NEWS HOOKS So You Want to Be a Billionaire? IHOP, Forbes, Netanyahu and Measles

March 3, 2015

shutterstock_135426902 (2)Show me the money. It’s a famous phrase from a popular movie. I watch that clip and realize in business that’s really what we’re all saying in meetings, is it not? Well, in today’s news it’s no different. Forbes reveals the richest women in the world. It’s a surprising twist on the report. Minorities seem to be their focus this year. Or the young. So, it leaves much for the media to discuss today and you never know, they might be looking for your expertise. Do you know about women’s issues, minority societal challenges or what makes capitalism tick? Perhaps you’re an expert in business and how to grow it? All these industry specialties will be of use to media friends today.

In other news, the measles outbreak is still being covered. Calling all doctors. Still. Parents who have strong opinions about vaccines and health professionals who can weigh in on the ins and outs of keeping our families safe are still needed by media as they take this public conversation all the way to legislation. It’s a natural progression for public conversations. Breaking news, public discourse and then law. You can make the most difference by being heard and then of course, because we live in a democracy, the majority rules.  In fact, challenges facing Congress are reported in the news daily. Today, it’s Israel’s Netanyahu’s Congressional address. If you have political or foreign affairs experience, the media will need your help to present legislative discourse to the American public. Well, foreign media will be covering this too so it’s really a global conversation. If it makes a difference to what you’re up to creating in the world, contact media favorites and let them know you can contribute to the story at large.

Yesterday, I blogged on the power of free. The first news story I heard this morning while making pancakes is how IHOP is giving away pancakes today for charity, an annual campaign they run every year. March 3rd is actually National Pancake Day. We love pancakes at our house, but we only make them from whole wheat. How do you make yours? Gluten-free? Tax benefits to those eating gluten-free is in the news today as well.  There’s that word “free” again. So ironic in a blog post about being a billionaire. Surprising, but hey, if you’re an accountant, tax break expert or a chef, guess what, you can do a media interview today. Talking about pancakes and tax breaks in the same interview? Unusual, but in today’s news, the minority voice trumps majority rule. Let yours be heard over a hot plate of hot cakes.

How to Get Tickets to the Oscars

February 19, 2015

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

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

Do You Bully Media Contacts?

June 10, 2013


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?

Make Your Pitches Fit!

May 14, 2012


Ever wonder how people land earned editorial mentions in major magazines? In this Woman’s Day article Wasabi Publicity client Pamela Yellen discusses not her book and product, “Bank On Yourself” but rather tips couples can use to be ‘financially fit’ in their marriage. See, if you focus on your book or product, media contacts will immediately send you to advertising. That’s fine … if you want to pay for advertising. However, if you’re trying to score the cherished “as quoted by” or if you want to be a go-to media source (which the public perceives as an endorsement), then give the magazine editors and TV producers something they can bite their teeth into: content their readers and viewers will salivate over. So, feed your media contacts a steady dose of ‘fit’ content. Another way of saying it, is educate and entertain them. Give them something that will make them stand-up and move. If you’re pitching angles that make a difference for the media contacts’ audiences, you know your stories are fit … and will be a fit. Happy spinning. This time I mean spinning stories, not Spinning at the gym – which I also love as you know 😉

Want CNN? Share Your Story.

May 11, 2012

A few weeks ago, a compelling story was brought to my attention by former TV producer, Shawne Duperon who scored an amazing article in her local paper, The Detroit Free Press.   I didn’t hesitate to share it with my media contacts over at CNN — Soledad O’Brien’s producers. The segment featured two participants who had taken courses from my client, Landmark Education. The participants had learned how to forgive the unforgivable at Landmark Education and now were exploring how forgiveness hurts and helps in a new documentary. It’s an incredible project and after watching the CNN clip be sure to check out Project Forgive because they’re still raising money.

Want to know about my secrets on how I scored it? Publicity Hound, Joan Stewart, interviewed me about that in this video.

In fact, soon, I’ll be doing a PR Happy Hour on it. So sign up for that at PitchRate so you get alerts on when that’s coming.

Does Your Story Have “Legs?”

