Episode #121 – Peter Shankman on Using Public Relations To Gain Business Authority
CNN. John Oliver. Al Jazeera. FOX.
These are but a few of the networks that have featured today’s McMethod Podcast interviewee.
Double best-selling author and PR specialist Peter Shankman is here to shed light on how to leverage the power of public relations.
The best thing about getting on television is that the second you get on it,
All the rest of the television networks want you too.
You’ll learn how television networks all talk to eachother and will also want you…
…letting you duplicate your initial efforts.
Peter knows who to contact,
Where to find them,
And how to reach out to them cold.
He’s here to share the wisdom and let you know how to do it too.
Because reaching out and doing PR is actually very easy.
It just takes some minimal daily effort.
And who doesn’t want prestigious mentions from world class companies?
Peter believes that between his publications outreach and Twitter, it’s not hard to figure out what people are talking about and how to reach out to them.
Listen in to this episode to find where your industry trends are, who the best people are to contact, what to say to them and all else you will need to make a bulletproof authority building PR strategy.
You’ll wonder why you never did it sooner.
In this episode, you’ll discover:
- how to locate and then contact the PR specialists that can help you most (plus word for word emails to use)
- Peter’s social networking strategy to staying on top of his PR campaigns (it’s about who you know in PR)
- the exact time to reach out to journalists to hone relationships and keep yourself loaded with prime time opportunities
- where to find stories to feature yourself on top publications (learn easy ways to generate tons of useful topics to pitch)
- the best way to outsource your PR outreach (learn the exact things not to do so your VAs can avoid from the start)
- Help A Reporter (A PR essential from Peter)
- email him at [email protected]
- contact him at @PeterShankman anywhere
Intro and outro backing music: Forever More by CREO
John McIntyre: It’s John McIntyre here, the auto responder guy. I’m here with Peter Shank man. I met Peter couple of years ago in Bangkok, places at … circle at one of their conferences which was a good fun, but we haven’t actually spoken much. We actually had lunch that day. I don’t know if you remember that Peter.
Peter Shankman: I remember, yeah.
John McIntyre: You remember okay. You were telling me maybe skydiving, some crazy air going on.
Peter Shankman: I saw the crazy air going on.
John McIntyre: So, we haven’t really spoken much since that was three years ago, but recently I was thinking, I want to get, I want to have you know trying to look for … Boston my authority and social prove, especially among hire take lines, one of the service-based, marketing sales funnel, that kind of thing. So, I was thinking one way to do that is to get not just featured on new sites like New York Times, The Wall Street Journal but to have them, yet have their logos on my site so I can take as .. not and everyone seen that you know once that to happen and I thought about doing it before and I found the guy, he said he’d do for 5 brand. They will do whole PR portion get to all these logs, but I mention to a few friends. I think it may be the easy way or a better way. Your name came up again and again and again and again. The kings of PR, the king of hacking PR, figure it how to do it, how to get on the journalist, so I was like well let’s make a podcast. So, before we get into that though, can you give the listener just a bit of a background on you know who you are and what you do?
Peter Shankman: Yeah, I don’t know who the hell I am or what I do. I had a fun … I …like company. I mean my original start was I started at the newsroom America Online back in the 90’s. It was my first day ready to college and was there for several years and then moved, started a PR firm in New York City handling clients in the dot-com world during the dot-com booming like 98 to 2002 and from there pretty much consulted for a while doing PR for companies and then found them that I knew a lot of journalist and a lot of sources and figured it was a good way to connect the two. So, I created a company called help a reporter out or “haro” which connect the journalists with sources all around the world. Still runs, still very much alive since sold it, but it did really well and changing the face of journalism and public relations and really allowing any small business to get Press Free Press and they get the press they wanted for free simply by understanding what journalists want and finding out what they need when they need it, so that’s the work, because it’s the free service and now I’m a consultant, I am a speaker, I have written four books bestsellers on customer service and through the new economy in which we are in and having a good time, having a good time and a lot of fun. I have a two-year-old daughter. She’s a blast. I have at fifteen year old cat and I jump out of airplanes in my spare time.
John McIntyre: So, cool man, you know Jewels Barbara?
Peter Champagne: Jewels, Jewels, yeah Jewels is my spirit animal.
John McIntyre: It was fun he was there in Thailand and you know I know Jewels for a while at that point, but then all the sudden just start machine … skydiving at six years. Six years stunts in skydiving.
Peter Champagne: Yeah, I met him at dynamic circle; we connected over there as well.
John McIntyre: Okay and you still skydiving now?
Peter Champagne: Oh Yeah! Just jumped last week!
