July 31, 2008
Media Savvy 101
We all want to sell more products and services. But figuring out how to frame what we do in the context of what is timely, newsworthy, and relevant isn’t something that comes easily without practice. I practice a lot, so today I am going to share a recipe for a winning pitch that you can try to serve your own interests.
- Watch the headlines in the local or national media for big trends that are gathering speed.
- Find support for that trend from credible sources.
- Combine the trend and the reference to credible sources into a powerful sentence that grabs attention.
- Share how your own story fits in.
Let me bring this recipe to life, using one of my client’s products as an example.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, July 26 that luxury goods — including purses — are still hot, even in today’s troubled economy. The report called attention to the Hermes Crocodile Kelly Bag, priced at $30,000. that is earning new buyers every day. Here is a link to that story. And, did you know that the Today Show reported that the bottoms of purses are among the “12 most germiest” places on Earth? Here is a link to the Today Show with this rather compelling information. Put both of those trends in focus, and you’ve got an opportunity to be of powerful service to holiday gift buyers with an elegant, affordable and functional solution.
Newcastle, WA resident and founder of ZookHooks Inc.Alexis Meisel is known among women who attend local networking events as “The Hook Lady.” She is a 35-year-old MBA who left her position working as an economist gathering data for the consumer price index to launch a company that adds theft and germ protection to handbags. The product? A little gadget from the 1950’s called a purse hanger that she sells under the ZookHooks name.
Alexis’ vision is for every woman who carries a handbag to have a ZookHook to match every bag she has in every style, color, and design. Alexis is continually sourcing new designs that are multi-functional. For example, one of the most popular designs — the compact mirror –serves as a purse hook and a compact that makes it easy to check one’s lipstick at the dining table.One of her ZookHooks has a photo frame within which you can display a photo of your child, spouse, pet or other loved one. She has a line of coordinating key hooks, too.These really add a bit of bling to any handbag — and they are eye-catching, fun, and functional.
She is anticipating big business this holiday season as gift givers look for fashionable and affordable items with which to stuff stockings, share with personal service providers such as hair stylists, manicurists, massage therapists, teachers, and day care providers and offer as gifts to women at every age and life stage who just love purses and everything to do with them.
Prices for ZookHooks range from as low as $6.99 to a high of $17.99. Gift sets that include both purse and key hooks range from $12.99 to $19.99. While purse hangers are not new items, Alexis’ approach to doing business is refreshing. An animal lover at heart, Alexis donates 10% of her net profits to animal rescue organizations. She even has a line of Zookhooks for animal lovers.
I’d be delighted to share ZookHook samples to review as you consider how to proceed with this story idea for your holiday gift guide. Just share the perfect mailing address, and your wish for your own ZookHook will be my pleasure to grant.. Bring on the bling for your purse. It’s a beautiful thing! Thank you for your consideration.
It is any surprise that this pitch delivered an immediate and affirmative reply? Here is the words that came back minutes after replying to a media query:
GENIUS! I love this idea (and come across this issue multiple times a day – esp living in NYC!). It is PERFECT for my blog!! Please mail a press kit and a (non-returnable) sample at your convenience to the following location.
I share this to demonstrate that the recipe for a winning pitch really does work. I invite you to adapt this recipe for your own needs. Take it out for a spin as you reply to leads that come to you free of charge from Help a Reporter Out. And please share your successes. I can’t wait to hear from you.
And, if you are now motivated to add a little bling to your purse and protect your investment from dirt, grime, and more, order a bundle of ZookHooks for all the women in your life and the purses they love. Animal welfare organizations will benefit, and you will, too.
And, if you work in the media or write a blog that would benefit from featuring ZookHooks, the offer to send a sample for your editorial consideration is real. Get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org to make your request. Thank you.
July 30, 2008
Article PR, Event Promotion
You can’t pick up a newspaper today without reading something about the credit crunch and what it means for people, their homes, and their businesses. This issue becomes especially important for “middle market” companies that need capital to grow now.
Over the last several months, my team and I have been working with the traditional and online media to build the buzz for the August 7 Northwest Growth Financing Conference coming to the Bell Harbor Conference Center this August 7. Here is the latest press release that reports that The Northwest Growth Financing Conference is attracting a record number of investment firms representing a record amount of capital to the August 7 event. Investment professionals from 80 of the nation’s leading private equity funds and mezzanine/subordinated debt funds with more than $80 billion of capital under management and to invest are slated to attend the conference, which will be held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center.
