NEWS RELEASE: March 2011
Kindness activist says we sabotage others' generosity toward us; she conducted tests over 15 years, now is pre-selling her how-not-to book.
(Read an excerpt from the book.)
[Erie PA] Andrea Reynolds pooh-poohs the old logic that says, "If it sounds too good to be true, it is." She believes wonderful opportunities show up in our lives and our suspicion and skepticism push them away. Our fear shows up as rejection, contempt, ridicule and even bullying. How does she know this? For 13 years the investigative journalist, author and former public relations specialist set about to test people she encountered in both Canada and the United States.
Nothing secret about her mission, Reynolds tells each person she encounters that she is writing a book, The Kindness Test, and would likely be including her experience with that person in her book and blog. Her transparency seems to trigger disgraceful behavior. Her mission is written in 6-inch letters on her big red cargo van: The Kindness Experiment with her name and web site. Many drivers on the highway don’t get it, either.
Some of her unconventional tests over the 15 years:
1. Holding a no-fee essay contest to give away a free, fully furnished, mobile home in Girard, Pennsylvania.
2. Offering to sell the furnished mobile home to a single pregnant woman for 20% of the selling price.
3. Holding a no-fee essay contest to give away a free, fully-furnished 3 bedroom in St. Catharines, Ontario.
4. Offering to share 50% of the profits from her book The Kindness Test with up to 2,000 early buyers and a charity of their choice.
5. Offering to tithe 10% of her income to the homeowners' association of her condo so they would be able to make repairs without increasing monthly fees to owners.
6. Offering $100 franchises of her concierge service to single moms who needed income to get off welfare.
7. Offering free listings to independent speakers who wanted to boost their income.
8. Offering hours of concierge services to members of her new community in order to build the business to be able to offer jobs to people who needed them.
9. Offering her business web site for free to a competitor who was trying to put her out of business.
10. Asking people she knew if she could park in their driveway or property overnight and pay for some water and electricity so she could write the book.
11. Offering her landlord a year's worth of public relations services to reduce vacancy rate for just one month of free rent.
12. Holding a no-fee essay contest for a free keynote presentation or seminar to any college, conference or corporation anywhere in the US or Canada (value: $7,500 plus).
13. Holding no-fee essay contests to give away $500 and $1,000 worth of her marketing services to help authors and speakers achieve visibility as experts.
14. Holding a pay-what-you-can promotion to provide marketing services to speakers and authors who wanted national visibility as experts.
15. Inviting 26 real estate agents to her open house and offering them higher commissions and bonuses if they found a buyer for her home.
She intends to show how the companies and individuals she encountered would have benefited, had each one shown her open-mindedness, kindness and generosity of spirit instead of rejection, mistreatment, and badmouthing.
Reynolds is crowd-funding the writing and publication of The Kindness Test book (raising funds from a community of supporters) as she works on the outline. Early buyers save from a third to a half of the book's price, will be first to receive chapters, and will see their names in the Patrons List in the book and on her web site: www.KindnessTest.com.
She has also embarked on a mission of restorative justice: recovering money from people who haven't paid her for work done, work they didn't finish or things they didn't pay for. Fair warning!
When the book is completed Reynolds plans to speak, teach, and write an advice column on how to be open to generosity. She is open to other people's generosity... such as corporate sponsorships and corporate spokesperson contracts.
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Contact information for editors, producers, reporters, and journalists:
Web site: www.AndreaReynolds.com, Crisisbrainstorm.com and www.KindnessTest.com
Phone: (814) 520-5548
See Andrea's List of Interviews where she has appeared on radio, TV and in the press.
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Andrea Reynolds, Suite 647, 2501 West 12th Street, Erie PA 16505