How to get Media Attention for Your Practice with Dave Pidgeon – Part 2 | GP 23

How to get Media Attention for Your Practice Part 2 with Dave Pidgeon - GP 23

What is the difference between a media advisory and a press release? How should you prepare for TV news or newspaper interview? What should you consider in your pitch when trying to get media attention?

In this podcast episode, Alison  Pidgeon continues the interview with her husband Dave Pidgeon, an expert in the media and public relations, discussing some tips for getting media attention for your practice.

Meet Dave Pidgeon

Dave Pidgeon

Dave Pidgeon is a media relations and crisis communications professional, serving both private and public sectors for about a decade. He currently is director of public relations for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, which oversees policy for 14 public universities and about 96,000 students. His media career began as a journalist in 2001, leading to a decade of work in newspapers, magazines, and television news management.

Dave transitioned into a spokesperson role for Norfolk Southern Corp. in October 2011, covering media markets in 16 states for the Class 1 railroad for about five-and-a-half years, managing messaging strategies and crisis communications for the Fortune 500 company. He then moved to the Bureau of Public Health Preparedness in the Pennsylvania Department of Health as deputy director of communications, before transitioning to his current job.

In This Podcast

  • Media advisories and press releases
  • Owned media vs earned media vs Pay to Play journalism
  • On-camera interviews for TV news
  • Newspaper interviews
  • What to pitch when looking to get media attention

Media advisories and press releases

  • A media advisory is sent out before the event as an invitation to the press
  • News or press release is the information sent out after the event containing all the information you wish to share with the media outlet or reporter.

Media advisory

A media advisory is a good idea because it acts as a teaser for the reporters, only giving out small bits of information, meaning that they would need to attend your event to get the whole story. This advisory would be quite short and only contain information such as the time and place of the event, and maybe a few teaser questions that would draw the reporter’s attention and make them want to come out and cover your event. Send this out a couple of times, first a few weeks before your event, and then follow up a few days later with a personal note to make sure it gets noticed.

In line with the timing of your event as discussed in part 1 of this interview, it would be helpful to send out a reminder the day of your event, just in case there are a few other events on the same day and yours might not be in the front of the reporter’s mind. News reporters often make decisions quite last minute regarding which events to attend and do not necessarily plan well ahead of the time, so they would appreciate the follow-up. Be wary of annoying the reporter by following up too many times as you do not want to scare them off.

Press release

A press release would be more appropriate if there is information that you, as a practice owner, wish to share with the media after the meeting or event has taken place. This would be a longer piece with more context, explanations of the information discussed or revealed at the event, and allows you to build the narrative from the start as opposed to the reporter coming out and covering the event from their perspective.

Owned media vs earned media vs Pay to Play journalism

Owned media and earned media are the two places that you have at your disposal where you can “tell your story”.

Owned media

These are things such as your website, your social media platforms, and your blog which you own and on which you control the narrative. It gives you an incredible opportunity to reach your target market with your own voice.

Earned media

If you were to offer your story or your expert advice to the reporter as an alternative to paying the very high prices for TV advertisements, you would get the valuable exposure but pay nothing for it, hence the term ‘earned media’. If, for some reason, you were unable to get the earned media attention from mainstream media, you always have owned media to fall back on and reach your target audience.

Pay to Play journalism

When a reporter (or someone posing as a reporter) contacts you with an offer for them to write or cover your story, but you have to pay for it. Thanks to owned and earned media, you do not need Pay to Play, so Dave warns against it and says you should avoid the scammers. Instead of spending lots of money on a Pay to Play situation, rather put that money towards a better cause, such as ads on your social media or hiring someone who would handle all the necessary branding for your practice.

On-camera interviews for TV news

Interviews are a skill like anything else, so forgive yourself if the first couple of times you do it, it doesn’t go exactly how you wish it would.

While presenting yourself as a mental health expert or representing your practice or event on TV news, you might need some tips on how to sound good and look good on camera.

  • Remember to breathe.
  • Understand what your business’ values and principles are so that you can use those as potential talking points in the on-camera interview.
  • From those values and principles, you can build the message that you’re trying to get across.
  • If a reporter wants to interview you on a mental health issue, you need to prepare an outline of what your response will be, in line with your business’ values, so that you can maintain control over what you say during the interview and are not influenced by the reporter to say something that you don’t necessarily want to say.
  • Write down a few words or phrases somewhere you can see them during the interview, which will prompt your answer, but it will still sound natural as you’re only reading keywords.
  • Practice what you’re going to say but be careful not to sound over-rehearsed.
  • While the interview might be conversational, it is not a conversation and you still need to be professional.
  • Try to be confident and prepared to answer the questions without needing to do a lot of retakes, even though they might not mind retaking some footage if you fumble over an answer because, at the end of the day, they want clear, concise answers.

