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How to Create a Promotional Launch Plan with The Forward Female – Podcast Transcript

How to Create a Promotional Launch Plan with The Forward Female

Episode 42 – Pitchin’ and Sippin’ – How to Create a Promotional Launch Plan with The Forward Female

SPEAKERS

Lexie Smith, Lauren Cheek, Priscilla Presley

Lexie Smith  

I have a quick story to tell. It was fall of 2019. And I was just months away from officially transitioning into full time entrepreneurship. And I drove down to downtown Los Angeles to attend my first in person, female entrepreneur event. You see, I was still a VP at a Telecom. So I had been hiding away in a different industry for a few years at this point. Anyways, I digress. I fell in love with the space, which at the time was the Forward Female’s DTLA  location, met Priscilla and Lauren equally fell in love with them. And before you know it, the PR Inc had its official first in person event partnership. In fact, I actually hosted the PR bar inks launch party in space. And we had a couple other events before the world shut down due to the pandemic. Fast forward to today. And over the past year and a half. I’ve continued to partner with Lauren and Priscilla in a variety of ways, including on a very recent campaign, which we will talk about later. So anyways, there’s my story. These two entrepreneurs have a very special place in my heart. So welcome you to this is what we’re going to do so people can get to know your voices, Priscilla, and then have you go first and my first question for you is just what do you like to do? Outside of work for fun?

Priscilla Presley  

Oh my gosh, well, I love that story. First and foremost. Because it really just, like leans into everything that we believe in and, and really just the beauty of the relationship and partnerships and all of that. Um, what I like to do outside of work. Um, that’s a tough question, because I love work. Um, but I really like to just hang out with friends. I like to get out of my house because working so much and being a solo, like a solo entrepreneur, like with, with partners, but like I’m sitting at my house like by myself most of the days. So I like to get out. I like to go camping with my boyfriend and hang out with my dogs.

Lexie Smith  

And what were you doing literally before we started recording you crazy lady.

Priscilla Presley  

Oh my gosh, I literally just walked in the door from Dallas. So I was visiting my family. I’m from Texas originally. I live in Los Angeles now but um yeah, just just walked in the door from Dallas, took it and then my dogs were freaking out because I came home so that’s why I was a few minutes late to the recording.

Lexie Smith  

Okay, I can’t even believe you took this on after a flight. I would just be done.

Priscilla Presley  

It was an easy peasy flight. It wasn’t hard at all. So yeah, yeah. Ready, just to start the week.

Lexie Smith   

Okay, so while Priscilla is in Dallas and camping, Lauren, same question to you when you’re not busy working? What do you like to do outside of the office for fun?

Lauren Cheek  

Yes, I definitely love working. I would say it kind of all blends together at this point. Because, you know, we’re working with friends and it kind of all intertwines, and the best kind of way. But I love being out in nature and traveling, I love trying anything that puts me out of my comfort zone , something new and kind of makes me feel like I’m really living. So yeah.

Lexie Smith  

Beautiful. And now I just want to get straight into what I mentioned in our story a few times before and female. So basic first question, what is the Forward Female? And who is the forward female?

Lauren Cheek  

Yeah, absolutely. So the for female really helps women start and grow businesses. That’s our core. That’s our essence. And really, it ranges. Um, we really specialize in emerging entrepreneurs. But it ranges from the girl who’s just graduating college trying to figure out her career and starting her first business to, you know, maybe a stay at home mom who’s getting back into the workforce who’s wanting to really fulfill her passions. We have a really wide range of incredible women that all share the same path of starting their own businesses. And so we really help them through our community that comes together every single week. And we love to call it our accountability club. Because really, it’s all about everybody being included and really having a lot of inclusivity but also having the accountability to hold you accountable to those goals and keep you moving forward on those days that aren’t so easy. And then we also have our strategic coaching and then our creative agency that helps you really put together the pieces and build what you’re trying to do. 

Lexie Smith  

So I shared our three origin stories. Now I need to ask, what is your guy’s origin story? So how did the Forward Female come to be?

