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Aliza Friedlander | Developing Your Own PR Strategy | The Breakdown with Bethany

Aliza Friedlander The Breakdown with Bethany MomCaveTV

Community is everything! Since converting to fully remote work in the spring of 2020, I have made more connections in my career than ever before. For the fourth episode of The Breakdown with Bethany, I am talking to my friend, Aliza Friedlander, a writer, PR strategist, mom of two, and viral sensation.

Without giving too much away, you may remember Aliza from a hilarious mishap that took the internet by storm several years back. This totally relatable moment landed Aliza on Today.com, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, and many more news outlets!

In this episode of The Breakdown with Bethany, we talk about Aliza Friedlander’s viral moment and how she was able to leverage it to help her career. In fact, she has been using similar methods to help her clients gain traction and create brand awareness for herself.

Take a look at the episode below:

Aliza Friendlander on The Breakdown with Bethany

Bethany:
Hey, and welcome back to another episode of The Breakdown with Bethany. Today’s guest is not only an awesome mother of two little girls, a writer, editor, and social media wiz, but she’s also my friend. I met Aliza Friedlander on Clubhouse and we instantly hit it off. We were both writers and editors in the parenting space, and we have a lot to say on working motherhood, raising kids, and everything and anything in between. You might even recognize Aliza after the first story she tells about a post that went viral years ago. I was so surprised to find out that this was her family. And honestly, I still am laughing about it. So if you love the interview, be sure to like and subscribe. And I can’t wait to bring you guys more great parenting content. Check it out.

Bethany:
Aliza, thank you so much for joining me. I’m thrilled you’re here because we’re friends. So we met on social media, but people actually might know you. And I was surprised to find this out too, even though we’ve known each other for a few months. Can you tell us all about how you went viral?

Aliza Friendlander:
Oh my God. Yes. So it is, I swear, the gift that’s still giving. My daughter is now five and a half. This happened when she was three. So I was a stay-at-home mom for many, many years. Before I had kids, I was a TV producer and I transitioned out of that, got a Master’s in emerging media, had kids, stayed home. And then probably two years into my stay-at-home mom journey, felt like I wanted a little something more for myself. So I got into some writing for a very hyper-local magazine here in the Maryland area, and freelanced there for a while and then ended up getting brought on part-time as a senior writer. And so I had my first assignment, which was at eight o’clock in the morning. Michelle Obama’s former speechwriter was speaking at an event I was covering. I had interviewed her beforehand.

Aliza Friedlander:
I was going to meet her. I took a picture with her, all the things, 8:15 in the morning. And my husband was in charge of the morning routine. And he’s incredibly hands-on. He’s a great husband and dad, but he goes to work in the morning and I stay home.

And I think as many, many moms can understand and relate to, since it’s not in their everyday routine, they’re just not used to it. And he was just not used to the routine. So he did it all, and I left everything. I didn’t do anything. Didn’t lay out clothes. I didn’t make lunch. So, I didn’t do anything, so he did it all. He made them breakfast and these really delicious, gourmet egg omelets he let me know he made.

I take Eggo waffles out of the freezer or pancakes, and my daughter sometimes likes to eat them frozen. So literally, she sometimes eats frozen waffles for breakfast or frozen pancakes for breakfast. He made homemade fresh eggs, made their lunch. They had just gotten their ears pierced, so you still had to do the cleaning and stuff. So he did the cleaning with the stuff from Claires and-

Bethany:
Oh, Claires. Love Claires.

Aliza Friedlander:
Exactly. He did the cleaning. He did it all, made the lunch, got them dressed. They show up at school on time. I usually am, I run late always.

Bethany:
So he was killing it. He was killing it, on point.

Dad was MOSTY Killing It… Until….

Aliza Friedlander Daughter Goes to School in Underwear Developing a PR Strategy
Aliza Friedlander’s Daughter Went to School Wearing Potty Training Pants

Aliza Friedlander:
Killing it, doing all the things. And then I get a text message from one of my best friends who sent me a photo and was like, “I’m pretty sure she’s wearing underwear.” I was like, “What do you mean she’s wearing underwear?” And she sent me this picture and I looked and I was like, “Oh my God.” I called my mom because my daughter actually, the one who was wearing underwear, wasn’t actually in school at that point. She was three days a week, and my older one was five days a week. So he was dropping off my older one at the school.

