How to Publicize Yourself During COVID or Any Disaster or Pandemic

When Promoting Yourself or Your Offer During a Disaster or Pandemic Don’t Be Self-Serving or Opportunistic

Susan: I’m Susan Harrow, media coach, marketing strategist, author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul® and CEO of So today we are going to talk about how do you publicize yourself during COVID without being self serving, salesy, you know, with your own integrity and spirit.

And we’re going to be talking a little bit about mindset and then we’re going to go through everything else that we promised. And Sherry and I, a lot of you know who Sherry Richert Belul is, she’s a dear friend of mine. And she has a wonderful book called Say It Now, which is perfect for this time, and for people really starting to feel what’s really important to them. I think that people want to express that and I know you also help, How to Write A Love List, which couldn’t be more timely.

Sherry: Yeah. So Susan, I just wanted to say that I’m so grateful to you, because the way that this came about was remember I called you and said, “Gosh, I, you I feel like I have a really great message right now but I don’t want to seem opportunistic. I don’t want to feel like I’m trying to, like sell my book in the midst of all of these really difficult things going on. Deaths and loss of jobs, and people who are sick. And so I said to you, do you have any suggestions on how to navigate this? Because I do want to serve. I feel like I could help people right now.” And so we decided we’d have a general conversation, because surely there must be a lot of people like me out there.

Susan: I think there really are. There’s some people were doing it really well, right, navigating that really well. And then there’s some people who are not navigating it so well. Part of it is your own mindset. Like if you are feeling icky about it, or that it’s not feeling right, that’s the first thing, you need to check into yourself. But then you also want to check in: Am I just nervous that I’m not going to be accepted or beloved, or whatever. So there’s the hesitation for that reason. But if you’re hesitating because it really doesn’t feel right in your gut, that’s another thing. Really, I think that now is such a wonderful opportunity for anyone to start spreading good news, whether it’s about COVID or not, because that’s all the media that they’re looking for right now. When I talked to PR firms, they’re like, people are craving all this information.

The Media News Cycle Gets Filled With Your Digital and Viral Content and Viral Headlines

The other thing is, part of that is also the press is hungry for stories and positive messages because they have to fill out a news cycle. And then the other thing that they really need to fill out is there’s so much more digital content that’s online. So while we have hardcopy magazines, we still have podcasts, we have TV. We also have digital content that is changing many times a day, not just once a day necessarily, because the news organizations are also testing clickbait. They’re testing headlines. They’re trying to see what are what are people wanting now. Now they can do that in seconds and minutes and not months, collecting the data. They can start to change that data right away. So if you’re on a trend, or if there’s a certain thing that’s really becoming viralized, that is an opportunity. When I say opportunity, I mean that in a way that that is a chance for you to gratefully bring up whatever your offer is. Does that make sense?

Sherry: Yeah, yeah. But you know what comes up for me around that Susan, is you mentioned a few different mediums. You mentioned, a lot of digital content. Magazines are still out there publishing, that there’s podcasts, where would you suggest that someone start or do we try to do all of it right now?

Susan: I think to start where you’re most comfortable. If you’re a writer, start with writing. If you’re a speaker, somebody who likes to speak more is more comfortable. Start with broadcasts. So that can be podcasting. That’s radio, that’s TV and Facebook Live even. We’ll talk a little bit later about how things that go on to social media get picked up by the traditional media too. So we’ll talk about in a little bit too. But I think you start where you’re most comfortable. And I just heard something from I was listening to Ocean Vuong, who wrote the book called On Earth, We’re Briefly Gorgeous. He’s a poet. He’s a novelist.

Sherry: Beautiful name isn’t it.

Susan: He said something that I really loved, he was talking about going to his first open mic. He said, “People were standing at the microphone. People who were older. People who were shy. But when they stood behind the microphone, they gained a second life, they stood up, they were so proud of what was coming out of them, because they were wielding language on their own terms. And I realized that this is what my grandmother was doing at the kitchen, where she told stories, that the air is like a second page that you get to rewrite and take over, where you have so little power. In our daily life, we’re at the mercy of schedules, we’re at the mercy of gravity, the limits of the body, but when it comes to language, we are truly free.”

Sherry: That’s so beautiful!

Susan: We have language, the media is all about language, image, perception, shaping the perception, this is where we’re truly free, where we have a chance to really excel now and share whatever that is, that’s your special message for people.

Where Do You Start Doing Your Own Publicity?

