The Best PR Advice You’ve Never Heard – from Facebook’s Head of Tech Communications

“Imagine you’re sitting across from a reporter at lunch. You’re telling them what you do, your story, why they should care about your product. You have to convince this reporter to not only write about you, but that what you’re doing matters. That you’re going to be successful.”

This is Caryn Marooney, Head of Technology Communications for Facebook. But before that, she co-founded OutCast, the elite PR agency that worked with one-time startups Amazon,, Netflix and VMware. She’s seen firsthand how hard it is for young companies to capture press attention when they have zero brand recognition and limited resources. Continue reading “The Best PR Advice You’ve Never Heard – from Facebook’s Head of Tech Communications”

An Open Letter To My Facebook Network

let's party

I have loved being at home and focusing on my daughter as she has made her way to her pre-teen years, but it’s time for a change! I am super excited to announce that I have started a new professional chapter by joining Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage as a Realtor & Residential Income Investment Consultant. If you’re wondering why real estate makes sense for me at this juncture, I’ve written about it here.

My geographical focus is LA’s beach cities and I’ve developed a website with a ton of MLS listings information and other information related to beach living at You can also find Continue reading “An Open Letter To My Facebook Network”

Great Changes For Tracy TC!

change and chaosI think my life has been pretty cool over the last 14 years, but I daresay most people would probably agree that “chaos” is not a gross exaggeration for describing that period of my life.

As I detailed in a previous post, 14 years ago I suddenly found myself in a whirlwind romance that happened to coincide with a career change, all leading to over a decade of craziness.

Flash forward to today and my little 2 lb. 5 oz baby started middle school this year. We also have a year and a half under our belts at a small charter school in Hawthorne. My daughter is relatively happy and things are settling down.

And did I mention that we have a crazy upward real estate cycle underway? And have I mentioned lately how much I dig real estate?

I wrote previously about how I spent the last real estate cycle. This time, instead of beating my head against a brick wall trying to convince realtors to try “new” marketing tools, I plan on using all those cool tools and theories we developed. Sooo, I’m please to announce that Continue reading “Great Changes For Tracy TC!”

The fun stuff that passes for homework

I did not know this until I became a mother, but I am a radical education choice activist. Actually, I’ve been a choice activist my entire life. Education is what has really had my attention for the last decade.

As we get ready for middle school next year, we’ve moved my daughter to a program with the Da Vinci Schools that is a hybrid home school/classroom program.

Homeschooling of any flavor is not for every family, but we’re making it work and ultimately, I do believe it’s a good choice for our family.

Every 4-6 weeks, each family is required to turn in paperwork demonstrating learning at home. Every unit, I jump through what seems like endless hoops to come up with interesting and engaging projects for my uber picky 11 year old.

She is a rabid American Girl fan and we had a lot of fun one unit studying the history of that company. Being an entrepreneur at heart, I love a good opportunity to slip in a few business lessons, like other moms slip zucchini in spaghetti sauce.

For this last unit, I came up with the idea of studying the start up of my daughter’s beloved online gaming community, Animal Jam. In the course of my background prep, I bumped into a beautiful presentation tool called Prezi, and my little techno-whiz readily took up the challenge of presenting her research findings in digital format.

It’s so much fun that I had to share:

Help Me Pick A Book Title, Please!

Almost 10 years ago, another woman entrepreneur and I started a tech company on a shoestring — as in (almost) no money.

That’s me in the picture signing the incorporation documents.  Look at how young I look.  =-)  And yes, that is Zoe (oxygen tank and all) in that stroller next to me.  Anybody who knows me will also recognize my office setting of choice — Starbucks.

It was an interesting time indeed.  I hadn’t been married very long to a man I hadn’t dated that long.  And we had just moved into our new house one week before our baby came home from three months in the NICU.  There were a few things going on.

But you never know when opportunity is going to knock and I’m one of those people who doesn’t sit around wondering if I should open the door.

Interestingly, my new business partner was somebody I hardly knew.  She had partnered up with another woman I knew who pitched me as a logical addition to the team.  My connection fell out of the equation early on and there I was with I partner I’d known a mere matter of months.

I like to joke that my partner and I went out on a blind date, and ran away and got married.  Just like you sometimes see in love, it just worked.  We’ve always understood each other, and been able to support each other with few words.

Had it not been for the fact that our company was a real estate technology company with a brand new technology that most realtors didn’t quite get the hang of before the market crashed, I think we’d be headed for an early retirement.  As it was, we crashed and burned along with the market in 2006-ish (it’s such a blur now).  The company we built, however, was pretty damned impressive for two chicks and a technology.

Fast forward to today.  The great recovery to the Great Recession is very slow in coming.  A lot of people have decimated retirement accounts, zippo in savings, maxed out credit cards and upside down mortgages. But they still have ideas and entrepreneurial spirit.  They either want or need to start a business for supplemental or primary income.

My former business partner and I want to write a book to share the things we learned about launching a relatively sophisticated company on a shoestring.  The intended audience is somebody with no experience and little or no money, but with an idea or at least an interest in starting a business (we’ll provide some tips for discovering marketable ideas, also).

With this intended audience in mind, we have come up with a couple of title ideas and we’re looking for input.

What else?  We’re interested in hearing all ideas.  Leave them in the comments.  Please also share this post/poll with your own networks.  We want as much feedback as possible. Thank you!