Aliza Friedlander:
And my mother was meeting him at the school to take my younger one so that he could then go off to work because I was at this event. So all the logistics, all the coordinating, it had all matched up. And my mom calls me and is like, “I don’t know what to say. She’s wearing underwear. She doesn’t have pants.” And I was like, “Oh my God.” And my friend texts me this picture. They end up going into my daughter, who did go to the school there. But she just, it was a day that she wasn’t there because she was three days a week, so they went into her change of clothes box.

Bethany:
Right.

Aliza Friedlander:
So at least she had a pair of pants or shorts that they could put on her, but it was full-blown underwear for a good 10, 15 minutes. My friend was like, “I let everybody know that you’re working, that you’re not home, that this was not you.” I was like, “Oh my God.” So I texted my husband and I was like, “You sent her to school in her underwear.” And then the conversation that continued was just, I swear, I felt like something out of a Saturday Night Live skit or something like that. He texted me back, “Who?” And I was like, “What do you mean ‘who’? You send her to school.” And he was like, “Well, it’s like shorts or it’s like a bathing suit. At least she got there. At least she got there.” And I was like… we had this whole text message back and forth. And to make it even better, it wasn’t just underwear, it was potty training underwear.

Bethany:
Like training pads. Yeah.

Aliza Friedlander:
But it was cotton. It wasn’t a pull up or anything. It was cotton, so it had thick padding in the middle. So it almost looked like she was wearing underwear with a pad, and these were from when I was a kid. My mother had saved these from when I was a kid. And when I started potty training my older one was like, “Oh, here. I have all of this stuff for you.” And I was like, “Okay, great.” And so I just took it and threw it in a drawer. So they never used them for potty training. I mean, they’re over 30 years old and she’s now at school in these padded training underwear. And so I-

Bethany:
So you shared the whole experience and then what happened? It just blew up. The Today Show called. What happened?

How the Story Eventually Went Viral

Aliza Friedlander:
So it did. It didn’t immediately happen though. It didn’t immediately blow up. So I come from a journalism background and when I left being a TV morning producer, I went and I got a master’s in emerging media. So to learn how to combine traditional forms of journalism and PR with these nontraditional communication platforms and tools because essentially, social media and all of these platforms are communication tools and ways to communicate with an audience. And there are strategies and techniques and things to do that are different for each platform. Just like when it comes to the media, there are different ways to pitch and there are different types of stories that they’re looking for. And each media platform has a different way of going about things, whether you’re pitching to newspapers or TV. Essentially, these social media platforms can be looked at as a communication tool in that same way.

Aliza Friedlander:
But if you’re using Facebook, your tools and strategies are going to be different than using Instagram versus LinkedIn or now Clubhouse. And so really digging deep into how to use new platforms as communication tools, as opposed to just social networking tools for friends and family. Because when I was at the TV stations, I also noticed that we were taking all of the content from the TV stations and putting that same content, repurposing it onto social channels without… And it was just like a take it from the TV, put it onto social. And then there was no engagement. There’s no traction. There’s no audience increase. And so we were trying to figure out what the disconnect was.

So I had all of that background. I was like, “Let me test this out.” This is a really good story. It’s really great content. I know that people will appreciate it.” But that’s as much as I knew, because at the end of the day, you don’t know what’s going to go viral and what’s not going to go viral. But you do know if you put some strategies in place, that it will get in front of a handful more eyes and more viewers than if you don’t put strategies in place. So I posted it.

I screenshotted the text message conversation. And then put that— I put a picture of my daughter, and then I shared the story and the caption. So I wrote a long caption, had hashtags. And I had been at an event. It was for a women’s leadership organization event where she was speaking. So I did some research and I found women bloggers. It was for the federation here, which is the Jewish Association. So I went to [Fowler 00:09:17] and I found the top 10 Jewish mommy bloggers.

Aliza Friedlander:
And I went back, I tagged all of them. I shared it with them, and I introduced it to them. And then nothing happened. This was in June.