Newspaper interviews

Newspaper reporters allow you to go more in-depth with your story using both objective and subjective information.

  • Objective quotes are facts and information that can be judged as true or false
  • Subjective quotes are more opinion-based and add a human element or emotions to your story.

Generally, objective information does not need to be quoted by the reporter, so when they’re looking for a quote from a mental health expert and they come to you, they’re most likely looking for a subjective quote to add some color to their story.

What to pitch when looking to get media attention

It’s a value proposition. Think about what it is you want to say and share and why that matters to their audience.

  • Know your niche and understand what’s trending in the media at that moment so that you can figure out where to start with your pitch.
  • Do research into your community and see what people might be needing clarity and certainty on so that when you pitch yourself as a mental health expert for a story, you can make relevant contributions to the conversation.
  • Build and maintain that relationship with reporters. Learn what kinds of stories they’ve reported on in the past and what kinds of stories they like to report on now so that you can make sure that what you are offering them is relevant and valuable.

The world of media is fast-paced and very demanding, so remember that while you want access to their platform to get attention for your practice, they need to know if it is worth their time and energy to interview you and to build that relationship with you.

Useful Links:

Meet Alison Pidgeon

Alison Pidgeon | Grow A Group Practice PodcastAlison is a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, one of which is a 15 clinician group practice. She’s also a mom to three boys, wife, coffee drinker, and loves to travel. She started her practice in 2015 and, four years later, has two locations. With a specialization in women’s issues, the practices have made a positive impact on the community by offering different types of specialties not being offered anywhere else in the area.

Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.

Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

[ALISON]:
Welcome to the Grow a Group Practice podcast. I’m Alison Pidgeon, your host. Today, we are interviewing my husband, Dave Pidgeon. This is part 2 of our interview, so if you missed part 1, definitely go back and listen to that. We are continuing our conversation with him about how to get media attention for your practice. Dave has the experience of both being a reporter in his former work life, and now he works in public relations so has seen both sides of the media and has lots of great tips to share. So, today in our interview, we talk about, you know, what to do if you get an on-camera interview, how do you make sure you’re prepared. He talks about Pay to Play journalism and what that means. So, lots of great tips in here if you are interested in getting some media attention for your practice. And then, at the end of the interview we do kind of a lightning round of some fun, kinda more personal questions that I ask him about himself, and I ask him about me, and we have a lot of fun with that. So, if you want to kinda hear a funny, more personal conversation, definitely listen to the end. And I hope you enjoy my interview with Dave Pidgeon.

Hello, and welcome back to the Grow A Group Practice podcast. This is Episode Two with my husband, Dave Pidgeon. He is an expert in the media and public relations. Hi Dave.

[DAVE]:
You know, I feel almost like I’m back on my first date with you, because I’m nervous and I’m not sure if what I’m saying is exactly what you’re looking for.

[ALISON]:
I think it’s all good so far.

[DAVE]:
All right.

[ALISON]:
Yeah. So, we are at home and the older two kids are watching a movie and the baby’s sleeping. So, we thought, why not record a podcast?

[DAVE]:
Sure.

[ALISON]:
Sure. So, let’s jump into it.

[DAVE]:
Oh, that is so 2020 right now.

[ALISON]:
So, before we ended the last episode, we had gotten into a little bit about media advisories and press releases. So, could you kind of give us maybe a definition of those things just in case people aren’t sure what those are?

[DAVE]:
Right. So, they are two very different things. Think of a media advisory as the invitation, and your news release as the information dump. So, I work in public higher education right now. We have a board of governors, they get together, they meet, it’s a public meeting, often with highly consequential decisions, like tuition. When I want media attention to that meeting, I send out a media advisory. It talks about when it happens, what to expect, but it’s very light on details. It’s a tease. I want to hook the reporters in. And when you send that out, give them a call, and in the context that I’m talking about, I will call the reporters that I want to come and attend and cover the meeting. And I will throw out there some questions, you know, maybe build the drama a little bit. Again, using the tuition, I’ll say, you know, they may raise tuition, they may keep it the same, I can’t get ahead of the board right now, so let’s, you know, let’s find out… that usually gets them in to cover. A news release, or a press release, is what comes after the event. So, if our Board of Governors makes a decision, if you as a practice owner have information that you want to get out to the press, that’s where you build a narrative. It’s longer, usually a page or two, explains concepts, adds some quotes. So, they serve two very different functions.

