Writing Op-Eds Vs. Being A Journalist’s Source

Writing Op-Eds Vs. Being A Journalist’s Source

When it comes to the print media, there’s more than one way to get your message out and to position yourself as an authority. Some of our clients want to be the go-to expert for journalists who are in need of well-credentialed sources for their articles. Others long to write opinion articles – or op-ed pieces, as they are commonly referred to – where they can more fully express their views on trends, breaking news or life in general. Many want to do both! So is one better than the other? Well, each has its advantages, so let’s take a look at that. With an op-ed piece, you have the opportunity to give your complete point of view, as opposed to a reporter picking and choosing a few highlights from an interview with you. It’s definitely an option when it comes to positioning yourself as a thought leader in whatever field of endeavor you want to be viewed as an expert. On the other hand, when you’re quoted in a news or feature article – especially with a highly respected publication – the readers recognize that the journalist trusted your expertise enough to turn to you as a source. You’re offering insight and maybe even giving your opinion, yes, but in this case you are getting the added bonus of an implied endorsement from that journalist, who essentially is saying to his or her readers that you’re someone who brings experience and knowledge to the topic under discussion. Some people prefer the op-ed, perhaps because they assume there’s a certain distinction that comes with these bylined pieces. Plus, they... read more
How Patience Pays Off When Trying To Grab The Media’s Attention

How Patience Pays Off When Trying To Grab The Media’s Attention

Sometimes media opportunities emerge quickly after you pitch journalists with a great story idea. Often, though – especially with the print media – those opportunities take time and the fruits of your labor may not reveal themselves until days, weeks or even months after you send out your pitch. We experienced a remarkable example of one of those “takes-time moments” recently when a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reached out to us with a surprising request. She wanted to speak with one of our clients for an article we wrote for her campaign that examined how to talk to parents who are grieving the loss of a child. The journalist remembered receiving our pitch a year ago, about what to say to grieving parents. So she searched her email and, sure enough, there it was, ready to lead her back to us and our client. Now, it just so happens that this particular client’s contract with us ended about eight months ago. Even so, we didn’t hesitate to arrange the interview. We were happy that the interview went so well for our client as she was featured prominently in the article that appeared in the Journal-Constitution. But it didn’t end there! Over the next several days other publications picked up the article. A week later that was still happening, with the Boston Herald joining those that had published the piece. It was a big win all around, all because of a year-old pitch! This particular incident brings to mind a couple of things worth remembering when you’re out there trying to grab the media’s interest and worrying that all... read more
What Makes You An Ideal Candidate For Publicity?

What Makes You An Ideal Candidate For Publicity?

Here’s a question you might have asked yourself as you decide whether to take the plunge and embark on a PR campaign: How do I know if I qualify for the media spotlight? If you aren’t someone the media is already beating down the doors to interview, you can get them to look your way if you have the right qualities and characteristics that will give them the assurance that you’re someone worth their time. But just what are those qualities and characteristics? Let me share a few that I think make someone the ideal candidate to have a successful publicity campaign: A book. One of the best ways to build your authority is to write a book. This can give you a leg up on others in your field because not only can you talk about the same things as your competitors, but you literally wrote the book on the subject! Some people try to beg off this one, saying they struggle to write a short essay, so an entire book is out of the question. Relax. That’s where topnotch ghostwriters come into the picture and can do the job for you. Do you absolutely need a book to have a successful PR campaign? No, but it immediately communicates your authority which helps immeasurably with gaining entry to the media. Credentials. When we choose to take on a client, what we look for is that your credentials are in line with your message. The media must be able to trust that you know your subject and credentials are the primary qualifiers they use. They will be skeptical of... read more
What The Oscars Can Teach Us About Rebounding From A Mistake