John McIntyre: Nice, nice, nice, that was in New York or you go some special place.
Peter Champagne: I jump all over the world, Dubai to Barcelona, but this was in upstate New York about an hour outside the city.
John McIntyre: Okay now this is little bit of attention, but it’s interesting. Find it interesting, do you even wings like that wing suit stuff when you fly out especially with wings.
Peter Champagne: Yeah, I don’t only because I am they call a really safe sky diver as much as Oxy Moron sounds. I really just enjoy my, I enjoy my job at landing and all good. It just keeps me happy and I don’t need wing suit and I need to be sharp and unfortunately not on trial for jumping the Freedom Tower you know all of these good things I’m very happy just being a very normal boring skydiver.
John McIntyre: Cool, let’s talk some of the PR stuff. I think that a good kick off would be I get the impression that there is a lot of misconceptions about PR and what it takes to get on in the New York Times The Wall Street Journal or CNN or one of these sites, so what are some of these misconceptions where people get wrong when they’re starting out and they may decide that they want to get on these sites.
Peter Champagne: Oh! These are the separate questions. I mean the first thing you can stand the concept of being able to get in the Washington times you know that’s been the goal, but you have to realize also that if you work in an industry right where let’s say you are in NGO or fashion industry right, now might be great to get in New York times, but there are tons of fashion bloggers who might be just as important for you to get noticed. For them to notice you as well and so you know the Washington, New York times are always great hits, but they’re certainly not the end all be all of civilization.
John McIntyre: And is that valuing going up to them?
Peter Champagne: There is certainly value going up. We said this … New York times, yes that looks great you know when I have that on you know I have been on everything from CNN to CNBC. I was on the Daily Shows. I have daily shows on Jon Oliver you know, so huge stuff which is great, but keep in mind you know anyone can download those icons. It doesn’t necessarily mean you know you’re stuck. Key is to be able to coded frequently and be invited back by the journalists, because they were impress of what you had to say.
John McIntyre: Okay, so it’s sort of like into really small wind behind all this put there all live … on the sides. The big one is to getting into reference using an expert again and again and again and again.
Peter Champagne Exactly, you know I mean I know that when I get it, when I know something breaks in the advertising marketing customer service world. I just stare at my phone because I know it’s going to ring in five minutes. It’s could be CNN or it’s going to be Fox News or it’s going to be the New York Times and that’s years and years and years of honing my craft, reaching out to specific reporters only when I have something valuable for them.
John McIntyre: Okay, so it’s a bit like for example like my thing is been email marketing plus … so bit like I don’t know how many of these people on these major news networks need to talk about email marketing, but let’s say every time that they needed to be like having a relationship with John McIntyre the email marketing guy. So, every time you hear about marketing or sales funnels I guess they call me up. They say hey we need to line about XYZ for this article. What you got to see?
Peter Champagne: That’s exactly how it works. That’s exactly how it works. So, the best way to get that in several ways and the first thing is you know when you understand what you’re doing, when you know your information, when you know your shit basically. You know there’s nothing wrong with sitting notary reporter. Hey, I just want to offer this, offer myself the next time you need you know first of all let me back up; go after the reporters who you know what they’re doing right. Going after a sports reporter for email marketing is stupid. Go after the right reporters, the ones who cover your industry. Very quick one paragraph to paragraph hey my name is Peter Champagne, I have been working in this space for years you know I most recently wrote this blog post or this book or this. I have done this or whatever would love to be a source happy to help you next time we are doing the email marketing. I could talk to this, this, and this. Let me know how I can help, here’s my cell phone, here’s my email reach out anytime. All the best, Peter! That’s it. That is that simple.
John McIntyre: Interesting, and are you … to these people.
Peter Champagne: Oh that’s easy you know what do you read, where is your information as long as you know what that is you want to simply be able to go after the journalists, so like for example if you read the New York times they have an advertising dictionary, now find that was journalists are and all the email addresses are always the same. They work for the times, first letter and last name at nytimes.com you know they all have the same thing. They all have the same types of emails we see attached to them and you know it’s between that and Twitter it’s not hard to find out what people are talking about how to reach out for them.
John McIntyre: Okay, so it sounds like the first step would be to go and say The New York Times among the right. I go to the business section and find articles that you know on the similar area. Look at the names almost make a spreadsheet of those names going to the Twitter accounts, the email addresses and then basically make a point of regularly connecting with them with information is going to help them create you know good stories just for the page. Peter Champagne: Exactly, your job is not to get yourself pressure jobs, is to make journalist life easier. You make the journalists life easier in your press automatically.
