I just received the email below from a subscriber. I changed the names to protect the guilty.

Read every word of the email and every word of my reply. It’s critical to your business survival:

Hello Paul,

I desperately need your advice on a problem my friend has.  My friend James owns a music store and has been doing well until his main rival has been able to secure a direct link to the main newspaper in the region. They have a member of staff who is engaged to the top journalist of the music section for the paper.
Therefore they have been able to have huge write ups for the last few weeks, 1/2 page articles all for no cost to the store.  Sales have dropped considerably from James’s store and as both stores deal in collectable and retro vinyl etc, the amount of second hand stock from people selling is all but stopped coming in for James whereas the other store has been getting huge amounts due to the overwhelming publicity they are getting.
We would be so grateful for some ideas or advice you may be able to give.  James has quite alot of your books but he seems to have all but given up – he says that he can’t continue to fight when they have that sort of power – meaning free publicity, and lots of it. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for taking the time to read my email.

Kind regards,
Caroline Dayner

Now for my reply – and it’s not going to be pretty. So if you’rehoping for a “let’s all hug, cry and be best friends” solution, you’d better stop reading.

But if you want the hard truth without the frosting on it, if you want the information you need to survive, focus in and keep reading.

For YEARS (yes, years) I’ve been telling people all around the world of the critical importance to learn and use publicity.

I’ve talked about it many times in this ezine; many times in my paid newsletter. I talk about it every time I speak at a seminar somewhere around the world. I talk about it on my DVD “How to Get $1 Million Worth of Publicity…FREE!”.

Some people paid attention, learned how to get and use publicity and are now sitting pretty.

A larger number, though, did not.

And now, the precise situation I’ve been predicting and warning you about is here.

Let me summarize the message I’ve been pounding out for years:

Whoever has the attention of the media wins – period!

I don’t care how small you and your business are and how big your competitors are – if you know how to attract the attention of the media and get free publicity, you win.

I don’t care how big you are and how small your competitors are – if they know how to attract the attention of the media and get free publicity, YOU LOSE!

Let me give you the examples I give the audiences at the seminars I speak at:

Who do you think would draw a bigger crowd – all of the living Nobel Prize winners gathered together in one room or…

Paris Hilton?

Who do you think would draw a larger crowd – the entire United States Supreme Court or….

Lindsay Lohan?

Get my point?

Regardless of what you think about Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan they have done two things right – the two things I’ve been preaching to you about.

1) they’ve learned how to attract the attention of the media and
2) they’ve made themselves celebrities

Everyone reading this can do both of those things. You can learn how to get the attention of the media and you can make yourself a celebrity. You can be a celebrity insurance agent, a celebrity grocer, a celebrity auto mechanic, a celebrity dentist.

It makes absolutely no difference what business or profession you’re in –
you can make yourself a celebrity. And it’s not difficult at all.

But I’ve told you how to do this many, many times in my writings.

In the situation with James and his music store, he has done neither. What’s even more frustrating is that James’ friend says that he has my publicity materials right there in front of him!

Apparently he’s using the manuals to keep the door of his shop open instead of learning my system. If he was using the manuals to learn my system, he would know exactly what to do, he would be doing it and he would be seeing success. Instead, he’s in a panic.

James, (and everyone reading this) there is no magic pill. If you had used my materials to learn how to get publicity, I don’t expect you’d be in this situation.

Is it too late? Maybe not. But your friend says you’ve given up. If that’s true, close up shop and go look for a job.

James, based on what your friend has told me, I have no sympathy for you. You had (and still have) all the tools you need right in front of you.
Have you learned my system and followed my formula? Have you taken part in the free coaching calls? Have you asked questions on the coaching calls?

For whatever reason, it appears that you haven’t. So I will do nothing more to help. I’ve done enough by producing the materials to teach you how to attract the attention of the media. You have to take it from there.

Many times in recent weeks I’ve told you that, in my opinion, things are going to get a lot worse around the world before we see some improvement.

Most people are in a panic about that.

