Public Relations Pitch Guide

A three-step guide to gaining meaningful journalistic coverage.

My goal here is to help you make great strides as a journalist. Being seen by your customers is the separation between success and complete failure for businesses and business-people of all sizes. Here is one account of a tremendous public relations moment. The creator of 1-800-GOT-JUNK decided to call up a local news publication and he managed to convince them to advertise his business on the front page of their publication. This publication changed everything for him, as it helped him get his industry-disrupting business off the ground. Gaining exposure is vital to any business-owner, notes Gaurav Mohindra. Businesses of all sizes can use public relations strategies and gain heavily from them if they choose to put in the time and effort toward the endeavor. I will now try to break down three most important things one must do in order to execute an effective public relations campaign.

The first thing any business must do is introduce themselves. The media is always going to wish to know you know what you are talking about, so it is vital that you introduce and prove yourself through literature that explains your company and the services it offers. Begin with your biography. And be illustrative in order to keep your customer engaged. Gaurav Mohindra recognizes how important it is for businesses to keep their customers engaged.

Next you will want your news to be contextualized. Creating a successful public relations pitch is only made possible by placing the Writing a winning PR pitch means placing your news in locational and industrial context in order to allow your business to separate itself from its competitors. Consider what it is that makes your pitch and business concept more valuable than anyone else’s. Ask yourself if your business is offering something that no other business is offering.

Gaurav Mohindra: And last, you will want to be relevant with your placement. You don’t want to make a campaign in an inappropriate publication to your business’s goals and customer base. One strategy, is to keep an eye out for news stories that are very relevant to your business that you can offer an expert opinion on. The exposure that your presence would afford your businesses is easily worth the effort of keeping an eye out for good stories that may pertain to you and your businesses. Begin with a current event and begin contacting reporters who have or are likely to be involved in the coverage of that event.


Perhaps That 401(k) Isn’t Necessary

While we assume employees prefer to have a 401(k), it may actually be the case that they don’t need it or want it. Gaurav Mohindra recognizes that a 401(k) isn’t always a necessity. Below are a few reasons that they may be unnecessary.

Quite similarly to awarding equity, giving 401(k)s is currently an accepted standard, with many business runners thinking it is their only route to pulling in and keeping hold of talented employees. The Dept. of Labor appears to feel the same. A quite recent change in policy now makes it much simpler for small businesses to afford multiple-employer plans. This is worth taking note of, reflects Gaurav Mohindra. It is important, particularly for small business owners to consider whether a 401(k) is their best choice.

There are different options that may not only be better for your employees, but also for you as a small business owner. Below are a few reasons why.

For starters, it is costly and difficult to manage. The Department of Labor themselves admit that 401(k)s are particularly difficult to manage for small businesses. That is why they are attempting to make multiple-employer plans easier to offer. How expensive 401(k)s can be depends on the fund one uses and the fees associated with it. Business owners are also liable for things beyond their control.

Another reason is that as a business owner you have to watch out for audits. A 401(k) is subject to audit, whether it’s your own or a portion of a multiple-employer plan. If it happens to get audited, it isn’t the IRS who performs the audit, but the Department of Labor.

Gaurav Mohindra: There are better options than a 401(k). The average American is under the impression that they require $1,700,000 in order to retire. If this is the case, people should ask themselves why they’re so caught up in a protocol that limits your contributions to 19K per year. Because at that rate, it would take a person ninety years to save enough money to retire. This doesn’t even factor in the major tax you’ll have to pay when you eventually withdraw the funds.

Also, the primary reason a business owner would instate a retirement plan is if it is required in order to pull in and keep hold of good employees. When selecting a retirement plan, business owners should first consider whether it’s something their employees truly require of them.


Tips for Safe Online Shopping

Online shopping is becoming more popular than retail shopping.  Not only are sales data supporting this assertion, but the reality of numerous brick and mortar stores closing across the country support this assumption as well, says Gaurav Mohindra.

While online shopping is becoming more popular, there are still many reasons to be careful and cautious when doing so.  The following tips are helpful when shopping this holiday season.