Sherry: So let’s say it’s me, or Rachel, or Jane, or anyone else who’s listening to this. We have a message that we love, and that we feel like can really serve people. And let’s say, I’m just going to choose magazines right now, because that seems to be one of my interest is say, women’s magazines. And it might be online content, or it might be the, the, you know, printed version. Can you give me some guidance? Like, where would I even start?

Susan: Yeah, so one of the things that I promised is the 50+ magazine editorial calendars. That is a great place to start because you can see what the magazines are planning for the year, and we just updated it for 2022. We’ll put in the link at the end, so you can get it for free. Yeah, so you can download all of that. That being said, some people have a hardcopy calendars and digital calendars, and some are just taking a one or the other. So when you start to look at the digital calendars, which are faster, right, because now that digital calendar is going to be changed. Whereas, the hardcopy calendar, they’re gonna make adjustments to it, given everything that’s going on in the culture. Some of that is already set, right? Because in hardcopy, they’re three to six months out. Digital can happen tomorrow.

How Do You Get Free Publicity?

So take a look at that. So digital first. So one of the resources that I know you know about Sherry but not maybe everybody does is HARO. Help a Reporter Out. On HARO,, you will get free queries three times a day in all the different topics from reporters and producers who need experts for their stories now. So that’s where you can see what’s going on and immediately respond. You don’t even have to do any research. You don’t have to create a media list. Nothing! You can just dive right into that, sign up for that today. It’s free, and start responding to those queries. And I’m going to talk in a little bit about how to best do that so you can get chosen. But that is the fastest way right now. And and there’s dozens and dozens of queries every single day that they’re looking for content.

Sherry: I see that Jade is saying, “I’ve been in business hibernation while doing research. I haven’t finished my book. I used to do radio. I love speaking. I keep helping people online understand all the public health stuff.” Oh my gosh, it’s so great Jade.

Susan: Oh, yes, that would be extremely useful. Jade, you could even go on TV with that kind of content. Because if you’re looking at MSNBC and CNN, there’s different experts, some of the same ones. There are regular people that are on every night, but all of these kinds of things need to be explained. So if you have new statistics, or you have a new perspective on that, we want to hear it because this is evolving and people don’t know what’s going to happen next. And we and we are all eager for that information. Right? I mean, everyone’s kind of on the 24/7 News news cycle now watching it, listening to it, getting it on your phone, however you consume it. So yes, extremely useful.

Should You Do National Publicity or Keep it to Local Publicity?

Sherry: Susan, let’s just say Jade wants to start with local TV. So let’s say Jade she’s just saying they keep misinterpreting the basics. What if she wants to reach out to the local news? Would it be the the news would be a talk show?

Susan: I would go to your local talk shows and just start. Well, I mean, you can’t go in person anymore. If you’re going to be doing it out of your house, right? We say local, but it doesn’t really matter because you can’t go in person right now. Right? Say you can go national. But start local Jade. And what I would say is when they’re misinterpreting the data is you have to say, respectfully, what’s wrong. And back it up with facts and not just opinion. So you can say, not like you people have been reporting it wrong, because obviously, you’re not going to make any friends that way. So there’s a graceful way of saying, what you might not know is that blah, blah, blah, this is the fact that was not correct. And here’s why. And here’s the correct fact. And I’d love to come on and talk about it more. I might say there were a couple of other things that could be interpreted differently as well, that I’m happy to clarify for you, happy to have a phone call or touch via email, whatever is your preference. So I would definitely do that.

Sherry: And is Jane reaching out? Is she sending an email is she sending a tweet?

Susan: She can send an email. Reporters typically want to get press releases via email, but they are scouring social media. They prefer not to be pitched via social media but if that’s the only way that you can get to somebody right now, and you keep it super short and make it an invitation, that’s fine, but they prefer to be pitched via email.
Got it.

Sherry: And I’m presuming that your wonderful free gift is going to help us to find those emails.

Susan: My free gift is on the page, there’s the 50 Free Top Media Contacts, that might be more useful. The magazine one is more the Editorial Calendar, which shows you how to place them, so its contact information for those magazines. But it’s not broadcast, the editorial calendars is for magazines only.

Sherry: Aha, okay.

