I thought it would be instructive for you to see the process from pitch to published to get into O Magazine. This is an excellent example of how to pitch Oprah Magazine.
Below are the details of the reporter’s query, my client’s response and the final piece where she landed in O, The Oprah Magazine.
Oprah Magazine has three versions. The hard copy version of O Magazine, the online version of O, The Oprah Magazine and oprahmag.com (a separate website) so you have plenty of opportunities to get featured!
Here is what happened.
I saw a query in HARO (help a reporter out) from O, The Oprah Magazine that was perfect for my client Dr. Leslie Korn, PhD, MPH, a Harvard Trained Traumatologist and mental health specialist who trains clinicians and consumers on how to improve their mood with food, nutrition, and herbs for optimal brain function. So I jetted the HARO query to her, letting her know the deadline.
Dr. Leslie Korn – Pitching Oprah Magazine + oprahmag.com
NOTE: It’s important to respond to HARO queries ASAP because typically once a reporter or a producer gets enough responses they can use they stop scanning the emails that come in later. So the early bird gets the quote.
Here is the query:
94) Summary: Natural Remedies for Headaches
Name: Michelle Darrisaw Oprah.com
Category: Lifestyle and Fitness
Media Outlet: Oprah.com
Deadline: [12:00] PM EST – 28 November
Looking for licensed medical professionals or holistic
practitioners who can provide suggestions on natural/organic
remedies to cure headaches without using over-the-counter
medicine or drugs. If it’s instructional, such as using a
hot/cold washcloth, please provide steps along with tips.
Must be a medical professional. If a holistic practitioner or
integrative health doctor, please reference any studies where
you found the suggestion.
The best way to pitch O, The Oprah Magazine
Notice how she specifically answered JUST what the editor wanted to know. And gave the O Magazine editor a number of great options to choose from. The reporter used her mustard soak.
There are so many types of headaches.. each one has a different tip and treatment!
I am Dr. Leslie Korn, a Harvard Medical School-trained Integrative Medicine clinician. I learned as many remedies when I ran a health clinic in the jungle of Mexico for 25 years, as I did in the jungle of Boston. I know what works (and what doesn’t so much) after 40 years in practice. I specialize in the treatment of psychological and physical trauma and its side effects; chronic pain (headaches) digestive disorders, addictions, anxiety and depression. I have written 7 books including 2 textbooks, with an 8th on the way about Herbal Medicine for Women. I also train and certify clinicians in Integrative Medicine and Nutrition for Mental health.
How to pitch Oprah Magazine
Headaches; the cause will determine the best treatment; figuring out what kind of headache it is will enhance treatment efficacy; a frontal headache usually comes from tension in the back neck muscles, so a good acupressure or cranial sacral treatment to the little knobs (called condyles ) on the back of the skull helps, along with placing an iced cloth on the neck.
While heat is soothing, cold kills pain. Headaches often result from vascular changes; changes in blood flow or vessel constriction, and a simple self care technique is to do a mustard foot soak.
Take a bucket of hot water so that you can place your feet and cover up to your ankles with hot water (hot enough, but not burning hot) Add a tablespoon of ground mustard (grinding fresh mustard seed in a small electric grinder is best, but ground mustard will do in a pinch,) then massage some olive oil around your feet and ankles and soak for 30 minutes.
The heat from the water and the mustard will draw down the vascular congestion and release constricted blood vessels in the head bringing blood flow to the feet alleviating the pain. In advance of settling into the soak, prepare a cup of feverfew tea, or have an extract of feverfew on hand to drink to also reduce the headache.
Dehydration is a common cause of headaches and often increasing water intake helps. To calculate how much water one should drink a day, take your body weight and divide it by 50% and that is what you require, in ounces. So a 200 lb. woman requires 100 ounces a day. One can have a little less some days without negative effects but one should shoot for the optimal.
Migraines can be a challenge; I like to recommend the use of the mineral lithium orotate. Unlike the dangerous pharmaceutical lithium carbonate, lithium is a natures gift to us; relieving headaches, giving us the giggles as it boosts our mood and it protects the neurons in the brain.
Lithium can be dosed from 5-25 mg a day, or go on vacation and find a lithium- rich mineral spring in New Mexico, Washington, Texas or Mexico in which to soak. The Native peoples of Washington have a local springs near Mt Tahoma they call “Laughing Springs, rich in healing lithium.
There is also growing evidence for its use in the rare headaches called hypnic headaches. I also supplement with 5HTP, the amino acid precursor to serotonin. Most people do well with from 50-150 mg and Vitamin B-6 helps synthesize it and enhances efficacy.
Finally, I recommend cuddling with a dog; it releases oxytocin also known as the “love hormone” a chemical which reduces the pain of a headache. Dogs also help us put our worries in perspective and remind us of the power of connection.
Michelle, I could go on with lots of methods ; I hope this is a good start and that you will find something useful. If I may be of further support , drop me a note.
How to pitch O Magazine
The response from the reporter once the piece published.
Thanks for responding to my Haro query. Here’s the link to the article referencing your ground mustard and olive oil foot soak. Take a look so you can see how the O Magazine editor used Korn’s information.
My response to Leslie after the piece published.
Fab! Be sure to write Michelle a quick thank you note and let her know that she can tap you anytime for any of her pieces whenever she needs a resource. Also let her know that you could refer her to other clinicians that could be of help if that’s true. You get the idea — you want to make yourself invaluable.
