Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I just finished listening to a telephone/Internet seminar given by public relations specialist Steve Harrison, “How to Become a Guest on National TV.” To some degree an infomercial, it was filled with much useful information.

One of Harrison’s goals was to recruit nine more students for his three-day National Publicity Summit to be held in New York City, where 100 students would be interacting with a similar number of communications professionals, primarily producers and bookers.

Harrison noted that publicity is better than advertising. First, it’s free. Secondly, it gives you more credibility. And third, it multiplies: appearing in one venue often leads to appearing in others.

There are six ways that publicity could put more money into your pocket. It can create more orders, more buzz, get you past various gatekeepers, increase the fees others would be willing to pay you, differentiate you from your competition, and increase your marketing effectiveness.

Harrison gave the tele-seminar with the help of four producers, one from the Rachel Ray program another from Wendy Williams, and two others. They all agreed that your first step is to watch one or more days of the show on which you hope to get booked. Next, you must steer your pitch to the format and topics of interest of the show. You must find out to whom to make the pitch, and when you do, spell that person’s name right and identify that person correctly by title. You may need to pitch for a particular segment of the show. At best, you would have a clever idea that would be both informative and interesting, perhaps even fun, with some idea about the “hook” that can be used to promote it.

When you do identify the right person to contact, keep your e-mail to a paragraph or two and a link, making sure that it is timely. If you’re going to leave a voicemail message, make it a short message, a paragraph or two equivalent, with the phone number on which to call you back. Although you are almost certainly interested in promoting a book or product, your pitch idea has got to go beyond that. Especially important for television are visuals, where you stand up and do something, or show a video in which something is occurring, rather than just being another static “talking head.”

Some examples of successful guests included Dr. Gadget, who demonstrated/investigated commercial products while in a doctor’s outfit; Dave Barrow, “the Memory Guy”, who did some memory stunts and showed a great deal of enthusiasm; a woman private detective, who emphasized the importance of checking on your nanny. You’ve got to know the audience, and you’ve got to have an outgoing personality on camera.

Producers get hundreds of pitches per day in their e-mail inboxes, as well as numerous telephone calls, and they are often busy during that same day making sure that the program that they produce will go off without a hitch. Get to the point quickly.

Harrison gave several case studies of individuals who attended his Publicity Summit program: Barry Spilchuk was interviewed on the Fox News Channel, morphing his “Let’s Talk” relationship program into “what to say before you say goodbye” to troops going overseas at that time. In other words, he showed how you could solve a problem.

Lisa and Ron Beres of used as their hook “is your home killing you?” They appeared on national TV with a program segment that showed them going to a volunteer’s home and testing the water, line voltages, and indoor air quality, and then discussing the degree to which what they found represented hazardous conditions. They got onto several national TV programs and dozens of radio programs, using much the same approach.

Another one of Harrison’s students was a dream interpreter who got on to “The View.” She appeared near Halloween and discussed not only regular dreams, but also nightmares. She knew how to speak in sound bites, with a set of talking points.

The fourth Harrison student, psych expert Ish Major, a medical doctor, had written a book called Little White Whys. When he found the right hook, “decoding the language of men,” he got on the “Today Show,” several other national shows, and a lot of local shows. Note the similarity to the theme of John Gray’s Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus, another success partially due to Harrison‘s training programs.

The final example was from airline Captain Mary Getline, author of The World at My Feet, which she self-published. Using what she learned from Harrison’s program, she got scores of interviews and a large advance for a second book, this one published by a conventional publisher. One of her hooks was the question of turbulence. More generally, she found success with “10 things you wish you could ask an airline pilot.” She ended up with a regular weekly column for USA Today. Still a full-time airline pilot, she has had to turn down some offers to speak, even at $20,000 per speech. She maintains that Harrison’s publicity summit was the best investment she ever made.



Harrison pointed out the importance of face-to-face contact, which one would get by attending his three-day National Publicity Summit, and those who have more interest in possibly attending this should go to They offer a money-back guarantee for the program.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


This Newman is Bruce Newman, not Paul Newman, and his special sauce for social media is: the three-minute webinar. On the Ides of March this year, I listened to a stimulating talk given by Bruce Newman, president of, the company that specializes in helping you make short videos that focus your message for your potential customers.

