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Marsha's Conversations

  •  
    How to Toss Pitches That Hit the Target Tips for Connecting with the Media

    I’ve been saying it for 22 years: Getting mentioned in news stories and being interviewed on radio and TV is the best, most cost-effective marketing strategy.

    By positioning yourself as an expert on topics relevant to your product or book, you also gain credibility. This is what I call “Celebritize Yourself.” It’s the boost you need to rise above the competition.

    But, how do you get journalists interested in what you have to say? You might offer to write an article or blog post, or provide interesting TV or radio commentary on a topic in the news. Come up with a fresh angle that will add to a news story everyone’s talking about. For example, last year we had a client who wrote a memoir about his years in the Secret Service. Imagine the placements he could get now with all the attention on the carousing agents in Colombia. In fact, he just got an interview last week – on my radio show!

    Now that you’ve identified a news story or trend that dovetails nicely with your message and an angle no one else has thought of, all you have to do is get someone in the media to pay attention. That first step can be the hardest – if you don’t know what you’re doing.

    A few weeks ago, I asked three EMSI staffers fresh from jobs in traditional media what made them pay attention – or not! – to telephone and email pitches. They came up with so many good suggestions, I shared half in The PR Insider last week, and promised more this week.

    Never one to break a promise, I now give you – as the late great journalist Paul Harvey would say – the rest of the story: Print journalists tend to like print, so send an email. Everyone’s different, of course, but journalists who choose print over broadcast tend to do so because they’re more comfortable with that medium. Some prefer time to think over a proposal rather than respond immediately to a cold call. Having a written pitch in an email folder may be handier than searching for hand-written notes scrawled during a phone call.

    Keep it short – the more you write, the less they read. No one, journalist or otherwise, wants to read through two pages of text to figure out what you’re asking or offering. Boil down your pitch to a succinct length, three or four paragraphs is good, with the basics. Even better – use bullets to make your points. That’s an easy-to-read format that’s much more visually inviting than blocks of dense text.

    Don’t make them work for it. Providing a link to your website, and little more, is a sure way to get deleted. I know you think you’re saving yourself time, but you’re doing it at the expense of the journalist’s time. It’s the quickest way to lose their attention. Your website may tell your story beautifully, but unless you provide a compelling reason to click through to it, no one will bother. Your pitch should include a brief reference to the issue or trend you’re plugging into; the content you can provide to give the journalist a great story or show; and a phone number where you can easily be reached. Then add that website link.

    Make sure you have an easy-to-remember website address. You should always provide a link to the site in your email, but that’s not necessarily how journalists will always access it. If they want to browse it when they have more time in the morning, or show it to a colleague, they shouldn’t have to go back to your mail for the URL. If they’re interested enough to want to check out the site, they’ll remember key words that should pop it up in a search. Having a site with an easy-to-remember name will help, as will regularly adding fresh content, which pushes it higher in the search results. Between last week’s tips (if you missed them, you can find them at http://emsincorporated.com/having-trouble-connecting-with-the-media/ ) and this week’s, you should be all set to connect with the media.

    But, I won’t lie; it can be frustrating. If you’re a DIY’er, remember persistence pays. However, if you prefer the help of professionals who know how to craft a pitch and have media contacts coast to coast, keep us in mind. What can be discouraging to you is a lot of fun for us.

    Rock on, Marsha

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    2 Minute Selling Machine

    Love this video promoting, a good example of how a marketing piece can be funny and informative without all the corporate gobbledygook. http://acquire.cincom.com/sellingmachine/

    Posted Apr 19, 2011, in More Clients - Discussion
  •  
    Do You Skip the TV Commercials? You’re Not Alone

    Why Getting On the Show Is More Important Than Ever

    Commercials used to be the time to get up and stretch the ol’ legs, get a snack or let the dog out. Today, they are the signal to hit the fast forward button on the remote.

