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How To Create Publicity For Your Business


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This transcript is from the seventh session of the Small Business Internet Marketing Workshop. This focuses on how to create publicity for your business. Some of the topics discussed are the importance of publicity and how to have one.

To learn more on how you can promote your business or to watch the other workshop sessions, visit

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How To Create Publicity For Your Business

  1. 1. 1 UNLEASHING THE POWER OF PUBLICITY Ready to become a celebrity? Pete: This next session is about something that I’m very passionate about and that I speak about all around the world, which is publicity. I’ve only got 45 minutes today. So I’m going to try and give you a bit of the high level of the why of publicity, and a little bit of the how, and a little bit of the what as well. So I’m going to try and give you a little bit of an overview to give you why you want to do PR and how it’s going to help the bottom line of your business. Two keys to any business Let’s just go through a couple of things and we can delve in as deep as we can in these 45 minutes. Just to step back a little bit before we get into the whole PR thing, with any business, it comes down to two factors. Any business has two things to it. Forgetting the actual delivery of the product, that’s just a have-to. There is traffic and there are conversions. So as a business owner, I really believe that your two focuses should be on traffic and conversion. That’s foot traffic into your business and that’s web traffic to your website, and then converting those people once they come to your website or interact with your office, how to convert them into a paying client. Delivery of your product should not be your issue as a business owner, that’s my personal opinion. I still do not know how to screw a phone system onto the wall, never have, never want to, never will. That’s why we have the technicians and the staff to worry about the delivery of the product. My focus is on the marketing and the lead generation.
  2. 2. 2 Publicity and traffic So what I want to talk about from the PR perspective is how PR and publicity can factor in on these two elements, traffic and conversion. Publicity and traffic, it’s rather obvious. Obviously, if you’re going to get your business or yourself or your brand out in the media in various ways, you’re going to get more traffic. People are going to find your business and what you do, come to your website, interact with you online, or either walk into your store, or pick up the phone and call you, and speak to one of your sales team or whatever it might be. Publicity and conversions Publicity and conversion metrics is something that a lot of people don’t really get or think about. There are a number of ways that PR can help you with a conversion side of things. Firstly if you feature in the media, you become an authority. You’re an expert, which means so much. I know Dave and I have spoken about a few times this morning, that by being an authority in the marketplace, it’s easy to sell. It’s easy to make sales if you’re an authority. People trust you, people believe you. As well as that, you can charge higher prices too. So all things being equal, if there’s one person who’s got a bit of media exposure out there, you can charge higher prices because people perceive you as a better operator. There is credibility as well because obviously, if you’re featured in the media, there is credibility there because people assume the media outlet, the ‘Herald Sun,’ ‘Today Tonight,’ whatever it might be, has done their due diligence and done some research on you to show that you’re credible. This basically comes down to the halo effect. It’s fundamental that people have a belief and a trust in the media. Whether it is the ‘Herald Sun’ or ‘The Age’ or a trade journal in a particular niche, they believe and trust that authority. If they start endorsing you, that halo that fundamentally sits across that business or that media outlet, comes across to you. So the same way that link love is important, it’s very similar in that you’re getting a vote fundamentally from that media person. They’re endorsing you and that halo effect is coming across to you.
  3. 3. 3 Finally, it is that third party testimonial because it’s not you standing up there beating your chest saying, I am the greatest, I am the greatest, I am really good. It’s someone else saying, hey, this person is good, listen to what they say. In the same way that links are important from an online link building perspective to make yourself look good in Google, PR is a great way to make yourself look good in the real world. Testimonials I just want to talk about testimonials for a moment as well, to tie this thing together. What is the purpose of having testimonials on a website, on a proposal? I hope you guys are giving out proposals to your clients in your particular niches. Put testimonials in your quotations. It’s a huge conversion perspective. If someone’s looking at going $5,000 for this or $3,000 for that and working on a solution, and you’ve got testimonials in that quote, that makes a huge difference to the conversion rate as well. It provides an objective opinion. It’s not you saying what you’re saying, it’s that due diligence aspect that I spoke about before. It gives social proof as well. Has anyone read ‘Influence’ by Robert Cialdini? He talks about the influence factors, the things that make people get influenced. One of those things is social proof. If everyone else is doing it, it must be good. There’s authority, social proof, reciprocation, so if you do something nice for them, they’ll do something nice for you. It’s one of those very powerful things. I really encourage you to read the book called ‘Influence.’ It’s been on the New York Times bestseller list for about 15 years. It’s one of the oldest books but it’s by far one of the best. If someone else says it, it is must be true. If I’m standing up here saying, I’m the best, it’s one thing, but if someone else says it, it must be true.
