Tuesday, December 18, 2007

3 Ways To Use Google Alerts

Continued from last week...
#1 -- Get publicity IMMEDIATELY by tying-in with breaking news stories. One of the easiest ways to get publicity is to be able to comment on what's already in the news. For instance, Harrison Forbes is a dog training expert. Harrison was advised, "Whenever a kid gets attacked by a dog somewhere in America, you need to contact the newspapers and radio/TV shows in that city immediately and let them know you can comment on why it might have happened and how this attack could have been prevented." Harrison then asked, "But how will I know when a dog attack story hits the news?" Answer: "Use Google Alerts." Within 90 days of beginning to use this strategy, Harrison had gotten publicity in over 40 different media outlets across the country using this method.

#2 -- Get publicity YEAR 'ROUND by building friendships with journalists who write on your topic. Mark Amtower, also uses Google Alerts service in a very systematic way to get publicity. Here's what Mark does: First he sets up alerts to track stories written on his area of expertise, which is how small businesses can sell more to the government. When he gets an alert email pointing him to a good story on that subject, he then sends the journalist who wrote the story a short email saying he enjoyed their article and offers a sincere compliment. His email stands out because journalists don't often hear from their readers and when they do it's usually to complain. Within his email Mark mentions his site GovernmentMarketingBestPractices.com to reinforce his credibility. If the journalist writes him back and thanks him for his comments, Mark then offers to send them a free copy of his book and mentions he's happy to be a resource for them on any future stories they might do on this or similar topics. This simple technique has helped Mark get a lot of publicity in his niche because he's systematically created relationships with many reporters who now look at him as a reliable source.

#3 -- Get publicity EASILY by using proven headline formulas as "hooks." Business owners who want more publicity often ask what their 'hook' or angle should be when approaching the media. "What hooks have others in your industry successfully used to get publicity?" Usually they don't know, but by using Google Alerts (or even just searching the Google News database at http://www.google.com/news ) you can quickly find articles in which others with similar expertise are quoted. For example, let's say you're a mortgage broker in Denver. One day you discover a story in the Chicago Tribune about new loan programs making it easier for self-employed people to get a mortgage. Well, if it's newsworthy in Chicago, it's probably going to be considered newsworthy by the media in your city. So pitch your local media on doing the same story, only this time they'll be interviewing YOU as the expert.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Using "Google Alerts"

Google has a very helpful free "alerts" service which can help you get a lot more publicity. It's essentially an online clipping service which monitors both the web and Google's news databases, then sends you an email as soon as something you're interested in appears in their search results. For instance, let's say you're a big fan of actor Kiefer Sutherland. You can set up a Google Alert for his name. Then whenever Google finds him mentioned in a top news story or on the web, you'll get an email including the web site address so you can go see where and how Kiefer is mentioned. To set up your own Google Alerts for free, just go to http://www.google.com/alerts

The exciting thing is you can use this service to grow your business in all sorts of ways. Some of the obvious ways to use it include setting up alerts to see what others are saying about you online, "spy" on competitors, find out about new developments in your industry and/or discover some possible new joint venture partners along the way. This service is also one of the best publicity tools ever created and it's free!

Make sure to visit "Making The News" often as I continue to explore this marketing powerhouse and reveal powerful ways to use this hot new publicity tool in upcoming posts

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Be an "Expert on File"

Are you in business?
I assume that you are or you would not be reading this. Are you good at what you do? I assume you are or you would not be reading this. The real question is, if you are so good at what you do why does'nt the media know about you? Answer, they have never heard of you.

Solution? Tell them!

Every media person in your town keeps a file of experts, authorities, contacts and sources they can call when a story breaks or when they need a quote. Mortgage rates are at all-time lows. The stock market has been break dancing. Car sales are fluctuating. Investment advisors are in high demand. Religious organizations are being bombarded with questions, and so on and so on. Every time a story breaks or is considered “hot” the media people scurry for insights, a quote, insider information, and timely responses from industry experts. The LOCAL ANGLE is what most of these reporters are seeking. When they need an insight, quote or factual information they always turn to their file of contacts. You can become one of these valued resources by simply calling and letting them know you are available for comment. Call your local editor or better yet, beat reporter. Introduce yourself and your expertise. Offer to assist the reporter in the event they need help on issues and stories of which you are qualified.

