ABOVE: On the red carpet for filming of The Real Housewives of Melbourne (Foxtel & Arena). Left to right; Andrea Moss, Ben Angel, Jodie Fullerton & John Stevens.

[2 of 3] PR SERIES: Why People Fail to Get Major Publicity

The 24 / 7 news cycle represents life changing opportunities for any industry expert or business owner to get featured in front of hundreds of thousands of prospective customers – to help drive sales and profits.

The harsh reality is, most thought leaders and entrepreneurs fail to get coverage for their business, product or service – which means they go unpaid and unnoticed.

What’s devastating is, in that group of individuals, I’ve no doubt there’s someone just like you…

…Someone who believed if they sent a press release blast to everyone they will get instant publicity.

…Someone who believed an editor, journalist or producer would hear about them through the grapevine, pick up the phone and gift them a feature in front of thousands of their prospective customers.

…Someone who put in the hard yards, and never got an email or call back. 

The question is a stirring “WHY!?!”

Why do people fail miserably to get publicity? 

And more importantly, why do others get featured week after week effortlessly….

…and get the media chasing them that helps build their profiles and businesses while others stay hidden in the shadows?

The answer lies in:

The Science of Influence Behind Why People Get Publicity

If you’ve read any of my articles or books, you know I’m a straight talker and you expect nothing less from me.

Most thought leaders and entrepreneurs who dream about publicity imagine being featured on mainstream television, interviewed on radio and getting major news features that helps them take their sales and profile to entirely immeasurable levels.

Who doesn’t want that?

They’re willing to do the work, make the phone calls, send the press releases and write the emails.


So what happens? 

Most people give up after their first lot of rejection and quit.


It’s clear. When people aim to get publicity, they fail to influence the outcome by forgetting to present key credibility factors and pitches up front and within a matter of seconds.

And the biggest challenge is, when they spend all of that effort on those things something unnerving happens:

They waste weeks, months and in some cases years without having ANYTHING to show for it other than press releases and emails that went unanswered and unread.

And worse yet, they have a belief that “I’ll get publicity when it’s the right time…”

But they have ZERO RESULTS.

The overshadowing lack of results is enough to undo the most motivated individual.

(I’ve been there… and been rejected on levels in the media you can’t even begin to imagine)


It comes back to your ability to influence. 

The more time invested in working on something without compensation, the harder it is to continue.

And that’s the reason why I believe most fail to get publicity. They struggle not only to influence the media to feature them, they struggle to influence themselves that they’ve got what it takes and to continue going after one or two rejections.

They start contacting the media with great intentions, but lose focus when their emails go unanswered because they waste time on approaches that don’t deliver the main goals, more leads, more sales and more profits.

It’s a devastating reality for most thought leaders and entrepreneurs.


Listen Up! I have a critical question for you: 

Are you concerned the exact same thing will happen to you?

Are you worried you’ll waste your time sending out pointless emails, making pointless phone calls only to get rejected time after time?

Or worse, it might be happening to you right now…and you’re sick to death of it?

If you said a resounding “YES!” get excited because this is your lucky day.

I’ve dedicated the rest of this article to revealing the “common time consuming mistakes that cause publicity seekers like you to fall flat.

The time-consuming mistakes that cause you to walk away empty handed… none the wiser… and eventually force you to give up.

And the great news is, once you eliminate these time consuming mistakes, I believe you’ll get publicity and beat your competition.

Let’s dive in now.

Publicity Mistake #1: Pitching Too Often

When I asked people, “Where do you spend most of your time when pitching for publicity?” , they said “I spend 95% of my time sending emails and making phone calls.”

This makes absolutely no sense.

Listen up:

When you pitch to the media, it isn’t the frequency or number of pitches you make that impacts your final results. That’s like fishing in a pond wearing high heels – you’re going to sink quickly and lose your balance!

Contacting more media doesn’t necessarily help you get more coverage.

Let’s say you pitch one highly targeted story to just a handful of media that will love your story and you know for a fact it is the right fit for their outlet – your likelihood of getting featured goes through the roof.

Pitching to ‘everyone’ is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

So, how do you do it?

The real secret lies in your ability to create 4-5 highly targeted pitches and go for only a handful of media at a time.


Because once you secure coverage with one outlet, the others soon follow suit because you now have credibility in the eyes of the beholder.

You don’t have to create countless press releases. You just have to workout what story will work with which media and target them accordingly.

How does that feel?

I know my client Dr Rebecca Harwin who was featured in CEO, CLEO, Fitness First and Woman’s Day Magazines within a space of 6 months was thrilled about it.

All she had to do was find targeted angles then focus in on a handful of publications.

And she did it without having any previous experience in dealing with the media, securing MAJOR publications in the process that shifted her profile to an entirely new level she’d never dreamed possible.

Which leads me into the next big common mistake.


Publicity Mistake #2: The Wrong Approach

This always astounds me…

When I ask people, “How do you approach the media?”

Here’s what they say:

“Okay, so I write a press release attach it to an email and send it to ‘EVERYONE’ on my media list.” 

With which I reply, “Then what?” 

That’s it!”

Thankfully if it wasn’t for Botox I’d look shocked at that response!

Wake Up Call Time: Blanket sending a press release only works when you have major national or international breaking news story, i.e. a Beyonce’s wardrobe malfunction.

You’ll never get a response from media if you send blanketed and untargeted press releases and fail to follow them up with another email or telephone call.

In fact, many journalists, editors and producers I am good friends with consider it outright rude.


Because, they receive hundreds of emails every single day!!!

If you don’t take the time to personally address them and follow up your targeted release or pitch, you’re just another nobody vying for their attention.