NOTE: Once you’re in contact with an editor/reporter or producer follow up to let them know that you can be a resource for them in the future.
Recap + additional recommendations to expand your publicity.
- Read the reporter/producer’s query carefully. Give them the EXACT information they request. Example: Korn gave the reporter a number of options to choose from.
- Tailor your bio to show that you’re an expert on the topic that matches the reporter/producer’s requirement.
- Follow up so you can become a trusted source.
- Put the logo of the publication or show on your website to build credibility.
- Send a link to the piece to your ezine subscribers to share valuable information and increase trust and loyalty.
- Put the article on your website and highlight your quote. (You must get permission from the source first.) Otherwise link to the piece on your website so it pops up in a new window.
- Post your piece on social media.
- Write up a blog post with the information that wasn’t used in the article on the topic and link to the piece where you were quoted.
Dr. Leslie Korn is a Harvard Medical School trained integrative medicine specialist. She has provided over 40,000 hours of care for individuals with chronic mental and physical illness specializing in trauma-related issues. She integrates mental health nutrition, somatic therapies, herbal medicine, energy medicine, yoga and exercise, and detoxification to help people have a happier mood, enhanced cognitive function and optimal physical well being.
She has been in private practice in both Boston and in the jungle of Mexico where she founded a free clinic She trains clinicians and consumers in Integrative medicine for mental health, does career counseling and coaching, and is the director of research at the cwis.org, a native non- profit working internationally. She is the author of 8 books including: The Good Mood Kitchen, Rhythms of Recovery: Trauma, Nature and the Body, Nutrition Essentials for Mental Health, Preventing and Treating Diabetes Naturally, The Native Way, and the forthcoming book on herbal medicine called, Natural Woman (Shambhala Press, 2019).
Curious where you and your business fit in Oprah’s magazine? Find out here: How to be Featured in O Magazine: The 15 Best Places For Products, Services, causes + Books. (It’s free!)
You you can be featured in O, The Oprah Magazine
“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 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 + 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
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
My sweetie and I were sitting in a booth at Chevy’s in Richmond, right after visiting Annie’s Annuals to get some of her incredible plants (cappuccino sunflowers, dahlias, violas, hollyhocks). As we sloppily ate the fire-roasted salsa (my fav) I noticed the guy across from me with his amazing array of super colorful bracelets and necklace — kinda like you’d wear when you were a kid. I wanted to take a photo of him, and Will encouraged me as I felt a bit shy about asking. But I did it. We asked if he made the jewelry and he said some. Others had been given to him. And explained that he went to parties where they exchanged the jewelry with each other.
As he left he came to our table and asked me if I wanted a bracelet. He put it on my wrist and said, “But first, I’ll teach you what we do when we give it.” He held up his hand in a peace sign and I did the same and we held our fingers together. Next was love, our hand in a C. Then was respect, palm to palm. Last was… unity and we laced our fingers together. Peace. Love. Respect. Unity. I did a short video re-enactment so I could remember it.
I’m wearing the bracelet now as I write this about to continue to work on my new website and realized that one of my hopes is that… my website conveys these things.
For a long time, my website hasn’t felt like me, and that pained me deeply. I’d outgrown the design and feel. So it has felt out of alignment. I had to wait 9 months to get Paul Jarvis the web designer I wanted (it was SO worth it!). We started in February. Completed the design in March. And a team of us have been working madly transferring and editing the content as we populate it.
It’s been both a purifying and maddening process. Maddening for so many little details and decisions. Purifying, for letting go of what no longer represents who I am or what I do. Since I like to see things happen fast so this has been a huge exercise in patience and endurance. There have been many moments of little temper tantrums and crying in the kitchen.
To help calm myself I read The Art of Stillness: Adventures in going nowhere by Pico Iyer. I’ve put Ed Sheeran (who I’m kinda in love with) on the CD player and lit a Sydney Hale Co bergamot and black tea candle. I’ve gone to Aikido even when exhausted and crabby. I’ve immersed myself in the garden too. I figure pleasuring the senses will help neutralize frustration and fatigue.
To give you a little tour of my new website I’ve highlighted a number of new gifts and guides that I made for you can enjoy.
I’m particularly proud of this. As it’s been 15 years in the making.
P.S. Want to be my podcast guest?
I’ll be starting a Podcast soon and I’m looking to interview you if you got featured in the media. Jet me a quick email and tell me a bit about your experience (and be sure to include your website). If I think your story is a good match I’ll ping you right back to set up a time to talk. If you’re chosen you’ll get in front of an audience of hundreds of thousands and, of course, we will so our best promote you and your expertise gracefully integrated into the Podcast interview using the same principles we teach in the Your Signature Sound Bites course.
P.P.S. If you find any glitches or irritations in the new website please let us know!
P.P.P.S. I’m moving away from Facebook onto Instagram to share my “behind the scenes” life. So follow me (and maybe “like” some pics that appeal) over there where you’ll find a photo that won me a Sydney Hale Co. candle! So thrilled.
P.P.P.P.S. Live in the San Francisco Bay Area? Come to a coaching salon in the garden! I’d love to meet you in person.
Looking to go far fast? Ultra Super Saver Bundle (All my creations – minus the ones I’m no longer proud of) for a hefty 75%+ off.
Curious about the Sound bite and Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul E-course combo? Try it for $1. (30 day guarantee).