    The advent of Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), often referred to by one of the leading brand names, TIVO, has finally given the viewer a break from the background noise of television advertising. Instead of being screamed at by local car dealers, pitched on the ShamWow or told repeatedly to not squeeze the Charmin, many consumers who subscribe to cable TV these days just zoom past the commercials without ever giving them a second look.

    Jim Barton and Mike Ramsay, the creators of TIVO, don’t even view their creation as a consumer product. They call it a “public service.”

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    The consumer backlash against advertising has been building for years, and it is in all sectors. Even as advertisers shift their budgets from traditional to online media consumers are feeling empowered and fleeing advertising at every turn.

    But don’t take my word for it.

    A study published late last year by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) makes it very clear that advertising industry insiders are running for the hills. The writing is on the wall when the ANA itself reveals that, “More than 80 percent of advertising executives believe that DVRs will have a serious negative impact on the effectiveness of TV advertising…changes in DVR penetration and DVR usage will result in changes in commercial viewership and changes in the cost of TV advertising. These changes, in turn, will affect the effectiveness of TV advertising, requiring a continuous revision of the tailored strategic response to maintain advertising spending efficiency.”

    With consumers finally in the driver’s seat as regards their exposure to TV ads, savvy marketers are looking at the alternatives to expensive TV spots, especially when the penetration of paid TV advertising continues to be eroded by the growth of the DVR.

    And that brings us to the point I really want to get across.

    Today it is more important than ever to actually be IN the show, rather than have your message relegated to a few seconds in between the show’s segments, lost in the fast-forward blur.

    So what does “in the show” mean? It means you or your company’s CEO or spokesperson booked as an expert guest on talk shows, or interviewed as an expert commentator on the news story du jour. It means you are part of the entertainment, not just another commercial spot—boring at best, most often annoying.

    Being a part of the entertainment, instead of the interruption, delivers tremendous value in several other important ways. The most important of these is that people trust the news far more than paid ads. The tacit endorsement of a TV talk show host or news reporter carries much more weight with consumers—a favorable interview is seen as an implicit endorsement for your products, services or book.

    A great example of this value is now known as “The Oprah Effect.” Ten years ago, Oprah chose Spanx shapewear as one of her “Favorite Things,” and sales boomed for the Atlanta-based clothing company that manufactures the line. Countless authors, companies, and even other television personalities (anyone heard of Dr. Phil?), owe their good fortune to Oprah’s endorsement.

    Now granted, there is really only one Oprah, but interviews on other television talk shows can have a similar effect on the market’s perception of your products or book—even if it is not quite as drastic as an Oprah endorsement.

    Is it time for you to look at how the increased media coverage of a good PR campaign could give your product or service a competitive edge? Next time you sit down to watch your favorite TV news or talk show, think about how the guests and expert commentators on the show appeared. If you watched the same “expert” pitching his product in a TV spot, would you have been as convinced of its value?

    More to the point…would you actuaIly have watched the TV commercial? I personally don’t think I could actually sit through another 30 seconds of the brunette selling Progressive Insurance…hurry, where’s the remote?

    Posted Nov 09, 2010, in Wealthy, Worthy and Wise - Discussion | 2 replies
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    Fitting Into the News: How to Get Positive Ink in Newspapers and Magazines

    It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.” – Jerry Seinfeld

    In the PR business, one thing to always remember is that the task of executing good campaigns for our clients isn’t nearly as challenging as the task of a newspaper or magazine editor.While PR professionals follow the news trends, editors have the responsibility of setting them. They decide:

    • the priority for each story,
    • the amount of space to devote to it,
    • how to illustrate it, and finally…
    • how to ensure it reflects the truth!

    And newspapers have to do that every day. No holidays. No breaks.

    Magazines go more in-depth, and because most are monthly, their challenge is far greater. They begin work on the issue that hits the stands in May way back in February, and they have to predict which stories are going to be relevant two or three months from the time it is researched and written.The reason I point this out is because the number one pitfall of those seeking news coverage doesn’t concern the quality of the press release, the timing of the story or the skill of the spokesperson being interviewed.

