Patricia Arquette leads today’s news feeds. Last night she accepted her Oscar at the Academy Awards and called for equal pay. Here’s a PR tip: If you’re doing work about women’s rights, now’s the time to pitch the media about how you’re making Arquette’s call-to-action a reality. Arquette is using her fame to move forward many causes. Just take a look at her Twitter feed. She’s calling for improved sanitation, clean water and (my favorite) ‘having an opinion.’ Watching celebrity behavior is a good way to forecast what will be covered in the news. Other top news stories today provide opportunities for safety experts who can weigh in about why “soft walls” must be mandatory after Kyle Busch was injured over the weekend. Speaking of safety… how about keeping malls safe? Somalia extremists urge attacks on U.S. shopping malls. If you’re an expert on keeping shoppers safe or a mall shop afraid of losing sales over such threats, local and national media contacts could use your insight. For media contacts seeking sources today, be sure to check out PitchRate. Check back here where I share tips from the trade and breaking/seasonal news ideas for sources seeking media coverage.
In the past few weeks, my Wasabi Publicity team has been busy scoring for our PR clients the Today Show, USA Today, Investors Business Daily, Shape and many other venues including The Academy Awards. My team had approached media contacts to review our client’s amazing Survival Bars and viola, an email got forwarded to a friend of a friend, and we got word the bars were so clean and so healthy, they were going to be featured back-stage at the Oscars by the Academy Awards production team. At first, we thought it was just going to be added to gift bags, but after several conversations, our contacts said the title of the bars were so clever and the taste of the bar so well-done, that the bars were to be featured not only in the bags, but also the green rooms. So, how do you get a ticket to the Oscars? 1 Great Brand + 1 Great Product + 1 Great Pitch = In the door. What are you doing lately to get your book, service, product or organization front and center with influencers? This is your place for free tips from the trade. Until my next post, check out media who are looking for sources every day 24/7 at http://www.PitchRate.com
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 ?