We just scored USA Today by playing the gender game. See the article here. When I was a child I remember a playground gender game incident. Just for time reference, Jimmy Carter was up for election. The boy in my class – I don’t even remember his name, maybe Timothy – said girls couldn’t do the same as him and he didn’t care what Jimmy Carter said. Obviously, with a statement like that, his parents might have been arguing about Carter the night before. I think we were in 3rd grade and it was the day after a national debate among presidential candidates. At the time, I didn’t really know who Jimmy Carter was but at recess I was going to give that boy a piece of my mind. I could do the same as boys. In fact, to prove I was as strong as Timothy, I would show him with the cartwheel I had been practicing… or the kickball home run I could score… or … well that was really all we did at recess: gymnastics (because Berandine Clark was so good at that) and kickball (because Dennis Miller was so good at that).Well, my cartwheel flopped and my kickball kick missed. **Shutup Timothy!** But the burn inside me that I could do anything a man could do carried on well through my college and career days. Truth be told, I think that burn still exists today. I say that because I’m currently working on my Spartan Trifecta (extreme obstacle races & mud runs) to prove it. In fact, I just completed the Virginia Spartan Super last weekend. It’s touted as one of the most brutal races ever by the Navy Seal next to me at the shower area after the race. I’m not the only woman who burns with the gender wars flame in her heart. Many men and women have lots of opinions about what men need and women should do. So, why not use this type of emotional burn for your media angle when you’re pitching contacts to score editorial earned mentions about you, your expertise, your book, organization or services? My business partner, Drew Gerber and I discussed with The Women’s Financial Alliance founders Sandy Franks and Pamela Yellen how genders view money, retirement and investments differently. Shockingly, many money experts told them there ‘should’ be no difference, but alas (feeling my gender war burn) there is and that is a key indication of a good pitch for media discussion. Listen to what burns. Media contacts are constantly searching for public conversations that spark an interest. Especially in today’s digital world, it’s important to pick topics that cause debate, stir emotion and yes, have 3rd grade girls try to impress little boys at recess. Wasabi Publicity did just that and scored USA Today not once, but twice. That article syndicated to other venues, like CNBC. So, what topic can you choose today that will put a burn in people’s heart and move them to action? Try it out at a cocktail party and if it incites lively conversation, pitch it on Monday to your favorite top-tier media!
I just became a Costco member this month. Did you know they have organic items in bulk? I am stoked about that. A nutritionist I hired to coach me told me to drive the 40 minute distance to stock up. Luckily, I had a client in the May issue of their magazine Costco Connection, so when I arrived at the store for the first time, I got to hold and relish the article. You can see it here. I loved walking up to the customer service desk and seeing stacks of the magazine, which by the way, reaches more than 8 million people across the country. It’s known in the industry for its wide reach in a time when many magazines are failing. So, how did we secure coverage in this coveted magazine? I contacted the editor. I zipped my pitch straight to the top line of decision makers there. Shocked? Wanted something more in-depth? Nope, that’s the tip. When The Gorge Zipline became a client of Wasabi Publicity‘s in 2013, the owners shared in our client intake calls that they advertised with Costco. So I pitched the editor. He liked the pitch and told me to stay in touch. So, I did. Even after the client’s campaign ended in the fall of last year, I sent out emails about every 3 months to the editor. Repetition is key. In sports or in PR, you simply have to keep the pitches flowing and momentum growing. Then you too might walk into a big box store and see your story covered as well. Don’t let fear of heights grip you. Zip your best line to the top line of decision makers at your choice media venues.
In today’s digital on-demand world, a question is often asked: “Does print have power today?” My answer: “You betcha.” Call me old-school, but I don’t care. As you know, I always say I’ve seen PR transition from typewriters to Twitter; and it’s true, I’m 44 … “So old,” says my teen-age nephew. I’m not dead. Yet. So, I’m here to tell you, print pubs still have the power. Glossy print pubs, especially. From my perspective and from what I see turning the dial (and pages, as it were), we are still reading magazines. Even with all the social media portals we love to update, there is nothing we love more than curling up with our favorite magazines and reading about how to eat, dress, make money, and fundamentally to be inspired to live the best life we can. Case and point: The Mayfair Magazine, based in London. Recently, my client Landmark was featured in an April 2014 article. “Be Inspired” the magazine promises in the headline. It delivers. See, with traditional glossy print magazines, not only is there the “ink” of the actual article, but also the cover, the table of contents, the letter from the editor, the breathtaking photographs and, above all else, the ability to be touched. Yes, okay, I mean touch the heart too, but you know what I mean, touch it by hand. With glossy magazines, we can still feel the article in our hands and turn pages. So, while marketing professionals today focus on new school ways, don’t forget the tried and true: print pubs. Glossy print pubs. I’m told even in London you can find people on the streets, in the subways, and at the supermarket all holding in their hot little hands what they choose to read today. Hard copy, baby. Glossy magazines. News you can use. Take that smart phone. You may be smart, but you can’t “touch this.” (You think my 16 year old nephew will get that ’80s reference? Nah, I didn’t think so either.)