    It concerns recognizing the needs of the editors, who are the gatekeepers between you and your story and the millions of readers they reach.

    From their standpoint, their newspaper or magazine does not exist to “give you coverage.” It does not exist so you can get your name in the paper and generate customers for your business. Their publication exists to inform and entertain their readership enough to keep them subscribing. In so doing, they provide enough readership to justify selling display advertisements that appear next to their articles. In other words, the newspaper cannot make money by serving you or your company in its editorial space. It can only survive by serving its readership.

    So, the primary part of the equation is your approach to these editors. It’s not about bending them to your will, but rather tailoring a story and angle about your company, service or product that will appeal to their readership. Moreover, it can’t sound like an infomercial. Anything that is too commercial will earn the response, “buy an ad.”

    Here are some tips on how to shape that angle:

    If You Want to Get in the Paper, Then Read the Paper

    If you want a newspaper or magazine to feature you, then first you’d better see what they are featuring in their pages. Once you understand what they write about in their pages, it will be easier for you to see how you could fit in.

    Analyze if You are Actually Newsworthy

    If your business is in an industry that is getting a lot of press lately, chances are you could piggyback on the headlines. Does your business offer solutions for people to help beat the recession? Right now, that’s a home-run story in most markets. Has your business beaten the odds or overcome adversity? Do you have an inspirational story to tell regarding how you prevailed over misfortune? Newspapers and magazines love to feature those kinds of angles, because they are universal and appeal to everyone.

    Select the Right Tool to Get Coverage

    When you have something to communicate to the press, use the right tool for the job. Most companies issue a press release whenever they move two inches to the left. Press releases should only be used when there is something “newsy” to communicate. Incidentally, reporters and editors don’t refer to them as press releases. According to the Associated Press Stylebook, they are called news releases. You should think of them as news releases, too.

    Sometimes a simple email to an editor with three sentences describing the story angle is enough. Sometimes a pitch letter is what’s required. Remember, you don’t want to waste the time of the editors you are contacting. Give them as much information as they need to decide if you’re newsworthy, and that’s it. They won’t read a 4 page press release, so don’t feel compelled to write the company manifesto. They won’t read it, anyway.

    Ask Yourself If You Would Read the Story You Want to Pitch

    Be objective and ask yourself, if you were reading a magazine or newspaper and saw a story like the one you want the press to write on the page, would you take the time to read it? If you can imagine the headline in your head, and then hear yourself thinking “Who cares?” in response to it, chances are you need to come up with another idea.

    Bottom line…

    If you want to get in the paper, then you need to think more like the editors who control that gate. The better you can help them serve their readers, the more they will want to write about you.

    Posted Nov 08, 2010, in Eastside Women in Business - Discussion
  •  
    The Book: Your New Business Card

    How Writing A Book Can Increase Your Business!

    We're all experts on something. In my case, my passion was always the inner workings of the media and the crafting of a message. The fun for me isn't always when I

    have a client who is a ready-made for the media, but rather someone who has a unique message that may not seem on the surface to be compatible with generating

    media. That's what drives me and those are the challenges I truly enjoy. When I can connect the dots in a creative fashion for a client who may never have thought they

    had a good enough story for the media, I'm thrilled!

    One of the tools that helps in this process is when clients have a book. In my own book, "Celebritize Yourself: The Three Step Method to Increase Your Visibility and

    Explode Your Business," I explain how a book – or more specifically, YOUR book – can be your new business card. It's a model I not only recommend to clients, but also

    one that I use for the promotion of my own business.

