What to do when no one’s biting

What to do when no one’s biting

Courtesy of Tourism Panama

I got an email from a reader last week who was frustrated  the media wasn’t responding to her pitch. Believe me, it happens to us all the time at Wax so I feel your pain! Often, it’s not because the pitch is bad. Usually it’s because a) the market is cluttered   b) it’s hard to differentiate between you and your competitor or c) you’re pitching too “big” of a publication or show to start.  I have to admit that sometimes it’s because it’s just not a very compelling pitch. In this post I’m going to give you a short homework assignment to uncover the REAL story behind your business…the one the media might  be looking for.

Too often, people try to pitch the features of their product to the media. This only works if your product is one of a kind (think pet rock). You may think no one else makes something quite like yours, but in the eyes of a jaded editor, there are tons of products just like yours. I was pitching a new fitness DVD a few years ago and the editor at Health magazine told me she’d received 400 new fitness DVD’s..just that month! So you can’t write a pitch that focuses on the greatness of your product. You have to pitch the story behind YOU,  behind the product itself, or how the product relates to current events.

Here are some great examples of pitches that sold tons, but focuses on the story not the product:

– My ex-Playboy model client who became a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and then a life coach. Now THAT got people’s attention. And she sold many copies of her book.

– The creator of a  “pay it forward” game who had suffered the death of her baby, but learned to get past her grief by doing good deeds.

– The owner of a computer recycling firm who was a rodeo queen and ended up marrying a cowboy.

You’re probably thinking “there’s nothing that interesting in MY life” but everyone has a unique story to tell. And if you give them a unique story POOF you get to plug your product, book, service, etc.  Take a minute and answer these questions. These are the questions I ask my own clients, to dig for the story “behind” their product, book or service.

If you’d like me to write a pitch for you, send me the answers to these questions at waxmarketing @ gmail dot com. I’ll pick a couple sets of answers and write the pitches in  Monday’s post.   Think hard and remember…EVERYONE IS INTERESTING!

– How did you come up with the idea for your product, service or book? Was it as the result of a life change, trauma, illness or challenge of some sort? Did you dream it? Did you work somewhere and know you could do it “better”? What was the genesis of this?

– Do you have any unusual hobbies or special interests outside of work? Non-profit work?

– Is there anything unusual about your upbringing? For example, were you a homeless teen on the street? Was growing up challenging in some way for you?

– Have you overcome any other challenges in your life? Have you lost weight or dumped a bad husband? (think Lance Armstrong…the greatest backstory of all)

– Have any famous people bought your product? Who?

– Does your product have any correlation to current events? What? (for example, you wrote a book about getting out of debt and there’s a debt crisis)

– Is there anything unique about your product? Again, by unique I mean that NO ONE ELSE DOES THIS AND YOU”RE SURE OF IT.

– Is there anything else that makes people say “wow” when you tell them? Think hard.


  • Steve
    Posted at 08:19h, 07 August Reply

    hehe – yeah this is right, often it is the story that sells not only the product. this is also the indicator if your product can sell better than the same one from a competitor.
    thx for your hints!

    • bonnie
      Posted at 10:15h, 07 August Reply

      We do like to “get behind” someone we find likeable or interesting, I think that’s often what sells products.

  • Cathy Stucker
    Posted at 12:29h, 07 August Reply

    Too many authors believe that it is all about the book, but no one cares that you wrote a book. They may care about what the book can do for them. If you have a compelling personal story they will care about you.

    Good advice for everyone to remember as they launch a PR campaign.

  • info-tech-trade
    Posted at 14:34h, 15 August Reply

    It’s all about publicity and this is a great example.

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