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Your 12-Month Publicity Plan: Right Resolutions for You

Resources I mentioned:

Get Your 12-Month Publicity Plan + 40+ Magazine Editorial Calendars + The 100 Word Email that Can Get The Media to Call You.

Magazine Editorial calendars 2018

40+ Magazine Editorial calendars

Social scientist BJ Fogg has a system to develop desired habits, called Tiny Habits.

Enjoy delicious anti-aging dark chocolate and youthify without pain, surgery or injections.

Anti-aging Dark Chocolate

Esthechoc Anti-aging Dark Chocolate

Time your productivity and reward yourself with the Focus Booster app

Temptation Bundling: The thing I couldn’t remember when you link something onerous that you don’t want to do with something pleasurable that you love.

What I repeat every day: Open my path before me, and grant me the opportunity to be of maximum good in the world. ~Caroline W. Casey

I forgot the mention my favorite Instagram feed. This one always makes me laugh and feel good. So if you’re feeling low, and like everything is just too darn much, head over here for a jolt of joy. Then once uplifted you can move forward.

self-esteem

Still thinking about your New Years’ Resolutions? Some more things to ponder from past years here and here.


My Radio Show Disaster

I just did a radio interview and totally muffed it.

It was a huge disaster.

I didn’t take my own advice – and even some of the advice I’d planned to talk about – on how to interrupt someone!

I completely forgot in the moment.

Here’s what happened…

The phone rang on my landline. There was music. Then the host came on and shared a short bio about me. He didn’t mention the topic of the interview – which he had requested: 5 Essential Assertiveness Skills Your Daughter Needs to Know to Become an Entrepreneur/Executive Tomorrow.

Long story short he first told me the advice I gave was essential full of sh-t. But he misinterpreted my answer and I couldn’t understand what he was asking me or what he objected to. His questions made no sense. Then he went on a tirade, actually about five of them, about how bad parents were. How both parents were terrible human beings because they both worked and let their kids run wild. And that kids today were cr-ap too. I had to disagree and did so a number of times.

I got in 2 out of 5 of my points in 35 minutes. Not a good track record.

I’ve done dozens of radio and TV interviews, but I was still at a loss of how to break in to his blitherings that went all over the place – and had nothing to do with our topic.

My advice to myself, clients and course participants after every interview? Review it and note what you did well and what you could improve next time. And be kind to yourself (I need work here, too). Boy do I have a long list of improvements.

There is so much to learn about pitching the media, following up, and then being a great guest. The kind of guest that your audience and the media loves. And there are more opportunities than ever for you to be a part of the good news, sharing your advice, your perspective, your opinion and how your products, courses or consulting can help others.

Here is my advice on how to be kind to yourself and consistently get better every media appearance.


6 Weird Ways to Get a Reporter’s Attention For Your Business

Guest post by Victoria Green

Getting media attention – especially the right kind of attention – is something of an art. Whether you’re a celebrity, a business owner, or a politician, it’s all about finding an angle. And not just that – you have to be able to get a reporter’s attention in the first place. This can be easier said than done.

Bear in mind that reporters and media journalists are solicited hundreds of times a day. Their email inboxes are virtually overflowing. So if you want their attention, you need to go about it in the right way. You need to stand out from the crowd – even if that means taking an unconventional approach.

With this in mind, here are 6 weird ways to get a reporter’s attention. (See also: 9 Steps to Be a Thought Leader — and Become a Media Darling).

Start with Google

Google is an amazing resource to unearth useful information about the reporter, what they cover, and how they like to be approached.

A good place to start your ‘Googleathon’ is social media. See how they interact with others online, and whether they regularly interact with others pitching them ideas. You can also look to their work bio to see if they specify preferences.

There are different schools of thought on the best way to approach a reporter with an idea for a story. They may prefer email, Twitter, or a good old-fashioned phone call. In the unlikely event that they aren’t present on social media, you can defer to phone or email.

HOT TIP: look out for any pet peeves they regularly complain about. Take note as well of the current issues that they’re tweeting or retweeting. See if there’s any common ground you can use to help build a connection. Maybe you have a product that might help? Or maybe you feel the same way about a social issue?

Ultimately, if you already have a feel for the reporter and what s/he likes and dislikes, you have a better chance of reaching out to them successfully.

Weird ways to get media attention. source: pexels

Take a lesson From Tinder

The more I think about it, the more I realize that attempting to reach out and get the attention of a reporter is much like modern dating. Thanks to online dating, we often have a chance to find out about someone before we decide to approach them. When we do decide to make a move, the opening line is critical.

Tinder lines can be hilariously terrible. They can also be downright dull. Mastering the art of a good opener is paramount if you’re serious about looking for love online. And if you’re serious about getting your story picked up by the media, then it’s equally crucial.

‘Hey, how are you?’ is a great way to get ignored by a journalist. It does nothing to spark their curiosity. It lacks creativity and fails to disclose your reason for getting in touch.

