicci O'Mara

The Simply Standout Marketing Podcast is for you, the small business owner wanting to supercharge your marketing with simple, actionable strategies and inspiration so you can smash your goals and grow your business. Now it's your turn to discover what actions to take to make your business truly stand out and succeed. Let's get started.

Nicci O'Mara

Hello. Today I'm excited to have on the podcast with me Sally Rigney. Sally, thanks for joining me today and sharing your wisdom to help small businesses achieve greater success from working with the media.

Sally Rigney

Thanks, Nicci. It's so lovely to be here.

Nicci O'Mara

It is. I can hear the beautiful birds outside your office window chirping away.

Sally Rigney

Yes, and they are surronded by about forty-five thousand acres of grass at Nindigully in South-west Queensland.

Nicci O'Mara

Oh, yes. Well, there's plenty of wildlife there, that's for sure, which I'm sure a lot of people would rather be out there at the moment with you.

Sally Rigney

I'm sure they would too, you know, lockdown's just not a problem on this place.

Nicci O'Mara

Exactly. Now, look, to start off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what it is that you do?

Sally Rigney

Well, I had a long career with ABC Radio that took me from our smallest towns to our biggest cities. There was time as communications director for the Grain Growers back in Ian Macfarlanes Day when we merged a few of the agri political groups to create AgForce Queensland. And then in December 2002, I married a gorgeous farmer and I began writing freelance for publications like Outback Magazine and the Courier Mail. In more recent years, I was the inaugural chair of the Rabobank, Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales Client Council.

Sally Rigney

Oh, that's always been a big mouthful. I'd say that they gave me that job because we owed the bank way too much money. But it was a really exciting job because we used bank funds to create projects that helped improve the financial literacy in regional areas. And look, what we achieved was recently recognised when I was named, the Greater Downs Women in Business of the Year. So that was nice.

Sally Rigney

And currently, while running the office of our expanding cattle Enterprise, Rigney Rural at Nindigully, I'm also the Cotton Australia regional manager for St George, Dirranbandi and Mungindi.

Nicci O'Mara

Yes. You're never one to settle for, you know, just doing the odd job here and there. You certainly got your plate full there. And look, that's why it's so wonderful to talk to you, because you have worked on both sides of media. You know, you've worked in with the media and then actually dealing with them to try and get stories. So that's what I love so much about finding out your side of the story, which is always good.

 Nicci O'Mara

So, look, you've worked with a lot of businesses and a lot of community organizations, which you've just been listing and especially sort of out towards your St George area. And you've both been interviewing them for, you know, a media organisation of the ABC and also helping them gain media exposure. What have you seen to be the biggest benefits of gaining media coverage for businesses and organisations?

Sally Rigney

Look Nicci, really it's about people connecting with a story. So telling our stories is what breaks down the barriers and miss perceptions. And I think positive media coverage really creates energy and recognition on what can often be a crowded marketplace. And I always say, if you don't tell people, they don't know. So you need to tell your story. And recently I've been doing stories for our local cotton growers, you know, and it's been good news after years of drought about rain and flows in the river and really being able to show, I guess, the human side of an industry people don't really know or understand.

Sally Rigney

So being able to take a person from the city into our backyard and break down some of the barriers is really, really powerful. And when I look at media coverage for the small businesses, the one tip I would give you is that everyone is time poor. So the easier you make it for a journalist, the more coverage you'll get.

Sally Rigney

But, you know, often, like for me, when I started doing video for the Ballon Shire Council because we ran out of money, so I used COVID to retrain myself online and learn about how to do videos. And I was really fearful because I thinking, oh my goodness, how do I use this programme? It keeps crashing. But really, I just say to people, don't worry, you'll learn what you need to learn along the way. So just focus on what your strength is and I promise you will develop the skills you need to be able to communicate your story.

