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Have You Helped A Reporter Out Lately? You Might Like It

In January, I was looking for new ways to promote my book and consulting business. One of my goals for 2014 is to broaden my global reach and I knew I needed to adopt new marketing efforts to do so.

I discovered a great opportunity for free PR. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a matching service for reporters and information sources. Reporters from media agencies such as The New York Times, and ABC News post information requests for articles. People with that information respond to an HARO email address. The reporter gets the information she or he needs and the information source gets mentioned in the article. A fair trade.

Signing up was easy. Within five minutes I had completed a short registration form and selected my areas of interest. Shortly after, I was scanning the first of three daily emails listing queries.

I have responded to two requests: one on workplace productivity and another on learning how to relax. Like most things in life, it takes a couple of attempts before getting it right.

My initial approach was to provide all of my content in the email. For example, for the learning to relax article, I talked about how I needed to recalibrate my life after a whirlwind year and my three-point plan to get back on track:

  • Scheduling recreational activities on my work calendar 
  • Devoting more time to running, a fitness activity that I find relaxing, especially when listening to music
  • Stopping work-related activities thirty minutes before going to bed
I realized that I was writing the story versus pitching my value as a source for it. What if the reporter wasn’t interested in a three-point plan?

My next response will be different. I will mention why I would make a good information source and provide an insight to spark interest. It might be more help to the reporter and create more PR for me. I know I will like helping a reporter out.


I Am My Own Brand Manager

The highlight of my week was a conference call with my senior publicist and marketing manager at Wiley. We talked about the promotion plan for Change with Confidence. I was keen to share my thoughts but have learnt that when speaking with experts it’s best to let them go first and listen really well.

My book is slated for publishing in mid-March and the plan works back from then. We spoke about the press release, promotional copies for media contacts and potential article opportunities. 

Justin, I could use some advice

Although I will get great support from the Wiley team, I know that I am accountable for building awareness of my book and me, the guy who wrote it. I need to be the brand manager of my own brand. This is no surprise because I have heard it many times during my research. What was surprising is that I need to take on this role now. The publicity and marketing stage of my journey has begun and I am already behind. 

Here are my top priorities:

– Design and launch a Change with Confidence web site
– Build my Google+ profile and presence 
– Connect with affiliate publicist teams around the world to gain their support
– Write a series of articles based on the content of my book

The call was as exciting as I thought it would be. Talking about my “platform” and “SEO” (search engine optimization) made me feel like a brand. For Change with Confidence to achieve its potential, I need to become one.


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