Do You Know Press Releases Can Work For Your Small Business? Learn How

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Do You Know Press Releases Can Work For Your Small Business? Learn How with Mickie Kennedy

When you issue a press release, occasionally, you know, big newspapers or large publications will pick it up. But what a lot of people find is that their trade publications will pick it up – which is very instrumental for them. And also, there’s bloggers, smaller websites, sometimes radio, even podcasters that are covering a particular industry.

About Mickie

Mickie Kennedy is an expert at helping small businesses, authors, and startups increase their visibility and credibility. He founded eReleases 22+ years ago after realizing that small businesses desperately need a press release service they can actually afford. A service giving them access to the media and to a national newswire – all with a personal touch.

Mickie lives in Baltimore County with his family and two feuding cats. He enjoys British science fiction and acknowledges an unhealthy addiction to diet soda. Mickie holds an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Poetry from George Mason University. He still writes poetry most Monday nights (virtually) with a group of fellow misfits in Brunswick, Maryland.

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Full Transcript Below

Do You Know Press Releases Can Work For Your Small Business? Learn How with Mickie Kennedy

Mon, 7/12 9:08PM • 42:51


press release, people, journalists, release, written, newswire, business, reach, day, company, industry, article, news, media coverage, develop, story, headline, reporter, wire, pr


Mickie Kennedy, Roy Barker

Roy Barker  00:01

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the business of business podcast. I’m your host Roy. We are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests to speak on a diverse set of topics. There’s always something going on in our business that we could do better to be successful. And there’s some sometimes we don’t even know what we don’t know in order to help us be successful. So we have awesome guests like we have today. We have Mickie Kennedy. He’s an expert in at helping small business, authors and startups increase their visibility and credibility.

Mickie founded eReleases 22 years ago, after realizing that small businesses desperately need press release services that they can actually afford. A service giving them access to the media and to national news wire all with a personal touch. She lives in Baltimore County with his family and two feuding cats. He enjoys British science fiction and acknowledges and unhealthy addiction to diet sodas. Mickie holds an MFA in creative writing with an emphasis in poetry from George Mason University. He still writes poetry, most Monday nights virtually, of course now with a group of fellow misfits in Bruns, Maryland. So Mickie, welcome to the show. Great. Glad to be here.

Yeah, a couple few. I can agree I can kind of relate to you there on the feeding cats. We’ve got a couple dogs like that. And then the addiction to that soda. Do good putting it down for a day or two. But it seems like it always comes back up. I’ve stopped a million times. Going back to it. It’s kind of like smoking, it’s like, well, it was so easy to quit, I’ll just drink some more. And I can quit anytime I want to. Well, you know, we talked earlier. I think the press releases are something that we we don’t maybe take enough advantage of as small businesses. A lot of times we just don’t know how they work. Sometimes we don’t know.

A lot of times, I think, you know, like myself until I did a little research. I thought press releases were things that big news companies put out on companies. I did not really, you know, put it together that press releases are basically internal documents that were released out. So anyway, why don’t we Why don’t we just start there? I think it’s, you know. It’s a great time to mention that there are so many channels available to us in the marketing world to try to get our name out there. And this is just one that tends to be a little underutilized. Would you agree with that?

Mickie  02:50

I would think a lot of people feel that a press release is something that you have to be an important or large company in order to use. And it’s really not the case. Small businesses, anybody with an interesting story, or the ability to create some strategy and make their story interesting has the ability to get media coverage as a result of sending out a press release.

Roy Barker  03:13

Yeah, and there’s all kinds. The other thing is sometimes we think that nobody’s going to pick up my story. And put it in the middle of the Wall Street Journal. Or I’m not going to be featured on the, you know, the five o’clock news. So really, what’s the point? But I think there’s a there’s a huge mechanism kind of behind, you know, discounting those two large viewer ships. Excuse me, there’s a big mechanism behind there that can really help businesses.

