Free publicity. I built my entire career long before the Internet was around with what I called media marketing. What I'm covering today is based on a four hundred ninety nine page book I wrote with Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound, which tells you how I got on radio and TV and in print all around the world.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 223
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[02:56] Tom's introduction to Free Publicity [06:50] What the media wants [11:32] General etiquette that you need to keep in mind [14:20] A few things you should do [16:12] Tips for Radio [19:12] Tips for Print [20:34] Tips for Television [23:16] Tips for Pitching [24:53] Online and Social Media [25:19] Sponsor message [26:41] Press releases [29:43] More publicity tips
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
Screw The Commute Podcast App – https://screwthecommute.com/app/
Know a young person for our Youth Episode Series? Send an email to Tom! – firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a Roku box? Find Tom's Public Speaking Channel there! – https://channelstore.roku.com/details/267358/the-public-speaking-channel
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Program – https://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/
Publicity Hound TOC – https://antion.com/publicityhoundTOC.htm
(use coupon code HOUND)
Expert Click – https://www.expertclick.com/
Contact: Mitch Davis 202-333-4904
Via email: email@example.com
PR Web – http://www.prweb.com/
PR Newswire – https://www.prnewswire.com/
Help A Reporter Out – https://www.helpareporter.com/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Mitch Davis – https://screwthecommute.com/42/
Ilya Pozin – https://screwthecommute.com/222/
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Episode 223 - Publicity
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey, everybody it's Tom here with episode two hundred and twenty three of Screw the Commute podcast. Today we're gonna talk about publicity. I love this topic because you can get your name spread around the world. You can sell products. All kinds of great things come from publicity. Now, I hope you didn't miss Episode 222. This was a momentous occasion and episode for me. This was my first geek propellerhead, Ilya Pozin, who I snatched out of CompUSA back around nineteen ninety seven, taught him how to start a business, taught him how to run a business. And his first company, after he left me, he sold for a million and a half dollars. His second company, he sold for six million dollars. And his third company he just sold three hundred and forty million dollars. So I'm just tickled pink about this. And I told him next time I come to L.A., you're buying dinner. No question about. So that was episode 222. Now grab a copy of our free automation e-book. In fact, Ilya in nineteen ninety seven gave me some of the tips that I'm still using today to save millions of keystrokes and handle customers in all kinds of stuff way faster than you should be able to do it. So check that out. It's free to you. We sell it for twenty seven bucks. It's free to you at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. While you're over there, grab a copy of our podcast app. It'll do all kinds of great things on your cell phone or tablet. And we have complete instructions to show you how to use it. And that can be found at screwthecommute.com/app. Our sponsor's the Internet Marketing Training Center of Virginia, it's a distance learning school which teaches legitimate techniques to make a great living, either working for someone else or starting your own online business or both. Check it out at IMTCVA.org. And of course, everything we talk about will be in the show notes where you can just click on it anytime you want to get directly to the show notes. Just go screwthecommute.com and then the episode number, which this one is 223. So screwthecommute.com/223.
[00:02:59] All right. Let's get to the main event. I love this topic. Free publicity. I built my entire career long before the Internet was around with what I called media marketing. I have to tell you right upfront, what I'm covering today is based on a four hundred ninety nine page book I wrote with Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound, which tells you how I got on radio and TV and in print all around the world. I'm going to have a half price coupon for that later for you. Now, there's tons of things to learn about getting free publicity, and there's probably a hundred times what you need to know compared to what I have time to give you here today. But don't despair when I give you a bunch of highly usable tips. Plus, I'm going to give you that half price coupon for the four hundred ninety nine page e-book. Or if you're in my mentor program, I give you media training as part of your deal with me.