Nicci O'Mara

Yeah, and I think that's very important. And from the point of view of social media, a lot of people have concentrated so much effort and energy into doing social media. I might be wrong here, but I wonder whether they're so scared about putting stuff into the actual media in terms of television, radio, publications, that the media have sort of been forgotten about in a lot of ways, with people telling these amazing stories. And there's so many amazing stories out there.

Sally Rigney

Look, there really are so many stories and people think they don't have a story to tell, but everyone does. There is a story behind every door of every house. I think one of the interesting things we're seeing with the social media is people are really enjoying the really genuine and authentic short clips that are really true to what they're representing. We seem to be stepping away from needing to see highly professional, I guess, productions.

Sally Rigney

Also, I think for us out here, I mean, we lost our local newspaper, so actually connecting into traditional media can be harder for us because now we're taking a bush story and trying to access the metropolitan media right from the word go.

Nicci O'Mara

Yes. And I think it's so important to get your story out there into a broader market in terms of the newspapers and radio and everything, rather than just on social media. And talking about stories and what makes things newsworthy, we both know that most stories that get pitched to the media are a long way off being of any interest to the media and their audiences. I find that especially a lot of the ones that come from big, bigger businesses and just sometimes that are so far off the mark. So what do you think makes a story newsworthy?

Sally Rigney

Well, you really want to make your story newsworthy because that's free advertising. That's free editorial. So news is what happens. News is what people are talking about. News is new or current. And reporters choose their stories from the flood of information and events happening with four criteria in mind: its importance impact, timeless, uniqueness and human interest. And, you know, that's all talking hard news. We've also got extended magazine pieces and as we've discussed, you know, short, quirky social media posts.

Sally Rigney

So I'd really say to people, watch and listen to the media stream you want to tap into, you know, recognise the different styles and choose the right fit for you. And to work out what your story is, the first thing you have to create is context. Ask yourself, why is this? Why now? What makes this story pertinent? And what do you want to achieve with the interview? Is it cold, hard facts? What makes it important to your target audience?

Sally Rigney

So you're really looking for your point of difference. What makes you special? What's the hook or the angle that makes it newsworthy? And to start that process really is a bit of brainstorming. It's a thinking time and it's sitting down and asking yourself those questions that are actually going to make you relevant. A few basic ideas for ways to create news is to actually tie in with the news events of the day. You know?

Sally Rigney

You could adapt a national survey or report locally, you could make an analysis or prediction, announce an appointment to celebrate an anniversary. You could make a statement on a subject of interest. I mean, if there's someway you could tie-in with the Olympics. But also you could make an award. So it's just finding ways, I guess, to give it a point in time as to why it needs to be reported now.

Nicci O'Mara

Yes. And they're all very good things for people to remember and to think about. What are some of the favourite initiatives of yours that you've developed to gain media coverage?

Sally Rigney

Well, definitely one of the big successes and one of my absolute favourites was the 20/20 St George matesong. St George is about 500 kilometres west of Brisbane in the Balonne Shire, and I'd been called in by the Shire Council to help because they didn't have a media officer at the time and they were facing the worst tourist season ever in record because we had the fires down south and we were the grey nomads were going to stay down there and we were in eight years of drought.

Sally Rigney

It was just diabolical. And I'd seen that Tourism Australia, it was a 15 million dollar ad they did with Kylie Minogue called the matesong. And it was actually crazily enough, pulled off after quite a short time because of the fires. And it was all aimed at attracting the English to Australia. And so I said, why don't we do a bush parody of us trying to attract Australians to the bush and on a little shoestring budget. So working with councils, Tourism Manager Kim Wildman, we started writing our version that very, very first day.

Sally Rigney

And I actually spilt coffee right over the first draught. That was very embarrassing. We were going to make fun of the drought. We were going to have boats in the bottom of a dry river. We're going to have people mowing dust lawns. And while we're doing all of this, we actually wanted to protect ourselves, too. And that's something you've really got to think about. If you don't have the knowledge, bring in the experts. So we brought in country music singer Josh Arnold to ensure copyright was covered and that the music was professionally produced.

