It’s a new year. Be a noise maker!

Here’s why your competitor’s invention got aired on TV, and yours wasn’t

Note that often the story is not about the product itself, but the product as it fits into a relevant story.


Have you ever wondered why your competitor’s invention or product was on the local morning show and yours wasn’t? Why is this business booming and yours not?

Have you ever opened a magazine and seen a two-page profile (with a photo!) On someone in your industry you’ve never heard of?

Did you say to yourself, “Their product is not even as good as mine!” or “How do they get this kind attention?”

The reason has nothing to do with the quality of your product. It probably has nothing to do with the quality of their product.

This is how you say it

Here’s the deal: the one with the loudest voice wins.

Having launched thousands of products over the past 30 years, I am here to say that is 100% true. I’ve worked with some of the best in their industry, but it’s the company that takes the time to tell its stories to the growing world.

I recently leafed through a catalog at a friend’s house. I saw a leather travel bag that caught my eye. I came home to look for it online, but I could find it.

While there have been a lot of leather bags in the first five pages of Google, none were the ones I saw in this catalog. When I returned to this house, I went straight to her and bought the bag for a Christmas present.

The company was small, Moore & Giles, Inc. – a name I had never heard before. If he had never sent this catalog, I would never have made this purchase.

Granted, it would have been ideal if the company had bought a pay-per-click google to find it more easily, but it produced a nice catalog that resulted in a sale of $ 650.

As far as I know, the Moore & Giles leather duffel bag is no better than the next one. But I really liked it. I saw it as part of a catalog that I liked and bought it.

The local morning TV show, magazines, .com ezines, newspapers, radio shows, and magazines are actually looking for stories. They need products to review and put in gift guides.

It’s entirely possible that you can pick up the phone right now, call a local TV station, and get reports on your product.

The reason your competitor made the press sit down and take note is that it made more noise than you. Moore & Giles spread the word by producing and distributing a particularly attractive catalog.

How to get there

Moore & Giles could call a TV station and suggest that its CEO be interviewed to give a local list of cool holiday gift suggestions. The company is made up of leather specialists, so they might suggest a story on how to buy sustainably farmed leather.

The company also makes luggage, so it may suggest a story on how to pack for a vacation trip with no airline fees, or how to pack for a summer honeymoon at weddings.

A few tips:

  • Identify the TV program you want to report on your product. Watch it everyday.
    Look for segments of the show that deal with topics that you think your product might fit into.
    For example, if your product is something a traveler appeals to, you may note that Peter Greenberg does a regular segment called “The Travel Detective” on CBS News. It brings back discoveries that make travel easier, more interesting, less greasy or less expensive.

As you watch the show, note that the story is set against the backdrop of a story, trend, or topic. The products Peter talks about are mentioned to the extent that they relate to this story.

Note that often the story is not about the product itself, but the product as it fits into a relevant story.

Think about your product. who are your clients? What specific benefit does your product give them? What “pain” does your product solve for your customer?

  • Using the travel example, think of a context that your product might fit into, such as the holiday season, college spring break, or winter break.
  • Now write a one-paragraph pitch about your product in the context of a topic.
  • Start with a concise statement or question in the form of a headline. This spoon feeds a reporter with a story idea.

Strong example

Here’s a fun pitch I wrote that will give you an example of the format I’m talking about:

They are hot. They are smart. They can tell the difference between an Austrian or a Washington Riesling with a snort. They are all under 35 years old.

On May 22 in Culver City, Wine & Spirits magazine will introduce 10 of the city’s brightest young wine experts to a group of millennial wine lovers.

The “Coachella of Wine Events”, the ultra-trendy Ethos project will turn a loungey atmosphere while “Hot Picks” wines from the magazine from around the world will be presented. There will even be a taco truck. Have we whetted your appetite to attend or present?

Once you have something fun and punchy like above, call the producer of the local TV show and leave the first few lines of your presentation on voicemail with your name and phone number. Send the pitch by email.

Be brief. (No one has time to read the Constitution.)

The idea is to grab someone’s attention. You can give all the information later.

About Cedric Lloyd

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