Archive for the ‘Effective P.R. Strategies’ Category

Comedians “Trick” TV Show Into Booking Them As ‘Fitness Experts’ and Then Get Sued By Station

August 4, 2017

I don’t know. Forgive me, but I actually think comedians, Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, were quite brilliant and inventive with their publicity strategy to promote their comedy by booking a segment as a “Strongman Duo” named Chop and Steele on “Hello, Wisconsin,” a news program in Eau Claire, last November. In fact, they are a hilarious as they demonstrate a variety of bizarre fitness tips including tennis racket sword fights.

Here’s a clip of the segment:

[Segment on “Hello, Wisconsin” with “Chop & Steele.”]

I’m shocked and confused that the station, WEAU-TV, and producers did not roll with it and weave it into the segment that this comedic team were not fitness experts at all, which was rather obvious, but comedians and you can catch there show at “XYZ Local Venue.”

Nope. It is appalling to me that the owners of this Wisconsin TV station are suing these two comedians and accusing them of pranking the morning news show by pretending to be fitness experts. But, c’mon. There’s more to this story. According to New York Daily News, Nick Prueher shared that “We hated doing promotional appearances on morning shows as ourselves so we thought it would be funny and interesting to see if we could book fake people (or characters) on these morning shows.”

In fact, Prueher thought the segments were more fun than if they just promoted their regular gig, The Found Footage Festival, a touring show of strange and unusual videos, as themselves. Well, the “Strongman Duo” concept was a very successful pitch and they managed to get booked as “Chop and Steele” on seven morning shows.

I think they’re right. This is a terrific (and laugh out loud funny) segment and the producers and station owner should lighten up. They could have made a choice to accept the silly and hilarious segment for what it was — comedy. Instead, they’re making a “stink” about it.

Here’s a YouTube video recently posted by Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher regarding this hot mess of legal doo doo and a plea for help to pay for legal bills for this lawsuit with a Go Fund Me page.  I wish them the very best and agree with them. This is a frivilous lawsuit.

[YouTube Video – Plea for Help Fighting the Lawsuit]

To read more about this story,  read the full story here.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Marianne Schwab is the author of The Insider’s Guide to Media Training and the go-to broadcast media expert to show you how to get booked on TV and ace your on-camera interview. Her producer credits include Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, Runaway with the Rich & Famous, E! Entertainment Television ON E! Specials, and many more. She has worked in broadcast for over 25 years and is currently the Executive Producer for CMP Media Cafe — a company specializing in broadcast public relations where she provides customized media training services for clients and offers one-on-on Media Coaching (@VIP_MediaCoach) for clients including experts, authors, corporate executives and cl.

How Much Does Product Placement Cost? Infographic Provides an Easy Overview

May 30, 2017

Have you ever wondered about how product placements work on television shows and in movies? If you have seen a brand product in a TV show or film, you can bet that it’s no accident and that there was a deal done to get that product placed in the scene.

Well, my company, CMP Media Cafe, helps our clients, brands, and services, get featured in broadcast media via television talk shows, lifestyle programs, newscasts, and radio. We use earned media placements and integrated marketing strategies including sponsored content, but there are many other ways to get featured inside of episodic programs, daytime shows, and even films via product placement.

The costs for product placement are like comparing apples to oranges since there are so many variables, each brand has different goals, and each production has different offerings.  In fact, there is not one single strategy or rate card for what the budget investment will be since each production is unique in its content creator team, distributor, cast and of course, storyline.

However, Hollywood Branded has created an at-a-glance infographic along with an informative blog post that will give you an overview of all that is involved in product placement costs, including single one-offs to comprehensive programs.   Read more about how much product placements cost.

Infographic Courtesy of Hollywood Branded.

So, if you want to learn more about to get your brand or client featured on television, feel free to connect with me and we can explore the best strategies to help you achieve results.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe







Four Things You Must Know Before You Pitch a TV Talk Show or News Program

May 24, 2017

One of the biggest mistakes that P.R. pros make when it comes to pitching TV talk show, lifestyle and news format program is that they don’t think like a television producer or reporter. In fact, this single issue is the key to success when it comes to increasing your results that land your client on the air.

