In this episode, Andy interviews Jane Tabachnick about the importance of generating positive press for your business.
Listen as Jane explains what is involved in earning press and what to do and what not to do when it comes to promoting your business. Discover how to properly use any press you receive and the mistakes to avoid.
Jane is the founder of Simply Good Press and has been featured or quoted in, Inc, Clickz, Crain’s, ABC, CBS, The NY Enterprise Report, The Star Ledger, Environmental Leader, CNN, Houston Magazine, Spa Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily along with many other media outlets.
Episode Action Items:
Learn more about Jane Tabachnick by visiting her website https://janetabachnick.com
To take her free Visibility Assessment - visit https://janetabachnick.com/assessment/
ABOUT THE HOST:
Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.
New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.
Andy Splichal 0:54
Welcome to the Make Each Click Count Podcast. This is your host Andy Splichal. And today, I am being joined by a super informative guest. Today's guest was named one of the top 100 People online by Fast Company. She has been featured or quoted in Inc., Clickz, Crain's, ABC, CBS, The NY Enterprise Report, The Star Ledger, Environmental Leader, CNN, Houston Magazine, Spa Magazine, Women's Wear Daily, among many other media outlets. She is the founder of Simply Good Press saying hello to Jane Tabachnick. Hi, Jane.
Jane Tabachnick 1:33
Hey, Andy, great to be here.
Andy Splichal 1:35
Well, thank you for joining us. Now, before we dive into today's topic, which is how to do your own public relations. Let's hear a little about your backstory and what ultimately led you to doing what you're doing now.
Jane Tabachnick 1:50
Yeah, so my story is really a very non linear path, I actually started out in business as a fashion designer. And I was very proud of my designs. And I thought people would like them. But I was having a hard time getting people to even see them. So I realized that if I got some publicity, or I thought if I got some publicity that they would know about them, and it would also bring me to the attention of the buyers. And they might then take my calls and actually have a look at my designs. And it was a bit of trial and error getting started with it. But once I got a little press, it really made all the difference. And now when I placed a call to the buyers, they said, Oh, we've heard of you, we'd love to see your designs. So it was a game changer. And I've been using it ever since.
Andy Splichal 2:46
Wow. So like many things it was came out of necessity.
Jane Tabachnick 2:50
Andy Splichal 2:52
Now, when I think of public relations, the first thing I think is somebody holding a big press conference in front of dozens of reporters, kind of like the White House press briefings. But I know that's not what we're talking about here are we?
Jane Tabachnick 3:06
Well, that is one tactic that you can use, but it's not used by most people who do public relations, public relations, really the definition is communications with your public. So managing those communications. And that can be your customers, your vendors, your partners, your investors, etc. So it's managing those messages and being strategic in communicating them where you communicate them, telling stories that present your message in the way that you want to be seen. And that will resonate with your audience.
Andy Splichal 3:43
Okay, cool. So strategic messaging to your customer base?
Jane Tabachnick 3:48
Andy Splichal 3:49
Now, do you believe that the average small business needs a PR firm? Do they need to go out and hire a PR firm to get this strategic messaging going?
Jane Tabachnick 3:59
So the answer is no. But of course, if you have the budget, and you have something big, like you're launching a new product line, it could be advantageous. But public relations is something that you can do on your own. Or you can actually use what I call the hybrid method, where you do some of it on your own and you outsource certain aspects of it. Like perhaps you don't feel confident coming up with your story or your hooks, you could hire someone just to help you with those. And then you could take it from there and run your own campaigns. I do recommend though, if you're going to do it on your own, you really do a little research and try and learn how the industry works, what the standards are, so that you know what the rules are and that you you know, you get a good reception when you put yourself out there because you're doing it in a format that the media is used to and what they expect.
Andy Splichal 4:53
Okay, and when you say stories and hooks, that sounds like a little bit of industry lingo, can you can you explain that a little bit further?