Mickie  03:44

Right? Yeah. When you issue a release, occasionally, you know, big newspapers or large publications will pick it up. But what a lot of people find is, their trade publications will pick it up. Which is very instrumental for them, which a lot of them don’t take into account. Also there’s bloggers, smaller websites, sometimes radio progress programs, and even podcasters that are covering a particular industry or topic. They will reach out because of a press release and say, Hey, I’d like to talk to you more. Or turn that into an article or a story about them.

So I’ve had people who get more feedback. More potential partnerships and favorable results from a trade publication mentioned, then per se, a national newspaper.

Roy Barker  04:35

Yeah, as we talked the other day. A couple things that you mentioned is that we always think about driving the customer to us. But there’s a couple side effects of this. Like you said, maybe suppliers that want to work with you. I’ve even seen some press releases for companies that I thought wow, that would be a good company to work for. So I guess you could probably even attract some talent to your company to by doing this.

Mickie  05:05

I’ve had people who said that they’ve tried to work with a supplier for years. They just get ignored. They issue a few releases, and all of a sudden that supplier reaches out to them. And they have, you know, affiliate relationships that get developed because of a press release, right. So there’s lots of different people that could reach you, in addition to your customers. It’s always great when a customer comes in from an article that was written about a press release. But sometimes people aren’t really aware of the additional people that, you know, partners, potential sponsors, things like that.

Roy Barker  05:44

Yeah. And there’s, again, I will ask this as a question, but I think that there’s also some SEO value. Because there’s a huge network of websites that go behind all these national news companies. And I can speak to a little bit of that experience. I had a lady from a local channel years ago that reached out. And did just, like a two paragraph article on me. But her job was filling up this local affiliate’s news site with human interest stories from the area. We didn’t make the air, but it still, you know, kind of works. I guess it worked for us. And that there is exposure on this top level domain website that you know, mentioned myself and my company’s name.

Mickie  06:35

Yeah. So, SEO is a huge benefit that happens with earned media. And that’s usually when your press release has been turned into an article. As opposed to just being syndicated as duplicate content. Yeah. What a lot of people don’t know is that when you get a story in New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, even a small publication. Alot of times they don’t link to your website, but you still get the benefit as if they did. Google actually has a patent on this and a lot of people are aware of it. That Google can contextually determined that that article is about you, even though there’s no link to you.

And they give you the credit as if there was a link to you. So you know, there’s a lot of SEO benefit for the times that they do link to you. But you also get that SEO benefit when they don’t link to you as well.

Roy Barker  07:22

Yeah, and I think we can talk about, you know, even when we look at driving customers, you know, this may not, I guess we may get a little if we release a press release, and somebody sees it, and they want our product or service, we may get a little bump, but this is also a long play, because these press releases will live eternally, you know, out there on the internet, wherever they’re picked up, you know, and the other thing I’ve seen, and I find myself preaching patients more and more, when we talk about marketing, because nothing is what you sometimes you get lucky and things are instantaneous.

But a lot of times, things can take a long time. And I’ve noticed on some news stories that I’ve seen lately, they they were recorded, like months and months ago. So, if somebody even was going to pick up our press release, turn it into a story that this may not all happen in this next week. You know, we have to kind of keep working it and realize that things can happen months out from now that will be very beneficial. Is that kind of what you have found.

Mickie  08:29

Exactly. And sometimes, what a lot of people don’t realize is when you do issue a release over real Newswire, like PR Newswire is the largest and oldest Newswire press releases. It’s archived permanently for journalists. And so when journalists go in and do searches, they’re going to pull up all the releases on that topic. And if it’s a very narrow topic, or the keywords that they’re doing. I just happened to be in your press release, you’re going to pop up. And a lot of times, they’ll reach out to you for a quote, or to get a little more information. But you know, it’s a valuable tool for them.

So it’s not unusual for people to get media coverage six months a year, even longer after release comes out. A little bit off topic, but I think now’s a good time to bring up there is a service out there.

