CASE STUDY: How Sarah Got Media Coverage in The Huffington Post
Publicity… It’s an age-old strategy that’s been used for decades to increase sales, capture market share and establish credibility.
Because it gives prospective customers reassurance that your product or service has credibility behind it by way of ‘social proof.’
People assume that because your product or you are good enough to be featured in the media, it’s good enough to buy. I’ve seen my customers sales jump through the roof when we’ve announced that they’ve been featured on TV, in magazines, radio or internationally renowned blogs.
Getting publicity is so effective that it can excel new start-ups to multi million dollar companies overnight and give them the break they need to make their business profitable.
So, how do you go about getting publicity?
To answer that question, I’m going to introduce you to Sarah in this weeks feature Case Study.
Despite best intentions, you cannot always go it alone…
Sometimes, despite your best intentions, you cannot go it alone. Sarah Cannata www.sarahcannata.com.au, a professional writer who is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and has been published in The Age, The Business Woman Media, Rare Birds, Women in Focus and Blog Society, knows this only too well.
Sarah left a lucrative PR/Communications role to pursue her dream job as a writer. Inspired by two words, “I quit”, she took the leap, believing that her words and stories could change the world. By helping to tell the stories of visionary entrepreneurs, Sarah chose a business that plays a hand in inspiring others to make positive life changes.
Pretty incredible, right!?
Why a communications specialist needed help with PR
Sarah says that people have always assumed that PR is a natural extension of being able to write and communicate, however she sees PR as a very specialised field.
“Being a writer doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be any more successful in terms of generating media attention than anyone else” she said.
Sarah spotted the advertisement for The Publicity Program by Ben Angel in a SourceBottle email alert – a four week program designed to help authors, speakers, entrepreneurs and business owners get major media coverage nationally and internationally.
“I realised that it offered excellent value for money. Having worked in the Communications sector, I knew how much these programs are typically worth.”
Sarah understood the importance of media coverage to establishing her profile and credibility in her industry, and was looking for guidance as to how to structure a pitch that stands out from the pack. She knew that by signing up for the program she had nothing to lose, but what she gained was even more beneficial than she had originally thought.
Discovering the rules of newsworthiness. Your Critical First Step
Despite Sarah’s early writing success, the program taught her the importance of quality over quantity. She learned that less is more and a well-honed ‘newsworthy’ pitch sent out to the appropriate person provided more opportunities for exposure.
“I love the way the program forces you to go back and ask why a certain pitch didn’t work. Accountability is very important to me,” Sarah said.
You see, the key to getting featured in major media the likes of The Huffington Post, you must have a strategy and your strategy begins by defining your objectives.
IDENTIFY YOUR OBJECTIVES (Why this author was featured on the Today Show in America… and only sold 300 books, despite being seen in front of millions!!!)
Many set out to become world famous for what they do, a broad vision to say the least. When getting publicity that converts to ‘actual sales,’ you need to get highly focused as to which media you want to appear in and why and the strategy that goes behind it.
Do you want direct sales?
Do you want to gain instant credibility and then leverage that at a later stage to increase conversions in-store or online?
And, is your target audience, i.e. potential customers going to be reading this particular publication or watching that specific TV show?
I’ll never forget one of the marketing and PR managers from Wiley Publishing America sharing with me the story of one of their authors of whom worked for over 7 years to get on the Today Show in America… in front of millions!!!
When the interview finally aired, instead of selling tens of thousands of books like he had expected to, he only sold a couple of hundred.
Devastating to say the least. Not so devastating when you have a clearer understanding of your objectives, how to sway the interview to secure those sales and boost your profits.
Just as Sarah has done, you must get crystal clear on what your objectives are and how you are going to achieve them.
Making a great return on investment
For Sarah, The Publicity Project was a worthy investment and the fact that it was online made it both easy and accessible. Sarah now feels a lot more prepared when it comes to being in the spotlight. She says that the program also prepared her for the opportunities that she is starting to see come through.
This new found confidence earned her a regular spot on Huffington Post and she is currently working on a podcast series with Global Twitter Marketing Specialist Keith Keller and podcasting regularly for Twitter Write. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“I feel the program has really prepared me for what’s to come” Sarah said.
Gaining media attention and uncovering your passion
In amongst it all, Sarah discovered a passion – a passion to tell stories about entrepreneurs who are out there making a difference in the world.
She has written about the likes of Naomi Simson (Founder of RedBalloon), leadership mentor Anoushka Gungadin, Partner/Executive Director at Pitcher Partners Vicki Macdermid and Director of Dynamic Exchange, Annalise Jennings. She has also been featured in The Age, The Business Woman Media, Rare Birds, Women in Focus, Blog Society and is hard at work on a children’s book series aimed at girls and their parents aged 3 to 7 years.
Developing Multiple Approaches
Sarah’s story is a great example of how to make publicity work for you. After only working for a short time on her business, through The Publicity Program, Sarah discovered multiple approaches to get in touch with the people she wanted her message to reach with outstanding success.
“While I know that I’ll make mistakes along the way, this program reminds you to take a step back and consider why you may not have been successful the first time around. It’s great to have a video series that tackles what you’re up against: There are a lot of fantastic people out there in the world and to generate media attention, you need to stand out. This program really drills down into that.”
To generate necessary media attention, you have to stand out. If you would love to learn more tips on how to outshine and outsell your competition, The Publicity Project and my One Day Marketing Intensive entitled, The Profile, Publicity and Profits Tour are the perfect places to start.
Coming to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in the coming week, in just 7 hours you will learn how to leverage your time, your team and your technology to generate thousands of new customers and ensure you are being seen in all the right places, especially in the media.
Book your place today as there are limited tickets available to this marketing intensive June event.
I hope to see you in the media very shortly.