  4. 4. 4 Types of testimonials There are a number of different types of testimonials. Firstly, there are customer testimonials. So you can have on your website or on your marketing, customer testimonials. These tend to be the most common testimonial you will find and quite often, it is faked. This is one of the reasons we choose to do video testimonials because it’s you in person saying something. It’s much more trustworthy to a prospect as opposed to a written testimonial. The next level up in terms of the power or the authenticity of a testimonial is a celebrity testimonial, where you have someone who is already an authority in that space saying good things about you. This is why you see so many people using celebrities. You look at the infomercial market. It’s a perfect example in terms of you see all the celebrities on infomercials endorsing the skin care range and that sort of thing because you assume that they’re good. Then you’ve got experts. These are other authorities in that marketplace talking about it. Then the highest level of testimonial that you can get is from a media or an organization, because they’re putting their reputation on the line. The media endorsement If the ‘Herald Sun’ comes out and says that I’m good, if someone comes out in a particular chiropractic journal or a health journal or a management journal and they’re quoting you and talking about you in that particular space, a huge amount of credibility gets passed straight across to you. It’s that halo effect that I spoke about before and it can’t be faked or bought. You can entice other people to give you testimonials. You can call on friends in particular niches, I’ll-promote-you-if-you’ll-promote-me kind of thing.
  5. 5. 5 But it’s very hard to buy or fake the authority for a media outlet. I’ve got some stars there, so I’ll give you a bit of secret tip in terms of how you can tweak this a little bit, where it can be purchased. If anyone is doing print media buys, if you’re buying print media, an advertisement in the ‘Herald Sun’ or in a particular niche magazine, I refuse to buy any print magazine unless I’m getting an editorial in a different edition. Quite often, there will be media outlets who will say, if you buy a half page thing here, we’ll put an article about you as an editorial in the magazine as well. That is all fine and dandy. But they’ll often put, here’s the article about you on the same page as the advert. The credibility is not really there anymore. I always say, that’s great. I want that article in a different edition to what my advertisement is. So you’re getting two hits of your name out there to the readers of the magazine in different editions. So you can get a bit creative in how you can buy some editorial but generally it can’t be bought or faked. You get that instant expert status. Two types of publicity Now, when it comes to PR, there are two types of publicity that is available for you. I’m running through this quite quickly today because I want to get jam-packed as much as I can in here in these 45 minutes. The first thing is providing the content. So you can provide the content to the media outlet and that’s a way of getting publicity. And the second aspect is being in the content. I want to talk thorough and work through both these options to give you ideas of how you can start doing this in your business tomorrow. Providing the content The first thing is providing the content. Now, to give you an idea of what providing the content means and how the media universe works is, magazines and TV shows for that matter and newspapers and all that sort of thing, need the content to sell the magazines. They need articles, need features for their commentary. That’s why people buy. People are buying the magazine for the content of the magazine.
  6. 6. 6 The other side of the coin is magazines aren’t there to sell content. Magazines are in the business of selling advertising. The content is a wrapper around those advertisements to get people to read the ads. It’s all the content is there for from a media perspective. So if you can show content to them, it’s going to help them sell more magazines. You’re helping them out and they’re going to help you out by giving you that exposure. Pitching your content When it comes down to pitching your content, what you’re trying to do is work out a way to pitch your content to the media to help them out. As I said before, the media need content that interests their audience, period. It’s all it comes down to. So you need to prove that your content helps. There are different ways that you can prove that your content is relevant to their marketplace. For example, if you have a blog on your website, and it’s getting comments and it’s getting interaction from readers. It shows that you’re already an authority in that particular space. You can say that there’s social proof there because people like the things that I am writing. So if you can show that people are enjoying interacting with the material you’re writing, why aren’t the magazines going to jump all over it? Because, well, they are. It shows that there’s already some interaction there. Twitter followers, as I was saying in an earlier session, that where Twitter can work for you is that market leadership status. If you have a Twitter account where you talk about small business things and all that sort of thing and you have a following, you can turn around to the magazine and say, look, I am an expert on business consulting and I want to write for small business. I have a following of 10,000 Twitter followers. It’s pretty impressive. They’re going to say, well, you must know what you’re talking about because you’ve built this following on your own. There’s that implied authority status.