Scan your newspaper and begin to look for “trends” any given reporter is following. Look for the impact a national story could make locally. Call the reporter and make yourself available in the event he/she needs clarification or an opinion on an ongoing and breaking event. Some national stories that you could comment on locally include:
*How the stock market will behave with Christmas looming.
*The local impact of major corporate scandals
*How the mutual fund debacle could effect local businesses
*How your industry is effected during the holidays
*What impact has the Iraq war had on your industry, and what changes are on the horizon
*Is Michael Jackson coming to town?

Every reporter in the world is looking for a local angle to a national story. If there is a national or regional story your paper is covering and you can help create a local flavor, you will get exposure and will be a valued media resource for years to come. The story does not have to be solely of a national scope either. What story lines does your local media seem to be hot on, a political race or hot issue, a nursing home infraction? In Birmingham AL (My home town) childhood obesity is the latest hot button. Are you a doctor, bodybuilder, runner, nutritionist, fast food restaurant manager? Did you lose 300 pounds on the Adkins diet, did your mom? See the various angles that could be offered by these different professions and/or people in the know? Everyday there is a story that needs further clarification. It’s all a matter of paying attention and making the call. Take a few moments today and scan your local paper. I’ll guarantee there is a story you're are qualified to comment on so... Pick up the phone and...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Get your own radio program

Over the years I have offered several specific strategies for getting products, services, companies or causes featured on radio. If you have taken my prior advice and established yourself as an expert in your industry, radio program producers will invite you, the "expert” to be interviewed on-air. This is of course a great way to get your message heard. Frequently interviewees go on to host their very own radio program.

Every time I share this publicity strategy someone will ask how they too can get their own program. This question is tough to answer since every station works differently. They all have different needs and qualifications. Also your subject matter may be too narrow or dare I say it, BORING! Moreover available time slots are an issue as are current contracts with on-air personalities.

However this does not mean you cannot produce your own radio program!

First you must understand radio stations are in the business of selling airtime. Whether a thirty-second commercial, a ten second traffic spot or an hour-long programming segment. They are in the business of “filling air.” Most of this time is dedicated to mass appeal programming. In the case of talk radio, shows like Neal Boortz, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and countless others make up the brunt of these mass appeal programs. They fill the air and the station sells advertisers “time” (Known as avails) during these programs to pay for program they "purchased" from the national vendors that syndicate them (CBS, Westwood One, Gannet etc.) In other words stations buy or subscribe to a years worth of Hannity for fixed price and receives the rights to market commercial time during this show.

Of course most stations have only so much budget or may be in a market where there are only so many potential advertisers. Although there may be twenty-four hours in a day many stations will or can only purchase enough mass appeal programming to fill say twelve hours. (Often referred to as "Standard Dayparts") On the weekends (Non Standard) most stations do not broadcast syndicated or their own locally produced programs. Often they rebroadcast recorded versions of programs that were aired earlier in the week.

Stations also employ local talent to produce and deliver shows with local appeal. These are the shows the majority of you would be invited to interview on to discuss your ideas or products. Most of them are either early am, or early pm, (Drive Time) and again advertisers sponsor these programs and the “talent” paid a salary. These local interest shows range in scope from local politics, news of the day, human interest, medical news, financial advice, business spotlights and pretty much anything else you can imagine. But even with these programs, stations are left with several programming hours to fill each and every day, especially in the Non-Standard Daypart segments (Typicaly defined as Weekends and between the hours of 6 pm to 6am M-F)

So what do they fill the additional airtime with? Paid programming. (Also known as Bartered Radio)

This left over time is sold in blocks ranging from thirty minutes to several hours. This time is purchased by local or national companies, charities, special interest groups and even individuals just like you. The topics range from how to buy stocks to how to how landscape your yard to small engine repair. The topic is determined by the group or individual who now “owns the spot”.

In Birmingham Alabama, where I live, one Saturday morning program is called “Life After Fifty”, It’s a program on issues of interest to senior citizens and is produced and delivered by a local fellow. Another Saturday program is offered by a local stock broker on investing and making money. These individuals buy the airtime and simply discuss topics that interest them or ones they believe will attract an audience. Considering a thirty second commercial might cost $50.00 what kind of money does it take to buy an entire hour? Again it will vary from station to station and time slot but typical is $100.00 to $400.00 per hour! That’s right, for the price of a few traditional radio spots you can have your very own radio program featuring YOU!