Powerful subject lines for an opening email are:

  • Concise
  • Engaging
  • Unambiguous
  • Personalized
  • Value-driven

Remember, your pitch must immediately rouse the reporter’s interest. An effective subject line really is half the challenge. Check out these top 10 email subject line formulas for inspiration. You  may be surprised to learn that in some cases, “profanity f*cking works”.

Journalists also love data — so put your best foot forwards and give them some awesome data for free. Running an ecommerce business? Why not send out some surveys to your customers via social media and email to find out more about their habits? From family life and holidays, to food habits and leisure — there are plenty of useful insights and stories lurking out there.

Play it cool

Yep – the online dating metaphor still stands. When you’re building a relationship with a reporter, timing is important. Journalists are busy people with full schedules, and your clinginess will not be appealing to them.

Be respectful of what the reporter already has on their plate. Realize that when you send them a pitch, they’re probably not going to be able to respond right away – unless you’re very lucky and caught them at exactly the right moment. Give them at least a few days to respond before following up.

If the story is especially time-sensitive, then you need to make this clear when you reach out to them first time around. Conveying urgency is another great way to get a reporter’s attention.

weird ways to get a reporter’s attention. source: pexels

Send them a video

Video is changing how we create and consume news. Journalists know it, and if you can help them source quality video content, then they’re going to be very happy with you indeed. Here in 2017, video content represents 74% of all internet traffic (Source).

So if you want to give your story a boost and make it more likely to hit the headlines, consider sending a video along with your pitch. 4X as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it – and the same goes for news stories. News publications love video because it encourages readers to stay on the page for longer.

Making a vaguely professional-looking video doesn’t have to be hard. There are lots of great apps out there for making videos, including iMovie, PowerDirector, and LumaFusion.

Be willing to let it go

With time stacked against them, most reporters will probably require a follow-up a few days after you’ve pitched them your story. In most instances, they’ll probably appreciate the reminder — always with added ‘new’ information that’s of value to them — not, “Did you get my email about…”.

However, if you’ve already chased them a couple of times and received nothing but stony silence in return, you might need to try a different approach, angle, or twist on the topic. You can also ask if your pitch might be a better fit with someone else at their organization.

The risk is that you may not necessarily get the answer you’re looking for. But by putting it out there in a gentle way, such as “seems like this wasn’t a perfect fit for you – unless I hear otherwise, I will run a different idea by you soon.

If you are looking to promote something time-sensitive like a product launch or a new ecommerce venture, you are going to have to plan ahead and be mindful of editorial deadlines you can tell them that you’re offering it to them first. And if they pass you can move on to the next top person on your media list. Whether you build a store from the ground up, or invest in a readymade one, make sure that your branding and content is on-point enough to appeal to busy journos. A good pitch from a badly formulated brand may go to waste — so make sure you cover all bases.

Go bananas

Of course, if all else fails, and you really will stop at nothing to get that reporter’s attention, you can try one the following:

  • Hire a banana costume and do a little dance outside their office window
  • Pay a movie theater to play a pre-recorded video of your pitch after the ads at a movie you know they’re going to see (because they posted about it on social media)
  • Accidentally bump into them on the bus while holding a basket of kittens
  • Heroically save them from falling into a pond

Disclaimer: These methods are not tried and tested. I hold no responsibility for them going wrong.

via GIPHY

We need the attention of reporters for all sorts of reasons. Maybe you’re trying to make a story or piece of content go viral. Perhaps you just bought an online business and you want brand coverage. Possibly you’ve found yourself in the public’s bad books, and you need a bit of good publicity. Whatever the reason, it helps to know how to go about it. Hopefully these suggestions have been useful.

Got any other great ideas? Let us know!

Victoria GreeneVictoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer.

Vicky is a freelance writer and ecommerce marketing consultant. She loves being part of the brand growth hacking process and producing real, measurable results. In her spare time, Vicky shares her knowledge by writing for a variety of digital publications.


5 Best Pitching Tips From Journalists and Producers

I had no idea what I was in for when I attended the National Publicity Summit in New York City.
publicity summit

National Publicity Summit NYC

Here’s what happened….

Steve Harrison talked for a bit about how to approach journalists and producers to get the best results.

Then dozens of them (from the Today Show to Dr. Oz) filed into the room and each told us what was most important for them. How they wanted to be pitched, their pet peeves, and ideas about how to get their attention.

After that they marched into another room and then we all stood in line for the media we had chosen to pitch them for 2.5 minutes each. Whoa! Mind spin! Eureka!

pitching tips from journalists

How to pitch the media

Here are the 5 Best Pitching Tips From Journalists and Producers:

1. Prove you’re an expert.

Some producers of major TV shows wanted 3-5 words in the subject line shows you are an expert for your topic. Example: “Female pediatrician from Chicago… FILL IN YOUR IDEA HERE.

Many asked me to be sure to link to my media appearances when I followed up with them. While others told me that they could see that I’d make a good guest — by the way I pitched them in person.

Remember that we get who you are in just 1/4 of a second — a blink of an eye — called thin slicing. The next 30 seconds is proof of an initial impression—which will be proven out in your demo video on your press kit page. Make sure you have one.