Jane Tabachnick 5:01
Yeah, so they're also referred to as pitches. So when you contact the media, you don't just want to say, Hey, I've got a press release, you want to tease them with a hook about it. So maybe it's the biggest pumpkin that has ever been grown in the United States, I don't know, something that would make the Guinness Book of Records is always something that can intrigue the media, but you want to come up with something that you think will be of interest to them, and that they think will be of interest and possible benefit to their audience. Because that's really what it's all about. I mean, that's kind of a rookie mistake. People want to get press, and that's great. There's nothing wrong with that, but they focus it all on themselves. And where you want to focus to have success with it is the value that you bring and why the audience should care about it.
Andy Splichal 5:53
So let's say you get some PR, you get some press, what are the biggest mistakes that that a company usually makes us when they're getting publicity?
Jane Tabachnick 6:03
Yeah, it's such a good question. And this is a big mistake. People think that getting the press is where it ends, and getting the press is wonderful. But you really need to read promote that press, not just right after it happens, but again, down the road, maybe six weeks, two months later. So here's a quick way to think of that, if you were featured in The New York Times today, which is fantastic. I didn't read the New York Times, say maybe some other members of your audience haven't. So for them, it's almost like it didn't happen. So you want to make sure that not only the people who read the times or saw it in the times, but anyone else in your universe that you want to communicate this with knows that it happened. You also want to add it to your media room, set up a page on your website, to showcase these great media mentions and events.
Andy Splichal 6:54
Okay, now, most of my listeners, our Ecommerce or Ecommerce business owners, they work with the Ecommerce, business owners as far as marketers, but do you think it's important for Ecommerce companies to also get publicity? Or is it is that more of a service industry kind of thing?
Jane Tabachnick 7:14
I think it can benefit anyone. So with the Ecommerce companies, again, they'll have to come up with a story hook. So not just like, hey, come shop at our store. But here's a trend we're seeing in in widgets for 2021, or here are some great gift ideas for Mother's Day.
Andy Splichal 7:35
Okay, yeah. So more of you put in that story angle.
Jane Tabachnick 7:38
Andy Splichal 7:39
Now, you touched on this appeared. But what if you had to say you get some publicity? These are the three things you absolutely should do once you get it? What What would those three things be?
Jane Tabachnick 7:55
Yeah, so you want to let people know that you've gotten this publicity on social media, you can add it to your newsletter, you can send out a special announcement about it. And it's really great. As I mentioned, to set up a page on your website, you can call it your media room, your press room, or just media and showcase the media coverage that you've gotten. And it's great to use the logos from the media outlets, because people often recognize those logos. And our brains are wired to read visuals much more quickly than we read text. So people can get that information and make that great brand association with you with that media outlet. And then the third thing, as I mentioned, is to repurpose that re promote that media, it can be a few months down the road or longer. If you have a social media scheduler, you can put it in there. So it gets repeated. And you don't have to worry about people seeing it, you know, the way the algorithms work. I'm sure you know this, that you can put something onto your Facebook feed on Tuesday, and maybe 20% of your audience will see it. So if you put it there again, on Thursday, or even later the same day, sometimes there was a whole new group of people seeing it, so I don't think you need to worry about putting it out there too much.
Andy Splichal 9:19
Right. Right. Well, you should be proud of it anyway, right?
Jane Tabachnick 9:21
Absolutely. You know, it's referred to as earned media and you really do earn it. So it's really worth showing it off. And and people really see you in a new light when they see you in the media because it's like you've gotten an endorsement from the media. It's that third party credibility, and it carries more weight than anything you say about yourself.
Andy Splichal 9:47
Sure, I like that term. What did you call it earned media?
Jane Tabachnick 9:51
Yeah, so earned media. So basically, you've earned the right to speak or be showcased on the media outlet or platform. So they haven't offered this spot to someone else they have offered it to you see, earn that position and that accolade really.
Andy Splichal 10:09
Right. Yeah. And I believe it probably acts as a tremendous source of social proof. It's, it's got to be up there. Do you think it's more powerful in testimonials or ?
Jane Tabachnick 10:21
I think it's on Quora with a testimonial, maybe a little bit higher. So according to a Nielsen Trust in advertising survey a couple of years ago, the most trusted source or recommendations from friends and family after that, or online reviews or recommendations, like a Yelp review, that kind of review, and then third, our media mentions or media coverage.
Andy Splichal 10:46
Okay, great. So how much budget if somebody comes to you what, what's that conversation like when they're talking about what kind of budget should they put toward a PR campaign?
