PreneurCast is a marketing podcast. Each week, author and marketer Pete Williams and digital media producer Dom Goucher discuss entrepreneurship, business, internet marketing and productivity.
This week, Pete talks to Dom about media manipulation — getting your story featured in various online and offline publications. They discuss why this is an import strategy and how you can leverage one piece of media exposure to get you the next one.
Pete talks to Dom about the strategy of media exposure and getting your story featured
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Dom Goucher: Hello everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of PreneurCast with me, Dom Goucher, and him, Pete Williams.
Pete Williams: Hey, buddy!
Dom: Hey, how’s it going?
Pete: Very, very well. Crazy busy as always as we head closer towards our next Florida catch-up and trip – which is very exciting – but all good things are happening!
Dom: Yeah, fair amount of logistics involved in what sounds like a simple, exotic trip away, doesn’t it?
Pete: Absolutely. But it should be a good trip, as always.
Dom: Yeah, I’m really looking forward to that. Just something that came out of that, actually, just out of interest – we get a lot of people asking us about the podcast and about how we do it, both from kind of what we call ‘mechanics’ point-of-view, and also where do we get our ideas and how do we plan it, and all that.
Now, the technical, mechanics side of it is a little bit involved and maybe I’m actually going to publish something inside of our Preneur Platinum membership area about the mechanics of this podcast. So, the Preneur Community members that are kind of signed up to that will get an insight into how we put these things together.
But just to give some people an insight, Pete there – you were talking that we have a lot of things going on and a lot of things happening. And people say, “How do you fit in all these podcasts? How’d you plan them out?” We told a couple of people this and they don’t really believe us.
We really do just get together at the beginning of the week and we say, “Hey, what’s on your mind? What do you want to talk about?” And one of us will maybe suggest a topic and we might discuss the heading, headline points we want to cover. But after that, we really do just call each other up and talk about things, don’t we?
Pete: Yeah, is that the magicians pulling the curtain back and giving away their secrets, there?
Dom: I don’t think so, I don’t think so. You know me, I’m into my Penn & Teller. I’m into my showing-people-how-things-work and the secrets and things; but I don’t think there’s any great secret to that. I think it’s a big plus to people to know that we can do this.
We get some fantastic feedback from people about the quality of the show, the content, the delivery – everything. And I think a lot of people think that that takes a lot of effort to put that kind of thing together. But hopefully, people are seeing that if we can do this just by having what I like to think is a bit of a friendly chat, then other people can do it too.
Pete: Yup, absolutely.
Dom: And we’re all for that. We’re all for that leverage. Leverage is what we’re all about. Leverage is what this podcast is all about – getting the most from what you’ve already got, all from the least amount of effort. I just wanted to point that out; it’s just an example of how we went.
We went the long way around this; we looked at planning things out, came up with complex ideas and ways of getting things planned out. And in the end, we just ended up bringing each other and talking about something.
Pete: Yup, which is engaging. It’s fun and people seem to really enjoy it. Easy for us, too, which is important. Low friction.
Dom: That’s right, low friction. So, on the topic of talking about things on the show, what are we talking about this week?
Pete: I thought it might be a good conversation to have around media manipulation. I know a lot of people are really excited about the prospects of getting PR and publicity exposure for their businesses. And off the back of a few things that have happened recently, I thought it’d be a good chance to discuss how the actual landscape of publicity has changed quite a bit.
I know we’ve mentioned Ryan’s book recently on an episode, Trust me, I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday which is a fantastic expose, if you will, about the current media landscape and how it applies. I spoke recently at one of Australia’s premiere business conferences, Business Blueprint, put on by Dale Beaumont who’s a friend of mine for quite a few years now. I spoke at his event and I ran this topic.
I’ve actually been able to get a bit of media exposure using some of the stuff we’ll chat about today in the show for a passion project of mine over the recent weeks, more so than traditional businesses. It’s a good topic to talk about. There’s a lot of change in the landscape. I just want to make sure people understand how the media is changing these days and how they can use it to their advantage in their businesses’ exposure.
Dom: Cool, because I’m really interested in this topic when you talked to me, mentioned it before. I think, really, the first time I ever saw you speak was when you did a conference piece about getting PR, interfacing with the real-world media; and that blew me away being an online person, my business being predominately marketed online.
This idea of going away from the online and onto the real world; but yeah, you recommended Ryan’s book to me. We both read it; we were both blown-away by it. But it did raise this thing that hopefully you’re going to talk about now, which is that things are changing out in that landscape. And I think that, in a way, there’s even more opportunity now, yeah?
Pete: Well, absolutely. And I think the opportunity part is a perfect steppingstone to explain this whole change that’s happening with the media. When was the last time you or even a listener asked yourself this question: When was the last time you picked up a traditional newspaper or even a physical magazine to get your news, whether it’s just general world news or news around a specific niche, topic, or industry that you’re involved with? For most people, it’s very rare to physically pick up a newspaper these days. Is that a fair statement, do you think?