Take your time. Typically, you find a product you through a Google search.  And, that search may take you to a new site.  But prior to making the purchase, ask yourself “Do you know the site?” and “Is the deal too good to be true?” Many susceptible sales take place on shady websites that give the impression of legitimacy but end up giving the user a headache in trying to contact unavailable customer service when items don’t appear or mis-charges on credit cards.

Ensure the website is secure.  Web security is widely prevalent through the web, and for good reason.  Secure websites use technologies like encryption and authentication to verify your login credentials and protect your personal information – including your financial information like credit card numbers, says Gaurav Mohindra.  When shopping online, make sure to look for the lock symbol (oftentimes in the bottom header) that means it’s using an encrypted connection. More than a few sites use fake domains that look like the legit site with perhaps a misspelling or added character. Often the site will try to look as close to the original as possible.

Be cautious and guard your personal info. Don’t enter your personal information into websites when using public internet connections – such as in public places like coffee shops or libraries.  These public connections are susceptible to hackers and may lead to comprising your credentials and/or financial information.  For this reason, try to connect to private and known networks (such as your work or home) when needing to enter your private information.

Update your virus protection and operating system. Virus exist, and they are a threat to phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops.  One way to prevent having your devices infected is to leverage anti-virus protection software to ensure that you can detect viruses prior to becoming infected.  Many such virus are designed to mimic the online shopping experience and build your confidence to capture your personal information.  For this reason, build-in a consistent and stable defense from the outset by having such tools.


The Making of a Hollywood Blockbuster

Movies are big business.   Hollywood, Bollywood, and other niche markets gross massive revenues.  Oftentimes, these revenues are categorized as media and mass market numbers.  However, most movies need customer buyer in which is played and drawn on human emotion.  People need to identify and want to watch a movie – prior to going out and watching that movie.

2019 was a relatively quiet year for movies.  However, the big blow out movie for the year was The Joker.  The Joker is a biopic upon the antagonist villain portrayed in the DC Comics’ Batman.  Herein, The Joker was played by Joaquin Phoenix and was directed by Todd Philips.  The movie, is considered to be an origin movie.  Thereby depicting how the Joker became the Joker.  And, quite frankly – it’s brilliant, says Gaurav Mohindra.

Phoenix brought life to a comic book page villain, and did so with style.  While the character was clearly deranged – Phoenix did an amazing job to humanize the character.  This is not the first time a Hollywood star actor took on the role of The Joker.  One of the first occasions was when Jack Nicholson portrayed the comic villain in the eponymous story.  Nicholson brought charm charisma and character to the role.  But, Phoenix brought a 2019 draught and disdain that in this day and age can be viewed as relatable lunacy. 

The character is clearly deranged, and the plot is half fantasy/half comic book reality – but it works.  One feels the pain of the protagonist/antagonist – and the audience craves for a happy ending.  However, in true Hollywood ire – the fictional reality is almost more real than everyday life.  And that, in and of itself – is almost admirable, but also realistically frighteningly scary. 

The Joker is a madman.  And the evolution of a mentally challenged man to madman is brilliantly depicted on screen.  This evolution is frighteningly real.  A modern day villain is often portrayed in newspapers in a very similar vein as The Joker, due to his actions.  However, prior to The Joker “lashing out” he clearly was slipping away from reality.  And, this happens to people every day. 

This movie was not only playing on the origins of a broad and popular comic ecosphere.  It was also showcasing a glimpse in the mental health ailments of today.  For this reason, The Joker should not only be viewed as a piece or art – for it’s “comic” value, but also for humanizing the ugly side of mental health – and showing how the pain is more real than fiction, say Gaurav Mohindra.


