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In a crisis, many businesses are left in a lurch, wondering how to move forward, and how to efficiently communicate with customers.  With the Covid 19 pandemic many organizations no matter the size felt these struggles.  Although most leaders know that communication is crucial, many where left wondering what is next.  CJ Arlotta from The Crisis Averted podcast joins us to share his wisdom.    

Video Transcription


Harry Brelsford  0:02 

Hey, Nation Nation, introducing CJ and I’m actually gonna let him introduce himself. But I’ve tracked your work for sometime. As you know, I’m an analyst podcaster, a blogger, this or that, or at least I play one on YouTube. And so you’ve been very good about feeding me industry news, and I’m just gonna let that dangle out there for a second. So for the SMB Nation membership, who are you and what do you do?


CJ Arlotta  0:31 

Thanks. I really appreciate you having me on the show today. So I’m CJ Arlotta a managing member of CJ Media Solutions, some of the PR consultants in the IP space. I also dabble a little bit in the hospitality space. I was a reporter in the IT channel for many years, and I was reporter in the hospitality space for many years, too. So that’s how I kind of got those two areas. We provide content writing services, Media Relations services, some crisis communications, which I know we’ll we’ll get into a little bit there, and some thought leadership services as well. I also do the Crisis Averted podcast, which you were recently on every podcast is a great episode, where we talk to small business owners and other leaders in various industries about challenges they’ve faced and how to overcome those challenges. I think it’s really important to, especially in this time for business owners to to learn how to overcome those obstacles. I also have the channel weekly newsletter, which you can go to a, if you want to subscribe, basically, around us news that’s in the channel, we have some original content as well there we have a nice quote of the week. So if you’re a channel partner or a vendor, or you know, even a journalist, if you want to provide some insight on the channel, or some other business issues, please feel free to reach out to me. And we kind of do a round up of challenges as well as businesses in there as well. We also have a section in there for the business of tech podcast which Dave Sobel hosts. Great, he’s great to have that right on there. And the podcast is, is really great. So if you get the chance to take a listen to it. So we have a mix of everything for everybody in the channel. weekly newsletter.


Harry Brelsford  2:18 

Yeah, it’s a little bit like as Bill Maher on HBO would say on Friday nights. I don’t know why I need to know you. But I should know you. And I’m gonna leave that again hanging out there for the SMB nation membership. Now, I’m in bizdev. I go into a lot of calls. And it’s not always clear what the value of the call is. But I gotta tell you, CJ, over my career. That’s the secret to my success. I sit in on a lot of calls. It may well have been how we met, I can’t recall. But I’ll talk to anybody. And you know what, nine times out of 10. I leave the interaction richer than I came into it. You know what I mean? That Okay, that’s a good use of a half hour. That’s kind of what this podcast with us. Now let’s work backwards on the newsletter that you have. What What I like about it is in fact you you’re doing curated content. So you’re going out and getting stuff I might be interested in reading. I’ve seen you drop it on Sundays. We have a Sunday paper. So I’m mindful of that. And I’d like to read on Sundays. But you’re not an RSS keyword feed. So your newsletter actually, like you’re really thinking through what goes in it. You’re not just taking a keyword MSP and grabbing articles automatically and inserting?


CJ Arlotta  3:36 

Yeah, no. Well, so big news. We’re moving to newsletters and Monday morning. We were doing Sunday. So I’m trying to see what happens when we shift to Monday morning. So far, we’ve got a great open rate that way. So yeah, I basically go through it started out just me going through the news, figuring out what I feel like I want I would be interested in right. And I suppose that other people would be interested in in the same thing. If I’m, if I’m pulling together all this news. I thought other people could benefit as well. So we kind of shifted things around a few times tried a different format, tried adding more length, less length. And right now I think the format we have has been a has worked out pretty well for us.


Harry Brelsford  4:16 

Yeah. And then finally, I want to double click down into the Crisis Averted. The podcast and again, thank you for featuring the Pocket MBA. That’s one of my new stories to tell. Yeah, and much like you in the SMB nation membership, they’re probably tired of hearing it but what I tried to do with the pocket MBA book was have a breakout book. For me, I’m known for the technical books behind me, you know, the the Microsoft product stacks and so on. And then I started to migrate to technical technology business conversations. The pocket MBA is a nonfiction business book that, you know, my dream of dreams could be at an airport bookstore on the shelf right a business person would buy Yet for a flight in any industry, and I’m looking over at the crisis averted podcast, and you have a similar strategy, which I really applaud. You’re going beyond your your domain niche in the channel in the MSP community. Why don’t you talk about that I’m an MC how manufacturers are overcoming the covid 19 pandemic with Patrick Boyle? What What’s going on here? Cuz you’re going away out, you’re going off the ranch man.


CJ Arlotta  5:27 

Yeah, yeah. So I actually been wanting to do I had been wanting to do a podcast for a while I bought the equipment and everything, couldn’t find the right opportunity to do it. And then the covid 19 pandemic hits and I had all this equipment and figured to be the best time to start a podcast just like everybody else. Right. So many people started doing podcasts during the pandemic, I was assembled. Right. So I started the podcast and then started to pick crisis. Er, I do some crisis communications. So originally, what I want to do for the podcast was interview PR professionals how to handle crisis communications. After a while, I thought it was going to start getting pretty boring, right, this listing of PR people, crisis communications, but I wanted to kind of really, really wanted to branch out right, and be able to talk to a larger audience about crisis in general. So I started reaching out to people I started reaching out to elected officials, business owners, all different people all through different parts of life. Right. And that’s really what I’ve been trying to do with the Crisis Averted podcasts. We’ve been trying to do it weekly. I think it’s becoming like probably like every couple of weeks now. A lot of work. Yeah, it’s a lot of work if it is a lot of work, but I really do enjoying it, enjoy doing it. And I think we’ve been getting some great feedback from it so far.


Harry Brelsford  6:49 

Well, that’s great. Well, hey, we’re gonna get you back next quarter. If you don’t mind. I’d like to put in rotation because, of course you’re generating content. So next time, I’m gonna make a note, we’re gonna do some storytelling. Well, we’ll double click down and know what your current podcasts are. When we meet up again, cgis


CJ Arlotta  7:07 

sure, sounds good, Harry. Appreciate it.


Harry Brelsford  7:09 

Alright, thanks.


CJ Arlotta  7:10 

Take care. Talk to you soon.