Dom: Certainly anybody that’s in the kind of work or even demographic that we’re in, the people who work online, it’s kind of grouped people into two smaller groups. I think there are so many people, nowadays – and you’re absolutely right. Yeah, there’s actually a newspaper on the table next to me right now. I’m visiting with friends.
Pete: It’s weird.
Dom: Yeah, but I’m not going to pick it up. I will still not open that newspaper. I’ve got my iPad with my news feeds. I’ve got my Google Reader feeds and things like that. So yeah, physically picking up a piece of paper and flicking through it, now, just seems pretty strange, really.
Pete: And the biggest thing with that is because what happens is, we now get our news and our information and education and reporting, and all those sorts of various terms that fall under this umbrella that I’m going to refer to as the ‘media and news;’ we get that generally from online sources these days.
Whether it’s News.com.au or even Forbes.com; and obviously, plenty of blogs and places like that – our own news sources. A lot of people don’t really grasp that’s changed quite a bit significantly; the media is no longer the print, black-and-white newspapers owned by the top two or three conglomerates. The media outlets and places to get media exposure for your business is no longer necessarily in The New York Times or USA Today, or in London Times or the Herald Sun in Australia.
If you’re wanting to get exposure to generate sales, they aren’t great places to go because those people are generally looking at blogs and there are RSS feeds and places like that to get their news and their advice-type information. It’s no longer that. If you’re wanting to get that credibility and exposure to say, “As seen in New York Times,” there’s still a lot of things around that, and that’s probably a whole different podcast to talk about.
But when we’re talking about getting media exposure for our business that generates traffic for our website and can generate direct results from the exposure, the online world is where everyone goes these days for their media consumption, so that’s where you want to go. The first thing is that the bucket for media exposure and publicity for your business is quite broad these days. Blogs like Gawker, or if you’re in the tech space, Techmeme or Mashable – those sorts of blogs are now the influential media more so than anything else historically.
Dom: Yeah, it is. It kind of accelerated over the last few years. But it’s really prevalent now, to me, it’s obvious now that places like Mashable; there have been a couple of times in the very tech space, in the last few years, that certain sites can have a significant impact on traffic. It used to be the very, very tech world, Slashdot.
If anybody mentioned you on Slashdot, you’d better upgrade your server because it was going to melt. But that was very technical, very deep, technical stuff. But now, Mashable is a huge generic site, and sites like it – and they are becoming, almost, The New York Times of the Web with the level of influence, the level of cache, as it were.
Dom: So yeah, I can completely see what you’re saying now. I totally agree with you.
Pete: Every niche, every industry has these two or three very highly influential blogs or websites that drive the conversation and the thought around that particular space. What you first have to understand is how the old media used to work and how media has changed from a business-model perspective because that will actually adjust how you can positively manipulate the media.
What used to happen was there was a relationship there that had to be fulfilled from the newspaper or the magazine. What I mean by that is that the newspaper had to deliver value every single day to the reader; otherwise, they won’t come back to the newsstand the following day and spend their $1 or $2 to buy the newspaper again.
So, it was very much in their priority to deliver high-quality reporting and journalism to keep that relationship strong with the reader. Whereas, the media today, when we look at the primary source of news and exposure being web-based, the model is completely different. The model is based on ad impressions, because you’re not paying to consume these blogs directly, in most cases. You’re paying by traffic.
The more page views, the more time you spend on that site, the more advertising revenue that the actual media outlets get, and that’s what drives their business model. And Ryan does a fabulous job in really explaining this in-depth in his book. But what that means is that the idea and the modus operandi for these new media outlets, blogs.
News.com.au is a perfect example of this, which I’ll touch on shortly – they’re driven by page views and clicks, not necessarily about high-quality journalism. If you got to the home of News.com.au, it’s very much trashy sort of journalism. There’s no solid reporting anymore, it’s all just about just headlines that entice you to click and raunchy photos on the homepage to get you to click into the article and not necessarily consume the article.
They don’t really care if you read and engage with the content. As soon as that page has loaded in one, 1.5 seconds, they’ve got their revenue from you. They’re not about necessarily having you engage, want to come back to read similar articles tomorrow. They want you to get the next quick hit with another raunchy or exciting page view-generating headline. Does that make sense?
Dom: Yeah. Wow, that’s maybe going to possibly shock a couple of people, but certainly jolt a couple of people into changing their perspective on how they interact with these sites.
Dom: But I can see what you’re saying and I agree with you. I can see where it’s coming from – but it’s a little bit of a shock. We go out there and previously we’ve bought newspapers, and now we get what appears to be free news. Very few people actually think about revenue models, so I think it’s a good way to frame that, to explain it; that the change is almost coming about because of the revenue model.
Pete: It solely is because that’s what drives any business, and what they do is a direct correlation or relationship to what generates them revenue. That’s any business. And if the media these days, these blogs, are primarily driven by page views, their whole busy model is, “The more traffic, the more times a page loads, the more times an ad gets an impression, means more actual revenue for the business.” They’re solely all about getting you to click on a headline and load a page, because that’s what gets them the revenue, is the actual page view.
