Either the Media Interviews Me Monday at Noon- Or it’s Off

You have a busy schedule, you have a job to do, a business to run, products to sell. Your time is valuable. Who do the media think they are? They think that you can just drop whatever you’re doing to do an interview when they want to do it? It’s inconvenient. It’s not fair. Maybe, but it’s reality and if you play it smart, it can pay off for you big time. Although you will usually have time to plan and arrange your schedule to do an interview, there are going to be times that the media wants to do an interview and wants to do it immediately, or wants to schedule it at a time that is inconvenient, or reschedules it at the last minute, forcing you to, once again, change your plans. I had one client tell me that he was willing to appear on the Today Show, but that they had to come to him and that the only available time he had was between 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturday. Needless to see he and I had a long talk.

There may be times that you’re just not going to be able to accommodate the media’s schedule. There are going to be some interviews that you’ll have to miss. But only miss an interview if it’s completely unavoidable – the plague, an alien invasion – you get the picture. You may be annoyed, and you may be angry, but if you can possibly arrange your schedule so that you can make the interview, do it. The press isn’t purposely trying to inconvenience you. You wouldn’t believe the amount of times that an editor or producer has to switch from one story to another on a moment’s notice. A million things can come up, a fire, an international breaking story, a Presidential speech, any number of stories are going to preempt you. This is just the nature of the business. It happens all the time.

It does you no good to take your anger out on the interviewer or the producer. It was not done to harm you. The decision was circumstantial. Always keep your objective in mind. Your objective is to build your business, to create success through media exposure. And you’re going to accomplish your goal by reaching as many people as you can. Your objective is to do those interviews, not to alienate the press. Remember, press begets press. Every interview you do is helping to pave your way to greater success.

For further information visit:
http://www.AnthonyMora.com

Why Press Kits can Backfire

You’ve got it, you’re going to put together a huge, glossy press kit, fill it with bios, press releases, fact sheets, photos, graphs, statistics, brochures, covering everything that ever happened in your life, with every possible bit of information that you have on yourself and your company, and you’re going to send it to every media outlet you can think
of. Interesting plan, if your aim is to throw money away and alienate the media. To begin with, unless you have loads of disposable cash, you’re going to go broke. More importantly, chances are, that it’s going to be incredibly boring, not to mention annoying for the media to receive all that information – information they never requested. Press kits can be effective, but only if they’re used sparingly and shrewdly. Don’t inundate the media with information, and if you’ve hired a firm, don’t give them carte blanche in the matter. Too many PR firms have a tendency to send out press kits en masse. It’s a common practice, but a wasteful one. Also, keep in mind, public relations firms can make a heck of a lot of money charging their clients for high-priced press kits.

Frills and fluff do not make a public relations campaign. Buy yourself some two-pocket folders at any stationery store. Buy a good median-priced folder; you don’t want the most expensive, but you don’t want the cheapest folder either. Inside the folder include copies of any articles or interviews you have appeared in, a fact sheet, a short bio about you and your company, a press release, and any visuals or photos that you believe are important. No fluff, only include the pertinent stuff. That is your press kit. First send a release, make a follow-up call. If a producer or editor asks for a kit, send one, but only to people who have requested it. Be selective. Be smart.

Also, modify your press kit to fit the media that you’re sending to. You may not want to send the same press kit to Time magazine that you would to Runner’s World or Forbes. Be discerning in who you send the kits to and in the materials you include. It will pay off in the long run
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2008
For further information visit:
http://www.AnthonyMora.com

I’m Only Going to Talk About What I Want to Talk About

We all have different expressions, different moods, and different topics we enjoy discussing. None of us have one-note personalities, but so many people try to launch one-note media campaigns. If you adamantly refuse to broaden the scope of your story, I hope your mother’s a good listener, because there aren’t a hell of a lot of other people who you’re going to reach. People who are inflexible, or have a one-note story, usually have failed media campaigns. Why? They’re boring! When people think this way, it’s generally because they erroneously believe that the rest of the world is just as fascinated by their ideas as they are. Well, they’re wrong.