[ALISON]:
Okay, and I’m assuming that if you wanted to find a template to write either, I mean, the advisory or press release, there’s probably a million of those if you just Google it.

[DAVE]:
Right? Right, more than you could ever possibly want. So, but, yeah, you can certainly find plenty of templates out there.

[ALISON]:
Okay. And then, I remember when we had talked in the first episode about how we had an open house for my new building that we opened last year and all of that and, and I recall there were sort of like a timeline that you had recommended to me in terms of, like, when to send out the media advisory. I think you had said, send it out like two weeks ahead and then send it out the day before… I forget exactly how that went. Do you remember?

[DAVE]:
Yes. So, give the news plenty of time, give them plenty of time to know your event’s coming up. But think about that initial outreach, that first email you send with an invitation to an event, as the opening, as the introduction, the handshake so to speak. Don’t expect to get that hook right away. So, if you had an event coming up in a week or two, you want to get that first media advisory out. Then wait a couple of days, then send it again. Just get it in front of them. Add a personal note, you know, hey so-and-so, just want to make sure you’re, you know, you saw this, if you have any questions, let me know. And then don’t be afraid to send it the day of. Keep a cadence that is appropriate. You don’t want to annoy the reporter. You want them to come and cover you. So, follow up on your initial invitation, but you don’t need to send that media advisory every day.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, I think that was an important thing that I learned that, you know, if I hadn’t gotten your advice about how to handle that, I think I would have just sent it once and just been like, I hope they show up.

[DAVE]:
Yeah, right, you want to follow up with that. You want to follow up with them. Also understand that news reporters, particularly in TV, they don’t make decisions until the very day of your event. They don’t plan ahead very well, particularly in TV. That’s why send that media advisory out on the day of your event. Don’t be afraid to just wave and say hi, come cover us.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, cuz I think a lot of times too, if they come cover you is dependent on how much other news is happening that day. Cuz I remember the TV news came to cover us and it was because it was like a super slow news day in January. Like nothing was happening. And they were like, oh, we need something.

[DAVE]:
Right. Right. And so, what we talked about in the previous podcast was scheduling at a time when you weren’t competing with a lot of other newsworthy events, so that, in this case, worked out really well. It wasn’t that your event wasn’t newsworthy, it was! But you’re talking about… with mainstream media, it’s a finite resource. TV has what, half-hour, an hour broadcast. Newspapers have only so much print space. So, in your case there, it worked out really well. You were newsworthy. Your open house was obviously newsworthy, but it also wasn’t competing with a lot of other newsworthy events.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, so I know, we had talked a little bit about the difference between this term ‘earned media’ versus ‘owned media’. Can you give us definitions of those?

[DAVE]:
Yeah. So, in our world, there are two places to tell your story and they are earned media, and owned media. I’ll start with owned media, that’s the easiest one. That is your website. That is your Facebook page, your other social media platforms, your Instagram, your Twitter, your blog… you own that, and in today’s day and age, it gives you an incredible opportunity, a power even, to reach your target audience in ways that did not exist even 10 or 15 years ago. 10 or 15 years ago, the only way that you could reach a mass audience would have been to go through the mainstream media, and that is called earned media. Earned media means you earned it, you reached out to a reporter at a TV news station, a radio station, a newspaper, and invited them for coverage or offered yourself as an expert, that’s called earned media. That has value. If you try to get an advertisement on TV, especially right now during a presidential election year, the prices would shock you. But if you managed to attract a reporter to cover you, or to use you as an expert on a mental health issue, that has a monetary value and you didn’t have to pay anything for it. So, that’s why it’s called earned media. And… go ahead.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, I was just gonna say, I think that’s an important distinction to make too, and that kind of has to do with my next question, which is, you know, typically media attention is not something that you pay for, and there is something called Pay to Play journalism that I learned from you. And so, can you kind of give us what the differences are there?

[DAVE]:
Yeah, it’s the worst. If you get called by somebody or emailed, posing as a reporter, inviting you to take part in a story and they probably have some kind of great sales pitch… but in order for you to participate in that story, you have to pay? Avoid that. Avoid that like COVID-19. You don’t want that.

