Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Ways to Generate Publicity

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine sent me a link to a YouTube video she created. It was so clever and so timely, I asked her permission to air it on my morning talk show. She agreed and later asked me for a quote to put in a press release. I happily obliged. She wrote and posted the press release with a distribution service called "PR Web." I was notified through a Google alert! She has given me permission to share her press release. Maybe you can take a clever idea and leverage it like this, too.

Top Mom-Blogger Urges Mothers to Vote, Not Fight

After noticing that the nomination of Sarah Palin had re-ignited the "mommy wars," mom-blogger Dena Dyer created a Dr. Suess parody video called "Red (State) Mom, Blue (State) Mom" urging mothers to vote their beliefs, not fight about them.

Fredericksburg, Texas (PRWEB) October 18, 2008 -- The nomination of Sarah Palin has re-ignited the "mommy wars." Over water coolers, in chat rooms and in person, mothers are once again sparring over politics, childcare choices, and the work/life balance.
Award-winning mommy blogger Dena Dyer says, "It bothers me that so many mothers are up in arms, and that they are spending countless hours fighting about the candidates."Dyer has friends on both sides of the political spectrum, so she came up with a Dr. Suess parody that encourages moms to vote their beliefs, not fight about them. "Red (State) Mom, Blue (State) Mom" is based on the classic children's book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and is available on YouTube at

The video was featured on FamilyNet's national morning show, "Mornings with Lorri & Larry." Co-host and guest coordinator Lorri Allen says, "We are always looking for timely stories on our morning talk show. Dena Dyer's Dr. Seuss parody was a perfect fit for us. She not only entertains, she also offers a peaceful solution to political bickering."

Dyer believes that moms have more in common than they think. "I've been a stay-at-home mom, at work-at-home mom, and a work-outside-the-home mom. I've had my kids in public and private schools, and I have a lot of friends that homeschool their children. And you know what? We moms are more alike than not. We tend to want the same things for our children, though we may disagree on how to get there."

She adds, "I hope moms will watch the video and laugh. I also hope they'll realize that the energy they're spending on battling other moms could be better spent on making the changes they long for a reality."

For more info, including the text to "Red (State) Mom, Blue (State) Mom," visit

Saturday, October 18, 2008


A few of the publicists and prospective guests pitching stories to me for my daily talk show can't seem to grasp the idea that it broadcasts on TV AND airs on radio at the same time.

Here's how I describe it in my email signature, and either people don't read it, or I need to do a better job: "Mornings airs on Sirius 161 from 6-9 am eastern. From 7-9 am eastern, the program is also simulcast on FamilyNet Television."

We're not the only ones doing it. You've heard of Don Imus, whose radio show now airs on RFD-TV. And if you're a sports fan, you probably know about Mike and Mike on ESPN.

Still, I get questions like:
  • How can you be on the radio and the TV at the same time? (not only are we are going to a listening audience all over the U.S. and Canada by radio and across the U.S. by TV, Sirius plays our show live on the Internet!).
  • When does your radio show end and when does the TV show start?
  • Can I listen and watch at the same time?
  • So you're on the air for five hours a day?
Because simulcasting is cheap television, expect to see more of it in this tight economy. The great news for those of you seeking publicity is that you get a bigger audience with simulcast shows!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Honesty is the Best Policy

Every other month or so, I present a "Mastering the Media" course to CEO's who belong to a terrific organization called Vistage.

When I speak to one of these think-tanks, at least one of the business owners has trouble with my advice to be honest with the news media. He or she insists that honesty could lead to lawsuits. But here's the rationale: I'm telling you to not lie, to not deceive, to not be deceptive. Lies and dishonesty come back to haunt news makers. Think of several high-profile celebrities and politicians, who, if they had told the truth in the first place, may not have been in such hot water. They may still have been impeached, lost their office, lost the lawsuit or gone to federal prison, but the court of public opinion might have prevailed.

In more explicit terms, you can be honest by saying something that is not saying anything at all. You never want to say, "No comment." But you can say something to that effect without lying. For instance, you could say, "I would love to tell my side of the story. But right now, my lawyers are asking me to refrain from doing so." The news media is happy--reporters have a soundbite-- your attorneys are satisfied, and you haven't told a whopper.

Honesty is the best policy.

Monday, October 6, 2008

No Book Yet

I had the pleasure of conducting a teleseminar last week for the Business Coaching Group of the National Speakers Association. One of the participants asked, "Can I get any publicity since I haven't written a book yet?"

It's a great question. It is easier to establish your credibility with guest coordinators and assignment editors if you have published a book. But I answered the woman honestly, "I have to read so many books now, that I prefer to schedule guests who aren't promoting a book."

Without a book, you can establish your credibility in these ways:

  • Years serving a certain industry
  • Education
  • A life-changing experience
  • On-the-job results

You do have to explain why you are the perfect person to discuss the topic. Sometimes your title alone makes you worthy to be interviewed... for instance, if you are the President of a successful bank, I'd love to interview you this week. Or you may be the Executive Director of a non-profit agency helping hurricane victims... or those who've lost their homes in the sub-prime lending mess.

Don't wait for your book to come out to pitch the media about your expertise. The fact that you can show media experience and contacts will help you sell your book proposal to agents or acquisition editors.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Confirming an Interview

A talk show will typically send a confirmation notice to you by email or fax when you have agreed on a date to appear. These notices may tell you what colors to wear (if it's a TV show), what the producer or host needs from you and what numbers to call or where to go at what time.

If you get a confirmation without that information, here is an appropriate response:

"I'm looking forward to the interview on (name of show). To help (name or names of hosts) prepare, I'm attaching suggested questions and my bio. Here are my landline phone and backup cell numbers if you need to reach me. What else do you need?"

Other items programs may want include:

  • Photos
  • Video
  • Copies of your book, CD or DVD
  • Giveaways to callers
  • Bullet point information for full-screen graphics

Give the contact person every thing exactly as he or she is asking for it. Don't say, "You can get what you want on my website." If you are cooperative, you will be remembered in a positive way.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Opportunities Lost

If a reporter or talk show producer calls you, respond immediately. In this age of Blackberries, voicemail, smart phones and more, there is no excuse for waiting hours to return calls or emails... that is if you're serious about getting publicity.

One reason to get back at once is that your story may be topical or timely for that moment or day only, and if you let time go by, the producer could change his or her mind about wanting to interview you.

The scheduler may have had a hole to fill and was desperate. Your pitch wasn't that great, so when you finally got back to the coordinator, she had made other plans and was not interested in scheduling you for a future program. Or maybe she didn't trust you to get back to her in a timely fashion, so she doesn't want to risk working with you.

In a crisis situation, not getting back to the caller usually leads to your side of the story not being addressed in a news article or report. So if you ignore the press, you're likely to hear or read that you "were unavailable for comment" or "did not return our calls."

Don't bypass an opportunity by waiting.