Most people are going to be bored to tears by what you think is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Now that doesn’t mean that the topic is boring, but that your approach is. Remember, your job is to meet the media’s needs. Broaden your scope. Come up with other ways to pitch your story. You’ll be able to talk about your story, but not until you interest the media. And to do that, sometimes you have to use the indirect approach.

If you are a landscaper, you may have to pitch a story that has you critique the pros and cons of the White House grounds. That’s not the story you probably particularly want to address. You want to tell people that you are a wonderful landscaper and that they should hire you, but there’s no story there. By talking about the White House grounds, you have added another dimension. You have raised the stakes. You’re not just discussing how to landscape Joe Blow’s home, you’re outlining how to best landscape the First Family’s home. These are grounds that everyone has seen (at least in photos or TV) and can relate to. More importantly, you are establishing yourself as an expert in your field.

Be open to new ideas, brainstorm. Come up with as many ideas as you can. Let them be as crazy as you want – don’t edit yourself. Now review your list and start to edit out the ideas that don’t work. Formulate two or three new story angles. Write them up as releases. Broadening your scope will help ensure your success.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2008
For further information visit:
http://www.AnthonyMora.com

I Know What the Media Wants

The media wants stories, but beyond that, not even the media knows what they want. They are constantly searching, trying out new stories, coming up with new ideas. You have to study the various media outlets, review the different formats, study the types of stories they’ve run in the past. No one knows what the media wants because what they want is constantly changing. Don’t take for granted you are some kind of media maven and that you know more than everyone else does. Remember, you’re going to succeed by learning how the media thinks, not by assuming you think they know what they want. You have to prepare, do your homework, study the various media outlets. The bottom line is a good story, but don’t assume because you find a story of interest, the media will like it as well. Nine times out of ten, you’re going to be wrong. Think like an editor, think like a producer. Once again, work backwards. Look at the particular media you are targeting. Who is the audience? What is the basic age range? Does it appeal to primarily men or women? What type of stories does it generally run? Now
put yourself in the place of the editor or producer – how could you fit a story on your business, product, or talent into the format of that media outlet? What story would work? What would the focus be?

For example, let’s say that you are a fashion designer of men’s clothing. GQ and Esquire
would be natural media outlets to approach. You would need to come up with a hook that makes you and your designs special, but you know that with a little persistence and creativity you should be able to place a piece in those publications. What about Vogue? Why not? You could pitch a piece on yourself as the new up-and-coming designer who is reshaping the future of men’s fashion, or a piece, aimed towards women, on how to dress the man in their life. Let’s say you wanted to go to The Wall Street Journal. Okay, pitch a story on dressing for success in the ’90s, or an article on the business of fashion, or the inside workings of the fashion industry. Pitch the media according to its needs, not according to yours. Assume that the story you are dead-set on telling isn’t all that interesting to anyone besides yourself. Now, be creative, give it a spin. Give it a make-over. Make it newsworthy.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2008
For further information visit:
http://www.AnthonyMora.com

I Don’t Want PR; I Just Want to be Successful

A lot of people have resistance to launching a public relations campaign and doing media. They don’t want to do interviews, they don’t want to be “stars,” they just want their business to be successful. If you feel that way, ask yourself what you’re willing to do to be successful. Are you willing to utilize the most powerful marketing tool available? Are you willing to take risks, utilize the magic of the media, and give your business a real chance for success?

Effective media placement isn’t about wanting to be a star or wanting to appear on the media – it’s about success. It’s about establishing yourself as an expert in your field and zooming beyond your competition. Media relations is a creative, effective, relatively inexpensive, and dynamic way to achieve success. You are not positioning yourself as a “star” or an entertainer, but as an expert in your field. You are establishing yourself as an invaluable resource for the media. You probably don’t like to pay the bills, or do the books, or purchase supplies, but you do it because it’s part of doing business. It is a part of your bottom line. Media placement should also be an integral part of that equation. You do it because you want to be successful. Period.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2008
For further information visit:
http://www.AnthonyMora.com

I Can’t Use National Media

We live in the information age. If you’re resourceful and inventive enough, you can come up with an interesting story, hook, or idea that will interest the national media. I know you think that you could never garner national media – your story’s simply not exciting enough. But you’re wrong; you can interest the national media. No, you’re probably thinking that even if you could land some national stories, you have no possible use for national media, so what difference does it make? It would just be a waste of time and money for you. You’re based in a little town called Nowhere Ville, USA, so what good would a story that hits all fifty states do you? It’s obvious I just don’t understand your needs.