  7. 7. 7 There are Facebook fans. If you’ve got a Facebook page and you can show your Facebook page has 10,000 fans or 10,000 followers, or whatever it might be, you are an expert in that space. If you can go to some of the craft magazines in Australia and say I’ve got a blog. I write about craft and I have a blog. And I’m getting many comments here and I’ve got a Facebook page with 300 fans. It proves you’re an authority. It saves the magazine doing their own due diligence on you. It looks like you’re already an authority and they will just say, yes, great, let’s start talking. So it’s all about just positioning yourself as an authority for both sides of the coin. The obvious results are going to be more leads, more enquiries, more prospects. What I’m talking about is getting content, so a blog post that you might have written yourself. Turn around to them and say, I want to write a blog and I want this blog post printed in your magazine. I’d like to write an article for an upcoming edition of your magazine, whatever it might be. They need this content, they need it. They’re not going to pay for content. They want it for free so they can get people to read the magazine. That’s what it’s all about. The results From a conversion aspect, how is it going to help your business? There are three main reasons, and the first one is the prospect has been preconditioned. They already think you’re an expert. They’ve come along, picked up a magazine, an article in a trade journal, whatever it might be, and seen you writing there. You’ve already been positioned as an expert, so they think you’re an expert. So when they go to buy you, they’ve already had that rapport built as well. David was saying before about the white papers, when people come to a website and download your white paper and have that interaction, they’ve preconditioned with you. They’ve got that rapport in place. Media endorsement provides instant trust and credibility, which I know I’ve said 95 times already in this presentation, but it’s important to get that. Finally, the biggest thing that people don’t get is that people who buy magazines are buyers. They’re already spending money in that space. They’re not like someone who has Googled and who is just looking around on the web, and might not have bought anything in relation to craft supplies or might not have ever gone to the physiotherapist. They’re just looking around and playing around.
  8. 8. 8 Someone who goes into a newsagent, opens their wallet and buys a magazine on craft, they are buyers. They spend money in that space, so they are a better target of audience than anybody else. That sort of traffic you get, they’re already spending money. It’s easier to make that jump into a $50 product, $10 product, $200 one-on-one session, whatever it might be, because they are spending money. Being the content This is the other side of the coin. Let me give you a bit of context. Being the content means you are going to be the interviewee. So rather than providing the content and soliciting the magazines and providing them content, they’re coming to you, saying, I want to interview you on this space. We’re writing an article about how cars are causing all the back pain for Australians and I want to speak to someone about a physio’s opinion on back pain. I’m writing a report for a trade journal about management and the issue that they’re having with compliance these days and the new government laws and so on, and I need an expert to comment on that sort of thing. So it’s about them coming to you and positioning you as an expert. So rather than being an author, you are the industry commentator. The best thing is it’s free advertising. You’re not paying to get in the space. They’re coming to you and you’re being spoken about in free advertising. It’s not interruptive. Again, one of the things I was saying earlier about AdWords and how it’s so successful and why it’s so successful, is because it’s non-interruptive. People are actively there looking for that information. The same goes for the media. Someone buys a magazine. They’re buying it for the articles, not the advertisements. If they’re watching ‘Today Tonight,’ they’re watching it for the segments. I don’t know why they’re watching it for the segments, but they do and they’re there not for the ads. So it’s non-interruptive. You’re being positioned right in front of them where they want you to be. They are where the eyeballs are. It’s that halo effect that keeps coming up because you’re not an advertiser. Traditionally, when someone sees an advertisement in a magazine, they turn off or they put their filter on. They’ll read the advertisement with their filter saying, they’re saying this sort of thing. I don’t know whether it is true. They’re trying to pitch to me. They’re trying to sell. They’re trying to make me open my wallet.
  9. 9. 9 If you’re featured in an article about that sort of thing, it’s a lot different because they’re a lot more relaxed in that state. Their mind, their mentality is different when they’re reading an article from reading advertising. Press release The way to get this exposure as being the content is by doing press releases, getting your name out there and saying, I’m available for interviews. I’m available for comment. And this is what I want to comment on and doing press releases. What I want to go through is how press releases work and what is the purpose of a press release, and give you a template. You can go home tomorrow and start writing up some templates and some press releases, and give this a shot and try and get some exposure in your niches. What is a press release? Basically what a press release is it’s a sales letter pitching you as the interview. Most people, when they think of a press release, they think of, I want to write a press release and get that published word for word. All it is, is a sales letter. You’re trying to sell the journalist. You’re trying to sell the media exec, whoever it might be, to consider you as a story. That’s all you’re trying to do, it is a sales letter. What you have to do is see the end of the story first. I speak to a lot of people who want to do some press releases and just help them out and chat about different things, and the release they write is about them. I’ve just been awarded this or we do this and we do that. They expect the ‘Women’s Weekly’ to write an article about how you sell macramé products, I don’t know what it might be. Readers of ‘Women’s Weekly’ don’t really care about that. Where’s the story in it? When you write a press release, what you have to do is, as Dave was saying before, take yourself out of your head and into the reader’s mind and say, what do they want to read? Why would readers of ‘Women’s Weekly,‘ of ‘Small Business,‘ want to read about you? It’s not about you, it’s about what you can offer them. What’s the story? What you’ve got to do when you write that press release, is pitch the story. You’re pitching the story. How is it going to relate to the readers? What are the readers going to get. Why is it going to be interesting for their readers?