Dom: This is in contrast to traditional newspapers where they wanted you to see the big front-page headline because they wanted you to pick up and buy the newspaper, and it was a one-shot deal to get one purchase of one newspaper, right?
Pete: And this is where I think, for journalism, a lot of these payables that Rupert Murdoch is talking about and a lot of newspapers are putting in place now where you actually have to pay a subscription to get the content online. I think that’s actually a good thing for journalism because if I’m going to pay my $7 a month even, to subscribe to New York Times or News.com.au, whatever it might be, the actual objective now for the media outlet is to deliver me $7 worth of value.
They have to make sure they give me quality articles that engage me to keep my subscription. It’s not about page views anymore; it’s about them delivering me a value in return for my $7. It’s going to reinforce and readjust their journalistic integrity (for want of a better word) to make sure they deliver good-quality, highly engaging content that I’m interested in more so than just teaser-type content, which is kind of what’s basically pushing the web and the news these days.
Dom: That’s a good approach and a good way of describing how you can deal with this – what potentially might degrade the quality of journalism, which is what you were saying there. For the bigger names to put what you call a ‘pay wall,’ so a subscription, you’re finding a way to get people to pay for the content and then that will, as you say, drive them to maintain quality.
Because if they’re actually asking somebody, if they’re asking a consumer to pay for the information, the information has to be of a quality that keeps them coming back, just like in a traditional newspaper. But what we started off talking about was the opportunity that’s being brought about by this other model, this ad-and-click and view-based model.
Pete: Yup. Let’s delve into that and say, okay, this is fundamentally – until the pay wall becomes the default, the default right now is page-view media. That’s what the media is these days. How can we play to that as strength for us to actually generate exposure for our business? Well, obviously the whole modus operandi of these media outlets these days, whether it’s a small blog or a large blog, a website, whatever it might be, is to get information on their webpage that’s going to entice clicks.
That’s all they’re trying to get – these things that are interesting enough to get people to click on them. Obviously, a lot of this reporting these days is second-tier reporting, not first-tier reporting because historically, it was the newspapers that broke the story. But with things like Twitter these days, it’s very hard for a newspaper to ‘break’ a story without potentially having egg on their face.
They still have that brand integrity. They have to somewhat verify the story before they post it or otherwise, as you see quite a bit now, is they aren’t really saying anything in these online websites. It’s more like, “Did this just happen? Was this the case?” They’re never actually saying (if you read a lot of these articles these days) solid, researched, confirming arguments.
It’s all this sort of, “Oh, we never actually said that this affair actually happened. We just asked the question. So you can’t judge us for not giving solid reporting. Because the article was more like, “Did this person have an affair with that person?’” It’s never actually, “This generally happened.” They’re very much more tabloid-based articles because that’s what generates the page view.
So, from our perspective is, then obviously, if we can serve up to these media outlets a story that we can prove or have history and data to back up that generates impressions, they’re going to be more likely to run with that story and talk about that story because their job or their goal these days is to ride the waves of interest. Because it’s the interest that generates the click.
If you can take a story that is already being discussed or you can prove there’s some interest in that story, it’s even easier to get that exposure. Because, again, unlike traditional newspapers where they had 47 pages and then that’s all they had for space for newspapers, websites these days, they can just pump out as much content as they want.
And using very highly technical aggregators and algorithms and continual split testing, they can actually, on the fly, bump up the story and the size of the font of the headline on the homepage of places like News.com.au or New York Times or Forbes, based on how many clicks and impressions they actually get.
These new websites and media outlets, their site and the headlines that you see above the fold and the imagery is just based on an algorithm, what’s going to get the biggest click or the most clicks. It’s nothing about the actual quality of the article or the integrity of the article; it’s about which image and which headline is going to get us the most clicks. That is what is prominent above the fold.
Dom: Okay. So you said there that if we give them a story that we have some research for, some figures about, that kind of thing. Could you give an example to keep it more concrete?
Pete: Yeah, plenty of examples. Let me give you a really rudimentary example that has happened to me recently. Basketball in Australia, in the country here at the moment is going through a big change (is probably a politically correct way of saying it). There are a lot of issues with the National Basketball League here in Australia and the financial stability of the clubs and the league.
Obviously, this isn’t the podcast to talk about that. But I wrote a couple of quite in depth blog posts four years ago now; 2008 and 2009, these blog posts were. And Andrew Bogut, who is an Australian basketball player who plays in the NBA for the Golden State Warriors, was on Twitter a couple of weeks tweeting really briefly about the state of basketball in Australia.
I showed him a message and said, “Hey dude, check out these posts that I wrote a couple of years ago. They’re relevant to what you are talking about now.” And then he tweeted just a couple of minutes later saying, “To Basketball Australia, the Chairman, the Board, all the NBL clubs. Make sure you read the next two links I’m about to retweet. This guy has hit the nail on the head,” something along those lines.