Priscilla Presley  

 Well, I mean, I think it’s been like a continuous evolution and really just coming together with a really strong mission of wanting to accomplish bringing women forward equally, and helping them start and grow businesses, and feeling a sense of community. So I’m just like, we met you, Lexi, through, you know, a networking event. That’s exactly how low I met through one of our mutual friends. While I was working in marketing at Bumble, low came to one of my first ever events, when I really didn’t know anybody, um, and was a plus one of our mutual friends. And we really hit it off there, Lauren had a creative agency at the time. And, I was needing help with all the creative things for Bumble. Um, and so she came on, and really helped me with all of that. And we worked together and worked really well together. And through that, I started, you know, thinking about wanting to do something on my own outside of, I was working at Warner Brothers and Bumble at the time, and I wanted to start venturing out doing something on my own kind of like Lowe was doing. And so she, I was like, Can you help me create this, I want to bring people together, this is all the things I’m good at. And she really honed me in and really just kind of helped me start thinking clearly on what that potentially could be. And through those conversations, we just realized how much we hum, how much our visions aligned and how much we really wanted the same things. And it was simply a conversation, I think sitting at my dinner table or your house low and was like, hey, do you want to do this together? This would be a good idea. I was like, sure. And so it started really naturally from there. And Lauren thought of the idea. The name Forward Female while in the shower, like it was just naturally evolving in a really beautiful way. We thought we brought our third partner in who Lauren has been mentored by for years, and Jay Falk, who is a very successful businesswoman, and really helped us conceptualize to what the word female as was and is today so and I hope that answers your question of kind of how we evolved it into what it is our mission has always been to empower women to bring them forward and to help them. And now how we’ve done that has changed over the years. But we feel like it’s really exactly where it needs to be today to really help women exactly where they are. 

Lexie Smith  

That was beautiful. And I don’t know how I’ve never heard that story or how that’s been brought up. That is such an organic and natural origin story, which is really the best kind. One of the topics I really want to dive into today is how to create a promotional launch plan. Because you guys are absolute pros at this. You nailed it, when you first launched the forward female, I know you had to do a bit of pivoting, which we can talk about during the pandemic, you nailed that launch once again, and many campaigns along the way, including one of your most recent Forward Female brand champions, which once again, we will talk about in a little bit here. But let’s start with some really general launch advice. And then we’ll narrow in so talk us through two dues, right off when you’re thinking about launching something. So timelines must do tasks, could even be to make sure you don’t do this because we did it. It was a nightmare. So just general advice you have in that category.

Lauren Cheek  

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I would say first of all, get really clear on your destination. We always like to say get clear on where you’re going, what is the goal? What is the objective that you’re trying to accomplish, and start there. Once you know where you’re trying to go and where you’re trying to end. Then you can reverse engineer and go from there and break it down into small steps. But really flesh out your idea, conceptualize everything, and then get really specific on Okay, this is exactly what I’m going to do. This is the timeline. And this is exactly what I need to do. get really, really clear on that. And then also, don’t be afraid to tap into your network. I think that was a big thing that we really utilized as we were doing our original launch, as well as our relaunch, and then with every campaign since we really love to collaborate with other incredible women that we’ve worked with in the past. And Priscilla and I have both been in LA for a long time. And I’ve met a lot of people. And so it’s one of those things where you really think about who you have in your Rolodex that you could be able to tap into and collaborate with to make it even bigger and better of a launch or with whatever you’re trying to Promote.

Priscilla Presley  

Yeah, I think that’s the best way to put it low, it’s the thing that really helps people succeed if they get overwhelmed with all of the things that you have to do. And you just maybe start tackling the things that you like first, or that seemed fun. And when really, you have to put a plan in place that is going to help you reach those goals that you have. And you have to be very clear on that, whether that’s, you know, somebody that you want your business to be in front of, or whether that’s a financial goal that you have, or, or just like, I don’t know, any other goal that you have for your business, there’s so many different ones, but you got to get clear on what that is for you. And making sure that every activity that you’re doing is directly correlated with that goal, because that’s when you’re gonna start seeing the steps forward that are actually making a difference.

Lexie Smith  

Perfect, and I want to actually talk about overwhelm. Quick, what are some of the different categories or elements involved in a promotional launch? You know, if someone’s gonna sit down? Did you know, social media checks websites? What are the different kinds of key categories or headers? 

