My publicity student Mary Johnson sent such an important e-mail, I’m going to focus the next 3 posting on this blog on her and the points she made.

First, here’s the e-mail she sent me:

“Paul,

Thought you’d be interested (albeit belatedly) that we cracked USA TODAY… using your tips. We were featured in a 3/4 page article about financial planning, which included photos. No phone number or website mention, however, so we have yet to fully grasp the holy grail of publicity!

However, since we only work in elementary schools in New England, we used parts of the piece to create an “as featured in USA TODAY” mailer, sent directly to our potential clients. This has more selling power anyway, given how specific our market is.

My next goal: seeing my husband in one of those little dotty pictures in the Wall Street Journal.

All the best to you, Mary and the dogs!

Mary Johnson”

The first point I’m going to discuss is USA Today and why Mary is so excited to get a story published in that newspaper.

There are a number of media outlets that are nothing short of hitting the jackpot. They include USA Today, The New York Times, Oprah Winfrey Show, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine and a number of others.

When you’re interviewed by any of these newspapers, magazines or shows you get what I call your “Gold Card”. I don’t mean that they actually give you a gold media card. That’s just a figure of speech I use.

What I mean is that once you’re interviewed by a “Gold Card” media outlet, the doors of the media are often flung open for you. The reasoning the media people use is “If you were good enough to be on Oprah (or in USA Today, etc.) you must be good enough for me to interview too.”

It doesn’t even matter if you made much (or any) money from that interview!

Want to know a little secret? If you’ve read anything about me, you know I was on the Phil Donahue show years ago. That was the King of Gold Cards at the time.

I was promoting a book I had written. Know how many copies of that book I sold because of that interview?

Four.

But I didn’t care. I was on the Donahue Show. I had earned my Gold Card. And sure enough, once I was on Donahue, I got a stampede of media attention. That’s where I made the money.

That’s why you should strive to get into one of the “Gold Card” media outlets.

You may be saying “I just have a little bakery in a tiny little town in the Midwest. Why
would any of the big network talk shows or USA Today want to interview me? And why would I want to be on one of those big talk shows or in USA Today?”

If you want to stay a tiny little bakery in Nowhere, USA, you keep thinking like that. If you want to grow and have your tiny little bakery provide you with everything you’ve dreamed about, learn how to use publicity.

Next time I’ll talk about the second point in Mary’s e-mail. See you then.

Paul

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