  10. 10. 10 You’ve got to have that story in mind first. You’ve got to almost write the article yourself. Look at it, yes, that’s the article I want to have written by the journalist. Ok, how do I pitch that? What’s in it for their audience? Press release purpose Again, it comes down to the press release’s purpose. You don’t want it printed word for word. So many people write a press release hoping it gets printed word for word in the magazine. It’s just pointless. A press release should only be one page long. It’s preferably double-spaced, so it’s easy to read. So you only have half a page of text. When it’s printed in a magazine, that’s all the exposure you’re going to get. You want to get a full-page article. That’s what you want to do here is get decent content about you in the media. So you don’t want it printed word for word. It’s to get you interviews. It’s to sell you as an interviewee. Press release hooks It all comes down to hooks. What we have to work out is what the hook is going to be. What you have to do is work out what the hook is going to be for your press release. This is the story angle. This is the article. This is what’s going to make people go juicy and say, oh, this is going to be interesting. There are a number of different ways you can find the hooks. I want to talk about some of these and give you some ideas of how you come up with ideas for stories that are going to work for press releases. The first thing is surveying your customers. If you have a database, survey the list. Ask them questions and find out what they want to know. Something Tim mentioned before, which is a perfect example, is go onto LinkedIn and do polls. Talk about and ask people how many don’t like their logo. Seventy-six percent of people don’t like their logos. There’s a story for ‘Small Business.‘ There’s a press release. Talk about why they don’t like it, what they can do to fix it.
  11. 11. 11 The hook is, 76% of people don’t like their logos. Then the press release goes on to talk about these are the reasons they don’t. I’ve got seven tips for things they should ask to start with so they don’t get in this position in six months’ time of hating their logo that they paid $800 for. That’s the story. It’s talking about the seven things to think about. Popular blog posts: look around not only your own blog but blogs in your particular space that have a lot of comments on them. If there’s a lot of conversation going on in your space about a particular topic, that’s the story idea. That’s the angle. Work out what your position is on that story and write a press release about that angle, about that story that is being spoken about. A great one is Yahoo! Answers. It is similar to LinkedIn Answers. I won’t go into LinkedIn but I’ll show you Yahoo! Answers as a quick idea. If I just Google Yahoo! Answers, it takes you to Basically, this is a place online very similar to the LinkedIn site where people can go on and ask a question, and then the rest of the world will give them answers to that question. It’s a great way to find out what is topical in your space. Can someone give me a niche, or a space or a business area? Just give me anything. Let’s say you’re a golf pro, and I’ll put in golf swing. How can I maintain a fluid golf swing with muscles in the way? Should the golf swing be led by the shoulders or lower body? People want to know these answers, so it’s obviously topical for people. How do I do a proper golf swing? These are all fair questions. How would you fix a golf shoe to prevent swaying in a golf swing? There’s a story for ‘Golfer’s Digest.‘ If you’re a golf pro and you can write a press release about, here are three quick home methods to fix a golf shoe to prevent swaying in a golf swing. There’s a press release right there and an angle for a story. So if you’re actively monitoring this sort of thing, it’s a great way to get ideas without having to do anything. Just find out what people want and jump on that bandwagon. Something you can do, do people know what RSS feeds are at all by any chance?
  12. 12. 12 For those who don’t, just really quickly. There’s a thing on the left-hand side of this page that says RSS. Basically, what it stands for is Really Simple Syndication. What you can do in Yahoo! Answers, you can go in and put in golf swing as a term. And then what it will actually do, anytime anyone actually types in a question about golf swing, it will tell you about it. So rather than you having to go to Yahoo! Answers, Yahoo! Answers pushes that to you and says, hey, there are three new things about golf swing inside Yahoo! Answers. You can actually have it get pushed to you rather than you having to chase it down. It’s a lot more time-consuming to chase stuff down rather than it getting pushed to you. It’s a great little tool and site to come up with ideas for press releases in your particular niche. Question: What’s the most Australian equivalent of this type of American tool like the Yahoo! Answers? Pete: LinkedIn. That’s going to be your best bet for Australia. There really isn’t any Australian-based stuff just because of the volume of people in the internet and online are just not there in Australia compared to the US. So from actually using it to interact directly on the service to get business, LinkedIn is going to be the best one to do. If you’re doing it from a PR perspective, it doesn’t matter because someone in the US who has an issue with a golf swing is going to be the same person at the Brighton Golf Club who has an issue with his swing as well. So it’s the same sort of mentality from a PR perspective of doing that. Google Alerts is another tool that, again, Google gives away for free. Basically, what you can do is you can put in some search terms. We’ll use golf swing again just as an example or let’s use ISO consulting. I can choose to have news, blogs, video or discussions. So what Google will actually do, it will monitor its search buckets I spoke about earlier, or its index. And anytime there’s a new site, or a new blog post, or a new story about ISO consulting, it will push it through to you. So rather than you having to chase it down, it keeps pushing to you via e-mail, the latest things about that particular topic.