Roy Barker  09:18

Haro? Oh, yeah, yeah, I’m sure you’ve heard of it help a reporter out. So that’s a good resource that I’ve used it before. So I’ll let you talk a little bit about it. But basically, it puts a lot of questions out there they are reporters soliciting answer. So I’ll let you talk a little bit about that as a resource.

Mickie  09:38

Yeah. So basically help a reporter out is free. I think there is a paid option, but for most people free works. It’s actually a journalist who’s working on a story and saying I would love to talk to an expert on this particular niche or something really specific. And so it’s a great way for you to, you know, see that reach out to them and Get pickup. The downside of it is a lot of people know about help a reporter out now or hair, okay. And as a result, it’s a little more competitive these days. So it’s not unusual if it’s a broad topic to have a reporter get like two or 300 inquiries from people saying, I’d love to be the focus of your story.

So that’s the only downside about it years ago, it was a great tool, very few people knew about it. And so it you know, some of that magic is rubbed off of it as a result of just more people knowing about it, and the fact that there is a free option for it.

Roy Barker  10:33

Yeah, and that’s another point I was going to make is that you have to submit a lot of responses before you even get in any, any activity whatsoever. So again, it’s a long play. Well, you know, what I used to do is that was part of my morning routine would just sit down and answer five questions and then move on, you know, just you have to keep up with it every day, though, because, like you said, it’s who knows, especially on general topics, you know, if you have a very unique niche, you may be able to slide in there.

But if it’s a general topic about, you know, what do you have for breakfast this morning, that, you know, there’s probably hundreds of 1000s of people sent in responses in on that one. Yeah. So anyway, let’s get back to the to the press releases themselves. So who I realize anybody can do it, but who are they best suited for me? Why would I want to do it, and when would I want to do one as a small business?

Mickie  11:35

Okay, so you kind of have to look reverse engineer it. And so at the end of the day, any journalist that picks it up, is basically trying to get content in front of their readers, or viewers that they feel would be if you have something that you’re doing that’s interesting, and potentially news, then that is a great new thing, a new obit or even proved your, your shopping experience or something like that, it is to find that, you know, interesting enough for the audience. So that is the downside of something like that, you know, the journalists, they love numbers. If you have a survey or study that you did that’s very newsworthy, that stands a really good chance of being turned into an article.

If you’re introducing a topic that is really hot right now. Something that elevates the conversation that does really well. But if it’s just you know, you Isha joining the conversation, with nothing new to you know, that you’re but then we have just just running through things that they like, they love quotes that are contrarian, and say something that’s a little unpopular, that’s a great way to get picked up in the media, because it you know, if everybody’s saying something is really good, all those people with your quote. But if you’re the one person that says, hey, this isn’t so good, and this is why, and it’s a well reasoned argument, they’re much more likely to pick you up, because they want to have both ideas represented, you know.

A good journalist will have both sides of an argument, but many times, they go to press with only one side, because there’s nobody there saying the contrary and your opposite view. So if you’re comfortable with that, that’s a great strategy that works again, and again.

Roy Barker  13:49

Yeah, and sometimes we what’s the saying, you know, some, some press is better than no press or some attention. And so, you know, there’s a lot of times people actually can build their business or they build their their marketing strategy on that contrary approach, you have to be able to take the heat that may come from that, but you know, a lot of times people are interested in that view. And so it I guess, just in today’s challenging times, it can be, you can gain a lot of attention that way. Just have to say sometimes the you can use have to be able to deal with the negative Fallout that may come from that, I guess,

Mickie  14:28

right? You don’t want to say anything that’s gonna alienate you from your customers or even your industry. But, you know, the examples I always use as if everyone’s talking about you know, we have to be more environmentally conscious and things like that. You know, you might want to say electric cars are bad for the environment, pointing out that the current battery technology is not environmentally sound, the way they mined the materials for it. You know, we currently are produced Seeing most of the electricity, they’ll charge these cars through coal and stuff like that. So there’s, there’s a way that you can come across as being well reasoned. Yeah. And not, you know, the crazy uncle of the industry. Right,

Roy Barker  15:11

exactly. All right. So I think, you know, we want to point out to is that, you know, these need to be well written, and I know that you know, you have your background is in creative writing. So, you know, that’s a good, a good reason to, you know, turn to a professional to do this. But can you kind of tell us the structure about, I guess about the page? Because usually, they’re typically a page or less? Is that correct? Is that where you want to?

