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!

One Simple Oversight that Keeps You Begging for Clients

What is one simple oversight that keeps purpose-driven coaches, entrepreneurs, speakers and authors at any level begging for visibility and clients?

They don’t use PUBLICITY.

And when I say publicity I don’t mean getting attention for the sake of attention. I’m not talking about publicity stunts, I’m talking about working with publications, TV, radio and online media to provide value to their audience while helping you achieve a particular business objective . . . say publicizing your book, event, research or product launch.

Why is publicity so important for getting your name out there and raising brand awareness? Because publicity:

  1. Builds your credibility. When someone sees a story about what you have to offer and how it solves a problem for them, they trust you because they know that a reporter or producer had to vet you as a credible source in the first. It’s that objective third-party endorsement.
  2. Increases your market value. People are willing to pay more for what you have when they see you in the press.
  3. Can go viral. That’s something you’ll never get with advertising. You pay for space and the only way that ad multiplies is if you buy more space. One good media placement however has the potential to snowball into more free publicity.

So why don’t more entrepreneurs use publicity to get massive exposure for their message? There’s some commonly held myths and misconceptions that hold people back but personally I think it really all boils down to this . . . they just don’t know how to work with the media. That’s why I hopped on The Carrie Roldan Show recently to walk her through a crash course in getting some press for her new book Run Yourself Happy.

Watch this video now to see me coach Carrie in this unscripted, on the spot interview.

7 ways to make your press release score, not bore

Let’s say you’re launching a new program or service and you want to write a press release that will grab the attention of your customers and the media. Here’s what you DO NOT want to do:

XYZ Company announced the today the release of its new program blah, blah, blah.

Ho-hum press releases start this way, and that’s why most of them end up in the virtual trash bin. Here are 7 tips that will help you score business with your press release:

1. Make it about them, not you
You want to spread the word, generate leads, increase sales, raise awareness, etc. Publicity is a wonderful way to accomplish those goals but getting it is easier said than done.

That’s because reporters don’t care about helping you reach your goals or sell your products or services.  They want a story that’s interesting and provides value to their audience and they are eager to befriend anyone who can make their job easier. It’s the same with customers. They want to know what challenge you can help them solve. What pain point can you eliminate for them?

So before you even write your press release, ask yourself:
Is this information truly newsworthy?
Why would people care about this?

2. Get the point, NOW
What is the most important and exciting thing you have to say? Don’t waste anytime saying it! Put it in a concise and compelling headline, then lead the release with relevant facts (making sure to address the who, what, when, where, why & how). Forget about the hype. You can save that for your sales copy.

3. Back it Up
Use facts, figures and experts to back up your message. Be thorough enough to make your case in a few paragraphs or less, and opt for plain English over jargon.

4. Make it Human
Provide real examples of how you have affected someone else’s life. Use quotes, anecdotes and photos to add color, movement and human interest to your news.

5. Keep it Brief
How long is your draft press release? Two pages is reasonable, one page is best. Once you’ve got the first draft written, take a break. When you revisit the release, look for redundancies, eliminate promotional words or phrases and find opportunities to improve brevity.

6. Optimize
An entire industry exists on search engine optimization, the mysterious art of ranking high in unpaid or natural search results. An optimized news release can translate into additional press and increased traffic to your website. A basic understanding of keywords can help improve the online visibility of your press release (stay tuned for tips on optimizing your press release).

7. Always Get a Second Opinion
Get a professional proofreader to review your final draft for typos, proper grammar and spelling (do not rely on spell check), syntax, format, flow and AP style.


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