Susan: Hi Betsy. She’s still trying to get a TV gig going. They have done the opposite on climate oceans. Well, that’s a really interesting angle, Betsy. It’s would be curious if it’s topical now. People are so focused on people versus the climate. And I know your area is the climate, and you’re brilliant at it. So if you can connect the climate to how it’s affecting the virus and people. Like they are saying that when the warm weather comes, the virus is going to recede a little bit. I don’t know if that’s accurate or not? Or if that’s an advantage of global warming at the moment, right, or in certain parts of the world. But you could certainly comment on that.

And Hi, Peter. Peter, is grief gratitude. So you’re if you’re a grief expert, certainly you can start you can talk about if we’re losing, or how we’re losing people and how to respond to that. My father has Alzheimer’s, he’s starting to slow down, he’s taking longer naps. And Will said, what happens with your dad? Like, how are we going to celebrate him? Are we going to have a funeral? A memorial? You know what I mean? So those are the kinds of questions that are coming up to. I’m like, “No, we can’t do that. We’re going to have to delay it.” But I’m still going to have to go comfort my mom and her grief. Right.

People are still dying natural deaths, too. You know, so that’s not stopping as well. So I think maybe you can connect people dying of the virus and also people in the midst of this, dying in their natural process of unnatural processes. Right. Sherry, I know we have a lot of other things to cover, too.

Sherry: We have some broader things that some other people on your your mailing list had asked us to cover and, you know, so one of those was using visuals to get included. Can you speak a little bit about that?

Visuals Can Make or Break Your Media Pitch—Create Gorgeous High Res Photography

Susan: Yeah, one of the things that I’m seeing on the visuals is some really interesting things like on PopSugar, which is a great outlet because they have so much content in so many different areas. So if you don’t know Popsugar, it’s mainly for women, but they have a lot of different tracks on there. So that’s a really great place. BuzzFeed, right? Those are a couple of different places that have continual content that you can tap into. But one of the things that they did that I saw was really funny is how people are making makeshift desks at home. So now, they found that all on social media, right, and then they collated it into a story, like, here’s how people are working at home.

Somebody put a computer on a garbage can, another person, put it on their dogs food, under a tent, whatever ways that they weren’t setting up in their home. So that came from social media. So you can use your social media feed, for anything that you’re doing that’s out of the ordinary, that could be helpful or funny, or whatever. Like, a lot of those were funny. Some of them were just super creative. But visual content is now coming, I pulled up some stats for it, there’s one in five, US adults prefer to receive their news via social media instead of print or newspapers, TV and digital. So you have much more opportunity there. And it’s also because we have shrinking attention spans, that is, you’ve heard the goldfish minutes, three seconds, right? So you, you have a very short time to capture people’s attention.

Visuals Can Make or Break a Story. Have Them At the Ready in Your Online Presskit

But the other thing is that really, the movement toward visuals has been very dramatic. And so when you have a good visual story, you just sometimes need to back it up with a little bit of written words. And what the media says is having high res photography, so that means your photography still has to be, with iPhones and with the way the phones work well, to have the bar has raised, you have to have really great quality photos, but you can do them yourself. We’re not talking about professional we’re talking about just using your smartphone. So it says that having high res photography immediately available for news journalists increases the company or your chance of being featured because we often eat content at odd hours. So they wanted to be able to pull it off your website or pull it off your social media. 74% of journalists stated they were more likely to cover a news story, if it included easy access to high res photos. So link in your email or on your social media, in your Twitter feed, whatever feed it is, or on your website, link directly to those photos to your website or your blog, when you’re pitching the media.

Sherry: That is a great tip Susan. Because I wouldn’t have thought of that. First of all, I don’t usually think in terms of visuals. I don’t know why. But you’re helping me to think in terms of like, How can I turn some of the ideas that I have to support people into something that’s visually going to grab somebody’s attention? So that’s like a first thing, right?

Susan: You have so many of those people’s pictures from Target.

Sherry: Oh, yeah.

Susan: So what, what do you put it on a single page on your website. And then and then that would be a really wonderful thing to pass on to the media. If you can put all collect all those photos together and put them into like one montage and then put that up on your social media feed. And put that on your website of like this is how many people are responding to Say It Now.

Sherry: Because I was trying to be very literal about here’s my message, how do I show it visually. But I think what you’re saying is even just something that shows a great interest in what we’re doing, that’s okay too.

Have You Passed the “Proof of Concept Test”?

Susan: Before the traditional media will pick you up, they need to know – it’s proof of concept. So either you’re totally credible, or something has gone viral. So that’s why I wanted to jump into the viral thing, because I will tell you how this one woman went viral and what she did, and how she leveraged that. And how you can do that organically too. So this woman is a writer from Minnesota, just had a baby. And in the middle of the night she was up and she was thinking and so she’s a writer and poet, and she whipped off this poem popped it up on her social media feed, and it went viral.