Not me. Not other people who’ve taken the right steps to be prepared for
what was obviously coming. People who are prepared know that this is going to be one of the greatest opportunities of our lives. We’re ready to take advantage of it.

So, to James and everyone else in his situation – it’s never too late. You may have missed a lot of opportunity that passed you by because you didn’t take action – but there’s always more coming your way every single day. But you’re the one who has to take action. You’re the one who has to learn the strategies that will make you successful. You’re the one who has to write the press releases and get them out.

For years I’ve been giving you case studies of people who’ve put my publicity system into action and have had great success. They had great success because they found the right information and put it into action.

Next month I’m interviewing Dan Page during my monthly coaching call. He’s one of my publicity members and subscribers. I love this guy! He takes action. He tries, he fails, he succeeds, but he doesn’t give up. As a result, he’s had tremendous success.

Wait until you hear his story. It’s great.

Every once in a while I get emails from subscribers who think I’m too tough on people.

Too bad! Unsubscribe from this ezine and subscribe to another ezine where they feel your pain, buy your excuses and agree with your thoughts that the world isn’t fair.

The people who put their arms around you and tell you that you’re right, the world isn’t fair and your excuses for not succeeding are perfectly valid are not your friends. They’re your enemies. They’re your enablers. They are the very people holding you back.

I surround myself with successful people. Not one of those people ever talks about why the world isn’t fair, why they have valid excuses for not being successful or why only the rich get richer.

The rich get richer because they’re willing to do what it takes to get richer. The rich get richer because they give back. The rich get richer because they focus, then they try, then they try again and again and again.

I can’t count how many times I’ve told you that one of the things that drives me the most is doing whatever I can to help the greatest number of people succeed. But that does not include doing the work for them.

I’ll point the way, but you have to make the journey. If you’re willing to do your part, I’ll do mine.

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  1. Yves Marie Danie Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Well, I certainly don’t feel you are being too hard and I don’t
    say this to be liked by ya.

    I say this because it has been my experience that when we
    as people stay down for too long, it gets harder and harder to
    kick ourselves in the bum and get things shaking.

    To hear that this fella has given up turns me off – because
    I strongly believe that too many people die with their music
    still in ’em.

    Just the other day I was reading the news about a woman who went to her country to bury her brother.

    The boat carrying her suddenly capsized and she found herself stranded in the middle of the ocean for 2 days and held on to a 5 gallon bucket…NEVER letting it go. 2 days!!

    She witnessed her sister die in the water, her best friend went under but this woman said that she kept thinking about seeing her daughter again in order to find the strength to keep gripping the bucket.

    When she got home her husband said to her: “I would have given up after the first day.”

    I tell ya, my eyes widened when I read that. Because of my high intolerance of people who CHOOSE to relinquish their spirit of FIGHT.

    I have absolutely NO sympathy for people who so easily QUIT.

    Of course, there is a time to quit, and that’s not the kind of quitting that I’m talking about.

    I’ve been on the FRONT cover of the newspapers in my neck of the woods TWICE this year, featured with my dog in a Japanese magazine, honored for my community work with homeless kids by reporters, approached by “The Daily News” and even had a story done on one of my many projects by FOX 5 news…..and all of this happened THIS YEAR!

    I gave up 75% of my social life to learyn how to get free publicity for causes I believe in, worked with near zero budget, and faced more rejections of my presn s releases and humiliation that I care to remember.

    That never stopped me. And you know what? It never will.

    Because I REFUSE to QUIT. I refuse to stop believing that I CAN make a difference in the lives of homeless kids, a broken veteran system, and dogs without homes with my skill of getting FREE publicity.

    I will keep at it until the word hears what I have to say, especially for those without a voice (children & dogs!).

    So, James has all but given up, eh? (rolling my
    eyes)

    Oh, PUH-LEEZE!

    Tad-bit flamed,

    Yves Marie Danie

    p.s. If this meanie can get FREE publicity for her visciousness towards the innocent, I don’t wantto hear it from someone who has your publicity system. I’ve used what you’ve taught and even I did it….on a BROKE budget, mind you.

