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Candidates' style versus substance: a media trainers' scorecard

Humanize Your On-Air Appearance

Getting Your Message Across

Using Publicity as a Creative Marketing Tool

The Art of Persuasive Pitching

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Harvey Mackay

SWIM WITH THE SHARKS WITHOUT BEING EATEN ALIVE is regarded as one of the best-promoted books in U.S. history. Mr. Mackay approached me during an early recruitment phase as he searched for a publicist/promoter to represent him in the promotion of his new (and first) forthcoming book, "Swim With The Sharks." I explained to him that as a first time unknown author, he would need a high-impact campaign that would emphasize creative options beyond the conventional approaches normal for a book tour.

During phase one of the campaign, we set out to establish credibility for Mr. Mackay within the business community by doing such things as helping to write and place a by-lined story by him with "Harvard Business Review," a story entitled "How To Humanize Your Selling Strategy." We also knew that though the book had been primarily written as a business book, we were interested in generating as much appeal as possible among the mainstream public as well. In order to do this, we needed to package, position and select portions of the book in a way that would focus on "life lessons for everyone," not just the business community. And...we realized that the beginning of the campaign needed to focus on print publicity, due to my firm belief that broadcast often follows print. For this reason we worked with lead-time magazines six months or more in advance of publication date. We also needed to approach each of these magazines with a unique and tailored approach reflecting their different niches and readerships.

As publication time came around, a full-page story in Newsweek Magazine emerged, a major feature story in Inc., a national "A-wire" story on the Associated Press, along with dozens of other magazines.

In addition, I knew that spouses often purchase self-help business books for their working husbands (or wives), and we developed a number of little feature stories that were carried as suburban mats with hundreds of weekly newspapers across the country.

As we proceeded to book Mr. Mackay on a 40-city media tour, many other major newspapers carried major feature stories on him and the book. Ultimately, the snowball effect of all this publicity led to appearances on "Oprah" and "Larry King Live."

This was the perfect merger of a great, dynamic and brilliant author committed to his book, with a highly committed, creative and energized promotional team.