Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

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Tagged publicity

In the news: Why people are weirdly obsessed with Southwest Airlines

I was featured in Thrillist this week for a story on Southwest Airlines. This is what I said:

“Southwest seems to be the most disorderly airline I’ve ever flown,” says Blake Snow, a travel columnist and author of Log Off: How to Stay Connected After Disconnecting. “The service, attendants, and even the branding are fun. But the boarding process is a mess. You can find similar fares with other airlines and without the hassle of Southwest’s Black Friday-like boarding process.”

The process he’s referring to is Southwest’s policy of open seating, wherein you’re assigned a boarding group A, B, or C, and then a number within that group. You board in order, and choose the first available seat you like. Many refer to this as a “cattle call,” although anyone who’s seen Group 9 crowd around an American Airlines gate during pre-boarding knows it’s more a matter of herding cattle versus letting them run free.

Thanks, Matt, for including me in the story. And thanks Bryan for sharing the link with me.

In the news: 10 hobbies you can turn into a side hustle

I was interviewed by Motley Fool recently (and syndicated to MSN) about one of the quietest (if not greatest) side hustle’s of my career: producing slide decks on the side to the tune of $30,000 over fifteen years.

“After learning that one of my friends was paid very well to produce a PowerPoint presentation, I wondered if I could do something similar on the side,” Snow said. “Determined to find out, I launched a professional looking website for a few hundred dollars — then waited.”

It took 18 months for someone to finally order, but then the orders just kept coming. “Every one or two years, someone new  — and a few repeat customers — would order another presentation,” Snow said.

Over 15 years, he was able to earn around $30,000 from producing presentations. In his words: “Not bad for the few hundred dollars I spent on website design and hosting.”

Full story here. Thanks for including my story, Christy.

 

My favorite book review so far: “Log Off is an amazingly honest and engaging read”

Writes Bryce in his 5/5 star review:

“Log Off is chock full of delicious nuggets of behavioral wisdom. Concise and engaging, Snow lays bare a decade worth of personal experience, research, and experimentation. This personal journey is tied to, and sometimes driven by, recognized scientific study, and does not sugar coat any of the author’s personal struggles or failings. This honesty and frank vulnerability creates a narrative that is both relatable and inspiring, and I highly recommend this read to any connected individual seeking more meaning and focus in their life.”

Thank you, Bryce. I can tell by your writing that your read a lot, so it means a lot that you liked my book as well as you stated. High five!

Published works: Finding Europe in North America, Log Off coverage, 25 mood boosters

Courtesy Quebec Tourism

With exception to my non-bylined writing for Fortune 500 companies, here’s what I published this month, mostly related to my new book:

Media coverage for my new book, Log Off:

Thanks for reading and sharing what you liked.

In the news: How quitting the Internet can make you healthier, wealthier, and happier

Blake Snow at Lake Bennett, Canada taken by Lindsey Snow

Big thanks to Randy Shore from the Vancouver Sun for his interest and recent write up of my new book.

The Internet and its insidious agent of attention-seeking — the smartphone — are by their very nature addictive, conspiring with our natural curiosity and brain chemistry to keep us rapt to the machine, according to Blake Snow, author of Log Off: How To Stay Connected After Disconnecting.

How to get free publicity: 10 tips from insiders (+ movie recommendations)

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As someone who’s written hundreds of articles for fancy publications, I’m often asked the best way to land free publicity.

Outside of knowing when you have truly have something that’s noteworthy and knowing which audiences are most likely to find your something relevant, my colleague Josh Steimle recently wrote about the subject for Entrepreneur; specifically how to get great PR in 15 minutes per day.

Josh was kind enough to interview and quote me in the article. This is what I said: “Indirect PR pitches are the best way to increase your chances of a media placement. Rather than talking about yourself, explain a larger trend that might interest the journalist or publication you’re pitching, complete with stats, anecdotes and data.

“Your contribution should be only part of the story. Doing so not only makes the press’s job easier but demonstrates greater objectivity, further increasing your chances of a placement.”

In my experience as someone being pitched, that approach leads to a lot more placements.

Since we’re on the subject, now go watch Ace in the Hole, All The Presidents Men, State of Play, and Spotlight—all good if not remarkable movies on journalism.

Conversation is the litmus test for great art

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“What is art?” is perhaps the most futile question ever asked. It’s like trying to argue what the best color is.

But I think I’ve found what the definition of great art is: a visible, audible, or experiential creation that gets people talking. Yes, that includes shock artists that insipidly use controversy to attract publicity. And no, art doesn’t have to be properly marketed or seen by lots of people to make it great. But if an original creation, whether accidental or intended, doesn’t make a lasting impression on at least one beholder, it can’t be great art. Am I wrong?

Panting by Jonathan Janson, a Vermeer impressionist

This is how you press release key influencers


In case you didn’t know, Nintendo has been on a storm over the past year (I’m a big fan). Their stock has doubled over the past 12 months thanks to their nifty little DS handheld and motion-sensing Wii console.

So in commemoration of Letterman’s 60th birthday, Nintendo sent the late-night host a candid and personalized letter along with 2 handhelds and games that it’s pitching to an older generation, all with an insane amount of message consistency. The letter copy is far from the bloated stuff PR peeps normally send. Have a look for yourself.

Assuming Dave’s publicists personally delivers the loot, I’d be surprised if Letterman doesn’t name drop the product on his show. So let’s recap how to earn quality free media:

  1. Build a good product that’s in demand. You can’t make a ball roll up hill, neither can you with a crappy product.
  2. Get creative when pitching individuals, bloggers, newspapers, magazines, and TV personalities. Asking for coverage is lame. I’m amazed PR reps still do it. Get creative when pitching, and it better be good because bell cows have seen it all (see above example).

Despite being a celebrity, people still love free personalized goodies. Everyone has a flattering point. Make sure you product or service can do that, and it will be a lot easier to get free coverage.