Want to work together. Here are the many wonderful ways. (Choose your delight).
Haven’t found your JoySpot, the place where joy and profit meet? (Book a session now.)
Think you can’t afford me? You can! Get group coaching every month in the Q&A in the Membership Club (+ fab lessons).
Want eye and heart candy? Quote-Poems to inspire you. (Perfect for social media engagement + happy-making).
Need a media list? 50 Top Media Contacts. (Right on the home page).
Yearning to learn? Masterclass trainings here. (Fun and fast).
Seeking the latest blueprints, PR and tech tools? Look no further. (What I use).
Aaaaaand, more free reports
Aching for a reading binge? Hop on over to the blog. (See the ENTIRE list of posts + get more PDF downloads).
That’s it for the lalapalooza!
Many people see getting on TV as holy-grail to getting publicity. Oprah was the leader in making careers overnight. Other shows don’t necessarily have the same instant influence that Oprah had, but a four-minute segment on a major morning talk or news show can still have that magic formula effect.
While getting on TV can be a powerful way for entrepreneurs, authors, leaders, coaches and consultants to increase their sales and grow their business on the spot, it can also be something of a dud if not done correctly. Here are three ways you can get on TV and then make your appearance count.
1. Write a segment not a pitch.
When I work with my clients I write up a segment – exactly what you would see if you watched the show – that caters to the hosts strengths and personality. I’ve watched the shows so I have a sense of the subject matter they like to cover and the format they prefer. I’ve read up on as much as I can to best angle my segment to the preferences of the hosts and show.
Know the show
For you that means that you need to be familiar with the show you’ll appear on. That’s essential. Think of it as a job interview for your dream job. You would want to know the background of the person interviewing you, their personality and pet peeves and their style and pacing. You would want to understand the culture of the company. You would want to know what kind of products or services had been successful for them and the way they like those things packaged.
Be privy to the hosts’ perspective
For Dr. Sara Gottfried, Harvard trained integrative physician, yoga diva meets science nerd, and author of The New York Times best-selling book The Hormone Cure, we developed a segment called, “What does every woman have in her purse that can balance her hormones naturally?” for the 10am slot on NBC’s Today show with hosts Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb.
This segment has automatic gal appeal to women hosts and their audience, plus addresses one of the most difficult issues women deal with – cortisol, the culprit behind stress. And since the segment hasn’t aired yet I can’t tell you what those items in her purse are. (Sorry!)
Develop your 5 points and 5 questions
From there we first found the 5 points we wanted to focus on and then reverse-engineered the questions that the hosts could ask. Next, we crafted the women-centric visuals that would drive the segment and create interaction between the hosts and Gottfried.
Give extra perks
Then we created quick teaser copy (that’s what you hear when the hosts let you in on the secret of what’s upcoming so you don’t change the channel or tune out).
Finally, we chose a special report for a website giveaway. TV producers want to drive website traffic to their website not yours. So their audience goes to their site for the “extras” and then can jump to the guests’ website from there. Extras can be anything that takes you deeper into a guest’s work and world: a book excerpt, a recipe, an infographic, an audio or video clip.
Integrate stories into the conversation that bring you in business
After that we honed each example down to a 20 second or so response that included a story or vignette of how Gottfried wanted her business to grow. Since she has an online community and courses one of our examples included a success story about women in her courses. It seems like a “duh” moment, but it’s an essential that most TV guest forget first — especially under the pressure of hot lights and a tight timeframe. By using specific success story examples you drive the kind of business, partnerships, experiences and sales you want directly to you.
Be natural and engaging
This is pretty much rule number one: You must mention the kind of business you want in an example in order to increase it. The hard part is that it needs to be integrated seamlessly into the conversation in a natural and engaging way that is totally on target to your point.
Practice your sound bites
That’s where lots of practice comes in and it’s where I spend the majority of time with my clients — role-playing the entire segment in different ways so they can speak their sound bites smoothly and don’t crumble under pressure or slip up when surprised. If you don’t have this element down pat, then you’re not getting the full value of your media appearances. In other words, you’re losing, business, sales, experiences and opportunities that you may never get again.
Time your sound bites
Once we’ve completed the segment I pulled out my timer and we set it for four minutes and raced through in real time so Gottfried could manage her own time and get a sense of the pacing. I played the part of the chatty hosts, complete with interjections and comments to make sure that Gottfried could stay on message even if the hosts aren’t asking the exact questions we prepared.
Package your program
By creating this segment ourselves and not waiting for the producers to tell us what they envision we invite them to take advantage of our ideas. We’ve done the work for the producers. We get a segment in which we’ve prepared the package we want presented, shaped the perception of our business, book, produce, service or cause, strategically outlined the presentation of our information, and done it all in a lively and entertaining way which delights the audience and the hosts and producers. The result: great segment, media trained guest, good ratings, engaged audience, happy hosts, thrilled client. Everyone ends up winning.
2. Post a demo interview on your website.
National TV show producers need to make sure that you’re mediagenic. They want to see that you know how to dress, handle yourself in a tight-time frame, entertain, enlighten and inform in 10-20 second sound bites-all while being completely natural and engaging. You want to have an example of you interacting in a TV interview or a mock one so you can pass the pre-audition and then move on to the actual audition. It’s OK to create a mock one if you haven’t yet done any media appearances. If a producer sees that you’re capable and lively then they’ll most likely move forward to the next step – the audition.
