Oh Where Oh Where Has My Blogger Gone?

March 3, 2015

Moving SignI’m a creature of habit. I’ve held onto this blog since I was in Peru blogging in 2008. So, while I’ve been reluctant to move from this comfortable blog spot, my support team tells me there is outdated technology here. Like an old blankie, I’m keeping it to peruse old memories, tips and clips. However, if you’d like to see my current blog posts, head over to Wasabi Publicity or Huffington Post where I’m putting to use my masters degree in human development, undergraduate degree in theater and my 25 years experience as an in-the-trenches publicist. Yes, I’ve seen PR transition from typewriters to Twitter. I’m that old. I’ve been writing since my 20’s when I won awards for what I wrote so I don’t anticipate not writing any time soon. (Probably not the most award-worthy sentence I’ve ever written. LOL.) As long as I have an audience, I’ll have something to say (wink). Oh, if you’re into my personal vlog, check it out at YouTube where I have a visual audience who hears about the Spinning classes I teach to beat blogger butt rather than the stories I’m spinning. I love what I do and want to continue to share it with you so follow me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and any new social media site that’s hot-to-trot these days.

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How to Get Tickets to the Oscars

February 19, 2015

Oscars
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


Winter Do’s

March 20, 2014

Sirius XM US News and World ReportCold 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.

Michelle Tennant Nicholson Fire Jump Spartan Race

Michelle Tennant Nicholson Fire Jump Spartan Race

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.Today Show Logo Costco Connection


CBS Los Angeles

August 30, 2013

CBS Los Angeles

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!


Do You Bully Media Contacts?

June 10, 2013

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E-Bullying is in the news and it made me think. Do you bully media friends? How do I know e-bullying is a hot news topic? We got the topic and our client (an adult bullying expert) in USA Today last Friday. Read the article. So do you? I’m sure you’ll say, “I never bully my media friends?!?!” Well, let’s take a look and see. We’ve been doing media relations for more than two decades. I still get clients who say, “Find out from that reporter when that story is going to run. Geez, we’ve only sent them tons of pitches and angles. Why the heck aren’t they writing about me? I’m so tired of waiting.” What’s wrong with that, you ask? After all, they have been waiting. Well, let’s look at another common stance business people take with the media. “This is the most important piece of information ever. You (media people) are stupid if you don’t cover this with your viewers, readers and listeners.” And my favorite through the years, “I have no competition. That’s why that TV host would want to have me on her show. There’s no one like me. Tell her that when you pitch me as an expert source.”

What’s the common thread? I’m sure many of you are reading this, thinking, well, that’s all true for me. Is it? See, the media is not in business to talk about you. I know, I know. It’s the hard truth and you may not want to hear that. I mean, after all your book was published just six months ago — that’s still news, right? Wrong. To think their job is to cover you, your news and if you think you have no competition, then you might be a media bully. I say this because if you begin your media relations with your communications being “all about you” you’re actually “powering on” the media. Work with the media – not like you’re entitled to be covered. That’s just dominating the media relationship. Like a bully “powers on” his or her victims online or in person, the same dynamic can exist with media friends. They already have assignments from their bosses. Their readers, viewers and listeners impact what they write, broadcast and talk about. Not you. Not your news. Not your book — whenever it was, is or will be published.