Mickie  15:42

That’s correct. Most of them fall under 500 words. 400 words is what the Newswire advises people, you want to get the most interesting and relevant information to them. So you want the headline to be very apparent, what the press releases about, you want to avoid, like the New York Post headlines, which are for consumers, not journalists, that are like full of puns and stuff. But you really don’t know what the story’s about. Because journalists, unlike consumers aren’t going to say, Wow, that’s a very click Beatty headline, I’m going to read on. A journalist is busy streaming lots of headlines, and saying, I don’t know what that’s about, I’m going to move on to the openings, headline, the opening sentence, even the opening paragraph.

The most important thing, and then you want to support that with as much information as you need, and then people generally, and the press release with an About section, or boiler plate where it’s like about company. It’s just a few sentences about that company, a lot of times that gets reused again and again. And future releases, you may update it from time to time. And then you have a media contact with the name. Phone Numbers recommended because journalists under deadline will often have to be working on story and say I need this answered before we can go to press otherwise, I have to kill the story. And so you definitely want the phone number and an email address as well. Okay,

Roy Barker  17:08

so what about writing it with like for small bits of entrepreneur? solopreneur? What the difference between writing in as first party versus a third party?

Mickie  17:19

Okay. Right. Yeah, so you want to write it as third person, it has the appearance of being objective. If you do say anything in first person, it’s usually a quote, that then is attributed to a person at the company, whether it’s you or someone else. It’s just the style that press releases are written there. They’re not meant to be an article format, per se. But I do see that occasionally. And there’s nothing wrong with that used to be there would be a feature channel, where you would write a feature article yourself and make it available. That being said, a lot of people aren’t going to use the feature story verbatim, unless they’re small papers.

So you know, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times everything they run has been written by them. So you know, that’s why the press release style is probably better suited for larger public publications. And if you are doing more article style, you still have to maintain that third person, objective view. But, you know, that might be appropriate if you’re if your target is like local papers or smaller publications. Okay.

Roy Barker  18:22

And then you you mentioned earlier PR wire. So now, when you seek out a company like them, they are pretty much the distribution channel to like, blow this out to a whole bunch of other different outlets. Is that correct?

Mickie  18:40

That’s correct. PR Newswire is a Newswire platform that started I think, in the 50s. And they were they were the first player that basically handled taking news and sending it to newsrooms across the country. At the time, it was through dedicated feeds love its satellite broadcast, teletype systems, it’s changed now with the internet. So it’s available electronically, journalists can log in from anywhere to their their account. A lot of people are familiar with other types of news wires, like Reuters, United Press, international, Associated Press or AP, and they don’t run press releases, they will accept press releases, but everything that they run has been written by them.

So they they’re paid by newspapers, to license their content. So if you’re a small paper, like the Baltimore Sun, and a national news story happens, rather than have one of your reporters write the article, they can just take it already written from say the Associated Press and you’ll sometimes see that your your newspaper UPI or AP, and it just means they’re using that content. On the press release site. There’s really only three news wires or press releases here in the US and that’s PR Newswire business wire and the other one is clothing. wire which has changed to and trato. It’s it’s had some migrations and acquisitions over the years.

So their branding is a little all over the place at the moment. But this business wires, large, very corporate driven pure news wires, the oldest and largest. So it deals with a lot of different places. That being said, they’re all very expensive to move a press release nationally of like, say 400 words, you’re going to spend about $600 with the in Toronto or globe Newswire and closer to $1,000 for business wire and PR Newswire. That being said, all of the releases that my company releases go out of our PR Newswire and they started a couple $100 for a new customer coming in. So it’s substantially cheaper.

