#18 Top 5 Tips for Getting Media Coverage. Media Training Part 2 – Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time.

 

Here is a pair of underwear I came across in the Gold's Gym parking lot. This will make sense later.

Here is a pair of underwear I came across in the Gold's Gym parking lot. This will make sense later.

Media. Coverage. How do you do it? How do you get there? The Hot Mommas® Project has experienced a baptism by fire with regard to media training this past year.  We talked with some experts to make it more familiar, and less “TAKE.ME.TO. YOUR.LEADER.” Here are the big things we learned.

{ThemeSong: Take It Off by The Donnas]

 1. GETTING COVERAGE IS ABOUT GETTING OUT THERE. For the Hot Mommas® Project, getting coverage was about GETTING OUT THERE. Here are a few cause and effect press equations:

a. This article from GW (where I teach)…..led to an inquiry from Washington Post Magazine reporter Vanessa Gezari…which led to THIS massive article  and THIS Washington Post online chat.

P.s. This is a lesson in skilled reporting. Vanessa caputures it. She’s listed on Pulitzer.com for a reason.

P.s. Vanessa’s article led to a feature on NPR’s Michelle Martin’s show “Tell Me More.”

P.s.s The article also led to an INFLUX of calls and emails from everyone ranging from farmers to consultants to book coaches to military personnel to everyday folks wanting to learn to balance. It was amazing. Busy, but amazing.  Saranne Rothberg – our 2008-2009 Hot Mommas Project winner – wound up  media coaching me.  She said, “Are you READY for Oprah?” Like, literally, “Can you handle it?” She told me that when she was on Oprah for her charity ComedyCures, she got 20,000 emails. 

Here are some of the people who called, with which/whom we have real and great relationships now: David Allen, Sam Horn, Mom-entum Resources.  Also, lots of GW alumni and admins contacted me which was fun. Someone even was influenced to take a job at the university after reading the article. And I’m just an adjunct there!

b. This mass email (which I cringed to write  and blast out there – SCROLL DOWN to see text)….led to this interview.

c. This press release …led to coverage by US News and World Report (which was edited down into a teeny weeny thing, but, whatever. See around 1:00 min and very end.)

2. GETTING COVERAGE IS ABOUT HAVING “PEOPLE.”  When Saranne Rothberg  (her story), Brenda Rhodes (her story), and LaSara Firefox (her story) emerged as winners from our 2008-2009 finalists, they wrote me and said :

Saranne, Brenda, and LaSara: “We’ll have our PR people talk with your PR people.”

Me: “I don’t have people. Well, I teach at the George Washington University School of Business. There is the media office there.”  (Those of  you who follow this blog know about my co-dependent relationship with Racine Tucker-Hamilton in the GWSB communications office).

Saranne, Brenda, and LaSara: “Okay, well, put us in touch with Racine.”

So – my takeaway is that many entrepreneurs have “people.”  Example: The other day I spoke with Kristina Bouweri, owner of massive limo and transport company Reston Limo. She told me that when the company was smaller, she spent $500 a month on a PR person and it was the best money they ever spent because PR has helped distinguish their business from the competition.

Cause and effect: More on “people”…Racine Tucker-Hamilton was responsible, through her contacts, for this feature on ABC 7 News here in DC. There have also been a million billion other mentions of The Hot Mommas Project by GW – here was a great one because, being a cheap entrepreneur, I got a free head shot out of it. 

No effect: Interestingly, we got NO inquiries around this release concerning our hoity toity judges. However, the judges did blast it out to their networks which was helpful for getting the word out.

3. GETTING COVERAGE IS ABOUT THE STORY.

We’re named “The Hot Mommas® Project.” Clearly, this helps us. Then, we do cool stuff (teachable role models for women and girls). This also helps us. If your service is a trash removal service, this may be less interesting. However, if you remove “1 pound of belly button lint”…you just might have  a story! Or, if you’re Gold’s Gym (one of our event partners this summer), and you do a press release on “Gym Goers Lose Underwear, and Pants Sizes,” that just might get someone’s attention. In the famous words of Vanessa Gezari, “The media has a problem with subtelty.”  So, don’t be subtle.  Sam Horn’s book POP! is about very deliberately getting people’s attention.