And here’s the thing, she sort of already went viral. So it had proof of concept, right? So people are already interested in it. They’re loving it. They’re sharing it. People contacted are from all over the world, composers wanting to set it to music. Different languages. She said it was suddenly translated into all these different languages. So what did she do? She created a special video for Kelly Clarkson and said, “Hey, I’m a mom, this is what happened. And this is the poem that went viral.” And then Kelly Clarkson put it up on her show.

Sherry: Wow.

Susan: So you have something that’s gone viral, that’s really taken, then you pitch that to the media. What I love about this, is it wasn’t something that she had to sell. But she’s a writer, right? So what did she use, her words. So it’s really connected to her. So if you have a we, our, or we moment niggling, or nudges that’s where the gold is. That’s where you dropped down, like this idea sharing. I wrote this, what I put out to you on Facebook, in like, five minutes. Because I was just thinking about it. And then I go, Oh, you know what this is how I can help. This is what I can do. This is what I know. And so then Sherry put that idea into my head, and then I ran with it.

There are all kinds of ideas in your head that you don’t know about. But if you sit and get quiet, or just on your walk, when you’re with your kids playing a game with your kids, whenever wherever you get an idea, it doesn’t matter. Keep your phone with you, keep a notebook, with you write it down. And then if you’re inspired by it, you put it out there in whatever medium works for you.

If you’re always up on Instagram live or Instagram stories, or whatever the medium is for you. That’s where you put it out there. Or you send it to your friends via email, like this is something I came up with for you. This is my saying it now for my friends and family, right? Because it can go viral in so many different ways. It’s not just social media, right?

Your Post Can Still Go Viral—Huge following or not

Sherry: I’m glad you said that because not everybody has a huge social media following, right. So when you’re talking about things going viral, and I was thinking, wow, I don’t you know, I don’t have a huge social media following to make something go viral. But I think what you’re saying is, well, first of all, we don’t ever know. And that if we’re following those intuitions that come to us, they come from a true place. And we just don’t know, what’s where, who’s gonna pick it up? Or who’s gonna like it, or whichever friends might share it with somebody else.

Susan: It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a huge social media following because there’s somebody on your list who may or owned it or repost it or share it into their feed. Right? No, yours necessarily. It’s someone else’s. Remember what happened with Rich Geram? Way long time ago? He was on that boat, and he saw a pod pf dolphins.

Sherry: A whole school of them.

Susan: It was with dolphins. He had his video camera he videod that he put that on social media. It went viral. And how did that affect his business? You might know I don’t know.

Posting What is Important to You Can Create Organic Publicity Buzz

Sherry: Actually it was an Orca? I think it was an Orca. So I think something more rare than dolphins, but whatever. Whatever it was, it was a rare sighting. He had a beautiful photograph. And right then, I mean, Rich’s passion is having clean oceans. So he used that. He got all sorts of media attention, that he was able to segue into his real message. Not like oh, it’s great to paddleboard! But listen, we need to take care of the oceans.

Which is kind of bringing us I think back to the heart of this talk. Which is that: Yes, we want to get Media and Publicity, but why? What is behind it? Who is it we want to serve? And how? I guess I just wanted to bring that back because I think that’s the heart of what prompted this conversation with us.

The Backdoor Approach to Publicity Often Brings Media Success

Susan: I wanted to talk about that, because that’s backdooring it. A lot of times, we all want to go in the front door. This is what I have to promote, this is my offer. I want to talk about that. It’s often our passion or hobby or what strikes us in the middle of the night that takes. And then as you saw with Rich, he could then talk about what was important to him, which was clean oceans. It wasn’t sighting an Orca. And that he happens to be a coach, where a lot of people then got exposed to him and said, Oh God, this guy really cares about the Earth, the oceans, and he’s a caring person. He also loves the natural world and he’s obviously very talented and goodness. What do you do? I’m gonna hire him as a coach.

Sherry: Yeah, yeah

Susan: He got his message out there about the oceans, and also his business about being a coach. Right? But he wasn’t thinking, I’m gonna take a picture of these Orcas on my pattle board so I can expand my coaching business and my message about oceans.