This is a must attend session that offers panel discussions among experts who will examine the financing options available to “middle market” companies in a format guaranteed to generate lots of interaction among the panelists as well as the audience. The Northwest Growth Financing Conference is almost sold out with a week still to go. Those seeking to make winning connections need to come prepared, so we created an article offering networking tips to make the most of connections to be made at this event. Whether you are attending this event or any other industry function, you will be well served by following these tips. Special thanks to Zita Gustin and Betsy Talbot for contributing their time tested and proven networking tips to this piece.
I’ll be attending on August 7, and I hope to meet you there.
July 29, 2008
Blogs have fast become powerful venues through which to share ideas, inspire action, and build community. Today, Alice Cunningham, co-owner of Olympic Hot Tub Company, launches her new blog at www.HotTubBliss.com. I invite you to check it out and explore the journey from “ahhhh” to “aha” you can experience by jumping into the hot tub way of life with both feet. And consider sharing a comment, compliment, or idea about how your hot tub has made a difference in your life. Alice has mentioned that customers are vocal and enthusiastic about the impact their hots tubs have on the quality of their lives. Now, they have an easy way to share their stories, connect with Alice, and build a community of advocates for the hot tub way of life. Alice is proud that hers is the first blog dedicated to creating hot tub evangelists all over the world. Now, that is thinking big! Alice intends to post to her blog several times each week, and her own enthusiasm for this powerful way to share her message is high.
Have you considered launching a blog of your own to bring your particular brand of magic to an to the World “Live” Web? If you’d like a special report prepared by Blogging Expert and Founder of Delegate Now Betsy Talbot, send me an email at email@example.com, and I’ll send her “Blogging from Start to Finish” report your way. By the way, Betsy Talbot will be among the fabulous co-presenters at the August 15 Publici-Tea™ Half-Day Workshop in Tacoma from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Learn more and sign up now at this link.
And, here’s to more “ahhhs” and “ahas” for all of us.
July 28, 2008
Media Savvy 101
My latest Puget Sound Business Journal column offers three useful and affordable resources to make it easy to know who to call to earn the “ink and air.” If you subscribe to the paper, you can see the story link here. If you don’t, here is the text version. I share it because the information is just too useful not to share. By the way, I can’t say enough about the value you’ll get from your own Puget Sound Business Journal subscription. And, when you sign up , mention my name and you’ll get a special Authentic Visibility discount. How cool is that?
If earning media attention for your products, expertise, or services is a priority, consider three useful resources to help you connect readily with the right reporters, freelancers, and editorial decision makers to earn expert status or bring your products into the media spotlight.
Help a Reporter Out
Stories are in development every day, and reporters need ready access to experts, products, and perspectives to lend impact to the news at hand. One way to take contribute is to subscribe to a free media query service launched by Peter Shankman called helpareporterout.com. In exchange, you receive 3-5 emails each day that outline the specifics reporters are seeking to contribute to stories in development right now. If you are among the first people to respond to calls for experts in a timely, compelling, and provocative way on or before the deadline, you can be on your way toward earning the publicity you seek. Over 12,000 members – reporters and experts alike – have signed up to benefit from this free service since it launched early in 2008.
Reading these leads also offers a powerful lesson in how to frame your own story to be newsworthy and relevant in the context of what is going on in the nation and the world right now. Recently, there has been a flurry of interest in stories seeking experts about how to retire in turbulent times, how to “staycation”rather than vacation, and how to recession proof your business. With quick and compelling replies to each, media placements have mounted for clients large and small, bringing their stories forward to much wider audiences with ease. If the commentary and ideas you share are on target, you’ll earn a place in stories soon to debut. It’s just that simple.
Once you earn success with your first few media placements, you’ll be convinced in the value of this free service, and you’ll want to go deeper in your media relations efforts.
Connect to even more media requests by subscribing to PR Leads. This affordable service ($99 each month) puts you in touch with reporters writing stories for major publications like The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and Newsweek, as well as Redbook and Glamour who need to quote experts like you. You receive their names and email addresses and their story angles so you can contact them.
Last month, I received a query seeking “wow” summer fun toys to promote rest and relaxation poolside. I jumped on the chance to share the Aqua Reader from Olympic Hot Tub Company’s e-store that makes it easy to read a great book and hold a refreshing beverage while soaking in a hot tub or pool. A content contributor for a TV show airing in 20 major markets asked for samples to feature within the program, and one of the programs was CBS This Morning. It took just a few minutes to reply, and the client now stands to benefit from orders for the Aqua Reader from viewers across the nation. Learn more at prleads.com.
