Client Kudos: How a Yoga Teacher is Making Mental Health Less Taboo

Click image to read article about Mandy GivenMandy Given has one of those stories.

Heart-wrenching. Courageous. Moving. Inspirational.


It’s no accident the fates brought us together.

Mandy is a mom. She’s a business owner. And she’s a fearless messenger.

When we met in the fall, she suspected that her story needed to be tightened up & positioned strategically. She also knew she wanted a more professional sounding & looking website.

As we worked together, it became clear that in addition to a powerful story that would connect to potential clients, she had a message that would benefit the 40 million Americans who suffer from anxiety disorders.

That is a story worth pitching to the press, & Mandy was game.

Earlier this year, Mandy landed placements with her local paper & the local CBS radio affiliate in Boston, the country’s 8th largest media market (click the links to read the article & hear the spot). And she’s just getting started.

Here’s why it worked, & how you can do this too.

  • Clarity around message & story. Mandy came to me with her story so I could help her turn it into its most concise & compelling version. From there, we shaped & re-purposed it for different channels including her website & media pitches.
  • Media connections. I love it when clients like Mandy already have connections with journalists, That’s half the battle because if a journalist already knows, trusts & likes you AND you have a great pitch, getting placed happens fast & easy. You don’t need to have existing connections or relationships to get publicity. If you want more tips on how to start making your own connections check out my interview on The Carrie Roldan Show.
  • Craft a media-worthy pitch. Pitching the media is part art, part psychology. There are plenty of free resources on my blog (like this one & this one) & others (check out The Publicity Hound — better than a PR degree!) to help you pull your own pitch together. Or you can just hire someone & be done with it.  Here’s the email pitch I wrote for Mandy’s CBS contact — in less than an hour.

What every parent should know about how to help a child with anxiety

Hi <first name>,I’m Mandy Given and I’m the owner of Govinda Yoga Play, where I help children in grades 4-12 throughout Greater Boston & North Shore better cope with the stress of these uncertain times and the daily dilemmas of modern society. I’ve listened to your show and I believe I’d be a great guest for your audience.

Proposed Topic: What every parent should know about how to help a child with anxiety

Did you know that anxiety affects 25% of US children ages 13-18 (SOURCE: National Institute of Mental Health)? At the same time, anxiety is highly treatable yet only 20 percent of children suffering with anxiety receive treatment. Parents of children with anxiety can help ease their child’s worries, and it doesn’t always have to be with the use of powerful prescription drugs.

As a guest on your show, I propose discussing the following points:

  • How families can experience more peace & happiness in spite of these turbulent times
  • Simple, drug-free techniques anyone can use to change our chemical response to stress
  • How to avoid the dangers of your child, you or any loved one being misdiagnosed & over-medicated from the perspective of a parent with anxiety

Many of your listeners may struggle with anxiety or have a child or loved who struggles with it. They may not know that easy-to-learn techniques and alternative solutions to pharmaceuticals are available.

I’ve recently been interviewed by my local newspaper (Marblehead Reporter) and my goal is to deliver an informative interview for your audience. I’d be happy to provide you with sample interview questions at your request, as well as come into the studio should you decide to do a segment on this timely topic.

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Warm regards,

Mandy Given


(I’ll break down this pitch with footnotes in another post but in the meantime study, rob & duplicate this format for your own topic & pitch. Or book a consult with me if you want me to take care of it for you.)

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare. For goodness sake, DO NOT wing an interview with the press. Figure out your talking points & practice. Mandy & I sculpted the most meaningful & succinct points, then hopped on the phone to review & mock interview. If you’ve never done a media interview and you plan to make media relations a key branding & marketing strategy, get media training.
  • Re-purpose your media placements. It’s exciting to be in the press. High-five yourself. Not many people have the balls, tenacity or organization to reach out to the media. Share your news! Your co-workers, clients, partners, friends & family will be excited for you. Link to your press from your website. Add an “As Featured In” section to your homepage & include the logo of the media outlet. Post it on your Facebook timeline & business page. Print out the actual article, blow it up to poster size, laminate it & hang it on your office wall. Go for it, you deserve to toot your own horn.

So if you’ve got a newsworthy story to tell . . . I challenge you to reach out to the media.

If you need help pulling together a PR strategy & concise, compelling press materials, book a complimentary consultation so we can discuss what’s possible for you!

Media Magnet Monday: Media release or media pitch?

You’ve got your PR plan and your press kit, now it’s time to start reaching out to the media. First build a list of media contacts who write about the topics relevant to you and your audience. Then, focus on building relationships with those media contacts.


Members of the media want sources, experts and news stories that are interesting and provide value to their audience. They are eager to befriend anyone who can make their job easier so offer up solid story ideas, resources, photos, videos, infographics, sources (other than yourself), news tips and more, instead of providing relentless self-promotion.

A good adage for approaching the media? You are here to help them. Because when you help them, they’ll be more likely to help you. Once you’ve got that concept down, you can use a variety of tactics to reach them. Here are two:

Media Release

You can use a media release (aka press release or news release) to pitch a potential story idea to the media. It’s written in a format similar to a news article and includes a headline, dateline, pertinent facts, a quote (usually) and your contact information. Thanks to the digital age, media releases are also used as a tool to reach your audience online. When do you write and send a media release? When you:

  • Know how to write in proper media release style and format (or you work with someone who does)
  • Have breaking news to announce
  • Want to reach customers and clients online
  • Work with outlets such as local newspapers or trade publications who may not have the staff to cover your news but are willing to print it

Media Pitch

A media pitch is also used to a pitch a potential story idea to the media. You can pitch by email, snail mail or phone, depending on the media contact’s preference and/or urgency of your story. A media pitch is more creative, succinct and persuasive than a media release. While a media release provides details about your news, a media pitch explains why a particular media contact should cover your story. Media pitches and releases can be used separately or together (as long as they’re relevant to each other, of course). When should you pitch the media? When you:

  • Want to secure media interviews
  • Want to launch or demonstrate a product or service
  • Want to react to a relevant news topic because you have an opposing opinion or additional information
  • Don’t know how to write a press release and can’t hire someone to write one for you

Check back next week for the next installment of Media Magnet Monday when we discuss using events to attract media attention.

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