[00:03:56] Let's talk about why learning about and getting free publicity is so valuable for you. Well, the obvious thing is that it's free advertising for you, but it's better because you get the implied endorsement from the media outlet that's featuring you. People are skeptical of ads, but that's mostly gone when you were seen and or heard in the media. And even a guest posting on a popular blog could get more traffic than if you paid for traffic. You can target niche audiences in trade journals and Web sites and it brings in clients. I'm going to tell you about the easiest gig I ever had. Here's how it went. I got some publicity because a lady had a column in the Miami Sun-Sentinel and she got a question about Internet marketing and she happened to be on my email list. So she called me up, asked me the answer. She put it in her column in the Miami Sun-Sentinel. That's free publicity, folks. And in the meantime, CBS was looking for a Internet spokesperson who could speak, you know, an Internet expert who could speak. Well, they found me there. I made one hundred thousand dollars for the job and it was the easiest job I ever had. All right. So that's free publicity.
[00:05:23] All right. It helps you beat your competitors because when people are weighing one or the other of you, if they've seen you in the media, they figure you must be better. It can save you a ton of money on bringing a new product to market. It establishes you as the expert and helps raise your fees. See one of the theories. And it's actually a sign at my school. I mean, I have all these theories of marketing is the only way to exceed the average fees in your industry is to become better known. And publicity does that for you and it attracts attention, which gets you more attention. Let me tell you how that worked for me. So when I had my fun entertainment company called Prankmasters up in Washington, D.C., we ended up getting a feature article in The Washington Times while all the media outlets look at each other to see what's being covered. So from The Washington Times that led to a feature in The Washington Post and then from The Washington Post, Associated Press picked it up. And at the time it put me on fifteen hundred radio and TV stations around the world. And I went from just struggling. Getting that new business going to could barely keep up with the business. And more and more publicity, I did The Tokyo Today Show, the Australian broadcast network, the Canadian broadcast network all over the place. So publicity begets publicity. All right. So let me give you some ideas of what the media wants. And the more you help them out, the better chance of you getting the publicity that you want. So they want ideas on timely topics. They want ideas that tie into local, regional or national holidays and anniversaries or celebrations. They love controversial topics. When you're doing it, they want graphics to make their job easier. Pie charts, bar charts, maps, illustrations, videos to accompany the story makes their job easier. They want ideas about emerging trends. So you can stay abreast of trends by reading other papers and trade publications or subscribing to Google alerts. I might give you a story about that a little later. I will do it now. So. A guy that's a student of mine, but he's also a friend of mine and he's a martial arts expert and he's an active shooter expert. So I told him, sign up for Google Alerts and anytime there's an active shooter, you'll get an immediate notification of it. And then you look up the radio and TV stations in whatever city it happened in and call up to comment and and give people tips on how to stay safe and all that. And so he's doing that and getting jobs from it. That's how you keep up with this stuff. And it's also a thing we call newsjacking. So you're piggy backing off for something that's already in the news that makes your chances of getting on infinitely higher. And you can monitor what other top bloggers are saying if they're experts in their industry. Now, they love contrarian viewpoints. Good reporters usually want to show both sides of the issue. They like interesting profile stories. They like man bites dog stories or, you know, weird stuff that's going on if you can bring it to them. They like human interest articles. I see this all the time about, you know, than ninety nine year old World War Two vet is walking across the country, stuff like that. And they like free advice for their listeners or readers. This includes like tip sheets, like 10 tips on how to do something or how to articles. And they like compelling commentary. You can even get publicity in the form of letters to the editor and opinion articles that take a strong stand on one side of an issue. And here's a thing that I learned from Joel Roberts. I had some of the top media training in the world. He said talk show hosts, particularly those in larger markets, want guests who can generate heat instead of light. And what that meant was, is that they don't really care too much about the actual topic. As long as people were fighting about it and calling into to the station because their ratings go up. So it's just something to keep in mind.