Sally Rigney

And then we brought in our 7 little towns and gave the community ownership by involving them. So at the time, our Kylie Minogue was an 18 year old jillaroo from Dirranbandi, Lucy Sevil, who'd never worn makeup. And our Australian comedian Adam Hills was played by SES worker Ben Gardiner, who'd returned to work with a holiday beard. That was all the criteria we needed to fill. But then we were just about to start filming. We had our spreadsheets, we were ready and the rain came and then a flood and the roads were closed.

Sally Rigney

When you watch the video, the beach scene, we lost that bit of ground one day later, you know, and our St George matesong had to evolve and adapt very, very quickly. And it ended up turning into this amazing celebration of the rain. And it became the toe tapping good news story that captured the hearts of Australia. And we went viral with Kylie Minogue, sharing it with her millions of social media followers. So it actually generated one point two million dollars worth of promotion for the Balonne Shire Council. And Kim and I went on to win the Queensland Local Government Association best creative social media campaign. So it was a win all around.

Nicci O'Mara

It was. And look, I have seen it numerous times and absolutely love it. And can you just explain to people, because a lot of people have no idea where St George is or how big it is, give them an idea of exactly how big you know, how many people live in St George?

Sally Rigney

Well, now it's about three thousand, if you're lucky. And it's set on the most beautiful river, the Balonne River. We say it's the best water skiing in Australia. And what we have in the Balonne Shire is crazy and unique thing where we've got seven little towns, seven little communities, and they're all on their own rivers. So we've got this natural tourist trial where you can drive to the towns and it's sort of, I guess, seen as the inland fishing capital. So it's lovely when we have water.

Nicci O'Mara

Yeah. And look, really, at the end of the day, I absolutely loved what you did and thought it was fantastic because knowing that it would have been such a small budget and it just goes to show that you don't need big budgets to actually make, you know, create incredible things and to get really good media attraction for it.

Sally Rigney

Look, I think it's really important to find your team, to have that person that you can bounce off. Like with Kim Wildman and I, I'm a big ideas person. I'm a bit crazy. I go higher and higher and Kim's a problem person, so she'll come to me with the problem and I'll find the solution. And then Kim's the details and spreadsheet because I hate detail and spreadsheets. And so we really work together to lift each other up, support each other. And it's actually created an amazing friendship.

Sally Rigney

And I think that's one of the really important things with whatever business or company you're in, is finding new people and surrounding yourself with them, because often you can sit alone thinking, is this a good idea or not a good idea? And to really have that support and to have the people who can help you grow and develop it and actually reach fruition, because it's easy to have big, good, funny ideas. But if you're not going to get them on paper, or you're not going to get them on video, then they go nowhere.

Nicci O'Mara

Yes. And that's very true because, I mean, even I actually have a couple of people who I bounce ideas off because I might have the greatest ideas in the world, but you've got to actually see them through to fruition. And it also helps just to have someone on your side who goes, that is amazing. Yes, go and do it. Push.

Sally Rigney

Absolutely. We all need to push. It's so easy to procrastinate. It is so easy to Internet shop instead.

Nicci O'Mara

Oh, yes, that is true. And also it's so easy to just get lost in the maze of whatever happens to be the latest thing or get lost in Facebook or clubhouse. Yes. All of those wonderful things online that we can waste time on. There's plenty of them.

Nicci O'Mara

Now, look, apart from pitching, you know, non-newsworthy stories to the media, are there any other big mistakes that you saw as a journalist that businesses make when they're trying to get a story in the media?