    Here's how the formula works:

    • Passion: The first step is to ask yourself about your passion as this will guide the message of your book. When you achieve what you believe to be a high level of

    proficiency in your field or profession, it is usually a representation of your passion. So, think about it. What gets you up in the morning? What are the elements of your

    profession that stir your emotions and make you happy to work in your field? Those elements are the cross section of your passion and your expertise. When you write

    about those ideas, concepts and realities, it will show the reader that they are dealing with a consummate professional who knows his or her stuff!

    • Execution: Here's a tough question, and it truly doesn't matter how you answer. Are you a good writer? I don't mean, can you craft a story and develop characters

    and plotlines. We're not talking about fiction here. What I mean is, can you write about your field convincingly and articulately? Can you take the elements of your

    profession that drive your passion and business, and use the written word to inform, educate and inspire someone with your message? The good news is that it doesn't

    matter if you are not a writer. There is no shame in hiring a ghostwriter whose skill is communicating via the written word to get your thoughts and feelings down on

    paper and write the text in "your voice." The book is solely your ideas and your knowledge – it is YOUR book – but the quality of the communication will be key to its

    success.

    • Publication: Here's the part that makes it all work. First, remember the goal in writing the book is to have a representation of your passion and expertise that builds

    your platform as a credentialed expert in your field and that you can use like a business card. With the various self-publishing services available today, you don't need

    (or want) a traditional publisher to accept your idea. It's far more advantageous to self-publish because you retain all rights to your work, you control your message and

    most importantly, you control the timeline. Moreover, with the quality of "print on demand" today, you also control your publishing costs and can simply print copies as

    needed to align with your marketing budget and strategies.

    • Promotion: Your book opens the door to the media as well as your customers, both directly and indirectly. When you reach out to the press with your message, they

    are going to take you far more seriously if you've written a book about it. The media, in turn, opens the door to new customers. And that's really the way the book pays

    for itself and helps you generate revenue – through branding you as an expert in your field. After it's published, that book will play a part in just about every piece of

    business you close for your company, whether it helps drive media that drives your business or it is simply a better opening line to a new customer besides "Let me give

    you my card." In the sea of business cards executives get from vendors at trade shows and on airplanes, a book is like the cream that rises to the top (even if they don't

    read it!). And when you're pitching the media or speaking with a prospective client, a book says, "I'm such an expert in my field, I literally wrote the book on it."

    Having been in business for over 20 years, I can attest that after writing my book, "Celebritize Yourself," my revenue has grown annually, even through the recession.

    And, soon I'll be working on my second one. So if you feel like your business has reached a plateau or is creeping in growth, and you want to inject new life and energy

    into your enterprise, a book is one of the most valuable marketing tools you'll ever have.

    I heartily encourage those who haven't started yet to get busy. Collect your thoughts; make a decision; commit to it unwaveringly and I promise you will reap the

    rewards personally and professionally.

    Posted Nov 02, 2010, in Wealthy, Worthy and Wise - Discussion | 6 replies
  •  
    The Book: Your New Business Card

    How Writing A Book Can Increase Your Business!

    We're all experts on something. In my case, my passion was always the inner workings of the media and the crafting of a message. The fun for me isn't always when I

    have a client who is a ready-made for the media, but rather someone who has a unique message that may not seem on the surface to be compatible with generating

    media. That's what drives me and those are the challenges I truly enjoy. When I can connect the dots in a creative fashion for a client who may never have thought they

    had a good enough story for the media, I'm thrilled!

    One of the tools that helps in this process is when clients have a book. In my own book, "Celebritize Yourself: The Three Step Method to Increase Your Visibility and

    Explode Your Business," I explain how a book – or more specifically, YOUR book – can be your new business card. It's a model I not only recommend to clients, but also

    one that I use for the promotion of my own business.

    Here's how the formula works:

    • Passion: The first step is to ask yourself about your passion as this will guide the message of your book. When you achieve what you believe to be a high level of

    proficiency in your field or profession, it is usually a representation of your passion. So, think about it. What gets you up in the morning? What are the elements of your

    profession that stir your emotions and make you happy to work in your field? Those elements are the cross section of your passion and your expertise. When you write

    about those ideas, concepts and realities, it will show the reader that they are dealing with a consummate professional who knows his or her stuff!