It is a US distribution is a custom national distribution that was developed in partnership with them. And we sort of act as a co op for small business owners allowing them to get access to the Newswire. In addition to that, we do a little bit of email direct sends to journalist as well. So you get the news wire distribution in the email sends that happens. And at the end of the day, hopefully it results in a story being written about you. But at the minimum, you will get your press release syndicated on a few websites where it’s verbatim.

It just appears on a few websites, a lot of more financial websites, like Yahoo News, and or I think it’s actually the finance section of Yahoo News that it appears under. And so that’s good. But that’s not the ultimate goal of a press release, you really want to get someone to write a unique article about you. And that does happen. And when it does, you know, it can be really beneficial to a business or a company.

Roy Barker  21:54

Now, let’s talk about a couple of more advantages of you know, using a service like yourself, not only the the riding, you know, for non rider riders, that that’s going to be the most important part because I don’t know, you can just tell when some when, if it’s well written, somebody is going to be much more apt to want to take interest in it. If the if the headline gets them and they get down into it, it needs to be well written First off, but let’s talk about the I guess that the credibility part. I mean, I could spend my time reaching out to local journalist or national number one, I wouldn’t even know where to start.

I don’t have the contacts, but they see my email, the chances are they not even going to read it where somebody like yourself that is used to dealing with them, you kind of have that credibility that’s already built up as well.

Mickie  22:47

Right? Yeah, we’ve been in business for a little over 22 years. And when I started, I was reaching out to all the journalists individually, over the phone and through email. And so it’s changed a little bit became a little more streamlined over over the years. But yeah, we have a strong reputation for sending stuff that is interesting. And it represents the small business world, which a lot of journalists are very happy to include. Because while the big companies always get the media coverage that they do get. Journalists find that their readers are really interested in quirky, strange, interesting new little things and little tidbits.

So small businesses seem to feel that very well startups as well. You know, they’re, they’re usually doing something that’s a little bit different than everybody else. Otherwise, they wouldn’t get the funding and the growth and stuff like that. But that comes with being a startup. But I always tell people take take a strong look at your business. Look at your USP, your unique selling proposition? What is it? If you don’t have one, you really need to find one. Because your your long term growth really depends on you being able to differentiate yourself from your competitors. And you often want to align that with something that’s potentially newsworthy as well. Yeah.

Roy Barker  24:05

Yeah. And as you mentioned earlier, that, you know, we need, I guess, there needs to be a key, there needs to be something happening to trigger the press release, it’s not. And I want to try to make the comparison to, you know, to let’s just say a blog, you know, blogs, you want to put these things out, you know, every week or whatever your schedule is, you want to put out good content for your readers. But with this press release, it needs to be it needs to be a big thing. Something big has happened with the company to try to get, it’s not just you know.

You don’t want to write one that hey, it’s just another day here impaired us and this is, you know, this is what we do, there needs to be something that’s out of the ordinary because these aren’t going to be released in series. And I would ask that, you know, let’s again, I’ll ask this as a question as, you know, we want to put one of these out, but let’s say a couple bigger things. happening? Do we want to do succession? Do you want to put a put one out there and kind of let it simmer and try to get some traction from it before you release the second one? Or how would that work?

Mickie  25:13

I always suggest that as you have important milestones happen, issue them. And if it just so happens that you issued a release last week, if this is a completely distinct and different milestone, feel free to go ahead and send it out. That being said, if you really don’t have anything interesting happening, you know, try to create something. A lot of times, if you reach out to a trade show, or an industry trade association, you might be able to get permission to send have them send a survey to their members. And you can co brand that survey and do a press release and get that out there. You know, people love statistics and numbers.

What’s really important is when you do that survey, you want to have a few questions that are a little strange, a little quirky. Those are the questions that you will put in the headline of your press release and say, did you realize 27% of insurance actuaries, you know, do X, Y, and Z? And those are the things that people want to know. I mean, Cosmopolitan magazine learned this decades ago, women loves statistics, people have statistics, it doesn’t matter what the answer is. But it’ll say, did you realize that 27% of all men do this in the bedroom, they’re going to want to go to page 84 and figure out what’s right.

