Since going Facebook official, Elevate Your Presence, LLC has taken a turn.  It’s ironic actually.  I mean, I have been a huge social media advocate for two plus years now.  I have always been extremely technologically intrigued and captivated and yet, I waited so long for Elevate Your Presence to go live on social media networks.   I am now struggling with it only being one day of my Facebook / Twitter launch and having so few followers.  How does a social media expert have the right to sell herself if she has so little followers herself you ask?  The answer is two fold: on my personal page, I have 1250 plus friends on Facebook- most of which I am actually friends with.  The remainders are industry friends.  In truth, I have utilized Facebook for a few years now from a PR standpoint from my personal account.  Those of you who are true Facebook stalkers can see I have all my past events and clients on my wall, photo albums etc…

I mean, I have been concentrating so fully on my clients for so long, that I did not even attempt to promote my business!  Truthfully though, I have not needed to.  And I still don’t.  My doors are being knocked on at just the right pace and I could not be more thrilled to have acquired such fabulous varied clients.

Only time will tell and right now, the social media launch is exciting.  I love what I do and that’s why I do it.  My clients can really feel that and the synergy, when it’s there, man, that’s just spectacular!

Tonight I’m covering the opening of IPO at The W Hotel for Elevate Your Presence & Food Mafia.  Stay tuned for some Delicious Dirt!

Hello again!  It’s been WAY too long and I’m sorry for that.  I thank you, my loyal Sunshine Sealed readers, for sticking with me and showing the love even with a ten month blogging hiatus.  I can promise you that from this moment onward, you will be reading a lot of DELICIOUS DIRT from me.

Since starting my own company, I have been extremely busy, but that is no excuse as to why I have not blogged it all.  For that, I am sorry.  As my wonderful friend and client Stephen Brooks says, “Siempre adelante, nunca por atras” aka always forward, never back.  The road is long and the journey continues.   I can simply say, I am proud of myself and loving every minute of working with my unique and varied clients.

I don’t even know where to begin… Since I last posted, so much has happened.  I officially launched Elevate Your Presence, LLC and am about to launch version 2.0 in November (if my developer finishes our revamp by deadline).  Stay tuned for an even sexier, more delightful, more sun-kissed website and branding/ identity system by estudiotres .  I can not wait for EYP 2.0!

My company, Elevate Your Presence (EYP), is a full service publicity, media, management and event planning and execution firm.  I have been so super selective to only take clients I really and truly believe in like Food Mafia – the newest concept in the online Foodie world (more about the Mafia soon).   I have to say that philosophy and decision was and still is one of my best!  Some of my clients include investment conferences such as next month’s Invest For Kids, non-profits such as The Sustainable Living Roadshow & The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,  festivals such as the annual NYC/ Chicago Food Film Festivals, restaurants such as The Motel Bar, the soon to be launched FOOD MAFIA and many more.

*****Join the EYP Facebook page here ,follow EYP on Twitter and join the official EYP mailing list for the latest news, events and hottest deals out there and show some love!

The power of social media is immense and has spread like wildfire!!    It is not just a fad.  IT IS A REVOLUTION!!

Erik Qualman is a well known social media advocate and leader in the field. He wrote a recently published book, Socialnomics and maintains his blog dedicated to social media.  I love that someone called him out on why he published a hardcopy book when he knows hardcopies will one day be a thing of the past.  His reply was simply that people still have landlines, use cd’s, and dial up… So many people still love a good hard copy, but yet more and more want it on their Kindle or their iPhone Kindle… Smart man.   Qualman made one of the best – if not the best- videos showing us the impact and importance of social media on the world.  


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my passions and social media has officially become one of the front runners in my life.  I find myself reading about it, working with it, engaging in it, discussing it, promoting it, loving it and not being able to live without it.   I still get the people who say, for example, “I’m against Facebook” or “I don’t get Twitter”.  These people, well, I usually try to explain a bit of what they are missing.  I find it almost impossible not to because I can not fathom why someone would not want to utilize the greatest tools ever.   Eventually though, they all will join the revolution.  One by one, almost everyone is now on facebook.  I mean, that’s old news.  Now it’s all about so many other sites.  The power of social media is what grabs me consistently.

I mean, if you are a business and you are not utilizing social media sites, it’s almost like you are living in the dark ages!   Think about how many more people you reach being in the online world versus good ol’ fashioned marketing and or pr.  If you ask me, social media is not only the wave of the future, but is right now and is here to stay.   And, if you don’t trust me alone, there is so much proof. 

