Saturday, August 12, 2017

Atlanta Writer Peter Stoddard Discovers a Talent for Global Press Releases

Ever wonder where those headline links at the side of a favorite news media website come from? Someone writes the headline and the story to which the link connects. This is how the world consumes news today.

Newspapers hate to admit it, but few still read a paper version of their paper; even fewer subscribe. TV stations hate to admit it, but few regularly watch the morning or evening news. To combat these trends media outlets take content to their website, whether free to their audience or by paid subscription.

Atlanta resident Peter Stoddard recently discovered he has a knack for getting stories placed on major media outlet websites worldwide. At age 60 he calls it his 3rd career, though he confesses to innumerable “mini-careers” along the way.

Upon graduation with a marketing degree from the University of Georgia, Stoddard took a job with Atlanta’s Lanier Business Products as their extremely low paid corporate convention manager. He found himself in charge of major trade show exhibits, hospitality suites and black tie banquets. He’s quick to point out that “in charge” was a misnomer, as he was subordinate to virtually every other executive at any event. If someone’s rental tuxedo didn’t fit or a light kept flickering in the company booth, Stoddard was to blame. Even with that, he thrived on the energy at such events.

Next came a similar position with a division of Siemens. Same adventures and responsibilities, different company and industry. He then took a job with a vendor, moving to Chicago to open the company’s Midwest regional sales office. Thus summarizes Career 1, twenty years in conventions and corporate special events.

Stoddard has extraordinary stories to tell about Career 1.

Career 2 began with a move to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida and entry into the real estate profession. Along the way he founded a vacation home rental agency and eventually hung out a shingle as broker of Dune Lake Properties, his own real estate firm. Early on, Stoddard was one of few agents who sent to his customers monthly email “bulletins”, general discussions of interest, often beyond local real estate. As his market transitioned from the bucolic Redneck Riviera to Emerald Coast to New Urbanism Mecca, there was no shortage of trends to discuss – and still more stories to tell.

Having relocated back to his hometown of Atlanta for the first time since 1984, in 2017 Stoddard secured a Georgia real estate broker license and began outreach to the “warm sphere” of friends with whom he maintained contact over the decades. Those constitute a whole lot of friends, dating from grade school, to high school, his UGA fraternity, business associates and customers from event management and real estate.

Stoddard created a blog to chronicle the volume of research he performed to acquaint himself with all that has changed in Atlanta and North Georgia. He launched a LinkedIn group for graduates of his UGA fraternity in anticipation of the 2018 50th anniversary of their founding in Athens. He published articles to real estate websites and created his own website, not only to promote career interests, but as outlets to express an interest in … so many things.

He claims to be conversational on many topics, an expert on none. What fuels him is natural curiosity about broad ranging topics from colonial and Revolutionary War ancestry, to scuba diving, his sons’ school and extracurricular activities, volunteering, boating – and what his many friends are doing.

In August Stoddard had an epiphany in the form of advice from a mentor and legendary real estate agent:

“Everyone has a great story to tell. Tell it before the competition tells theirs.”

Stoddard took that mantra a step further. He realized everyone has not only one great story to tell, likely dozens or hundreds, whether they realize it or not. They simply need someone to tell that story well. Thus began his entry into crafting press releases.

The first was one he wrote “for fun” on the international Freedom Boat Club, where he is a member. The club so impressed him that he thought the world needed to hear about it. Almost a year later the piece is still out there on media websites around the globe, from Georgia to Malaysia.

What would a new writer's life be without a crisis when all he wants to do is write?

In week 1 a lady liked something Stoddard wrote & called him. She asked for his company name. He didn't have one. Figuring he needed one that instant he blurted out "Stoddard Media". Very creative.

In week 2 another lady called, and they agreed on a project. Then she said his website stoddardmedia (dot) com was infected. He had no website and sheepishly had to admit it. She didn't believe him until he insisted that was not his. Stoddard had no website but he just gained a bright shiny new crisis. People like her researching him would go to that unknown black sheep cousin's site and think maybe HE personally was infected. So now he had to rush out & find an uninfected website store.

Sunday of week 3 he went & applied for stoddardmedia (dot) com. Of course it was taken, but he had to check. Then some helpful algorithm suggested others,, and The last one jumped out at him, so he pounced.

Recently came a release for Comfort ZONE Portables, a leading provider of VIP sanitation services at concerts, festivals and corporate events across North America. The company founder is a high school friend who helped Stoddard get a summer trash collection job before his freshman year at UGA. That release got picked by 400+ media outlets, from CEO World Magazine to The DIVA Today.

A project coming up will be for a UGA fraternity brother who recently purchased a storied real estate brokerage in Northwest Florida, Stoddard’s old stomping grounds. Funny how things come full circle.

Hardly ready to suspend his young Georgia real estate practice, Stoddard’s mind races to imagine how he can merge writing into that career. While he and his team might help hundreds of customers buy and sell homes, helping many agents tell their stories will help thousands of customers buy and sell homes.

Stoddard already has several press release drafts on paper and in his head for a diverse range of friends whose businesses he has yet to contact. They need only to edit or approve the piece to see their story presented to planet earth within the week.

Everyone has a great story. Stoddard can help you tell yours well. To the world. Overnight.


Peter Stoddard
Stoddard Media
1400 Market Place Boulevard
Cumming GA 30041