    See this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkBE0lWeYU

    or this:

    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/11/01/america/NA-ODD-US-Halloween-Obama.php

  2. Dennis E. Bradford Says:

    I like your attitude, Paul.

    For whatever my experience is worth, MINDSET TRUMPS TECHNIQUE. In other words, what some folks call the “inner” game is more important than the “outer” game. Our beliefs and attitudes are more important than our concrete efforts.

    Either way, those efforts yield feedback. With an open-minded, persistent approach, that feedback yields opportunities for improving what we do.

    Until your inner game improves, even using excellent techniques won’t yield excellent results. If you have an excellent inner game, even beginning with poor techniques will eventually yield excellent results.

    The good news for your publicity students like me is that you have made excellent techniques available. You shortened our learning curve. So it’s only a matter of using those techniques well, which comes down to having a good inner game.

    You can’t hire someone else to improve your inner game. If it’s poor and requires improvement, there’s only one person who can do it.

    You can attract publicity and make new business friends–or you can make excuses.

  3. Ed Weinsberg Says:

    Hi,Paul,

    I admire your wealth of experiences and insights and hope to gain from them. However, to yell at someone in print for not following your directions, when they probably only need to purchase what you offer, seems a bit off-the-mark.

    Just my two cents worth, as a beginning author who hopes that being #12 in my field of Amazon books after being published only for one month, can lead to becoming #1 with various free marketing approaches, including supporting major charities.

    I agree that people in trouble don’t need absolution, but they do need encouragement. Please, Paul, for us rank beginners – successful (thus far) or not, speak softly even if you happen to carry a big stick!

    Rabbi Ed Weinsberg

  4. Dan Page Says:

    Tough times for this client. But they don’t need to be. I think his major crisis is one of perception.

    As a 20 year business development specialist, I see a lot of things that this fellow can do. Below are a few thoughts from the hip. But the prelude to any of this is sitting down, looking at his business, and coming up with a handful of kick-ass differentiators. Then get after it. It is easy to get paralyzed with fear and anxiety, when simply DOING something will make all the difference in the world.

    1.) Local vs. National: I don’t claim to know the collectibles business like Paul does, or this fellow. BUT…why on earth does this have to be a “local-only” deal? Why can’t he draft some killer press releases (right out of your manual on selling collectibles) and hit the national press? He can easily turn this lemon into lemonade by expanding his horizons.

    2.) Is this the only paper in town? There absolutely MUST be more publications. The very fact that this newspaper wrote articles about the competitor’s store could be PERFECT fodder for going to other publications. He can show that this paper had great readership in the articles, which substantiates the reasoning for articles in their paper. THEN, provide them with some killer (informative and captivating) article fodder, which will get them excited.

    3.) Coopertition: This “competitor” could actually be a boon to his business. Does this fellow have a specialty that the other guy does not? He should explore how they can work Together. I can give numerous examples of how I have generated significant profits by working with direct competitors, often overcoming vast skepticism of my clients (until after the deal started generating incremental profits).

    4.) Shake it up: The undertone to the above comments is that he needs to shake it up, and start thinking radically. I’m sure there are huge opportunities for him right now, especially in a challenged economy. Articles about how people have money (collectibles) sitting in their attic or basement gathering dust and they don’t even know it. He could offer free appraisals, sell on commission, etc. I’ve used this approach very successfully in the past when selling debt collection, of all things. (Just go to Google and type in “collect tenant debt”. The first 2-3 articles were written by me well over a year ago. They OWN first place) If he were to brainstorm with clients/friends, I’ll bet he could come up with a half dozen different radical approaches that would get his phone ringing off the hook.

  5. Rory Says:

    Paul –

    I don’t think you are being too rough. That’s your style — and it works for you. And you know that!

    Could you be easier on people? Sure! But, would you be as effective? You are modeling for people the type of success that is possible. You are showing us all what it takes to reach the goals we want, but yet might not be willing to work for (initially anyway).

    I have been following your teachings for about 4 months. I have a lot to learn when it comes to press releases – and I am eager.