Well, let’s see. As to your first point, that you don’t have a story that could interest the
national media: why not? Why couldn’t you generate national interest in your story?
Remember everyone who is quoted in Time magazine, or interviewed on the Today show lives and works in some local town or city. Take a look at all of the possible angles available. What makes your story different, unique? Is there some trend or new breakthrough in your field that affects not only your particular business, but your profession as a whole? Are there other similar types of businesses or professionals that you can help weave into your story to give it a broader appeal? Study all of the possibilities. Give your story a wider, more national scope.

Why would you want to garner any national, if you only have a local business? People aren’t going to fly in from around the country to use your plumbing service, or buy insurance from you, or try the newest item on your menu, are they? Maybe, but probably not. So then, is national a waste? Most people will probably tell you so. Most people will tell you to stay local, because that’s where your bread and butter is.

So why am I telling you to pitch the national press? Because, as I mentioned earlier, a national story IS a local story, but one that will nationally establish you as an expert in your field. You will be able to put your media credits in your press releases and bios and, most importantly, national media can help drive your local media through the roof.
Let’s say that you land a thirty-second quote on CNN. Now what? You move as quickly as possible and let your local media outlets know that you were recently featured on CNN. Heck, that in and of itself is news. Believe me, nothing impresses the media more than media. Now you’re national news and you’re in a position to garner local news. National media feeds the local media. It takes some thought, work, and persistence, but the rewards can be incredible.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2008
For further information visit:
http://www.AnthonyMora.com

The Public Relations Grand Slam

One of the primary reasons people become disenchanted with public relations is because of what I call the grand slam mentality. Too many people believe that next TV interview or magazine article is going to be “it”. It’s going to change their lives. That one story will turn it all around. All of their problems will be over. Millions will pour in, they’ll be able to move to the Bahamas and retire. Well, it doesn’t happen that way. So you best come back to earth with the rest of us. You are launching a professional media relations campaign, not playing the lottery. I have had clients who have called, furious that their appearance on a national talk show or in a national magazine did not result in thousands of calls. One particular client was especially disappointed when her national TV spot only resulted in a couple of hundred calls in two days. Personally I thought a couple of hundred calls off one segment, in that amount of time, was great. Even though those calls paid for my service many times over, they did not fulfill her grand slam expectations. It was not the super-jackpot, over-night, life-altering event
she had hoped for.

Then again, grand slams do happen. There is the other side of the coin. Sometimes you’ll hit a home run when you least expect it. Be prepared. There are times when, what you think will be a small piece will turn into a major article or TV segment. So, even though you don’t spend your time dreaming of hitting a grand slam, you had better prepare for when you hit one.

Not long ago I worked with a small, struggling company that barely made enough to stay
afloat. We were able to place what turned out to be a seven-minute segment on their product on a national TV program. The segment was perfect. We couldn’t have done a better job of presenting the product in a positive light ourselves. Well, the piece struck a chord. It hit, and hit big. Calls poured in from all over the country. The demand was overwhelming, so much so that their phone lines blew. They were not prepared to capitalize on what could have been a grand slam. Still, although they were unable to take full advantage, it did launch their business.

The moral is, you never know. So, do your best, get the interviews done, and then let ‘em go. If it’s not exactly what you wanted, it has added to your PR resume. It did its job. Use that one quote, or that one sentence, or whatever you come away with, in your press releases, and bios. PR is a cumulative process, use what you can from each media placement and keep moving forward.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2008
For further information visit:
http://www.AnthonyMora.com

The PR Journey

Now that you have experienced some success and have a basic sense of the inner workings of media relations, chances are you’re about to fall prey to one or more myths. You see, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Because you understand some of the basics of media relations, don’t assume you are now a Media Ph.D. People tend to overlook the fact that this is a subtle business. In public relations, often what appears to be the obvious decision is the wrong decision. What makes it especially difficult is that everyone thinks that they know all there is to know about it. You will be given advice from your neighbors, co-workers, pastors, janitors, clients, patients, relatives – you name it.