Sherry: Exactly. You know, that’s such a great point. And, and a really important one, because what he was doing was he was following his heart to do something that he loves in the world. And so what I’m hearing from you, too, because it might be our first instinct, like, Oh, everybody should be reading my book right now. But that’s not it at all right? And then we want to find a way that we’re going to interest the media, and then use that interest to then be able to talk about how we hope we can serve, is that right?

Susan: Also I want to say, okay, so the big picture, or the big ideas, like your book, Say it Now. But part of inside Say it Now is writing a love list. Right? So you delve into the content of it, of your message or your book, and it’s not about the book, Say it Now, it’s about something that’s within the book, that is helping people or that get that is a piece of it. So you really want to look for like the smallest possible piece, not the big picture, not like making everybody feel good. That’s not media worthy. It’s someone wrote, have you have a story, as I recall, you know, someone saying something to someone, and then they like died the next day, or whatever, right? It’s like, that’s why we need to say now that might not have been sick, whatever. It’s the meaningful moment that you need. So that’s why we want to say it now. Because we just never know. I mean, hello. We never could have predicted this.

Sherry: I know.

How Has Your Work Impacted Others? What Makes it Publicity Worthy?

Susan: That’s why it’s important. And then you might give an example, like, you know, you have lots of examples of people who’ve done that in a moving way. So you would pull out those very specific examples of how people have used your work and how it’s impacted them. Because that’s what the media wants to know, is how has what you do or what your offer has impacted someone whether it’s a bar of chocolate that somebody thinks is delicious, or expressing love that is maybe really hard to say in person.

Sherry: I love this. I was just seeing that Rachel said, I love the backdoor approach. It’s there’s so much less resistance and it for a shy person.

Susan: I’m one of the shy people too, I’m a trained extrovert is the way I call myself. Yeah. So I’m with you, Rachel, on that. And the other thing is that you’re not attached.

Sherry: Say more? Yeah.

Susan: When we are trying to push our work out in the world, there’s an attachment to a result. And as hard as it is, I mean, anybody who’s doing a publicity campaign, or has a book out or a product, we want other people to have it, right. But it’s a different mental process, to draw people in to have people magnetize to you and your work than it is to push it at them. And to say my wishes for to reach whoever wants it or needs it, or connects with that, versus I want a million people to have that.

Sherry: Wow, I I want to underscore that because I think that was so important, that difference between and I know it and maybe the reason it resonated is and I’m sure maybe other people know it too, which is that, you’re pushing, you’re striving, you’re going for an outcome. In my practice, I’m often looking at process versus outcome versus the process of I love this I’m so excited. You know, I’m so whatever universe wanted, you want to help me with this, I believe this can really serve people – here! In all of my joy and excitement, which is a very different. Because back to what you were saying earlier, right about the energy of what we’re doing.

Susan: My joy and excitement. So the offer has to connect with the need. Right? Sometimes people get so excited, and they just start to blurt out everything about their offer, but the other person isn’t interested in it. So it’s finding the people and the connection to any audience. It’s: What does my audience need to know now and how can I help? Those are the two questions to always ask in any PR campaign. Is there any anything that you’re publishing is what do I have that nobody else has? And how does it connect to your need or your desire or something that you want that you might not even know that you want yet? That it’s right.

Be of Service is Rule #1 For Good Publicity and Media Attention

The other part of that, about the non attachment part is really about serving. And really having having that connection with whoever it is who wants what you have, right? And to be open so we don’t have any – We don’t know where that’s going to lead. So for example, I have a friend who’s very successful branding expert, LinkedIn, you know, Facebook, you know, big corporations and things like that. And she’s just started doing some webinars on how to do webinars for people who’ve never done them before. And you know, she got 50 people on the first one, well, she already has a mailing list of, 1000s and 1000s of people, right.

So she started, she’s just finished up, she has these fabulous products but she’s mostly done more at a more corporate level. And people haven’t been on her site to buy these products. There are all these great products, because she mentioned a couple of them in this very short webinar. When we were talking the other day, she sold two. So now you might say is like, well, that’s nothing, right. But you see, she’s a high level consultant, who hasn’t sold very many digital products. And she’s just given two webinars now. And she she sold two products.

And she just mentioned those in passing. It wasn’t like a webinar to sell. We’ll be super clear. She was really just 100% service. And then she goes, by the way, this is something new that I’m doing, I have these I just uploaded these that I just finished and here was my process to do it. So she was sharing about that. And then you know, a couple people, two out of 50 people is really good.