  13. 13. 13 So if we go, how often? I want it once a day. I want just 50 results. And I want it delivered to a particular e-mail address or even an RSS feed. I create this particular alert. And there are some other ones there. If I click view in Google Reader, this is my Google Alert for ISO consulting. Obviously, there’s nothing in there right now. But what it will actually do, anytime there’s a new listing or something about ISO consulting, it will actually push it through here. So you can see when there are new stories, articles or blog posts in your particular space. That way, you can jump on top of it and ride that wave of media and PR, and write articles and press releases about that sort of stuff. And these sorts of tools are just as good for writing blog posts, or writing articles, or writing white papers as they are for writing press releases. If you struggle for a blog post idea, or an article idea, or elements for your white paper, it’s these tools. Obviously, the whole follow the general media thing. When recently Tiger Woods had his indiscretions, every man and his dog came out with a story about it. There was a psychologist talking about how he had a sex addiction. And there was a sports psychologist talking about how it’s going to affect his game. There was a female advocate for female rights. Then there were men coming out saying this is terrible. Everyone in so many different niches rode that train and got exposure for their particular businesses about it. There are so many ways you can actually turn it around. A physio could have written a press release saying how that much sex actually loosen his back up and made him swing better. So you can actually tie it all together – golf swing in with the sex thing to the physio thing. There’s a story in there. The ‘Herald Sun,’ those trash magazines, would love that sort of stuff. If you actually think about it on the edge of it, you actually come up with some really good ideas and ways to actually get PR. I’ll show you in a second just how easy it is to write a press release and get it out. Question: Being a time-poor small business owner, I’m concerned because there is just this plethora of things that can be done. How do you work out what percentage of your time to spend on these sorts of activities? Pete: It’s a very good question. I think it comes down to, in my opinion, business owners should be working on their business rather than in it, more and more as your business grows. Particularly, try and get off the tools as quickly as you can. There are a number of ways you can word it but there is a technique called the Pomodoro Technique, (Italian for tomato). Basically, it’s just this theory. Another way of thinking about it is critical focus time.
  14. 14. 14 You set yourself 50 minutes a day to work on your business, marketing it. That’s all you need to do, 50 minutes, 9:00 until 9:50 or even 7:15 until 8:00 before the staff get in. That is you work on the business, uninterrupted, 50 minutes a day. You say, okay, Friday is my press release day. If you can’t within a couple of weeks, following some of the techniques and resources available, learn how to do a press release and get it out in 50 minutes, there is something seriously wrong. Then you work on your link building two of those days a week. You write one blog post a week. So you work out a schedule that I’m going to say 50 minutes a day, I’m going to work on my business. That’s how I structure all my staff because I have a number of different companies and a lot of different things pulling away my attention. I try and schedule it as 50 minutes a day for this particular thing, 50 minutes for this, and I give myself a 10-minute break every hour. So it’s 50 minutes on, 10 minutes off, 50 minutes on, 10 minutes off. And even if it’s just one of those Pomodoro, I call it CFT, critical focus time sessions a day; it’s all you need to do to get this started. A question Jeff asked early on about some of the Ezine work was how do you start doing the blogging, and the AMA, and the EzineArticles, and the YouTube work? You just do 50 minutes a day, every day. It’s more than your competitors are going to be doing. After six months you are going to be so far ahead. It’s just that ritual CFT time every single day. Monday is my video day, Tuesday is my blog post day, Wednesday is my PR day, Thursday and Friday are my back linking, setting up a network days. You just work out what works best for your business and just do one of those two things. Once you refine it and you get it working right and you know how to do it for your own business, then you can look at outsourcing it. You can look at some Filipinos or you can look at that sort of thing. You can hire PR firms for this sort of thing for you, but they charge like a wounded bull. Most PR firms have a retainer of $1,000 a month minimum, which for some people it works. You can justify it for the exposure you’re going to get if they’re good and that sort of thing. When you can buy resources for $500 that are going to teach you how you can do this yourself. Why spend $1,000 a month on a retainer, when 50 minutes a week and $500, you’ll know this inside out. It’s that sort of thing which just comes down to working out, work out the things you want to do, prioritize it in your business and 50 minutes a day. That’s all you need. Eight or nine hours a day or seven hours a day, you work exactly in your business as it is going right now, but you spend 50 business working on your business.