[ALISON]:
This is kind of a scam basically, right?

[DAVE]:
It really is, and what’s most important, you don’t need it. And, to go back to the earned and owned media… here’s what is so incredibly powerful for people like me and for business owners, like you and your listeners. If you can’t get earned media attention, if you can’t get mainstream media attention, that’s okay. You want it, it has value. But you have owned media now. And you can hyper-target your target audience’s demographics. That’s huge! That didn’t exist. Even when I started in PR 10 years ago, that wasn’t quite as prevalent as it is today. So, I say that to help people sort of breathe a little easier. Go after that earned and mainstream media attention but know that you have options.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, I think that I just wanted to kinda give an example of that Pay to Play journalism, because I remember like, the first year or two that I had my practice, I got this call from somebody who said they were from a radio station, and they were really impressed with what I was doing, you know, they were very complimentary. And then if I wanted, you know, to come on this radio show, and it would cost, you know, of course, thousands of dollars and, you know, after a while, it just started sounding a little fishy to me and then I remember calling you up and being like, what was that all about? And you were like, that was a total scam.

[DAVE]:
And all that does is benefit the people who are asking you to pay, and your ROI on that is tiny, if it is anything. You don’t need it. If you get called by a reporter saying, “For $1,000 I’ll get you on this radio show”, think to yourself… would that thousand dollars be better used on Facebook ads? Right? Would that thousand dollars be better used towards hiring somebody to help you brand? That will go much further than then Paying to Play?

[ALISON]:
Yeah, and especially because, like, the woman who called me said it was like this internet radio station that I’d never heard of in my life.

[DAVE]:
Right? And you are pretty tuned in to the mental health community across the country. Do you know anybody who’s listening to that?

[ALISON]:
No, no one.

[DAVE]:
No. It’s not worth it.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, so glad we cleared that up. Okay. So, if you do get an interview on TV news… and I said in the previous podcast, every time we’ve been on TV news it’s been super helpful for us with getting referrals. So, you know, the TV news says, hey, we want a quote related to this, you know, mental health news story or, hey, you’re having this event, we’re going to come interview you. What are some tips that you have so you kind of sound good and look good on camera?

[DAVE]:
Breathe. Don’t forget to breathe. So, this is a skill. Interviews are a skill like anything else. So, forgive yourself if, the first couple of times you do it, it doesn’t go exactly how you wish it would. It’s okay. So, let me just start there. What I like to do, to build messaging, my talking points, is to first understand, and in this case for your business owners, what are your business’ values? What are the principles? If you met somebody today, assuming the pandemic was over and you’re in an elevator with them, what are the three things, the three values that your business has? Think about that for a minute. And from there, you can build your messaging. If, let’s say, the reporter wants to call you about a mental health topic and you, as an expert, your answers can flow from what it is that you, as a business owner, value. So, that’s important. Before the interview, write down what you want to say. You are in control of you. The reporter can’t make you say anything you don’t want to say, so start putting down on paper, or into a Word document, the things that you want to say. Organize them a little bit. What I like to do is try to practice that a little bit, so that way, when you go into the interview, you would have had at least experience delivering that information, that messaging. But you don’t want to sound canned. You don’t want to sound over-rehearsed; reporters are going to pick up on that real quick. The way I avoid that is, if I’m doing a newspaper interview or even if I’m doing Zoom, which is happening a lot these days, I’ll have a whiteboard up. And I will write short phrases or just maybe one or two words that help me remember the message that I want to deliver, and I will look at that when the reporter is asking the question and then deliver an answer that isn’t rehearsed, it sounds natural. So, take your time before the interview because it’s a skill. It really is like any other skill. Take your time before the interview to put your messaging together, practice it, and then go into that interview and, as best as you can, relax. Now, there is something I want to warn your audience about. You may hear a reporter tell you, oh, this is just a conversation. No, it is not. There is no cut. No conversation takes place with somebody with a notepad writing down everything you say, or with a camera rolling, or anything like that. It can be conversational, but it’s not a conversation, if that makes sense.

[ALISON]:
Right. Like, I remember when you were a reporter and you said, you know, there’s that sort of important phrase, like, “this is off the record”.