[00:09:55] Now, for radio and TV, you need to be ready with pithy soundbites and for print. You've got to have short, interesting quotes and you can feed story ideas to them, even if it has nothing to do with you. See, you're positioning yourself as a really great source. So reporters will keep calling you and you create a relationship with them. Another important one is the local angle to a national story. So let's say maybe a national report came out that burglaries are increasing nationally. So a security company locally could say, well, here's what the burglary rate is locally and here's what you can do about it. So you took a national story and localized it to your community and you can get on in your community and your service area. Anything related to ways you're using technology in a cool way in your business or personal life. Any kind of consumer news you can tell them about your business problems and how you're solving them and your mistakes and what you've learned from them. And press releases, when you do those, I'll talk about them a little later. They got to be compelling and succinct and easy to understand. And you can put links to video, see if they post the story that they're covering on their Web site. They can include to a video that you've created and that enhances the story. Let's say a newspaper reporter's interviewing an origami artist. Well, the artist might create a two minute video in which he demonstrates how to fold a dollar bill so it looks like a bird or something like that. They love that kind of stuff.
[00:11:35] OK, so here's some general etiquette you need to keep in mind with regard to the media. Remember, they don't owe you anything. You should be happy if they put you on. Although they do need you. So it's kind of a two way street, but they don't owe you anything. Make sure you're extremely accessible because if they call you and you got your chance and you're not available, they're gonna call the next person because they're always on a short deadline. Make their job easy. Like I said, give them graphics and other things then and a whole storyline. So it makes their job easy. Keep your promises. And even if they don't keep theirs and always know that you could get bumped if some big story comes up. Imagine all the people that were ready to go on the air when the O.J. Simpson thing happened years ago. And, you know, everybody's cut out to watch the white Bronco go down the street. Those of your young people don't remember that. But everybody else got kicked off. They know their story wasn't as important as that breaking news. Just keep that in mind and be nice about it. Don't be a jerk as they won't call you back. Stay in touch with the media without being a pest. And keep in mind, no means no. If they don't like this story, pitch another story and come back later. And don't agree to an interview and then cancel because you changed your mind. They'll never call you back if you put them in a hard spot. Suggest follow up stories if your segment went really well. Call him back in a couple of weeks and say, hey, I've got this other follow up story whenever you're ready for it.
[00:13:14] Now, don't give gifts to individual journalists that may violate the ethics policy. Now, if you're doing a TV interview, if you take bagels and cheese and donuts for everybody, then that's cool. But don't send it to individual reporters. And another thing is get good at tying your topic to what's in the news. Like I said, that's newsjacking. And that's what Alain Burrese is doing with his active shooter training. Piggyback on trends and holidays. You know, right now we're around Christmas time. Keeping the stress down, how to keep your kids at bay during the holiday time, during shopping time. How to keep them safe. How to keep from getting robbed. I mean, I heard recently 30 percent of the packages delivered from online sales are getting stolen, 30 percent, and that's a lot. So again, a security company could do something about that. Tell you what to do. And this is just a smattering of things that would grab the interest of the media. Again, we go way deeper in the book that I'm going to give you the coupon code for later.
[00:14:23] All right. So here's some things you should do. Got to figure out what's your goal? Are you trying to get customers? Are you trying to build credibility? Are you trying to raise your fee because you'll be better known? Then think about whether you should shoot for the big time, which would be the big stuff. Wall Street Journal and L.A. Times and New York Times and Washington Post. Or if you could get faster results and more targeted by shooting locally. In many cases, if the story is good, you'll get the national stuff easier because they watch the local stories for cool stories say so. It's much easier to get a local story than it is a national and write out your main points and really embed them in your head when you get your media opportunity. So I can assure you if you don't have them in mind, your three minutes are over and you hardly even said hello. OK. You've got to learn about hooks. So one of my hooks is, hey, I'm going to tell your audience legitimately how they couldn't stop the money coming into their checking account if they try and then they're like, Oh, yeah. How do you do that? Then I explain it to them and it's oh, man, that's great. Let's do it. You can't just say outrageous stuff and not back it up. All right. But I can back that up.
