For years appearing in the Wall Street Journal has been a dream of mine. The Wall Street Journal is my all-time favorite publication to read. To me it is the “businessperson’s must read” to be in the know of what ’s going is in the world and in business.
The dream came true this week! I was quoted on a front page story in the Wall Street Journal about Naked Communities Seeking Corporate Sponsors and they mentioned my book title, Brand Turnaround: How Brands Gone Bad Returned to Glory and the 7 Game Changers that Made the Difference, too!
I have been fortunate, in the past 12 years of being a branding writer, speaker and consultant, I have appeared in over 300 news outlets around the world from the New York Times to Forbes to Bloomberg TV to Fox News, and now the Wall Street Journal. So does this media ink and exposure really impact the bottom line? And how can you get your “piece of the press mention pie“?
Does media exposure impact the bottom line?
For me it does. Publicity has aided me in earning thousands of dollars and many opportunities. And it comes from these 5 distinct marketing objectives.
Media exposure adds evidence of 3rd party credibility. This helps to position the brand, in this case me, The Branding Diva®, as an authority in my field.
Media exposure puts the brand name in front of potential buyers. The Wall Street Journal alone has a global audience of over 3.5 million daily readers.
Long-term SER (search engine results)
Publicity is indexed in all of the major search engines. One great article has lasting positive influence on a brand’s organic results.
Every time I’m featured in the news, and they mention one of my books, I get a sales bump.
Throughout the years, some of my biggest speaking gigs have come from buyers seeing me in the news.
How do you get your share of media exposure?
1) Position your brand as an authority.
You should have opinions, share success cases about your topics, write books, reports and articles.
2) Be easy to find.
Most reporters find their sources from internet searches around the subject they are covering. Invest in search engine results by optimizing your online content, having an active social media footprint and securing credible links back to your sites. For the past couple years, I’ve ranked on page one under branding expert and branding speaking. This is the result of strategic blog writing, content seeding and key word research.
3) When you get called, be an amazing resource.
When reporters or producers are working on a story they are usually on tight deadline. So, when they reach out, reply ASAP. I was in a conference when the WSJ reporter contacted me. Within minutes I acknowledged her email and made it fast and easy to schedule a time to chat. I also listened to her goals before I started ranting on about my views. In most cases, I’ll ask for questions before I do an interview so I can do my homework. Being helpful will build a long-term relationship with a reporter, so they will call you back for other stories. They will share your name with their colleagues. Beyond my commentary, I will also go out of my way to provide them with other resources to make their job easier. Think sound bites! Before I do an interview I prepare an index card with simple message points and short phrases.
4) Understand the game.
Publicity is not like paid advertising. You can not read it before it runs. You do not get to control the story. You may spend hours talking to a reporter then get cut out of the final piece or they may misquote you or even spell your name wrong. That’s show business. You can do to reduce your odds of these things happening by being a smart resource and by providing interesting commentary. Try to send your points in writing as this can reduce any misinterpretation and always provide an email of your preferred title. There is no guarantee here, but I have found providing clear information usually gets better results.
For a complete guide on how to earn press and publicity to help your brand, check out my Publicity Ta-Do List.
Amazing. It’s 2011 and I can’t get my phone system to work in NYC. I have an iphone through AT&T. Not a signal anywhere – in my hotel (Battery Park), the streets, the cab, anywhere! Calls drop, no signal, SO FRUSTRATING!!!!
I’m finishing up my journey in the big apple, after Saudi.
It’s been great. Got here Tuesday. Had hope to do a lot of book writing, did not really happen. Been a bit distracted with meetings and things. But have been thinking a lot and connecting some important dots.
I stayed at the Ritz battery park because I was attending a party here for one of my mentors Alan Weiss. It was his 65th birthday. I attended his 6oth and it was great fun. Since I had to fly through NY for my Saudi trip, I thought why go back to Tampa? Why not hang in NYC? So I did.