Here is an excerpt from my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, that outlines the four things you must know before you pitch:

Your interview booking success rate will take a curve upward when you study and understand the differences among the talk shows and news programs you pitch to with your media alert. In addition to everything else that we discussed so far, this is one of the biggest secrets to getting booked on TV and if you skip this step, your efforts will tank. Here are four things you absolutely must know before you pitch to a television producer.

#1. Know the Show You’re Pitching. When I was a producer on daytime talk shows, I think one of the most annoying aspects of my job was when I would receive pitches from publicists (and other professionals who should know better) that had no clue what the show was about. I’d often find that I was getting pitched a Jerry Springer Show sort of segment when I was working on a light celebrity interview and how-to-segment driven show, Live with Regis & Kathie Lee. Some shows showcase doom and gloom, but others opt for fun and fluff so don’t get egg on your face and ruin a valuable relationship with a producer by wasting their time with a pitch that is not suited for their show.

I remember many times during my days as a producer that a publicist managed to get me on the phone and then proceeded with a pitch that was not appropriate for our show format. I’d ask them if they watched the show I produced. They would usually respond with, “No, I work during the day so I cannot watch your show.” I’m sorry, but that’s no excuse since this was when it was already quite easy to record programs. A day job should never have prevented a professional publicist from studying the show they pitched in hopes of getting their client booked as a guest.

There are many reasons to understand the different types of talk shows when you want to pitch your idea to producers. The number one reason is that you don’t want to waste their time if the story angle you’re pitching is not appropriate for their show.

You can go to my website at and get a free bonus containing a downloadable list of current national network and syndicated talk shows, with short descriptions of the shows and links to their websites, to make this easy for you. When you are forging your media plan, you should make a point of watching at least one to two episodes of the shows you feel would be a good fit for you and your message.

#2. Know the Format of the Show You’re Pitching. Talk shows and lifestyle programs come in all shapes and sizes. There are LIVE daily shows, taped shows, tape delayed shows, shows that tape daily, shows that tape two shows a day for three days straight, hour-long shows, half-hour-long shows, celebrity driven shows, issue driven shows, segment driven shows, trailer trash shows, and the list goes on and on.

In addition, you should know the length of the show. Is it thirty minutes, sixty minutes, ninety minutes, or two hours? There are some morning news programs that are four hours long. You should also take a look at the type of stories the show is producing based on the hour of the day. For example, the national morning shows tend to focus more on hard news stories in their first hour and then lighten it up in the second hour. If they have a third hour, they’ll typically make that hour more lifestyle oriented, but those are not steadfast rules so you need to really study each show carefully.

#3. Know the Audience of the Show You’re Pitching. The variety of talk shows in the marketplace is reason enough why you should clearly know the show your pitching – its scope, its nuances, not to mention the ever-changing formats. The shows also have different viewer demographics, and producers are under constant pressure to appeal to their particular audience of viewers, whether they be career professionals watching before commuting to work, stay at home moms, etc. Also, keep in mind that viewers in today’s world include people tuning in on multiple devices such as mobile phones, tablets, iPads, laptops, and desktops. Then segments from the show are often shared via social media.

#4. Know Who To Pitch. After you have all your ducks in a row it finally comes down to knowing who to pitch at a show. In general, your best bet is going to be to get the name of a producer. This is where it gets tricky because it’s getting more and more difficult to find out who’s who, but I have an easy secret. Every Friday, most shows run long credits that include their entire staff. Set your DVR to record the Friday programs and then review it to write down the names of producers. Now, you may have to do a little Googling to figure out email addresses, but you can always send your pitch via snail mail as a start to the mailing address of the show.

Finally, do not mass mail every producer on the show. Start with one and if you don’t get a response or can’t get them on the phone to pitch them, then move on to the next name. Keep pitching until you get an answer. Never give up because sometimes even with a good pitch, it’s just a matter of timing. I used to hold on to good pitches and when the “stars aligned,” we’d book the segment.

I hope you’ve learned a lot from this excerpt from my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, available on Amazon. In the book, I share behind-the-scenes insider secrets on how to get booked on television shows that even P.R. pros don’t know. Also, if you provide media training services to your clients, this is a great guide to tips on how to ace on-camera interviews.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Marianne Schwab is the author of The Insider’s Guide to Media Training and the go-to broadcast media expert to show you how to get booked on TV and ace your on-camera interview. Her producer credits include Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, Runaway with the Rich & Famous, E! Entertainment Television ON E! Specials, and many more. She has worked in broadcast for over 25 years and is currently the Executive Producer for CMP Media Cafe — a company specializing in broadcast public relations where she provides customized media training services for clients.

Copyright © 2017 by Marianne Schwab. Excerpt reprinted with Permission.

All Rights Reserved.

Multimedia News Releases (MNRs) Are Press Releases on Steroids That Increase Earned Media Results

May 4, 2017

Want to increase your earned media results and make your press release get journalists to sit up and take notice? Well, then you need to turn it into a Multimedia News Release (or MNR). They are press releases on steroids and can increase earned media results dramatically. In fact, 71% of journalists need PR pros to provide more multimedia content according to a recent survey by Cision which also uncovered that some journalists always (or often) use multimedia elements in their story. The bottom line is they need your visual elements to support your story.

Source: Cision

In case MNRs are new to you, they are a media package distributed through a wire service that includes press releases with multimedia content along with documents, images, video, and infographics or other multimedia elements.

There is no doubt that media consumption preferences of Americans have changed and there is a trend toward mobile readership with a significant uptick in video requirements.  We eagerly consume with our eyes and feast on the latest food and beverage products, tech gadgets, fashion trends, beauty tips, sports gear, and so much more, and multimedia offers a spicy “zing” journalists and bloggers are looking for to make content come alive.

In response to these trends, journalists are now catering to this increased multimedia use and PR pros can get a leg up if they implement images, graphics, and video, into their press release strategy. MNRs are the best tools to deliver journalists what they need. By providing multimedia content, you can increase your earned media opportunities and provide more engaging stories to the consumers you want to reach with your brand.

When you use an effective earned media strategy, MNRs can provide an opportunity for you to tell newsworthy stories in a variety of formats. You can also build brand credibility, educate, entertain, and, ultimately, drive business forward with your targeted consumer audience.

Source: Cision

With thousands of news releases being distributed every day, your story needs to grab the attention of journalists and newsroom decision-makers. By incorporating multimedia elements like photos and videos you can get traffic bumps of up to 77% according to some sources. If you’re looking for opportunities to reach a broader audience and drive more views, then an MNR is a powerful way to do this since the content can be shared on blogs or across social channels in addition to broadcast, thereby spreading a release’s main messages even further.

Creating multimedia news releases are a smart PR tactic and here are some guidelines to consider when producing content for your MNR:

#1 – Start with an attention-grabbing headline. Journalists cited press releases and story leads as their #1 most valuable PR resource in a recent Cision study. They scan through hundreds of stories on the newswires and field over 500 emails or more each day, so unless you have written a headline for your story that grabs their attention right away, you are not going to cut through all the clutter. We have five ways to write headlines that will increase your earned media results so you will want to check it out on our blog.

#2 – Write a user-friendly press release. Think like a journalist or blogger when you write your MNR press release and write it (or adapt it) to that style of writing. You must break free of the standard rules for writing press releases to have the most success with a more newsy or friendly writing style.

#3 – Think of your story visually. It’s very easy to get caught up in the written word and not consider images to support your story angle, but it essential that you think about visual storytelling.

#4 – Photos. Visual storytelling is a critical pillar in any effective communication strategy so think about how to support your story with strong images that nail it. Photographs and graphics (including infographics) are the easiest way to bring your story to life. Provide the highest resolution image possible to allow journalists and your audience to resize the media for different channels. Also, your multimedia elements must be yours or be free and properly licensed since you need to provide the images for free and unrestricted use.

#5 – Videos. If a picture paints a thousand words, then video paints a million. With today’s access to easy video production and editing tools, you don’t need a video production expert to create a good video, but you may want to hire a consultant to guide you through the process who has newsroom sensibilities and experience. We’ve produced high-quality news-style videos on a minimal budget using high-resolution photos and edit moves (i.e. push, pull, pan, zoom) combined with sound bites and/or just a simple voice over. Here are a few video tips to be successful with production and earned media results:

  • Less is More: 60 seconds or less is a general ideal length for videos and 30 seconds is even better so your script needs to be concise since most viewers have a very short attention span. According to Ad Age, you will lose 33% of viewers by 30 sec, 45% by 1 minute, 60% by 2 minutes, so you can see how important an experienced content producer is for helping you develop your video.

