Listen to The New Rules of Marketing & PR
Transcript from show...
Denise Wakeman: Hi, this is Denise Wakeman of the Blog Squad.
Patsi Krakoff: And this is Patsi Krakoff.
Denise: And you're listening to "Blogging and Beyond," the show about how to leverage the Internet to attract, sell and profit. For the next 30 minutes, we're bringing you the best expert information on how to use the Internet to build your business. And during our show today, we're talking about "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" and how you can use them to grow your business. We're speaking with author David Meerman Scott of Web Ink Now. Is that the right way you would say it?
David Meerman Scott: That's my blog, Web Ink Now.
Patsi: Great. I had some extra time this weekend, and I really indulged myself with reading David's new book, "The New Rules for Marketing and PR." I kept nodding in agreement every time I would read a page, and I kept underlining passages in yellow marker. David really gets it. He gets it about content for the web, blogs, press releases ‑ he really gets it.
Denise: And that's why he's here. We want to get his take on how to use news releases, blogs, podcasting and other new media. Patsi, introduce David, please.
Patsi: David Meerman Scott is an award‑winning marketer, writer, consultant, conference speaker, and seminar leader. In his consulting work, he specializes in online marketing in particular, helping companies develop content to drive prospects into the sales process. He's lived and worked all over the world. In fact, I think I read somewhere that in a former life you were a model in Tokyo
David: Boy, you really dug deep into my bio. I actually did Japanese television commercials. That was about 20 years and 20 pounds ago, though.
Patsi: I thought that was great, since I used to model in Paris
Denise: OK, why don't we get started, David? First of all, we read that some people tried to discourage you from using the term "new rules" in the title of your book, and obviously they didn't prevail. Why did people disagree with that title? And why did you go ahead with it anyway?
David: That's a good question. Of all the interviews I have done recently around the launch of the book, no one's asked me that. First of all, I just want to say it's really great to be here, Patsi and Denise. Thanks for inviting me. Georgia
I wanted to come up with a title that really resonated with people, number one. But I also wanted to have a title that was not already used in any way on the Internet. In other words, I wanted to be able to own the search engine real estate for the title of my book. And that's actually why I use my middle name in my professional endeavors, David Meerman Scott, for the same reason. I want to own the real estate for my name.
When people are looking for me I want them to find me right away, and if they enter my full name, they will. But if they just enter "David Scott," they might get David Scott, the commander of Apollo 15, who walked on the moon, or David Scott the Ironman triathlete, or David Scott, a member of Congress from
The first thing I really wanted to own was a title online. The second thing that I wanted was for it to be a descriptive title. I didn't want to use a title that was not descriptive of what the book actually is. So I really like this idea of the new rules of marketing and PR. It kind of sets up how the Internet is different, and implies that there are some old rules.
What I found when I asked people about the potential title, and when I blogged the title on my blog, that almost everybody thought it was a really good title, except for a few people. And what I noticed was that the people who didn't think it was a good title tended to be people who were already really thick into online marketing.
So in their minds, the people who are already blogging, doing podcasting and viral videos on YouTube and all the things I talk about in my book, they thought this isn't new. Or they thought that marketing is marketing and it has been marketing for a hundred years, and there really isn't anything new. It's just a different media.
But in fact, I think that's wrong. I actually had several online arguments with people who pushed back with me on the new aspect of it. And here's why I think it's wrong. When I talk about the old rules before the Internet, I talk about the idea that there were only two ways to get noticed. You either had to buy expensive advertising, or you had to convince the media to write about you.
But now, on the web, anybody can become a real‑time publisher and produce content, either written content or audio content, like we're doing right now, to market themselves as a thought leader. And that really is new. That possibility didn't exist before. For virtually no money, you can get your information out there. So in the end, I'm really confident with my choice of title.
Denise: Well, it seems to be working.
David: So far.
Patsi: And the thing is, it is new for the majority of the public out there.
David: It is.
Patsi: To those few Internet gurus or experienced Internet marketers, yeah, of course it's not new. But they're just a few people.
David: Right. I had another funny conversation with one of those experts who didn't like the title so well. I looked at them square in the eye and said, "You're not my target market." I reach out to entrepreneurs who are looking to get their business noticed on the Internet, as well as marketing and PR people who want to learn more about how to use the Internet. Maybe they're already experienced marketing and PR people in the offline world.
I also reach out to experienced bloggers who don't know a whole lot about viral marketing, and perhaps people who are good at the podcast thing but maybe want to start their own blog. So, my target market is not necessarily the people who already know it all.
David: In fact, nobody knows it all, including you and me.
Denise: I'll be the first to admit that.
