Steve Marr Blog

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Mar 07

PR- It’s not About You

Posted by: Steve Marr

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Over the last few years I’ve done several hundred radio and television interviews with the goal to promote books I have written.  As I tried to schedule these interview opportunities, I embraced the concept that the opportunity was not about me. I turned my focus toward a topic the host and listeners were interested in.  If I had been an international celebrity, the interview might have been about me; but of course it was not.


You need to do the same as you look for media outlets to help promote your product or business.  Follow these principles when you do.

1.  Practice explaining your product and your credentials for developing or representing it.

In my instance I cover my experience as a CEO of a $600 million international trade company, the books I have written, articles I have published, and some of the businesses I have assisted through consulting.  I don’t do this out of arrogance, but to establish credibility.  I want to demonstrate that I have a strong background and expertise in the business topics I represent which will be valuable to the news outlet.

2.  Identify what value you offer to the audience.

For example when a major employer closes in a small town, I may offer to talk about finding a job in a difficult climate. Another example is when a city or state considers increasing the minimum wage law I can offer a business perspective about why this will reduce employment. Alternatively I could discuss the impact of major legislation on the business community.  The key is that if I have nothing of value to offer their audience, I would never get booked.

3.  Avoid sounding like a commercial.

The news outlet doesn’t have me because they want to give me a free commercial; they have me to provide useful information to their audience. I have learned to ignore the promotional side of my books. The host usually highlights that I’m the author of the books:  Proverbs for Business and/or Integrity in the Workplace. They may even indicate where people can get the books. I let the host do this and refrain from initiating the commercial part.  Authors or others who try to turn the opportunity into a commercial will learn quickly that they never get invited back. I was always more interested in a long-term relationship where I would be invited back.

If anyone understood this principle it was John the Baptist who said, “He must increase; I must decrease.” (John 3:30, NASB) When we seek media opportunities, we must always stay focused on serving the audience. Remember, the audience is not there to serve us.  Embrace this concept and you will have opportunities for interviews and repeat appearances.

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