Create a sizzle reel
Later, when you have a series of interviews you can cut them together into a sizzle reel so producers can see clips of the best of the best and get the total picture of your capabilities.
Help shape the show
Typically the process works like this: a producer and publicist discuss some topics and story angles and then the producer gets on the phone with the client so they can hear the kind of responses the “potential media guest” (you) will give and to bat around ideas and shape the show. You have to be fluid with your topic and think like a producer in helping to lay out a visually dramatic, fast-paced, enthralling show.
3. Be a great guest.
Now you’re on the show. Waiting in the green room. Sitting in the chairs across from the hosts. Hot lights. Count down. You’re on camera…
Review your notes
Even though we had practiced for hours, and this wasn’t his first media tour, one of my clients, a New York Times best-selling author said, “Susan, everything you taught me went to hell in a hand-basket as soon as the interview began.” I told him that he could keep his notes handy and glance down at them when needed. Especially when quoting breaking news statistics. You’ll often see experts bringing their notes onto panel discussions on news shows or when they are commenting on current events.
It’s quite common for your brain to fritz out. A combination of anxiety, nerves, jitters and being in an unfamiliar and foreign setting can upset your internal applecart in the blink of an eye.
Calm your nerves
When I media trained my author-client on-camera I taught him some relaxation exercises to practice that involved both movement and breathing. The key word here is practice. A lot of it. Before you contact the media. Before you get the call.
Practice on video
I highly recommend that you turn on that video camera, pull out a kitchen timer and have a friend or media trainer run you through the questions you’ve created so you can answer them in your sleep. That way you’ll get used to the sensation of being video taped and it won’t seem as foreign once you’re in a studio. Of course the TV studio cameras are much bigger than your compact camera and the very setting itself can be intimidating. Really intimidating.
Relax and settle
Once you’re on camera you don’t want to be thinking about what you’re going to say next. You want to relax, be in the moment, create connection, and tell your audience what you want them feel and to remember.
Not easy, I know.
Feel my support and guidance
The next big interview my “hell in a hand basket” client told me, “I had you in my head the entire time.” So he could keep his cool and stay true to his message. Did he do it perfectly? No. Did he tell stories that had emotion and dignity that brought tears to my eyes? Yes. Did he remember everything he was supposed to cover? No.
But every interview is a process. And I suggest that after every media appearance you ask yourself two questions.
- What did I do well that I want to keep?
- What would I have done differently?
Then on the very next interview you incorporate both of those things. Knowing that someone believes in you gives you a solid foundation and confidence you didn’t know you had.
Discuss your success
The way you double or triple your business during an interview is by doing three things.
- Talking about successes you’ve had through your clients. This is how you avoid bragging. It’s about them, not you.
- Addressing the needs of your audience by telling a story that relates directly to a deep longing or something practical they want.
- Being human and authentic while sharing a personal story or accomplishment that is meaningful to you that creates emotion, connection or curiosity.
Process is progress
Process is everything. It’s in the doing that things shift. More to the point it’s the doing and doing and doing that creates change. After you’ve sent in that segment and when you get called for that golden opportunity to be on national TV know that preparation is key. Now is the time to map out exactly what you’re going to say, time it to the second, and practice until you can do it in your sleep under any circumstance being your natural, inviting, engaging self. Then when you’re on TV your four minutes of fame will be the beginning of many more media appearances that will sustain you for a lifetime.
Do you want to get on TV and make your appearance count? Join us for the FREE webinar: 5 Surefire Ways to Become a Media Darling.
By Susan Harrow, media coach
So many people call themselves thought leaders now – but they aren’t. To be a thought leader takes some doing. It’s not so much about being original as it is about putting things together in an original way. Thought leadership marketing comes down to packaging your knowledge, skills, abilities, experiences, and yes, your thoughts in a way that makes you media worthy and worth listening to by your audience — a huge audience.
Follow these nine steps to get going on the path to be respected, heard and reverberated out into the world to become the very definition of thought leadership.
1. Cultivate an opinion.
Thought leaders have opinions. They shape a story. They position facts in a context. They make statistics come alive by interpreting them. We value people who give us perspective on things that matter most in our culture today.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and their first woman to sit on their board, said of the differences about how men and women respond to taking credit for their success, “If you ask men why they did a good job, they’ll say, ‘I’m awesome. Obviously. Why are you even asking?’ If you ask women why they did a good job, what they’ll say is someone helped them, they got lucky, they worked really hard.”
To follow her lead take a look at your field or industry and find something that irks or inspires you and start to formulate some opinions about it. Folk singer Joan Baez said, “I’ve never had a humble opinion. If you’ve got an opinion, why be humble about it?” Thought leaders aren’t afraid to voice a strong opinion. The media seek guests who have opinions that help us ponder what’s important.
2. Make a prediction.
Can you see the future? Look into your private crystal ball and share it in a press release. Over twenty years ago I told my literary agent that getting on TV and grasping at fame was going to become a national obsession. I wrote up a book proposal about how to get on TV, supplied anecdotes from my own experience as a publicist and media coach, and gathered statistics to show that this was going to be a hot new trend. He pitched my idea to all the top New York publishing houses.
