Are you ever wondering why your competitor’s product got on the local morning show and yours didn’t?
Have you ever opened up a magazine and seen a 2-page profile (with a picture!) about someone in your industry who you’ve never heard of?
Did you say to yourself, “their product isn’t even close to as good as mine!” or “How are they getting this kind attention?“ or “Yipes; I don’t get it!”
This is a tough one; it seems like a big blow.
The funny thing is that the reason why they got the publicity and you didn’t has nothing to do with how good your product is.
And for that matter, it had nothing to do with how good THEIR product is.
The fact that your product is better also has nothing to do with your competitor getting the press attention.
The good news is that next time it CAN and should be you. It’s not rocket science and you can do it yourself. The scoop is at www.prhandbookforentrepreneurs.com.
This book – which you can buy in separate specific chapters with tools you can put to practical use today – are the braindump of my 20 + year career launching new products for brands you know….everyone from Mrs. Fields Cookies to Swatch, Champagne Mumm and lots of other products.
But let’s get back to what happened:
Have you ever heard the old adage: “the one with the loudest voice wins?”
I’m here to say that’s 1000% true. I’ve worked with some of the best in their industries….
and some who just have good stories and the time and fortitude to tell the world about themselves.
Their products aren’t always any better than the next one.
Did you know that the local morning TV show, the newspaper, radio programs and magazines are actually LOOKING for stories to report about?
It is entirely possible — and I do this for a living, so I really know — that you can pick up the phone right now to the local TV station and get your product reported about too.
The reason why they got the press to sit up and take notice is because they made more noise than you did.
It’s really as simple as that.
How does this happen?
By just picking up the phone and suggesting a story that you think will interest their viewers and has something to do with your product.
It’s really that easy.
And, you don’t need to hire an expensive PR firm yet to do this for you; you can do it yourself. Go here to get the scoop and become your own best PR agent:
In the meantime, here’s what you can do now.
I’m going to give you a few tips that you should hold on to and can put into practice immediately.
First of all, identify the TV program that you really want to be on.
Watch it everyday.
Look for segments on the show that report about subjects where you think your product might fit.
For example, if your product is something that appeals to a traveler, you might note that Peter Greenberg does a regular segment on The Today Show. He reports about “finds” and products and services that make traveling easier, more interesting, less fattening, or cheaper.
While you’re watching the show, notice that the reportage happens within the context of a story, a trend or a subject matter. The products Peter is talking about are talked about as they RELATE to that story.
This is important.
The thing to notice here is that the story isn’t about the product itself, but the product as it fits into a relevant story.
Listen to the way the reporter talks about the products. Write down the introductory sentences he/she makes about products. Those are ostensibly “headlines.”
Now, think about your product.
Who are your customers?
What specific benefit does your product provide to them?
What “pain” does your product solve for your customer?
Now, using the travel example, think of a context where your product might fit, such as
“summer family travel season, “
“spring break for college kids” or
“winter holiday alternatives.”
Does your product benefit fit into this context somehow? If your product is a luggage pre-delivery service, could you pitch a story about how families can save money sending their luggage ahead because it’s cheaper than the new airline luggage charges?
Could you build a story out of how your service is perfect for destination wedding parties who have to have their stuff there on a deadline and your service solves the anguish of losing luggage by the airlines?
OK, so now write a one paragraph pitch about your product within the context of a subject.
Start with a pithy statement or a question in the form of a headline. This “spoon feeds” a journalist with a story idea that they don’t have to think too much about engineering themselves.
Reporters are very busy, and their priorities and ability to be creative are dictated by deadlines.
So, anything you can do to make it easier for them increases your chance of getting reported about.
Here are some fun pitches I’ve written lately for clients that will give you an example of format I’m talking about:
Naked male blow up dolls.
Too much bubbly.
Hot women in limos.
On the corner of Highland and Melrose in the new Martel Lofts, a not-so-underground “party central” is ringleading debaucherous bachelorette parties in every city in the US; every weekend.
Chief amongst them is comedienne Pamela Yager, Founder of Brides Night Out (www.bridesnightout.com). Her national bachelorette planning service is blowing the doors off of what any maid of honor thinks she can do.
A “modern Mary Kay of Bachelorette Party Planning,” the company also provides party planning consultant careers in frivolity.
Sound like fun to report?
Here’s another one:
They work for Batali, Fraser and Myers.
They can tell the difference between an Austrian or Washington Riesling with a sniff.
They’re all under 35.
On May 22nd in Culver City, Wine & Spirits magazine (www.wineandspiritsmagazine.com) will introduce 10 of the city’s brightest young wine experts to a Gen Y group of wine lovers.
The “Coachella of Wine Events,” the uber hip Project Ethos (www.projectethos.com) will spin a loungey vibe while the magazine’s ‘Hot Picks’ wines from all over the world are presented.
There’ll even be a taco truck.
Have we whet your appétit to attend or report?
OK, now Google Peter Greenberg or whatever journalist you think should report about your product.
OK, ok……Peter is a friend of mine, here’s where you can reach him: www.petergreenberg.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell him I sent you….
Call them and leave the first few lines of your pitch on their voicemail with your name and return phone number. Email the pitch to them.
DO NOT send any attachments. Just a simple, easy to ready AND SHORT pitch.
The idea is to prick up a reporter’s ears and get THEM to report.
Don’t give them the whole enchilada.
Keep it bloody short, ok?
No one has time to read the constitution.
Simple. Sweet. Fun.
Capture their attention; you can tell them all about it later.
Now, you need to keep calling that reporter until you get them on the phone.
You need to make sure it’s the right reporter. So, do everything in your power to get a live person on the line.
There are times of the day that certain journalists will be reachable and times they are on deadline and don’t want to talk with you.
In TV land, it depends upon whether it’s a daily network show or a cable show. Their production schedules are very different.
In my book, I’ve made a list of all the kinds of journalists you will encounter and what their deadlines are; how to reach them and the best time to pitch your story.
You can find it by going to www.prhandbookforentrepreneurs.com.
But for now, let’s use The Today Show as an example of a daily, short lead TV show.
They plan their shows anywhere from a month to a week in advance.
Reporters like Peter Greenberg, those who give special reports, are not on staff, but are freelancers. You have to track them down, pitch them and they in turn will pitch their producers at the show.
By the way, if you’re feeling like you can’t do this, or are thinking:
“I don’t know how to pitch myself’
“I need someone else to see me and my product objectively”
Just get on the phone and do it.
What’s the worst thing that can happen?
They tell you to jump in a lake?
Actually………..I have this funny little trick that I teach my young staff and it goes like this:
“the only reason why you are afraid or intimidated by someone is because YOU THINK they know more than you do.”
Uh, yeah, and that might be case, but who cares? You probably know more about something else than they do .
If you ever become intimidated, just picture them sitting in the bathroom; it levels the playing field……
The truth is: journalists LOVE to hear directly from entrepreneurs.
It makes them feel like they are getting a “scoop” straight ‘from the source.”
So……………now you can’t complain that your competitor “got on that show” and you didn’t.
Go make it happen!
Talk to you soon.
Keep taking steps toward your success.
It’s going to happen.
To Your Success,
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