TV appearance

National TV appearance demo video

2. Be available immediately.

One journalist bemoaned the fact that he often received email pitches he was interested in, but when he responded immediately with a call he was greeted with…silence. No one answered his call. No one called right back. We often think we’re an incredible, irreplaceable expert. But that’s just not true.

Since journalists are often on demanding deadlines they can’t necessarily wait for the most qualified source. “Be available the same day you send the email,” he advised. “The person who answers the phone first gets in the story.”

3. Create controversy.

Can you make a “fight” sheet? A series of statements where you state why you disagree with the status quo or something another expert said? There is a time to be inflammatory — if it’s true to your brand. Taking a strong stand sets you apart from others fast.

4. Know the production schedule/editorial calendar.

Producers and editors want you to suggest ideas for upcoming shows/articles they’re working on and to be aware of what has already aired/been published. Don’t pitch a story that’s been done!

You can find out what the producers are looking for by searching the “Be on the show” link on many major shows like Dr. Oz. You can find the yearly editorial calendars for magazines on their individual websites. Remember that magazines plan 3-6 months out.

5. Continue connecting.

I can’t tell you how many of the 150 journalists and producers mentioned that it was important to continue to connect with them. Often times your pitch isn’t an exact fit for the time or topic. But it could be in the future. The never ending news cycle gives you a daily opportunity to tweak your topic to fit into whatever happened that day or week.

You may need to reach out 5-10 or more times before your idea lands. When I was a publicist what worked was to be top of mind by staying in touch with a consistent stream of ideas – and then to call when breaking news happened. I often booked my clients this way — simply by staying in touch.

Also, put in your pitch that you’re willing to be a last minute guest. Be ready to hop on a plane to be in a TV studio or call on your landline for a radio show. Guests get waylaid for all kinds of reasons, including something as simple as the weather.

Rick Young, a Madison Square Boxer turned radio host, (who pulled out O’Sensei’s the founder of Aikido’s book The Art of Peace, in his backpack when I told him I was a black belt in Aikido) said, “Start from here you are. Go after your dream. J.K. Rowling started from somewhere. There was a time when we didn’t know who she was. Everyone starts from a time when we didn’t know who they were.”

Oh, and here is the video about nothing Michelle Tennant and I made for you on our lunch break at the summit.


8 Things Donald Trump Can Teach Us About Courting Publicity

Guest Post By Victoria Greene

It’s fair to say that America is a fairly divided place right now, with wildly differing ideas about what’s right and wrong. Whatever your views, our blundering, boastful President does seem to have mastered one thing, and that’s showmanship. As he appoints more than a few questionable characters to office, many of us remain distracted by the latest inflammatory statements he’s made on Twitter, or by what’s going on with Celebrity Apprentice. As intelligent entrepreneurs and business owners, here are 8 lessons we can learn from his strengths and weaknesses when it comes to courting publicity.

PR is rooted in positive relationships

Most CEOs respect PR, or at least understand its function. Whatever their feelings towards it, they accept that in positions of high power or visibility, it is necessary. For better or worse, Trump is not most CEOs.

Donald has yet to realize that at the root of PR is a carefully tended network of positive relationships, built on clear and transparent communication. He mistakenly considers himself an ‘expert’ PR person, despite his total lack of tact, sensitivity, or awareness. Let’s not forget, he appointed a hedge fund manager to run his communications office.

For the life of him, Trump cannot seem to hold on to a PR chief, and the reason is quite simple – no self-respecting, professional PR person wants to work for a boss who thinks he can do better, and who will publicly shame you for trying to do your job.

How to apply: Dale Carnegie says in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People: “If You Want to Gather Honey, Don’t Kick Over the Beehive”. In other words, an aggressive approach will get you nowhere. He also says that “Winning friends begins with friendliness” – another simple yet oft forgotten pearl of wisdom. Take a look at this list of the 100 Most Trusted People in America. They are well-liked, charismatic, and many of them are actors. Interestingly, none of them are TV bullies.

Sometimes you need to take an unconventional approach

Some believe that Richard Nixon lost the 1960 presidential race due to his poor TV presence, compared to JFK, who understood the power of the medium. Trump is, of course, no stranger to television, having perhaps more experience with it than any other presidential candidate in history. Throughout his election campaign, he consistently eschewed conventional politics in favor of sensationalism and sound bites, in contrast to Hillary’s more measured approach.

What’s more, while Clinton worked to secure votes across all demographics, Trump lasered in on a specific target audience – white, working class men who had been feeling less represented under the previous Democrat government. In marketing we are often advised to ‘find our niche’, and it seems that the same could be true of politics.

How to apply: There are lots of ways to get unconventional with PR, though it’s no guarantee that just because your campaign is unconventional, it will be a success. From publicity stunts and viral videos, to riding trends and putting out crowdsourcing content, the internet has made it much easier to be imaginative. Check out these Timeless Creative PR Ideas.

If you fake it, you’ll probably get found out

Earlier in Trump’s career, several New York reporters spoke with a John Miller or a John Barron – two supposed PR men who sounded suspiciously like Trump himself. Miller and Barron were particularly insightful, sharing detailed explanations for Trump’s actions and love life, all the while presenting him in the most favorable light possible. You can read the full transcript of one of John Miller’s interviews here.