9 was you can be a thought leader
Alas, the traditional book industry didn’t buy it. It was too far ahead of its time. But guess what? Didn’t that prediction come true? Practically everyone is now scrabbling for his 15 seconds of fame. New reality TV shows are popping up every year. The Fishbowl Effect has become our current reality where your iPhone video can make national news.
Know that when you make a prediction you’re intrinsically ahead of your time – and most likely will get disapproval and pushback. No worries. Time will bear you out. The important thing is to stand by your word, continue to accumulate evidence and keep touting your prediction during your media appearances. Thought leadership marketing is a process, not a one time event.
3. Shape thinking.
Keep up on current events. Thought leaders can comment on national radio and TV and in print on events as they happen. They are the first people the media call to put a story in perspective, to help shape thinking. They are often the people who pose the questions to ponder. They don’t necessarily have all the answers.
What they have is a point of view that helps others to consider consequences, options, and directions to difficult or perplexing problems. This type of thought leadership definition is organic and evolves naturally as the thought leader continues to hone his thoughts and message.
Robert Reich, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, often comments on political and social problems such as how public higher education is being starved which will result in a shrinking middle class. His clearly expressed and statistically well-supported opinions are regularly heard on MSNBC and NPR. He’s a great example of someone who is personal, energetic, and captivating. I’m particularly endeared by how he bounces up when he can’t contain his energy as he delivers his message.
Your delivery and demeanor is every bit as important as the words you speak and can influence people subconsciously. Thought leaders are aware of how they are being perceived and work on refining their inner consciousness and outer appearance.
How can you start to shape a conversation that’s at the heart of your business or industry and at the same time reflect who you are and what you think?
4. Have a philosophy.
Have you noticed how many people have written a manifesto? It’s kind of becoming de rigueur. But many aren’t worth reading. They are trite or light. Your audience wants to know not only what you believe, but what you believe in. They want a philosophy that dives into their deepest longings — things that they feel that haven’t been expressed directly in a way that they can understand.
Manifestos are a sort of formalized philosophy. Wikipedia defines philosophy as “In more casual speech, by extension, ‘philosophy’ can refer to “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group”.
I love TED favorite Brene Brown’s The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto, her leadership manifesto and my friend, photographer/writer Andrea Scher’s Superhero Manifesto. They are heartfelt, revere beauty and are holy without pretention.
Brene Brown thought leader in thoughts, words, action
During every media appearance you want to make sure that your philosophy comes through loud and clear in a story, vignette or example so your audience has a sense of who you are.
One of my favorite sayings is by Gandhi, “My life is my message.” And another one close to my heart: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
When everything you do, say, are and think from your words to your website is in alignment™ then you’re completely congruent and your life becomes your message. This is what I have my clients and sound bite course participants put into practice before ever sending a press release out to the media. Often publicity hopefuls want to rush their offer to the media before all the pieces are in place. And that’s a big mistake. A reputation is easy to ruin and hard to regain.
In her media appearance on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, Brene Brown told a story about her daughter, Ellen. To my best recollection she said that Ellen’s teacher called her up to tell her she could tell whose daughter Ellen was by how she handled an incident in art class. As I remember it the teacher said, “You’re messy.” Ellen sat up straight and said, “No, I’m not messy. I’ve just made a mess.”
Brown told this story to illustrate a point about self-talk and not calling ourselves names or saying derogatory things about the core of us, but to focus on behavior instead of being. It shows you that Brown is walking her talk by transmitting her values and behaviors to her daughter and it gives you a sense of who she is. Your philosophy should shine through your stories in a natural way in every media appearance.
5. Spearhead a movement.
My client, journalist and author David Sheff who wrote the #1 New York Times best-selling book Beautiful Boy, (which later was turned into a movie) and wrote his second book called Clean, Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy. The title itself is an opinion. Sheff thinks that addiction is the worst problem in the U.S. today. You can tell immediately that he’s serious about this topic and wants to make an impact on this epidemic.
On his website he has a link to sign a petition to send to President Obama to end the war on drugs and declare war on addiction. Right next to that he has a link to an organization called Brian’s Wish to pull people together into a national movement to end addiction.
Thought leaders start movements
Sheff believes that we’re fighting the wrong war and he is making his opinion known – backed with five years of research and facts. This is thought leader marketing at its best.
When I first wrote this piece he had just started his book tour and has already been on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, NPR’s Fresh Air and Weekend Edition to discuss his views and to shift American opinion with the facts, stories and statistics in his book, speeches, and media appearances.
I media trained him to insure that he incorporated his most important points into every interview since he especially wanted to talk about this new movement.
We also wanted to make sure he could stand firm on his controversial beliefs when challenged. We practiced worst-case scenario questions and surprise ones too so he could maintain his equanimity and stay on point during each media appearance.
The media is interested in people who have inspired a movement. It shows that the topic has enduring value and interest if a substantial number of people have joined it. Spearheading a movement is so much more interesting than just claiming you have a big following. A movement shifts thought into action to create real and lasting change.
6. Be controversial.
Another client of mine, Dr. Sara Gottfried, a Harvard trained integrative physician, science nerd, yogini and author of the New York Times best-sellers The Hormone Cure, The Hormone Rest Diet, Younger and Brain Body Diet, peaks out on the overuse of pharmaceuticals for peri-menopausal and menopausal women. She says of women dealing with hormonal issues such as depression, lack of sleep, weight gain, mind fog, low sex drive, “You won’t find the answer in the bottom of a pill bottle.”