Priscilla Presley  

Yeah, well, I think it’s, you know, when you think about a launch, there are a lot of different ways that you can think about it. Strategy is strategizing, like, whether that’s a marketing plan, is really what you’re doing whenever you’re launching something like you’ve created the thing. And now you’re saying, Okay, how can I get the thing in front of people? The first thing that you have to think about before you think about anything else, when you’re putting together that plan is, who is your target audience that you want this to be in front of? And? And where are they? Currently, you’re not trying to force anything, just really think through that? Who’s the exact person that you want to be in front of? And where are they hanging out? Maybe that is on social media, that was on social media? Are they hanging out on Instagram? Are they hanging out on LinkedIn? Are they on tik tok? Where are they? And even within those, where are within those? If it’s Instagram, are they scrolling on reels, are they on looking through a feed or really trying to create a community and stories are so many different things with the knot and Lexi, I mean, you’re the big pro here. But um, that’s where I see people really skip that step of really understanding who it is that they’re trying to reach, and where they’re hanging out whether that is digitally, or that’s good old guerilla marketing boots on the ground, passing out flyers in a particular neighborhood. And we’re really strategic partnerships. I like to say start with maybe like, really the three strongest ones that you can think of. So maybe it’s, um, maybe it’s all digital, you say all of my people are on social media, like I know, that’s where I really, really need to focus my energy. Or maybe it’s, you know, it’s geographically, it’s all right here in Los Angeles in a particular neighborhood, like we have, we have a client who is a massage therapist. And she wants to be giving massages to a particular neighborhood here in Los Angeles. So guess what she was on the ground in the neighborhoods in the like, apartment complexes passing out her flyers and business cards. And that was a really strong, strong marketing funnel for her. So it really depends on exactly what your businesses are but saying, Who is my target audience? And where are they so I’m not trying to force anything on anybody that doesn’t even care. And then it makes it easier for you to have a greater return on your investment, whether that’s your time, your energy or your effort. They’re all equal at the end of the day. So I say try to focus on three first, throwing those spaghetti, those noodles at the wall and seeing which ones are sticking them in strings are actually working, fail fast. So you can learn what works, learn what isn’t working, and go on to the next thing on your list. You don’t have to do everything at once, but start trying as fast as you can. So you can see what works and what doesn’t work faster. I think. Yeah, sorry. The last thing I’m I’m just thinking here in my brain is that the biggest thing that I see halting, you know, entrepreneurs, success is themselves have in the way of perfectionism of not even starting and not even, you know, when they’re not wanting to fail, which is a huge, massive part of this entire journey. So start, um, and whether that’s your launch strategy or your plan. And maybe you put this entire plan together and like, it just doesn’t go. And you don’t sell one thing or you don’t accomplish one of your goals that you had within that launch plan. That’s okay. And that’s actually amazing, because that’s a massive lesson learned because everything within that plan, you know, doesn’t work. And so you won’t do that again. And you’ll move on to the next thing, your next amazing idea that’s in your head. 

Lexie Smith  

I cosign every single thing that just came out of Priscilla’s mouth. Right, I was just like, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. And more. Yes. Is that was that was brilliant and reminded me You reminded me to something I forgot I just real quick tangent squirrel story. When I was a director of marketing PR for a Hospitality Group across Los Angeles. One of our properties or hotels was in Beverly Hills. And one of our most successful campaigns, we launched a new program for locals. And so I was boots on the ground by myself, going to office buildings, and just handing out information on this new program we were doing. And so like old school can work because back to what you said, it’s where are your people? You know, my people were literally down the block for me, so why not put on some tennis shoes for a day and head that way. So cosine, everything. That was amazing. That was also a lot to think about. lodging is a lot. Watching can be very overwhelming for any general tips you guys have and how to avoid burnout or becoming too overwhelmed.