Of course, these strangely forthcoming sources were none other than Trump himself, and if you read or listen to the interviews, it is startlingly, ridiculously apparent. At one point, he even forgets to speak in the third person. The lesson here? It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: don’t pose as your own publicist and expect to get away with it. Oh – and the tan isn’t real either.

How to apply: It’s fairly straightforward really – just be honest and authentic about who you are and what you do. If you don’t fake it in the first place, you don’t get found out. Lance Armstrong was a celebrated road racing cyclist who many people admired, until the doping scandal came out. Likewise, Tonya Harding was a famous figure skater, whose career was left in tatters after she hired a thug to break her rival’s leg. The public hates a cheater, so keep your record squeaky clean.

You must be willing to listen to advice

PR professionals are much like counselors. Their job is to advise the client on the most effective approach to communications, if they want to achieve certain goals. They are a valuable asset to the team, and a smart client will realize the importance of listening to their advice, even if they end up taking a slightly different course of action. A sensible business owner will involve their PR person in all big-picture discussions.

The thing about Trump is, he really doesn’t want anyone’s advice. He wants to do his own thing and he thinks he’s got PR sussed. When Spicer worked at the White House, he griped about his limited access to the President, yet was still blamed when things went wrong.

How to apply: Benjamin Franklin said that “wise men don’t need advice – fools won’t take it”. If you’re attempting to navigate the choppy waters of publicity, it’s better to do it with a legitimate expert at your side. Part of a PR practitioner’s role is to train their clients to effectively face the media, as well as making their client’s reputation as strong as possible. Ultimately, they help to keep you focused and moving towards your goals – with the force of the media on side.

The celebrity phenomenon

Whether your feelings towards Trump are mild or extreme, it can’t be denied that he is something of a sensation. For better or worse (and likely worse), we’ve never had a figure quite like him on America’s political stage. We now live firmly in a culture of celebrity, and Trump – a longstanding TV star and populist bigmouth – is known by everyone. It shouldn’t really come into the equation when you’re running for President – yet it does.

Why? Because with their deity-like status, we listen to what celebrities have to say. So in 21st century America, should we be surprised that a celebrity has managed to become President? It’s wall-to-wall (pun intended) publicity, be it good or bad. Whether you love or despise Trump, he remains a popular topic of conversation – and that’s just what he wants.

How to apply: So how can you find ways to keep people interested in you? To enjoy the kind of engagement that Trump gets online and in the media, it’s all about being engaging and having a stance or opinion that people relate to. Today’s consumers are discerning about which brands deserve their time and attention. Don’t be afraid to start discussions, and fan the flames to keep them going. Experiment to find out what resonates with your audience, and mix up your timing, language, and use of imagery.

He tells it like (he thinks) it is

Trump doesn’t speak the political tongue. Everybody knows that – just look at his Twitter feed. Instead, he seems to say whatever comes into his head, without much of a filter to speak of. Agree with him or not, you always get the jist of what he’s saying. Some politicians do themselves a disservice when they speak in political jargon, alienating the less articulate voters.

Honestly counts for something in PR, even – or especially – if that honesty is controversial. Trump’s followers love him for his willingness to tackle any subject, in particular those that more seasoned politicians dance around.

Why is this so appealing? Because we value people who give us perspective on things that matter in our culture. In other words, we love someone with a strong opinion. And Trump – well, he is big orange hot air balloon of opinions.

How to apply: We want your perspective on what matters to you and why it’s important to your audience. Your strong opinion about a topic you care about sets you apart from your competitors who may have a different take – and sets you up as a thought leader. News shows are made up of people proffering different opinions on a topic then backing those opinions with facts, research, or other evidence.

Pick an enemy (or several)

Branding experts will often tell you to identify an enemy and position against them. That enemy doesn’t have to be a person, it could be a system, a state of the world, an injustice, or an opinion. The world’s top brands all have distinct enemies – and Trump is a brand too.

At this point, Trump has made many enemies, and he has a habit of calling them out and going after them. Choosing an enemy gives your campaign a focus – it’s the classic scenario of ‘us vs. them’ that galvanizes large groups of people into action. It’s a great tactic for businesses. Is it a good one for politics? It’s certainly been successful at getting Trump into office, but as to the effects on society and the world, it all starts to feel like a dark and dangerous road.

How to apply: So every brand or personality needs an enemy, but that doesn’t have to be a competitor. It could just as easily be an idea. A nutritionist might position processed food corporations as ‘the enemy’. A pro web designer might frame DIY website builders as ‘the enemy’. For an artisan coffee shop, it might be instant coffee. Whether it’s a belief, an assumption, or a rival business, every beloved brand has something to push against and rally behind.

If you don’t have the instinct for it, leave it to the professionals

Anthony Scaramucci has said that Trump has ‘excellent public relations instincts’. So is that true? He certainly represents something different, and something different – especially in politics – is pretty irresistible. But I would argue that overall, Trump’s PR instincts are fumbling at best, and volatile at worst. And they appear to be getting worse. His weeklong assault on his own attorney general in July was apparently ‘all his idea’. Good one.