Now, you might be lucky enough to reach them at the perfect time they’re seeking an expert on a topic they’re currently researching. This is the only reason to do media relations — so when they are seeking an expert in your industry, they think of you first! That’s what happened when I pitched Carol-Anne Steringa, adult bully expert, to this columnist. That’s why she was mentioned in the column. It’s all about timing and service. The columnist was already writing about work-place issues and thought, yes, I could use Carol-Anne’s insights on bullying; I was already thinking of doing that topic. We didn’t “bully” Andrea Kay into covering Carol-
Anne because of her expertise, tips, special reports and new website. We were polite in our emails and through the process, Andrea had many questions and requests for in-depth explanations. We were always happy to serve, be friendly and give her more no matter what. At no time did we ever get rude or expect her to cover or not cover our agenda. The relationship was mutually beneficial and a “win-win.” Never a power-on or dominating — making the other person wrong. In my 20+ years of doing PR, I’ve seen so many experts and sources get mad or angry with a media person for what or what they don’t do. Or, what they ask or don’t ask. Remember, with media it’s all about THEM not all about YOU. So, ask yourself. Did you lose your last earned editorial mention because you “powered-on” your media friend? If you’ve ever emailed something like, “Why didn’t you quote me this way or that?” Or, “Hey, why didn’t you get back to me — it’s been over three weeks.” Or, “I already answered that before, why are you asking me that again?” That’s being a bit of a media bully.

So, relax. The media doesn’t work for you. You serve them. Bullying won’t get you anywhere. So, have fun with your media friends and you might just be surprised you’re mentioned at all. Good luck. Good relations!

PS: One last thought: If you simply want to control your message, go purchase advertising. Don’t do earned media relations. Bullies can control their messages in advertising; never with editorial coverage. But you’re not a bully, now are you?


End-Of-Year; End-Of-Time Media Pitching

December 11, 2012
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Drew Gerber & Michelle Tennant, co-founders Wasabi Publicity, Inc.

Drew Gerber and Michelle Tennant Nicholson (me) recently had new photos taken. Write & let us know if you like the photo in this post. I asked people on my Facebook account and 50+ people loved it while two had reservations because the photo shows us too close. “Perhaps people will think you’re married,” said one. Sometimes I feel more married to my business partner, Drew, than my husband, Shannon. So, I’ve chosen to keep the shot. Right? In the end, you gotta call your own shots. {{snicker}} Also, it’s the end-of-the-year and I wanted to be sure to wish everyone a Happy Holiday. As it turns out, it’s also the end-of-time according to Mayan calendars. So, if the world were to end this month, what would you wish you had done but not completed yet? Write it down. Just in case we do get to 2013, a great thing to plan is pitching magazines three to six months in advance. Perhaps you always wanted to be featured in a glossy national magazine but haven’t yet. Well, don’t delay. Magazines are already working on spring 2013. What fabulous story idea do you have for them? Simply contact your favorite magazine through their website and give them the idea. They actually want to hear from their loyal readers and fans. That’s how they’re currently getting their story ideas. So, share yours! For me, I’m planning my annual New Year’s theme for 2013: freedom. In 2012, my theme: unstoppable. Was I unstoppable? Well, after ten years on the back-burner, I completed my masters degree in human development (got the paper and now I’m free), did a Vision Quest with my spiritual community, ran/paddled/biked a 4 hour triathlon (one that actually scared me to finish) and landed prize placements with Anderson Cooper, GQ Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, More Magazine, and endless spots with ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. I will need to take on something new for 2013 and to usher in “freedom” I’ve started a macrobiotic diet, meditating daily and plan to get my yoga certification (just for fun). Plus, there’s a trip to Budapest in-the-works. Freedom includes living anywhere in the world and working. So, that’s what’s cooking over here … even though the end-of-the-world may be upon us. What are you doing to make the most of your day, month and year? Today, this month and every year? I hope it includes letting the media you love know what you’re up to. I know I love hearing from you. Happy days-to-come to one and all.


Superhero

November 29, 2012

Most people who hire publicists are at the top of their field. However, even industry superheroes have kryptonite aka over-promotion during interviews.

One of the biggest challenges for publicists is to teach clients the media’s pet peeves. After executing PR campaigns for the past twenty years, one thing I know for sure about messaging is leading with education will make you a go-to expert, but promoting your product during an interview will kill your media superpowers faster than a speeding bullet.

Here are three ways to be sure your messaging will soar above the others so you (or your client) remain a go-to media superhero (as seen in the article I wrote for PR News’ Media Training Guidebook): 1) Be the expert. 2) Educate. 3) Tie-in news. Read the whole article here.