Jane Tabachnick 11:00
If they're looking to outsource their PR, like the hire firm, or to do it on their own.
Andy Splichal 11:05
Let's, let's do either one. If they were coming in for advice, and say, I'm looking to outsource, let's start there and then we can go to do it ourself.
Jane Tabachnick 11:12
Yeah. so if you're looking to outsource your PR to affirm a smaller firm working with a smaller company, it could start at $2,000 a month. And typically, PR firms will ask you for a three or four month minimum retainer and then after that would go to month to month. And the reason for that is it really takes a little time to work with a company or an entrepreneur and come up with their story hooks make sure that they've got everything ready for their spotlight, that you know, they're ready for their close up, and to start testing out some of the pitches, because sometimes you you create a pitch and you think it's going to work and then you send it out and it's not getting a reaction. So you want it then tweak it and send it out till you find that sweet spot that is gathering the interest that you were seeking.
Andy Splichal 12:05
Okay, great. Now, what if they don't have a small business? They don't have an extra $2,000?
Jane Tabachnick 12:07
Sure. Yeah. So there are a lot of things that you can do for free. One of the things that I highly recommend is, there are a couple of free what I call media matchmaking services. One of them is called HARO or Help a Reporter Out, and you just sign up and they email you media opportunities, basically journalists who are already working on a story, and they just need an expert source, they may need a quote, they may need some tips, they may need some kind of data or case study. And so it's one of the best ways to get free publicity. You don't have to come up with those story hooks. You don't have to research the outlet or the journalists name. All you need to do is send them whatever they're asking for. And the stories typically run pretty quickly because they've already been approved by the editorial team.
Andy Splichal 13:07
Okay, great. That's an extra tip. It's Harrow? Is it an H A R R O W?
Jane Tabachnick 13:12
It's, it's Help a Reporter Out.com.
Andy Splichal 13:16
Jane Tabachnick 13:17
The accronymn is HARO.
Andy Splichal 13:18
Okay, is the URL. It's the helpareporter.com.
Jane Tabachnick 13:18
Andy Splichal 13:19
Okay, great. You know, at this point of the show, I've kind of playing a new game kind of halfway between first segment and segment. Are you up for playing a game with me?
Jane Tabachnick 13:32
Andy Splichal 13:34
Okay, well, the game goes like this, I say a word and you respond right away with the first word that pops in your head. So it's a word association game. So we'll start with a couple of words just to kind of establish a baseline to see where you're at. Are you ready?
Jane Tabachnick 13:47
Andy Splichal 13:48
Jane Tabachnick 13:51
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Jane Tabachnick 13:54
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Jane Tabachnick 13:57
Andy Splichal 13:59
Now, let's get in to choose more business terms. Business.
Jane Tabachnick 14:05
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Andy Splichal 14:42
All right. Congratulations, you passed.
Jane Tabachnick 14:45
I was nervous there.
Andy Splichal 14:48
Hey, welcome. What do you think the best way is to get started getting publicity?
Jane Tabachnick 14:54
I think the best way is in addition to HARO, I think the best way is really to understand and who your audience is, which I know that sounds kind of silly, but some people really aren't that clear on it. And where your audience spends time online, like, what publications do they read? What podcasts do they listen to? Because you really need to know that if you want to get in front of your audience, and be very strategic and kind of streamlined about it. The ideal in my opinion, is to find where they're already spending time and see if you can have the that media outlet put you in front of them. So if there's a podcast they listen to you want to court that podcast host and see how you can't become a guest on that show, because they're already speaking to your audience.
Andy Splichal 15:42
Sure, no, that's great. So dig into the customer avatar. Yes. Now you had mentioned HARO, help help, Help a Reporter Out, Is that the best tip for getting free classes or any other tips you could pass along?