February 28, 2012

Does your story have “legs” for the media? It will if you tie it into breaking news of the day. For example, have you noticed how many people are legbombing since Angelina Jolie’s leg bomb at the Oscars on Sunday? Celebrity, seasonal and breaking news tie-ins make your story interesting and usable to the media. It answers the question for them, “Why now?” They need to know why what you’re saying is relevant now. Look, even if you don’t really have a natural tie-in to what’s breaking or seasonal in the news, roll up those pants legs and show some skin. The media will appreciate it. You never know, your interview dance card might even fill-up! Get a leg-up on the competition and follow those trends! My business partner, Drew Gerber, created PitchRate, a free media lead service connecting the media with rated expert sources. It’s also a great place to watch for trends because media ask for interview sources there. So get one step ahead. Okay, too many “leg” puns already? You’re probably right. Okay, let me step aside (hee hee). Show some skin with your media outreach. You can’t go wrong. 🙂

Location, location, location

April 21, 2011

On Tuesday, I got our client Landmark Education mentioned in the Wall Street Journal. Okay, but back up. That’s not a first for my company Wasabi Publicity. Years ago we had Grameen Foundation mentioned in the Wall Street Journal. What is a first, is the article was teased on the front page of the paper above the masthead. You’ve seen those teasers while walking by a daily newspaper kiosk. It’s the article that screams, “You have to buy me. I’m the article that will change your life!” Tuesday’s paper not only screamed, “How to Fight and Stay Friends” but it also had two color photos to boot. See, what you have to understand about newspapers is this … ink is expensive. Ink real estate is everything. Especially in today’s digital, on-demand media world. The editors carefully plan out editorial, advertising, photos and headlines to best attract you, the reader. So the front page above the masthead (ie: the one everyone reads while walking by the kiosks) can arguably be the most valuable “piece of real estate” in a daily newspaper. Additionally, the Wall Street Journal is a significant global paper, not just an American daily. So, for me this is for sure a career-high. I’m so excited for my client and I’m really excited for the columnist. It’s not every day a column or article is teased on the front page like that so it’s just a great placement all the way around. I also loved how the column had interactive videos and illustrations to demonstrate the content and steps. You could have been interviewed for the article too. The request for couple interviews was at our free media lead service PitchRate. Get in relationship with journalists and help them out! They are just looking for that one good story to make their jobs easier. Your story could be the one for them. There are many arguments in the world of PR about how valuable an editorial placement is compared to advertising, but let’s face it. Just like in real estate, location is everything. Whether it’s an ad or an ‘earned media placement’ (ie: editorial coverage), the front page teaser is prime. Color photos, interactive videos and the global reach … well, that just makes the article a ‘must-see.’

Eggs In One Basket?

September 21, 2010

Positioning Your Eggs in the Media’s Baskets
Teleseminar with speaker, author and humorist, Bonnie Lowell

On Tuesday, September 21st, I will coach author, mom and determined entrepreneur, Bonnie Lowell for PitchRate’s PR Happy Hour. Here’s more!

So you’ve spent hours, days, even months, developing your amazing brand for your product, service of book.  Now what?  You’re an expert, right?  But are you struggling to position your platform within the market and find it hard to determine what direction your branding should take?

A former commedienne, Bonnie just gave birth to her new book (minus the nausea and stretch marks): “Maternally Speaking: I gave Birth to Four Eggs! (One Scrambled, Fried, Over Easy & Sunny Side Up).”  All Bonnie needs now is help positioning herself as an expert in the market.

Sound familiar?  Join us on Tuesday for this awesome 40 minute call where you’ll learn:

  • How to broaden your media outreach to place your eggs in several baskets
  • How to make your product, service or book newsworthy
  • How to use powerful PR language to position and add credibility to your platform
  • The best types of media venues for you
  • Publicity advice if your platform is not tip-based
  • How to prepare for an interview
  • And much, much more!

Don’t miss it!

DAY: Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
TIME: 3:00 PM EDT / 12:00 PM PDT
CALL-IN NUMER: 1-219-509-8111


Working With Media For Free

April 20, 2009

Ever wonder what the media is working on and how you can work with them to get mentioned in the news? Check out — it doesn’t cost anything and it’s growing like wild-fire.