    • Execution: Here's a tough question, and it truly doesn't matter how you answer. Are you a good writer? I don't mean, can you craft a story and develop characters

    and plotlines. We're not talking about fiction here. What I mean is, can you write about your field convincingly and articulately? Can you take the elements of your

    profession that drive your passion and business, and use the written word to inform, educate and inspire someone with your message? The good news is that it doesn't

    matter if you are not a writer. There is no shame in hiring a ghostwriter whose skill is communicating via the written word to get your thoughts and feelings down on

    paper and write the text in "your voice." The book is solely your ideas and your knowledge – it is YOUR book – but the quality of the communication will be key to its

    success.

    • Publication: Here's the part that makes it all work. First, remember the goal in writing the book is to have a representation of your passion and expertise that builds

    your platform as a credentialed expert in your field and that you can use like a business card. With the various self-publishing services available today, you don't need

    (or want) a traditional publisher to accept your idea. It's far more advantageous to self-publish because you retain all rights to your work, you control your message and

    most importantly, you control the timeline. Moreover, with the quality of "print on demand" today, you also control your publishing costs and can simply print copies as

    needed to align with your marketing budget and strategies.

    • Promotion: Your book opens the door to the media as well as your customers, both directly and indirectly. When you reach out to the press with your message, they

    are going to take you far more seriously if you've written a book about it. The media, in turn, opens the door to new customers. And that's really the way the book pays

    for itself and helps you generate revenue – through branding you as an expert in your field. After it's published, that book will play a part in just about every piece of

    business you close for your company, whether it helps drive media that drives your business or it is simply a better opening line to a new customer besides "Let me give

    you my card." In the sea of business cards executives get from vendors at trade shows and on airplanes, a book is like the cream that rises to the top (even if they don't

    read it!). And when you're pitching the media or speaking with a prospective client, a book says, "I'm such an expert in my field, I literally wrote the book on it."

    Having been in business for over 20 years, I can attest that after writing my book, "Celebritize Yourself," my revenue has grown annually, even through the recession.

    And, soon I'll be working on my second one. So if you feel like your business has reached a plateau or is creeping in growth, and you want to inject new life and energy

    into your enterprise, a book is one of the most valuable marketing tools you'll ever have.

    I heartily encourage those who haven't started yet to get busy. Collect your thoughts; make a decision; commit to it unwaveringly and I promise you will reap the

    rewards personally and professionally.

    Posted Nov 02, 2010, in Teach Your Talent (TYT) - Discussion | 2 replies
  •  
    How To Get Good PR Without the Big Retainers

    Companies wanting to make the most of their PR budgets these days are discovering one of the industry’s best kept secrets that is effective, mitigates risk and beats the traditional retainer-based agency in every way. It’s called Performance-based PR, or Guaranteed Publicity. There are only a handful of agencies that operate on this fee basis amongst the tens of thousands of PR firms throughout the entire U.S., and only one that guarantee's publicity... EMSI.

    Most of them offer the same service, if not better, than the big retainer-based agencies, but at a fraction of the cost. They’re driven to perform because they only get paid for what they deliver while retainer-based agencies charge for their time and their overhead, but are not accountable for results. If they get media placements, that’s great, but if they don’t, you’re still left holding the tab.

    Here’s how it works. When a company engages a retainer-based agency, they are charged a flat monthly fee based on the number of hours they estimate they need to work in order to get the job done. $10,000 a month is an average fee, but it can go as high as $20,000 or even $30,000 a month.

    Once the retainer is established, the money is divvied up amongst the team in billable hours, much the same way a law firm or accounting firm handles its business. The executive who brought in the business bills for “managing” the account, which is usually about 10 hours per month, costing the client as much as $350 per hour, or $3,500 of a $10,000 retainer. The executive sets assignments, approves press releases and written materials as well as handles communication with the client but never pitches the press.