Gottfried takes a stand against the practice many physicians have to medicate their patients to appease the problem without seeking the core issue or root cause that’s the source of the complaint. Instead she advocates lifestyle shifts: “How to think, eat, move and supplement.”
Thought leaders invite controversy
Once you take a strong stance you can expect to be pitted against someone with the opposite view during your radio or TV interviews – because friction makes for good TV. Audiences love to see people who have opposing views that might even provoke a tiff, because sparks fly and unexpected things happen — which equal good ratings.
If you want to be controversial you also need to be prepared to be challenged and able to stay on message with equanimity and grace no matter how forceful or hostile the host or other guests become.
7. Play both sides.
While you can choose to be controversial, you can also choose to appoint yourself the voice of reason and examine both sides of an issue. Susan Freinkel, a journalist who wrote the book, Plastic: a Toxic Love Story, began an experiment that turned into an investigation of how plastic affects our behavior, our environment and our lives. The premise: To go one day without touching anything plastic. What she discovered? It was impossible — starting with her toothbrush and toilet.
Instead of taking one side to the story – plastic is evil. She explored how plastic is both a boon and a bane to the way we live in a New York Times Op Ed piece. In one sentence she played both sides of the topic: “In other words, plastics aren’t necessarily bad for the environment; it’s the way we tend to make and use them that’s the problem.”
Op Ed pages thrive on people who take a strong stand on one side of an issue as well as those who can shed light on both sides in an intelligent, thoughtful or provocative way.
In our media coaching sessions together Freinkel and I focused on stories about how certain plastics are negatively effecting our health, children, land and seas, and also which plastics are safe and useful and help save lives.
Great thought leaders can mediate both sides of an issue
On Fresh Air, she discussed both sides of this fiery debate with a level head. In other media appearances she backed up her findings with solid statistics and also by moving fascinating facts into the conversation like: “The average person is never more than three feet from something made of plastic.” And, “In 1960, the average American consumed 30 pounds of plastics a year. Today, just 50 years later, Americans consume on average 300 pounds a year.” Here is something a bit startling: “Just because a plastic is made of plants doesn’t make it ‘green.’”
By moderating the positives and negatives, by sharing information not widely known and educating us, and by using stories and statistics, you can become a trusted neutral source for change.
8. Coin a term.
During her appearance on The Ricki Lake show Dr. Sara Gottfried reached into her prop basket and pulled out a gleaming diamond Tiara, put it on her head and offered it to Lake, who said she didn’t want to take it off. Gottfried called taking uninterrupted time for yourself, Tiara Time.™ It’s catchy and easy to remember. Can’t you just imagine saying to your BFF, “I need some Tiara Time™ right NOW.”
9. Declare your vision.
Your vision is how you see the world in the future. It’s what you’re aspiring to in the big picture. It incorporates how you are going to serve. For example, I’d like to see Aikido, a type of Japanese Martial Arts, which I’ve been training in for eight years, incorporated into every school in the world.
9 steps to become a thought leader is about self-mastery
The principles of Aikido, The Way of Harmony, work as a way to polish the spirit, to turn lead into gold. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba says, “True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly!”
I believe that, through this practice we can eradicate bullying and practice respect, compassion, and self-mastery on a daily basis in our hearts, homes, schools, and communities.
My dream is to combine physical self mastery with verbal and emotional mastery so every child in the world can: Speak your mind. Stand your ground. Sing your song™.
Declaring your vision during a media interview moves it out in a big way into the public eye. Not only have you taken a stand but you give thousands or millions of people a chance to take a stand with you. That in itself creates powerful change.
The point of being a thought leader isn’t just to get more media appearances, more sales, more followers, or more money. It’s an opportunity to make great shifts inside yourself and out in the world.
So if you aspire to taking yourself and your business forward in small or big ways, then focus on these nine things. And even if it isn’t in your nature to be on national TV or to gain an international platform, just pondering these points will give you clarity for your business as you grow and change.
The Oprah Effect is Not Dead. In fact, it’s very much alive…
Do you want to know how to boost your business 60% or more in the blink of an eye?
Get into O, The Oprah Magazine. Oprah’s high visibility, super popular magazine that is read avidly by over 2.6 million. But get this, the pass on rate is estimated to be 6 people per issue. That means that when you get featured, mentioned, or quoted over 18 million people read about you —and buy.
It doesn’t take a marketing degree to know that getting into O is an amazing opportunity for any business.
The Oprah Effect is alive and well and hundreds of people are getting into O, The Oprah Magazine every month.
Why not you?
In the past most people focused on getting on the Oprah Show (and now on Super Soul Sunday) and neglect the ENORMOUS possibilities of getting into O, The Oprah Magazine.
Now is the time to expand your thinking. There is no better moment to do one thing to grow your business (even if you’ve just started and are virtually unknown).
How to pitch O, the Oprah Magazine
Oprah’s show is over. Super Soul Sunday is for people who have best-selling books already or have made a big impact on their community or in the world. It’s not for newbies, self-published books, coaches, or anyone without a huge following.
But… the good news is that there are dozens of possibilities to pitch O Magazine and get featured as the criteria doesn’t depend on how long you’ve been in business or how famous you are. The Oprah Effect is for anyone with a business, book, product, service or cause of keen interest to women.
If you have any of the following YOU are a prime candidate to get into Oprah’s magazine and double or triple your business OVERNIGHT and become a part of The Oprah Effect.