Booked everything via American Express travel. Which was a good experience. They did all the work and got me a room upgrade, two nights free, a $100 food certificate and breakfast everyday. This is the 2nd time I’ve used them, it was definitely helpful and a value add.
I travel to NYC a few times a year and try to stay in a new part of the city to make it an adventure. Battery Park was nice for the party and maybe a day, but that’s it. Nice service, good view, large space for NYC, then it stops.
The cell communication and even my Verizon broadband card was useless. Plus, with all the long cab rides, I could have bought a nice piece of jewelry. I won’t ride the subway, after seeing the rat movie about the rat. I’m a warrior, but can’t get past that image.
Since I’ve been here, I’ve done some fun stuff.
I would recommend the following:
Jubilee, good neighborhood french bistro. Met some pals from Houston who live in NYC now.
Tried to write at The Ritz Carlton by Central park. A spectacular, classic, elegant spot. And Johnny in the bar is the man. Makes you feel like the queen of the city and helped me brain storm on my book cover art. Handsome, eye candy and a great new friend.
Met with the McGraw-Hill folks, my new publisher. They are awesome and I can’t wait to work with them.
Borders bookstore at Columbus circle. Good coffee and fabulous green tea cookies. Very slow internet connection, bet it was AT&T.
Then went off to Land, an amazing hip, great food and way cheap restaurant. Entrees under 12 bucks, cool decor, killer service and perfect Thai food. They have several locations in NY city.
Next, the Comicstrip comedy club on 82 and 81st at 2nd avenue. Watching comedy performers can teach you a lot about content delivery, timing and body theater. I went with a pal I had not seen in 20 years, who lives in NYC and works for NYPD. Great fun, rocking experience. All the comedians were really good, but the MC Ray Ellin was my favorite. Check him out for sure. He’s coming to Florida soon, can’t wait.
Went to CNN, way cool! Met with a producer who has called me on several stories. Saw Anderson Cooper’s desk. I have a big crush on him, I know I’m not his type, still really admire his work.
Got interviewed by NYTimes. Joe Sharkey, a travel writer. The interview should be in Monday or Tuesday’s edition. He was a very cool guy. Survived the big plane crash in Brazil, 151 perished, he lived and has written a bunch of amazing works.
Saturday, went to big party at Ritz. Met a bunch of interesting people. Eat and drank too much, oh well. Had fun, all is good. Parties like this are always intriguing, you show up, don’t know a soul and connect with some remarkable minds.
Today, working in my room. Cranking on my book. It’s hard. Made some progress, not a ton, but I know it’s around the corner. I am Pondering and thinking and I know I will be connecting the dots soon.
Around 6PM, needed to get out of my room, craving Indian food. Read a story in WSJ about Junoon. The most amazing super hip, fab food, fun place I’ve been too. Met the chef, bought his cookbook, loved the experience. Bar staff Daniel and Jane, the best. The food is beyond brilliant! Must check it out if you like Indian food and are in NYC. Ranks in my top five of all restaurant experiences, loved it!!!
Headed back to Tampa on Monday. Really love New York. Really hate my phone and AT&T.
Looking forward to my wonderful car service in NYC, Felix who has been my airport service and hauling me around for over 14 years. If you need a trusted, reliable company in NYC, Felix is the man. And then back in Tampa, Lino is the man. I’m just one of his celeb customers. He provides service to Jeter, ARod and many more. An excellent resource, who’ve I had a relationship with for over 10 years.
For more on bad service experiences, view:
Can a strong brand make a visit to the dentist less painful?
Global phone mess – a lesson in assumption.
I’ve been doing TV interviews for many years, Bloomberg, CBS’s The early Show and lots of FOX TV, just to name a few.
They can be a frightening experiences (live, no editing, no script) or they can be powerful opportunities (SEO, website content, exposure) to add credibility to your brand.
Last week I did a 30-minute, live segment on the upcoming Super Bowl commercials. So how did I pull this off – answer questions on the spot, with poise, and share a good amount of branding insight?