[DAVE]:
Oh, well, we could probably do a whole podcast on the rules about “off the record”, “going on background”. I mean, fortunately for your audience, you probably won’t ever have to face a situation where that makes sense, right. But there are all kinds of rules and regulations when it comes to that. But what’s important here is the reporter needs information from you. You want to be conversational but be professional.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, and I think that what I’ve learned too, is that you just want to be confident and be ready to answer their questions and don’t, like, be a diva and be like, oh, wait, can we retake that 18 times because I didn’t quite get it right.

[DAVE]:
Yeah, I mean. Right, I understand that it is okay to not be perfect. You don’t need precision in your talking points or when you answer a question. And with TV, what’s also great is that you can stop if you fumble over an answer and say, “Can I say that again?” Usually, they’ll be OK with that. They may have a blooper reel now with you on it, but no, really, nobody’s gonna see that.

[ALISON]:
But except at the Christmas party,

[DAVE]:
Right, yes. So, what she’s referring to is when I worked for a TV station, we shouldn’t tell them this now they’re not gonna want to do any TV interviews.

[ALISON]:
Ah, come on.

[DAVE]:
Just know that you can stop and deliver the answer again if you’ve messed up, and TV news will appreciate that because they want clear concise answers.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, any other tips about, so we talked quite a bit about TV news, any tips about being interviewed by a newspaper?

[DAVE]:
So, there’s a difference, again, between what a newspaper wants, what a radio station wants, and what a newspaper wants, right? TV, newspaper, radio. TV likes quick, short answers. They’re going to put together a 30-second to 90-second story, you only have so much time, they only have so much time, so they want it quick and concise. Newspaper, on the other hand, can go a little bit more in-depth. And this is where it’s important to understand the difference between objective quotes and subjective quotes. An objective quote is when you talk about your business to say, well, I have 14 employees, and we grossed $1.5 million last year, and we’ve been operating in this building for 20 years, right? That’s objective information, that’s fact. But if you said, we really love our location, our location gets so much sunshine that everybody is incredibly happy, now you start to get more subjective. A newspaper reporter and a TV reporter who knows what they’re doing wants subjective quotes. From you, they want the subjective. They can get objective facts. But if you’re looking to land quotes, go for the subjective.

[ALISON]:
So, why is that that they want subjective quotes? Because it like adds color to their story or?

[DAVE]:
It does. It makes you human, it’s more interesting to read. Again, if you’re a practice and you employ 20 people, that’s a fact that they don’t need you to quote. But if you say something to the effect of “We employ 20 people, which we think is the right amount for this moment at this time” – that is subjective. Right? You’re providing some insight, some human insight, into what it means to employ 20 people. They need that. They can look up objective fact, that’s part of their job. But they’re looking for subjective quotes because that is so much more colorful.

[ALISON]:
Okay, yeah, that’s good advice. So, what would be some things that practice owners, obviously you know what I do and what I’ve gotten media attention for in the past, but if you were to recommend what practice owners could pitch to get media attention, what are some things that you think would be advantageous for them?

[DAVE]:
Yeah, um, know your niche. And I would assume that most of your audience here knows what their niche is, but… know your niche, have that niche and try to match it with the coverage that you see locally, nationally, globally, on mental health. Know what’s trending, you know, just to give some insight. Right now, we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, as well as massive social upheaval and political turmoil. People right now want clarity and certainty. In our state, we have public health saying “stay home, avoid contact. But here are some guidelines for outdoor dining”. Well, wait a minute. There’s so much information out there and so much uncertainty that people want clarity. I know that, I use that whenever I pitch stories right now or whenever I talk to the media, that helps me break through all the noise. So, study what’s going on in your world, in your community. And then, as we talked last time, I think it’s important to build a relationship with the reporter, care about that reporter, get to know that reporter. Don’t plan on being friends with that reporter but understand them on a human level. So, that way, there’s a trust. There’s a bridge of trust between you and that reporter. Know what stories they like to report on. I have education reporters I work with, and some prefer to do policy stories. Some prefer to do classroom stories. Others like to do human interest stories related to higher ed. Knowing what each one wants helps me with making a more personal pitch to them. So, it takes a little bit of time, but it’s worth it. And then lastly, I would say, remember that this is a value proposition. You want access to their platform, and they have only so much time and space to give to any one thing on any particular day. A lot of these reporters these days are working under byline quotas, and they’re working harder now than ever. I remember back when I used to write one story a day. If I was back in the news, I don’t think that would cut it anymore. So, they are incredibly… the demands on their time are incredible. So, it’s a value proposition. They are highly sensitive to people who are seeking to get free attention. That’s not what this is about. Think about what it is that you want to say and share, and why that matters to their audience. You know, Alison, you have a business that focuses on women mental health. I think, particularly since 2016, that has been a very important topic for the news. It should have been all along, but I think certain external factors are leading into more focus on women, women in the workplace, women mental health, treatment of women, so, you have an important perspective that is in high demand right now. Plus, your business name is called Move Forward. And from there, you have a brand. So, whenever you talk to the media, it doesn’t matter what the topic really is, but you’re about moving people forward in their lives through their mental health challenges. So, all of your business owners that listen to this have a brand. Connect that brand to what the reporter is talking about, if that makes sense.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, I think that’s great advice. And I think that, yeah, you’ve given us lots of great tips and I hope it was helpful for everybody listening to get some ideas about how to get media attention for their practice. So, thank you so much, Dave.