What The Oscars Can Teach Us About Rebounding From A Mistake

A year ago the people in charge of the Academy Awards flubbed it – badly. As nearly everyone knows, the cringe-worthy moment came when someone handed presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope, causing them to announce La La Land as the Best Picture winner, when the Oscar actually belonged to Moonlight. Oh, my! It was quite an embarrassing – and humbling – moment for everyone involved. Add the fact that nearly 33 million people were watching and you had a broadcast gaffe of gargantuan dimensions. Had most of us been in that situation, we would have wanted to slink away, never to be seen again! But the folks behind the Academy Awards didn’t slink away. Quite the contrary! At this year’s Oscars, they dealt with the PR debacle head on, owning up to what happened while still giving the audience what it always tunes in for – fabulous gowns and heartfelt acceptance speeches, with a little music and comedy mixed in. Hopefully, in your efforts to promote your brand, you’ve never experienced a media misadventure that’s anywhere near the equivalent of last year’s Oscars. But many of us who have appeared on TV, been interviewed on radio or talked with a newspaper reporter certainly have had a few moments we would like to get back. Maybe you were asked a tough question you didn’t expect and stammered out an inadequate response. Perhaps you were unprepared for the detailed questions the interviewer posed, making you seem less authoritative on the subject than you really are. Or maybe nerves got the better of you and you drew a... read more
How The Domino Effect Can Increase Your Media Exposure

How The Domino Effect Can Increase Your Media Exposure

When you’re trying to attract media attention to promote your brand, you may encounter what can be thought of as a media “domino effect.” What I mean by that is one media opportunity leads directly to another media opportunity, much the way the toppling of one domino can cause another domino to fall. Recently we experienced a good example of the domino effect with one of our clients. Let me share how it happened because the story contains lessons in how one media opportunity can create a set of circumstances that will lead to even more media exposure for you. When news broke that Steve Wynn resigned as head of Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts because of sexual misconduct accusations, a New York Times reporter reached out to us seeking to speak with one of our clients, a branding expert, about how the scandal would tarnish the Wynn brand. Unfortunately for the reporter – and for us – the client didn’t feel he had much to say on the subject. But I quickly thought of a friend and business associate who is a branding expert and we set up the interview with him instead. Why did we go to that trouble? Because by serving the needs of journalists at national publications we are able to maintain these very valuable relationships. Although this was a hastily arranged Plan B, the New York Times reporter clearly was pleased with the results. She wrote a note to one of our print campaign managers thanking him for providing her such an able expert, and when the article appeared, the emergency back-up source we provided... read more
Baby Boomers Love Facebook – So You Should, Too

Baby Boomers Love Facebook – So You Should, Too

Did you log into Facebook today? Or did you find something else to do to occupy your time? Those questions may seem odd, but they don’t just come out of nowhere. I was intrigued this week to see a USA Today article that reported some people are spending less time on Facebook, whether it’s because they are weary of encountering arguments about politics or they just want more time in the real world. This immediately raised an additional question for me. If some of the Facebook audience is abandoning the site, should your marketing efforts abandon it as well? The short and emphatic answer is: No! Let me explain why. To begin with, even though some people spend less time on Facebook, one fact hasn’t changed for anyone who wants to promote their brand through social media: Facebook remains the No. 1 social media platform, with more than 2 billion people worldwide logging in monthly. That’s still a lot of potential eyes zeroing in on any content you share. And that’s why I still encourage you to make sure Facebook remains – or becomes – part of your marketing strategy. It’s important regardless of whom your audience is, but it’s especially important if you’re after baby boomers. Financial professionals, for example, want boomers as clients because boomers make up the age group that is already in or is nearing retirement; in other words, the people who are the primary users of financial-advising services. And where are you most likely to find those boomers, interacting with fellow boomers and generally running the place? That’s right. Facebook! (Younger people often aren’t... read more
EMSI Joins Advantage|ForbesBooks

EMSI Joins Advantage|ForbesBooks

I’m excited to share this news with you! For the past few months I’ve been in negotiation with Advantage Media Group|Forbes Books, to acquire EMSI.  Finally, on Monday, January 29th, we signed the papers and our new company name is now officially News & Experts. EMSI with its News & Experts division (our face to the media) has been “my baby” ever since I launched it 28 years in 1990. It’s my legacy in a way and it’s always been my desire to build the brand bigger and stronger so our work can positively impact more people.  This acquisition allows that growth and expansion to happen in a way that was truly beyond my wildest dream. In 2016, Advantage Media Group partnered with media giant Forbes to create Forbes Books, the first-ever book publishing imprint by Forbes. As they are a fast-growing authority marketing and publishing company that spans the globe, we’re so proud to be a part of their team and able to contribute to their continued success. This marriage makes sense on so many levels.  We’ve been representing Advantage authors to the media for many years and have a proven track record of working well together.  As a result, our relationship is one of great mutual trust and respect, and we share a total commitment to our clients. I want to assure you that absolutely nothing will change in our relationship with you!  Adam Witty, Founder and CEO of Advantage|Forbes Books, has insisted we continue doing “business as usual.”  Our services remain the same, as do our rates and agreements.  But even more important, all of our... read more
Writing Your Own Articles? Be Aware Of The Shifting Media Landscape

