When I took an art class on a lark in college, I discovered how much I loved being creative. Bringing my ideas to life didn't feel like work -- far from it. The experience was downright magical. If I could do this for a living, I'd never work a day in my life, I realized. After I left, began selling my own product designs, and spent several highly informative years at the red-hot toy startup Worlds of Wonder, I developed a simple process to help me achieve my goal.
I only spent a few years attempting to license my ideas for toys, but the takeaway was clear: This is one incredibly competitive industry! Toy companies have always relied on outside inventors to commercialize the most innovative new products. In February, I had the pleasure of attending Toy Fair in New York City for the first time in decades. So when I heard that PlayMonster, a relatively small company, was a finalist for no less than six 2018 awards, I was intrigued.
Is it possible that the author of the mega-seller "4-Hour Workweek" had questions to ask me? Yes. That's part of his formula for success. In order to design your life on your own terms, you're going to need help from others. And as part of this, you'll need to learn how to approach people who have done something similar to what you want to accomplish and ask them for guidance. That is easier said than done, for sure, but it's not as difficult as you might imagine.
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Musk AND Zuckerberg or Musk + Zuckerberg.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used). For example, results will contain either cake or cookie by searching cake OR cookie or cake,cookie
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".