Trump is used to the selective media exposure granted by his TV lifestyle, but as President, you are on show 24/7. PR decisions are more critical than ever. The best bosses understand their own strengths and weaknesses, but Trump’s inflated view of himself means he won’t listen to others. From a PR perspective, it will be interesting to see where his ego leads him over the course of his time in office.

Trump famously exaggerates, but if you’re looking to implement his tactics into your own business PR campaign, maybe think twice. Exaggeration and dishonesty are no way to do business – and you will be found out eventually. If you’re trying to get more media attention for your business, here are some good guidelines. What we can take away from his success is the importance of picking an enemy, leveraging social channels, being true to yourself, and being memorable. But we can also learn to become better listeners, better bosses, and better people.

Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer. Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer.

Vicky is a freelance writer and ecommerce marketing consultant. She loves following politics and drawing lessons that can be beneficial in other areas. In her spare time, Vicky shares her knowledge by writing for a variety of digital publications.


Failure, Faith and Perseverance

I’m in a tizzy right now. I have an unknown, itchy red rash under my arm. My stomach is upset and bloated. And my office has a giant pile of clothes on a chair I’ve been meaning to take to the consignment store, but haven’t. When I want to shift something, I clean out. But sometimes, the shift doesn’t come soon enough. And stuff piles up.

While I continue to consult with some amazing and talented clients, at the same time I’m also moving into a new direction with my True Shield: Verbal Self-Defense For Girls. So I have a foot in both worlds — which can sometimes be crazy making. Like worried nights pacing and writing at 3:00 am, searching for that roll of sweet tarts I have in the laundry room cupboard for such emergencies.

For one thing, I didn’t really realize that I was a start-up. But that’s what I am. I have a business with no track record for a new idea.

Verbal self-defense for girls

I have all the measurements in place, but have yet to have anyone complete the program. Everyone in the schools and organizations who have purchased it is starting in August or September and while it will take me just 3 months or so to get initial statistics and evidence-based results it will take me about 9 months to get a full picture of all the survey results.

That’s almost a year! Panic. Seems like forever and a day.

Starting something new can be a maddening and discouraging process. I want to chat a bit about the three things about the process, which is often hard to love. Failure, faith, and perseverance. We are often told to embrace the journey. While that is a noble thought, the muck during the journey can weigh you down something fierce.

I just heard an interview with Jessi Klein on Terry Gross’ show Fresh Air talking about getting an Emmy while having a three month-old baby and having to pump breast milk during the ceremony which nicely sums up why embracing the journey is necessary to happiness. “…Having a baby is really hard on a marriage. So things with my husband were just – I’ll just say they were very hard ’cause we were just so tired, and it’s so crazy. And I just suddenly felt very much like, oh, I won this Emmy, and tomorrow I’m getting on a plane and I’m going right back into my own little struggles.

And nothing is really different. Like, this was great but now it is over. And I just have to be back in my sort of currently overweight, milk-laden body and waking up at 2 in the morning and 4 in the morning. And it’s hard. And the Emmy is amazing, but all of this will continue. I think it just brought into very stark relief in the moment what would have been the truth no matter what I was doing. But it was very immediate, which is that this doesn’t really mean anything for your actual happiness or your life.”

the journey is the reward even if it doesn’t feel like it

We think when we get to the big award, reward, end game, whether it’s finishing a book, landing a big deal, selling a bunch of stuff, finding love, that suddenly the world will become rosier and all that ails us will fall away. Yet, happiness often comes on the heels of failure — though rarely soon enough, it seems.

Failure.

You’ve heard the expression “Fail fast.” It’s about trying a bunch of new things and letting go of the ones that don’t work. So first I had to find people to call schools and organizations. I used Upwork and went through about four people before I found the two that consistently got results- i.e. they called the decision makers to set five-minute appointments for me to discuss the program. I failed fast with the callers by starting them all at once on different excel spread sheets for my target markets.

Failure number two. Schools are a hard sell. Most principals, counselors or PE teachers loved the program. Then it had to go to committee. Then through the budgeting process. Guess what? 99% of the schools couldn’t afford my program due to budget cuts or lack of funding. Many said that would have to get independent funding in order to implement the program. So, we moved on to organizations. Organizations totally got the concept and wanted the program. Problem? Funding. They were used to getting most of their programs free as they were mostly funded by other organizations or grants.

Faith.

So, I started researching how to get grants. Getting a grant is a laborious, time-consuming and confusing process. In short you have to make sure your mission is in absolute synch with the grantor, then you typically have to earmark those who will get the funding. Which meant that I had to start getting commitments in writing about which organizations were really keen on using my program so I could list them in the grant.

Another problem with getting grants to fund the people who wanted the program is there are no guarantees that I’ll even get the grant!

So all that work could be for nothing.

I hired an expert for that to make sure that I was on the right track. But, after talking to many of the grantors, they told me that had hesitations about giving money to an unproven program — even though they loved the idea and said would go to bat for me.