When I was I journalist, I worked for one particular publisher who had a tendency to listen to, and take advice from, any and everyone he met. When he went to lunch, I used to pray that the elevator would be empty and that he’d go for drive-through fast food where no one would talk to him. If he spoke to a waitress, a salesperson, or a stranger in an elevator, he would invariably call me into his office and propose that we implement some revolutionary suggestions that he had been given. Never mind that nine times out of ten these changes were totally inappropriate, they were dynamic, new – revolutionary!

People love to give advice, whether they know what they’re talking about or not. Remember, these people who tell you exactly how you should run your business have nothing at stake, which is why they can afford to make such definitive and authoritative pronouncements. So, when these know-it-alls give you advice, smile, listen, maybe even nod, but stay on course.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2008
For further information visit:
http://www.AnthonyMora.com

I’m Not Interesting Enough to be in the Media

Sure, the media interviewed you once, but that was just a fluke. You’re too bland, too shy, your business is too dull, no one is going to care about anything you have to say. Why should you even bother trying public relations? It’ll never work anyway.

I’m sure that there are some businesses that shouldn’t utilize public relations. I suppose that if you’re in the cloak-and-dagger field, you don’t want to broadcast it all over the country. But it’s essential for the majority of people who can utilize the media to build their business, for entrepreneurs who want to start a new company or launch a new product, professionals who want to market their service, physicians who want to increase their practice, or artists who want to showcase their talents. Just about all of us fall into one of those categories. If you do, and you want to utilize the power of effective public relations, stop thinking negatively. Everyone is interesting, every business is interesting, every field has compelling stories to tell. Remember, you are the only you around. No one does what you do quite like you do it. Whether you know it, or even want to believe it, you’re an original, you’re unique. So start viewing yourself that way.

Think of your business as a separate entity that deserves respect and caring. Start treating
yourself and your business that way, and others will begin to react accordingly. In time, you’ll start to internalize that sense of respect and success. You’ll start to feel it yourself. I know it’s hard, but don’t let a poor self image or lack of self-esteem keep you from achieving your dreams. Don’t let your fears and doubts stop you. Remember, no matter how confident some people seem, everybody’s afraid of not being interesting enough or not being success material. We’re all success material. Part of achieving success is working through those doubts and fears.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2008
For further information visit:
http://www.AnthonyMora.com

The PR Advantage

 

McGraw Hill did a study and found those businesses that boosted their public relations, marketing and advertising during a recession grew 275% over the 5 years proceeding. However, those businesses that cut back, if they were still in business, only grew 19%.  That’s pretty striking.  It doesn’t take a genius to see that the worst business decision you can make, particularly in tough times, is to cut back your marketing efforts.

The beauty of PR is that any media coverage you land, is media you can then promote.  Let’s say you never receive one call as a result of a magazine article.  It’s still valuable.  You just need to work it.  Become the story’s distributor – and I mean distributor in the most basic sense- circulate your story, spread the word, mention the story in your biography and fact sheet, use it when pitching other stories, let other media outlets know that you were featured in the article.  Duplicate it and use it as a press sample.  Use quotes from the story in your mailers, newsletters, ads, and marketing to help you cement your existing client base.  If you have employees, distribute it through your company as a form of internal publicity.  If used correctly, you can turn this article into a most powerful marketing tool.

 

That article can be used to pitch a producer land you your next TV interview.  There is a wide range of ways that your media can be utilized to help build and grow your business.  PR offers unique advantages; you become the trusted expert, your product or service becomes the news.  But none of these advantages will serves you if you don’t start the process.  Remember the McGraw Hill study.  A business is never going to stand still it’s either going to grow or shrink.  The choice is yours.

 

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2008

For further information visit:
www.AnthonyMora.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 208 other followers

%d bloggers like this: