On July 28th, Deborah Brown-Volkman joined us on the ASK-the-Experts Series and talked about how to “Get Your Name In Print! Build Your Coaching Practice and Gain Worldwide Exposure.”
Deborah is the President of Surpass Your Dreams, Inc. She works with Senior Executives, Vice Presidents, and Managers as well as with coaches who want to start and build successful coaching practices. Deborah is also a published writer and the author of two books.
Deborah’s book “Four Steps to Building a Profitable Coaching Practice” is a great marketing resource and I highly recommend it. It includes detailed information on how to talk with the press, how to get your name out to the public, how to get articles published and how to write an Ezine. There is even a section on how to take yourself through the coaching process and springboard your business!
In this teleforum, Deborah emphasized that we do not need to be afraid or hesitant about contacting the press and not to fear what they print. As long as we are open, honest and provide them with resources on a topic, there is no reason to fear them.
Getting your name in print and building your practice really starts with the “I WANT” statement. If you want to see your name in print, determine what you need to do to make it happen. Don’t be afraid of what the press will print. Sometimes, even bad press can be good press!
Happy Business Exposure,
Get Your Name in Print! Build Your Coaching Practice and Gain Worldwide Exposure.
How do I start to develop a relationship with the press?
Start locally. Be very clear about who your target audience is. It is also important to say who you are and what you do. The newspaper is broken up into sections and you need to fit in to one of those sections.
Once you pick the target audience, then you can contact these different areas.
Start by identifying the top 3 local newspapers in your area, read them, find out who writes about your target market.
Get in touch with the specific writers. Prove that you know about the newspaper and that you know about what that person writes about – perhaps mention a few articles they have written.
Once you get quoted locally, it gives you much more credibility and when you contact other newspapers, you can say “look, I’ve been quoted”.
If you need assistance with locating local publications, go to your local library. You can also check online by doing a search on newspapers and magazines in your local area. www.newslink.org is a great source – it includes a listing of newspapers and magazines from all over the world.
Once you have mastered how to connect with your local media, you can move to larger ones.
Can you tell us about Press Releases. Are they important?
Yes! Press releases are very important as it is the format the press prefers. You don’t have to do it this way but it’s protocol. Just like when you apply for a job, you have cover letter and resume.
A press release is a one page document that says, “this is what’s upcoming and this is my contact information.”
Use a press release to write about a new program you are offering, a new book, new software or if you have a strategy, write about it as you being the mechanism to your client’s success.
You can even issue a press release when you launch your website!
Note from Sylva: We just found out that we have been approved as a Member Benefit for the ICF, so we took this opportunity for the “News Flash” at the top of this page – it’s another example of how to announce something timely. We’ll follow Deborah’s great advice and also send out a press release.
How often should you write and send a press release?
If you have a lot to write about, send a press release each week!
However sending a press release every 2 weeks or even every 4 weeks is fine. The reporters may not be able to use what you send them, however they may be able to use it another time.
The important key is to ensure that you send the press release relates to a target market and that you send it to the appropriate contact for that publication.
How do you submit your press release to the publications?
Check to see if there is a general press release area you can send to. Newspapers are often really easy as they often have the contact information listed on their website.
** Deborah stressed that we need to ensure that the press release is geared to the reporter that writes about that topic. Do not send to a reporter that does not write about your topic. **
It is important to follow-up and track your press releases and the contact information of the person you sent it to. Get in front of reporters so they do not forget about you. They will get to know you and know how to use you. Send a press release about a topic that you feel is important – either general information or time dated information.
NOTE: Use Client Compass to track the reporters and publications you have submitted to. Either create a separate database (if you have the Premium version) or in the “Client Status” section create a new category called ‘Press.’ Not sure how to do that? Then be sure to attend the the Orientation and Customization classes. Remember, they are free with your purchase of Client Compass.
How do you turn press releases, articles and quotes into paying clients?
Anytime you receive press – if you’re quoted in a publication, on television etc., rarely will you get 100 clients from it. In some cases you may get a few clients, in other cases, you may not get any.
You can say the same things over and over again, but once that sentence is included in an article, newspaper or on TV, you get much more creditability.
If you are quoted or featured in a publication, laminate the article and have it with you when you speak with people. This will help the process of getting clients as people will read these items and hold on to them.
Include a link or an excerpt from the article on your website. It will work in your favor. Think credibility and visibility.
Even if you didn’t get new paying clients, keep going and get quoted again. Take it and move forward; get the experience, keep doing it and keep building it.
What’s the process to get reprints once you have been quoted?
Approach the magazine or newspaper and request a copy.
Getting a reprint from a magazine can be expensive and you can not add the article to your website unless you pay. However, on your website, you can mention where you were quoted but not include a link to the actual article.
How do I come up with a story idea to submit to the press?
The best way is to tie your release to something that is going on such as a current event. Current events are the way to go. Tie your information to the various events throughout the year, including holidays such as Christmas etc.
These are time dated press releases.
Do reporters keep a tickler file for time dated press releases?
Some reports may, however it’s best to follow-up with a phone call. If you send information on a regular basis, they will get to know you and will contact you directly if they need a resource.
Do they share their contact information with other reporters?
Sometimes. Reporters will most likely share contact information with others within their own publication. However, they may also refer/recommend a contact if there isn’t a conflict of interest or if they do not need you for that time.
**Remember – your goal is to be open, honest, confident and be yourself. That’s what reporters really want – real people that can give them information they can use. **
NOTE: Although a reporter will write a story, the editor has the final say. Just because you submitted a release with great information does not mean that your story will run. If it does not, get back up and try again.
You might ask your contact “when is the story coming out?” If they ask you for the spelling of your name, title or where you live, there’s a good chance that you’re in.
Is there a difference with newspaper reporters and magazine editors.
Newspaper reporters often cover information that is “here and now“. Magazines write months in advance and have an editorial calendar. Magazine stories are often many pages long – they’re looking for specifics, charts – more in-depth information.
NOTE: Sometimes bad press is good press. It brings attention and not everybody sees the bad part. It still builds a bio for you.
Should we thank the reporter when an article is run about us?
Yes … everybody gets a thank you. Even if you are not quoted still send a thank you.
When I speak with the reporter, can I request that my website be included?
You can request that your name and any contact information be included, however it is up to the reporter and editorial staff to decide what is actually printed.
Keep in mind that if the reader really wants to find you, they will do a search for you. they may enter your name in Google and see what comes up.
Deborah, how long did it take you to build to your current level?
It took approximately a year and a half before Deborah thought “Wow, I did a good job.”
Keep in mind, though, that a public relations program does not need to take a year and a half. Come up with an idea and get in touch with your local media. The more time you can put into it, the more you will get out of it.
Did you get your book published?
Deborah had her book published by www.iunniverse.com. She sent them an MS Word document, and four months later they gave her a book.
Regardless of whether you are self published or picked up by a publishing house, you may still have to do your own PR.
How many contacts should you send the same press release to?
You can send your same press release to different people within the same publication. Remember – it’s not the number of contacts you send to, it’s the quality of those you send to. Start small with 3 people, build relationships and it will build over time.
Deborah’s Parting Words of Wisdom:
Getting exposure starts by determining that you want it – this is powerful. Determine what you need to do to make it happen and do it! Remember – start locally and build from there. Take the experiences and move forward; get the experience, keep doing it and keep building it.
Want to know more?
Visit Deborah’s website at www.surpassyourdreams.com
Many thanks to Deborah for sharing such valuable information on how to bring exposure to our businesses!
© Client Compass, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED