When planning your events or putting together your PR Plan of Action, have you ever had an amazing ‘dream’ name that you would like to be your speaker or your target journalist?
The only problem – you just haven’t had the confidence or chutzpah to approach them?
I am known as The Ultimate Door Opener as I teach people how to open doors to long sought-after contacts and how to get themselves into the press, so I would like to share with you my 9 steps for becoming The Ultimate Door Opener for your next event!
But firstly, I would like to show you how recently I had to practise what I preach as I was having a problem with a big organisation’s customer services.
I was having some big techie issues with a very large organisation that does not have phone support. This organisation has been highly recommended to me by many people so I decided to take the plunge and use it, despite the lack of phone numbers.
Then it happened that I needed to speak to them urgently…I emailed their support daily. Zero response.
I kept on emailing thinking I would “break” them but I got no reply.
Then I decided to go all out and use my secret weapon, LinkedIn.
I Googled the company’s marketing and communications manager and the business development manager and in so doing quite a few new contacts in the organisation popped up in LinkedIn.
So I sent all of these people (in this very hard to reach company) a personalised LinkedIn contact request.
Luckily one person accepted that very day. I took the bull by the horns and thanked her kindly for accepting me and then I wrote about my experience.
The next day: boom! My issue was resolved.
The even better news? This doesn’t only apply to customer services issues but also when trying to contact someone no matter how high up or unattainable they appear to be.
Try it! Use the back door to open the front door.
First and foremost, make sure you have the right tools in your armoury…LinkedIn, Google, Twitter, phone. Got them? Good, let’s move onto the 9 steps.
Let’s say I’d love Marie Forleo to be my headline speaker at my next online event which is aimed at kick-ass business owners becoming superstar self-promoters. Here is what I would do:
Step 1. I go to Google and search up her name, Marie Forleo.
Step 2. I take note of all of her social media accounts. She is big on YouTube, with each video receiving an average of 45,000 views. So yes, she is a hot ticket.
Step 3. I watch a few of her videos to get re-inspired by her and to learn the kind of language she talks (so I add that to my armoury for when I am ready to pitch to her).
Step 4. I pop over to LinkedIn to see if we share any connections in common…but this example shows up that she doesn’t seem to run a LinkedIn account, I guess she is too busy with Marie TV – however, I do get value from looking at her non-profile as on the right hand side in the ‘people have also viewed’ there is a healthy list of similar people who I will add into my Facebook ‘Interests’ Ads document for use later when I am setting up ad campaigns. , these are people like Ali Brown, Gabrielle Berstein et al.
Step 5. LinkedIn does hand out one interesting contact – a ‘Customer Happiness Specialist at Marie Forleo International’ so that gives me an idea…let’s pop back over to Google and do a quick search.
Step 6. Lovely, just what I was after, the name of the LinkedIn member I was meant to have upgraded to find out, plus another one! Bonus!
Step 7. So back I go to LinkedIn and plug in Mandy Shunnarah and see another bonus – on the right hand side in the ‘people also viewed’ section I see: Tana Parrot, Director of Operations at Marie Forleo International. It’s getting exciting now! From zero contacts now to 3 in a few short clicks.
Step 8. I click on Tana’s profile and discover we have 3 connections in common which is a great starting point.
I have committed a LinkedIn sin here by adding her as a ‘friend’ but as I am very keen for an intro, it’s a risk I have to take!
Step 9. Next step is to use the very old fashioned piece of equipment called a telephone. I tend to have more door opening successes when smiling and dialling.
In fact a journalist recently told me that she rarely takes calls and has a success rate of getting rid of callers of less than 30 seconds, but I managed to get past the dreaded 30 seconds and actually have a decent conversation with her, so told me that she had put me in her ‘Respect! Yes, I will speak to her’ list. Kudos!
Whilst I am waiting for the two contacts to accept me on LinkedIn (this will be good as usually their phone numbers will appear when they are contacts) I have done some further clicking and discovered Mandy’s book blog, which looks really interesting, and in the contact she has given out her email, so I can write her a short note complimenting her on her blog and relating it to a book she has recently reviewed which resonated with me, then I will slip in the contact with Marie.
This may seem like a very long winded way to go about contacting a site that gives out its email address but given that Marie Forleo has over 370,000 subscribers, to go the non-conventional way is always my way to opening up doors.
Now these are steps I could and would take if I really did want to get Marie on an interview either via Skype or Google Hangouts or even to meet up with her when she is next in the UK but the most important thing you must take into account when you want to open doors is that you must offer value.
It’s not take-take-take, it’s give-give-borrow.
By that I mean establish a rapport with your ‘target’, follow and engage them on Twitter, LinkedIn and any other platform they are big on, then you can learn their language ie how they communicate to the outside world.
This may seem at first a one way rapport but the next step is to start to offer them value – you may have a contact you could introduce them to – the more you get the know them, the more you will find a way to help them.
Once you have made contact, keep up the good friendly work and then they will see you as a help, not a hindrance, and finally when the time is right you will be able to do your pitch, using the same kind of language that they speak in.
Here’s a final bonus to leave you with too.
A fabulous free resource that has 1000’s of company phone numbers is https://connect.data.com/ . It sadly didn’t have Marie Forleo International’s tel no but it has a vast variety of leading businesses listed and you can search for people via their job role.
Happy hunting in your quest to land that dream article!
Join my next online PR workshop. Click here to register!