Sherry: It is really good especially because she was not really even selling it.

Susan: Really she just tossed it off at the end. So things can start small and snowball or in the media things can happen super fast. Its just completely unpredictable. Just like that women’s poem that went viral.

(Responding to a question) You can find the name of some of your local producers on Twitter. Twitter is a really good place to find contact information for your local media. I highly suggest that. That’s probably quickest, otherwise you can Google it. It’s really pretty simple. You can Google it and there are all these lists. I have some free lists that I’ve compiled of how to do this, they are on is my website. I’ve got a whole page of free goodies. Go look there. Some of them I only give away on my webinars and they might not be up there but I know I’ve compiled that list like how do you find anybody’s name and things like that.

Elise asks, “how does it work to have high-res photos when it takes people way longer download them when it’s high-res. So they’re on our blogs?” You can put them on a separate page. I wouldn’t put it on your blog necessarily, I would put them on a separate downloadable page. If it’s specific photos of you or your work or whatever then you direct the media specifically to that page. Like I have a press page and on that page are my photos that can be downloaded, so it’s specific to my press page. It’s not on my blog. So that’s where the media is going to look: in your bio or on your press page for those kinds of things. Again you can direct them to whatever place you want them to go. Elise, also I don’t know technically if this is possible but I’ve seen people put like thumbnails so it doesn’t take a lot of space and then I think it just clicks into the high-res photos when they click on the thumbnails. Is that right? I think that that’s possible.

Sherry: Yeah that is that’s possible.

So one of the things we started to talk about but I don’t know if we quite completed, tell me if we did, which was if someone does have an interest in some of those bigger magazines, printed publications, did you have anything more to say about that or do you feel like we covered that well?

Susan: I wanted to say you know why being interviewed right now by magazines is easier during the pandemic. We talked a little bit about that, they need to keep their their readers engaged. But also I just wanted to talk about maybe some specific things that they’re looking for. Obviously you’ve seen tons of things on nutrition and also fitness. I mean that’s a natural right. In the beauty industry, self-care, so if you’re in that, that’s a lot. Business coaching, executive coaching. How do you how do you stay focused on business and continue your business in this atmosphere? I think that right now people are really looking for content that’s accepted from your book, so since they need some content now, is there anything that you’ve already pre-written that can be excerpted from your book. That’s something that really, you might be able to just adapt things from your blog or your book. Notice if somebody needs content, original content like Pop Sugar, it is original. So that’s the original. Other places, it doesn’t have to be original content

My microphone is suddenly popping itself on for some reason, we’ve had sort of technical things happening all day and now my microphone just decided to put itself on over here. So by the way if you’re in a media interview and something like that happens, you need to acknowledge it and just go right on, because I can’t ignore it. Like things are like zooming around over here. So you don’t really want to ignore it, you want to name it. It’s like naming the elephant in the room. Like oops and and then refocus. If you ever misspeak you can just say “rather” and just move on and say what you want.

Sherry: That’s great, yeah, I love that. I love also the the authenticity of it. Instead of trying to be and this is one of the things that first drew me to you right because I found you from your book, How To Sell Yourself Without Selling Yourself and I love the authenticity of that of that. Like right now we don’t have to be perfect you know we’re not perfect.

Susan: Like you’re an expert and I’m an expert in media, but I’m not an expert in doing Facebook Live evidently, obviously. Do you know what I mean? So I’m a beginner, like Sherry and I spent hours behind the scenes trying to get me educated to do this okay! I just want you to know! We had tested it, we’d done all this a number of times and we still couldn’t get it to go live right on time. So stuff happens and you just have to go with it. It’s like what do you do? You write a note up on the Facebook Page, “Sorry and we’re coming soon,” and hopefully we could fulfill on that promise, which we figured it out.

Sherry: Yeah! So while we still have time Susan, I have to say that one of the things that piqued my interest when I read your email, just like everyone else. Parade Magazine? Can you tell that us that story because I want to know how to get into Parade Magazine.