Aliza Friedlander’s Parenting “Fail” Goes Viral

And then the beginning of July, all of a sudden I was actually in a Pilates class and I came out of the Pilates class and my Instagram account was blowing up. And I was like, “What is happening?”

Bethany:
Oh my God.

Aliza Friedlander:
I was like, “What is happening?” And it turns out, one of these bloggers re-shared it on her account, which had over 500,000 followers.

Bethany:
Wow.

Aliza Friedlander:
And within hours, I mean, there were thousands of comments, hundreds of thousands of likes.

Bethany:
Oh my God.

Aliza Friedlander:
Shares.

Bethany:
And did she tag you back? Did she give you the credit?

Aliza Friedlander:
She tagged me back and gave me the credit, so then it translated back to me. And then it went from there.

Somebody from the Today Show connected with me. Inside Edition. And then it started just blowing up.

Some people didn’t even comment. Some people didn’t even contact me. And that’s also something to keep in mind too. When you put things out there, it does kind of become fair game at points and in time.

So one of my close friends from college who lives in Florida screenshotted the Daily Mail and was like, “I’m reading the Daily Mail because I read this every morning. And you are on the front cover of the Daily Mail. You’re on the home page.”

And I was like, “Yeah. That’s us.”

And so now, we’ll forever be the family whose dad sent his daughter to school in her underwear. And my husband’s such a good sport about it. He’s not a social media person. He’s rolling his eyes at me, but I’m like, “It’s funny and moms relate to it.”

Bethany:
Yeah, I mean, this is so interesting because in our field as writers, editors and just out there, it’s interesting to me to know that there was a strategy behind going viral.

So what tips do you have for moms, even like me, not necessarily to go viral, but to really maximize their social media efforts? Because I struggle with this too. I’m kind of just putting things out willy-nilly, not really giving it much thought. But I think there’s this whole now movement.

And we know just from being in all these Clubhouse rooms, you need to have certain strategy and a thought process behind what you’re posting if you want to maximize your viewers, engagement and even monetize. So what would you tell women who want to do that? How can they maximize their social media efforts?

Aliza Friedlander:
So my biggest suggestion is to make sure that your content that you are putting out is for the audience that you want to reach. And I am still in a transition period, and I am still learning and growing and doing it too.

But if you have something that you think is content that others will relate to or others in your audience that you will relate to, like you said, have a strategy in mind, have a plan in place. What are your goals? Make sure you know exactly why you are putting this out there. I put this content out there because I was a former stay-at-home mom who went back to work for the first time. And my goal was to share this story of being this new working mom with young kids, getting back into the field and to show moms that like, “Oh my God. Look at what can happen.

Aliza Friedlander:
And even though this happens, everybody survived. Everybody’s laughing. Everybody has this smile on their face. And I went, got to work. My husband got to work. My kids are safe, happy, healthy. Somebody just ended up in their underwear. No big deal.

Aliza Friendlander: “Just go for it!”

Aliza Friedlander:

The last thing I want to say is just go for it. Don’t be scared and exactly what it is that you’re doing with this show. I’m so happy. Thank you so much for inviting me to be on. I’m so honored that I could be on this show because go for what you want. Especially in this day and age, you never know where it’s going to go and you don’t have to feel that you need to be this perfect package tied up in a bow, because nobody is ever going to be that. We are all always works in progress.

Aliza Friedlander:
We are all always learning. We are all always growing, and we are all taking those steps forward. And I love being able to take those steps forward with other people in my corner who are supporting me. Because if I kept everything inside me and just close to my chest, I’d be in this journey alone. And instead, I’m in this journey thanks to you and so many other women that I’ve connected with through Clubhouse and social media. I’m in this journey… And my friends here at home and my family. I am in this journey with so many people pushing me forward that I hope I can push just one person forward and be like, “Okay, there are people out there who want you to succeed and who, even though you don’t have everything totally balanced, because it’s always going to be a juggle, you can still kick ass and do it.”

Bethany:
I love that. Thank you so much.

Listen to this interview with Aliza Friedlander as a Podcast:

Aliza Friendlander The Breakdown with Bethany MomCaveTV
Bethany Braun Silva

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