By Les Goldberg
Before you read further, I want you to imagine that you are singing or humming the popular reggae tune, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” You know how it goes. Or, imagine you are laughing uncontrollably through a Bill Cosby, Phyllis Diller or Robin Williams standup comedy routine. Or, better yet, imagine how you felt while playing with your grandkids or witnessing your children’s graduations.
Now, do you feel better? For a moment there, you should have forgotten your woes and put any sad thoughts aside. This story is about a unique new service that falls into the pursuit of happiness category.
Thanks to Southern California-based entrepreneur Keri Gee Semmelman, you can capture those happy moments in your life – and the lives of people you care about – in a way that has never been done before. Once a hobby, her “My Memory Catcher” business is catching on as part of her nearly 30-year public relations and journalism career.
Calling herself a “happiness historian”, Semmelman says: “If I can chip away at the sadness and negativity in the world, and balance it out with goodness and happiness, then I will be successful in my mission to help people live their lives so they are mentally, physically and spiritually happier.”
Here’s how she works:
When you or one of your relatives decides to sign up for her service, she will then assign your case to herself or one of her “parents historian” team of experienced writers who become your own personal family promoter.
“Our historians begin by conducting prescheduled phone interviews every two to three weeks to collect and record anecdotes of sweet, insightful and hysterical moments as remembered by family and friends,” she said. “Interviews continue up to 12 months, depending on the package purchased.”
Typically, her subjects are grandparents who want their children and grandchildren to remember them in good humor and happy times. Often it is the children who want to gift their parents with written memories of those wonderful times they had while growing up or raising their own children – the grandkids. “We also have seen a rise in inquiries from people who want us to capture the cute and adorable things their pets have done.”
Semmelman then weaves the brief anecdotes into lengthier stories and returns them to the family in a handsome and compact spiral-bound journal that can be shared for many years to come and for all future generations to enjoy.
In addition, her customers are offered a variety of packages that include personalized gift items, such as storytelling picture frames, newspaper and newsletter formats that put their loved ones in headlines, and a 90-minute “Power of Memories” workshop that teaches participants how to “catch” their memories with 10 basic steps for turning those memories into happiness.
Semmelman relayed one of her customer stories as an example of how a special humorous moment in captured:
“We took our 2-year-old son, Jacob, to Sea World. While admiring the Arctic Exhibit, I asked Jacob – What’s that? Bubbly Jacob quickly replied, ‘A polar bear!’ I responded, that’s right, Jacob! And where does the polar bear live? Jacob thought for a moment and then confidently replied, ‘Outside!’ The rest of the day our wide-eyed boy continued to take in every sight, sound and experience as he made us giggle over and over again with his take on the world around him!”
In a thank you letter, a grandmother with a son and daughter expressed the joy felt by her family when her memories were shared: “They (her family) were truly awestruck with emotion, gratitude and happiness. It was really very special to reminisce and share these memories with my family as most of them had not heard many of these wonderful stories and especially my reaction to them.”
“Storytelling, it is said, is an emotional experience that strengthens bonds between the teller, the listener and the subject of the story,” Semmelman says. “By building the framework in which people get into the habit of remembering, retelling and reliving their happiest moments, My Memory Catcher strives to unite families and make a less stressful, more fun home environment with even more laughter to go around.”
Prices range from $500 to $1700 and payment plans are available. Discounts are being offered for those who mention that they read about the service in this issue of Senior Reporter. For more information, visit www.mymemorycatcher.net and get happy!
Les Goldberg, APR is an award-winning, experienced journalist and public relations practitioner. His firm, Les Goldberg Public Relations, is one of Southern California’s pioneer public relations agencies specializing in high technology and consumer electronics.
Throughout his career Les has shared his knowledge and experience as a part-time professor for the marketing and business schools at several Southern California universities, including UCI, Chapman University and California State Universities in Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles and Dominguez Hills.
Today, in addition to his agency and teaching responsibilities, Les is a columnist for senior publications, including his popular “The Gadget Geezer” column which appears in Senior Reporter, Not Born Yesterday, Life After 50, Examiner.com and OCActiveSeniors.com. As a full-time journalist, he was a staff writer for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, Glendale News-Press, Culver City Star-News, Stars & Stripes Europe, OC Metro, OC Home & Outdoors and Digital Photographer.
Among the companies that have benefited from Les Goldberg’s brand of public relations include Doctors Telehealth Network, AST Research, Ashton-Tate, US Robotics, Phoenix Technologies, Odetics, MAI/Basic Four, American Home Theater, Inland Technologies; Freedom Innovations, Flex-Foot, Incline SoftWorks, USA Wireless Inc., D-Link Systems, Bell Micro, Seiko Instruments and Etak, Inc., a division of Sony.
Les holds a Certificate in Public Relations from UCLA, bachelor’s degree in journalism from California State University, Northridge and accreditation (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America where he served two terms as president of the Orange County chapter and member of the PRSA National Board of Directors. A past winner of the chapter’s Distinguished Service Award, he has been frequently honored for his achievements and contributions to his profession and his community.
Visit Les’s site at www.LesGoldberg.com