Gift List Media
Do you have a product that is perfectly timed for feature in the holiday gift guides of national magazines? If so, consider a subscription to giftlistmedia.com. This service puts you in touch with the decision makers responsible for choosing products to feature in holiday gift guides. You receive their names and email addresses, their story angles, and so much more. This database includes print contacts at magazines and the top 250 daily newspapers, wires, syndicate and news service contacts, and television producers at national network, cable and syndicated television shows, plus national radio. Information targets features for the December holidays, as well as year round product coverage. A subscription runs about $549.
Last month, I initiated my subscription and immediately researched the list to find a decision maker at O magazine. With my first pitch, I enlisted immediate interest. Minutes later, the editor asked for product samples. Days later, the editor asked for a second shipment of product samples for a product tasting with none other than Oprah herself. Now, Seattle Chocolate Company’s Extreme Dark Truffle Bars to benefit breast cancer charities are slated for feature within the October issue of O magazine during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Receiving a “congratulatory” email from a style editor at O magazine was one of those “Mastercard” moments.
– Cost of my early bird Gift List Media subscription: $499
– Value of a placement in O magazine: Priceless
Great rewards are waiting when you jump into the do-it-yourself publicity pool with both feet using affordable and powerful tools such as these. Come on in. The water is fine.
Nancy S. Juetten is a publicist, newspaper columnist, speaker, Publici-Tea™ trainer, and the author of the Authentic Visibility Publicity Toolkit that empowers business owners to get seen, heard, and celebrated in their own backyards and beyond from the impact and credibility of free publicity. Visit localprforme.com to learn more. Get in touch with Nancy at 425-641-5214 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the way, the Authentic Visibility Publicity e-Toolkit is on sale for just $57 through August 14. Take advantage of the $20 savings on the e-Toolkit AND receive a 15-minute DIY publicity coaching call with me when you are among the 12 folks first to respond to the offer. The first three appointments went quickly, and 12 more remain. Claim one as your own today and get the inspiration, tools, and insights to tell your story to a much wider audience!
July 27, 2008
PR Beyond the Backyard
What makes you and your small business stand out from the crowd? If you can answer that question, Smart Money Small Business will consider running your profile, picture and answer in the Stand Out column. Click here to see samples of prior columns. To be considered for this column, you’ll want to send an email (and a digital headshot) to Editors@smSmallBiz.com, answering these questions:
Your business name and description
Number of Employees
What makes you stand out from the crowd?
What’s the best part about owning your own small business?
What is the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome?
What’s the best advice you can offer to others?
You won’t earn in the “ink” unless you jump in and take advantage of opportunities like this to share your story. If not now, then when? Only you can answer. Good luck!
July 24, 2008
Business Success, Event Promotion
Oh, the fan mail just keeps coming. From time to time, I rent my PR brain by the hour to provide extra guidance to buzz seeking business owners in the quest to get what they need. Not long ago, I had a very productive conversation with Branding Expert Steve MacDonald, during which I shared a few tips to help him build the buzz for his expertise. He runs a think tank for highly differentiated value, and he knows of what he speaks.
He has since put my advice into practice and invited three $7,500 engagements to benefit clients and his own growing business. Check out what he had to say about our conversation and what has happened since. And be sure to check out the great articles he has since posted to BizNik that are empowering others with quality advice and inviting quality clients to his care.
“A couple of months ago, Nancy told me about a new online business networking site called Biznik. It was incredible advice. I can directly source three clients from the contacts made at Biznik that account for $7,500 in fees each. This has been an incredible boost in my business and a great service to those clients. I certainly think it is because Nancy has a pulse on what avenues there are out there to you make things happen for your own business. For instance, Biznik offers great networking opportunity to connect with local business owners via a multitude of local events, and BizNik offers an online, social networking component that allows you to publish a profile, articles, blogs, tips, promote events, etc. And each time you post a comment. there is a back link to your site that helps improve your rankings with the search engines. Nancy has collected an assortment of ideas and opportunities that don’t cost money. They just require a little time and effort to get great results. She also turned me on to an event promotion service called Full Calendar to make it easier for me to promote marketing events on my planning horizon. It has worked for her and others. That is what is great about Nancy. She doesn’t recommend anything that she hasn’t already tried herself. Each and every time I talk to her, I tend to get re-inspired in the possible new levels of success for my business. My experience is proof that Nancy can help you help yourself. We are in a day and age in which spending money behind marketing that we have no idea how it is going to work for us are over. And Nancy is well equipped to start you off.
Now, I can’t promise that you’ll attract three $7,500 engagements as a result of every conversation you have with me, but I can promise you at least one time saving tip, attention grabbing resource, or other high-impact way to share your story that will make the investment of your time and money with me well worth it. I can’t wait to be of service so I can share YOUR success story here for all to see.