Sally Rigney

Look, one of the biggest things is nothing is off the record. This goes for all appearances, interviews, whatever you say anywhere can follow you around endlessly and perhaps disastrously. So just don't said it if there's no need, also don't promise anything you can't deliver. I've also noticed over the years that businesses can miss out on opportunities because they're slow to prepare or slow to react. So it's a viciously fast news cycle. So if you have a project, make a forward calendar of the different potential stories and work to them in a timely fashion because, you know, just because you suddenly think it's a crisis, it doesn't make it a crisis for me.

Sally Rigney

You need to prepare so you can get it to the journalist, so it's not this last minute thing when it doesn't need to be. Also, if you know there is a downside to your business, think about those negatives and how you can flip it into a positive if the question arises or the situation arises. Also, the thing I'd say is people often don't think about the need to put in the hard work. You actually need to research the media you're trying to connect with so that you know the journalists who have the style you're looking for.

Sally Rigney

When I put together the St George matesong, I literally broke Google finding the people I needed from travel to caravan parks to grey nomad groups. But you know, I'll see people send me a media release and that's nothing. It just goes off into the aether. You actually have to put the time and ring the journalist. Follow up personal. Publicity is all about building relationships with people because it's harder to say no when you have a connection. So I really think you've got to really build those connections, build your address book, and you have to be good talent.

Sally Rigney

You have to speak clearly and be on message because if you can deliver, they'll keep bringing you back. The only other thing I'd say is about truth and accuracy and checking, rechecking of facts, which comes from the journalism side. But I would say to people being interviewed, correct inaccuracies at the time, if you realise a journalist doesn't have it right, really stop and make sure they have got the message clearly. They're not an expert in the field. You are. They're just asking the questions. So really, you know, double test that they've got the story straight and got it right. Also, if you've got a name that is hard to spell, be upfront and make sure that they've got the correct spelling. And the last thing I say is don't waffle. If you're too hard to cut, the story will end up on the editing floor.

Nicci O'Mara

They're all very, very good tips. And there's a lot of things that you have to do to prepare for a media interview, especially when you've never done one before and might be anxious about it. And this is especially so for radio and television. And it's something I learnt many, many years ago when I started working in public relations in the 90s. And that was that whole, when you're asked a question on often on radio or television news, you have to answer with the question.

Nicci O'Mara

And I think a lot of people aren't prepared for that. So what could you say to them to help them to prepare for, you know, radio and television interviews?

Sally Rigney

First thing is, know whether your recorded or live, because that really changes your approach. You know, if you recorded, you can stuff up and they can cut it for you. But if you're live, you've got to find a way to keep going. I'll never forget this fantastic radio personality we had on ABC that transitioned to television and forgot she was on television and was coughing into her mic, thinking she's turning it off like she was on radio. So, you know, you've really got to think of what is being seen and making sure that that's being presented well.

Sally Rigney

Well, look, first thing to remember, being interviewed is not brain surgery so just calm down, because two common effects of nervousness, are mumbling all your words and racing your speech, which I'm probably doing right now because I hate being interviewed, but try to avoid this by remembering to breathe. Write in big red pen on your notes: speak up and slow down. Because when I was in radio, I used to have this smiley face in the studio so I remembered smile because it actually changes your voice.

Sally Rigney

And I think it's important to think about the emotion of the interview. And the story. Is it a business story where, you know, you're in a suit with the sharp shoulders, good posture? Is it emotional, more relaxed, happy? What is the feeling? Because you need to channel that because there's no point standing there rejoicing about the rain if you're speaking in a monotone. And I think it's so important to make sure you find the quirky things that are going to give you that point of difference, whether it's talking about the croaking frogs or, you know, just finding that inlet to give yourself some colour.

Sally Rigney

I think the most important thing is to be prepared, so before the interview asks the journalists what direction they'll be taking with the story and the type of questions they would like to cover. And remember that you are talking to a journalist, but speak as if you're speaking to one person because it's actually the audience you're trying to connect, that one person you're trying to connect to rather than a faceless mass. So always speak as it was speaking to one person. Know your message, you know, have you three key messages firmly in your mind and keep your answers short and memorable.