Susan: Yes, so that came from HARO. My former client and my friend, now my dear friend: Jeannie Herlbert got into Parade Magazine. 40 Ways to Maintain Social Ties During the Corona Quarantine. Now the great thing about that, and this is this is what I was talking about Rachel, about the back door, is that Jeannie’s business, she’s got a high level business doing surveys with people in terms of customer satisfaction. But with big corporations and and collecting data on how people buy and sell and all of that sort of thing. But what did you think? Number 31 on that 40 is, take your dog for a walk. Go out and get some exercise in fresh air. It’s not only good for you physically but provides opportunities to interact with others from a safe distance. And then she said, “as you stroll through your neighborhood to speak to your neighbors while remaining six feet away, ask them how they’re doing. If you see older folks who may have trouble getting out, make a special effort to find out how they’re doing.” And so it says Jeannie Herlbert, PhD, president of Herlbert Consulting. It gives her link. Chief Data Officer of Smart Consultant, gives the link. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Now anybody who’s reading that Parade Magazine and can see Jeanie is heartfelt, she’s really wonderful and if I’m thinking about using a consultant, there I have it.

So it’s not about anything about her business even though she’s an expert. She was work with Katrina, Tony Robbins, all those those kinds of companies during disaster. She’s a disaster prevention expert as well as helping people in all of these social situations. Then the other thing that happened with Jeannie, just an fyi, and this again came through HARO, is she’s going to get an article in Authority Magazine that will be in five global Buzzfeed entrepreneur roundups!

Find Journalist To Pitch To Today on HARO!

Sherry: I responded to that HARO too and I got it. Yes! I love that you brought that up. I love HARO. I love you Harrow then HARO. I got excited!

Susan: That’s really fantastic! So when you’re in HARO remember sometimes one media appearance, one thing can get syndicated. So in this case it’s a syndication of sorts. So you don’t know where that information is going to land and who’s going to see it. Then of course you can put that up on your website as credibility, that you’ve been at all of those places. So the next time you go out to get media attention, you have start you’ve already started to build up your credibility bucket to show that you’ve already been in media. Which is one of the things that media looks for.

Sherry: I love that! I just wanted to add a little something about HARO, which is sometimes those show up as anonymous or they don’t really say who it is. Like one time I responded to something it was Wall Street Journal and I ended up getting it. But I didn’t know it was the Wall Street Journal. So I just wanted to encourage people to know that sometimes you might think oh I don’t know what that is, I’m not interested. But I think sometimes some of the larger publications don’t always say.

Susan: That’s exactly right because they want to limit the response because if they did put Wall Street Journal they would get like 300 000 responses.

Sherry: I really appreciate that story that you’re talking about because I think what you’re pointing to is when we’re just out there sharing what we’re excited about we don’t really ever know how it’s gonna get picked up.

The Three Pivotal Questions To Ask Yourself Before Doing Media

Susan: No, that’s the beauty of publicity. Really when I work with my private clients and the people in the courses as well we ask three questions. 1. What’s your deepest intention how do you want to serve? What’s your big vision in the world? That’s number one. It doesn’t have to be to change the world or anything like that. Your deepest intention can be as small or as big as it is. Number two is: What do you want for yourself? And what we look at is personally, professionally, spiritually, emotionally, financially, we want all of that because when we start to shape your foundational sound bites, that’s what it’s based on. What is it that you’re hoping for? Who do you want to connect with? Who do you want to be? I think the biggest question for us right now! And kind of the question that I’m always asking myself. I think you are too Sherry, is who do I want to be and am I the person that I want to be now? There’s always room for growth right? Like Soyo Rokoshe said, “You’re perfect as you are and there’s always room for improvement.” And so it’s who do you want to be in the world really, not what do you want to accomplish in the world. I think it’s a different perspective.

Sherry: I love that!

Susan: So the question is to really expand your view of imagining everything that you want in all of those different realms and then let the world work it’s wicked wonder magic to connect you through when you do media. Then the last question is: What do I want my audience to do? What action do I want people to take? Sometimes it’s just a shift in perception, other times it’s I want them to go to my website and buy my book or buy my product or do my course or hire me for consulting. Whatever that is, it’s got to be perfectly clear in how you’re expressing yourself in your message in a way that’s integrated into the information naturally. That’s how we become the best ambassadors of our spirit without being salesy or self-interested.

So we’re we’re speaking about our offer but in a way that’s connecting with people and in a way that has in the background, people, their felt sense is they get what your deepest intention is. Whereas if your intention is sell, sell, sell, sell, people will feel that too, right? So that’s goodness in you for the intention and you never have to say here’s my deepest intention. In fact I suggest that you don’t because I can’t stand it. I don’t know about you, but I do, “my passion is or I want and I’m so passionate about that,” No, No, No, No, No! We should feel that, we should know that, we should get that, you shouldn’t have to blurt that out. It’s not part of the story. It’s like show, don’t tell! We want you to be to be the expression of whatever your offer is and everything you do.