I mean, didn’t that socialnomics clip have enough stats?  Here are few to entice you!!   But you should really watch the clip!!

1 out of every 8 couples married in the U.S. met through social media.

Years to reach 50 million people– TV– 13 years, Radio- 38 years, Internet – 4 years.  But get this—  Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months!   

Education- US Dept of Education revealed online students outperformed those receiving face to face instruction.

1.5 million pieces of content- links, blogs, posts, photos, are shared on Facebook- DAILY!!!

Fastest growing population on Facebook is women ages 55-65.

There are over 200,000,000 blogs and 54% blog or tweet daily.

80% of Twitter updates are done via mobile device- as Qualman says, imagine what that does for bad customer experiences (and or good).

Hulu went from 63 million total streams in April ’08 to 373 million in April ’09.

Here’s one that really gets me- 70% of 18-34 year olds have watched TV on the web while only 34% of them had ever watched a show on DVR/Tivo.  But, 25% of Americans in the past MONTH have watched a short video— ON THEIR PHONES!!!

Truth is- we don’t search for the news anymore.  As Erik says, it finds us!!   He predicts that we will not search in the future for products and services, but they will find us- through social media!!  This is already happening to me!!!   It’s probably in your world too, you just have not thought about it this way — yet….

Any if you don’t believe these stats or want the sources (you know who you are), go to the site and you will be able to see the sources firsthand.   Even traditional PR firms are now hiring full time social media experts.  

Why social media–  START BY WATCHING THIS CLIP if you did not already. 

I recently got in touch with Mr. Qualman and I am hoping to meet him one day and or work with him.   I can not wait to read his book and I am invigorated even promoting it here.  Again, I seem to do endless pr without getting paid… ahh passion!

In recent social media news, check this out-

Just today, a CBS newscaster started a social media driven challenge– to drive across country in 7 days with only his ID, $50.00 and his many gadgets that will enable him to use social media to win this challenge.   CBS put him to the test and he will use only his Twitter, his Qik, Skype, and his blog to get across country.  Awesome.   Click here to read more.  

Even the Anne Frank House has decided to utilize social media through YouTube to post the only existing video footage of Anne Frank!  Awesome move!  No video footage of Anne Frank has ever been seen by the public until recently.   This move will expose an entirely new audience and or generation to the incredibly important story of the Anne Frank.  Already, and as of this instant, the clip has had 401,802 hits on YouTube.  Ah social media— Amazing.

  In the clip from July 22, 1941, Anne is seen in the 9 second mark watching her neighbors on their wedding day.   It is an extremely touching and bittersweet clip taken just a year before the Franks went into hiding from the Nazis.   I got the chills.   To watch it click here.    Simply amazing.     To read more about the above click here.

According to the NYT Education section, even colleges and universities are using social media, blogging, to attract students.  MIT began posting student blogs on admissions homepage over five years and received tons of responses and feedback.  The interactivity and feedback on their homepage shows how much social media here has made an impact!   

According to the New York Times, “Dozens of colleges — including Amherst, Bates, Carleton, Colby, Vassar, Wellesley and Yale — are embracing student blogs on their Web sites, seeing them as a powerful marketing tool for high school students, who these days are less interested in official messages and statistics than in first-hand narratives and direct interaction with current students”.    The full article is actually pretty amazing.  Click here to read it. 

I have decided to take my blog in a slightly different direction! Less about my life (although it’s sooo exciting), and more about a daily dose of deliciousness.  

As many of you know, since working for the Obama campaign, I have been doing freelance PR and social media work for a variety of clients.   I am launching my own website in the few days and have decided to take on more work exclusively on a project to project basis (at least for the moment).   Maintaining a real balance between my work and personal life is extremely important to me (especially right now), thus being selective allows me to do this.

 Moreover, I am specific and strategic about who I work with.   I only chose to take on projects and clients whose work or company is something I am passionate about.  I want to feel as strongly about their work as they do.   Honey, if I don’t believe in it, if I don’t buy it, I can’t elevate your presence.  

So, the daily deliciousness will soon feature some of my clients as well as fresh awesomeness- for example, a great shawl for fall, a great new moisturizer, etc.  I will also be interviewing.  You shall soon see.  So fasten your reading seat belts ladies and gents.   Sunshine Sealed is taking off.