Start-up woes

My faith began to flag. Am I really going in the right direction? How many obstacles do I need to go through before I give up? So I turned to my friends. They told me to keep going. They said it was a much needed idea. They said to find a way in. They said hold fast. Today, a man in charge of programing for the Boys & Girls Clubs said he had faith in me and my program and that all girls need it. “Stay in touch. This is a great program.”

Perseverance.

One of the things that I recommend to my clients and course participants when they aren’t getting any traction with the media is to tweak. If you send in a pitch or press release and no one is biting, try a twist. Approach your topic from another angle. Switch up the perspective. Go in the back door— a non-obvious angle that isn’t a direct pitch for your business, book, product, service or cause. Think small and get specific.

What seemed to spark real interest in the contacts I was speaking with is this idea of teens and college girls teaching each other. This is my big dream for my program to become self-sustaining in this way. So my business mentor said, “Let’s approach your course from this angle.” So I did.

I got immediate interest from a Boys & Girls Club that serves an at-risk community and already has volunteers that are groomed in community service through their Keystone program. Perfect.

The head of programming for a department of education said that she thinks she could wrangle 20 girls to train that could then be dispatched back to their schools. Fantastic.

Today, I talked to a man who works in five schools where Opioid addiction is rampant. When I told him about my vision he said, “I can’t believe you just said that. We have those girls at the ready and we’ve been wanting to do something like this the up their self-esteem.” Yes.

Keep your focus on the vision.

By focusing on my original vision, the big dream and bigger mission and slightly shifting the approach, I’m now getting a more enthusiastic response — because it directly taps into the organization’s bigger mission as well.

Am I still discouraged, downtrodden, despairing and weepy? Yes. I cried my eyes out last week, and sobbed on my sweetie’s shoulder, and starting thinking about tossing in the towel. Seriously. On other days, after making calls for hours and not reaching anyone who can make a decision or having people tell me that they get a similar program for free, I feel exhausted and hopeless and have the urge to gorge on cookies.

Then I think about all the time, energy, money and inspiration I put into this. And keep going.

I talked to Susan Kennedy yesterday (SARK) about my plight as she’s an expert in keeping a person’s creative spirits high. The advice she gave me was, “When I’m tempted to deflate in this absence, instead I’m going to fill myself with presence. I’m going to remind myself of my vision and certainty.”

Which all requires discipline and managing what I tell myself. After I bemoaned my plight I told Susan that I did believe that I could already feel that my program was instituted far and wide, helping girls all over the world — and that it had already happened and that I just needed to catch up with it. We talked about the fact that we have no idea how this program has touched people and where it will reach — now and in the future.

Does this mean I won’t have days when I feel it’s all hopeless. No. Like Jessi Klein I’ll still be mired in my own daily struggles, but thank God I don’t have to pump breast milk. When I imagine her life I think I may have gotten off easy. Though it doesn’t feel that way. I just have to get through this next patch, I tell myself. I will remember the discipline of keeping to my vision and certainty. And I invoke the question I’ve told you to ask yourself: “What is my next step?” That is my question. I keep following the answers, wherever they lead.


Get More Product Publicity With Editorial Calendars — and Get a Free List of 2017 Magazine Editorial Calendars for a Limited Time

By Guest Blogger Margie Zable Fisher

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get information about your product to a magazine editor, at the exact time when that editor was looking for products like yours? Well, that option exists, if you use Editorial Calendars.

What Are Editorial Calendars?

Editorial Calendars list topics and special editorial coverage, to be included in each issue of a publication.

How to Use Editorial Calendars to Gain Publicity

Savvy product and ecommerce companies will find Editorial Calendars extremely useful when pitching products for media coverage.

Real Simple Editorial Calendar

Here are some tips to make the most of your story pitching:

  • Research the publication. Understand the publication’s focus and how your product or service might fit in. A new beauty product for spring may seem perfect for all publications looking for beauty products. But if your product is a luxury item, and the magazine focuses on low-cost products, it’s not a match.
  • Make sure that the Editorial Calendar topics are still relevant. Editorial Calendars can change throughout the year. Check to make sure that the topics you want to pitch are still in the Calendar.
  • Offer product submissions with enough lead time. The lead time for publications varies, and can be as much as six months or more. If you’re not sure of the lead time, assume three to six months.

People Style Watch Editorial Calendar

Where Can You Find Editorial Calendars?

Typically, Editorial Calendars can be found in advertising sales kits. The calendar topics are included so advertisers can tie their ads into topics covered in the publication. You can sometimes find an Editorial Calendar in the advertising section at the publication’s website. If you can’t find it there, contact the publication’s marketing/sales department and ask them to send it to you.

I’ve just put together a list of Top Magazine 2017 Editorial Calendars. Included are: O, the Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, People Style Watch, Redbook, Woman’s Day, Men’s Journal and more.

You can get it free for a limited time, here.

So remember – you can increase your chances of getting media coverage for your products by utilizing Editorial Calendars. Don’t wait – get your list today!

This post is contributed by Margie Zable Fisher, president of Zable Fisher Public Relations, www.zfpr.com, which specializes in e-commerce and product P.R. and publicity. Get her new free report, “How to Outsource Your Social Media Efforts Inexpensively,” here.