Viewer Engagement Research by Visible Measures

  • Think ahead: Before you edit or shoot, you need to develop a script and/or a storyboard to ensure your message comes across as you intended. In the case of a real-time, live-streaming event, your featured “player” should have some newsworthy sound bites prepared that compliment or reinforce your message.
  • Turn quotes into soundbites. While reporters typically like to conduct their own interviews, they will often grab a quote from a release or a soundbite from an MNR if they’re under a time crunch. Make your sound bite of choice even more appealing to reporters/bloggers by giving them a video file to embed with their article. Also, make it memorable and newsworthy (or don’t bother).
  • Be creative but don’t overdo it: If you notice the directing, it is bad directing. It’s okay to be creative if that’s part of your industry, then go for it, but don’t do fancy camera moves that make the audience notice the camera move more than what is being said. You can use extreme angles to create a dramatic effect but only if it makes sense for your story.

#6 – Make it social media friendly. Think about how your MNR and elements can be shared across social media channels including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more. If you have a great story, you get even more traction.

#7 – Don’t go it alone. There’s a lot that goes into the content creation of an MNR to make it successful. At CMP Media Cafe, we work closely with our clients to develop the most effective content creation story angle and visual assets including the best MNR distribution package for your brand to guarantee success.

How effective are MNRs? Depending on how the MNR is constructed, the category or industry, and newsworthiness of the story, it’s not uncommon to see reach results hit 75 million UVPMs. If you’d like to learn more, please contact CMP Media Cafe.

Perhaps we can officially declare text-only press releases a thing of the past because MNRs help make your story more attractive and easier for reporters to access the content they need.


NOTE: Cision’s annual survey of more than 1,550 North American journalists and influencers reveals key findings on how journalists use news releases and multimedia to tell better stories. According to the Cision 2017 State of the Media Report, when communicators pair compelling messages with rich formats like photos, videos, social media posts, infographics and data, they can drive better and more accurate coverage and increase earned media opportunities.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe


Want More Earned Broadcast Media? You Need to Know What a Producer Really Does Each Day.

April 27, 2017

Before I started working as a producer to help Fortune 500 companies and the public relations agencies who represent them create newsworthy story angles to get media exposure, I worked on the inside of daytime talk TV as a producer for infotainment and entertainment format shows. My career started in New York at ABC-TV and then I moved to Los Angeles where I also worked for ABC in addition to other networks including E! Entertainment Television.

Regis Philbin and Marianne Schwab: I was recently reunited with Regis Philbin on the set of Hallmark’s Home & Family when he was in Los Angeles guest hosting the show. I was a Segment Producer for Regis in New York and also produced his travel feature on the Orient Express for “Runaway with the Rich & Famous.”

Since I started producing broadcast public relations twenty years ago, I gotta tell you that not much has changed regarding the basics of how shows are produced. Oh, sure, there’s been a digital revolution and the technology is very different, but except for “email,” producers STILL get faxes, receive snail mail, and the anatomy of a television segment has remained the same. Content is still king.

The Segment Producer Drives the Content of Most Shows. There is a lot involved in making TV segments entertaining and informative and it revolves around the Segment Producer.  Under-standing their world will help you to develop better pitches for your client or product and increase your ability to get you or your client booked with earned media interviews.


There are many types of producers in television but the primary producer you will work with is usually the Segment Producer. Most shows have two to ten Segment Producers depending on the type of show (and unless you have a direct contact at a newsroom, you’ll want to contact the Assignment Desk, which will vet your pitch for producers).

“Glamorous” Behind-The-Scenes Photo: At my desk — working for Regis. Michael Gelman’s desk was to my left.

When I was a Segment Producer on talk shows and lifestyle programs, I would field tons of media pitches each week from publicists, book authors, business people, and professional experts wanting a shot at getting featured on my show.

The Segment Producer puts the television segment together from beginning to end, starting with weeding through hundreds of media pitches each week to determine what will make the most entertaining segments for their show. They will then take the very best story ideas and pitch them to the Executive Producer (and/or possibly the Supervising Producer), who will ultimately decide if a segment pitch makes it on the air.