But it gets even better. Since you own this airtime, the commercial spots (Avails) are yours to sell. You’re not paying to be on the air for an hour, you “own the station” for an hour. Imagine having an entire hour to discuss “How to use Options to offset tax gains” Who could you get to sponsor your radio program?

How about a myriad of other brokers in your town? Would they be willing to part with say fifty bucks for a thirty second spot on YOUR program? Remember they might be the advertiser but you’re the perceived expert and this means YOU still get the exposure, credit, and promotional benefit. Who else? A tax attorney maybe, insurance rep or his/her firm, maybe an options trader or financial newsletter publishers. Not to mention the endless stream of industries completely unrelated but looking for inexpensive advertising.

Say your show costs you $300.00 to produce (Airtime) all you need is six thirty second spots to break even. Anything over that is PURE profit. (You get paid to market your product or service) And get this. Perhaps you want to have guests. Everyone is looking to get on the radio right? Now perhaps you offer a special sponsorship where for say $300.00 a guest can have up to thirty minutes on your show. Yes I am suggesting re-selling, or subleasing YOUR airtime. Do this twice per show and you’re making an additional $300.00 PLUS the sponsorship money.

Folks this little strategy is not uncommon. As a matter of fact it is the norm at all AM radio stations that are commercial enterprises. (School stations, church run stations etc. would be the exception)

Smaller stations with less wattage would cost less than larger stations. A time slot of 7pm Friday will also cost more than 5am Sunday. Contact your local station for more details. It is completely possible your program will be so well received the station may offer to pay you (Buy back the time from you), pay you a salary and sell their ads during your program. Many of today’s more popular on air radio hosts got their start this way.

So pick up the phone and call a few of the local radio stations in your area and inquire about their paid programming rates. Ask what times are available and the price differences in each. Inquire about what the station will provide in terms of technical support (You will need a technician to run the control panel but they will pay for this). Then schedule a time to visit their studio and take the tour. Who are their current listeners? How far does the signal reach (Geographically)
What kind of programs do their listeners prefer?

Do you homework. Learn about their business, talk to their sales reps. Who’s buying time on that station? If you have ever wanted one of the most powerful marketing weapons in your arsenal this is a biggie. Don’t just blow this idea off it’s just too easy. If you’re a bit timid try contacting one of these similar programs and ask to be a guest.

Get on the air - it is without a doubt one of THE most effective marketing strategies you will ever find and let me tell you from personal experience doing radio will give you a thrill you will not easily forget!!!

Although this is an incredibly powerful marketing and prospecting strategy it is only one of about twenty I reveal on my four-hour audio-tape program “MEDIA BLITZ”. For years I have been helping others build incredibly profitable businesses using these proven and time-tested ideas. There is so much more to learn about radio, working with the media, producing public sales seminars, getting on TV, getting articles published about you and basically building your business for free, which is what my strategies teach you to do.

So if you think this idea is hot imagine what the other nineteen are like. Normally firms pay me $5000.00 PER HOUR to teach their people these money and career exploding ideas. Knowing that many of you will never have the chance to hear me live I've put all these ideas into a four hour CD program. Normally it sells for $99.00 plus shipping. But as my way of pushing you to your financial destiny I will let you have all my little secrets for the ridiculously low investment of $49.95. PLUS I will even pay the shipping and handling myself. Plus just to show how committed I am to helping you I will also include my print manual Media Blitz that will give you step by step instructions on getting you on radio and television and in national newspapers.

I guarantee you will be thrilled. Over 5000 sets of these program have been sold and I have never and I mean NEVER been asked for a refund – This stuff works, PERIOD!

I accept all major credit cards. You can order by calling 205 678-9661. Or visit the products link at http://www.michaelhartspeaks.com/

"To grow your business and make your income rise...
Open your mouth and publicize"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How to get your story in the news

All news has a “story”. All stories are not news. If you wish to see your story hit the news stand or the airwaves it is mandatory you find the local angle. In other words why do we, the viewing public, care? Your idea must be informative, compelling, and yes entertaining to the media and to their customer – the viewer/reader. Let me give you an example: In addition to my speaking and consulting business I onced own a firm call Life Saver of Alabama. Life Saver builds and installs removable mesh pool fences to keep toddlers from drowning. When first opened this business was unique to Birmingham Alabama. I convinced myself that a simple release with the headline; “Life Saver Pool Fence comes to Birmingham” would pull massive story requests. I was wrong. (There’s is a simple lesson here. I do this for a living and even I misjudged the media’s interest, at least at first)