And you can do the same thing with the study or survey that you’re doing, where you create these really quirky, interesting questions. And it’s really not important, whether 2% of the industry or 98% of the industry feel that way. It’s when that question is given to the reader. They want to know the answer. And they’re going to read that article. And, you know, those are the types of things that you can do to make a press release that’s really well received within your industry and get a lot of media pickup. Okay. So what other things that work really well are rankings like top 10 rankings within an industry for a particular topic or industry?

Roy Barker  27:20

Yeah, yeah, those always work good. Something that they suggest always to do the ranking. I’m the worst. Because if I say that, my actually rap before we started taping this, there was a one about some bands with big downloads on Spotify, and I was just reading them to my girlfriend, because it’s like the top five. So yeah, we’re all we’re all get sucked in by that for sure. So if, if I was going to reach out to you and say, hey, I want to do this, can you kind of walk me through? What is that process? What is that time frame to actually get one, get a press release actually out there.

Mickie  28:00

Right. So if you have a press release already written, and it’s in the right style, and everything like that, we can get it out for you as early as the next business day. That being said, I always recommend if this is your first release, to get it to is two to three business days before just in case there’s an issue, the editors look at everything. And feel free to ask the editor to look it over and say this is my first release, could you look it over and make sure it looks okay. Everybody at our company as a as an editor, we don’t have any sales people. So when you talk to somebody, it’s someone who can pull up your release and give you real positive or negative feedback, as warranted.

Ultimately, we want you to succeed, if you’re looking for having a release written, which is always a good idea for your first release. At a minimum, I would allow about a week or so it generally takes three business days, from the time that we get your order to get the release back to you to review, there may be some changes you want back and forth, or some clarification that’s needed. So I would always say about a week for that. That being said, a lot of times people develop a release or have an idea for release, and they don’t have the strategy in place, they haven’t really developed a PR plan. So I would always tell people to spend a little more time on your strategy than actually writing the release.

Because that’s going to make the biggest difference whether it’s newsworthy enough for the journalist, and I did recently create a mastermind class that I’m giving free to people on PR strategy, and it said he releases comm slash plan p l a n and it basically gives you all the strategies that my best customers over the last 20 years have utilized that work and continue to work. And these are things like the study and survey that I mentioned before the contrary interview, there’s just several of those that work again and again for my clients. And that’s more important than the press release writing, because you can write a really great press release.

But if it’s about a new hire at your company, very few people are going to be interested in that maybe a trade publication, maybe a local newspaper. So if you’re going to pay to issue a release over the Newswire, you want to be to do it with something that’s strategic enough that you potentially could get some strong media coverage. Okay.

Roy Barker  30:31

Yeah. And I guess the second part of that is you need to be prepared in case somebody actually does reach out. Sometimes we, you know, we, we love those rocks over the hill, and then you never think somebody is gonna throw one back at you. So what do we do? You know, it’s like, what, what is that next step? We need to be prepared for that?

Mickie  30:50

Yeah, I mean, generally, journalists will contact you if they need clarification, or they want to feel that they understand something well enough, like, this is my impression. And this is what I’m working on. It’s journalists or live English majors. And they’re a little shy. So it’s not unusual to just have them develop an article based on the press release. And looking at your website, okay, really only contact you if they have a question, or they need some clarification. Okay. And you know, you’ve done a really great job with your press release, when you see articles starting to appear, and they never contacted you. That meant they got everything they needed out of your website. And your press release. They didn’t have to come to you.

Roy Barker  31:33

Okay. Yeah. And let’s talk about PR for a minute, if you if we can. I know that’s very another underutilized, let’s say, and I think it’s sometimes the more human humanitarian The story is, the easier we can get things picked up by local news agencies. I know, I used to do some work for a volunteer organization that, you know, it was pretty easy to reach out to a local news radio or to the TV and just get a little bit of coverage, or the newspaper. But as a business, you know, I guess there’s 1000s of people trying to reach out to get a little free advertising to get a cover.