A Trip Down the Road

Gaurav Mohindra

I think Jack Kerouac was a far more impressive novelist than a poet, though he wrote his fair share of poems. His book Mexico City Blues sits beside me, and I look to it every now and again, but I don’t consider any of it real, serious poetry. I think his charm is more evident in prose, says Gaurav Mohindra. Poetry is too restrictive a medium for Kerouac. In his poetry, he tries to be too primal with sound play and line breaks, and it doesn’t quite translate. Kerouac typed the first draft of On the Road on a single 50-foot long scroll and in record time, though it wasn’t easy for him to get it published. Since the initial publication of On the Road though, the original, unedited copy, (the scroll,) has been published, and the first, most obvious difference between the first published edition and the Original Scroll (which is a recent publication,) is that Kerouac uses everyone’s real names in the Original Scroll. So Neal Cassady is simply called Neal Cassady instead of Dean Moriarty, and Allen Ginsberg is referred to as Allen Ginsberg rather than Carlo Marx.

Gaurav Mohindra

Another important distinction between the two is that the Original Scroll is uncensored. At the time of publication, 1957, six years after Kerouac finished drafting the novel, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, (friend and publisher of Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl,’) was involved in long, drawn-out trials over the poem, of which, copies were seized for obscenity by U.S. Customs. So, the obscenity and libel laws of the time being what they were, Kerouac’s publisher, Viking, who was afraid of being sued, had Kerouac either omit or soften some of the more explicit language and depictions of sex. They also were afraid of being sued for libel, particularly by anyone seeing themselves as being depicted in an unfavorable light, so they had Kerouac change all the character names as well, says Gaurav Mohindra. I always wondered how much revelation of others in one’s writing is fair. Kerouac’s friends and their personalities are on full display in On the Road, and while some of them are public figures who might have been accustomed to having their business out in the open, others, like Neal Cassady, are relatively private individuals who I don’t believe have much to gain from having their romantic and criminal exploits cataloged and immortalized in literature. One could argue that On the Road serves as a sort of legacy for Neal, but with the novel detailing some of the more unsavory moments in his life, I don’t know if it’s a legacy he would have signed off on.

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Gaurav Mohindra

A Picture of Cancer

I, like Henry Miller, find beauty in the strangest of places; a streetlamp casting its light on the road, the soft fabric of the t-shirts I live in, or a carefully crafted sandwich even. I sit and type as my oven warms itself in wait of the bread I will feed it. My toaster lies useless on the counter in hopes of repair. Too busy to go out and buy another one and craving a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the oven will have to do for now. I don’t often write about food, but right now I am. Henry Miller wrote a lot about food. He also wrote about prostitutes. I think he wrote about the things he craved most. He was hungry most of the time, as he seldom had a stable source of income, says Gaurav Mohindra. His bohemian lifestyle led him to prioritize food, as it was never easy to come by. In Tropic of Cancer, he details his meals so lavishly your mouth begins to salivate. He writes about food and its acquisition in the most tragic and epic language conceivable

Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn contain some of the most impressive prose ever written. I am perpetually moved by the writing in these novels, and I revisit them frequently. Miller’s writing is ecstatically lyrical—at times surrealistic and in others encyclopedic. He darts in and out of obscenities and pulls it off by sandwiching crude scenes in between long surrealistic rants filled with rapturous, mystical imagery. He’s a master novelist unafraid of scorn, daring to go where none have ever quite gone before.


Miller was hungry, perpetually. At least in the early part of his adult life before he managed to publish a few novels and secure a decent living. That’s the dream. It’s possible, but it certainly isn’t easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is. I think Miller understood this, but at the same time, I think he strangely enjoyed some aspects of his poverty. It seemed to serve as a sort of fuel for him, says Gaurav Mohindra. He seemed to thrive in a state of want. It fed his writing, so to speak. His hunger sharpened his vision, it focused his desire, and his writing is full of it—full of desire and its pursuit.

Miller is constantly looking up at the stars, always dreaming of new possibilities, new frontiers, new loves, new foods, new experiences. He naturally finds himself in novel situations because he leaves himself completely open to the world, open to the experience. He bumps into things and things bump into him, and he dives into the life and shares his experiences with us, and sometimes even the lessons he’s taken away from them. I admire his starry-eyed mode of living and his lyrical prose. It culminates in a perfect storm of lush language and rich experience. I smell my oven toast burning.

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Ubers Continued Commitment to Safety

Uber has been proactively promoting new safety features throughout their platform to provide additional security and protection for users and drivers.  Recently they started raising safety awareness with college campuses as students return to school this fall, says Gaurav Mohindra.