Sally Rigney

So radio wants 20 seconds or less. TV is about 10 to 15 seconds. And newspapers are looking for a sentence that's 25 words. When we talk about nervousness, practice breathing techniques, prepare and rehearsed your answers and talk slowly, dress the part, think positively and don't drink milk. It slows down your vocal cords.

Nicci O'Mara

Now, that one I have never heard before, so that's fantastic. I've learnt something new tonight. Well, I've actually learnt quite a few new things, but yep. Never drink milk. What about milk and coffee? Does that count?

Sally Rigney

No, of course it doesn't. 

Nicci O'Mara

What would I do without it?

Sally Rigney

Don't drink too much though or you'll get the jitters. If you're a cougher, go out the back and have a good cough and just always make sure you've got some water or tissues around you. Just, it's like preparing for a party, have that little emergency kit with bandages and everything in it that you could possibly need.

Nicci O'Mara

Yes. And I always find and we've all got it today, videos on our video recorders, on our computers or phones or whatever. I often find doing it in front of a camera and videoing yourself make such a big difference. And you can look back at it and go, oh, you don't even have to look back on it. But for me, it's now that practice of just pretending that someone is recording me. And as you said, breathing and smiling works every time before I start.

Nicci O'Mara

Even with the podcast interview or even doing a solo one, I actually stand up straight, smile and breathe. And it works every time.

Sally Rigney

And I think it's really interesting you talk about watching it back because I've had to do a few where I've watched it back and gone oh, who knew I had a bad angle? But I think it's really good for you to find what works for your face. Like, I know for me it's often hard with the TV's where they want me side on. It's like I know that's my worst angle, you know, I want to be front on. You don't need to see all those chins.

Sally Rigney

And I think it's just actually I think that's great, Nick, about really doing some of your own recording and just watching it back and seeing what worked or didn't work.

Nicci O'Mara

Yeah, I just even find not even watching it back some days and just having that practise of OK, because often I don't like watching myself, which a lot of people don't, but that's the thing none of us do. So you do. You suck it up and go okay, yes, let's just watch it. Okay, this is where I could improve and then I find you are much more relaxed when you actually go and do an interview.

Sally Rigney

Look, it's all about preparation. If you don't have a plan, you plan to fail. And so it's about taking the time, giving yourself the time, placing priority on it and making sure you are prepared so that when you walk in and your brain goes blank, your subconscious kicks in. And it can answer that question for you.

Nicci O'Mara

Yes. And I especially find that with your key messages, having those three key messages, because a lot of the time it's very easy to get a journalist to ask you a question that's totally off track from what you wanted to say and being able to bring that back to your key messages. So that's what comes across, not some totally random fact that's just been bought out.

Sally Rigney

Look and that's a skill in itself turning a question around. And it's all about the use of words and acknowledging the question, but then moving around where you want to go. You could do a whole podcast on that.

Nicci O'Mara

I could well, I think politicians are the experts at doing that, I've got to say.

Sally Rigney

Are they? Because we've all called them on it. I mean, and I think that's a really big thing, is to be really genuine and authentic. And if you don't want to answer it, if you think the questions are off on a tangent, you have to pay respect to the question in some way before moving it to where you want to go. But I think people just expect that they need an answer. When we see the politicians waffling around and we still don't know what was said, I think that's when everyone gets frustrated.

Nicci O'Mara

Definitely. Now, what are some of the major must dos for engaging your audience when you're being interviewed on on video or audio, I know you've touched on a few of those already today.

Sally Rigney

Look, so we have, you know, it's things like being authentic and genuine because you must be you. Think about the medium and dress appropriately for the occasion. You know, if you're doing a story on Sky News, look like a farmer. Be very clear and brief.