David: There's so much new stuff out there. It's just remarkable.
Denise: It's hard to keep up with everything.
David: It really is.
Denise: You have to give it up at a certain point, and just focus on what you're interested in until you've kind of gotten through that. Then you can have room for the next thing.
David: And that's actually another point I tried to relay in the book. Another thing that has really been resonating with people is you don't have to do it all. I've got chapters on blogging, podcasting, viral videos, and search engine marketing. And you might be tempted to get overwhelmed and say, "Oh my gosh. There's no way I can do all that stuff." Well guess what? Nobody does all of that stuff, including me, and I'm the guy who wrote the book.
David: But I do pick and chose a few things. The successful companies I profile in the 50 or so case studies in the book pick and choose things they know they can do a good job with. I've got a blog and it's really important to me, but I don't do my own podcast. I participate, obviously, because we're doing one now. I've never really done my own YouTube video until this week. I did my first one and it's out.
David: I'm actually really pleased with the way it went. So, you don't have to try to do everything, and that's what's cool about the web. You can just choose something, try to figure it out, experiment with it, push it out, and see what happens. If it works, great, push it along. If it doesn't work, so what? Just close it down.
Denise: Exactly, exactly. There's much more room to fail and experiment, I think, on the web.
David: Oh, absolutely. And also, you don't have to have something that leads up to this big important lunch. Imagine back to the days when you had to do, say, a brochure or a magazine advertisement or participate in a trade show, and you had a big day marked on your calendar three months in the future. Everything led up to it and you were going to print 10,000 copies of your brochure and everything had to be absolutely perfect. And you obsessed over it.
Patsi: First thing, the money was gone and that was it.
David: Yeah! And you obsessed over it, you had 18 different levels of approval, and this, that, and the other thing. Well, now you could stick up a page on your website, which is the equivalent of a brochure and if you have a misspelling, so what? You fix it.
Or if it's not really working and people are clicking away, you rewrite it. And you don't have to worry about having ten thousand copies of it sitting in your warehouse.
Denise: Right. Exactly. So, can you talk a little bit about what the old rules are and how they're changing?
David: Yeah. So, when I talk about the old rules, I'm really talking about the way you had to get noticed offline. I touched on it earlier, but the ways you can get noticed offline are really only two in a broad sense. The first is you have to buy advertising in something, whether that's a trade show booth space or advertisement in a magazine, a newspaper, or the yellow pages. Or you print a brochure, which is another form of advertising because it's expensive.
Or, you had to convince the media that you were a story worth reporting and get something on a television or radio show, or in a newspaper or magazine. The web allows you to tell your story directly. The problem is that so many people I've encountered have taken the old rules they're very, very familiar with, because they've been doing them for five, ten, or even 20 years, and try to apply those same old rules to the web. And they're failing miserably.
So, what do they do if they're applying old rules to the web? Well, they're still buying expensive advertising, but now it's web‑based advertising. They're doing banner ads, or they're buying huge email blasts that they send to people - in effect, they’re spamming them. Or they're spending a fortune on Google ad words to have their advertisements appear in the Google search engines. Or else they're doing the other form of the old rules, which is trying to convince the media to write about them.
They're focused on trying to get the online publications to write a story about them, when in fact what works, instead of buying an advertisement on Google, is to increase the rankings of your own search engine pages by writing great content so that people will find you in the natural search results. Instead of trying to convince an online news reporter to write a story about you, you just write a story yourself and either put it out there as a news release or stick it up on your site as an important page on your site, or do an ebook or a webinar, whatever it might be.
But that's really different for people, the idea that you can take control and create your own information and your own content in the form that people want to consume.
Denise: So, would you call that "you are what you publish?"
David: Yeah. I've used that phrase a lot, “you are what you publish.”
Denise: I took it out of your book.
David: Yeah, thank you for finding the right phrase. I think that's absolutely true. Imagine anybody - imagine the Blog Squad, or you guys individually, or me, or a company, Toyota Motor Company, or my book title, or any of those things. The only thing that exists on the web is either what you write about or what somebody else writes about you. That's who you are on the web.
It's remarkable. Just by creating content online, I have well over a hundred thousand hits on Google for my name. And I know they're all related to me because I use my middle name, and that's the purpose. Imagine how much it would cost under the old rules, in the traditional ways of reaching the numbers of people that we're now able to reach as a news medium.
Imagine how much it would cost to get the readers that you've got for your blog and your listeners to this podcast, or for me to get people to read my blog or to look at the news releases that I put out. I estimate it would cost millions, literally millions of dollars to get people to consume the same amount of content they consume that cost me virtually nothing.