[DAVE]:
Thank you for having me. I really enjoy now doing interviews from our closet. I think the next time that I’ve got to do a TV interview, we’re going to do it from here.

[ALISON]:
Yes, absolutely. And I thought it would be really fun if, for the last part of the interview, we did sort of a lightning round of questions.

[DAVE]:
Is there a disclaimer? Is there a liability waiver I can sign here?

[ALISON]:
There is, and it is: don’t tell any embarrassing stories about your wife.

[DAVE]:
All right.

[ALISON]:
Can you agree to that?

[DAVE]:
That’s not exactly a liability waiver. So sure, let’s do it.

[ALISON]:
Okay. All right. Are you ready?

[DAVE]:
I’m ready.

[ALISON]:
Okay. Who is your favorite US president?

[DAVE]:
Oh, man. Come on. So, this is definitely not an embarrassing question. Oh, mercy,

[ALISON]:
I didn’t think this was gonna be a hard question.

[DAVE]:
Well… My answer probably changes a little bit. I mean, of modern times it would have to be Barack Obama. But, historically, I used to say Theodore Roosevelt. But, it’s interesting because of the changes that we’re experiencing right now in our society, Theodore Roosevelt is getting a new look, all right, and some of the attitudes that he had about race and society, so I would hesitate now to say Theodore Roosevelt. So, wow, tough question.

[ALISON]:
Oh, wow. I didn’t realize this was gonna be so hard for you. Do you want to briefly tell the story about how you met Barack Obama?

[DAVE]:
Yeah. So, at the end of my newspaper career, I had the good fortune to be a politics reporter in Pennsylvania, which was the battleground state of 2008. I got to ride on Barack Obama’s press corps, and I had a one on one with him which was incredible because, at the time, you knew this was a historic figure, he had not yet won the Democratic primary, but you knew what you were watching and witnessing was history and you had a chance to talk to these major players. I interviewed Barack Obama, as well as Hillary Clinton and John McCain, and many others, and, for a 30-year-old reporter, it was just amazing. Unforgettable.

[ALISON]:
Yeah. And we have a really great picture of you interviewing Barack Obama.

[DAVE]:
Yep, yep. We’ll always cherish that.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, yeah, for sure. Okay, next question is – what is your favorite thing that I make for dinner?

[DAVE]:
Oh, man. See? I need this liability waiver. All right. If we’re gonna say, quickly, that maple chicken that you make.

[ALISON]:
Oh, the maple-mustard chicken?

[DAVE]:
Yes, maple-mustard chicken.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, that’s a Food Network recipe. Look that up, it’s called Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs, baked in the oven. It’s very good. Okay. What is one fact most people would be surprised to learn about me?

[DAVE]:
About you?

[ALISON]:
Yeah.

[DAVE]:
I think people are surprised to learn that you have sailed around the world.

[ALISON]:
Oh, really? You tell people that and they’re like, “Wow!”?

[DAVE]:
Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Especially those who have gotten to know you. Which isn’t to say that you aren’t the type to sail around the world, but I think it takes people by surprise to know that you have an adventurous side to you.

[ALISON]:
Hmm. Cuz I’m, like, so quiet and I just seem so… I don’t know, what’s the word?

[DAVE]:
Reserved?

[ALISON]:
Reserved, yeah.

[DAVE]:
Yeah, I mean, you know that whenever we’re in a group, you tend to not be the talkative one, right? You tend to listen, a lot, to the conversation.

[ALISON]:
I’m the introvert.