So. But one thing that was brought up to me not long ago, I think is a good point to make is if you if you were seeking PR, the probably one of the more important pieces of that puzzle, is developing your pitch to the news outlet or wherever you’re going for that to get them interested. You know, it’s kind of like we talked about on the press release how important the headline is, if you can’t even get them to talk to you about what ever awesome thing you want to try to get the PR for, then it doesn’t matter how great it is. So we got to work on that pitch to get through the gatekeeper.

Mickie  32:53

Right? Yeah. If you’re looking for local media, it’s really key to sort of established a relationship with them. It’s the same thing that we it, he releases do, we’ve worked with people for years, they know us, they know what to expect. And I always recommend people who are looking for like local media coverage, develop that network yourself, it’s probably less than 10, local people that whatever write about you or interview you, including radio and TV, find out who they are, if it’s radio or TV, it’s usually a book or producer, not the actual host. But in newspapers and business, newspaper or business magazine, you might be lucky enough to have in your area, find out who generally writes about companies your size or within your industry, and then just reach out to him by email.

I say make it a goal to reach out to them quarterly. Let them know, you know, first introduce yourself, you may want to mention that you saw a story that they did, and you really liked it, you may comment on it specifically, they love that because it shows that you’re not just blindly sending to stuff like that. I always recommend if you have a good tip, like you see something really blowing up in your industry, or you saw a competitor in a different city get picked up for something, you might say, Hey, I thought that you may want to cover this topic, I’m seeing it developing in my industry. And even if your company’s not a fit for that article, they’re going to appreciate the tip.

And you’re more likely to get through with your future emails when you do want to promote yourself. So again, it doesn’t have to be very complicated, you know, shoot for a goal of you know, four to eight times a year to reach out to them. For most people, it’s probably six people in your local area that you have to do. You don’t have to pay for a service to do that. I always recommend doing that yourself. And you’ll find that after a while, if you’re good at it. You’ll get media pickup routinely in the local media. Okay, yeah, that’s

Roy Barker  34:53

a good good idea about the what’s going on in the industry because I was just thinking to The difference between someone going to the media to say, you know, I want you to cover this, we make this awesome product. So I want to get coverage for that versus my company did this for the community, you know, we donated some food or donated water or that, again, that humanitarian touch will probably get you in the door much quicker than, hey, we make an awesome widget that somebody needs to look at.

Mickie  35:29

And over the past year, because of the way things are, the media has been wanting to share more positive stories, right. And so I’ve been advising my clients to do just that. If you’re working on something that’s positive, you’re doing something to help the community, we had a distillery that was doing hand sanitizer for the community and stuff like that. And they got a lot of local media pickup, they actually ended up getting some state pickup outside of their city as a result of that, because the media is spin sharing a lot of bad news over the past year. And so they’re looking for a counterbalance that with something that’s positive.

Roy Barker  36:07

Yeah. Yeah, that’s for sure. Well, Mickie, we appreciate you taking time out of your day to be with us. But before we go, is there any other tips that you’d like to get out there for our PR, for the press releases our PR activities,

Mickie  36:22

I would just advise people that if you are going to consider it, I recommend it because you can potentially get you know, 10s of 1000s of dollars of pick up from just a few press releases. But if you’re going to test it, you really want to do a proper PR campaign. And that’s usually six or more press releases, you don’t want them to be about the same topic, you want to be strategic. So I would always advise people to to approach it systematically. Take a system, like I explained in that video training mastermind class that I have, and analyze your industry, talk about things that aren’t being discussed within your industry, I call these blind spots.