  15. 15. 15 If you’re a physiotherapist, I don’t know. But if you take out one client less a day, but then you can do this marketing work to up your prices by 20% because you’re an authority. At the end of the day, you’ll end up having the same amount of money. You’ll be getting more people in the door which means you can hire more staff so they take care of the missing people. That’s my theory, take out one client a week or one client a day, and work on your business and then you can use those excess leads to justify hiring more staff. I would rather have a business that has more leads than paying money for leads that I throw in the bin because I can’t handle them, then have an issue on the other side of the coin. At least you know I’ve got all these potential prospects I can’t sell to. I can justify putting on an employee now. I’d rather have that horse before the cart scenario. Press release format When it comes to a press release format, it’s basically a five-step format to write a press release. It’s very simple, similar to almost writing a sales letter. Because again, that’s all this is, it’s a sales letter to the journalists. The first thing, like any good sales letter, it needs a headline. Like any good webpage, it needs a headline, something catchy. The headline could be, Excessive Sex helps Tiger Woods Win Golf Tournaments. That’s a pretty explosive headline. When we both sold the MCG, my press release headline was, 21-year-old Sells the MCG for Under $500. What on earth is that? When I still mention it, people say, tell me the story. It’s an opener. It gets their attention. You’ve just got to figure out where the attention is. Three Quick Home Methods for Fixing a Golf Shoe to Increase Your Swing, whatever that one was we were looking at before. That’s going to get the attention of a journalist at a golf magazine. So you want to have that headline. Then you want an introductory paragraph. It’s simply one paragraph summarizing the whole project. Let me grab the press release that I did for the MCG as an example. So the headline is 21-year-old Sells the MCG for Under $500. The introductory paragraph was: ‘A 21-year-old sports fanatic and AFL member is now selling the MCG into the widespread public in pieces. He’s giving the public a chance to own part of the Australian sporting history which is set to disappear after this year’s AFL Grand Final when the rest of the MCC pavilion is set to be demolished.’
  16. 16. 16 One paragraph pretty much tells the story enough to say, this is making sense. I’m keen to read more. What your intro paragraph has to be, is a way to give the journalist an idea of what the story is going to be about. What are you trying to do? So the intro paragraph is ‘Local Melbourne physiotherapist has treated 3,000 clients and found that particularly golfers who have a lot of sex find they drop their handicap by three points.’ You can get creative with that sort of thing. Then what you want to do, because you’re pitching yourself as an interview, you’re trying to get yourself to the journalists to say, ok, I want to talk to this person, I want to interview them. Give them a quote, show them implicitly, or even explicitly almost that, hey, I’m willing to get interviewed here. I can give a good sound bite. What a sound bite is, when you see those news clips on the news stations or whatever it might be, or even in a newspaper, all they’re going to show you is two or three sentences. They’re not going to print the whole interview word for word, they’re going to write a story and then just put sound bites in there. What you want to do is give a really juicy sound bite in the quote, so it looks like, yes, I can give good sound bites. I give a good interview and I want to be interviewed. In this example you might want to go again, what I said before could be the quote. It sounds strange, but a golfer came in last week and he says, every night before he has a round of golf, he finds someone to have a good night with. I don’t know, but it’s just a quick sound bite that you can give that talks about that particular space. Then what you want to do is give some credentials of why you should be interviewed, why are you credible, why are you worthy of being interviewed and speaking about this topic. What makes you an expert? Fifteen-year experience serving over 3,000 physio clients. Internationally qualified ISO Consultant. Let’s think of some other examples. Let’s talk about, if you’re talking about how bad the food is at McDonald’s, consumer, that’s a credential. A consumer, someone who eats food, is enough as a credential in a particular story. It doesn’t have to be anything licensed or anything from a particular university or Harvard or anything like that. Just being a user of the topic you’re talking about is enough. That’s enough as a credential. Like any good sales letter, any good website, as I’ve mentioned numerous times today, you want to give a call to action. For further information or for interviews, please call Pete directly on 0418-blah blah blah. Tell the journalist what to do. They’re like everybody else. They just want to be told and led, and this is what you have to do and they’ll say, ok.
  17. 17. 17 They’ve got deadlines. They’ve got so many other things to do. And if you can make their life easier and you can give them a story on a silver platter, show them that you are a good interview, show them that you know what you’re doing, it’s going to make their life a lot easier. Of course, they’re going to want to deal with you because you make their life easier. Like anything, if you’re trying to sell something, if I can sell you and say, by using this product, you’re going to make your life easier, you’re going to buy from me. All you’re doing is selling them an interview. If I can show them that I will be a good interview, I’ll give you a great story, I’ll almost write it for you, easy, foot in the door straightaway. Distribution Distribution, literally, one page is all you have to do. Headline, intro, quote, credentials, call to action, that’s all you’ve got to do. Do it double-spaced too. If you struggle, one and a half or two-spaced is perfect because it makes it easier to read. Once you’ve done that one page up, now obviously there are plenty of ways to get in depth on this later on and I’ll try to help you later, but just at a quick level. Distribution, there are a number of different ways to get your press release out there. That’s the thing, I’ve got this great press release. I’ve got the hook. I’ve worked out Tiger Woods’ coat tails I’m going to ride on. How am I going to get the media to know about this? What am I going to do to get it out? So for distribution, the best two ways are e-mail or fax. There are a lot of services that can do it for you which I’ll go through in a second. I still personally prefer fax. The reason why I like offline direct mail is the same reason I like fax. It’s because no one gets faxes anymore. How often do you get a fax in your office? Hardly ever. So the same with media releases, people are now going more and more along sending press releases via e-mail to journalists because it’s free. Yes, it’s free. But it gets hit in the e-mail box with 95,000 other e-mails the journalist gets, and they don’t give it the time. If you’re sitting in an office and the fax machine rings and a fax comes through, everyone freaks out and says, what on earth is that? Especially because you’ve come out of uni three years ago and don’t know what a fax is. So it’s going to get their attention. So that’s what you’re trying to do.
