In my last post I promised to reveal my most embarrassing publicity episode (yep, I have them too).


Well, here goes. All the grim details.


Plus I’m going to let you in on a little secret.


I had read all the books in the library and the bookstore about how to get publicity, but I’ll be darned if I could get any of them to work for me.  So I set out to develop my own formula – one I knew would work.  It took me almost 20 years to develop my formula and my entire publicity system.


Sure enough, my formula was working.  I was getting more and more publicity each time I used it.  I tested my formula every step of the way to be sure the changes I made still worked.


Then “It” happened ‘ my chance for the BIG time ‘ my chance to be on the Phil Donahue Show.  But there was a problem.  I had absolutely no experience on a show like that.


So here was my opportunity to be seen coast to coast and either rocket up to fame and fortune or crash and burn. I’m a big-time risk taker, so I went for it.


The day came to tape the show.  I arrived at the studio all full of myself.  Phil Donahue came into the dressing room and introduced himself.  In my mind I was saying “Phil, this is your lucky day.  Having me on your show is going to make you a star.”


The producer came in and told me it was time to go out on the set in front of the audience.


I have no trouble at all speaking before audiences.  It’s actually a real rush for me.


I went out on the set, sat in my seat and looked out at the audience before the show began.  In my mind I was saying “Audience, this is your lucky day.  You’re going to witness Phil becoming a star thanks to me.”


The show began, I was introduced and the worst hour of my life began.


I have no idea what was going on in my brain, but it had nothing to do with the questions I was being asked.  You would have thought I was auditioning for an “Idiot of the Month” contest.  I totally, irrevocably, irreversibly, permanent, indelibly, absolutely, bombed from coast to coast.  I made no sense at all.  Phil was looking at me like I was speaking a language never introduced to humanity.


When the show was over, he didn’t even acknowledge me.  My interview will never be one of the clips you see on “The Best of Phil Donahue”.  When the show was aired the following week, not one of my friends even mentioned it to me – that’s how bad it was.

In the last issue I told you that you have to work your way up to the “Big Time”.  If you jump the starting line and try right for the top, you may have a “Hartunian moment”.


There is a happy ending to this story, though.  Yes, the Donahue interview was a nightmare.  But I broke into the “Big Time” in a big way.  From that moment on I was able to say “I was on the Donahue Show”.  Once you can say that, the media sits up and takes notice.  Curiously enough, even though my Donahue appearance was a disaster, Big Time media sources have sought me out ever since.


I quickly learned my lesson, practiced my interview technique and have done over 2,000 interviews from that time until now without a hitch.


Shortly after the Donahue show I was asked to be on the Jenny Jones show.  That was one of the high points of my life.  The show went perfectly.


The most important thing I got out of that experience was the ability to teach others how not to repeat my mistakes. That became the finishing touch to my publicity kit.  I suffered so you could avoid the same fate.  (Aren’t I one heck of a guy?)


Now, a little secret.  When I speak at seminars around the country, I show about 10 seconds of that Donahue interview.  That’s the only good 10 seconds of the entire hour interview – and it’s good only because I’m not saying anything!  I also show video clips of several other shows where the memories are far better.


But the point of the videos I show is clear.  If you follow a tested, proven system for getting publicity and you do all of your homework, success is almost 100% guaranteed.  Since I was blazing a new trail and creating a new system for getting publicity, I didn’t have anyone to show me the way.  So I was on my own.


You certainly can go off on your own, but trust me, it’s not worth it.  Follow a successful trail blazed by someone who already has made the mistakes.


You can get full information about my complete publicity kit, which has helped thousands of people skyrocket their business, promote their products and literally alter their lives, at


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