Nicci O'Mara

Your comment must be easy to understand and easy to repeat. And that's what the politicians are great at. Their little media advisers really make sure that it's something you can repeat. And watch your body language, body language can be stronger than a thousand words. And even in a positive interview, interviewees can sometimes look tense or stiff and that can have a big impact on their credibility. So, you know, before you're on camera, if there's time, do some exercise or walk around and try to relax your body as we've discussed with breathing and things like that.

Sally Rigney

But I'd say really put life back into your language. You know, be brief, colourful, visual, memorable, simple, relevant and accurate because the aim is to reduce long winded explanations into a single snappy sentence. And it's amazing how few words are necessary to express a concept. So the easiest way to start is when you're writing a paragraph, see how well you can sum it up in just a few words and say it out loud and see how it feels. I mean, you know, Julius Caesar was absolutely famous for this because he created an empire and with concise communication, and summed the whole experience up in - I came, I saw, I conquered.

Nicci O'Mara

Yes, he certainly did. Now, I think one thing that people do get caught up in is they are scared that not everyone will like them. And I've learnt the hard way. It doesn't matter. That will never happen. That everyone will, you know, be loving what you're saying or what you look like or anything else. I figure that you actually have to concentrate on who you are and being who you are and being genuine and just talking to the journalist that is standing there and not thinking anything further past that, that you're talking to your people that you want to get to because you don't want to become friends with everyone I figure.

Sally Rigney

I think everyone wants to show themselves in their best light. I think you're going to be shocked sometimes by some of the reactions from the wider population. I mean, with the Balonne Shire Council, we put up something simple about gardening on Facebook and the multitude of negative comments that come in and comments you wouldn't have even considered it would get. And you are just astounded and amazed by how critical people are at times. And I think with all of that, if you feel like you've done the best job you can do, then just let it go.

Sally Rigney

You know, be kind to yourself, because there's always going to be armchair critics, there are always going to be people giving the two bobs worth. So if you can stand up there and go, you know, I did the best job I could do with what I have on the day. And what I've done, I can stand by proudly, it fits in with our brand, it fits in with our values. It fits in with who we are as people, and I do the best I can do. Then look, pat yourself on the back and if you make mistakes, that's a learning situation.

Nicci O'Mara

You know, we get better every time it's all about practice. Now, look, the infamous ums and ahhs are really hard not to say. I know I say them quite a bit and most people do, but especially in a short media interview, say radio and television, it's a really important skill to learn how not to do your ums and ahhs. Have you got some techniques that you've developed with interviews that you do that make you sound confident, plus help to get rid of the so many ums and ahs?

Sally Rigney

Look, I'm actually not going to give you the answer you want because everyone has their own unique speech pattern. And I'd say embrace it. It's you. You know, when I presented the Queensland Country Hour, they tried to change the way I speak and I spent more time thinking about that and stuffing up than actually about the questions I was going to be asking. So I think sometimes just let it be OK. If you can practise, then I would say probably record yourself and listen back, because I do spend a lot of time inmy interviews cutting out the ums and ah's, and you would be amazed at all those little seconds, how much they add up.

Sally Rigney

But look, I would just say that if you could concentrate and practice that, you know, at the end of the day, it's you speaking in the moment. And if um and ah is actually going to help you create the pause to give your brain time to think, then I don't think it's a huge problem. One of the things I would say is to be a good listener, because how well you listen to the questions is important as to how well you answer them.

Sally Rigney

And don't ever hesitate to ask a reporter to repeat a question if you didn't hear it or you didn't understand it. I think those ums and ahs Nicci, if stay on track with your message, like you've plans your points and your facts. And you know what you want the audience to be walking away thinking about. I think that's going to help you not have the ums and ahs because you've been practicing those fantastic little might sounds of your creativity that are going to make everyone smile or whatever emotion it is you want to get.