When I began this blog I really thought I’d be writing about social media and technology- at least in some posts.  I mean, it’s a huge part of my daily life.  It’s what I do all day, it’s what I think about and read about.  Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge technocrat, an avid Facebook and Twitter (and other social media sites) supporter, and real Mac person.  

Much of this probably comes from my family’s love of technology as well.   My mom introduced us to the world of Apple in the 1980′s as she was and still is ahead of the curve on all things tech.   In fact, it was my Grandpa Ray, her father, who always had the latest and greatest tech gadget throughout my entire life.  I mean, even in the 1960′s he had the best video camera out there.  It was enormous and heavy, but it was what was out there.  

Grandpa Ray always had cutting edge gadgetry before anyone else.  For my 30th birthday, my mom made me a CD of all the audio recordings my grandpa Ray had made of me talking as a toddler and up.   So, even back then- 1978/9, 1980 and on, Grandpa Ray had the most advanced audio cassette recorder and microphone and used to record me every time he saw me.   It’s amazingly spectacular.   Check the gadgetry (recorder and mic) in the pic below–


Grandpa Ray and me circa 1977 or 8

Grandpa Ray and me circa 1977 or 1978

What’s also awesome is that my mom transcribed it all to CD and that I have it now- in 2009!   Even all our videos she transcribes to DVD.  I think we had beta longer than any living human.   Hearing about this now, you probably think it’s normal to document everything (as that’s what people do- blogging, tweeting, facebook status updating, friend feeding, Ustreaming, etc), but back then, it was not common.   I’m so lucky to have such footage.  I began video taping in middle school and even have those videos now.   So funny, me and my friends sitting in my bedroom on Astor filming ourselves and our phone calls with boys.   We also did audio tapes too.   Hysterical.  

Another example of how ahead of the game my grandpa was is this story.   I will never forget Grandpa Ray coming up to me very excited in 2001and saying, “So, do you have a nomad yet?”.   I didn’t even know what a nomad was at that point!!!   Back then a nomad was an MP3 player- pre iPod.  He had it with him and showed it to me loaded with his songs!  AMAZING.   I used to think the iPod was the best invention.  I mean, it completely changed my life.   Music has always been a huge part of who I am.  My tape drawer was overflowing, then the CD drawer, argh.  So when I travelled, I brought an entire carry-on of CD’s with my portable CD player.   What a heavy load!!!  So, the invention of the iPod completely changed my life in such an enormous way at that time… as did the cell phone, the computer, TIVO!!!  I could go on and on!!!!

Grandpa Ray was so generous with all his devices too.  He always got the best ones and when a newer one came out (phone, cell phone, walkie talkies, computer, iPod, video games, DVD players, iPod speakers and more), he would give them to those he loved- usually his grandchildren.   He always had multiple sets of each gadget too.   Amazing.   What was more spectacular was the fact that he actually knew how to use each and every one of these gadgets until the day he died at 89.   In fact, my grandpa switched from T-Mobile (he was one of the first to switch and deal with breaking contracts in 2002 or so) to another carrier.  When he switched, he gave me his old Palm Treo and HIS CELL NUMBER— which is still the best number out there and my current number!!!  GOTTA LOVE IT!!!

Anyhow, I got off point.  Please forgive me.   I do have to credit my grandpa with our family’s intense interest in technology.   I mean, I think at one point during a family poker game there were 5 or 6 Treo’s on the table at once- this was before everyone even had cell phones.  

Treo Family

Our Family Poker Game

But it is my mom who knows it all.   She is a genius.   She should be behind the counters at the Apple store.  In fact, she is a “Certified Apple Specialist”.   I remember in the 90′s coming home and seeing for the first time in our kitchen, The Macintosh Bible, and laughing my ass off.   I had NO clue how amazing that was.   To elaborate, in our apt on Astor, the kitchen was always the hangout spot.  So of course my mom was ahead of the times, and turned an area of our kitchen into an office area with the computer.   This was wayyyy before laptops- wayyy.   I’d say this was circa 1992.   Anyhow, I had no clue how pivotal that bible would be!