Denise: Right. And you're also reaching a much bigger audience.
David: Right. And it’s a global audience. My book has done extremely well. It's only been out two weeks and it went as high as number 66 overall on Amazon.
David: It's been hanging out in the 300‑400 range over the last two weeks. I've sold a lot of copies in the last two weeks since it's been out, and every single one of those copies was sold as a result of me doing something online, either by blogging about the book or by having a network of people just like you. And you've already written about it a couple of times.
And again, how different is that? I don't know what I sold. My publisher told me we sold about 1,800 copies of my book last week.
David: Imagine with an offline or an old rules program, how much money you would have to spend to sell 1,800 books.
David: You'd have to buy tons of advertisements in newspapers, or you'd have to have a media relations program to get dozens and dozens of book reviews about your book. It's virtually impossible for a mere mortal author to do that these days, unless they harness the power of the Internet.
Denise: Right. I just read something in somebody's author publishing‑related newsletter just shortly before this call, that most authors never sell more than 2,000 copies of their book in the lifetime of their book, or in their own lifetime. So, the fact that in one week, using the Internet, you've already sold 1,800 copies and it's just the very beginning of all of your promotional efforts.
David: Right. I also know we've crossed the 2,000 threshold because of the books that were already sold this week. That's an amazing testament right there, using the old rules or trying to make it happen using those techniques.
By the way, it still works to do advertising. It still works to convince the media to write about you. It's just a hell of a lot harder, unless you have a huge budget where you get extremely lucky to make a go of it using those tools.
Patsi: Hold that thought right there. We're going to take a little station identification break and we're going to come right back with questions on that.
David: OK, great.
Patsi: We just want to you to know you're listening to "Blogging and Beyond" with the Blog Squad, Denise Wakeman and I'm Patsi Krakoff. Today we're talking to David Meerman Scott, author of "The New Rules of Marketing and PR." You can find information about David at www.webincnow.com. And you can get information about us, the Blog Squad, at blogsquad.biz.
Now, if you have a specific question for David, here's the call‑in number: 718‑508‑9559 or you can send an instant message to "dwakeman" via Skype. Now, back to "Blogging and Beyond" and our conversation with David Meerman Scott about "The New Rules for Marketing and PR." Denise?
Denise: Well, Patsi, I know you had a question. We had talked about the technique the Eisenberg brothers used. You want to ask about that?
Patsi: Yeah, right. David, in your book, I noticed you wrote a couple of pages about the Eisenberg brothers and how they used the new rules of press releases and news releases on PRweb.com before their publication of the book, "Waiting for Your Cat to Bark."
Patsi: They were doing news releases every day and I was amazed by that. And that created buzz, and ultimately, sales for the book through what you called "word of blog."
Patsi: So, I was wondering if you did anything similar to stimulate sales for your book. How did you approach it, and what did you do differently?
David: Sure, I'll talk about what I did. Actually, just before that, the Eisenbergs did 90 news releases, nine zero.
Patsi: Wow, 90.
David: 90. They did one news release a day for three months. Now, I didn't do that many. So far I have done 20 news releases about my book. And most people, particularly traditional PR people, say, "What in the world is that about?" because again, they're coming at it from the perspective of those old rules.
And under the old rules, a news release was a piece of news that talked about something that was happening that was newsworthy. So, if somebody was thinking about a news release, they would say, "David Meerman Scott publishes his new book called New Rules of Marketing PR. Here is what the book is about, so‑and‑so says it's really good."
And that would be the only release that went out at all. But what I did, and also exactly what the Eisenbergs did, is that I created a series. I'm up to 20 now, and I think I'm probably going to do about 30 altogether. I'm not going to reach the 90 threshold my friends did from “Waiting For Your Cat to Bark.”
And I'm putting these releases out on PRweb, which is a news release distribution service. The reason I'm doing it is because these days, the way Google news and Yahoo news and lots of the other search engines work, is that news releases, which originally were released as designed for the press, are now seen by anybody with an Internet connection.
So if I go to Google news and I enter a phrase, I can very easily see my own news release or somebody else's news release in the same page of results with a New York Times story, a Business Week story, a Reuters story, or a CNET story. And the idea that you can get your own news into the marketplace is certainly one of those new rules.
For example, I'll read you a couple of the headlines I used: "Controversial new rules of PR ebook expanded and enhanced in hard cover.” That's one. “Online media rooms should appeal to everyone, not just journalists”, says author of new book.
Here's a third one: "The power of blogging for business: easy, affordable, and effective." And I'll just read you one more: “Viral marketing success means thinking like a venture capitalist or studio executive”, says expert.