[DAVE]:
Yeah, when you come to our house there aren’t a lot of travel artifacts, right, around our house. So, I think it takes people by surprise when they find out that you do have this adventurous side to you.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, so I guess I should say – I went on Semester at Sea, if you’re familiar with that program, which is a study abroad program where you get on a cruise ship with 600 other college students and professors and staff people, and you sail around the world for 100 days. So, I did that in the spring of 2002, which, looking back on that now, I realize what a historic time it was to travel around the world. It was, you know, so soon after September 11th. And there was so much changing in the world, and just to have that opportunity to get exposed to all of those different cultures, and, you know, all around the world, people were talking about the events of September 11th and how it affected them. And, yeah, it was an amazing adventure.

[DAVE]:
But it’s not just that particular adventure. I think, you know, we have the story about how I was supposed to be in charge of planning our honeymoon, and you jumped on a whole Costa Rica experience that led us to whitewater rafts, hike volcanoes, visit some national parks… So, it still sometimes even surprises me.

[ALISON]:
Well, good. I’m glad I can surprise you. Okay, next question. What is a hidden talent of yours?

[DAVE]:
Oh, a hidden talent of mine… Work commute karaoke.

[ALISON]:
What?

[DAVE]:
I’m an amazing singer, in the car. When nobody is around, and I can crank that stereo up, I have a voice that can match the pitch of any singer.

[ALISON]:
Really?

[DAVE]:
I think so.

[ALISON]:
I’ve known you for, how long, 13 years. Never heard this.

[DAVE]:
Oh, I am phenomenal in the car. When I’m driving, it’s a concert. And, yeah, I’m, just, legendary.

[ALISON]:
Amazing. Okay, here’s the last question. This is definitely the part where… don’t tell any embarrassing stories about me. What is the best thing about being married to me?

[DAVE]:
Oh, wow, the best thing about being married to you… Can I say a couple of things?

[ALISON]:
Sure.

[DAVE]:
Okay. So, first, you are an amazing mother to these kids. And I see it every day, I admire it, I learn from it. So, that’s first. What I have learned, especially over the last, I would say, four or five years, is that you raise my experience level. And what that means is, I get up every day and know that I have to function smartly and to pursue my goals and my dreams and our dreams and our goals. I don’t want to say there’s never an off day, but being married to you means that, rightly so, there’s an expectation that I’m going to give my best every day, and rightly so. Without you, I can’t say that I gave every day my best, but with you I can say that, every day, I’m giving it the best I’ve got. I mean, your success over the last couple of years has really been an inspiration, I know to others, but to me.

[ALISON]:
Thank you. What is that Walt Whitman quote that you told me about when we were dating? “Come not here if you’ve already spent the best of yourself” or something like that?

[DAVE]:
Yeah. So, that’s a Walt Whitman quote. It’s something that I used to believe in, and still do, but it’s from the poem ‘Song of the Open Road’, and he’s basically saying, anybody who journeys with me needs to believe in themselves, needs to be of strong character and body, and he says, “Come not here if you’ve already spent the best of yourself”.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, and I think that was one of the things that you shared with me when we were dating, and I was like, yep, we’re on the same page about that.

[DAVE]:
That’s good.

[ALISON]:
Yep. Yeah.

[DAVE]:
Was that before after I asked you to marry me?

[ALISON]:
That was before. Well, that’s all the questions I have, thank you. And thank you for not embarrassing me, I appreciate that.

[DAVE]:
Oh, we’ll do that on another… I’ll start a whole podcast.

[ALISON]:
A whole podcast about embarrassing stories about Alison, okay.

[DAVE]:
You don’t have any.

[ALISON]:
Dave, thank you so much for being my most favorite podcast guest ever.

[DAVE]:
You’re welcome. Thank you.

[ALISON]:
And thank you for sitting in our closet for the last hour so that we could record this podcast.

[DAVE]:
Yeah, I’ve tried some of your clothes on as the podcast has going on.

[ALISON]:
All right, well…

[DAVE]:
Nice scarf.

[ALISON]:
Thanks. Thanks. We’ll talk to you later.

So, I guess you could tell from listening to the interview, we had a lot of fun recording and I am really thankful that Dave is a good sport and was open to having me interview him. I hope you found all of that information helpful. I know, for me, you know, his advice for my own group practice to get media attention has been super helpful, like, I mentioned with getting clients, and you probably learned a little bit more about me and about us, I guess. So, we’ll see you all next time.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

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