How to get Booked on Oprah!Written by Susan Harrow
Most people believe that getting on Oprah will make them a millionaire, their book a bestseller or their business boom. For your career to take-off like last space shuttle, you must prepare to make most of your appearance. Here are some hot tips to help you get invited as a guest on show, rivet your audience on air, and ultimately sell yourself along with your product(s) or book(s). As a media coach and marketing expert, I have helped many people get booked on Oprah, so I know there is a strategy that, if followed, will help anyone increase their chances of getting on show.
Pitch and prepare. Before you actually get booked on Oprah, you need to know how to pitch an idea to show's producers and how to prepare yourself for big day. 1. Tape and watch Oprah. At least a dozen hopefuls call me every year for media coaching or to help them create a marketing plan. The first words out of their mouths are: "I want to be on Oprah." When I ask them if they watch show 90 percent say, "No." Part of preparing for success is becoming familiar with content, format, rhythm and pace of Oprah show.
Your first step is to record two to four weeks of Oprah. Then, sit down in a comfy spot and watch them all at once. This will give you a sense of what's hot on Oprah for next few months. (It does change and go in cycles). Notice which producers (listed on credits at end) are responsible for each particular type of segment. Send a producer information only after you are sure of who you'd like to approach and why. 2. Pitch a hot topic. Never pitch your yourself, your speech, your product or your book. Instead pitch something that's newsworthy now: a pressing national issue, a controversial subject, a problem for which you have solution, a common myth debunked. Propose a topic that is relevant to Winfrey's audience (controversy, relationships, personal triumph, makeovers) then prove you are expert on that topic by telling only information that is relevant to idea you're pitching.
For acting coach Cynthia Brian, speaker and author of "Be Star You Are!" (Celestial Arts), we created a pitch about how she helps teenagers work out their problems by role-playing with them on camera. We proposed a makeover show with before and after footage for parents with difficult teens. Although show idea isn't directly related to her book this is an area of Brian's expertise-and Winfrey has been doing a lot of shows around parent eenage relationships. Think about areas in your personal or professional life where you're an expert and connect that to a provocative theme.
3. Put together a winning press package. Send your book (if you have one) along with a pitch or angle page with two or three different ideas, and a paragraph bio highlighting your expertise as it pertains to your pitches. Be as brief as possible. You must be able to sell your idea in one page. Remember Oprah producers get hundreds of packages every day. If possible include a two-to-four-minute video of you on other talk shows or doing a presentation to a group. If your demo video includes talk show clips, cue it up to those segments. If not, cue your video up to a short segment that shows you speaking succinctly so producers can see that you're a viable guest.
4. Explore show's Web site. Winfrey's Web site, http://www.Oprah.com, has as much information as you will ever need to get on show. There, you can review her entire wish list of subjects. She even makes it easy for you with a link called, "Be on show." With touch of a key you can send an e-mail that will reach her producers instantly.
Make your topic relevant in a short paragraph to receive a quick response. Let producers know that you'd be glad to hop a red-eye at a moment's notice to be a part of their show, and you increase your chances of being invited.
5. Create 6 dynamic sound bites. Mark Twain defines a sound bite as "a minimum of sound to a maximum of sense." Sound bites or talking points, are essential messages you want to convey. Talk out loud most important ideas, concepts, and points of your topic as they relate to idea you are pitching.
Ask yourself, "What do I want my audience to remember?" Carla Winter, niece of Sol Wurtzel who ran Fox Film (20th Century Fox) with founder William Fox described success of studio this way: "For Fox Film it was an excellent director, a good story and a box office star." In her book, The Myth of Perfect Mother (Contemporary Books), Jane Swigart says, "Being a mother is like asking half population to do brain surgery without sending them to medical school."
Can media coverage build an online business? You bet it can!Written by David Leonhardt
As someone with expertise in media relations, I've been asked if media coverage and publicity can build an online business. The real question is whether what happens offline really matters online. And answer is unquestionably, "Yes!"
Here are ten reasons why media coverage can help your online business grow:
1. Every one of us, even if we spend four to eight hours a day in front of a computer screen in our underwear, still lives in real world. Our opinions, desires, priorities, and decisions are heavily influenced by television, radio, books, magazines, and newspapers. Every business, online or offline, can benefit from positive media exposure.
2. Almost no business can afford to be absent from Internet these days; even a local real estate agent gains a competitive edge from having a web site. By same token, an online business gains a strong advantage by having an offline presence. Online and offline marketing of all types support each other.
3. Search engines won't bring most web site owners business. I just did a Google search for "books", and found about 85.2 million entries. Ninety-five percent of searchers will likely click on first two (Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com), most of others will never get to second page of searches. This means that 85,199,990 web site book sellers cannot rely on search engines. How about searching for word bookstore? Still almost seven million entries, and guess who top two are?
4. You can't cheat search engines. Try a search for books and carpentry. The odds are much better, with only 106,000 entries. That still means 105,990 web site book sellers will rarely be found. How about books and promotion? Almost two million entries. If a million carpentry book sellers are reading this article, five are smiling. The rest will only smile with an offline presence, such as a great article in their local newspaper or a call-in show on a radio station half way across world.
5. The media can create interest in your product or service if they feature you as part of an interesting story. Online or offline, that's what media coverage does. A good story is gold.
6. The media is just starting now to wake up to exciting things happening online. Timing is everything and this is time.
7. The media are now working increasingly online. The online and offline worlds are converging more than ever before. Articles that appear in local papers, industry magazines and even commentary on radio broadcasts find themselves on Internet. That can often mean powerful links to your web site. Publicity offline means promotion online.