These are essentially just news‑like press releases, not press releases announcing a product, which is what most press releases are. And I cannot tie back exactly how many books this technique has been able to sell for me, or exactly how many blog posts this technique has allowed me to introduce my stuff to the people who then blogged about it.
But I can say for sure what the results of my several programs were. All of them were online and all of them were ones I did myself. I shared that earlier - we reached number 66 on Amazon with the book. It's been the number one marketing and PR book on Amazon since it came out a week and a half ago. So I think they're working, from what I can tell.
Denise: OK, I have a question here about all this online marketing. Is Wylie, your publisher, doing anything?
David: Most publishers do some work for their authors, but not a whole lot of work for authors. The great things about a publisher like Wylie, as one of the largest business book publishers in the United States
The other thing they do that you simply can't do yourself is they provide distribution. They get it into stores. I went to my local Barnes and Noble yesterday just to go visit my book. I wanted to see that it was there.
Denise: Take a picture of it on the bookshelf, right?
David: Well, yeah. This is my third book, but it was the very first time I had seen this book in a physical bookstore. Of course I had seen it on the online bookstores, but it was the first time I had seen the book in a physical bookstore. I wanted to see it was there.
And it's virtually impossible for someone who doesn't go through a major publisher to get distribution into all of those bookstores. So that's another thing that the publisher does.
They're also doing a very good job of getting the books into the hands of the larger, typically offline media that might write about business books. So they've gotten it into the hands of reporters at places like Business Week, Fortune Magazine, the New York Times, and places like that.
Now, who knows if any of those guys will write about it? But they're getting it into the hands of the right people and they're doing it in a way that for me, as an individual, it would be much, much harder to do. Everything else is what I do.
Denise: Right. And the thing is, is that it's a combined effort, too.
David: Oh, absolutely.
Denise: You can't really ignore the offline world either. When you're doing aggressive promotion, you increase the likelihood a reporter from Business Week or the Wall Street Journal or whoever, the business reviewers, may see something valuable online too.
David: Right. Well, two things. One is that they might happen to see something. I don't know. They might be listening to this podcast, for all we know. Someone who knows somebody might be listening in right now. And if they are, please help us.
But here's the other thing. Imagine you're a reviewer for, I don't know, Business Week, just to pick one, and you get this book you've never heard of. You've never heard of the author, you've never heard the title. But you certainly know Wylie, so you know it's coming from an established publisher. And you say, "I wonder what this thing's about?"
So what's the first thing you do? You go to a search engine. You see who's writing about his book. Number one, how is it doing on Amazon? It's doing pretty well. It's number 400 and that's pretty good. And then they go to Google and they type in the title of my book.
If you type in the title of my book, you get something like 30,000 hits. Imagine 30,000 hits, and there were zero the day I chose the title for the book. Because, remember when we were talking earlier, I mentioned I wanted to get a title I could own on the search engines.
David: Now that Business Week reporter's going to say, “Wow, this book has buzz. It's doing well on Amazon, it's got a whole bunch of hits.” They might go to a couple of those hits, and they might find one of your blogs, or the Blog Squad's podcasts. They're going to find that people are talking and writing and buzzing about the book and they are much, much, much more likely to write about it than if they stumbled across a book and it was sitting at number 150,000 on Amazon and no one had ever written about it.
Denise: Right. OK, we did get one question via Skype so far, if you don’t mind.
David: Oh, absolutely.
Denise: OK. Anne asks, "Has the speaker read 'The tipping point'? It seems to me that people who are successful online are natural salesmen or connectors. For those of us who lack those skills, even doing all the right things isn't helpful since we're not naturally that way. What do you suggest for people who have trouble winning those people over to their cause?"
David: I have read "The tipping point". It is a good book and I think there is a certain degree of truth there are natural speakers or people who are willing to put themselves out there, but that doesn't need to be the case with the written word. What I have noticed, and here I am talking on a show, so this is different because this is verbal and I can express myself verbally in some of the ways that maybe someone who is a little more shy can't, someone who can write and create content, either in written form or even in the form of photographs, can push that stuff out online themselves. National Community Church Washington DC
There can certainly be a way that anybody can get better known using online tools, because you don't have to write about yourself. I mean, I do write about myself but I don't always write about myself. Here's an example: If anyone wants to go to my blog they will see some of these. I've written up probably 30 or 40 case studies on my blog of organizations that have done a really interesting job with online marketing. Two weeks ago I ran one about a church called the
Patsi: Yeah, I read about that and it is very interesting, yes.