What Happens When the Pitch is Approved. Once a segment is green-lighted by the Executive Producer, the Segment Producer will contact the person who pitched the segment to get more information and schedule the date. They will schedule a pre-interview with the guest to determine the best way to approach the segment, write the segment intro or suggested anchor lead, and prepare the questions the host will ask so that the story flows logically and organically.

Additionally, Segment Producers must ensure that all of the props are collected and delivered to the set, arrange for a field crew to shoot appropriate video to support or enhance the segment, and work with an editor to cut appropriate video clips from the field video (or promotional clips of the movie or TV show for celebrity guests) that will drive the segment for in-studio interviews.

Now, after I booked a guest for the shows I produced, I would work directly with the publicist and the guest to structure a three-to-five minute segment with the goal of making it informative, entertaining, and fun – the pleasing cocktail known as info-tainment. Then, prior to the guest’s appearance, we would go over how the segment would work (or flow) and I would media train them so that when they got in front of the camera with the show’s host, they aced the interview, product demo, or cooking demo (note that demos would always involve a rehearsal before the show).

Marianne Schwab and Jack Canfield. Discussing my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, with one of the best-selling authors of all time, Jack Canfield.

One of my primary goals as a producer (then and now) is to make sure every guest looks and does their best on TV, since failure is not an option on LIVE television and my reputation as a producer (and often, my job) is on the line. Many Executive Producers (my bosses) were known to say, “You’re only as good as your last segment.” That comment has motivated me to keep producing the highest quality throughout my career and also help on-air talent and spokespersons fine tune their on-camera appearances with my media training services. In fact, my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, was just published and has detailed strategies for acing interviews.

It takes a lot of preparation to make things look spontaneous on camera and, yes, nothing happens on a program without planning it, but we did manage to pull off a few surprises for celebrity guests that were genuine and good TV.

Producer’s Insider Tip: Write a suggested Q&A “script” with the suggested intro and suggested tag (along with suggested message points – “suggested” is “key”). This gives the Segment Producer a great starting point and then they’ll tweak the script (or not). Only do this when you’ve studied the show’s style and format since you will only “score points” with this IF you are not writing a “one size fits all” boiler-plate script template. Customize it. The daily life of a Segment Producer is very hectic so if you can lessen their workload by “pre-producing” the segment (and the segment fits their format along with being info-taining), then you’re on your way to building a great working relationship with that producer.

Know Taping Schedules for Shows. When you can, find out the taping schedule for the shows you’re pitching. Some shows tape daily and are LIVE while some tape five shows in two days. On a daily show, there is usually a meeting after the show to discuss the next day’s show (some shows, like Fox & Friends, do a pre-show meeting) and pitch new ideas for upcoming programs. Do not leave messages for producers when they are taping the show or in the daily meeting and do not send them emails during these times (unless you have a breaking news story that is relevant to their show). However, if you can get to them before the daily meeting and your pitch is good, that’s a sweet spot for the producer and then they can pitch it that day.  Time sensitive pitches can happen outside of meetings, but this is a general rule.

The preceding is actually just the short list of how things come together for daily shows, but hopefully, it will give you a quick overview of what is involved in producing a three-to-five minute segment for a television program.  I’m certain that this insider information will help you be more effective when pitching shows.  Best wishes for success!

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Headline Hacks Are the Secret to Massive Media Exposure

April 24, 2017

When I was a network television producer, I was inundated with PR pitches every day. In fact, it is not uncommon for producers and assignment desk decision makers to field over 500 emails or more a day so unless you have written a headline for your pitch that grabs their attention immediately, chances are they’ll hit the delete key and your email story pitch will go right to the trash folder.

This has nothing to do with the value of your story, product or client but if you can’t get reporters or producers to open your email pitch (press release or media alert) based on your headline, even a good story will never get noticed by assignment desks, beat reporters, or producers.

Here are five ways to write headlines that will increase your earned media results:

#1. Stop Writing Headlines to Please Your Client – Write to Please Producers. Too many times, publicists think more like a client than they do the media. They’re client pleasers, not media pleasers. They use “Public Relations 101” Rules to Writing Press Releases taught by college professors (who often have no real world experience). Clients LOVE it. Media just finds the pitch boring.

#2. Start Thinking Like a TV News Promo Writer. In a world where the media needs to instantly grab viewers, listeners, and page views, with exciting headlines, you need to study how they promote their newscast and then follow their lead when it comes to your pitch.