  18. 18. 18 So if you can send a fax to a media outlet, it’s going to get their attention. So e-mail is good as a cheap way of doing it and you can do this yourself. You can go onto Newsdotcom’s website, you can go to magazines, you can go to the trade journals, find out their contact information and build up your own database and e-mail it out yourself, fax it yourself. There are easy ways of doing this. The other option, the more professional option is using distribution services. This is what I tend to do for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I use distribution services just for the ease of it, because their job and their business is to keep their database up to date. So you can go to them, here’s my press release. I want you to send it out to, blah, go and do it for me. AAP Medianet is probably the most recognized one in Australia. It’s not the cheapest but it’s going to be recognized. So they have account managers. You can say to them, I’ve got this press release, I want to target ISO Consultants and they will go and do their research and work out what magazines and newspapers they should target. They’ll do that and build up a unique list just for you, physios and that sort of thing as well. So that is one option, or you can just buy their list. I want to get it out to all the national newspapers, and bang, they’ll send it out for you. or are Australian-based services that will press release distribution for you anywhere from $50 to $200 depending on the amount of exposure and how you want that press release to go. You can go onto their website, go through a process of, I want to target all major metropolitan newspapers plus people in the sports niche and all the sports journalists. So you upload it once and they send it out. One of the other reasons, besides just the ease of it, that I like is the fact that it gives you more professional credibility. If you’re the sort of person faxing out your own press releases and so on, it’s the same reason you want to get a 1800 number over a mobile phone. Size, authority, credibility. If you are a serious authority in a particular space and you have really expert opinions and thoughts, you’re not going to be doing your own PR because you are going to be too important. You’re going to be too busy.
  19. 19. 19 So perception is reality. So if you can imply that you are bigger than you are by doing those sorts of techniques, it’s going to get you a lot more credibility. When I did the MCG thing, I did a lot of the PR for myself for that because I didn’t have a lot of budget at 21 years old. I had a huge credit card bill from living in South Beach, Miami because of all the nightclub beer tabs and bar tabs I had. But the story was a 21-year-old sells the MCG. It kind of works that I’m sending out my own PR because it fits in with the story. If I had a huge PR company behind that, doing the PR for me, it would look a little cheesy, going, hang on, if it’s really this young kid doing this really cool entrepreneurial cutting- edge thing, it looks a little bit more authentic doing your own PR. So for certain things, it can work well when you’re doing your own PR. But for corporate work, and for most of my work now, I use a third-party press release company to send it out because it just gives that look of expertise. Rather the journos come to you There is another way which I am starting to find fantastic and loving a great deal, which is making the journos come to you. So rather than writing the press release, how would you like journos coming to you saying, hey, I’ve got this story idea, do you want to talk about it? There are a couple of really good solutions for this. You can get two or three e-mails per day sent to your e-mail address from journos around the globe saying, here are some stories I’m trying to write. I want someone to interview. I need a sound bite. Can you give it to me? Help A Reporter Out (Global) There are three of them and they’re free. First one is Help A Reporter Out. Just Google Help a Reporter Out. And basically, what HARO is, is a link between the journos and yourself. So you can go in there and you put your e-mail address in. And three or four times a day, HARO sends an e-mail out with about 20 to 30 press release media requests from journos. They say anything from, looking from someone who is an expert on Twitter and social media, to when Tiger Woods came out there was, I’m writing an article about women who have been cheated on. I need some people to comment on this as a woman. There were articles. I need people who have been to South Beach, Miami recently for a vacation who want to comment on their trip. There is a huge range and you are getting 20 of these a day.
  20. 20. 20 Reporter Connection (Global) Reporter Connection is another global one as well. When I talk about globally, you say, well I’m based in Australia. Why do I really care about getting exposure to American magazines and newspapers? The States love Australians. Absolutely love them. So if you’re an expert on ISO consulting, or Twitter from Australia and you’re getting featured in that magazine, it gives that magazine even more credibility. Heavens, this journalist has gone and researched the world for this expert. They’ve gone around and found the very best expert on Twitter they could find. This article and this person must be an authority. So it gives this magazine more credibility which is why they respond to your requests because it helps them out and makes them look better. Everyone is in it for themselves and to make themselves look better. From your perspective, yes, you’re not going to get any traffic from it because no one in the US is going to come and use your ISO management consulting services or your physiotherapy services. But on your website, “as featured in ‘USA Today,’ internationally recognized expert.” So even if you’re featured once in an overseas journal, magazine, journal, newspaper, you’re an internationally recognized expert in that space. So again, from a physio perspective, I’m an internationally recognized physio. It’s a pretty impressive thing to say to your clients. SourceBottle (Australia) SourceBottle is a new one in Australia that has just been released. It’s probably four months old, five months old, I think. They’ve got a Twitter account as well. @SourceBottle is their Twitter account. So you can follow them and they will send e-mails two or three times a day or every time they get one through their Twitter account of Australian-based media opportunities. Recently yesterday ‘Cleo’ magazine wanted some girls’ opinions on vacation spots. There were a few other ones there, newspapers wanting articles about different things. When the Henry Tax Review came out, the SourceBottle and the ‘Herald Sun‘ was trying to find some business owners that wanted to comment on the Henry tax report so it came to me. I was looking at it, yes, I’ll get in contact with them and got some exposure and some conversation with some journos that way.