Uber has been encouraging users to verify their drivers and cars, including car make and model and license plates prior to getting into the vehicle.  In addition, they encourage users to verify the driver’s photos.


Uber is providing additional alerts and banners to remind users to verify their cars and drivers prior to embarking on their rides.  These new safety measures show Uber’s commitment to providing a safe, trusted, and secure experience for its users, says Gaurav Mohindra.

Uber has seen rapid growth over the past few years, and it’s expected to continue seeing consistent growth as it enters into new markets and provides new service offerings.  Uber is now available in over 65 countries, and in over 600 cities.  Their presence is worldwide.  Safety is a measure that is important in each market and territory that it operates in.   Roughly, there are over 14 million trips conducted through the Uber platform per day.  Reports indicated that over 10 Billion trips have been completed thus far.  All of these metrics reflected worldwide usages.

Reports indicate that Uber’s market share in the United States is nearly 2/3s of the market – (or roughly 67%).  Along with such wide adoption and usage Uber is seeing significant revenue growth.  In 2018, Uber revenue was $11.3 billion.  That is a significant increase from the previous year.  Having such large revenue, provides Uber the resources to focus and improve on core features – such as safety.  One of Uber’s earliest features was to provide the model and type, and driver details to users prior to a ride starting.  There are nearly 4 million Uber drivers throughout the world, and its Uber’s focus to provide a safe platform for users and drivers.

Raising awareness with Colleges provides reinforcement to users to apply best practices and the tips on how to use the App for built-in safety features.  These reinforcement techniques are important, as they serve as passive reminders for users.  Passive reminders help users remember the tips if they ever need to apply them.  Uber is routinely providing new safety techniques and tips to users, and provides notices throughout the App and via email.


Voice Interoperability

New Standard in Voice Interoperability

Voice activation controls are garnering new interest amongst consumers.  Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa have helped bring a new frontier in voice controlled device activation.  Accordingly, it is not surprising that new standards to shape this field are emerging, says Gaurav Mohindra.

Amazon recently announced that a consortium of technology companies are working together to devise an initiative to foster compatibility amongst devices and products such that users may interchange said devices.  The commonality between the companies is the understanding that voice driven commands will shape technology commands, and user adoption will rise.  Working together, such companies, can determine how one device can operate in a host of modalities for even wider reach and broader adoption.


At least 30 companies are said to be involved in the new initiative, including: Amazon, Baidu, BMW, Bose, Cerence, ecobee, Harman, Logitech, Microsoft, Salesforce, Sonos, Sound United, Sony Audio Group, Spotify and Tencent; telecommunications operators like Free, Orange, SFR and Verizon; hardware solutions providers like Amlogic, InnoMedia, Intel, MediaTek, NXP Semiconductors, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., SGW Global and Tonly; and systems integrators like CommScope, DiscVision, Libre, Linkplay, MyBox, Sagemcom, StreamUnlimited and Sugr.

It’s interesting such a wide, diverse array of participating companies.  Having consumer electronics companies working with auto companies and telecome – shows that a broad approach is key for wide adoption, says Gaurav Mohindra.

It’s not uncommon for companies to work together to build out such a mutually beneficial standard.  Typically such standard developments include the participation of companies having standard essential patents (SEPs).  These SEPs become mandatory for allowance to participate within the standard.  When licensing the standard, SEPs must be licensed in a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) manner.  This threshold is a legal principal well established in law. 

Companies participating in the Voice Interoperability Initiative will work with one another to ensure customers have the freedom to interact with multiple voice services on a single device. Amongst the other participating companies, Qualcomm chipsets will be foundational in supporting a wide use in CES, automotive, and audio/video devices to ensure the same or similar framework will be employed across a wide variety of modalities – such that consumers may be able to leverage their voice across a wide spectrum and yield the same or similar intended response and action, says Gaurav Mohindra.

Amazon is expected to release a variety of new hardware devices to support and comply with the new initiative, and in doing so help expand its reach and adoption rates.