I went back to my bag of tricks and did some hard core research on child drowning. Not just the statistics offered by the franchiser. I wanted to learn how this preventable tragedy affected people in my hometown. (I was looking for the local angle) A week later I sent a new release. (Actually it was the EXACT same release with a different headline. For the sake of clarity this was a blind release. No phone calls were made. Although I own a good piece of this business I am known locally as a speaker and business consultant. I did not want to muddy those waters by putting myself out there. I sent the release and asked my partner to field any response) The new headline . . .
Is a Child Killer Lurking in Your Backyard?
Eleven children will die needlessly by this Labor Day in Birmingham alone.


It was an instant success! Within nine days - fourteen radio interviews, three live on-air television news stories, one full feature story in the Birmingham News, one color feature story in Birmingham Magazine. And one guest appearance on the morning show the day after Miss Alabama had been crowned, with miss Alabama on the set. Oh the humanity! But as Tony Soprano would say, in addition to %$#@!, BADA BING, the release caught the imagination of the local press. The story was personalized and we shared how the tragedy affected their readers and viewers. In other words there was something to be gained from watching/reading the piece and a community service was performed. Some story ideas you might consider include:
* Investment advisors might pitch a story on how Enron, AOL, Aldelphia, etc. is affecting local investor confidence
* Mortgage rates are at all time lows at this time and the bottom falling of due to the credit crunch. Housing starts are slowing. Hey real estate agents, here’s your angle
* Car sales have been slumping nationwide, how can buyers in your town use this to their benefit?
* Storms have plagued much of the country. How can homeowners avoid being defrauded by unscrupulous contractors?
* Stockbroker and mutual fund manager misconduct is in the news. How can an investor avoid being taken advantage of?
* People who sell swimming pools might pitch a story on how to “close” a pool for the winter or maintain it during the cold months. Remember to pitch again in the Spring.
* At this writing Christmas is around the corner. Small retailers might offer insights about the benefits of early shopping.They might also wish to submit a story on the advantages of buying from a smaller merchant versus a mega retailer
* Landscaping contractors would do well to sell a story idea on winter lawn care or seasonal grasses. Remember to contact the media again when the temperatures begin to climb.

The opportunities are endless!
Newspapers and electronic media have a huge amount of space/time to fill – help them fill it. One client of Michael Hart Speaks LLC in Florida put together a story idea on how the elderly can avoid being scammed by unscrupulous financial advisors. Since his market area has many elderly people the story was well received. So much so this fellow got four articles placed in the same paper. Additionally he was asked to do several radio interviews and marketing promos for the station during the program day. PLUS he is in negotiations for his very own weekly radio program to address the same ongoing issue. He will be PAID to promote his own business!!!! (Can you say “Welcome to America”) All from one locally slanted article and a couple of well placed and followed up press releases.His own radio program! Tell me the media folks are not starved for new ideas!In case you haven’t figured it out yet selling the media is not unlike any other type of sale. A sale is a sale, only the buyers’ change.
My client in Florida is actually considering abandoning all individual cold prospecting and focusing exclusively on selling his ideas to the media for mass distribution. My contention, and luckily I got him to agree, is that it takes the same energy and effort to pitch one person as it does forty. (This is why I'm such an advocate of selling in public seminars) However in this example you are not putting your name in front of forty people, but rather forty-thousand, OR MORE! Would you like to learn even more insider tricks to get your slice of the media pie?
If so, you absolutely must get your hands on my signature tape series “Media Blitz". In this two-CD program I teach you exactly how to get your name, idea, product or cause in front on tens of thousands of interested prospects by way of massive media exposure. Normally this program retails for $99.00 but as a reader of this ezine it can be yours for the insanely low price of just $49.95. If you’re serious about building your sales career for a fraction of what others pay, and make more money in less time, here’s your chance.Simply contact me, toll free, at 205-678-9661. We accept all major credit cards. The program comes with a money back guarantee and I’ll even throw in unlimited phone consultations for three months to assure your success. Folks this is the exact same information fortune 500 corporations pay me $5000.00 to reveal to them, all yours for the price of a movie and popcorn. So what are you waiting for? Call now 205-678-9661