John McIntyre: Okay and then how do you like you must be a busy guy. You are a CEO. You have got a ton of stuff going on, so I wonder how do you manage these sort of relations in terms of like checking with them, make sure you are helping them out and still have time to do all the other stuff.
Peter Champagne: For me it’s really about knowing a certain subset of journalists. May a 10 -15 journalists who I know and what they do and how I can get their information and so you know I know what they’re working on. They have been on the show before. They know who I am. They trust me and I can re-chat with them let’s say hey! Just saw this story just broke, you know when fee for broke for access, I was doing hey guys if you are doing anything about the advertisers and what they’re dealing with people let me know I’m happy to get in touch with you. I am happy to talk about that. Should that landed me on CNN … and the bunch of others Fox all that, so it’s important to be able to and the speed is the key.
John McIntyre: Interesting, okay, so it’s sort of like … like hundreds of journalists’ small sort of different places. Pick 10 to 15 like you know let’s just say 10. The top 10 places you like to be mention or feature or recorded and then just focus on making their life easier again and again and again.
Peter Champagne: Exactly, and again reach out when they don’t have anything big. When there’s no deadline reach out hey! I know that you know it’s the easy week for like I offer my services. I know people happy to talk anytime, feel free to call me. You know if you reach out at a deadline they never heard you to complete your email.
John McIntyre: Okay, okay, so it’s one thing you can just check in like Hi my name is John. I am an email marketing guy and if you ever need anything to do with this sort of stories, you need to get connections to people just let me know, that sort of thing.
Peter Champagne: Yeah, but also think about what else email marketing has to do it. So, it’s email marketing. It’s which is marketing himself, its advertising.
John McIntyre: Yeah!
Peter Champagne: Everything related, next time U.S. government bust someone big for spam.
John McIntyre: Yeah!
Peter Champagne: You can comment on life spam is not a good thing and then what you do differently and how you help it to make it better.
John McIntyre: Okay, I like that, so it’s certainly it’s not just whatever the specific things, for me its email marketing, a lot by the way this can be different things. It’s that specific, then you’ve got all the different related things that might help to sit down and say brainstorm used to call the primary topic which let’s say … all the things related to that could be spam, it could be like email marketing software enterprise stuff, could be sales force, anything to do with like sales funnels.
Peter Champagne: Exactly, figure out where the market is for what you’re talking about. Figure out where the current trends are and things like that.
John McIntyre: Interesting, ok, ok and let’s say do you have like this is something that you do you personally or this is something you have an assistant.
Peter Champagne: I personally like doing it, so I tell to do it personally. I enjoy it you know you can have an assistant too as long as they’re you making sure they’re doing the right thing. They’re doing the right, they’re not spamming reporters. They’re not wasting time, things like that as long as they’re giving reporters what they want, when they want, you can get some good stuff.
John McIntyre: Interesting, ok and then imagine what happens is let’s say you featured on CNN and you get on this TV show and that TV show and that sort of thing. Then what would happen and other people … because you focus on the 10 or 15 that are maybe the super connect let’s say that other people see you there.
Peter Champagne: The second you end up on television you will start getting calls from other television stations; they all watch each other constantly.
John McIntyre: Interesting!
Peter Champagne: Same thing with newspapers too.
John McIntyre: Right! Interesting, it sounds like one of those things where it’s really, really hard until it’s not anymore. It goes from like hard, hard, hard, hard, and hard.
Peter Champagne: It’s a great answer.
John McIntyre: And then once you’re on TV once, it’s like that it’s just a matter of keeping the momentum going and it’s a lot to that point it’s relatively easy.
Peter Champagne: It really is and you know it’s beneficial to me you know when I get on TV it will see me have been hired from people who saw me on TV, I meet new people you know it’s great and it helps a reporter and you never look today’s state during a reporter at you know … might be tomorrow senior producer at CNN worldwide.
John McIntyre: Right, right, ok! How much time would you spend on this, like I mean from…
Peter Champagne: 10 hours a day maybe.
John McIntyre: 10 hours a day. So, tell like because the way it sounds like maybe I think about this too much.
Peter Champagne: Here is different thing. So, let’s down among the subway heading to work in the morning and I’m reading the paper, I’m reading an article. If I see something interesting with the reporter that I could help a reporter with I make it note of their email. Later that day I figure out their email and send them a note and for that will be doing this before you reach me. I have been featured in these places, I talk about the stuff, I’m here reach at anytime.
John McIntyre: That’s it, interesting. So, just have a scan of the news each morning on each day like Mondays New York Times day, Tuesdays…
Peter Champagne: Just whatever happens to be reading. I mean people love it Google news alerts as well.