Your Publicity Strategy: You Don’t Need to Be Brash or Loud

I just read a woman’s special report that disparaged one of my colleague’s tag lines saying, “I feel bad for those who’ve built a brand around this message.” (My colleague is a wonderful AND successful person by the way. And her brand is working just fine.). This is a poor publicity strategy.

This gal’s special report blasted me with her loud clothes, wildly colored hair, and audacious language. She made it a point to shock me. Granted, that’s HER brand, and people who resonate with in-your-face brashness will be her perfect clients.

But please don’t think you have to imitate this way of being to get media coverage, fans, followers or clients. And please never disparage anyone’s brand to promote your own. I once had a client who said she chose me over another colleague precisely because I wasn’t as “slick and sound bitey.”

There is a place for everyone, no matter how shy or small you feel. No matter how big and bold you are. No matter if you’re quiet and thoughtful. No matter your race, ethnicity or point of view. We need us all.

Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. ~Oscar Wilde

And know that often the loud ones get attention more quickly, because, well, they are jumping up and down, blowing a bullhorn and calling attention to themselves, while you made be sitting, listening, pondering and seeking to understand others. As long as you’re sitting tall and centered in your own way of being that’s fine. Sometimes, quieting your voice makes it easier to be heard.

And, if you wish you were other, or want to shift your life in a big way before taking center stage – in the media or online, heed the advice of my dear friend Sherry who shows you how to live the life you want in the now — just as you are.

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Miracle Find Me Now – My Mantra

“Miracle find me now” is my mantra for this year.

I didn’t make this up. SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) did. Re-igniting our friendship again after a 20 year hiatus — after a tiff neither of us remembers exactly how it happened, was the first miracle. I was up on Facebook fooling with something on a weekend which I rarely do and a little word cloud appeared with SARK asking if I’d like to reconnect. A minute later we were on the phone yakking away. We ended the conversation by SARK saying, “I never stopped loving you.” I said the same back. She said “How could we not? The connection was there all along.”

In another conversation on the phone, me walking in the chill of late afternoon and SARK with the wind blowing on the beach, she said that you can just say, “Miracle find me now.” And then keep your eyes and ears peeled for it to reveal itself. So I was walking in the very brisk morning in PA over Christmas and I took a turn into the Daylesville Abbey. Its a beautiful serene place, sweeping views, lots of open space with a little creek that was full and noisy after a rain. I followed it along marveling at how clear the water was and looking at the stones, remembering how I did this in my childhood at the gorge searching for pollywogs.

I believe in miracles

I believe in miracles

I said to myself “Miracle find me now,” and around the next bend came across a holocaust memorial art project of stacks of painted boxes with statues of saints and angels that was also a bee keep. What a strange thing to find at a Norbertine abbey I thought. The next night, Father John, a priest from the abbey was over for a cocktail and cookies and I told him about coming upon the memorial. He had no idea it was there and he lives on the property.

holocaust memorial

holocaust memorial + also a bee keep

Now, though Father John visits every year while we are here and gives us a card with a special blessing in it – to mention us out loud in his prayers during a service – along with a cd of christmas songs, this year was different. He and my mother-in-law had a big fight and weren’t speaking. Yet, when he came over he brought her a crazy animal, like he does every year for Christmas and her birthday, because he knows she loves animals. There was no big discussion. No formal apology. Just this big bouncy bird made of colorful iron. At the end of the evening we stood in a circle with our arms around each other as he gave us a blessing and tapped each of our heads naming us as he did so. Miracle? Yes.

The next miracle that happened was my mother-in-law took me aside that same evening after the priest left, held my hands, looked into my eyes and said, “Thank you for taking care of my son.” You might not think that this small thing is a miracle, but given her disposition I can tell you it was. Because miracles come in all shapes and sizes if you choose to see them. They do not have to be some blast from above in some grand or obvious gesture. They can be a creek that brings up happy childhood memories, an unspoken forgiveness, a meaningful look.

SARK told me you can ask for your miracle in many specific ways like, “Miracle relationship find me now.” Or, “Miracle person find me now.” Or, Miracle experience find me now.” Once you begin this practice it’s obvious that there are endless variations. You can see this as a corny or silly exercise…. or… as you move into 2016 can you ask for a miracle for what you want and then open your eyes to see it right in front of you. If you choose to, I’ll be right there with you asking to see my miracle and supporting you to see yours.

Miracle find me now

Miracle find me now

I wish you a miracle filled 2016.

A nice way to start off your miracles is to give. Every day I go up onto this website and click on every option. It costs nothing to give and you’re doing a huge service to all these organizations. It take less than a minute a day. It’s quite satisfying and joy-building.

