I guess the only final point I would make or submit to you to confirm it is in terms of responding, there is only a certain window of opportunity because it becomes old news really quickly. I guess that’s also a function of the media outlet. I mean if it’s a monthly publication, you have a better chance to respond more slowly than if it’s a television or other broadcast.
Right. Well, here’s what I do, and you mentioned in the beginning that I put myself in the hot seat as much I can, not just as a media trainer and consultant, but I like to be out there in front of the media not only because it’s business. It’s also an opportunity for me to test out what I say put my money where my mouth is so to speak. So, what I do is it’s very important to have a list of media contacts in Outlook. I use another delivery platform because I have many thousands of contacts to be able to write up an e-mail when I see a story. Boom. Deploy it, and I’ll show everybody today exactly what the e-mail should look like. To be able to hit send, boom, and everybody sees it. If you’re sending it to a few thousand media outlets at once, your chances now are much, much greater of having the handful that’s going to say, “Yeah. It sounds like a good story.” That’s all you want.
I’ll show you other things I pulled. These are stories also that you probably wouldn’t want out there. Los Angeles Times. “Dentist Pulls All of Her Ex’s Teeth Out”. Are these the stories you want in your area, profession. Is this what you want out there? I wouldn’t, and I know if I were a dentist, my eyes would be rolling saying, “Please. There’s so many better stories out there that people could be talking about.” “California Dentist Accused of 113 Felonies”. He was a very busy guy. Not a good story to be out there.
By that way, is that accused?
He could have been submitting the wrong code accidentally 113 times.
Well, let’s hope not, and, of course, when you look at the way dentists are portrayed in movies and media, you’ve got Steve Martin in “Little Shop of Horrors” or more recently “Horrible Bosses” over there. Jennifer Aniston. She was sexually harassing her employee there, and “The Hangover”, he removed his own tooth. That’s not good. So, obviously, no what we’re going for, but there’s good news as I show you what we have out there.
I know if I were a dentist, I’d be looking and rolling my eyes and just saying, “Come on. Is this really what we want our profession to be portrayed as?” The good news is you can control the story. I know not only from helping clients but from doing it myself, and it’s been a fun ride being able to do the stories, helping people put the right stories out there.
So, here’s a better one. Here’s the positive side, “Energy Drinks Cause Spike in Teeth Rot”. I want you to really notice the headlines and think about what an exciting headline looks like or sounds like, and is say sounds like because if you were tuning in to television and they said, “This is literally the tool that I use for public relations professionals,” I say, “If you heard the person on the news saying, ‘Tonight at 11, we’ll hear from someone who can tell you blank.’” Here, we’d end up writing something like, “Energy drinks cause spike in teeth rot.”
So, you’re making it more exciting. It’s the same story about the fact that there’s a spike in cavities or talking about the sports drinks. So, if you look closely underneath, that’s New York Daily News, and I’m tuning today from New York, my home city and where I operate out of. Sports drinks, that was the story. How can we make sports drinks more exciting?
I know, Jess, we’re both friends with [18:09], the president of AOSH, and he’s pretty good with sound bytes. Maybe we got this from you, but when talks about energy drinks, he calls them liquid chainsaws.
So, I want everyone to pay attention to that. Liquid chainsaws. Find a great analogy. That’s one of our sound byte elements that I’ll be talking and showing you later, but liquid chainsaws. How great is that? You know a media person will say, “Oh, that sounds interesting and exciting,” and it certainly sounds better than, “Brush your teeth.” Yeah, we know that. It’s like eat right and exercise. We’re heard that a million times, but for the person who comes up with the exciting way of being able to explain that, I’m thinking of Susan Powder. What was her tagline? Back in the day, she had the spikey hair.
For the person that comes up with the interesting way to get it across to everybody, they’re the person that gets the attention. Let’s see. “Ancient Diets Discovered Through Dental Plaque.” So, somebody who was doing a little history work was able to turn this into a story which essentially all of these are jumping off points for all of the other things that you want to be able to talk about. So, plaque. You can continue to talk about plaque, but ancient diets? That’s kind of interesting.