The Hokey Pokey of Being a Successful Entrepreneur

This article originally appeared on in 2002 when I was launching my business coaching practice:

My husband and I are HUGE fans of Jimmy Buffet, a man who sings passionately about having fun with life, no matter what it looks like.  Jimmy, not coincidentally, has made a significant amount of money with his message.

So other than the fact that I have tremendous entrepreneurial respect for the Jimmy Buffet money-making machine, why would I bring this guy up in an entrepreneurs’ article?  Because Jimmy sings a great parody of the Hokey-Pokey.

I know what you’re thinking – this woman has been spending too much time in Margaritaville!  Isn’t the Hokey Pokey a polka reserved for family weddings???  I had the same initial reaction and I’m positive that I physically cringed when I saw a song called “The Hokey Pokey” on a Jimmy Buffet compilation CD our good friend Tom made for my husband.  In fact, I refused to listen to the song for months.  Being the first song on the disc, it was easy to skip.

Then one day I was in the car thinking about ten different things (the bane of an excited entrepreneur) and I realized that the “dreaded song” was playing in the background.  As I reached for the skip button, I was literally stopped dead in my tracks.  I can still hearing the horns blaring all around me.  I should have guessed this before based on Buffet’s general philosophy, but here was a song taking a full-frontal “poke” at people who take life too seriously.

So, back to the question, “what the heck does this song have to do with running a business?”  The answer, my friends, comes in one particular immortal line of the song:

“You only have two choices – having fun or freaking out – that’s what it’s all about….”

There is was!  A thunderbolt from the sky, courtesy of Jimmy Buffet.  Isn’t that what all of LIFE is about?  And why should running a business be any different?  Are you having fun or freaking out?  It IS that simple.

A number of years ago, when I first started leading entrepreneurs’ workshops, a lawyer approached me and asked me to put together something for solo-preneurs to help them deal with fluctuating revenue streams.  That request has always stuck with me, although I never complied with it.  I now understand that my resistance to her request stemmed from that the fact that this person wanted me to make freaking out “okay.”  I’m sorry, but I opt for the fun side of the equation.

Of course I’m not advocating that we all starve to follow our passion.  Just the opposite – I’m advocating that passion sells!  Whether you own a dry cleaning business or manufacture pet toys, your passion (or lack of it) will show up in everything from your print advertising to the top down culture you create for your employees.  And people, no matter who your client base is, want to touch passion – and they will pay top dollar for it.  Oh no – you won’t starve.  Ask Jimmy Buffet.

Are you passionate about your business?  If you say “yes,” check in with those around you (like clients and employees) to see if your talk matches your walk.  If you say “no,” ask yourself “why not?”  Are you in the wrong business?  Are you taking on too much of the stuff you don’t like in the right business?  What changes need to be made?  Put on a Buffet CD and get it all sorted out.

Remember, you only have two choices – having fun or freaking out.  If you’re not having fun, make changes.  Yes, it IS that simple.  Maybe a little hokey pokey around the room wouldn’t hurt either….

Comments on this article?  Tracy welcomes input and can be contacted at tracy @

Tupperware Anybody?

This article was originally written in March 2008 for, a community blog featuring news, views, tips & chatter from Westchester, CA.


Ever since our daughter was born, I have been fortunate enough to work a flexible schedule, close to home. This has been important to us because Zoe was a premature baby, born 13 weeks early, and had many special needs, especially in her early days. I’m a big fan of entrepreneurs any day of the week (especially women entrepreneurs), but I have a special soft spot for women who take the entrepreneurial leap to support a family-oriented lifestyle.

So the other day, I was sitting at the therapist’s office waiting for Zoe to finish her occupational therapy session, and I saw a stack of Tupperware brochures. Being an organizational nut, I naturally gravitate toward these kinds of things. My husband calls me “The Containerizer.” I think he means it affectionately….

Anyway, I was leafing through the materials and I was impressed with the package. It was neat, organized and branded well to the consultant who left the brochures. Anybody who knows me knows that I am a branding and internet marketing nut, so I carted the package home and looked up the consultant’s Tupperware website.

I don’t think I’ve ever met this woman, but I wanted to give her a shout out to support her as an entrepreneur, as a mom and as somebody with a great sense of humor. I love the fact that she found her way to an entrepreneurial opportunity that gives her a creative outlet. If you check out her website, you’ll see what I mean (hint, it has to do with acting, parties and drag queens). Sound a little risque for a mom? Not at all, but you’ll have to go find out for yourself.

If you’re in the mood to organize, order yourself some Tupperware. You’ll get some great products and you can support Maggie at the same time.  Now that’s a deal!


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See you around the neighborhood!

The Hokey Pokey Of Being A Successful Entrepreneur

This article was originally posted on Active Rain in August 2007.


This is a reprise of an article I wrote five years ago when I was doing more business coaching.  I thought it would be fun to share it with the AR community.  Real estate professionals are some of the coolest, most motivated entrepreneurs I know.

The Hokey Pokey Of Being A Successful Entrepreneur

My husband and I are HUGE fans of Jimmy Buffet, a man who sings passionately about having fun with life, no matter what it looks like.  Jimmy, not coincidentally, has made a boatload of money with his message.

So other than the fact that I have tremendous entrepreneurial respect for the Jimmy Buffet money-making machine, why would I bring this guy up in an Continue reading “The Hokey Pokey Of Being A Successful Entrepreneur”