Newman said that studies indicate often you have only 5 seconds to catch the favorable attention of those visiting your website.

A three-minute web video, a short webinar, can be added to your website to give visitors your message and your call to action.

Your 3-min. video represents your company, tells what you do, and brands you as an expert. Remember that it must also tell the customers the benefits; what’s in it for them.

The process of making such a video requires the company to focus more clearly on itself and its mission and ON how to target, “laser target,” the message to its customer niche.

I found particularly interesting a test that was done using short, four-line advertisements through Google. The first version of the four-line advertisement had as its opening a description of the product followed by the benefits, followed by the call to action and contact information. By putting the benefits before the description, the advertisers achieved three times as many responses to the same text ad.

Bruce Newman’s talk was given at the Orange County [NY] Business Accelerator on March 15, 2011, to almost two dozen attendees, who were shown an example of a 3-min. video, this one done for Will Rodman’s “Letters to Daddy” organization, 4e Productions. The video helped explain to potential supporters how Will Rodman’s organization’s activities will help reduce bullying in schools.

Another Accelerator member, Kay Rubacek, who heads, described how the three-minute video Newman made for her organization helped explain to potential customers the benefits of her web design company.

Newman described his seven-step procedure for working with clients in developing such short videos: a questionnaire, followed by a 30-min. phone call, development of the script, a confirmation meeting, recording, reviewing, and finalizing. Although the total package usually costs $2500, Newman was offering it for a limited time for $1500 to Orange County Business Accelerator members, with a free website evaluation and social media marketing analysis.

Those who are interested in more information about Bruce Newman’s organization can contact Newman at 845-228-1301. You can e-mail him at

Those interested in joining the Orange County Business Accelerator can contact that organization through

Sunday, March 4, 2012


An interracial couple is forced apart but reunite twenty years later to handle her increasing disability due to multiple sclerosis. Who will make this film? Write .

The power of love and the value of human life, even when disabled, would be the themes. A beautiful young Asian American actress would play Tina Han Su, falling in love at Cornell University with a witty young Caucasian, Douglas Winslow Cooper. They meet in a Chinese language class, quickly go from friends to lovers, spend eighteen months together whenever possible, then separate when he graduates. Too young, unwilling to oppose their parents and society at large, they decide not to marry each other, but they never forget.

Tina has a career, marriage, children, under the thumb of a dominating Chinese American husband. Birth of her second son induces a temporary partial paralysis, diagnosed as due to multiple sclerosis, an incurable auto-immune disorder, often leading to paraplegia, quadriplegia, sometimes premature death.

Doug has a career as a scientist, a marriage and a divorce, when he finds his rich American wife has had an affair with her flying instructor. Dating afterwards highlights the inadequacies of these women in comparison with Tina, whom he has never forgotten.

On a business trip through Chicago, where she lives, he calls her, tells her he still loves her. She replies that she still loves him, “Nothing has changed for me in twenty years.” She tells him about her MS, having minimal symptoms then, but quite possibly disabling in the future. Doug ponders this, then asks her to marry him, and she replies, “Yes, yes, yes.”

Tina’s divorce estranges her from her elder son, Ted, nine at the time. The younger son, Phil, almost two, comes with her.

Tina and Doug marry, with parental blessing. Ten years of suburban living go pleasantly: Phil grows up; Ted reconciles with his mother; Doug and Tina’s love deepens.

Tina’s MS symptoms increase. Doug accepts an early retirement package from IBM to ensure medical coverage. Breast cancer and paraplegia due to MS strike Tina in the tenth year. They move to an upper-middle-class town in New Jersey and face a new set of circumstances. When Phil, smart, popular and athletic, graduates from high school and goes off to college, Tina and Doug move to the exurbs, a lovely country home.

Four years later, Tina nearly dies from an MS attack, ending up quadriplegic, ventilator-dependent, fed through a gastric tube. This has continued through eight years of critical nursing care at home, surprising medical experts, whose expectations were that she would live for months, but not years, after the near-fatal attack.

Doug and Tina remain in love, their motto: “together forever.”

Their book, Ting and I, rockets to the top of the best-seller lists [this is the only fictional part].