[00:15:46] Practice sound bites so you don't run off at the mouth. And they you know, they don't they won't have you back if you take up the whole segment in one story. And the interviewer didn't even have a chance to ask any questions. Get media training. I mean, it's included in my mentor program. If you're in my mentor program. But and I've had the best of the best. Joel Roberts and Starlee Murray are the best of the best when it comes to media training. And there's no there's no question about that.
[00:16:16] Let's get into some specific tips. This is for radio and podcasts. Some of it would be for podcasts, too. But for radio, one of the things you want to do in radio is. And I was taught this by Joel Roberts is increase your audience right at the beginning. So I was taking his training and he said, OK, Tom, open up your little segment if I have you on the radio with me about your Wake Him Up book. So I said, well, I've got this wake him up business presentations book and his book. He's a stop stop. He says, as soon as you said business presentations, you just cut out the grandparents and the parents and everybody else that is in a business person, he said. So he changed my opening to Oh, Joel, my wake him up book is great. If you want to have a gift for your kids to help him communicate better. Or if your grandparents want him to get better grades in college and get a better career going. Or if you're in business, blah, blah blah. See, so I just tripled the size of my audience say so. That was one of the best tips. I mean, he gave me tons of tips, but that was one of the best ones. And that's what I'm giving you now. Make sure you expand your audience as much as possible. And the hosts will love you because they'll get more ratings points because of more people will be there. More people will call in and more people will listen instead of tune out if you make the audience too narrow and also give them a list of questions, don't expect them to use them all. And the cool part is, is give them the amount of time it takes to answer because they might have 60 seconds to a hard commercial break. And so they say they see a 15 second question. It takes you 40 seconds to answer. Perfect. They think you're the biggest pro they ever saw. And then, boom, they're right into the commercial break. And you've got to be persistent with radio to get through to the producers and you leave one voicemail and then you don't leave any other voicemails. But you keep calling back and you can even ask for the producer to be paged and then you do your pitch and it better be quick. You better sound good because remember, this is radio. They want to hear what you sound like. Now back to the actual performance. Help the host tease to get people back after a commercial break. So you could say something like, hey, when we come back from the break, I'm going to give the three biggest tips to make a whole side gig to make a lot of money online. So get your pencils and papers out. You want to get the pencils and papers out so they can write down your Web site and contact information. And you just help the host tease them to come back after the commercial break instead of changing channels. So there is a bunch of radio tips for you. Got a lot more if you're in the training.
[00:19:16] All right. In print, one of the main things is an editorial calendar. See if you're trying to pitch people or some other major magazine, they all have editorial calendars that are months and months in advance, what they're going to cover in a particular issue. And so if you're pitching Valentine's Day stuff and they're not covering it that month, you know, you don't have a chance at all. So you want to find out what they're covering when their deadlines are and then pitch your stuff to match what that issue's going to be about. And that just quadruples your chance of getting your article accepted or your tip sheet or whatever it is. So so find out their editorial calendar and look at their publications, see how many words they like, see what different types of articles they have and their word count, because if you pitch an article and it's got 4000 words and they only use two thousand words, well it's too much trouble for them to edit it. So they get rid of you. Also, keep an eye out for sidebars. This is where it's like a thin thing on the side of the page where you can put 10 tips to so and so and they put your name in there who provided the tips. All right. So that some print stuff.
[00:20:38] All right. So some TV stuff. It's TV, right? So Starlee Murray pounded this into my head, even though I had done tons of TV before, you know, because I'm pretty animated myself. But she said, no, take it to another level, make it visual, provide B-roll B roll is video that plays while you're talking of something that's related to what you're talking about. They love that. They think that you're a genius and you've made their their job much easier. Provide graphics and charts that they can pop on the screen pictures and don't expect on TV them to mention your Web site. Sometimes they will, but just don't expect that radio is much better for that. Now, if if they're talking about your book while yeah they'll mention the title of your book. Sure. But just don't expect them to really promote you. They just it's not the atmosphere. And practice. Here's one thing. They'll throw you off. If you're doing an interview, a lot of times the interviewer is not looking at you. They ask you a question and then they're looking at their notes. And it's very disconcerting for you talking to them and they're not paying attention to you. But you have to understand that. Practice it at home with people, get them to ask you a question and you give the answer while they're not looking at you. And also in a TV studio, be careful where you step. There's always cables all over the place and all you need to do is take down their main feed or something by tripping over the cable. They'll love you.
