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!

Want press coverage? Think like a journalist, not a coach or consultant

photo by Jürg Vollmer

photo by Jürg Vollmer

When I was reporter, the pressure was always on to find a great story. I also had my typical beats, which were town news and schools. I had to check out the police and fire reports. I had to cover town council and school committee meetings. And I had to turn in stories every day. On top of that, we were expected to write a more significant news piece each week and cover breaking news. I had daily meetings with my section editor, weekly meetings with the big editors and nightly run-ins with the copy editors.

So I know first-hand that the media works long and erratic hours, their resources are slim and the pressure is high. If you’re a coach or consultant who wants to get the media’s attention, here are some insider tips that will get you mileage with the media.

Be respectful of their time.
Figure out their deadline and DO NOT call them then. Reporters will actually pick up the phone during this time because they are waiting for sources to get back them. They do not want to hear a new pitch. Contact them mid-morning or mid-day when there’s more of a chance someone will take your call or see your email and be receptive to it.

Be brief.
When I was pitching TV producers, a lot of times I wouldn’t even tell them my name. I would simply say “Hi, I have an idea for your money segment” or whatever it was and then I’d go into my pitch . . . which was usually about a sentence or two. If they like your idea, trust me, they’ll ask for more details.

Be ready.

You want to know your pitch and message forward and backward … and you want to be brief to get the media’s attention. You also want to be prepared ahead of time so that when they ask for more details, it’s at your fingertips. This is where your press materials come in handy. Have important facts in front of you. Be ready to share a fact sheet, press release, media advisory or FAQs with the media if they ask for it. If you can, offer to connect them with a client or another source. If you have images and video (they call it b-roll), they can use to enhance the story, let them know. Overnight a copy of your book if you have one. You might be surprised just how much you can drive the story when you are prepared.

If you’re unsure of how to approach the media or you’ve been disappointed with the results, try thinking like the media and let me know what happens. Or if you’ve got an urgent message you need to get out to the world NOW, click here and let’s talk about what it’s going to turn you into a media star.

If you could only pick one show, publication or blog to be featured in, what would it be? Have you ever pitched that outlet? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments :).


Publicity for coaches: How to up your credibility & visibility

brand (5)If you’re a coach or expert who has thought about working with print, broadcast or online media to help you get your story and message out in a bigger way, or you’ve dabbled with PR but felt like a fish out of water, I talk about how purpose-driven entrepreneurs can approach the media like a pro in my recent interview for The Business Girlfriends Show with my friends and colleagues Jeannie Spiro and Kerry Swetmon.

Jeannie and Kerry’s Business Girlfriends podcast is for women entrepreneurs (and those in the making) who are growing a business online. We had a great time talking about how you can gain more credibility and visibility for your business using publicity strategies.

Click here to listen in and make sure to subscribe to The Business Girlfriends Show where you’ll be inspired by other women and their journey to entrepreneurship.

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.

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