Lauren Cheek  

Yeah, absolutely. I think we really went over this actually, in our community this morning. A powerful tool that we use a lot is time blocking, and being able to put really specific time measures on what you’re trying to achieve. also being able to break down those goals into smaller tasks. If you’re hitting a roadblock and feeling overwhelmed, say, Okay, how can I break this down even more? How can I make this into smaller chunks? And for me, like a lot of people, I’m sure that your attention span isn’t the longest anymore. So it’s good to set smaller blocks, instead of trying to sit down for five hours at a time. And then you feel like you’re doing a million different things, and all over the place, put aside 30 minutes, even 25 minutes, do the Pomodoro effect, right? Doing 25 minutes of each task for, for, for an hour, I think, is the Pomodoro effect. But being able to just break it down into 2530 minutes, whatever works, and be able to get really specific on what you’re trying to accomplish. I think that helps take away some of the overwhelm. Also, writing it out, like lists it all out what you need to do brain, dump it, get it out of your head, and then start to prioritize it. And then you can fill in those time blocks that you’ve set up. So it’s kind of a little mini system, and it’s flexible, and personalized, you know, on what works for you. But being able to have some sort of system you can follow helps a lot.

Priscilla Presley  

 Yeah, I think that like lo and I talk about this all the time, because even lo and I are so different in the way that we operate and to where I live, die breathe by my Google Calendar, if it’s not my Google Calendar, like it does not exist, like every single task that I do, like is blocked into my calendar, once it comes in my head, it’s been there, otherwise, I know that it’s not going to happen. And if I move it, I just know it’s not that important and  it gets deleted and so I learned that from somebody else and that has been massively helpful to my productivity and being able to know when a certain goal is going to be reached. And so it’s not like I’m trying to accomplish them all every single day. But I know exactly I’m working towards that specific goal. So as you’re launching something, you know when you’re going to launch it, but what are all of those touch points along the way and planning them out in advance can be really helpful. Lo has a completely different system. But I think it goes back to the same thing of you know, fail fast, learn what works for you and learn what doesn’t work for you. So you can quickly get to know your zone of genius and what is working.

Lexie Smith  

Thank you for highlighting those different ways you guys work. This is something that I bring up a lot with my clients. I always caveat here are the systems that I use, but ultimately, this has to work for you and your team and your brain. So if this spreadsheet doesn’t work in your brain, that’s okay. Let’s create something that does because we’re all different, right? That being said, I’m probably somewhere in the middle of the two I would guess I do some time walking. I’m also a big as I’m sitting here with my notebook and pen and paper which can bite In the booty, because I don’t tend to organize those notes well anyways, being organized, failing fast breaking it down all great steps, I want to talk about your latest campaign, which I’m very honored to be a part of. So first do you want to give a quick overview about what I’m talking about?

Priscilla Presley  

Absolutely. Um, so, yeah, we are so excited for this campaign, because it’s something that we’ve been talking about for a while, it’s always been in some way and what we’ve done, but we really wanted to conceptualize it a lot better, because what we realized is that we know what we’re talking about, we can help women start and grow businesses, but there’s so many aspects to starting a business, there’s so many different perspectives that have to be heard, for people to be able to grasp onto different everybody’s stories and take what they need, and, and just get better every single day building their network along the way, too. So like Lauren, we talked about at the beginning, about our accountability club, where we meet every single Monday and Friday, we have a networking app, we have this whole community of incredible women from around the globe, who are connecting, learning and growing and staying accountable to their goals every single week. And we wanted to provide them and highlight women that we know love, and are really champions for bringing women forward like we are. So Lexi, you’re one of our brand champions, for female empowerment. And it’s all about the present as female like right now, we always hear like the future is female, it’s coming, it’s coming. But we want to give you the resources right now, because the present is female right? Now you can make a difference. Today, you can build your business today, you can accomplish every single one of your goals today, if you have the right people around you. And that’s so crucial. So we want to help women get the right people around them, including you, you all have your amazing resources we wanted our community to have access to and so we’re so grateful that you’re a part of it, you were one of the first people that we thought of it had to be in it. And really just highlighting all the incredible women that we know and love, and we hope to just continue to grow that, too. So the women that are in our community can get access to, to that as well.

Lexie Smith  

I just have to say to everyone how much of a no brainer it was, when Priscilla and Lauren reached out to me first inquiring about this partnership, because any time I have ever partnered with them, it has been seamless in such an easy lift in such incredible results. So they’re organized, they you know, they have assets ready for me on deck. If you know, every question I could potentially even think of is already answered before I even ask it. And so when it comes to partnerships, these two women here are absolute pros at it. And I know you guys do a lot of partnerships, and this campaign is no different. My question is why partners? Why has that become such a key component of marketing? And what is the forward female?

