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.
It’s that time of year again when everyone is spring cleaning. Are you? Well, even if you’re not think about angles that could land you choice media coverage. We pitched our client Pamela Yellen, who teaches financial self-sufficiency, around a ‘spring clean your budget’ angle and Fox Business picked it up. You never know what a little clean-up job can uncover. Turn over a new leaf and spring-clean your PR. I did so and even found the above lovely photo of Pamela with Richard Branson. (Don’t you just love looking at old photo albums?!)
Wasabi Publicity client, Carrie Woodward, a fitness expert, had a heart attack during our client intake call. Doctors say she wouldn’t be here today had she not been exercising and eating right like she does … and teaches. During the call, I didn’t know she had a heart attack. In fact, she just seemed a bit tired in the call. Weeks later she told us the story and our team said, “Wow, let’s share that with the public as I’m sure it will inspire others.” And boy has it. It’s not only inspired media, it’s also inspired the American Heart Association creator of the “Go Red for Women” PR campaign. This organization is known for spreading good information to women about how to prevent heart attacks. In fact, they featured the story once they heard about it. Read the article here. So, have a heart! Share your story with associations most likely to be inspired by your story. Share good news and you’ll find others sharing yours.
“Stay positive.” It’s about as cliché as it gets, right? Well, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Truth is, in my experience people gravitate toward the positive and that’s not only true for media contacts I know, but also any successful business leader, athlete or community leader I’ve met. Think about your own life. How often do you say, “no” throughout your life? I bet it’s directly related to the level of success you have (or don’t have). One of my favorite movies is, “The Yes Man.” In it, the character attends a motivational seminar and takes on saying yes to all opportunities that comes his way in the future. It’s quite funny. Take a look, if you’ve not already seen it. Speaking of motivational speakers, I’m thrilled that Wasabi Publicity client and prosperity motivational speaker & author, Randy Gage is featured in this Investors Business Daily article I placed for him. Gage often speaks about the power of staying positive and teaches that steering clear of negative naysayers can increase your health, wealth and knowledge. All you pro-positive people reading this are saying, “Yes, that’s true, Michelle!” Alternatively, skeptics will be thinking, “Hmmm, but you know, the media and most people I know love a good drama. People victimize themselves and that’s opportunity, too.” I can see your point, skeptics. I’ve had my fair share of playing victim and thwarting my own success. However, standing at the top of my career, I will tell you this … at a party, everyone loves laughter. At night, bugs love light. At the end of the day, people want to feel good, speak good and BElieve THEre is GOOD in the world; so BE THE GOOD and stay positive. Your wallet, your heart and her mind will thank you. Shoot, with a little laughter, you might even create the next Facebook or write the next bestselling book (like Randy Gage did when he wrote, “Risky is The New Safe.“). When you stay positive, you are open to solutions. You see things you couldn’t see before. Be a positive source to the media on PitchRate.com — help them report to their readers, viewers and listeners what’s possible in their industries. That will make you a top go-to media expert. If you’re stuck in drama or constantly see why things won’t work, that will be relayed to media in your interviews. Transform your drama. Find solutions. Track trends. Talk possibility. The media will love you for it and clients will swarm around you like bugs to a night-light. Happy 2013 everyone … and let me leave you with my favorite e.e. cummings quote on staying positive, “Yes is a world & in this world of yes live (skillfully curled) all worlds.” Let me know how you plan to say yes this year.