Right now I can’t live without my iPhone or my MacBook Pro.  I’ve had a PDA of some sort since the 1990′s.  I know my first semblance was a Palm Pilot of some sort… Way before the Prism I had a Palm, but blanking on which right now (it is only 144am).   Whatever it was was one before the phone feature was integrated.  Of course then the Treo came out and newer and newer versions were selling like hotcakes!  I think the 650 was the last one I had before I went iPhone.    It killed me to get rid of the old gadgetry (never should have) before I moved and tried to de-clutter.   They are real antiques!!   I always laugh when I see a Treo these days.   For me, that represents such a time in my life.   I used to talk to friends, boyfriends, everyone about their phones.  I guess I still do…   I remember being more attracted to a guy who had a Treo than any other phone.   Something about that Treo (now iPhone of course), Mac, Obama guy…       

Right now, I have such desire to blog about the on-goings in the social media world /technology arena, but what I’ve discovered is, someone else has already written it.

It’s become (and not even lately), a who’s who of getting the news out the fastest.   Whatever the “news” is.   In all reality, someone is posting it before I am.  In fact, I’m probably the last possible person the planet to post it.   Well, I won’t go that far. Truth be told, people reading my blog have probably not already seen the news first- ie, Twitter, Facebook, Mashable, etc.  

A lot happened in the social media world today when Facebook acquired FriendFeed- click here to read Mashable’s article.    I mean, even the awards shows are now giving awards for “Choice Twit”.  At this week’s Teen Choice Awards, Ellen won and then proceeded to give one of her almost 3 million followers $1000. Click here to read Mashable’s coverage.      This Sunday’s NYT had a few great pieces on social media and new “rules” at certain fiestas and gatherings in NYC.  Check it out at your leisure.  

Well, there you have it- a little background on me the technocrat (one of my biggest passions) as well as a few social media news briefings.   

What was your first cell phone?  Your first PDA?  Your biggest tech guilty pleasure?  Post comments and sign up on the left as google friend connect!!  

Carpe Diem!

Well, I love that within my family, now my mom, my cousin and I are all blogging.  I remember when I started thinking about blogging and I knew no one who actually blogged.  Now, several of my friends and members of my family are blogging. 

My cousin is a professional writer and her blog is the epitome of what I wish my blog was.  My mom’s blog poses the idea of her being too old to blog in each post.  We all know she is far from old and quite interesting.   The bizarre part is the modesty, doubt, and or insecurity in each post of which the basic premise is, “who really cares what I say”.   Of course the people reading it are interested.  So stop with the modesty and own what you are doing.  

The reality is, and finally some of my  family members are seeing it, that blogging is an outlet, a forum, a platform.   Blogging can be anything and everything.  Blogging allows us to put our thoughts, feelings, questions, issues, stories, and more OUT THERE.    The idea of one or one million readers is the ultimate.   The fact that we do not see our readers on the daily, in my opinion (and who really cares about my opinion anyhow), makes it easier for people to express themselves so freely.   

So, Mom- the answer to your question is- people actually do care.  Well, maybe they don’t care… I do!   Regardless, everyone seems to play it off, but people will read it. “If you build it, they will come”.   In the beginning, people pretended they were not into Facebook, then they did it with Twitter.  The reality is, people may not have the time every day to read blogs, to IM, to email, to twit… but when they do have time, people will explore the web, the blogs, the social media sites with passion; whether they admit it or not.

Delicious DIRT

In an effort to disclose as much as possible about my journey, I will let you know some of the people I connected with this week.    I spoke to a few big shot Hollywood people (names asked not to be revealed), I spoke to some people at big PR firms, many PAWS Chicago people, some Animal Fair, some Oprah, some Second City stars, Ms. CC SKYE herself, Ms. Snow and Graham herself, a few high school old school folks, and the folks at .

I loved hearing how everyone started out, how each person’s road took them where it did and how his or her journey has reached so many.   Truly cool to see how everyone starts somewhere and how each person, whether actor, chef, masseur, jeweler, entrepreneur, has his or her own path.

Carpe diem.

Delicious DIRT on Sunshine Sealed

So, I thought I should explain how I chose the blog name for my personal blog Sunshine Sealed.  I literally went weeks and maybe even months thinking about the perfect blog name.  I had conversations with as many people as possible to try stimulate any sort of creativity that may or may not exist in me…

My grandpa Everett used to sign his telegrams, ”Beamingly yours, sunshine sealed”.   One day after trying out about 35 blog names and going to and from godaddy with “delicious dirt” (taken – hence “shelter me pretty” and so many more potentials, it hit me.   Sunshine sealed!   I miss you and love you grandpa.   You are in my thoughts, my heart and now, my blog.   No one more classy, more debonaire, more supportive and more loving than you.



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