#3. Use Deliberate Vagueness to Create Curiosity. There was a commercial airing in California several years ago that was produced like a pseudo 11-o’clock news station promo. It started with the reporter voiceover announcing, “There’s something lurking in your kitchen that’s very dangerous.”  There were images of a kitchen counter loaded with food and a refrigerator door being opened as shots of various foods were panned inside the fridge.  Then the voiceover continued, “It’s in your refrigerator and it could kill you.  Details at 11.”  The ad was an obvious satire on how news stations over sensationalize promos to grab viewers, but the satire is not too far from reality. This also uses another effective technique using a threat that instills fear so you’re compelled to find the answer. It’s effective, but don’t over do it.

#4. Headline Hack Magazines and Websites to Use Their Formulas. Whenever I’m stuck in a line at the grocery store, I love reading the headlines of magazines and tabloids at the checkout for headline structure inspiration. Hey, don’t judge me. They have amazing examples for writing headlines that make you want to know more so you buy the publication. Same thing happens when you’re surfing any online news outlet. Study the best headlines and hack their formulas. You’ll be amazed at the results.

#5. Grab Interest to Read More Using Lists or Mistakes. Lists and mistakes are always a hit with producers. From the “Five Best Beach Destinations” to the “Three Biggest Mistakes Parents Make with Teenagers,” these are headlines that pique interest and compel newsrooms to open the email.

Finally, think of ways to jazz up your headline and, depending your client’s type of business (and whether or not they are publicly traded), you may need to get the legal team on board, but imagine finding a way to craft headlines that dramatically increase your story getting before the eyes of news room gatekeepers and decision makers to explode your earned P.R. results.

The key to success is grabbing the attention with media decision makers using an intriguing headline (subject line) that screams “open me” and then following through with a story that supports the tease since you don’t want to “click bait” a reporter or producer.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

An Important Open Letter to the PR Industry From Jane Wells at CNBC

April 15, 2016

One of the most important rules of PR is to “know” the show or publication you are pitching otherwise you are just wasting your time and the time of producers or reporters with your inappropriate pitch.

When I was a producer for “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” we would get pitches that were clearly geared for “Jerry Springer” (or equally inappropriate) and yet the publicists were clueless to their professional faux pas and after I would politely field their pitch, they would respond with, “Well, I don’t have time watch your show because I work during the day.”

Well, even back then, publicists could tape the show and get a feel for the format.  Now, with so many online and digital media assets, there is no excuse for sloppy and untargeted pitching in my humble (and professional) opinion.

I saw this “Open Letter to the PR Industry” on LinkedIn from Jane Wells at CNBC and she’s lays it on the line so I thought I’d share it.

Jane Wells CNBCReprinted from LinkedIn:

“I receive so many random and useless pitches that I am now emailing back this generic response:

“Hey there,

“I get several pitches a day which have almost nothing to do with CNBC or my areas of coverage. I’m starting to send out this email to let you know when to pitch me a story, and when not to.

“At CNBC I cover defense, aerospace, agriculture, legal marijuana, Las Vegas, and the California economy. I do not cover real estate. I do not cover media. I do not cover technology.

For, I also do a franchise called Strange Success, which focuses on weird companies where the path to success has also been weird, and annual revenues have grown to at least $1 million. And by weird, I don’t mean a pizza business. I mean a business focusing on curing hangovers, life size sex dolls, getting rid of bathroom odor, where the creator of the business has had an odd path to success.

“I do not interview experts or authors. I interview CEOs, and for on-air, the CEO usually has to run a publicly traded company with annual revenues in excess of $500 million. I do not interview moms who are disrupting the playdate business, or 10-year-old whiz kids who’ve created a crazy new app.

“Please keep this in mind, so that we both save ourselves time and energy.

“Thank you.”

Jane Wells

So the next time you think that your pitch may be “the exception,” watch the show, listen to the broadcast, read the publication, or take a look at the blog.  Build relationships. Target pitches. Stop wasting time.  Yours and theirs.  Capisce?

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe



Winning Public Relations Strategy – BowWOWza

April 1, 2016

My friend just posted this on her Facebook page and I thought this was one of the most inventive customer service ideas and also an effective public relations strategy.  It’s not always about the well placed earned print, broadcast or digital media, but more about what the customer experience is through all aspects of the process that can generate free press and organic social media outreach.

Caldwell’s Pet Supply in Portland, Maine, just hit a home run on making the customer experience just that, “an experience.”  Here’s what my friend posted in social media.:

My dad has a new dog that he is house training, and I sent some “potty bells” that hang from the doorknob so that Hobie can let Dad know he needs to go out.  I got this as a customer service follow-up … someone has missed their calling.

Potty Bells

“Your Potty Bells have been gently taken from our Caldwell’s Pet Supply shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a doggy pillow. A team of 50 employees inspected your Potty Bells and polished them to make sure they were in the best possible condition before mailing. Our world-renowned packing specialist lit a local artisan candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your Potty Bells into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy. We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland, Maine waved ‘Bon Voyage!’ to your package, on its way to you, in our private Caldwell’s Pet Supply jet on this day.

“We hope you have a wonderful shopping experience with us. In commemoration, we have placed your picture on our wall as ‘Customer of the Year.’ We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back!!”

Think of all the goodwill and free social media this company is getting from one very impressed and satisfied customer.    The company is also dedicated to the environment, to improve the lives of dogs, and offer products that will make the life of dog lovers easier than ever.

Kudos to Caldwell’s Pet Supply. This was BowWOWza!

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Good for Families & Great P.R. Move: Put Your Phone Away at Dinner at Chick-fil-A & Get a Free IceDream Cone

March 4, 2016

Chick-fil-A has come up with an awesome new way to get family members to actually talk to each other at the dinner table and it’s a great publicity maneuver, too.

Chick Fil-A

Its restaurants around the country are now promising to give you free ice cream if you take part in their latest “family challenge,” which involves ditching your phone for the duration of the meal.

To do this, they’re providing diners with boxes called “cell phone coops.” So simple, yet brilliant. Read more.

IMPORTANT:  The preceding blog post is shared from Fox News Insider.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Why Radio Still Sizzles and Radio Media Tours Are Your Ticket to Reach Listeners with Your Message

March 1, 2016

Radio is certainly not dead as a broadcast public relations tool and Radio Media Tours, or RMTs, are an effective way to get your message out to radio listeners stuck in the morning or evening commute and times in between..  RMTs work similar to Satellite Media Tours with a series of pre-booked interviews targeting top market radio stations and their morning drive time talk format programs.

How RMTs Work.  Approximately 12-30 back-to-back radio interviews are typically scheduled during an early morning three-to-four hour window of time determined by the spokesperson’s availability and the number of station interviews that are booked for the tour. A radio media tour have more flexibility than a satellite media tour since the talent doesn’t have to be in a studio to be interviewed in order to reach a radio audience across the country. The spokesperson does need access to a landline telephone since  a mobile phone signal (and quality of the transmission) can be unreliable.  It is also not uncommon for the talent to do interviews from their home or a hotel if they have a busy schedule so they can be more logistically convenient,

Start with a Great Media Angle or High Profile Spokesperson.  Radio producers want a great story and a great guest so you’ll need both to book RMT interviews. Also, in today’s sensitive sponsorship environment, the client sponsoring the segment should make sure that they provide a a balance of information or entertainment with their message for a successful radio media tour so that it doesn’t seem overly commercial. From the radio station’s point of view, if you want a commercial, you should buy an ad spot.  Promotional giveaways to the stations can  be easily arranged and promotional materials are sent to radio stations before the RMT so they can be posted on the station’s website.

The Spokesperson Can Make or Break RMT Success. A radio media tour can involve a celebrity spokesperson or appropriate industry expert for your topic to promote your product, event, book, and more.. The spokesperson should be either a nationally recognized personality, an authority on the topic or expert in the industry, or a person who has had a personal experience with the product or service you’re promoting, and, finally, who has media “bookability” and experience. 

CMP Media Cafe Radio Media Tours (RMTs) Include the development of best pitch angle for your RMT, writing of media alerts, customizing media alert for local markets (where appropriate),radio station booking by our Media Relations Department, recording of RMT interviews, telephone follow-up with stations to confirm airings, usage/monitoring reports. Contact us at 213-986-8070 for more information on how to make your RMT a success.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe