Merlian News: After working as a PR and marketing consultant for 30 years, what made you focus your work on the holistic, therapeutic community?Andrea: Throughout my career, I have always supported the holistic/therapeutic community, mainly because I had been healed by many of these practitioners throughout my life. However, the real shift took place on 9/12, the day after the horrific 9/11 event. That day, I witnessed something that transformed my life and became a microcosm for what was to manifest throughout the world. Just blocks away from the sea of chaos, a local, holistic center ushered in hundreds of therapists from around the East Coast. They set up shop at the South Sea Seaport and began to work around the clock offering cranial sacral, acupuncture, reflexology and massage to all the fireman, policemen, doctors and nurses that had been working 24/7 helping people who been injured. Now you know, under normal circumstances these fireman, doctors and nurses would not have stepped foot into a holistic center. And yet, here they were, receiving just what they needed and by their expressions, by their appreciation you just knew these folks were very happy. I stood there, watching this scene, knowing that a major shift was about to occur. I knew, at that moment that the entire world was about to change become more receptive – to these esoteric, alternative modalities. In addition to watching this microcosm, this little voice inside me said, (go back and write the book that will empower these practitioners to get out there and educate the masses.So, I went home and started writing the book, “Creating an Abundant Practice: A Spiritual and Practical Guide for Holistic Practitioners and Healing Centers.” It is now in its second printing.This book is a step-by-step guide on how to garner publicity, generate partnerships and cultivate media exposure, and at the same time, approach these initiatives as a spiritual practice and as healing in themselves. It’s filled with sample resumes, bios, press releases and questionnaires for practitioners to study and use as templates. In addition, there are first-hand anecdotes and practical advice that will help practitioners navigate unexpected or difficult situations; self-evaluation tools that will help them pinpoint and realize their career and lifestyle goals.Merlian News: And your new book, The Science of Spiritual Marketing: Initiation into Magnetism, how will this book be different?Andrea: The new book, will be the most conceptual, philosophical book on marketing, you will ever read. I am very excited about this one. Merlian News: Why do you think so many people are apprehensive about marketing? Andrea: Because this mysterious and magical process that I have come to love and embrace has become a recipe with no soul — full of blaring hype, propaganda, political spin — the thought of using any of these venues to promote ourselves has become very unattractive.
I knew there had to be shift. I knew there had to be a way to restore the wholesomeness and integrity of this profession, for the consumer, the business owner and the professional marketing consultant. Because of my own pursuit of spiritual knowledge, this dilemma forced me to examine the difference between traditional marketing and spiritual /holistic marketing. Merlian News: What is the difference?Andrea: Traditional marketing is for the most part toxic. It tends to create unconscious negative behaviors (subliminal as well as overt). It is based on attention getting propaganda that bombards people’s senses. Spiritual marketing is addressed with consciousness and integrity. It is nourishing and uplifting rather than depleting and degrading. After 30 years of researching and exploring marketing like a scientist, I have discovered that it doesn’t matter if you are a CEO of a large Fortune 500 company, a small business owner or a holistic practitioner, the rules are the same. The only way a business can be sustainable and successful over time, is by integrating both holistic/spiritual and practical principles into a nice, neat package. Merlian News: How do you take someone who’s in a small town and bring them up to the level where they can understand this type of marketing? Especially when they are trying to sort out all the different options of advertising or press coverage?Andrea: There is a sequence. First, we understand the spiritual laws, then, we incorporate and synthesize the practical laws — and integrate the two.
Merlian News: What other concepts do you introduce?Andrea: There is the concept of seeing ourselves as whole. Instead of thinking that we need to wear two or three hats when we promote or market ourselves we begin to understand that there’s only the need to wear one. In this way, we sever the lack ofdisconnect. When we understand that promoting and marketing is an art form and that it’s the same creative energy we use when we paint a mural or compose a song create anew software program. When we understand all of the spiritual and practical laws then all of our resistance dissolves and we begin to master the flow of our profession.Merlian News: Do you get any resistance to these ideas? Andrea: Well, I think that’s the difference between left-brain participants and right brain participants. I have found that very creative, entrepreneurial business people interested in learning PR and marketing resonate with this work. It is a very conceptual and yet, practical approach.Merlian News: How does someone unify these concepts to become the “one” person they present to the world?Andrea: This vision work is very powerful. We may intellectually understand where we want to be in five years we may have a yearning to express ourselves in a certain way. However, when we get in touch with what our soul is calling for us to do, it overrides the other two, and connects us energetically with where we want to be, how we want to be and how we want to feel as we move out there and create our outreach. Many times, this is an extreme paradigm shift for people. The fact of the matter is, actors, sports professionals, and lawyers use this technique all the time. It focuses the mind and crystallizes our intention. Merlian News: Is it a struggle for many of your clients?Andrea: There’s no struggle. When there is the understanding of all the principals and how to integrate them, there is no struggle.Merlian News: Once the workshop participants and your consulting clients understand the principals, what’s next?Andrea: Then we move into creating the strategy and the marketing materials that will draw our potential clients to us. There is a lot of focus on creating the “Sound Bite.”Merlian News: The “Sound Bite”?Andrea: The sound bite is how we articulate who we are. More often than not, I cannot understand people when they introduce themselves to me. This holds true for the CEO of a large company to the holistic practitioner trying to articulate what Reiki is. The Sound Bite consists of two to four lines that describe in detail who you are and what your specific modality or business is about. It’s a teaser, used to wet people’s appetite — entice them with the right words and they’ll want to learn more. If used properly, the listener will be so intrigued by what you say, they will want to set up an appointment and try out this method you have spoken so interestingly about. And then we focus on developing a strong story. Merlian News: What other techniques are unique to this method?Andrea: How to create soulful branding, soulful marketing materials that resonate with who we are and who we want to attract. And, once again, integrating those spiritual laws into our materials. Merlian News: What are the spiritual laws of abundance?Andrea: How to move out of fear gracefully; the priceless offerings; the energy of money; the power of the word; the subtext of enthusiasm; the three stages of creativity; competition and the fact that there is none; Your business is greater that what you believe it to be; Selling as a divine practice; and the practice of meditation.Merlian News: What is your advice on Advertising?Andrea: I have created an entire CD on this topic. It’s quite extensive. I sell my CD’s on my website and at workshops. Merlian News: What does your day-to-day job entail?Andrea: I am completing my new book, writing a screenplay based on my novel, Pushing Upward. I speak to people from around the world offering consultations and I travel extensively. I’ve been presenting workshops in Latin America, Mexico, Curenavaca, and throughout the US. I am very excited to be returning to New York. Merlian News: Andrea, how can people reach you if they want to contact you or attend the workshop in NYC? Andrea: They can call me at 505-983-7777 and/or go to my website: www.HolisticPR.com .