Writing Your Own Articles? Be Aware Of The Shifting Media Landscape

My team writes plenty of articles for clients every week, but for years I also have encouraged clients to write their own bylined pieces for print publications – both traditional and online – as one more way to get their name and message out to the masses. It’s a great addition to any publicity campaign. So I was slightly disconcerted to learn that one reliable place for such articles to land no longer plans to accept them. The Huffington Post dissolved its self-publishing contributors’ platform, which means budding writers and others with a message to share have one less venue for reaching their potential audiences. The HuffPost had been publishing such contributions since Arianna Huffington established the online site nearly 13 years ago, so this marks a sea change in the way the publication does business. At first glance, the move might seem surprising – even perplexing. But perhaps it shouldn’t. Just recently I was participating at an event where Dan Kennedy, author of such books as No B.S. Guide to Brand Building by Direct Response, spoke about how crowded the digital marketplace has become. There’s so much “noise” that sometimes it’s difficult to be heard above all the clatter. I think that’s what happened with HuffPost. They are just one part of that noise, and as more people became “HuffPost contributors” (the New York Times reported the number as 100,000) the title lost some of its luster. Now, by ending that forum for unpaid contributors, HuffPost may be trying to declutter its personal corner of that “noisy” digital marketplace. It’s a bummer, I know! But don’t despair! If... read more
Make Video An Integral Part Of Your 2018 Marketing

Make Video An Integral Part Of Your 2018 Marketing

As many of you know, I love brainstorming with my team to distill ideas and tips that not only can be useful in working on behalf of our clients, but also to share with you in the PR Insider. This week my creative team and I were in the middle of just such a session when Jay York, our senior social media strategist, intrigued me with his thoughts about current trends in video marketing. Let’s face it. With today’s technology, combined with the vast reach of social media, it’s easier than ever to create your own video segments that can become an integral part of your overall marketing strategy. You don’t even need a studio worthy of “Good Morning, America” or special effects that would make you the envy of George Lucas. In fact, the less formal the production is the better. And once you arrive at your finished product, you can put your video on Youtube, share it on other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and post a link to it from your website. Frankly, you can get a lot of marketing mileage out of just one video – but you shouldn’t stop there because there are so many approaches you can take. You might create a series of short messages filled with insights into your area of expertise. You might want to show your company culture with glimpses of team-building outings for example. It can show you’re a fun company to work with, or that you’re philosophically aligned and share commonalities with potential clients. These can be deciding factors when choosing a company to... read more
2018 Is Your Time To Shine

2018 Is Your Time To Shine

The start of a New Year is always a great time to focus on creating a “new you” – or at least an improved version of the old you. Sometimes we do that through resolutions about dieting and exercise that, sadly, we don’t always keep. Sometimes we enter January vowing that in the next 12 months we will travel more, read more or spend more time with the family. As you look ahead to all the possibilities that a New Year brings, let me suggest that if you’ve been letting your personal brand languish, 2018 can be your time to shine! It can be the year you rise from obscurity to fame – or at least to recognition as a voice of authority and go-to expert in your field. You just need to be willing and determined to make it happen! You can bet that if you don’t, someone else – possibly a direct competitor – is going to step into the limelight that you neglected. They will be the ones polishing up their personal brands and, as a result, speaking with journalists, chatting with radio and TV show hosts, and linking to their media success stories on their websites. Several years ago when I wrote my book Celebritize Yourself, personal branding hadn’t become quite as widespread as it is today. Certainly, some people – Zig Ziglar, Suze Orman and Bob Greene, just to name a few – had become extraordinarily successful at it, but at that time there weren’t always as many ways for people to promote themselves as there are now. Most of the social media platforms... read more

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