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December 22, 2008

Be the News, not the Ads

If you are the ads on the side of the page you attract some attention, of some people, sometimes.

If you are the subject of the article they are reading, then your brand is being piped directly into their brain.

There are three ways for you to become the news.

1) Be interviewed by somebody else who writes or produces news in your area, or

2) Write it yourself, or

3) Buy it

Be Interviewed

This is the gold standard. Being interviewed on a radio station, by a magazine, or by a blogger who has a large readership of people who are likely to be interested in what you are saying.

It is a referral from a trusted source.

Your pitch needs to highlight you as an obvious expert in your area. It needs to be topical, and it needs to be newsworthy.

For example, I am soon returning to Australia where I will be the manager of a national reliability consulting division there. Already I have lined up three interviews with national media outlets.

One is a mining magazine which I know is read by leaders in the mining industry, another is a local radio show for an industrial area, and the third is a publication that focuses on investing in stocks of commodity companies.

My pitch for each of them is on thriving not surviving, and I have positioned my story to tell about value and not costs. “Cut waste not costs” is the strap-line for two of these interviews.

Everybody else is talking about cutting costs, everyone else is talking about price not value, and nobody else is being interviewed by these three publications.

Pitch now, pitch often, and pitch well. News coverage paints you as an expert in your area. So much of an expert that their favorite magazine of radio program was willing to speak to you.

Write the news

I write a column for a publication called Plant Services. It is an online column, and I write about issues related to making change in large asset-intensive companies.

That’s my area, and the column – and the publication, are both well read.

For many people, I have become intertwined with the news in that area. They read, they return, and all the time my own brand is increasing in strength.

I am currently pitching for several other columns related to consulting and business.

This blog is another example of my attempt to “be the news”. People read it, they come back, they tell others – and all along the sites’ brand is growing.

One last way to write the news is to submit articles for publication in major web magazines or print journals. I used to do this a lot and I can vouch for it as a means of getting one time exposure to large readerships. It was very useful.

Today, I don’t rely on it too much. Why? First, I have my own column now. And second, I am not too sure how relevant it still is.

News and the way we access news, is changing a lot these days. And I for one, am starting to think that articles, unless they are for heavyweight publications, don’t achieve the same value they used to.

Buy it!

The third area is still a little bit controversial, although I cannot understand why.

It involves purchasing reviews by high traffic bloggers through sites such as and

The essence of this is that you want to be reviewed by bloggers with a high repeat readership.

Why? Because obviously they are trusted to deliver information to their readers. And if they give you an overall positive review then they will also act like a referral from a trusted source.

If they have a high readership, then it is clear that they are trusted. And if they are trusted they are more likely to give you an honest and objective review.

And that is what you want. people can smell insincerity, we are trained to recognize it from birth. So you want to be reviewed by ethical people, in an objective fashion. Period.

Great consultants are not remembered for the stories that they tell, they are remembered for the stories that others tell about them.

Be the news, not the ads.

Be the subject, not the distraction.

Be worth talking about.