Remember this interview was a soft news angle with no controversy, I was not on the hot seat. If I was, I would have a different set of steps for that type of situation.
9 steps to smooth live, 30-minute TV interview.
1.) After the interview is booked, start doing your homework on the topic and think about the audience. I’m fortunate to have an awesome assistant, Lauren, who sourced three pages of stats, trends and history on the Super Bowl subject.
2.) Then send the producer, or your contact, a list of suggested questions with some key points from your research.
3.) The day before, review your key messages – out load.
4.) Before you go to the station, mentally get in the zone, run through your questions again.
5.) Always wear solid colors, not prints or tweedy fabrics.
6.) Women, where three times as much make-up as normal. Guys, wear powder, shiny face is not a good look.
7.) Arrive early, review your notes again. Breathe full breaths from your stomach.
8.) Write out your notes on index cards. Bring them with you.
9.) During the interview, pretend you are talking to your best friend, look at them. Relax.
10.) After the interview, get a copy. Watch it and learn from the experience. What can you do better next time?
For more Fox news interviews, view:
Can a Victoria’s Secret bag make you feel sexier?
Are you ready if your brand explodes? 4 important brand saving action items.
Being seen, talked about and featured in the media can certainly add to your brand buzz and success. This visibility can attract customers, superstar employees and even catch the eye of a choice joint venture partner. I’m a news and magazine junkie. I clip stuff daily that I find interesting, throw it in my cool ideas pile and then, over the thanksgiving, thought it was time to share with my fellow Oddpodz. So here are some of my favorite finds to help you increase your venture’s visibility.
1) Four wheels & style to burn.
How you can hit the road with a branded vehicle score publicity, create a tweet trail and always be on the move finding new customers.
2) Logos and license plates.
Many states are now offering custom branded auto plates to further brand your biz.
3) How to break a record and get in Guinness World Record Book.
Every week we see some company or person all over the news because they break a world record. The biggest something, the longest this, the first that, here’s how they do it.
4) Can guilt get you more customers and attention?
Think you need to shell out more product info or some financial reward to lure the non-believers? Think again. Get into their heads with a little old fashion guilt and they will follow.
5) Time sensitive, limited supply or an exclusive offer can be the ticket to a whole lot of buzz. Just ask any McRib junkie.
Every year it returns. That weird culinary pork and sauce thing called a McRib and then before you know it, it’s gone. This catch me while you can strategy has proven to be a big hit for the global burger joint. What can you offer your loyal customers with the same sense of urgency and maybe even a product tracker website for the truly addicted?
Things looked pretty bleak for Buddy the white German Shepherd of Claxton, GA. He had a hairless, raw, infected front leg and a bullet with his name on it. His owners were going to put him down Old Yeller style until a neighbor, Dennis Purcell, came to his rescue and brought him to a veterinarian in Savannah, Ga. He was half the weight that he should have been and very weak, but he had a wonderful disposition and was very easy to work around (sidebar: I met him, I can verify that he is a sweet dog). For his first few weeks at Eastside Veterinary Hospital, the doctors and staff and his rescuer cared for him. After some diagnostic work, it was estimated that the cost to treat his injury would be $3,000.
Buddy’s new guardian had created a flier to raise awareness about and funds for Buddy. Kelley Gargiulo, a Savannah resident who has worked extensively with animal rescue groups, received one of the fliers by chance. Gargiulo made a better flier, and created a Facebook page called “Hope for Buddy .” She had experience with various rescue organizations and applied for a LifeLine Rescue Grant from the United Animal Nations that resulted in $300.
The facebook page was taken over and is administered by Dennis’ sister. She began posting pictures, videos and updates about Buddy. Very quickly, donations started arriving by snail mail to the veterinary hospital. There is a wall filled with cards that accompanied donations from well-wishers from all over the country at the office. Eventually, the set up a PayPal account and were able to accept donations electronically.