July 23, 2008
Publici-Tea™ Graduate Success Story
I love it when Publici-Tea™ guests take time to share the success they have once they make the decision to get into action on their DIY publicity plans. Today I received an email from Debbie Whitlock, president of Sound Financial Partners, about her DIY publicity placements since attending her Publici-Tea™ Half-Day Workshop in April of 2008.
So after I took your Publici-Tea™ in April, I was inspired to ‘get it done.’ I left our class and went home that weekend, worked on a short and long bio – got my high resolution head shots and gathered some awards I had recently received and TADA I was ready to work on my do it yourself media campaign. Then Monday came and I had client meetings, and there were technical issues at the office and my good intentions were put on the back burner. Then you sent a gentle nudge ‘here’s a reporter looking to speak to someone like you.’ So, I took the plunge, crafted a brief yet interesting reply to the reporter’s inquiry, replied promptly to the request for an interview and TADA I was in print. Alright, that worked – so let’s see if I can find one on my own – through Help A Reporter I saw a journalist working on a piece I knew a lot about and felt I could add value to her story. Crafted the reply, was flexible to her schedule for the interview and TADA I was in print in an online trade publication. OK, this is really working – these two successes inspired me to go back to my Publici-Tea™ notebook and see what other ‘low hanging media fruit’ I might find. At the same time a colleague of mine who had also taken a Publici-Tea™ class called to tell me she was that week’s feature in the Seattle Times My First Job section. Wait a minute, I could do that. I read through a few, crafted my story and hit ‘send.’ About two weeks later I received an email from the editor saying I would be featured within the next two weeks – if I could get a high resolution picture to her. I was able to get back to her immediately and TADA was featured within a week and have enjoyed great phone calls and emails from colleagues, clients and friends this past week.
I now have a monthly audio-ezine that launches this month, have given my first radio interview for Blogtalkradio and now host my own internet television program. I have been a little busy with my media since we first met, and I credit your ideas for giving me the sparks I needed to make it all happen. It really isn’t necessary to hit the Today Show or MSNBC or CNBC to get noticed. I am getting good ink in my own backyard and beyond (the last interview a colleague of mine in another state saw – and called and said ‘how’d you do that?’ My reply, ‘It was easy.’)
So Nancy thank you again, it REALLY is that easy. I haven’t created another full time job for myself – I spend a brief window of time twice a day looking for opportunities where I can be a resource – if I find one I carve out a few minutes and throw the pitch into the park. Because I took the time to be prepared, ‘when the reporter comes knocking’ I have enjoyed some very nice do it yourself publicity and anticipate I will continue to have more success with greater ease. Keep doing what you do.
With emails like this coming in, sometimes daily, is it any wonder that I have so much enthusiasm for hosting Publici-Tea™ events and sharing the Authentic Visibility Publicity e-Toolkit with buzz seeking business owners with great stories to tell? The next events are slated for August 15 in Tacoma and September 12 in Bellevue. Will you be in the room? I hope so! And, if you can’t make it, you can purchase the e-Toolkit between now and August 14 for just $57 AND the first 15 people to buy also get a 15-minute DIY publicity coaching call with me as a special bonus. There is a lot of value to be enjoyed during this call, so treat yourself to the e-Toolkit today and experience that value for yourself. Great rewards are waiting.
July 22, 2008
Event Promotion, Special Savings
Does your business deserve to earn the attention of your local media, now more than ever? And do you love a bargain? If you answered “yes,” I’ve got great news for you. Now through August 14, 2008, you can get your Authentic Visibility e-Toolkit for just $57. That’s a $20 savings off the regular price.
Your e-Toolkit includes an abundance of worksheets, press release examples, pitch letters, engaging audio files, special reports, and other actionable information to make it easy for you to create winning press materials of your own.
And, to make the offer even sweeter, the first 15 people to take advantage of the offer will receive a 15 minute do-it-yourself publicity coaching call with me to address the nitty-gritty do-it-yourself publicity questions on their mind during a mutually convenient telephone call we share between now and September 1, 2008. I’ll bring the information within your toolkit alive in a meaningful way as it relates to YOUR business so you won’t be able to hold back from getting into action to earn media placements to catapult your business to a higher level of media awareness and success. To heck with all those other information products you’ve purchased before, only to let them sit on the shelf. Let me make the information immediately relevant to you so you can be seen, heard, and celebrated in your own backyard and beyond through the power of do-it-yourself publicity!
The 15-minute do-it-yourself publicity coaching call is valued at $62.50, and my intent is share at least one tip or resource to deliver that value or more in time saved to build the buzz about your business. They don’t call me the Fairy Godmother of do-it-yourself publicity without good reason. One taste of the Nancy magic, and you’ll know why thousands of people subscribe to my ezine and make a habit of visiting my do-it-yourself publicity blog every week.