Jane Tabachnick 15:58
Well, the other thing that you can do is, I call it hug an influencer. And an influencer can be someone in the media, it can be a podcast host, a thought leader in your industry or someone you admire. And what I encourage my clients to do is to follow that person on social media, we're not talking about stalking behavior, of course, but follow them, like what they post authentically, not just like everything, comment, share, because what happens is, is you know, you put something out there, like maybe you send out a newsletter, and no one responds, and you think is anyone listening. So we all need some of that validation. And for the media. A lot of them are freelancing now. So you may pitch, someone who's a freelancer, and their next job depends on their article being seen. Okay, so if you can help share it, and comment and help them get more visibility, it helps them out. But what it also does, and this is, the really key point is you get on their radar, and you start to build a virtual relationship with them. And it's great to do this before you really want to make an ask, you're just giving and being authentic and being interested. And the most magical things start to happen. One of my clients did this recently. And she really had no agenda. She just really liked this influencer, who happened to have had a top top podcast. And so she commented she followed she liked and then he said, Hey, what do you do? I've been seeing your comments, because we got to get you on the show. So boom, she was on one of the top podcasts that there is.
Andy Splichal 17:40
So the old tit for tat strategy?
Jane Tabachnick 17:42
Yeah. And you know, it's, it's really fun. It's fun to you, you know, you like you comment, and then you get a comment back. And it's fun to have that interaction.
Andy Splichal 17:55
Now, I saw this on your website, you had promoted this, but why is it that you believe that publicity is the best form of marketing?
Jane Tabachnick 18:04
Well, as we discussed earlier, publicity gives you third party credibility, it gives you instant expert positioning, and you get sort of a halo effect. So if you're featured, if you're in Oprah Magazine, let's say that, you know that her show used to be the gold standard, and her magazine is to some folks as well. So you're immediately associated with a top brand, a brand that many, many people want to be associated with. So you immediately raise or rise up to that level of expertise, inner circle, you know, top 1%. And so it gives you that positive association. And people really think of you as top in your industry. And what's so amazing is, you know, we're kind of a celebrity focused culture, and people want to work with and be around celebrities. So you kind of take on a celebrity persona, maybe not interested in being a reality TV type celebrity, but there is that celebrity quality to it. And the fun thing about it is, people get pre sold on working with you. And they also expect to pay top dollar. So it eliminates a lot of that negotiation, or people questioning your pricing, which is really a lovely place to be.
Andy Splichal 19:24
You know, you made some great points. Now, we're almost out of time. But where is the best place for a listener to learn more about you if they're, they're interested in hearing a bit more?
Jane Tabachnick 19:35
Yeah, thanks for asking. So if you go to my website at Simply Good Press, I've got some great articles actually, there's a great article about best practices for HARO. So I highly recommend that on my blog, and I've also got a visibility assessment, which is kind of fun, very short assessment and if you take it will give you feedback on things that you can do to get more visibility. and authority positioning.
Andy Splichal 20:02
Oh, great, and how can they access that visibility assessment?
Jane Tabachnick 20:06
Yeah, if you go to the website, you'll see there's a link up top for that.
Andy Splichal 20:10
Okay, perfect. I'll go ahead and put that in the show notes as well. Now, before we say goodbye, was there anything else I might have forgot to ask you about getting publicity for your site, or for your business?
Jane Tabachnick 20:25
You have to be in it. You know, the New York State where I used to live had a slogan for their lottery, you have to be in it to win it. And that's the same thing with PR, you know, my feeling is that it takes maybe 1% luck. And the rest of it is where luck really is preparation meeting opportunity. So positioning yourself or press and getting in the game.
Andy Splichal 20:49
You know, that's a great slogan. I I grew up in Nebraska. And they just ST changed their slogan to it's not for everyone. Which also might be applicable to the PR industry.
Jane Tabachnick 21:05
Well, that's true, but I think there is an opportunity for everyone if they just take a step or two, whether they're hugging an influencer or using a service like HARO.
Andy Splichal 21:15
Oh, cool. Fair enough. All right. Well, that is it for today. Remember, if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave an honest review. And if you're looking for more information regarding chain or earning more publicity for your business, you can contact Jane through her website, or take her visibility assessment, and I will put those links into the show notes. In addition, for those of you out there using Google ads, I just started a brand new Google Shopping simplified live course on March 9. If you're interested in more information, you could go to www.makeeachclickcountuniversity.com to learn more, and see how to grow your ecommerce business using Google Shopping in the quickest time possible. In the meantime, remember to stay safe, keep healthy, and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.