His following tweet was links to my two articles, which was really cool in its own right. That was some great exposure for something that generates me no revenue at all, but it is something I’m very passionate about and I want to help the sport in Australia. That generated a lot of conversation on Twitter. I think someone referred to it as a ‘shit storm.’ A lot of conversation, a lot of traffic, a lot of @ messages and bits and pieces like that.
What I was able to do is able to strengthen my position as a commentator on these issues in Basketball Australia from my marketing perspective. That is how I tied it back to my brand. I took that and was able to leverage that into some other media outlets who are more traditional than obviously Twitter, some podcasts and some blogs, and even some radio interviews; and was able to say, “This story is really hot right now.
It blew up on Twitter last night, it is really important. Here is the proof that people are interested to talk about it. Go and check out the Twitter stats and go check out the conversation on Twitter.” That justified the legitimacy of this as a story for basketball fans. So, last week I was on a podcast, Aussie Hoopla, which is Australia’s leading podcast on basketball. I have been on a couple of radio interviews.
Got some more trying to line up at the moment. Kind of a bit hard with the overseas trip, but trying to lock in some additional radio interviews. All that has come off that one core proof fact that I had for being an interesting story based on Twitter. Because all these other media outlets are like, “Well, let’s ride this wave because obviously, it must be interesting if all of these people on Twitter are talking about it.” Then you can just basically rant that up over and over, and over again.
Ryan touches on this in his book and gives plenty of other case studies where you can take that sort of story and then you fit it into one place. Now you’ve got two case studies, the original Twitter thing and one radio interview. Then you go to another outlet and say, “Hey, this has been featured twice now. Do you want to run a story about it?” And you basically just keep working it up the chain based on social proof all the way.
Social proof is the driver of online media exposure these days, nothing else. It’s no longer the editor or the journalists sitting in their high chair, in their multistory corporate building going, “I’m going to dictate what is important to the world these days, what will go into my media, my magazine, my newspaper.” It is all about what is going to drive traffic and stats and social proof these days. That’s what drives these media outlets’ willingness to publish and talk about a story.
Dom: Cool. That’s all well and good for you having written this article. You are a contributor to that niche, which is kind of what we are talking about, being a contributor to a niche and having something picked up. But really, just to break that down, all it was something that you did that attracted interest that you could prove. So it could’ve been a blog post that got 100 comments just as easily, right?
And all you did was you boxed that up and said, “Okay, I’ve got this thing and I’ve got some figures and some numbers that prove that it is of interest in this niche.” You took that to some other media outlet, one or two steps of the chain, move higher up, more influential or whatever, and said, “Okay, folks. I’ve got this and I have some proof that it’s interesting, do you want to talk to me about it?
Do you want to feature me? Do you want to do something?” And this talks back a little bit to that the original presentation that you made that I saw. People think that getting on the radio, for example, is hard. Or getting featured in a magazine is hard. But if you can take this thing to them that you can prove is of interest, certainly it is not hard at all, is it?
Pete: No, and that is the thing. Trying to pitch a story cold and expecting a media outlet to be the first to talk about something was always hard back in the day, but even more so harder to make it happen purely because the business model has changed. It’s that they want to ride topic waves, that is basically the whole media outlet these days.
To give you another example, this is from a couple of years ago. We did a relaunch of the MCG, obviously selling the whole MCG story. Have we covered that on the podcast at all, yet? We’ve mentioned that we’re going to talk about it. Have we spoken about selling the MCG?
Dom: I don’t know that we broke it down, but we do direct people. If you go over to Pete’s site PreneurMarketing.com and sign up, the whole story is covered in your book, which we’re still giving away for free as an audio file?
Pete: Yep, the audiobook there. But what happened was a couple of years ago, off the back of the original launch which was almost 10 years ago now (we should do a 10-year anniversary next year) we did a relaunch reopened up and sold a few more frames. And as part of that launch sequence, we’re doing a lot of marketing via YouTube videos. A lot of the communication to the list and as part of the marketing was YouTube videos.
Obviously, from the launch, from the marketing we were doing, those YouTube videos were getting a lot of views, just a lot of views of the video was being done from the marketing. What I was able to do is take that as social proof and then sell the story to traditional, in this case it was an actual newspaper, to run a story about this purely off the back of, not only is it a cool story, but there’s already social proof supporting the interest in this particular topic.
The conversation and the press release that was promoted off the back of this was not just, “Hey, the MCG is up for resale again;” it was, “The MCG is up for resale and the internet is going ballistic over it.” There was that second part to the pitch and the press release went on to talk about it was YouTube videos getting tens of thousands of views, and it’s really, really interesting.
The story was no longer about the MCG being up for resale, the story is about how much interest there was in the MCG going back up for resale. It ended up getting a half page, basically an ad, in one of the major newspapers here in Melbourne. Big photo of it, and it basically ended up being a sales pitch, really. The story was about the MCG being up for sale and YouTube getting all these views. “It’s really interesting.