Act now to be sure you are among the first 15 people to benefit from that coaching call so you can benefit in the ways that matter most to your quest build the buzz for your business. Click here to buy now.
If you are wondering why the offer ends on August 14, it is because the next Publici-Tea(TM) Half-Day Workshop takes place the very next day in Tacoma, WA. A lot of folks buy information products and never get around to reading them. I don’t want that to happen with you and your Authentic Visibility e-Toolkit. That is why I created this half-day event — to bring the information alive with examples, stories, access to my media contact rolodex, and so much more. You’ll be amazed at the ideas I can come up with on the spot that can serve YOUR business in today’s media environment. That’s because I study your website or blog before the event and ask you to share your most pressing publicity questions before the event begins.
Once you see how the information within can come alive for your business, you won’t be able to hold yourself back from jumping into the do-it-yourself publicity pool with both feet to enjoy the many rewarding benefits for your brand and reputation and your growing business. This is a fabulous half-day of inspiration, ideas, resources, and tools that you won’t want to miss.
The August 15 event will be held at a historic private home in Tacoma from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. The September 12 event will be held from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at The Village Bellevue — a fabulous co-working space in downtown Bellevue. Parking is free and plentiful at both venues. Choose the date/venue that is most convenient for you, and secure your place at this link.
I’ve received a whole bunch of e-Toolkit orders and Publici-Tea™ registrations since this offer went out to my ezine subscribers this morning. Now, readers of the blog can benefit, too. Looking forward to hearing from you and helping you build the buzz about YOUR business!
July 19, 2008
Seminars are big business, provided you can get enough “butts in seats” to make them pay off. Getting the word out with ease can contribute mightily to your success. I invite you to check out www.fullcalendar.com. This online meeting notice service makes it easy for you to alert the online and print media in your backyard with one click. You just create 2000, 750, and 150 character descriptions of your event, pay your $19.95 for each event date, and let FullCalendar.com do the rest. I use this service to helps spread the word about the Publici-Tea™ Half-Day Workshops. Since I hold them once a month, I just go back into the system, change the date, and “alert the media” with one click.
Michael Gerber, the author of the E-Myth Revisited and so many other best selling business books, implores business owners everywhere to set up systems so their businesses run better and bring better results without — as he says — doing the “busy, busy, busy, work, work, work” thing. He was one of the inspiring keynote speakers at the eWomenNetwork Conference and Business Expo in Dallas. FullCalendar.com is one such system that invites more success with ease for me. When will you try it for YOUR business events?
Speaking of which, seats are selling fast for both the August 15 Publici-Tea™ in Tacoma and the Septeber 12 Publici-Tea™ in Bellevue. And, I just got invited to bring the Publici-Tea™ to Portland on September 10, thanks to an amazing connection I made with Kathie Nelson of Connectworks at the eWomenNetwork Conference and Business Expo in Dallas. Have you signed up yet? Don’t delay. Here is the link to make it easy to secure your place. By the way, if you can’t make the time to attend, send your assistant or your virtual assistant. Invest in their training as one of the systems you put in place to invite more success with greater ease for yourself. They will thank you for investing in their professional development, and you will bask in the glow of the fabulous publicity you enjoy as a result of them getting into quick action on your behalf. Such a deal! Can’t wait to meet you and those you rely upon for your success!
July 18, 2008
As you know, I moved to a new house earlier this month. As we were packing up and getting ready to move, I found a box of my booklets entitled “97 Powerful Ways to Profit from FREE Publicity” under the bed. This solved a mystery because I was wondering why I sold out of the second volume of tips (50 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Business) first. This seemed odd, since these sell typically as a set. I want to find a good home for 300 tips booklets so the remaining inventory on hand will be a matched set. These tips booklets retail for $5 each. I will sell blocks of 50 booklets to the first six people to respond for $3 each. You can share them with your networking group, use them as “Christmas in July” premiums to share with your most valuable small business customers, or keep them on hand to stuff stockings in December. Heaven knows, with the economy as it is right now, there has never been a better time to deploy the power of free publicity to build the buzz about YOUR business.
People rave about the information within this booklet. You can read some of the testimonials at this link. People even send me fan mail, thanking me for sharing useful tips they have used to earn front page coverage in their hometown newspaper and cable television shows.
The only way to take advantage of it is to give me a call at 425-641-5214 or send me an email at email@example.com.
Be the first six people to respond, and you’ll be swimming in free publicity tips to delight your best customers, support their success, and make yourself look like a hero for sharing the information.
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