Lauren Cheek  

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I would say with the brand champion program, especially it’s being able to not only expand to other circles of incredible women, but be able to share resources, right? I feel like we’re all we all have our specialties in these incredible skills that we want to share. And if we can help be a catalyst and create a platform for those amazing women to be able to share and empower other women. That’s like what we’re all about. So really, it’s being able to expand the awareness around just our mission. And what we do so that, you know we become synonymous with if somebody is trying to start a business or Oh, I need to go to the Forward Female. That’s where it’s at. That’s the community that’s like my strategy. And it’s like, they’re going to fill my website, do my logo, put it all together for me. So really becoming a one stop shop for women and empowering them and being able to empower other women by highlighting these incredible brand champions.

Priscilla Presley  

and it’s all just positive at the end of the day, whenever you are who you surround yourself with. That’s just you can’t get around that. So if you surround yourself with empower smart, ambitious, incredible women, you are automatically entered into that zone too and you know conversations that Beau and I have had from day Like, negative ones have always been about Wow. Like, how lucky are we to be in the position that we are to have the experience that we are that we’ve had, and to be able to do the things that we do. And it’s not because we were smarter than anybody else, not because we were like, anything that anybody else. But just because we had an amazing network of other people that helped us along the way. And that’s really the beginning of any success story as the other people that you have around you. And so, we’re, we’ve always been really, really, really big on that. And we will continue to be because we know that we can’t do this alone, we want you to know that you can’t do it alone, and you shouldn’t have to do it alone. And that it’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to build a community, wherever it is for you that can help you reach whatever goal that is that you have. So community, I think of partnerships like community, like your network, like your tribe, the people that you’ve got around you. And if you can come together and you have the similar values, and I’m, like, just magic, like pure magic can happen. So it’s something we definitely won’t stop.

Lexie Smith  

I’ve had goosebumps for the last three minutes straight. They’re not going away, just because everything you guys say resonates with me on a professional level, but on a personal level as well. One kind of one more question before a couple wrap up questions is of all the brand champions you’ve pulled. Again, if I haven’t already said this 500 times a minute, it’s probably said 500 more times, and I’m so honored. You guys thought of me. Why do you think that PR is a helpful resource to bring to your community at that stage of business?

Lauren Cheek  

Yeah, absolutely. Sorry P. I think PR is so essential, because it ties into your whole marketing element. Right? It’s, it’s kind of walking through the stages of having the idea, creating the idea, bringing it all together, launching the idea, and then marketing and the idea, right. And so PR plays such a huge essential role in the marketing component. And I feel like I’ve learned so many things from you, Lex that like you just have so many knowledge nuggets, and are just so gracious and generous with your knowledge and sharing. I feel like there’s so many things that if you weren’t in the industry, or somebody didn’t tell you, you would never know. And it’s those little tips that you can pick up along the way that are game changers for your business. And so that’s why I love what you do so much. I think you’re brilliant.

Priscilla Presley  

Yeah, what I love about you Lexie is that you tell people that they can do it right that they can do it on their own, which is the whole reason why you started the PR bar. And so PR is such a crucial component. But I really love the fact that you especially and that if anybody’s listening to this today, knowing that you can do it on your own, you just need the knowledge and the know how to understand it a little bit. To be able to accomplish those goals and help. You know, if you’re just you know, a person sitting in your car or in your office right now and you have this idea. Know that it is possible, because there’s so many different places that PR can help you get placed going back to the conversation earlier. Exactly in front of the audience, your target audience. And that’s, that’s what PR is. That’s what’s helping you get in front of that target audience that’s going to buy your thing, listen to your thing, read your thing. Watch your thing, and, and, and hopefully help you, you know, accomplish your goals and your dreams too. 

Lexie Smith  

Well, your checks are in the mail, because that was so nice. He is like blushing hardcore over here. No, I really appreciate the personal kind words and just the kind words to the PR industry in general. It’s something I’m very passionate about. But you know, PR gets a lot of misconceptions out there, which I believe was actually our first event post launch party was, you know, pure 101 and demystifying what it really is and what it can do for its business. But I want to make sure before we wrap things up, we have a quick chance to talk about how people can work with you guys and where they can go to learn more. So where can people go to learn more about the Forward Female and work with you?