    In these large retainer based agencies, the executives are used as sales people and compensated for the amount of business they generate for the company. But, unbeknownst to the client, that executive who closed the deal is the person with the most PR experience, yet does the least amount of work on their campaign. The rest of the retainer is split up among a few junior associates who do the writing, the pitching, the calling and the tracking.

    The staff assistants get into the action by billing $75 per hour for activities such as phoning, faxing and organizing documents. They may even charge to create the client’s bill at the end of the month, compiling out of pocket expenses like shipping together with the hourly billing as tracked by the team members. The top executive massages the numbers so they fit the retainer, and it then takes the assistant as long as two hours to compile the bill.

    A retainer-based agency may charge clients as much as $125 per month just to assemble their bill.This is a huge difference with how Pay-for-performance PR works. Most firms that operate in this manner set a simple fee for each media placement the firm obtains and the client signs up for a campaign with a specific budget in place. Then, one by one, the placements are made, confirmed and executed and the client is billed weekly or monthly against their agreed-upon budget. The campaign never goes over budget, and every client dollar is counted against a real media placement rather than for “best efforts.”

    As marketing budgets are shrinking, companies are pinching pennies and seeking a more quantifiable return on their PR investment. Pay-for-Performance PR not only reduces risk and costs the client less, but more importantly, these firms bring home the PR bacon for clients, or they don’t get paid.

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    How to Do the WORST Print Interview EVER! The Best Ways to Make a Reporter Think You’re a Fool

    Over the years, I’ve given out reams of advice to people on how to do great press interviews, but sometimes it’s difficult to cover all the bases. After all, the way I got smart about the media was to make mistakes and learn from them. So I thought it might be fun and informative if I assembled some tips from the reverse angle – the best mistakes to make. I mean, if you’re going to mess up, why not do it in epic fashion so people remember you.

    • Don’t focus on the interview. By all means, feel free to talk about whatever stream of consciousness pops into your head. Your family, your spouse, your health problems and the fact that your neighbor’s dog is doing his business on your front lawn. Make as much nervous small talk as possible, and if the reporter grew up in the same town as you, feel free to grill him for an hour to see if he had any of the same teachers as you in high school. After all, it’s not like he’s a media professional on deadline whose time is at a premium. There is nothing more he’d rather do than to talk about anything, except of course, the reason he’s interviewing you.

    • Preparation, shmeperation. Journalists get a kick out of people who are not prepared for the interview, who don’t know the reporter’s name or the publication for which they toil. They completely understand when you don’t know what area of interest they cover in their columns, or when you tell them you’ve never read any of their stories. The only way to score more points is to tell them you’ve read their stuff, and you think they don’t have a clue what they are writing about most of the time.

    • Schedules are for wimps. Don’t worry about being on time. Feel free to be late – in fact, be VERY late, especially if you are actually meeting them in person. These guys don’t like going back to the office, so the longer you can keep them out of the office – especially if they are waiting at a diner or coffee shop that’s at least 30 minutes away from the office – the better.

    • Trash talk is gold. Do you know what really plays well in the media? Trash talking your competition. There is nothing more fun than shooting off your mouth to a reporter, and then watching the sparks fly in the morning when the paper hits the streets. Your attorney will love you for it, because the fees you pay him to defend you in the business defamation lawsuit your competitor files are finally going to make him enough money to buy that new boat.

    • Lie, and then lie about lying. Nothing will get you more ink than if you lie, because reporters are pretty good at discovering the truth. And when they do, that means they’ll write another story about you. In fact, the bigger the lie, the better, because then you get the news coverage hat trick – the original story, the follow-up when they expose your lie, and the contrite news conference where you fall on your sword and admit the truth. I mean, think about all the people in the news today who lied, or who are accused of lying, and continue to dot the headlines. Of course, as with the trash talk tip, make sure you have a good legal budget, because a good long court battle over the lies is a sure way to keep stringing out those headlines.