And also look at what they are discussing, and can you elevate the conversation by introducing something new to it. But you know, work on that strategy. That’s the most important part of it, the journalists will forgive a poorly written press release, if it’s newsworthy and strategic enough. And that wasn’t the case, 30 years ago, or even 20 years ago when I started. But with social media, and everybody texting and stuff like that, you know, it’s actually helped that if there’s, you know, a grammatical error, that’s not going to automatically discount you from getting media pickup drives, you know, some people like myself, for English majors a little crazy.

I also think it’s really good, because it’s sort of Denmark, you know, democratizes, the opportunity for getting PR, your stories relevant. That’s what’s the most important part. And so, you know, work on strategy, develop a PR campaign. And, you know, it can work for businesses, you know, regardless of size, and regardless of your industry.

Roy Barker  38:10

Okay, awesome. Well, what is a tool that you use in your daily life, it could be a tool or a habit, something that you do professionally or personally, that just really adds a lot of value to your day.

Mickie  38:23

I use an app called 10%. happier, it’s a meditation app. I had tried meditation over the years, because it had been recommended to me, I could never figure it out. It was like, whenever I, you know, did it, my mind wandered, and I was like, I just can’t do this. And then 10%, happier does. Sort of coaching, they sort of walk you through what to expect before the meditation. I learned that it’s natural that your mind wanders, and what you need to do is just recenter yourself and refocus on the breath. You know, it’s like exercise. I’ve gotten better at it and I feel more calm, I feel my blood pressure, relaxing quite a bit.

And it really has helped a lot. And it’s it’s definitely something I try to do daily. I on average, do it like five times a week. But it is a goal of mine to try to do it as much as I can every day and it keeps me grounded. You know, in a lot of ways, it sort of motivates me and brings me more aware in a way that caffeine doesn’t. So it’s surprising how that works.

Roy Barker  39:30

Okay, cool. I had to try that because I’m like you I’ve tried it over the years, but I don’t know I’ve got to meet I’m always thinking about something that’s hard just to turn that off. And so anyway, I’ll give that a try and see if their coaching can help me through that. All right, so you talked about your mastermind class. Tell us about that one more time. I’m going to put that in the show notes, of course, but also just tell people you know, who is your client? How can you help them and of course, how can they reach out and get a hold of you? Okay,

Mickie  40:01

so most of my clients or small business owners, startups, about a third of the people that appear on Shark Tank actually use us, the producers of shark tank will often say, you should do a press release before your episode airs, and after your episode airs, and they have recommended us from time to time. Authors also use us a lot of even traditional publishers are starting to require their authors to promote themselves rather than they handle it. So those are the types of customers that we work with, across all different types of industries. And the the video training or masterclass that I mentioned, is that slash plan.

I was advised to sell this for $2,000, when I first developed it, and to turn it into a course, and that was all popular, but I wanted to immediately give it to my customers, because a lot of them are doing mediocre press releases. And if they can turn those releases into something more strategic, they’re going to get more media coverage, and they’re going to be very happier about their PR campaigns. So I wanted to just remove that obstacle. So it’s completely free. There’s nothing that you have to do or anything that’s required. There’s some bonuses if you give me your email address, but that’s it, we hope at the end of the day that you’ll use the releases.

But even if you don’t, it’s valuable information. And I don’t see anybody else out there, you know, producing this, this content and this higher level strategic stuff. There’s a lot of resources for writing a press release. And we have those on our website as well. But like I said, the strategy is probably 10 times more important than you know, actually crafting the release.

Roy Barker  41:47

Okay, awesome. I’m going to reach out and sign up myself. I’m going to get over there before the rest of the listeners do and get signed up. So I can, you know Ben, because that’s something I do not take as much advantage of as I should. I’m going to get on that this week. Thank you, we thank you again, for taking time out of your day to come share the world of press releases and PR with us. It’s been very interesting, and I know that I know I gained a lot so I’m sure the audience did too. So that’s gonna do it for another episode of the business of business podcast.

You can find us at www.the course we are all on all the major social media channels as well as on the podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google, and if we’re not a one that you listened to please reach out I’d be glad to get us added. Also a video of this interview will be put up on YouTube when it is released. So until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.

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