Sally Rigney

So I just think don't put too much pressure on your shoulders. I often, when I'm going to do an interview, practice what I'm going to say or how I'm going to react while I'm driving along. So maybe that's something people could do while they're driving- practice. You know, some of the answers I think will come through and just sort of, I guess, try and slow it so that they aren't putting the ums and ahs in. The other thing is that you can over practise and then you come out sounding quite stilted.

Sally Rigney

So it's a fine balancing act as always.

Nicci O'Mara

Look, I absolutely love that because at the end of the day, we're all trying for this perfection, which isn't real. And we do say ums and ahs and everyone does it. Well, there's probably a few people who don't so much, but the rest of us who have so many thoughts going through our heads and trying to get out the right words and to sound, you know, to sound really good and get our messages across. So thank you for giving us all permission for saying ums and ahs.

Sally Rigney

It was my pleasure.

Nicci O'Mara

Sally, is there anything else that you can think of that you do that might help people that you want to add in?

Sally Rigney

Look, I have to say, don't be afraid. You've got a better story sitting there in your hands then you know, and if you don't know how to tell it yourself, then reach out to someone and make contact, because that's the whole thing. We've all got our own networks. You got employees, you've got family and friends. We've got people down, the local junior cricket and the swimming club. And I think you really need to source the people that can help you do what you need to do and use them and embrace them because everyone loves helping.

Sally Rigney

You know, that's one of the things we really found out. When we empowered our community to be part of something, they loved it. They grew with a challenge. And I think sometimes we're just too afraid to ask for help or we don't think what we're trying to do is important enough or, you know, and I just think we're all very isolated these days. And maybe you could use this little project to trying to do as a chance to really connect with the people around you.

Nicci O'Mara

Yes. And we all live in a community, no matter what size, city or town that you live in. And I know living in a, having lived in very small towns to very large cities, often it's better and sorry, not better, but easier on the smaller towns to actually build that community around you. But there are so many people out there, your friends, your family and friends of friends. And I always find if you ask someone, ask the question and somehow the answers do arrive in the most mysterious ways.

Sally Rigney

Absolutely I totally agree with that. It's like our phones that listen to us and you know I want to find myself something and suddenly it is jumping up as the next ad. And it's like, OK. But I just think, you know, we could all help each other a lot. And I just don't think you should ever underestimate the power of being a storyteller and telling your story.

Nicci O'Mara

Look, thank you, Sally, so much for your insight and your tips into working with the media. It has been so wonderful talking with you. And I know how much it will have helped a lot of businesses and organisations, community organisations. And look, I'm really looking forward to seeing what you'll do next to give a voice to the people in your region, because you do do some really remarkable work. So I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

Nicci O'Mara

Oh, thanks so much. You know, we're lucky. I live in a region full of beautiful, educated, talented women. And, you know, we did Weengallon Pink Ladies Day for 20 years where we grew it from 40 women to 750 women coming to the most glamorous charity event in the bush in the middle of nowhere. And, you know, in August, it's now been handed over to the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation and they're holding their pink ladies down the 25th of August.

Sally Rigney

And it's really exciting to see how you can start a project, build the momentum, build the branding, and then you can actually find, I guess, the succession plan of how you can pass something on, not lose it, but have let it have a fresh start. And I think that's really important in businesses and community. You know, whether it's a story, whether it's an event, is this pattern of growth and then being able to, I guess, move on to the next era, the next thing, so that you don't get stale because you always need people with fresh ideas to shake things up.

Nicci O'Mara

Well, that's importan in every single business and organisation. And Pink Ladies Day was the most amazing event for a charity event so far into the bush. And it really is a long way away for most people.

Sally Rigney

And there's nothing there and that's the whole thing.

Nicci O'Mara

So I think that's very wise words. And look, good luck with everything and thank you so much for everything.

Sally Rigney

Nicci it was so lovely to chat. Thank you so much for thinking of asking me. I was very surprised, but it's just been so lovely to catch up, so thank you.

Nicci O'Mara

Not a problem. Thanks, Sally

Nicci O'Mara

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