John McIntyre: Yeah interesting, sounds pretty simple.
Peter Champagne: It’s really not rectified and especially I don’t recommend help a reporter because I started a recommend help a reporter because it’s useful, if you haven’t signed up for helpareporter.com, do it. You get emails three times a day from journalists looking for pretty much what you do and if you can reply directly to them you get quoted. It takes about five seconds.
John McIntyre: Okay and do you use now for yourself?
Peter Champagne: of course, yeah, I still use it. They might be journalist who I have never heard it before someone of something.
John McIntyre: Interesting, interesting, very cool and so this, when you just start all this stuff? Like, how did this, what’s the back-story on this?
Peter Champagne: I wish I knew. I started to help reporter back to the 7 tons of journalists are always call me and ask me for more info in terms of reporters are coming up, ask for these new people you know and that became easy and overtime I just kept doing it. It was for me it was let’s see how I can connect people and do whatever and you know it just became a business.
John McIntyre: It sounds like that’s funny like a lot of businesses that grow out of those sort of things, it’s like this is not no one was trying to start a business in the beginning, but it just grew into something because there was a need for it. It sounds like a big barrier. I have noticed with the podcast that you know the video right now for example like this is … episode a 120 something like that and a lot of people over the years lost it two years of doing it have asked me you know how did you get you know … these guys John Cult or Jerry Marsh.
Peter Champagne: Of course, of course!
John McIntyre: Ok so this market is big guy market has been wrapped in 10-20 years like the big names in the industry and I mean when I first started this was two and a half years I did this. I actually created product at the time. They can always enjoy the … was any good because it was the first time I created products, so I was feeling a bit insecure and worried about someone in the interviews with 12 different experts in the email marketing industry, so with the products side, then I could have the least say well I go with the school interviews in that, but after doing that there was a realization of Oh these people, they’re actually not that hard to get in touch with. They’re really just an email away and a lot of times if you’re cool and you not spend and you just you make it in their best interest, they usually really helpful and they are like well let’s do it, let’s do apodcast, let’s have a chat, let’s whatever happens to be and to them that became that’s when in the podcast was like will join … and let’s just email in, I mean John, I told the story few times or anytime … having the follow up something like fifteen or twenty times before finally go booked in, but the trick was just literally, just getting, basically just emailing people and sounds like to say near a lot of PR’s too hard. Its gonna take like me I’m going to take too much time, it’s difficult, it’s expensive, but it sounds like it’s you know ten minutes in the morning and maybe make a thing of sending, I’ll send one email a day to the journalist and just do that every day and just make a part of daily business
Peter Champagne: I agree completely you know the same way you read the paper, the same way you watch TV news, the same way you answer your email. You know you just need to include 5 minutes this everyday and … everyday into your world and eating a part of what you do it’s really that simple. It doesn’t require that rocket science, it’s nothing like that.
John McIntyre: Right, right, what some of the mistakes that you know he’s talking like this before and there any like I mean obviously like spending them and being what to sell.
Peter Champagne: Yeah, I mean the number one thing you can do is email them and say Hey write about me, cover me without actually knowing what they cover, without giving them a story again. You know it’s one thing to say write this about me and no one going to listen to you, because hey! I have a great story idea you know … seeing this trend in the industry, I think this may be something worthwhile for you too and you know if it includes you all the better, but you’re doing them a favor, you’re helping them, you’re writing a story for them.
John McIntyre: Right, right, interesting, interesting and it sounds like that I’m surprised by how simple this is, it’s just kind of like I thought this was going to be a long conversation, but now i have got the whole plan out. Just sit down for 5 to 10 minutes a day and just do it.
Peter Champagne: Exactly, exactly!
John McIntyre: Cool, alright you see I take this a bit longer. I feel like we’ve covered it.
Peter Champagne: You know look at the end of the day what you wind up having and you wind up having a lot of people who say Oh I really want to do this, but never work, I don’t have enough time and whatever. You make the time for things you want and it’s not that difficult.
John McIntyre: Right, absolutely, absolutely, cool. Thanks for coming on the show man. Like I simply made it, now I’ve got no excuse for going out and getting on this, so I hope I will see you on TV.
Peter Champagne: I make you a deal I hope you get all your press and you write me a couple of killer email templates.
John McIntyre: Alright, let’s wrap it out, if people want to get in touch with you, want to learn more about you, what’s the best place for them to do that?
Peter Champagne: My entire world is online at shankman.com and my email [email protected] and I am at Peter Shank man at all the socials.
John McIntyre: Peter! Thanks for coming on the show man.
Peter Champagne: Thanks!