[00:22:16] Dress appropriately, no jangly jewelry. Make sure you don't have any real tight patterns in your clothing, which causes what's called a Moiré effect. And this is a great tip that Starlee teaches is see what you look like from the side. Everybody dresses up all cutesy and beautiful and looks at themselves in a mirror straight on. Well, if you're being interviewed, the camera's hitting you at the side. Make sure your hair's not covering your face. Make sure what your clothes look from a side angle, not just from the front. Get your digital camera out and get some pictures taken. And also make sure your clothing is big enough to handle a microphone transmitter or two. Sometimes, you don't want you're in a perfectly tailored suit to be pulling all at the front, making you look bad and on TV, always sit forward. Don't slouch back in a couch, sit forward, put a pillow behind your lower back if you have to, but sit forward. It makes you look way better.
[00:23:20] Let's talk about pitching. Well, you got to get on these shows, right, so tie it into news. Tie it in the movies even. Here's an example how the new Star Wars movie is ruining your child's self-esteem. All right. I just made that one up. But I mean, that's that's what I'm saying, because Star Wars at the time that this thing is just the massive big deal, people waiting all night to watch it, you know, so. So a tie in the stuff that's already in the news again. For print, you got to send query letters. These are letters or e-mails that give you a brief of your idea. You don't send the whole article or the whole thing. You just send the idea. Radio Like I said, they must hear your voice. So leave a hook and your contact information and keep following up if you don't get a return call. But don't leave a voicemail after the first call. You don't want to really sound like a goober. Like I said, ask the operator to page the producer and be quick and to the point. And if you aren't, you'll never get booked because they'll think if you can't be succinct on your pitch call, you're probably going to run off at the mouth and your interview and blow the whole interview. So practice your pitching and your pitch calls. And TV is the same as radio, but offer video, offer B roll, offer graphics and make your offer to make an entire segment for them. Remember, make it make their job easy. Tell them you even find other experts for them to be on the segment. You know, you'll you'll become a great resource for them.
[00:24:57] All right. Now, online and social media is a form of publicity. See any time another Web site, post your stuff or shares it like on Facebook or any other social media that's technically online publicity. So I don't go into that a whole lot because that's publicity. So the more you can, the better you do on your social media, the more publicity, the more your name is spread around.
[00:25:23] So before I get into press releases, I want to ask you, do you know what colleges and universities are doing? Well, according to grade inflation, I think is dot com or dot org. They're raising grade point averages to make it look like they're doing a better job of teaching when there's a mountain of evidence that they aren't. So I've got gotta eye opening higher education webinar at screwthecommute.com/webinars and it will potentially save yourself, possibly your loved ones friends, neighbors, nephews, nieces, hundreds of thousands of dollars in the old brainwashed you gotta go to college. Well if you still believe that, you're really behind the times. All right. Because there's way other ways to make a lot of money and not get crippled with debt. And so this webinar will tell you all about that. And of course, I'm sponsoring it with my distance learning school, which can give you a powerful in-demand skill in a in six months. But I've got people making money in a month or two into the school. All right. So it's really powerful. So you want to talk to me about it, check it out at IMTCVA.org. We give also big discounts for military, law enforcement and first responders. So call me up and ask me about that.