Chicago Minibus Sightseeing Tour


Chicago is a beautiful city having lots of options for sightseeing and experiences to enjoy. There is a lot for everyone in this beautiful town says Gaurav Mohindra. You can visit world-class museums, dine at Michelin-star restaurants or catch a show in one of over 200 theaters. It feels like there are nearly limitless options to experience and enjoy.

There are quite a few organized tours catering to various niches – such as city sights, sports, shopping, and other attractions. These tours are popular because they provide a curated guide to your particular interest. Chicago nightlife includes a variety of bars and nightclubs, live music and comedy clubs.


A popular way to enjoy Chicago – and experience what it has to offer is through the Chicago Minibus Sightseeing Tour.  The CMS Tour make major city attractions accessible without any hassle.  You can travel around the Windy City in a smart, convenient, long windowed minibus, as you scope out the city’s cloud-skimming skyscrapers, art-filled parks, and charming neighborhoods. Along with the enjoyable tour around the city, you can get an expert guide who shares interesting insight into Chicago’s storied past and make lots of stops to take memorable photos.

On the tour, you will experience the view on the top of the Willis Tower, the biggest office building in North America, Picasso’s sculpture in Daley Plaza, and Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. You will also see Millennium Park’s reflective sculpture “The Bean”. The tour provides ample opportunity to stop and snap photos, capturing memories of the amazing skyline at Museum Campus, and then set a course for the historic architecture in The Loop says Gaurav Mohindra. The bus will also take you inside one of the world’s first skyscrapers. This is an experience difficult to plan for by oneself.

While on the tour you can admire the Chicago River, along Wacker Drive; hear for lions roaring in Lincoln Park’s renowned zoo, also you can learn a bit about Chicago’s mobster past including the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. On your way back into town, the bus will take you through the scenic route along Lake Shore Drive for remarkable glimpses of Lake Michigan and the city horizon before arriving back to your hotel. This Chicago Minibus Sightseeing Tour is committed to making your visit to Chicago special and memorable. So if you don’t want to miss the major attractions of this city you should check out the Chicago Minibus Sightseeing Tour says Gaurav Mohindra.

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Facebook’s Fight to Combat Online Bullying

As the internet has brought communications to closer and more personal levels, online bullying has become increasingly an issue.  A recent federal report released last week indicated that nearly 20 percent of students in middle school and high school were bullied.  This metric was capturing bullying events that took place during the 2016-2017 school year but also provides a glimpse as to how widespread the issue is, says Gaurav Mohindra.

Much of online bullying takes place within social networks – as kids often leverage such networks to connect with friends and peers.  Facebook, being the largest social network, has employed a strong initiative to combat online bullying on its own platform – and on Instagram – which a popular social network is owned by Facebook.

Facebook recently announced the release of new tools to identify and prevent bullying, says Gaurav Mohindra.  One such tool is a comment screener.  When a comment that appears to be hurtful is submitted to post, the tool will indicate that the message appears to be negative and request confirmation if they want to post the message.  Facebook indicated that early testing of the tool has shown that users have rescinded negative comments prior to posting as a result of the screen.

Instagram further announced a tool called Restrict to provide additional support to assist with online bullying and targeted harassment.  Currently – Instagram has always provided the ability for users to block or unfollow people.  However, users may be reluctant to do so as the blocked party may discern of this action which could lead to additional harassment or bullying.  For this reason, Instagram is rolling out the Restrict feature which prevents restricted users’ comments from being read by anyone but the restricted user.  This may help neutralize negative situations since the post owner will not be aware of any negative comment, and neither will anyone else who may view the post.  Only the restricted user has the ability to read the comments. 

Facebook’s commitment to combating online bulling and harassment is important and critical to creating a safer social network experience, especially for younger users, says Gaurav Mohindra.  Online bullying has become an important issue.  First Lady, Melania Trump, has been a vocal advocate and supporter of anti-bullying initiatives.  Even other corporations, besides Facebook, have taken up the cause.  Burger King recently released a widely accessible PSA against bullying.   Facebook and Instagram have conveyed that additional tools and support to combat bullying will be rolled out in the near future.