4. GETTING COVERAGE IS ABOUT TELLING THE STORY….WELL (as in “good,” in an adept manner, etc.).

Me:  Saranne, all these women are coming to DC for the awards event. How cool! Egypt, Canada, everywhere!

Saranne: You should do a story on that.  You should call a local morning talk show and line up some Hot Mommas to be on the show.

Me: I would just call, and say “Hey, all these Hot Mommas are coming in town, can we come on your show?”

Saranne: Sure. But do a press release. I see the title: “Hot Mommas Descend Upon  DC.”

And, so it was.  Cause and effect: This press release resulted from that conversation…and we were on this show (see last link). We brought Alicia Anderson (her story) and Kelly Kolker (her story, comment and podcast).

5. GETTING COVERAGE IS ABOUT DISTRIBUTION.

After we recieved the coverage mentioned above, we:

– posted it on Twitter

– sent it to our Hot Mommas Facebook group

– sent it to my Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Facebook group (academically oriented)

Shashib and others re-tweeted it including Harvard Business School, Wharton Women, Alfred P Sloan Foundation, and Judy Martin.

– We put it on the front page of our website.

– We put it on our “buzz” page.

– If we had a newsletter, we would have put it in that.

– If we had a better-organized database, we would have sent it to our top-tier judges.

PARTING THOUGHTS:

In addition to the above “getting coverage” tips, there is a third section in this tripych of media coverage: HOW TO NOT FREAK OUT or, said in a more professional way, PREPARING FOR INTERVIEWS. That will be the next post.  Let’s just say I had some “issues” and things to work through when the media blitz hit. For some people, like Romi Lassaly or Stacy Debroff or Amy Reyer or Saranne, the kind of media we got is rather dinky (except for the NPR and Washington Post Mag). However, for me it was like drinking from a firehose.  I had to address some personal issues I have about media and attention, in addition to general preparation and media training. My network really came to bat for me in working through those challenges.

The thing that it sucks to say: Some people can be kind of petty.  While most people were really happy for us re: the media coverage, there were some surprising reactions. Let’s just say that some folks who I thought would be our biggest supporters said nothing. nada. zilch. or resorted to snarky comments or – as a friend of mine and I very unprofessionally call it – “The Weenie Patrol.”  However, 99  & 44/100% of our reactions were positive. We have a lot of people behind us. That feels great. 

Link it up. Here are other insiders posts. I’m also starting an insider’s Twitter stream for the morbidly curious.

#18 Top 5 Tips for Getting Media Coverage , #17 How to Bring Red Carpet Cache to Your Event  , #16: How to do a Mass/Blast Email Campaign , #15b: Announcing Our Judges , #15a: The Press Release Backstory , #14b: Confessions and Reflections , #14a: Confessions and Reflections , #14: How to Do a Business Model , # 13: Leadership and Management , #12: Search Engine Optimization and Link Love , #11: Top 7 Low/No Cost Stuff To Use In Business , #10: How We Are Getting Press & Buzz , #9: How to Market_Networking Our Brains Out , #8: How We Got Our First Sponsors , #7: How to Implement , #6: Help Arrives , #5: Emergency Broadcast , #4:The Productive Amoeba , #3: THE PLAN , #2: Triage , The Art of the Start

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3 thoughts on “#18 Top 5 Tips for Getting Media Coverage. Media Training Part 2 – Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time.

  1. Pingback: #27 Confessions and Reflections – Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time « Building A Million Dollar Business Part Time (Hot Mommas Project Insider’s Blog)
  2. Pingback: Summary of Posts 3 – Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time « Hot Mommas Project blog

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