- A beautifully packaged product that appeals to women.
- A story about how you inspired some great shift your community.
- A heartfelt tale about a dog or your relationship with a dog.
- A service that has helped thousands of people that they can use in an economic downturn.
- A unique perspective on relationships.
- How you’ve weathered tough times that could assist others do the same.
- A way you’re helping children learn, love, live in a unique way.
- Advice from your professional perspective about saving money, doing good, living to the fullest that you can express that we haven’t heard before.
- Ideas about ways to appreciate what you already have and are grateful for.
- Breakthroughs in health, anti-aging, dealing with health care and optimal healthful living.
- New research on a topic that pertains to women that’s important for them to know now.
- A book that women want to read that’s well-written, dramatic, funny, moving, or a how-to-must-know.
How to pitch O Magazine
Getting into O Magazine is worth more than it’s weight in gold. Not only do 18 million people read the magazine, everyone I interviewed for the book told me that readers continued to purchase their products and services for over 6 months! People do not throw this magazine away! They use it as a reference, a buying guide for years. Which means that they can discover you years later and buy, buy, buy.
Oprah’s influence is not going to stop because her show is off the air. Her fans trust her taste and buy what she recommends in the magazine. What matters to Oprah matters to them. They hang on her every word. When you get Oprah’s seal of approval it’s like being handed an Oscar for your business, book, product, service or cause. In fact, getting into the magazine may be even MORE competitive since the show is gone.
Get into O, the Oprah Magazine in 10 simple steps
Want to explore where you or your business, book, product, service, story or cause fits in to what Oprah’s editors are looking for? Here is your free guide!
You you can be featured in O, The Oprah Magazine
Hesitant or nervous to move forward on your own? Feel held back by not knowing where to start? I know that pitching O Magazines editors can be intimidating and scary. Especially if you’ve never done it before. Putting yourself out there takes nerve—and persistence.
And….you have so much to offer Oprah’s fans and followers and it would be sad for all of us not to know about you and your wonderful offering, so I have a gift for you to inspire you to move forward now…
It’s the opportunity to qualify for a free strategy session with me, called by many, the “Go to Girl” for getting on Oprah.
Apply for a time for us to talk and we’ll explore how I can help you get featured in O now. No waiting. It’s your time.
Knowing how valuable it is to get in O, consider your competition and understand that, like The Oprah Winfrey Show, the standards at the magazine are some of the toughest in the industry. O prides itself in being a publication that values beauty, courage, attention to the finer points of relationships, and people doing amazing things in the world. To get in, here are 3 tips to get into O Magazine.
1. It’s got to be beautiful.
If your product packaging and product itself isn’t an eye-stopper, it’s most likely not going in O. One publicist who has gotten a number of her clients in O told me that she had a client whose product was fabulous, but the packaging didn’t show well so she had no plans to pitch it. Jeanine Boiko of J9 Public Relations, who got her client Bonjour Fleurette in the magazine three times for three different products, has a rule of thumb. “For a product to work in O, ask yourself this: if you walked past your product on the shelf somewhere, would it catch your eye and make you stop? It must have unique, attractive packaging that will photograph well.” Jeanine’s advice, especially to new business owners, is to not play it cheap with packaging. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the draw of your packaging.”
2. It’s got to be meaningful.
If you’re looking to write something for O, Executive Articles Editor Dawn Raffel says the magazine teaches people how live their best life: “It’s about realizing your own greatest potential and also about making a contribution to others.” Whether you want to write about yourself, be written about, or write about someone else, ask yourself two questions: Are you/they making a difference in a big way? Are you/they making a difference in a way that is important to Oprah?
Genevieve Piturro, founder of the Pajama Project, gets a “yes” on both counts. Her charity gives new pjs to abused and poor kids, many whose mothers are in prison. Some of these children never owned any pjs, and certainly not new ones. “They lose their minds when they get pjs. You’d think we were giving them chocolates!” says Jennefer Witter of The Boreland Group who was the publicist responsible for Piturro’s placement in the magazine. Pitturo scores big on two points: She tapped into one of Oprah’s key areas of importance: abused children. And she created a remarkable endeavor that caught a lot of people’s interest given the emotional pull of her story. When you think about children going to sleep at night in a fresh pair of pjs instead of tattered, dirty clothes, it conjures an image of safety and home. Made me want to donate….
3. It’s got to be well-written.
O’s readers expect the content to dig deep into emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being on many levels. O delivers on this expectation by seeking out top authors and freelancers from the best national magazines and newspapers in the country from the New York Times to Wired to write on topics as diverse as women slavery to how men really feel about breast implants to the death of a beloved dog. You can either be interviewed by these experienced writers or write an essay or feature on a topic that touches the heart of the O reader.
To get into O, The Oprah Magazine may take you 1-2 years. But I’ve haven’t met one soul who said it wasn’t worth it. Henry David Thoreau said, “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” So if getting in O is one of your dreams, keep advancing toward it with all the steadiness of a tulip reaching, reaching toward the sun.
Here are some of the results of people who got into O, The Oprah Magazine. I wish you similar success.
==> Genevieve Piturro who founded the pajama project, a charity to give new pjs to poor kids, went from 5 chapters to 30 and growing. She got 9000 new pjs donated and a donation of $5000.