So if you want to own a piece of the MCG go to the website and sign up right away. Because all of these YouTube views, it’s ridiculously popular and it might be around for very long. So, go and buy it.” It was a beautiful article; I couldn’t have written it better myself. But the reason I got that was by playing to the media’s current strengths, which is their willingness or need to have social proof. It’s always been there.
Even when it was traditional media before the internet and that sort of stuff, you still needed social proof to prove that the article was interesting to their particular audience. But with Twitter followers and YouTube views and Twitter comments and blog comments, as you mentioned, it is so much easier these days to actually prove, justify, and show the social proof. And once you can do that, the media outlet is going to be much more open to running with that story.
If it’s already getting 10,000 views on YouTube, or whatever it might be, traffic levels; if they can get just a portion of that, 5000 to 6000 impressions on this story, or 50,000 impressions, they can justify and calculate how much revenue that is directly going to affect them. It is not about selling newspaper. They can tell that this article gets 50,000 views, that is going to generate 5000, 500 bucks, 2000 for the newspaper. They are much less reluctant, more willing to run with these stories, which is brilliant.
Dom: You made a great point there, that the contrast here between recent times and historically for media outlets, especially things like newspapers, is following a trend in a newspaper used to be incredibly hard. This thing that we talk about is social proof – the fact that real people in the real world, everyday people and consumers, are indicating an interest in something.
It used to be really, really hard to track that stuff. But now, with the examples that you gave and I gave with things like people following you on Twitter or people commenting on Twitter; or if you’re really into Twitter, this thing they use as a hashtag to indicate that you are connected to a story; or as simple as comments on a blog post; people interacting.
It’s all about, these technologies are all there. Anywhere where you hear somebody say “social media,” the core definition of social media is any kind of media that allows people to indicate an interest or share that media with somebody else. Things like YouTube, we track those people have watched these videos. There’s also a little button on YouTube for you to either embed that video or share it with lots of different services like Twitter or Facebook or Google Plus.
That’s really the core of this, and that is what I think has changed its landscape and has given us this opportunity. Because media outlets can now know how these things are measured and we can then take our evidence of those measurements to them and give them this. We call it social proof. We can show that people have interacted with things.
So, in your example, two examples, you have got a four-year-old blog post that got revived just by a little bit of media manipulation. You revived a four-year-old blog post. This is something that you’ve written and probably have almost forgotten about for most of that time until it has become relevant again now. With a little bit of a poke and a push, you have got your social proof, and you have elevated it and brought it back to the front.
You’ve not really done a lot of work, you had already written the post. It had been there for four years. One or two tweets and a bit of pushing, and you’ve given yourself this evidence to revitalize it. The same with the MCG; you had already gone through the initial project and sold off your elements of the MCG and the frames and the rest of that.
You had gone through the relaunch and these things started to happen. And because it was basically a gift, just as a fact of you doing the launch, it was creating its own social proof. You just picked it up and used that to go up another level to this city-wide, well-regarded newspaper, and you took them the one thing that they need. They still need the evidence, don’t they?
They need to know, because this is now their revenue model. The eyeballs and the clicks and things like that, it is just like being in the old days when people needed to buy the newspaper. They need to go with something that they know is going to get them to their goal. So if you can prove that interest, that social proof, then they’re going to be interested back in you and your story. It sounds simple; and I think it is simple, really.
Pete: Absolutely. Well, let’s talk about, in a moment, how this can apply for everyone and give them some good takeaways. I really want to reinforce how much the media has changed. I am looking right now, as we record the show, News.com.au, which is part of Murdoch’s News Corporation. It’s probably considered Australia’s leading online news site.
Now, you can define leading a lot of different ways, but in terms of traffic and visitors and that sort of stuff, News.com.au would be the highest, if not one of the highest-visited websites in Australia. Right above the fold right now, there’s one advert for a telecommunications company, one of the carriers.
And then there are three stories above the fold. One is about Ford, the car manufacturer, who’s looking at closing down some factories. To me, that is real news. That’s traditional news, which is great. To the right of that, there’s a video about cats. I kid you not, there is a video about cats.
Dom: Videos about cats are always going to get clicks, mate. But on a national newspaper site, seriously.
Pete: Yeah, ‘Hidden cameras expose the seedy underbelly of the domestic feline world.’ There’s a video here just showing how cats go about their lives with hidden cameras. That’s above the fold on the home of News.com.au, Australia’s leading news website. They’ve also got an article above the fold on alligators that catch fish jumping straight into their mouth.
Again, completely random. Then, we’ve got a big photo of supermodel Miranda Kerr who has just relaunched David Jones, one of our biggest retailers here in Australia, and they’re doing a fashion parade. So, right above the fold, we’ve got a photo of a model in a bikini, in swimwear; we’ve got two videos, one about cats and one about alligators; and there’s one news piece about Ford.
