How To Get Old World Media Coverage

I just completed an interview with Entrepreneur magazine. The piece will be in the February issue, which will be available on newsstand around the middle of January 2008. The article will also be online at Entrepreneur.com. Read by 2.4 million people every month, Entrepreneur is one of the biggest business magazines in the world and being featured by them can only bring good things.

Every time I am featured by “old world media,” I get many emails asking how I did it. A full page ad on Entrepreneur cost tens of thousands of dollars. An editorial feature would be worth at least that much, if not more. Here are some tips to getting yourself some old world media love.

Start At Home

Magazines and Newspaper are always looking for news story. It’s what drives their business. Without content, they can’t run. Generally speaking, the bigger the magazine is, the easier it is for them to find content because they’re bombed with story ideas all the time from people or companies wanting to get coverage. Your best bet is to start at home with your local papers and magazines. Once you’ve been featured locally, you can leverage it to get featured nationally and internationally.

Send your local paper an email to the editor and tell them your story. Every editor loves a story about a local boy doing good. I recommend you start with the biggest local newspaper instead of the smallest. It takes the same amount of effort talking to a 1 million circulation paper as it does for 10,000 circulation tab. Aim high locally to get maximum bang for the buck. Another reason for doing this is it makes it a lot easier to get coverage from the smaller papers once you’ve been featured in a big one. If the biggest paper in town says no, then move to the next biggest and so on. Starting from the top down is much better than going from the bottom up.

Have a Story To Tell

I got the Entrepreneur interview because the editor downloaded and read my ebook. What caught his eyes wasn’t the moneymaking techniques I wrote about. It was my story at the end of the book. Magazines are looking for stories.

Everyone has a story to tell and your story is a lot more interesting than “place the ads in the most visible spots on your blog.” The best place to tell your story in your about page. If you don’t have one, then you better make one. People visit a blog for the writer as much as the information. I visit Shoemoney not just because he tells me how to make money but because he’s an interesting guy as well.

It’s All About The Brand

In order to get tier 1 media coverage, you have to stand out from the 117 million other blogs in the blogsphere. You can’t do that if you don’t have a brand. What makes your blog different from all the other? If you can’t answer that question, then you can forget about getting readers much less getting in a national magazine or major newspaper.

When you have a brand, you have an advantage over the blog next door. Even if the two of you write about the same thing, you will be the one who gets the press because you are a brand name while the other guy is a no name. At a minimum, building a brand means you must have your own domain name and custom blog design. Read my post on how to brand your blog for more information.

You can be the most knowledgeable person in the world on a topic and the media won’t care because you have no brand and no story to tell. Those two items are the foundation on which on great press coverage is built on.


57 thoughts on “How To Get Old World Media Coverage”

  1. Israel says:

    congrats on the coverage. you strike again.

    1. He strikes all the time. A great post as well, thanks John.

    2. He definitely did. Congrats John! I’ll look forward to picking up a copy when it comes out.

      1. Chow always strikes again but so did Nomar, he sold his blog for $5,500 today. I just wrote about it. CashQuest just sold hers(his) the other day also but for $15,000. That’s so awesome.

        Looks like everybody’s winning! 😀 😀

        1. mahdi yusuf says:

          haha that sooo true! 😈

      2. Hey John, people love you so much, do you have a fan club? and I’m only half joking.

    3. Mike says:

      ditto dude! 😎

  2. 4. Hire a PR firm. This takes bucks of course, but if you have the money to spend, expect a return on your investment.

  3. Will says:

    wow I bet that story in the magazine will get you even more readers/subscribers/money. Once you get big you don’t turn back I guess.

  4. Jason says:

    Congrats! Nice score.

  5. Prija says:

    Love this article. 5 stars.. congrats on your success John. This was really helpful and motivating.

  6. Etienne Teo says:

    This is another original piece of art you produced which no one can fake it. damn, you are getting more and more popular. When will you be featured on CNN and BBC? :mrgreen:

  7. Isn’t it amazing how you can become a celebrity online? Will there one day be a show, the lives of the rich and famous internet pusblishers?


    Click for Nick – Make Cash from your House

  8. I agree about going local first – very easy

  9. Moulinneuf says:

    So are you moving in at the spa ?

    http://www.johnchow.com/living-at-the-spa/

    1. John Chow says:

      That won’t be ready until Aug 2008.

      1. Israel says:

        I think the next major goal you should set is to be on Donny Duesch.

  10. MyDeals says:

    Congrats man…when is Hollywood?

    1. Etienne Teo says:

      Is John Going to be acting…haha!

  11. Thanks for the tips. Its easier said then done. If you shoot an email to newspaper 99.99% of the time they would not read it. You already have a brand, your name. For lot others they have to find a way to get it. How? Be creative.

    1. Perhaps that’s the point. If you make a name for yourself in other ways, then old media comes looking for a story…

  12. Some excellent advice there, John. I can only hope to be featured in a fancy magazine like that one day… 😉

    Steve

  13. Missy says:

    Entreprenuer is one of my fave mags, along with Inc. and Fast Company.

    Fast Company features alot of “net moguls” they might come a knockin on your door next.

    Congrats, John. I look forward to seeing/reading the piece on you.

  14. Missy says:

    oops! sorrry for the bold mess-up above.

  15. Ronald Lewis says:

    As someone who’s been fortunate to learn from the likes of Bill Gates, interview some of the world’s greatest personalities and be covered by the Detroit News, TechCrunch, Nashville Business Journal, TMCNet, Boulder County Business Report (Denver), NewTeeVee and other blogs and publications — all without a PR firm, etc. — I’d like to add my two cents:

    1. It never hurts to consider writing your very own press release. Pick a relevant topic about your brand or product and submit it to local, regional and national publications.

    Don’t know how to write a press release? Read those of others. My success with writing my own press releases came with emulating the thousands of others that I read. It worked for me.

    2. Be persistent. Don’t give up when you don’t hear back from people. There are many reasons why people never return phone calls, e-mails, etc. Some editors are extremely busy, while others simply aren’t interested in your pitch (at the moment).

    3. Create relationships. During my freshman year of high school in 1995, I met two Microsoft engineers at an engineering convention. This led to securing Bill Gates’ e-mail alias which led to personal e-mails between myself and Gates over several years. It also created many relationships within Microsoft.

    Relevant relationships within PR can propel your pitch to the top of the pile in some cases. It’s really a combination of timing, luck, mood, etc.

    4. Believe in your pitch. Regardless of what you’re pitching to the media, if you don’t believe in it, no one else will. Taking ownership of your belief in something creates surprising results in attracting publicity. It also helps to have a positive mindset about your pitch.

    Doing this helped me with securing interviews of CEOs at major corporations for my relatively young podcast, creating relationships with major CEOs, etc.

    5. Ignore naysayers. Even if your pitch ultimately fails, it’s better to have tried than done nothing at all. There are “dream stealers” everywhere you turn. Do NOT allow them to deter your mission of achieving publicity for your brand, product, service, etc.

    1. haven’t read such a helpful comment like that in a long time

    2. Mate, ppl don’t return your calls because they DON’T like you. Ppl like you have forced us to create a ‘do not call’ register.

    3. Etienne Teo says:

      That was one of the best comment tip i have heard so far.

  16. Bobby Rio says:

    Congrats on the artice.. i am a fan of the magazine and will be sure to be reading it.

  17. bloggernoob says:

    im a fan of the mag as well. really amazing that you’re gonna be featured. liked what you said about start from the top and work your way down. i couldn’t agree with you more.

  18. Shaun Carter says:

    Congratulations on the feature John!

  19. Congrats John! I look forward to getting that magazine!

    Keep up the great work!

  20. Terrence says:

    Congrats on the article. It should provide you with some great publicity, and make your site an even bigger success. It’s funny how success can lead to even more success.

  21. Congrats John! Excellent PR move! You should consider selling one line links on your site when the mag hits the news stand! The ultimate Link Bait!

    You inspired me to start http://www.notjohnchow.com thanks!

  22. Ivy says:

    Congrats, John! Another milestone under your belt 😉

  23. Great article, congrats on making the Entrepreneur! 🙂

  24. You’ve made very valid points here and are good to keep in mind because these will remain true :
    >Content is king!
    >Everyone loves a good story.
    >If you are able to create brand awareness, you have it made!

  25. Dandruff says:

    Congratulations John. Hope you reach new heights everyday.

  26. subigo says:

    For those of us that have no shot at getting in something as big as Entrepreneur, there’s alway the local news.

    I’ve been able to get local news coverage (tv, radio and newspaper) by submitting a simple press release. http://www.subnixus.net will do it all for you and it’s only $20.

  27. johnCard says:

    hymn, i read all of johns posts from day one, and i don’t remmember any story, other than his lunch and maybe a hiking trip or u know the same old bs. did he make up a story in his ebook?

    1. But his lunch makes a GREAT story; pictorial story at any rate. and you cant deny that John is a brand by himself!

  28. Mike says:

    yeah once you get one, the others start noticing and before you know it, everyone is covering you!

  29. Way to go john, at this rate you will make the cover of Time magazine in no time. I just envy the number of hits this will generate…

  30. Rich Sage says:

    John, I do agree with you –in the end, it’s all about the brand. One must have a way of standing out from the crowd.

  31. My hat’s off to you. You score again with a great blog. Absolutely fantastic advise. Thank you.

  32. Joeychgo says:

    Great advise. No question there. Often times just asking for a story to be written and offering a good angle for a news story will get you published. Dont forget to try publications close to your niche.

  33. darren says:

    John, thanks for this.
    My blog was just picked up by the Vancouver Sun and two months ago by the WestEnder.

    Although I hadn’t read your post until just now, you have some great points…especially leverage!

  34. aop says:

    I single hit on a major TV news program can be better than any other form of advertising.

  35. I’ve read that newspaper coverage doesn’t necessarily translate into more readers/traffic. Many readers of traditional media are usually much older and less technologically savvy to find interest in blogs or other scary computer things. 😕
    -R

  36. David Mackey says:

    Great article John, thanks.

  37. Yes thats right, local are much cheaper also to place ads.

  38. Daniel says:

    It doesn’t hurt that there are tons of lazy journalists out there…

  39. Tell your story in ads is very important factor.

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