    But I’ll be frank. The #1 thing holding me back right now: Is Me! I need to take some massive action. I need to implement your strategies and tactics – test, tweak, and keep going.

    I am really excited by the information you share. Keep up the great work.

    Rory

  6. Sarah Says:

    The last thing I need when apparently everything is gloomy is someone else agreeing with me. Today I’ve just heard I’ve lost a big contract for next year. Not great but it’s a big kick in the pants to get on with developing my business. Do I want someone to say poor me and sympathise as to how terrible things are – No, definitely not, I want to be surrounded by positive people who see it as an opportunity to get on with things and take action.

    I liked your response as I’m getting a bit fed up with all the negativity around and believe that it is still possible to be successful once I am clear and focused on what I’m doing.

  7. Alan Tutt Says:

    I agree with Dan and say that the local paper cannot possibly be the ONLY place to get useful publicity. When James becomes a national celebrity, the local reporter will look like a fool for not recognizing (or acknowledging) him. Besides, there must be radio stations serving that area. Maybe even a TV station or two.

    If you can’t go through the obstacle, go around it.

    However, Paul, I think you missed Carolyn’s main point, which was that the local reporter has a personal relationship with the competitor, which usually cannot be overcome with better press releases. Maybe James should take a few of his excellent press releases into the editor’s office personally and demonstrate how the reporter is damaging the paper by not running the stories.

    As Dan mentions, the bottom line is a matter of attitude. Giving up may be easy, but it rarely is productive. You’ve got to believe in yourself and the possibilities to succeed. Once you truly believe that you can beat the problem, your mind goes to work to figure out how.

    Always start off with the assumption that a solution exists, and be determined to find it.

    – Alan Tutt

  8. John Strange Says:

    He needs to look for hidden marketing assets in his business!
    Go to the phone book 3 to 5 years look under Antiques and start calling to see if any of them have gone out of business like he is getting ready to do they have left past phone numbers and customer list that he can use now. His location should be a drop off location for Santa kids for the holidays. He should give out a free report on How not to get ripped off on your Antiques. He should also hold a free tel-seminar how to tell if your Antiques are will sale. He should be giving away free Antique evaluations
    coupons. He could have a service were he will go to someone house and let them know if the Antique is good and offer to put the Antique in his store on consignment. He needs to call his past customer to see if he can help them in anyway and ask for
    referells from his past customers. The big Kicker to keep his store open call all his past customer and ask if they want to invest in the store for the future. Take the money from the customer to keep his store open!

  9. Rachel Young Says:

    I, like most others, also agree that you weren’t too hard at all. However, I took away something completely different from your email than what I believe was intended.

    If anything, your email lead to a discussion at the dinner table about how soft I’d gotten in dealing with the “I’ve gotten your stuff but now I’m really in a bind and need help” folks who contact me.

    As a woman, I often feel the need to nurture rather than draw the line in the sand, if you will. I even referenced it when talking with one of my own coaching students yesterday a woman as well).

    Thank you for not kow towing and reminding us all that sometimes (regardless of who you are or what business you’re in) you’ve gotta put on the ‘big boy pants’ and just deal with issues as they arise – whether you’re a collectibles businessman worried about publicity…or a PR expert with customers who want special attention!

  10. Jonathan Rich Says:

    Too harsh. And I hope I’m not too harsh in my feedback about being too harsh.

    All professionals, doctors, lawyers, priests, computer specialists, and publicity gurus depend on business from people in desperate situations. How would you like to go to your doctor and hear, “Your cholesterol is sky-high, there’s a blockage in one of your arteries, and you’re likely to have a heart attack in the next view months. Why didn’t you eat better for the last 20 years? Since you didn’t, I won’t help you.” Or go to your lawyer after receiving being sued and hear, “I wish you’d come to me a month ago — I would have told you …”

    Some — no, most people — won’t listen until the situation becomes dire. When you help pull them out of their mess, many of them will become your biggest fans. So how ’bout it Paul? I little empathy and a little advice. Complete this sentence: “At this point, your best publicity move would be …”

  11. Dave Sawyer Says:

    Not too harsh I think. James has to get over this. The publicity system does not depend on any one paper.