It’s easy for the media to feel used…

Imagine for a minute receiving hundreds of emails every single day from people wanting something from you?

How overwhelmed and unappreciated would you feel?

The question is, “How can YOU stand out when there’s hundreds of others all vying for the same attention?”

I go into detail in my premium training Instant Publicity Marketing System, but the secret behind getting noticed is as simple as getting really targeted with your press releases and pitches and making a connection with them by following it up.

Secondly, don’t write about your new product or service, write about the 36 year old woman who used it to lose 25kgs in 2 months.

You might think, “well, that’s incredibly specific?”

The answer is, “Yes,” because the media are after stories not adverts.

Think about it, what’s more memorable, the new fat blasting product or the person who ‘used’ the new fat blasting product to lose weight and change her life?

And if you’re worried that this level of specificity won’t work, think about Leon Harvey who targeted a sporting magazine for a feature about the dangerous levels of sugar and acidity in sports drinks.

It was a hit and got him featured in front of 40,000 of his target market, thereby increasing his sales and profiling his brand literally overnight…

And, it was all because he targeted the story and had the courtesy to follow it up with a 30 second phone call to connect.


Publicity Mistake #3: Failure To Research This Key Element…

If you want to instantly capture the attention of the media, 90% of your time will be spent researching what the publications / shows you are seeking to be featured in focus on.

The sad truth is, most don’t take the time do conduct this research because they feel they shouldn’t have to do it.

Most press releases fall flat because they focus on the business and not the story associated with the business.

The problem again is in your ability to influence them. Taking ‘strategic’ and well-thought out actions pays great dividends when it comes to getting publicity.

What gets ignored is press releases or pitches that are off target and by off target I mean; 

They don’t follow the same formula the show or publication follows, i.e. Today Tonight focuses on scams, weight loss products, celebrity gossip, whereas Vogue focuses on fashion and lifestyle.

And, Fast Company Magazine focuses on trends and innovations that haven’t quite broken through yet and become mainstream.

Each are written in a different style.

The fact remains, the more media you want, the more targeted you will become and the more you will devour the publications or shows that you want features in.


Here’s What You Need To Do Now…

Now that I’ve shared with you why people fail to get publicity, and the 3 biggest mistakes that result in this, you’ve got to define a new goal:

Get publicity…NOW. 

As I mentioned earlier, when you work on something for a long time it’s easy to feel disheartened and you never want that to happen.

So what can you do to get started? 

  • List down a handful of publications you would love to get featured in.
  • Identify the media outlets that have the greatest synergy with your brand values.
  • List 15 then cull it back to just 5.

Read each of the publications / watch the shows and identify the types and styles of stories they run. These activities will take you less than one hour of focused action. One hour that could benefit you handsomely in the not so distant future!

Set a timer for one hour now and begin. It’s easier than you think it is!

Then, for homework, I want you to leave a comment on this post. 

Here’s what you need to include:

Firstly, I want you to identify your dream hit list in which you’d love to be featured on/in, i.e. The Today Show, Forbes Magazine, Fast Company, CLEO etc.

Secondly, I want you to write down what you would love to talk about in the media that will help to change opinions, drive sales and ultimately shape the world we live in.

Get cracking now and stay tuned for my next ‘must read’ post on getting publicity.

And, if you missed Publicity Series Part #1: Hit the big blue button and sign up so you don’t miss part 1 or part 3 when it becomes available. 

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Showing 8 comments
  • Ben Angel
    Ben Angel

    Who’s on your media hit list?

    Post now! Let’s start a conversation.

    • Bree Stedman

      Hi Ben. On our media hit list would be the Today Show or the Morning Show – if given the opportunity, we would discuss with them the significant differences between male and female brains – in particular, the common reasons why women struggle to let go of emotions attached to events and why everything that happens to women is attached to emotion – we compare male and female brains like Mac’s and PC’s – women are Mac computers trying to run PC software and this is why we so often struggle with truly addressing emotional baggage. We have the Mac Apps that work with the female brain and so we would introduce that to their audiences.

  • Bernadette

    Thanks for the great advice Ben. I have had good coverage from Source bottle callouts but have had abysmal results from press releases and you have described the problems with my results to a tee.Am definitely putting your method to the test!

  • Bernadette

    Thanks for the great advice Ben. I have had good coverage from Source bottle callouts but have had abysmal results from press releases and you have described the problems with my results to a tee.Am definitely putting your method to the test!

  • Ruth

    The West, Channel 7, Nova, Gardening Gurus, Scoop – This is a Western Australian Event so looking to capture the West Australian market with media coverage

    • Ben Angel
      Ben Angel

      Great list Ruth. Keep up the great work and focus. The more you define it, the easier it is to get. Ben

  • travail à domicile

    First off I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question which I’d
    like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center
    yourself and clear your head before writing. I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there.
    I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted simply just trying to figure out how
    to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Cheers!

    • Ben Angel
      Ben Angel

      Hi Travail, thanks for the compliment. That means a lot. Re. your question. More than happy to answer. First step is to set zero expectations on what you’re aiming to achieve and simply write dot points of what you think you can write about. Don’t edit it, just allow it to flow. Next step, edit your dot points down to what you think will gain the most interest, and take five minutes to expand on each one. Once that’s done, write an intro and the closing. Do this all as fast as you possibly can. Once you have a rough draft, then go over it all and fine-tune it. The first few steps aren’t about making it perfect, it’s just about getting a structure down so you can fill in the blanks. I’ve done this for writing 3 books that are all anywhere from 40-60,000 words long. Works a treat. Let me know how you go. Ben 🙂

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