Sherry: I love that, I love that Elise said, “human being, not human doing.” Awesome! Hey Susan, there was one other question I just want to make sure that you had a chance to respond to, which was that if a reporter or producer does reach out to us in response to something, how do we make sure that we approach that in a way that then they say yes to us?

Laser Responses to reporters reaching out to you and HARO

Susan: Oh right! So let’s talk about first if you’re responding to HARO. So I have a client, she’s extremely accomplished, she’s a fantastic professional speaker, she’s got a book out, very well accomplished. She said can you help me with my HARO response and I looked at it and it was all very articulate, it was something that would be written in a book. It was very academic and things like that so what happened was she wasn’t answering their question directly in the kind of language that a reporter is used to. So we are used to reading journalistically, listening to on the radio, on tv, on podcasts, whatever medium. It’s got to be concise and direct and the best responses reflect the organization that you are speaking to. Meaning if it’s the Wall Street Journal, you’re going to be speaking in more business language to the business audience. If you’re speaking to Parade, Vanity Fair, that’s a different audience. Or women’s world or Wired. You know what I’m saying? It’s all very specific to that.

But the most important thing in responding to HARO is to answer the question directly first, before you start blurting about who you are. Because we don’t care who you if you haven’t answered our question. You answer the question as quickly and directly to their point and then support it with your background, your expertise, links to your website, if they want more information. Here’s how they can find it through links or talking to you, all of that kind of thing. I just wanted to mention that on HARO.

Then how you respond if they’re actually calling you is a different story. Because that’s a different medium so in that medium again, you just don’t want to blurt out your passion, just start talking madly. You want to listen carefully to what it is they need and what angle it is and to check in frequently. So you start to say a little bit of a something and then you say, “Am I on the right track?,” is this what you want?

Sherry: That’s great! That’s such a simple little tool but I can imagine that …

Susan: Most people don’t do it!

Sherry: right most people get nervous and then blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Susan: The other thing I do is I research the reporter first before I come back, so if they’ve called me I want to research. So then I can immediately connect with what they’ve written, the articles that they’ve written, and I read some of what they’ve written so I know what their style is. So I know how to address what they’re after.

Sherry: Wow!

Susan: And this can be five minutes, you can just do five minutes. I can tell you from one of my clients whose big mission is to feed the world and is creating new food sources from other parts of the world. It was Forbes or Inc. Now I can’t remember which one but I researched the reporter for him and found something that she had written that connected exactly to his vision about how everyone in the world should be able to be fed and here’s how and it’s possible. And I said here’s your starting point in conversation and that set the tone of the whole interview. He said it was a fantastic interview and he got lots of ink. He got lots of press because he immediately connected! So there’s that part of it too

Publicity is all about connection

Sherry: I mean in my mind, that might be a wonderful way to end, which is that this is connection right? These are relationships, these are other people. And I think that’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned from doing different kinds of media, they’re just people and they have their hearts and their interests. I love that you brought that in, like let’s connect.

Susan: Yeah, I love that! Ian Forrester says only connect and I think that’s really it. If there’s one line that sums up publicity it really is “only connect”

Sherry: Wow!

Susan: One-on-one, then you’re connecting with hundreds and you’re connecting with thousands, then you’re connecting with millions. But it’s all the same. It’s just scale.

Sherry: Yeah, I’m so grateful Susan. I feel like we could probably go on and on now that you know we’re here and it’s working but I just thank you so much you were and I think that was a perfect example, when I said to you, “hey nobody I know is talking about this, can you address it?” And you were like yeah! I love that you were just so willing and I’m sure that it has helped way more people, it certainly helped me. I want to thank all the people who’ve been here live.

Susan: Thank you everybody and people who i don’t know but i’m so happy to meet you. And Sherry’s website is…

Sherry: Oh that’s very kind of you, my website is

Susan: That’s wonderful, thanks! And mine is I hope to see you there. We both have lots of free resources for you and we’re going to post some of them. We’d love to hear about how it goes for you with media, with COVID, and with anything beyond.

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Hi, I'm Susan

I’m a media coach, martial artist + marketing strategist who helps you communicate your values, mission + message during media interviews to multiply your revenue while building your brand + business. I believe that you don’t need to brag, beg or whore yourself to get the publicity you want. Nor do you need to be an axe murderer, a shamed sports star, or be involved in a sex scandal. There is another way…

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