    This one person at that paper is not controlling every media outlet. James don’t give up this easily unless you really don’t want to be in the vinyl business anyway.

    You can pull this out if you want to. The ball is totally in your court James.

  12. Nino Cruz Says:

    Paul, as a professional performer I found out “Brutal Honesty” is the key you need to accept and give yourself – in order to come close to perfection!

    Hopefully your Swift Kick in The Pants reply you gave this guy will snap him out of the “Woulda – Coulda – Shoulda” self pity syndrome and motivate him to go back to the basics open your tool kit again, and get some kick butt publicity from other reporters and media contacts!

    Thanks to you Paul,I’m living proof your system works and don’t know how successful I would have been WITHOUT IT!
    Thanks!
    Nino the Magician

  13. Charles Says:

    Paul, while I think some of your wording was a bit too harsh, your point is right on target.

    Forget about calling someone’s attitude good or bad: look at it from a purely practical point of view. Deciding that there is no way to overcome the lock the competitor has on publicity at the main news source in town is a dead end. There’s nothing left to do. Actually, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    On the other hand, deciding that being locked out of publicity at the main news source in town sucks, is unfair, but will NEVER STOP ME from getting good publicity somewhere, somehow will trigger action and creative thought. That decision, also, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    James needs to get out of his rut. Apart from the need to decide that nothing will stop him from getting publicity, he needs to think bigger. His immediate problem is only a symptom of the real problem: his own small thinking. In an age of faxes, the Internet, and magazines for virtually every hobby on the planet, no one selling collectibles needs to limit his/her market to the local townsfolk. Articles in the larger papers of the nearest cities would make the local paper’s unfair treatment a minor irritant instead of a cause for despair.

    The key is the decision. The quote has become a cliche, but Henry Ford was right: “If you think you can do something you’re right. If you think you can’t, you’re right.”

  14. Robert Schwarztrauber Says:

    Paul, your position on personal responsibility is a refreshing breeze through the stagnate air of helplessness that is so common in our society today. I respect that and believe your comments for James were appropriate for his situation as described.

    I am reminded of the late Gary Halbert’s comment on the three things required for any successful business promotion:
    1.A Star 2.A Story and 3. A Solution to a Problem

    If James will change the thing he has control over (his attitude) and forget trying to change the things he has no control over (that newspaper) he’ll be able to get over this challenge much faster. Focus on the solution, not the problem.

    If he will use your great material to broadcast whatever he comes up with for his Star-Story-Solution this episode will quickly become just another bump in the road.

  15. Wayne Moritz Says:

    I agree with Paul. Tell it like it is, the only ones that dislike me are the slackers and people that are peter principled out and make zero effort except to guard their turf.

    Everyone told me never waste your time battling with a proprietary technology product as a small company selling to fortune 500’s but yet I have beaten Accenture, IBM and many others for large contracts. Find the weakness and go for the gold.

    Does James live outside the box? does he have contact infomation for each and every customer with phone and email? is he in contact on a regular basis? Are events sponsored and/or does he show up where some of the better clients are playing to socialize. Does he offer consignment or a swap website where he can sell used items for customers? then they can buy new faster etc..

    You can get lists of media outlets, fax and do internet press releases. Donate something to high visibility charity giveaways and plaster your name everywhere.

    Remember the Van Halen incident where they trashed a hotel room because there was a brown M&M in the bowl. Everyone said stupi and I said billiant. Pay 13k for damages and receive millions of global publicityand have interviews waiting in line.

    The bigger the guns the harder you play. Going against Giants I found they are very status-quo, Sell lots of CONsulting with little results except to their own bottom lines and more. Very easy to engage and beat/frustate them. Basically think of them as a bunch of puppets with 1 puppet master and everybody waits for the marching orders.

    It’s very easy to go around the battleship when you are on a speedboat. Most of us here are on speedboats

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