If you’re trying to position yourself as an expert, you can often attract media attention if you’re in the right place at the right time. Specifically, near the top of the list that a search engine produces when a journalist is searching online for someone with your expertise.
Marilyn Anderson, author of “Never Kiss a Frog, a Girl’s Guide to Creatures from the Dating Swamp,” appeared on the ABC hit “Extreme Makeover” recently.
Why? Because she was smart enough to post her news releases at PRWeb.com, a website that accepts free releases, and gives them better distribution if you’re willing to pay a nominal fee.
Marilyn positions herself as an expert in dating, flirting, kissing and similar topics. So she submits news releases throughout the year filled with those keywords. In December, for example, she wrote a release with the headline “The 12 Frogs of Christmas (Men to Avoid if You Want to Have a Happy Holiday)”.
“They actually found me through a news releases I posted several months ago in which I used the word kiss,” she says. “I think the producers probably Googled the word kiss and one of my releases was listed. That led them to my website and they contacted me.”
They told her they were making over Christina, a 25-year-old tomboy who had never kissed. Rather than using their standard experts like a stuffy therapist or a Ph.D, they wanted someone who could offer something unusual and light. In this case, they wanted Marilyn to instruct Christina how to kiss.
“I had to think fast,” Marilyn said. “I told them that not only could I teach her, I could round up a cute guy to appear on the show.”
A producer called a few days later to book her, but Marilyn had jury duty on the day they wanted to do the taping. Thinking quickly, she ask, “How about if we tape it tonight?” They agreed.
That night, she made the 20-minute drive from her home in Marina del Ray to the Beverly Hills mansion were the taping was done.
“First, I taught her how to flirt. Then I taught her the 3 Ps of kissing: position, pressure and pucker.”
At the time the show was taped, Christina was still in the process of being made over. Her hair was frizzy and she had a chin guard and a nose guard following plastic surgery. The taping lasted about two hours.
“Who knows? I might end up on the show for only a nanosecond,” she said. “But the whole thing was a fun experience, and it taught me to think quickly.”
Publicity Hounds can learn from several things Marilyn did right:
–She not only posted her release, but she paid $40 so that the release would include a thumbnail bio, and photos of her and her book.
–She immediately “asked for the order” by asking the producer if they could tape the evening she was free.
–She offered to round out the show with another source: a cute guy she offered to find if they needed one. They didn’t, but they found a cute guy on their own and make him part of the program.
–She created a clever sound bite: “The 3 Rs of kissing.”
You can find a long list of f~ree and for-fee news release distribution services.
But before you post your own news releases online, be sure you compare them to a 10-point checklist that PR expert Marcia Yudkin has created. She discussed the things you need to be aware of during a teleseminar a few years ago called “ The Do-it-yourself Press Release Makeover: How to Turn a So-so Release into a Wildly Successful One.” You can order the CD or electronic transcript.
If you market on the Internet, you can learn tips like these and many more by becoming a member of the Internet Association of Information Marketers.