    Okay, it was fun getting all that off my chest. As you know, my usual writing style is more “positive and inspiring” than “bitingly humorous,” but it’s good to shake things up now and then. And when you think about the points above, we see these mistakes made in the press, in some shape or form, every single day. It always makes me wonder, if these mistakes are so obvious to me, why aren’t they obvious to the people who make them? Or their advisors?

    The bottom line is that no matter how unschooled you are in public relations, common sense is a good baseline to guide your forays into the media. And if you’re just not sure about the best conduct during a media interview, get a good PR person, or a good attorney.

    Or maybe both, just to be safe.

    Posted Oct 26, 2010, in Teach Your Talent (TYT) - Discussion
  •  
    9 Reasons Why Talk Radio is the Best Promotion for Your Book, Product and Service!

    As publicity experts, talk radio is one of the tools that we use everyday to help our clients gain national recognition, promote their books, products and services. And because it is so effective our clients keep coming back for more! Fact is – talk radio may honestly be one of the best-kept marketing secrets there is. There are many reasons why this is true – but let me give you ten to start with:

    1. THE RIGHT DEMOGRAPHICS. Every year Talkers Magazine does a research project to profile who’s listening to talk radio. And, every year their survey confirms that the talk radio listener is, “diverse, educated, attentive, active and affluent…” If this describes your customer – it’s a perfect match!

    2. TARGET AUDIENCE. Not only are the demographics of talk radio great – but with specialty talk shows on politics, health, relationships, lifestyles, finance, consumer advocacy, sports, etc., we can identify shows that are a perfect match for your service, once we know the audience you’re trying to reach!

    3. EFFECTIVE SALES TOOL. Publicity is definitely not paid advertising. But it can be far more effective. Just ask Dr. Arnold Goldstein, well-known financial advisor and author, “The interest in our books from radio interviews has far exceeded the response we’ve seen from our advertising campaigns. Dollar-for-dollar, talk radio interviews has shown a much better return!”A compelling radio interview can promote your product or service without the audience even realizing it! And, as hosts don’t want to be bombarded with phone calls with questions about your company, they’re highly motivated to frequently mention your website or toll-free number.

    4. THIRD PARTY ENDORSEMENT. Talk radio hosts have loyal followings – that’s how they maintain their ratings. And listeners tune in daily to hear what their favorite host is talking about. As that host is often thought of as an old friend or even a trusted advisor, when you appear as a guest on their show, listeners hear an implicit endorsement of you, your service and your message!

    5. CREDIBILITY. This is a crucial ingredient in every marketing campaign – and talk radio supplies it in abundance. One of our clients told us, “…every show I’ve appeared on – the host tells his listeners about my great expertise, my many accomplishments and how proud they are to have me as a guest! Of course, the more important I am, the more important the host appears to be. As far as promotion and credibility goes – it just doesn’t get any better!”

    6. TIME TO TELL YOUR WHOLE STORY. As a guest – you get not just 60 seconds, but ten to sixty minutes of quality time with a very targeted and attentive audience. You have enough time to talk about your service and in many cases you have a chance to answer questions from callers. It’s a perfect way to get your full message heard and understood by the audience!

    7. COST-EFFECTIVE PROMOTION. Talk radio interviews are all done by phone. So without ever leaving your home or office you can have a direct and oftentimes live conversation with consumers around the country. Plus our fees for this publicity service are minuscule compared to what you’ll spend in advertising dollars to buy the same amount of air time!

    8. IMMEDIATE EXPOSURE. You can be on the air within two to three weeks! And, because talk radio keeps up with changing times and topics, we can continuously create new angles for your topic that reflect current events, to keep you on the air and in the news on an ongoing basis.

    9. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK. With probably 1,000 + talk radio interviews under his belt, nutritional products spokesperson, Dr. W. Wong says, “Talk radio is the greatest way to get your message across to a large group of people at one time. There’s a captive audience during morning and evening drive times, in the middle of the day with stay-at-home moms and people in the workplace and for those folks awake late at night. It’s better, cheaper and faster than TV appearances. Without question – talk radio provides the best bang for the buck!”

    And what about the 10th reason? You tell me! In the comment field below share with everyone your success stories using talk radio and other reasons why talk radio really is a terrific promotional tool.

    Posted Oct 26, 2010, in Creative Professionals - Discussion | 2 replies
  •  
    How to Give a Great Print Media Interview: Five Tips You Don’t Want to Miss

    Sometimes I cringe when I hear people talk about “the media.” It sounds as if everyone in TV, radio, print and online press is a member of one fraternity that thinks and acts the same. There is a vast gulf between the daily life of a print journalist and the daily life of a radio show host. And there are many differences between radio hosts and TV producers.

    They really shouldn’t be treated the same. That’s why I’ve written a booklet called 50 Tips to Make You A Great Radio Guest and a similar piece for TV. Now I am compiling interview tips for working with print and online journalists (which in many cases can be the same thing). This will be the first of three articles, so stay tuned for the others over the next two weeks.

    Here are the first five tips:

    • Be Responsive – In TV and radio, interview times are pre-arranged. However, print and online journalists typically have daily and weekly deadlines. When they call you, they need you right then! In many cases, journalists will reach out to several experts on a news item and then choose the one who is the better interview or whoever responded quickest (or a combination of the two). The more reliably you respond, the more likely they will call on you again.

    • It’s Not About You – Most journalists are not interested in you, but rather the expert commentary you can provide. The more you use the words “I” and “my” the less likely they will use you as a source. When speaking to a reporter, keep in mind you are speaking to their audience, so keep your remarks centered on what their audience cares about and you’ll be quoted early and often.

    • Read Before You Talk – If you get a call from a publication, take five minutes to go online and read a few of their stories. Look for their tone and approach, so your tone and approach will match. Also look for articles they wrote on your topic, so you can avoid duplicating what someone else said. Finally, read articles written by the journalist you’ll be speaking with. There is no better way to prepare for a print or online interview than to read the writings of the reporter interviewing you. You can discover his or her focus, audience and philosophy. The reporter can tell if you’ve read his or her articles through your comments and will respect you for having made the effort to prepare for them.

    • Don’t Empty Your Notebook – Beat reporters – journalists who cover a particular topic or industry – tend to be experts in that field from their time covering it for their respective publications. They don’t need, nor do they want, your soup-to-nuts take on that topic. They need only a few quotes and opinions to round out their stories. Answer direct questions with direct answers, and get to the point quickly. There’s no need to tell the reporter everything you know, emptying your notebook of all your collected knowledge, in order to have a good interview. Allowing an interview to devolve into you talking about your total philosophy on a particular topic or business will result in your interview landing in the discard pile, and the reporter will likely seek a comment from your competitor instead.

    • Be Professional – Reporters don’t call you to talk about the weather, last night’s TV, your kids, etc. You’d be surprised how many times I’ve come across people who think a little friendly chit chat can “grease the wheels.” If they engage you, that’s one thing. It’s entirely another if you waste their time with unwanted “schmoozing.” Most have deadlines to meet and their time is valuable. Many outlets are working with significantly smaller writing staff than a year ago. Respect their time and they’ll respect you.

    There’s more to a good print interview and in the next two weeks I will share more tips. If you follow this advice, you’ll discover your interviewers will respond better to you, use more of the interview in their actual articles and maybe even call you back for more quotes when they work on other stories. At the end of the day, these tips will help you be prepared so that when your name is mentioned in the media, readers will know they are getting advice from someone who truly knows what he or she is talking about.

    Posted Oct 26, 2010, in Power Chicks - Discussion
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