==> Stephen Shapiro, author of Goal-Free Living: “How to Have the Life You Want NOW!,” says that his article helped springboard him into Entrepreneur, Investors Business Daily, and Family Circle. His speaker bookings increased dramatically, he got listed as one of Tom Peters’ “cool friends” and is in process of shooting a pilot for a TV show.
==> Author of “Yes Lives in the Land of No,” BJ Gallagher says, “I’d been trying to get the attention of this high- powered agent forever. Just last month the top-notch agent signed me to an exclusive contract representing my next book. Did my O article make her more inclined to say ‘yes’ to my book proposal? Undoubtedly.”
==> The volume of Dr. Volgman’s cardiology program at Rush University Medical Association expanded substantially. “O put the program on the map,” says publicist Chris Rush.
Want to discover where you and your business fit in Oprah’s magazine? Find out here: How to be Featured in O Magazine: The 15 Best Places For Products, Services, causes + Books. (It’s free!)
You you can be featured in O, The Oprah Magazine
NOTE: Getting a solid spot in O Magazine could be a huge windfall for you. It could even mean that you get in the running to be chosen as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things. The Favorite Thing team scours the magazine to choose the products to be tested in the competitive selection process. While Oprah’s show off Network TV in its current incarnation, the magazine isn’t. There are way more chances to get into the magazine than on the show and it gives you the potential to reach an audience that is devoted, loyal, and that BUYS the things that Oprah says she loves.
Watch a clip of Susan on CNBC discussing
The Oprah Effect
Getting featured in O, the Oprah Magazine, is like winning the Academy Award. It’s a distinction that validates your product like no other publication.
In fact, getting featured in O Magazine helped raise one entrepreneur’s sales by 60% in just 30 days. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. The mention brought much needed awareness to a cause close to her heart–breast cancer. Thanks to O, The Oprah Magazine the issue is now visible on a grand scale.
Knowing how valuable it is to get published in Oprah’s magazine, you must consider your competition and understand that, just like The Oprah Winfrey Show, the standards at the magazine are some of the toughest in the industry. O magazine prides itself as a publication valuing beauty, courage, attention to the finer points of relationships, and people doing amazing things in the world.
How to Pitch O Magazine
Here Are 3 Things You Should Know If You Want to Be Published in O, The Oprah Magazine:
1. Your product packaging must be beautiful.
If your product packaging and product itself isn’t an eye-stopper, it’s most likely not going in O, The Oprah Magazine. Jeanine Boiko of J9 Public Relations, who placed her client Bonjour Fleurette in the magazine three times for three different products, has this rule of thumb:
“For a product to work in O, ask yourself this: if you walked past your product on the shelf somewhere, would it catch your eye and make you stop? It must have unique, attractive packaging that will photograph well. My advice, especially to new business owners, is to not play it cheap with packaging. At the end of the day, it’s all about the draw of your packaging.”
Get featured in O, The Oprah Magazine
2. Your pitch to Oprah Magazine must be meaningful.
So, before you make a pitch to Oprah’s magazine, heed the advice of The Oprah Magazine former Executive Articles Editor Dawn Raffel who says the magazine teaches people how to live their best life: “It’s about realizing your own greatest potential and also about making a contribution to others.”
Whether you want to write about yourself, be written about, or write about someone else, to get a placement in Oprah Magazine ask yourself these two questions:
- Are you making a difference in a big way?
- Are you making a difference in a way that is important to Oprah?
Genevieve Piturro, founder of the Pajama Project, gets a “yes” on both counts. Her charity gives new pajamas to abused and poor kids, many whose mothers are in prison. Some of these children never owned any pajamas, and certainly not new ones. When you think about children going to sleep at night in a fresh pair of pajamas instead of tattered, dirty clothes, it conjures an image of safety and home.
Pitturo scored big on two points: She tapped into one of Oprah’s key areas of importance: abused children. And she created a remarkable endeavor that attracted many people’s interest, given the story’s emotional pull. It made me want to hurry and buy pajamas and donate money to this worthy cause.
3. Your pitch to O Magazine must be well-written.
O’s readers expect the content to dig deep into emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being on many levels. Oprah’s magazine delivers on this expectation by seeking out top authors and freelancers from the best national magazines and newspapers in the country. They look for writers from publications like the New York Times to Wired to write on topics as diverse as women slavery to how men really feel about breast implants to the death of a beloved dog.
You can either be interviewed by these experienced writers or write a feature on a topic that touches the heart of the O magazine reader.
It may take you 1 to 2 years to get published in O, The Oprah Magazine. But I’ve haven’t met one soul who said it wasn’t worth it.
If you want to dip a toe into the O Empire and get a taste of the possibilities start with this. (It’s free!)
Henry David Thoreau said, “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” So if getting in O is one of your dreams, keep advancing toward it with all the steadiness of a tulip reaching toward the sun.
Get your copy of Get Into O Magazine right here to discover what the editors of O Magazine are looking for and how to give it to them. You’ll learn how to stand out from the thousands of competitors who are vying for their place in O.
Curious where you and your business fit in Oprah’s magazine? Find out here: How to be Featured in O Magazine: The 15 Best Places For Products, Services, causes + Books. (It’s free!)
You you can be featured in O, The Oprah Magazine
Don’t want to go it alone? Help is here! You have the opportunity to qualify for a free strategy session with me, called by many the “Go to Girl” for getting on Oprah. Apply for a time for us to talk and explore how I can help you get featured in O.