Issue #1336 Nov. 26, 2019
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- Cringe-worthy PR Pitches
- Another Cliche to Avoid
- Today: Help with Your Online Course
- Hound Video of the Week
This Week in the Hound House:
I’ve been looking for a garden tote for a friend’s Christmas gift, something sturdy enough to hold good-quality gardening tools. I couldn’t find anything online that had decent reviews. Fiskars to the rescue! I bought this canvas Garden Bucket Caddy that fits snugly around a 5-gallon bucket and has 11 pockets for tools, a beverage and even a mobile phone. It arrived yesterday and it’s perfect. Today, I’m headed to Home Depot to buy the bucket.
1. Cringe-worthy PR Pitches
Deliver a rotten pitch to a journalist and chances are she could humiliate you publicly.
Muck Rack, which makes PR software to help find journalists, offers a monthly round-up of cringe-worthy pitches from journalists who are sharing them on Twitter. They’ll leave you howling. Here’s one of my favorites:
“Hey Erin. I wanted to check in to see if you got my latest email (that’s not entirely true since we have email tracking, but this a nice way of re-sending an email.) Just curious if you were looking for content around valuations and if you’re open to connecting and collaborating.
“No problem if you’re not open to it, but I’ll most likely be emailing you until I hear back. Cheers!”
You wouldn’t do anything like that, would you? Please tell me you wouldn’t.
To do: Read “This month in bad PR pitches.”
2. Another Annoying Cliche to Avoid
I’m a news junkie and watch mostly TV news shows featuring political commentary.
Every day for the last two weeks, I’ve heard a talk show host or news anchor use the word “unpack.”
“Can you unpack the story for us?” the host asks his guest.
In an article in the L.A. Times, architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne says the biggest offenders are journalists and academics who use it to mean any effort to break a complicated idea, theory or assumption into separate parts so it’s easier to understand.
“There’s so much unpacking going on at a typical symposium or conference these days that you begin to worry about tripping over all the empty luggage,” he writes.
To do: Don’t let this word creep into your writing or speech. The word “explain” should work fine. If you need to add pizzazz to your copy, let me help. In a 30-minute Rent My Brain session, I can critique an article, website copy, sales page, book description or marketing materials like your bio. Read more about what the session includes.
3. Today: Help with Your Online Course
Planning to write a nonfiction book?
Don’t start until you’ve first created an online course.
Because readers who love the book will be looking for other ways you can help them. And if you have nothing more to offer, they’ll give their credit card number to one of your competitors who does.
Today, at 2 and 7 p.m. Eastern, Steve Harrison will explain all the benefits of an online course based on your book or expertise, and how his team can build it for you.
You can sell the course from your website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They typically sell for 5 to 10 times what your book costs.
An online course is also an excellent “upsell” from your free or paid speaking engagements.
To do: If you’re a nonfiction author, speaker or expert, register for today’s free session on “Your Online Course Made Easy” using this affiliate link.
4. Hound Video of the Week
Meet Captain, the puppy that’s training to be a service dog by hanging around the Washington Capitols hockey team. Why a hockey team? This cute video explains.