A few ways to get your miracles started…

  • Hop on this free publicity training designed to help you double your business by doing a few key things right.
  • Keen on getting more clients, customers and sales and become a media darling. This is it.
  • Learn the 3 hot hooks to transform you into a media magnet here.
  • This is a special section of my website filled with lots of videos for you. I recently added several surprising ones. Enjoy!
  • This is where you can try the sound bite course for $1. Yes, you heard that right.
  • Looking for a literary agent? This is for you.
  • Need help writing your book proposal? Ping me here.
  • If you sell high end programs or services this unusual strategy might be for you.
  • You, in O Magazine. Yes. Discover the best ways to pitch the editors here. Find out if you are a prime candidate for getting in the magazine. (There are 12 ways).
  • Stay inspired to write your novel – or memoir, or self-help book. Practical advice too. Get that book done this year!
  • Listen to my chat with Nathalie Lussier discussing what I did to shift my business and serve my clients in the way that really lights me up.

Call in your miracles. If you don’t feel like it’s working, just change the question and keep asking. Keep looking. Keep seeing. Keep going.

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.  ~ Earl Nightingale


The Life Changing Magic of Speaking Up – A Story Contest

Share your story & get a prize!

Can you think of a time when you spoke up and it changed your life — or someone else’s life — for the better?

Maybe you saw a classmate bullying someone on the schoolyard and you spoke up and said, “Back off!”

Maybe you witnessed harm being done to a child or animal and intervened.

Maybe a colleague made a bigoted or sexist comment and you objected or said, “You need to apologize. That’s not OK.”

Maybe you had a “funny gut feeling” to call, visit or email a friend, parent, sibling, or client at a particular moment and your message changed the course of their day — or life.

Maybe you asked for a pay raise, a promotion, a new project, or an opportunity that you wanted—and you got it.

Maybe you bravely got onstage—or published a blog post—to share a true story from your own life and it led to a beautiful opportunity, inspired your audience to take action, or shifted your whole year in an unexpected way.

When you speak up—honestly, courageously, straight from the heart—your words can unlock incredible opportunities, open people’s eyes, help to correct wrongdoings, biases, and misconceptions, and make the world a better place.

The life-changing magic of speaking up contest

The life-changing magic of speaking up contest

Speaking up is magical.

I love hearing stories about people who have chosen to speak up—what they did, what they said, and what happened next—and I want to hear your story. 

To reward you for sharing your story, I’m turning this into a CONTEST with a delicious prize for EVERYONE who participates! (Hooray!)

Here’s how it works:

  • Head over to Instagram (download the app here to sign up if you don’t already have an account).
  • Once you’re logged into Instagram, follow me and then post a photo plus some text on your feed. For the text, briefly tell a story about a time in your life when you chose to speak up—where you were, what you said, and what happened next.
  • Include this hashtag somewhere in your text: #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp and tag me @susanharrow
  • Guidelines: please keep your story brief. 250 words or less. Think: “sound bite sized.” Also, please keep your story G-rated and appropriate for kids and teens to read. Extra credit for concise stories!
  • Please do your Instagram post by November 24 and encourage friends to participate, too!
  • Not on Instagram? No problem. Do the same thing on Facebook. Please “like” my page and remember to use the hashtag #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp and to tag me @susanharrow.

Prizes!

Prizes for everyone

Every single person who shares a story on Instagram or Facebook receives my E-book Girl On Fire—which shows you how to speak up in 10 of life’s trickiest scenarios—just for participating!

Here’s how to get that prize (and be entered in the contest for the grand prize):

Go to Instagram or Facebook.

  1. On Instagram follow me and tag EITHER the photo OR the text using @susanharrow.
  2. Post your story and image. NOTE: Make sure that you own the rights to the image or have creative commons commercial use rights. All submissions must have an image as well as text. Need some photo inspiration? Go here.
  3. Use the hashtag #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp.
  4. Tag me: @susanharrow.
  5. Go here to download your prize!
  6. I’ll announce the grand prize winner on December 9! (I hope it’s you!)

(Note: this is purely an “honor system” situation. No big hoops to jump through. If you posted a story, then go ahead and get your prize! It’s yours for the taking. Enjoy.)

design

Grand prize for one person 

I will also select one story—the one that I feel is the most poignant or had the most impact—and that storyteller will receive the grand prize: My 6 month mentorship program to get prepared for publicity for or to launch your publicity program (Worth $11,500). I’ll announce the grand prize winner on my Instagram account and my Facebook Page on December 9. (Follow me on Instagram at @susanharrow and on Facebook to stay in the loop!)

This will be so fun and inspiring!

Whether you have a story about a huge, life-altering moment—or a small, quiet, everyday act of bravery—I want to see how you decided to speak up.

I can’t wait to see your story!

This contest was inspired by a lovely and very popular book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. You can buy the book here. 

Small print: 

In submitting a photo and story (The Work) you give me, my publisher, and its licensees and assigns permission to use any and/or all of the material from your post including the photo in all editions and derivations of The Work throughout the World, in all languages and all media, whether now known or hereinafter devised, and in the advertising, publicity, and promotion thereof. Proper credit will be attributed to you in The Work.
In submitting a story with an image/photograph you grant the permission requested above and warrant that the material indicated below does not infringe upon the copyright or other rights of anyone. If you do not control the rights requested by this post in their entirety, please provide me with the name and address of any other party from whom permission is required.