Maybe you wanted to talk about Obama Care. So, expanding it out to some of the other folks, the people that belong to other category, and maybe some of the dentists, too. I know anytime I go to the doctor, any of the health care professionals I consult with, they get all fired up about Obama Care and what that means, changes, and what people should now about all that.
So, you can think of many different stories you can offer the media. So, what I’m bringing you to, as of right now, in our talk today, in our discussion. By the way, if you have questions, put it in that chat box so that I can answer them as we’re going along. Certainly, we’ll have the whole talk back at the end if you like, but if there’s something that fires you up, what I want you to do and what I’ve been talking about before is I highlighted some of the stories out there that we don’t want out there. I’m talking right now about the fact that you really can control the dialogue and the discussion.
Five exemptions to the Health Care Reform Law. Maybe you know something about that. By the way, media people loves lists. So, if you’re pitching a story to the media and I’m going to show you how to do that and you offer something that says “The Five Reasons Why Your Local Dentist is Failing You”. No, usually we probably wouldn’t want to make someone else in the same profession look bad. Some people say, “No, I have no problem with that.” Some people would say, “I’d pick a different story.” How about five things you can do right now to be healthier in the new year?
Or five considerations before choosing your next dentist?
Ah, there you go. The five questions to ask to choose the best dentist, and oddly enough, all five of them, the positive answers lead to you, and I know if I read an article like that, I’d be thinking I might as well go with this person. We talked a little bit about Dr. Chris [21:47] who went to one of my media training workshops about six or seven years ago and led me to meeting all these folks and our conversation today, really. So, he is somebody who also says I should be controlling the discourse. You can do it in our way.
His way was going out there and auditioning in front of American Idol. Here he is again doing his thing, and I think he went out and sang poorly. I think he had this enormous toothbrush, and it was cute. It made it on the show, but, it’s the jumping off point that you want. How do you feel most comfortable going out there and getting people to engage in the discussion that you want.
When I coach my clients on how to connect with first-time telephone callers, I just explain that you can pretty much predict the type of call you’re going to get. In this case, you even have more control because you know what you want to talk about. It’s simply, therefore, just a matter of agreeing on the verbage and just practicing it. With anything else, the more you do it, the easier it gets. So, you don’t need to be a high type A personality to be successful.
In fact, if you look at some of the authorities, some of them are extremely low key. They just know how to connect with the media.
That’s it. Now, back to talking with the media, I said I like to put myself in the hot seat. So, I’ve been on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. They came, and they interviewed me about media training and media training techniques. It’s floating around on the internet. I’m sure if you look around, and it was enlightening to me because here it is, their show. They go out there. They try to make people look silly, and obviously, that wasn’t my goal.
The person who lost the most sleep over this opportunity as I saw it was my wife. “They’re just going to destroy your business. It’s terrible.” I said, “Wait. I’m the media guy. I’m supposed to be able to make it through any type of interview and be able to turn it into something good.”
There’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?
Well, yes. I bet we could debate that as I’m thinking of the article of the guy with the 113 felonies if in fact it’s true. I probably wouldn’t be that thrilled, but that’s what they say. There’s no such thing as bad publicity. I mean, I like to say if your gut is telling you that this is a bad, bad idea, then, don’t do it, but I usually tell people that 98% of the time, it’s usually something good. It’s good publicity.
Anyway, what I learned from this was you know what? I did not try to be funnier than the other guy. That was bad. He was trying to put words in my mouth. So, I’m going to give you the first little nugget today which is don’t repeat the negative in an interview. One of my other goals today is to erase as much of the unknown from this process. So, all of you can go out there and really feel like you can (1) pitch the media in a way that gets them to choose your story, and (2) feel confident enough that you can do the job when they show up.
So, this was obviously my toughest interview. I’ll let you know when I do 60 Minutes, and we’ll see how tough that was as well. What I learned was don’t repeat the negative. So, they would say silly things, and I didn’t repeat what they said. I essentially did a technique that I call rewriting the question in your brain which is saying, “What are they really asking,” and then answering that. So, it’s still an answer to the question, but I didn’t repeat when they said, “Aren’t all your clients idiots when they come to you and ask you all these things?” I’m not going to say that. that would be silly.