If I scroll down, we’ve got another article about a cat woman and her vendetta against cats. We’ve got a video about a guy who is helping his 19-year-old dog with arthritis. We’ve got a couple of articles about RPattz and the whole affair, controversy there. Another photo and article about swimmers stripping off in a mass skinny dip stunt.
And then, there’s just a whole bunch of other random gossip about Noel Gallagher, Zach Galifianakis, and Katy Perry in a bikini. There’s no real quality, by the true definition of quality journalism or reporting on this News.com.au website. It’s all just tantalizing and titillating-type stuff to get people to click and get another page load and impression. To take this, now we hopefully understand the context of how the media has changed and how we can use that to our advantage.
Well, as we have touched on, if you are doing a launch of a product, if you are writing blog posts that are even remotely controversial in your particular space, you can take those with the social proof that you have generated; be it page views, or blog comments, or YouTube views, or Twitter followers, or retweets, or comments with a hashtag, whatever it might be. You can start working that up the media chain, and it’s very easy to get continued exposure on the way up.
I wouldn’t necessarily take the YouTube video with 10,000 views and go straight to The New York Times or something like that and expect them to write about it. But you can take that and get a low-level blog, something at the lower-levels of that particular niche or industry to write about it. They are obviously going to be more flexible and easier to reach and have that different style of reporting, that “I don’t need the global-type social proof, I just need industry or small community social proofs.”
They’re going to be much more open to sharing it. And with the basketball story, obviously, trying to go to some of the national media outlets and expect them to write an article off the back of a tweet by Andrew Bogut – and I’ve got some radio exposure off that, straightaway. But I’ve gone to some of the small, little blogs and podcasts, and then got them to talk about it.
And then I’m going to take that and take the original retweet and the blog posts, and the podcasts there, and then move that up the chain. Because the more different outlets – and this is all blogs and web pages are, outlets – that talk about the story, the more social proof it has. It’s not only just really engaging on YouTube, but now it’s also engaging on YouTube and a whole bunch of industry blogs and blogcasts that I can then use to continue the conversation and move it up.
This is what I encourage people to do in their space, in their industry. Whatever it might be, take something that you’ve generated social proof around, and then move it to a small blog, to a small sort of report or newsletter in your industry, and then slowly use that and climb the ladder with more social proof and stats as you go up the chain to the larger national newspapers and organizations.
Dom: I really like that. Previously, when we talked about doing press releases and getting exposure in the media, one of the things that we’ve talked about is that the consumer looking at you with your material in those publications. You’ve got the halo effect where you get a certain amount of authority because you’re associated with those publications. And part of the reason for that is that those publications are perceived as having done their due diligence on you.
When they publish your work, then they’re seen as having looked into you and thought that you’re a worthy person to talk about, write about, or have involved in their publication in some way. So, all you’re doing is just using that principle again there, as far as I can see. But now what you’re doing is actually using each level of media to prove yourself to the next level.
Once you’ve got that initial social proof of some views or some comments or some feedback, you can take that and, as you say, move up the ladder a step and go to the next level up and use the simple, maybe one form of evidence and social proof to get you included in a lower-level blog or a podcast or whatever. Then you’ve got your original social proof, plus now another media outlet that’s giving you that due diligence effect as well. It’s another kind of social proof that will then be more respected as you go up the ladder to the next level.
Pete: Absolutely. We’re getting close to time for the show. I know there is probably a missing piece in this puzzle for people right now. Once I’ve got that little social proof, how do I approach those other blogs and media outlets? There are probably two ways to do that. Traditional press releases still work. There’s no question about that. So, somebody who either says press releases don’t work or says cold press releases do work, are both wrong.
Press releases in the overall sense of the word do still work and I still use them. However, I do not use them as cold devices anymore. What I mean by that is a cold sales pitch to a journalist to actually come up with the angle for the story or, off their own back, trust the relevance of the story, do not work. Even some stuff that I spoke about two, three, four years ago no longer works today because the place, and the industry, and the landscape has changed.
But a press release proving and supported by social proof still works. That YouTube example that I spoke about before, I wrote a press release and got the exposure off the back of a press release. But the angle of the press release as I mentioned was not the MCG is going up back for sale, write a story about it; it was the MCG is going up back up for sale and YouTube and the internet are going ballistic about it.
There’s a big difference in that. The actual angle of the story was supported by social proof, so be wary of people who say press releases don’t work or cold press releases do. They are both wrong. It is warm, socially backed press releases that still work.
Dom: Yeah, and I think that’s a great thing to say. Because yeah, as you say, two or three years ago, just sending out a press release about a story – and basically, you’re pitching that story – was the way to go. But now, and I think it’s a really good example you give, is you are actually almost pitching a story about a story, aren’t you? Because that social proof shows that people are interested in the actual story already.
Pete: And I think the other way, if you don’t feel confident writing a press release or things like that, is to go and get someone in your community, a friend, a fan, a supporter, who is willing to help you with the course to send e-mails on your behalf. The third party endorsement. And that is all publicists were or still are – they are third party people that are there to get you in the door and your story sold to journalists.
Having a friend e-mail a blog or a website and say, “Hey, this is a friend of mine,” or you can leave out the ‘friend of mine’ angle if you want to, and say, “Hey, this story is blowing up on YouTube or on Twitter; you should think about sharing it, writing about it, or telling your community about it because it’s a really important issue that I think is worth talking about.”
And don’t get someone who has no interest in this space to send e-mails for you because there is an integrity issue there. But it you’ve got a good community and some good friends and some followers who are going to support you and support your cause, they should be more than willing to send a couple of e-mails to other places and other blogs in your industry to help prompt that along.
Dom: Cool, that’s a great tip. I love that one. Yeah, as I said before, I think a lot of people think it is difficult to get on the radio or they think it’s a different world. I know a lot of people are afraid of this idea of press releases. Informing the press about your story is really what we’re talking about, rather than press release in an absolute, fixed and formal way.
Pete: Yeah, exactly. If people want to see the darker side of all of this, check out Ryan Holiday’s book, Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. I think he’s the first to put his hand up and say some of the media manipulation he did was very much in that gray and black zone, and definitely darker definition of the word ‘media manipulation;’ there’s no question about that.
But it’s a really interesting read, very well-written read, exceptionally well-researched read that is definitely sort of saying get a grasp of this. Because if you’re wanting to be doing PR and publicity in your business right now, there’s no better book to read than Ryan’s at the moment. It really does cover a lot of stories and a lot of examples of how the media landscape is changing.
I’m lucky to be on the inside of this change and there to speak to good people and see war stories as they were developing about, implement them in my business. Those two are just some of the examples that I’ve been lucky enough to be able to implement over the last couple years. But Ryan’s book is a great expose on all of this, and it’s one of those books, I think, that’s definitely worth reading if you are in that marketing space and want to look at this for your business.
Most of the methods that I’ve been speaking about or have been spoken about, or are still being spoken about, are based on the media and their old business model. People aren’t changing their education in line with the way the business models are changing, which is very sad.
Dom: Yeah, it is somewhat ironic, really. We do find this a lot on the internet. The internet moves incredibly quickly, very often the information about the internet doesn’t keep up with it, right? Which I think is a topic for a whole another show.
Pete: Yeah, you are absolutely spot on.
Dom: But that is great – I love that. That is a great update on something that we’ve talked about for a few years now. Back when you originally published your Going Analogue course, which was very heavily focused towards that. This is a great update on the core message that’s inside that course, and I think the core message is still valid.
The opportunity that is there and how to approach it, is still valid now; but this is just an extra bit of kind of an update on the industry. I love the examples, and I think hopefully we can get some links to some of those things that you talked about, just so that people can go back and look at them for themselves and just see. It is really that straightforward, and it’s a four-year-old blog post or whatever.
Pete: You’re right though in terms of the way to communicate with the media was something that we were talking about two or three years ago, particularly in Going Analogue. People can check it out at GoingAnalogue.com, and it’s ‘analogue’ spelled with a ‘ue’ on the end; the English spelling of analogue. So, GoingAnalogue.com.
Dom: I’ll put a link in the show notes for that one.
Pete: Ah, cool. This is stuff that we’re talking about and testing and refining and learning and implementing, and then sharing the results with for a couple of years now. And it’s really good to see that it’s being proven and justified by other people.
Dom: Yeah. So, we’re at time. That was a great show. I love getting your perspective on things because you’re right, you do have a bit of an insider track on this stuff. You’re able to talk to some interesting people and experience it from the other side, but have you got any action points for anybody for this week?
Pete: There’s probably two action points. I know I’m kind of pushing Ryan’s book quite a bit and we do talk about books on the show here, but I really found Ryan’s book one of the best reads this year in terms of a newly published book. I’ve read some other great books this year. I spoke on last week’s show about The 48 Laws of Power. It’s a great book, but it’s obviously a few years old. As some of the must-read books from this year, I think Ryan’s is definitely up there.
Dom: I’d agree with you.
Pete: So, go out and grab that book, whether you want to get it on Kindle or hardcover, whatever you want. The book is past its launch date now, so I’m not doing this to help him hit The New York Times’ Best Sellers list or anything like that; he’s hit the Wall Street Journal top sellers list.
Go buy the Kindle book, even though it doesn’t directly affect his New York Times’ list or anything like that. It’s completely over now, but just grab a book however you want to that’s worth reading. I’d also suggest people to just take some time and think about some of the things that they have done recently or are doing right now that is generating conversation and interest and social proof within their little community.
Think about how you can take that conversation and interest, and leverage that for exposure and reporting via and on other blogs, websites, and other media outlets in your particular community or niche. There’s definitely some additional exposure there for you to generate traffic and obviously, that sort of high-level effect that you touched on earlier, too.
Dom: Cool. Excellent. As always, thanks everyone for listening this week. Again, I will remind you, please, if you have enjoyed what we talk about or if there’s something that you want us to talk about, then drop us a comment on iTunes Store. We love our comments on the iTunes Store from the different parts of the world to see how this show translates all over the world to all our different Preneur Community.
Or if you want to get the show notes or the transcripts, or just listen again, or even watch some of the excellent videos that we get done off the shows, if you want to watch those instead, you can go to PreneurMedia.tv. You can also leave comments for us there or send us all kinds of different media to get in touch with us on that site.
Pete: And one final thing, too. Sorry, Dom. One additional action point that is not only hugely beneficial for us, but is good positioning for listeners as well, if you have a business colleague or a friend who’s dabbled in media or has some interest in getting media exposure for their business or have had a good social story happen online, send them a link to this particular show if you’ve felt it’s been beneficial and could help them grow their media exposure and get better results.
Say something like, “Hey Tom, I know you did recently a PR campaign. I just listened to a podcast and I thought it’d be perfectly supportive to help you maximize that. Here’s the link. Check it out.” That would obviously be a huge benefit for us to share this and it’s a way of saying ‘thank you’ indirectly to us for doing the show. Also, more importantly, it helps a business colleague of yours get better with their business.
Also, doing favors for people is great karma and you’ll have one up your sleeve to be able to go back to other people. I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine who I am sort of doing a bit of mentor with. He was talking about the ability that I seem to have on some level to connect with influential people and successful people. I guess you kind of touched on before, the way I do that is by sharing stuff first.
When I come across good blog posts or articles, I always try and think, “Okay, who are two people that I can share this with that will directly affect them?” I will send them a personal e-mail, “Hi Brent. Listen to this podcast. I think it would help you with that issue we spoke about last week. Check it out. Enjoy, Pete.” Very, very quick e-mail. It’s a wonky term, but it positions you as a connector, as a guy who knows things. It just helps to build up and strengthen your relationship and your networking.
I don’t like connectors and networking and those sorts of terms, but I guess in one sense of the term, it is exactly what has gotten me to where I am today, by sharing cool stuff. So, if you are liking the show and there are particular additions of an episode that you do enjoy, paying off a couple of direct e-mails to people and not say, “Check out PreneurCast as a whole,” because I don’t think that’s really beneficial. I’d rather you say, “This particular episode could help you with this issue,” or, “This thing that you’ve done recently.”
Or, “It looks like you’re doing something similar to this. There may be some gold nuggets in this particular show.” Share an exact show. That really helps the person you’re giving it to. By all means, share PreneurCast as much as you want. But to really give that value to your community and your network, send them specific episodes that will actually help grow their business and their lifestyle and their marketing. That is what really helps.
Dom: And that’s a great tip. It does actually speak back to when we have John Davy on the show. John Davy is – and I don’t like the term – but he’s a professional networker, and gives similar tips exactly as you say. It’s keeping yourself in the mind of these people and adding value. It’s a good point that you make.
Every show that we do, when you listen to it, you should also be able to see it on PreneurMedia.tv, either on the home page (because it’s a related show) or back in the archives. You can just link to those pages and send people a link to that page so they get everything. They get the podcast they can listen to directly on the page, they get a transcript, they get all the links.
And yeah, it’s a great way to add value. You’ve curated this information. You’ve seen the value to them. You’ve identified it, and you’ve forwarded it on. This is something that John talked about in that podcast. So if you want to listen more about that so we don’t go way overtime on this podcast, go back on PreneurMedia.tv [Episode 45: Networking for Business].
Have a listen to the show with John Davy where he talks about how he’s built his network of people and how he maintains it. Just a little shout-out to John, by the way, because recently he’s been working on a very large sporting project in the South of England. He was invited to be involved with that very large sporting project in the South of England simply through the network of people that he maintains, the people that he’s been involved with in the past.
He just maintains his relationship with them so that when something they know he would be interested in crops up, they contact him. And that’s a great example of that. So Pete, that’s a great point that you’ve made. I’m going to add that to the actions list. That if you know somebody that this show or any show would be valuable to, then pop them an e-mail.
And that’s great. Outrageously overtime, but I think we added some extra value on the end there, so I’ll close it down at that. Thanks everybody for listening this week and every week; thanks for your feedback. We enjoy all of it and we do love your contributions and suggestions for the show, and take them on board. Looking forward to next week’s show. See you then.
Pete: Ciao, guys!
Trust Me, I’m Lying – Ryan Holiday
http://www.businessblueprint.com.au/ – Dale Beaumont’s Business Blueprint Conference
http://www.goinganalogue.com/ – Pete’s Offline Marketing Course, Going Analogue
http://www.7levers.com – The 7 Levers of Business Home Study Course is now live. Sign up today and get 2 months free access to our Preneur Platinum private members’ area.
These previous episodes were talked about in today’s show. If you missed them, go back and listen:
PreneurCast Episode 45 – Dom interviews John Davy about business networking
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