Cold winter it’s been, right? Most say one of the hardest winters ever. That didn’t stop my team from heating up credible PR buzz for notable clients. Let me highlight a few so you can see what I’ve been doing with my cold winter months. Our team scored a coupon expert the Today Show; helped launch a financial literacy author to achieve her second New York Times bestselling author status (you can see her U.S. News and World Report mention that I’m sure didn’t hurt the release of her second book and subsequent status); finalized an interview for America’s steepest zipline with Costco Connection (circulation: 8,489,821 see their spring 2014 issue for story); and hosted a very successful press breakfast for the Nelson Mandela Foundation at the Clinton Foundation on Valentines Day. You can hear one of the interviews on Sirius XM. Personally, two weeks ago I completed my first Spartan Race and plan to complete two more this year achieving the status of Spartan Trifecta Athlete, an elite group of athletes.
So, you can see why my blog storytelling’s been light. I have oh so much to share with you the rest of 2014, though. Tips, tools, techniques and more. I’ll even have media leads and how-to videos over at the newly launched PitchRate, speedy media matchmaking. So now that spring has sprung, what are you going to do? Tell me! So I can help.
Media relations is a lot like looking for a house. Ask my business partner, Drew Gerber who will be featured on the very popular TV show House Hunters International tonight. He’s been abroad the past year and has purchased homes in Budapest and Serbia. Think about it. When you look for a house, you research the geographic region where potential property is located. You answer questions like: City? Country? Urban? Rural? In media relations, it’s smart to research the demographic reach of the media venue and answer targets like: Young adults? Baby boomers? Business professionals? Working moms? When you start to look for property, you want assistance from a real estate expert to avoid any pitfalls. In tonight’s show, Robert Weiner assists Drew. As you begin to embark on your PR Pitching, you’ll also want media and publicity experts to keep you from committing fatal media pitching flaws. Speaking of flaws and needing experts (notice the segue — hint, hint, nudge, nudge), did you catch my last webinar with Entrepreneur’s Mikal Belicove? If not, get caught up here and join us for the next round of media pitching flaws this Thursday at 3:30 pm eastern. It’s free so sign up here and let media experts guide you throw the hustle and bustle of strategy … PR strategy that is. If you’re looking to hunt a house, better call Robert Weiner! See him in action tonight. Whatever you do … media relations or purchasing a home abroad, don’t do it alone. You’ll need help researching your strategy and the specifics of what you’re out to accomplish. You wouldn’t just buy a house on a whim, so never pitch on a whim. Have a strategy in place and you’ll find yourself mentioned in media. Then you can really frame that clip … in your home sweet home. Like I did. With my mention in More Magazine. It hangs in my kitchen. You can see Drew and me with our loving significant others at Drew’s home in Saluda NC below. It was the “set” of House Hunters that day. (Maybe I made the editing cut — check it out and see the episode tonight.) Happy pitching to you today! Write to us and let us know what you’re hunting: PR, houses or ?
CBS Los Angeles
I love working with CBS Los Angeles. I’ve placed several segments with them and here’s the latest one with my client Landmark and their spokesperson, Josselyne Herman Saccio. See the clip. So, is this blog post all about CBS LA or what? Nope. It’s about intimacy. That’s right. I wrote intimacy. The actual segment is about intimacy between spouses, but what about sweet talkin’ those media contacts of yours? How do you do it? Well, just like a spouse, you listen. See, most people pitch their media contacts ideas and forget to ask, “What do you need?” In this segment you’ll see our Wasabi Publicity client deliver three points: 1) Be willing to be surprised. 2) Throw away the script. 3) Risk something. Well, in PR you can actually use these same tips. Joss discusses an analogy of lovers in a movie. Well, how can you get ‘intimate’ with your media contacts? First, be willing to be surprised. What I mean, is they often want your call and don’t be surprised if they ask you for help on a completely different topic than what you’re calling about. They’ve got a job to do you and you’re low hanging fruit to a solution on the other end of the phone line! Secondly, forget your script. Listen to what your media friend is saying and honestly take a look to see if you can be or provide a source for what they’re researching, covering or investigating. Finally, if you’re not risking something every day, you’re simply not living. For more people than not, just picking up the phone or mailing a pretty card is risky business with media they love. Risk it. Send them love. That’s why they’re in business! They want to hear from their loyal readers, viewers and listeners. Let them know you’re alive and happy they’re alive too. And, that goes for you as well. I’m glad you’re there in cyberspace. Happy pitching!
I scored Ari a regular gig with Inc. and in this post, I’m going to reveal the hottest PR secret ever so you can score yourself a regular blog, column, or job with your favorite media as well. Want to know what it is? Wait for it. I know you’re sitting on the edge of your seat … it’s …. “persistence.” Note I didn’t say, “PEST assistant” which the media often complain about. LOL. That’s someone who thinks being a pest assists them in getting any job done. Let’s look at persistence and break it down so you can see how it works with PR.