Priscilla Presley  

Well, hopefully When you Google us, we will pop up. But otherwise, it’s just forwardfemale.com everything is just @ forward female. And that’s where you can check us out, follow us just join our community on Instagram, or join our accountability Club, which is 30 days free. So I’m sure Lex will put it in the notes here to where you can come and you can join and see if it’s a good fit for you meet other incredible entrepreneurs from around the world that are maybe going through the same things that you are or that you could help support them to reach their goals to it goes both ways. There’s so many connections and collaborations and partnerships that are happening there. So if you’re thinking about doing partnerships, I think that’s a really, really great place to start with us. It’s like our heart and soul what we like to say. But we also do, you know, one on one business development coaching, so if you have no idea like oh my god, PR sounds great, but I don’t even have a business like conceptualized yet, it’s definitely where you come to us to where we can help you step by step by step from ground zero, build that structure out the back end of your business. So before you get to all the fun stuff in our creative agency, really understanding what businesses look at the financials of everything, and making sure that your idea can actually help you reach your financial goals and that you understand what that’s going to look like, and how you’re going to reach there. And then we let you get into the creative agency, which is the fun staff where we can help you build your website, we can do your branding, we do social media management. So really all of that creative stuff that a lot of entrepreneurs find difficult or hard or overwhelming, we can take care of that, too. So it’s every step of the way, we’ve got you and you’re not alone. And even after launching your business, you’re still part of the community. So surrounded by, you know, other entrepreneurs that as you know, business goes on day by day, different things come up, you have a supportive community that can help you stay on track. And I’m focused on what those goals are. 

Lexie Smith  

Perfection. So really, you guys are at that one stop shop. So well. Yes, everyone, don’t worry. We’ll put all the links in the show notes. However, one thing I do have to say is this is the pitch and sipping podcast. So we have one more very important topic to brief and Lauren, I’m gonna start with you. What can we find you sipping? So my favorite beverage is non alcoholic or alcoholic?

Lauren Cheek  

Well, I’m currently sipping coffee. I’m definitely a coffee drinker. Um Oh, yeah. You can always find me the coffee. A dirty Chai.

Lauren Cheek  

Okay. Chai is the way to my heart with almond milk. Yes.

Lexie Smith  

Can you make that at home? 

Lauren Cheek  

Well, probably but I should learn. I should learn.

Priscilla Presley  

Now Starbucks loves Lauren. 

Lexie Smith  

I literally have a Starbucks cup on my desk this morning.

Lauren Cheek  

I’m from Seattle, we have to represent

Lexie Smith  

True you are from Seattle. So the Pacific Northwest represents. Yeah, Starbucks. Yes.

Lexie Smith  

Priscilla, what about you? What are we? What are you sipping?

Priscilla Presley  

Well, I definitely am a coffee girl as well. I love an iced latte. So I start every single morning with a coffee for sure. I’m not you know, I’m not good until I had my cup of coffee. But I’m a Texas girl too. So I am a beer girl. So I like a good cold. Really, really cold Blue Moon with like an orange slice.

Lexie Smith  

Have you heard of ranch water?

Priscilla Presley  

Yes, I’m not like I haven’t fallen into the seltzer like world that everything has picked up on. I’m not as big into that. I like my blue moon.

Lexie Smith  

Blue Moon I only asked if there was a friend of mine was on the show season one she had just moved to Texas and her answer was well there’s this thing in Texas called ranch water and I’m like sorry what and so briefly not you know you guys can listen to it was Georgia flight follow her episode for a full conversation but remind me what what is ranch water again?

Priscilla Presley  

Well, I technically like, like, ranch water. I don’t even want to say because probably somebody is listening to this and be like, that’s not ranch water. But I think it’s like tequila or something. And with some like something else. I’m just like, I think it’s just like sparkling soda and, and tequila I think.

Priscilla Presley  

They make them in cans and stuff now that are better from Austin. I think I saw them at the store the other day here in LA and I was like, we’ve made it. We’ve made it out here in Texas, Texas is in LA. So even though I’m not drinking it and still very proud, very proud, but

Lexie Smith  

Shout out to Blue Moon and, and coffee and dirty Chai’s amazing. Well, I mean, literally, we could probably sit here all day. I look forward to being able to hug you guys in real life. Eventually here soon. I thank you for coming on the show and cheers!

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