[00:26:45] All right, let's get into press releases. The old who, what, where, when and why. Still works, but you can do lots more with press releases nowadays, especially at the online services. And you can add video and audio and links and supplemental material and all kinds of stuff. And you're not just writing for journalists anymore. You can write direct to consumers or your targeted customers. And if the media picks it up, that's just icing on the cake. And speaking the icing on the cake, I heard a cute kind of Christmas joke. It's kind of Christmas. Here's the gingerbread man had a bad knee and the doctor wanted to know if he had been icing it. That's a pretty good joke. I know enough a little kid would get it.
[00:27:43] All right. Back to press releases. Don't waste your time on free services. They really don't have any worthwhile distribution. Your press release will most likely just sit on their side and be distributed to places that have no traffic or clout. Now, the service I use is broadcast interview source are also known as expert click. Mitch Davis is their phone number is 202 333 4904. Of course we'll have this in the show notes and firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell Mitch I sent you and he'll take care you. Great service. And also we interviewed him on episode 42 if you want to hear more in-depth about it. Now some other places are PRWeb.com and PRNewswire.com. Both are pretty pricey. All right. So a lot of them are geared towards really big companies and charge accordingly. So they're good places, but very expensive.
[00:28:44] All right, so I'm going to give you one last important round the tips. But before I do, here's the link to the table of contents of the how to be a Kick Butt Publicity Hound e-book. This is all the stuff that's got me on radio and TV all around the world and in print, too. So it's Antion.com/publicityhoundTOC.htm. Just go to the show notes and you can click on it. And you've got a half price deal because some of the links are bound to be bad. It means something that's a publicity field. Things change rapidly, but the information is like a PhD in getting publicity. So check that out in the show notes and use the coupon code if you decide you want to get the book. The book is originally ninety seven dollars. We're giving you a half price for listening here at forty eight fifty and you use the coupon code hound for like publicity hound.
[00:29:47] All right, so some more publicity tips for we wrap it up here. It really is helpful if you can make a Web page. I didn't say a whole Web site, although that's what we preach around here. But a Web page. Here's why. I'm known as a pretty good guest, so frequently, if somebody cancels, I'll get called at the last minute to fill in on radio or whatever it is. What I want to do is be able to make a web page so I can drive people from whatever the media is, usually radio to the web page to get him in my database, give a freebie away. So if you can't do that really fast, you're gonna miss out loads and loads of potential people in your database that heard you on the radio. And you should have a good giveaway like I have this automate free thing that I'm giving you for being on here. Well, I can give that away to other people that hear me on the radio very quickly and I can customize the page with the callsigns of the radio station. And they love that say.
[00:30:54] Now. HARO is help a reporter out. This is something you should sign up for. It will send you inquiries every day of media people looking for comments on all kinds of different topics and it's all broken down into categories. So you should sign up for that. You should create a media database of people that you've been on the shows, the producers name. Now this changes rapidly. If they move somewhere, you can go to the place where they moved and they already know you even that there are different stations. So create a media database. And the last thing I saved is because unless you're really flush with cash, I wouldn't do this, is hire a publicist. And when I used to speak at the Author 101 thing all the time, one of the things they would say all the time is the one thing you can be guaranteed from a publicist is you're guaranteed you'll get a bill every month. And you know, and there's all different ranges. Good ones are going to start at $5000 a month and up to ten twenty thirty thousand dollars a month. And of course, they can manipulate if you don't know what you're doing, they can get you on a bunch of stations that have two listeners and they fulfilled their job. Well, we got you on ten stations last week. Yeah. And then there was a total of 20 listeners. You're not going to get guarantees out of publicists, you know, but you will get a bill. But you got it. You know, certainly they have connections if you got enough money. So that's that.
[00:32:31] All right. So that's it. I highly encourage you to go by that book, get the half price deal and really dig into this, because it's meant millions and millions of dollars to me over my career and a lot of credibility, raising fees and all this stuff. So use publicity in your business, make it part of your business and it'll really pay off for you. All right. We'll catch y'all on the next episode. See you later.
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