Buddy’s infection was later diagnosed as Pythiosis and he was also found to have Addison’s disease. The estimate for the cost of his treatment was increased to $4,500.
In three months, over 1,000 people rallied around Buddy’s cause and donated the funds needed for his care. It seemed to take no time at all and was accomplished with no marketing budget. Why? Because his cause was tied to a heartwarming story that involved a lovely animal, compassionate people and a cause that animal lovers felt strongly about.
Here are some highlights (and lessons to be learned) from the success of Hope for Buddy.
- The Hope for Buddy Facebook page was started on June 1, 2010
- Two weeks later, June 14th, the page had 424 friends and over $1,000 had been raised
- Buddy was awarded a grant for $300 from the United Animal Nations (uan.org) on June 15th thanks to the effort of a ‘fan.’
- PR impressions. The story was picked up by local media outlets – three newspapers and one local news station in July and August
- The last publicized amount raised was $4,360 on July 13th, nearly all of the $4,500 set as a goal
- By September 20, “Hope for Buddy” had 1,206 fans and counting and numerous requests to adopt him
- Buddy had some setbacks in his recovery, but his fans are still pulling for him; no one has given up
Why it worked and how you can utilize some of these principles in your marketing program
- Genuine care and compassion. When people are truly passionate about their cause or mission, they are usually the most successful at generating their intended results and achieving their goals. The people who rescued Buddy and the doctors and staff who care for Buddy are extremely dedicated and compassionate professionals and are working tirelessly to save this dog. The people who have donated funds to pay for his care are passionate about animals and were moved by his story. You can’t fake that. Find something that you are genuinely passionate about in the product or service that you are marketin and that will resonate with your customers (for-profit) or supporters (non-profit).
- Prompt and honest communication. Whenever anyone had a question about Buddy regarding his history, his condition, how the funds were being used, what his personality was like, or whether or not he was making progress, the question was answered immediately.
- Face to dogface meetings and gratitude. The internet is great, but there’s nothing like meeting in person. They got off the internet and hit the road to meet and say thank you to some of their biggest supporters. When Buddy was given the OK to travel from the vets, he and his caretaker headed to Forsyth Park in Savannah, GA, Henderson, NC and Atlanta, GA.
Once you have found something you are truly passionate about that you will be marketing to others, make that the center of your communications; it will come through. When you are ready to start garnering PR, check out our PR Ta-Do List to help spread the word.
Also, check out our social media Ta-Do list to harness the power of those tools.
Most big companies think they are ready. They have a crisis plan in place, communication experts on call and teams of well media-trained executive spokespersons.
Small companies are often less formally prepared, most don’t have a plan, limited professional training and fewer lawyers, but can actually do better surviving a tragic accident, scandal or even a big, bad company misstep.
How do either of these transpire?
Bad things can happen to good and bad companies on any given day. Take Toyota, Goldman Sachs, BP or a small restaurant that unknowingly buys some tainted product and WHAM! A bunch of customers get violently sick and one dies.
I recently did a guest appearance on FOX TV on the subject of surviving a big brand hit. What do you do? What do you not do? How do you navigate through a brand disaster?
My advice to all brands, companies and personalities:
1) Do have a plan. Whether you are a mega corporation or a small business, if you’ve got accident exposure, you had better have a thought through worse case situation and how you will respond.
2) Have the right spokesperson delivering the voice of the brand in troubled waters. BP’s Tony Haywood was the wrong guy from the get go. Not American, overly arrogant and a loose canon of the wrong sound bites, “I want my life back”.
3) Carefully balance litigation issues and public opinion management.
4) Don’t play the blame game, take the pounding and get back to business.
This past month, I’ve had a great month of media exposure. FOX, Forbes.com, American Express Open Forum all coming out soon. I will share the links when they all publish. If you are interested in earning more publicity for your brand, check out all my secrets are in the Publicity Ta-DO list. It’s a step by step simple game plan that’s been working for me and can work for you.