  21. 21. 21 There are ways you can do that to get the journos coming to you. You don’t have to worry about chasing them down and writing press releases. It comes to you. These are some examples of some I grabbed off HARO recently. They are about a month old but: Guide to Growing your Own Fruits and Berries. I’m seeking an expert in growing fruits and berries for help with a project. This person should have personal experience with growing fruits and have helpful tips for those just starting out. So obviously, there are some weird niches that cover this. Meeting Planner Catastrophes. I’m writing an article on meeting and event planners who hope for the best but are suddenly faced with the worst. Looking for books, gadgets, supplies, information to help maximize a home vegie garden. I’m looking for ideas to help families get the most from their home veggie garden. Some of this material is really bizarre. I pulled out some of the weird ones I could find. Photo industry and photo related stories. ‘American Photo‘ publishes every other month and therefore seeks stories and photos about longer term trends and issues that influence the practice or business of photography. So if you sell cameras, if you are a photographer, or a wedding photographer, there is an opportunity to feature in an American photo magazine. They’re saying, I want articles. So there are easy ways to get exposure for your business. Hot seat One thing I wanted to do is do a bit of a hot seat, and pull some people up and grab some business ideas, and give some examples. But I think we’re running out of time and I gave a bunch of examples for the physio and the ISO work as we went through that. Hopefully, you got some ideas from that session about what is possible when it comes to PR for your businesses and how easy it can be. Fifty minutes a week in one of those critical focus times moments to get some exposure for your business. So let’s just jump straight into questions because that’s probably going to be the best element. Anybody got any questions at all? Question: With your press releases, and you want to do a press release about a particular subject or topic, what sort of lead time do you need? Pete: How far out do you want to get?
  22. 22. 22 Question: If it’s like for a meeting… Pete: So if you want to get some PR about a particular event? Look, if you’re going to try and get some exposure in a magazine, you want to try and be about 45 to 90 days out from the publication of the magazine because they obviously print and lock in their editorial months before it goes to print. If the magazine is coming out in June, they would have signed off on it by the start of May to get to the printers in time to get out on the shelves by the start of June. So you want to be pitching them in April, at the start of April to get a story in the June edition. You want to be a couple of months early for that. When it comes to newspapers and so on, a week, three or four days. Most of this sort of thing gets turned around pretty quickly. So I’d say about a week prior. What you can do is, at the very top of the press release, above the headline, in the top left-hand corner in smallish font, ‘for release on June 17’. So if you send that on June10 and you say, for release on June 17. So as soon as they get it, they realize this is for a story with a deadline in a particular time period. It just helps the journalist make that decision as well. Question: I recently signed up with a website called Food Processing Technology. They have this advertising package which includes 12 press releases, one per month. I’m struggling a little bit as to what I would put into those press releases. It’s basically for food safety auditing. It’s ok, we’re offering a service, what newsy, newsworthy things can I say every month that people are going to want to read? Pete: Create some polls on LinkedIn and ask them interesting things. Are there seven disasters that happened with food processing that they know about? The three worst stories about food processing. Try and pick the three, five and seven number that I spoke about before, three tips, three stories, three examples and try and find some funny side of things that might be interesting. They’re going to send press releases out to whom? Question: To all the clients on the database that are members of the database. Pete: So are those members of the database media outlets or just other businesses? Question: Other businesses. Pete: So you’d go for more an article than a press release in that regard. I’d do an article style. You wouldn’t do a press release as such. Disguise it as a press release so they’ll put it out as a press release, but do it more of an article, pitching your products, because that press release isn’t going to the media. What they’re going to be sending out for you is not going to be anything that’s going to get you a story. It’s going to go to the end user.
  23. 23. 23 So write the article. So rather than write the press release for the story, write that end story that I spoke about before. Write the story that might be interesting. What would members of that list be interested in? Why are they members? Give them stories and articles that relate to why they’re there. Engaging stories, funny stories, anecdotes. Thirteen years of ISO management, there has got to be some crazy times in there somewhere that you can pull out. Anything else? Thank you guys very much for that and we’ve got one more session on video which I’m really looking forward to.