David: It's amazing, so I wrote about it. I think anybody, any personality could get out there and analyze their marketplace. You can find interesting things that are worth writing about and write about them. It doesn't necessarily have to be something which talks about yourself or seen as self‑promotion. Instead, it's providing interesting information that people want to consume, and by definition it brands you as somebody who's smart about a particular topic and perhaps even somebody you might want to do business with.
Denise: Right. They're positioning themselves as a leader in their field.
Denise: For example, when you are doing case studies, you are revealing yourself to be that smart thought leader who can analyze these situations and break them down for the casual reader.
David: I'd like to think so. So, it doesn't require that I have to talk about myself, or say how smart I am, or talk about my own ideas. But you're right, by the way I write about it, and the way I analyze or the words that I choose, what I choose to ignore and what I choose to highlight, I'm showing my expertise. I truly believe anybody can do that in the form of a blog. It may not be that approach exactly, it could be something different but anybody can produce a piece of online content that others will want to consume. I do believe that to be true.
Denise: Right. Well, your example of doing 20‑30 news releases to promote something, that's active promotion.
Denise: That doesn't necessarily have to be going out and speaking. That's writing news releases that then get posted on the Internet, so the person who is uncomfortable speaking doesn't have to if they don't want to.
David: I agree with that. You just do what your comfort zone says. There are other people who don't like to write and they don't feel they're good at writing, but they're happy to talk and maybe podcasting is a better medium for them.
David: And then there's ambidextrous people like you guys.
Denise: Yeah, we like to try everything out to see how it works. Some sticks, some doesn't. Patsi, we're coming to the end of our time here. Is there anything you'd like to ask?
Patsi: There's a whole bunch of things that I wanted to ask, but we're coming to the end of the time. Just one quick question: How do you define thought leadership, David?
David: Thought leadership, to me, is the idea that a person -- typically it's a person, although companies can be seen as thought leaders too -- who is understanding and smart about the needs of the buyers they are trying to reach. They produce information in various forms that the people they're trying to reach find useful and interesting. By definition they brand themselves as, what is now an accepted term, as a thought leader.
It is somebody who is very smart about a particular issue, topic or market. By definition, they are marketing themselves, their company, or their products by becoming that thought leader. In my mind, that's a terrific way to do marketing. That's extremely different from the old ways we were taught, which is that you just have to hype your own product.
Patsi: This has really been very informative, David. We want to thank you for taking the time to inform our listeners about online marketing, particularly how it's been changing and how just about everybody can participate.
David: Well, thanks for having me.
Denise: Also, it's been really helpful to have the case study of your own book to use. That wasn't necessarily the intent here, but it's really fascinating how you have made the system work.
David: Well, I put myself under pressure. I mean, I was the guy who wrote the book called "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" on how to use online news releases, blogs, podcast, and viral marketing to reach buyers. And imagine if my book flopped. I mean, my book promotion flopped. What does that say about the guy who wrote the book?
So, I put myself under some pressure to make things happen, and fortunately, so far they have.
Patsi: Well, life is exciting living on the edge, isn't it?
David: You got it. Right, yeah, put yourself out there.
Patsi: Before we wrap up we have a couple of important announcements. I'd like to let our listeners know that next week on "Blogging and Beyond" we're interviewing Brian Clark of copyblogger.com, so if you want to tune in to BlogTalkRadio at Pacific time for the show next week.
Denise: And remember that you can find out more about David and his great new book, "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" at www.webinknow.com. That's www.webinknow.com. So, thanks so much, David. We've really appreciated you being here.
David: Thanks again. Brian's good. I think you guys will have fun with him. In fact, you could ask him about my book title because he's one of the guys who didn't like it.
Patsi: OK, we'll do that.
Denise: Well, he's one of the ones who's been immersed in this for so long.
David: OK. Thanks again guys, it was great.
Denise: Thank you.
Patsi: Thank you.
Denise: You've been listening to "Blogging and Beyond" on BlogTalkRadio. You can always get the latest information about the show at bloggingandbeyond.com, and remember, the time is now.
Patsi: The time is now to attract, sell and profit. Blog on.
Denise: Blog on.
About the The Blog Squad:
Blogging experts Patsi Krakoff and Denise Wakeman are known as The Blog Squad™. They have teamed up to help professionals Attract, Sell and Profit by harnessing the power of blogs, newsletters, and ecommerce systems. Between them, they have 17 years of Internet know-how, write on 10 blogs and publish 2 ezines.
Patsi and Denise have co-authored, "Build a Better Blog: The Ultimate Guide to Boosting Your Business with a Professional Blog" and many other blogging programs to address niche blogging.
They host a Blogging and Beyond, a weekly Internet radio show. You can get their free weekly ezine Savvy eBiz Tips at www.SavvyeBizTips.com