019 – Josh Elledge generates massive publicity on a shoestring budget

Starting his career as a Navy journalist and radio DJ, Josh Elledge built and now runs two very successful businesses:  Savings Angel and Up My Influence.  He has found a highly effective way to generate publicity at very low cost.  In fact, he has created more than $6 million dollars in media coverage for his businesses, essentially for free.  In this episode, Josh shares with us how he did it and he lays out the steps we can take right now to build our authority and promote our own businesses in the same way.

Josh Elledge generated $6 Million in free publicity

About Josh:

Josh Elledge is committed to democratizing PR & influence.  What does that mean?  Read on to find out!

This U.S. Navy veteran launched UpMyInfluence.com to help entrepreneurs attract the perfect audiences and grow their brands without the crazy costs associated with traditional PR companies.  UpMyInfluence’s purpose is to DEMOCRATIZE access to influence.  Josh believes he has a moral imperative to help entrepreneurs serve the world with their collective messages while growing their revenue!

UpMyInfluence was the natural outgrowth of his first startup, SavingsAngel.com, which has grossed more than $6 million in sales with less than $500 in advertising.  He did it all through building authority and serving audiences in the media.

Josh is a weekly TV consumer expert in Orlando, writes a syndicated newspaper column to 1.1 million readers, and regularly appears on more than 75 TV stations across the country.  All told, Josh has appeared in the media more than 2000 times.

Josh loves living in Orlando, FL with his wife and three children.


Josh’s Secrets to Generate Publicity:

Advertising is a tax you  pay for being unremarkable.  If you can focus on serving audiences … then you don’t have to pay for it as much.  If you’re a giving person who loves bringing value, there are a lot of stage you can speak on.

 

 

Exposure is everything.  When he didn’t have money for advertising, he reached out to radio stations, magazines, and newspapers to provide them content that would serve their audience.  The logic is that, if you give value to an audience, that will often result in positive media coverage; even if it doesn’t, you still create the opportunity to grow your network, which can be helpful the future.  This led to him becoming a columnist for his local newspaper, then a syndicated columnist, which led to TV appearances and syndication to 75 markets, with an audience of more than 1 million people.

If you pick one platform and dominate that platform, that’s how you become a social media celebrity.  Media now includes all influencers, including social media celebrities.

The more you can develop your own voice, the more comfortable you’ll be.

Your authority is your most valuable asset, so invest in growing it.  Authority and visibility is like developing muscle mass; you have to work on it.

Companies in the early stages should not be spending much money on PR agencies.

“Spray and pray” pitching is just spamming journalists; take the time to build relationships with journalists.  Focus on what you can do for the journalist first; you can ask for their help later.

Harness the power of relationships to create sustainable collaboration.

PR agencies should make the client the star of the show; the agency should try to remain invisible as they are facilitating the connection between client and media.

Agencies that insist on long-term, iron-clad retainers are just afraid.

The most important thing for us to be doing is growing our business.  That means we need to not just be the business operator, but the business owner; we need to be the face of the business.  Quit trying to grow your business from behind a computer screen; get out on stages.  Get media training.  Take your personal brand seriously.  How do you look online?  What are your indicators of authority?

 

 

Outsource as much of the business operation as possible; invest in growth by bringing in people who can speed up the system.  Hire someone to build your press kit with media clippings, headshots, etc.  Work on LinkedIn or Twitter; focus on one social media platform and outsource management of the rest of your social media.  Bring in an expert to help with strategy, social media management, copywriting, branding.  Pay for an expert; it’s money well spent.

It is the wise CEO who admits that they are not an expert in everything.

What keeps him motivated:  We believe we have a moral obligation to turn thoughtful entrepreneurs into media celebrities so we can increase their authority, influence, and revenue.

When you get to the point where you know that your product or service is going to change lives, then selling will be the easiest thing in the world.

PR professionals also have to eat their own lunch.  What does that mean?  Do public relations for yourself!

What is the best compliment someone can pay Josh?  “I appreciate your authenticity.”

Josh maintains that having a good press kit is essential for business leaders; and he puts his money where his mouth is.  Check out this example of an outstanding press kit.

 


 

Inspired to take action?  Josh can help; all you have to do is reach out to him.  Here’s how:

Contact Josh:

  Twitter:  @joshelledge
  Josh.Elledge on Instagram
  Up My Influence on Instagram

Special offers from Josh:

Other resources:

  Podcast Movement 2019 in Orlando

 

I’ve learned a lot from Josh and have implemented many of his tips.  I hope you learned a lot, as well.  If you enjoy this podcast and find value in it, please share it with a friend.  Here’s the iTunes link.

Thanks to Jennifer Sanchis of PRIME Research in Oxford, England, for the kind words and recommendations!  Check out her blog.

Also thanks to Dwayne Alexander, who runs both Alexander PR and The Content Place for his kind words and feedback all the way from Auckland, New Zealand!

That’s it for this episode.  Now, go out and do something really good in the world!

 

009 – Harnessing Leadership, Ethics, Intuition, and Courage

009 - Harnessing Leadership, Ethics, Intuition and Courage

Deb Radman discusses the power of harnessing the four horsemen of public relations: Leadership, Ethics, Intuition, and Courage. She explains why she would advise her younger self to shut up and listen, so she could really understand what’s being said. She contends that there is great power in taking time to think about something before you formulate an answer. We should then leverage the power of persuasion to engage, motivate, and activate.

Note:  This is a continuation of a conversation with Deb Radman from Episode 008.

Because of changes in the media landscape, PR now has “the opportunity to be the primary source of ideas for our companies and our clients as they seek new ways to communicate.” To do this, we have to venture way outside the box we’ve been in for so long, and have the guts and courage to do that.

Deb is in favor of integration across the communication spectrum. She argues that public relations professionals have “to be strong enough to go to clients with recommendations that transcend specific disciplines; we cannot be afraid to recommend integrated campaigns that include advertising, digital, promotion, direct response, and public relations.” According to Deb, all of these disciplines are part of PR, because they are all part of trying to persuade an audience to do what you want them to do. In her words, “Paid, earned, shared, and owned media all have to work together.” If paid, earned, and owned are not consistent, they will not help people share our message, because it will be fragmented. With this in mind, she argues that social media now is the province of public relations, because it is part of what PR practitioners do in the earned media arena.

According to Deb, mentoring adds tremendous value by helping our people develop creativity and that “it’s no longer sufficient to be able to write; we must also be creative problem solvers.” She describes the PRSA’s College of Fellows work with educators to create momentum for mentoring. She also urges junior PR practitioners to “Find teachers and mentors who will teach you what they know and what other people know.” While public relations people might be well-trained in communication techniques, they need to be even more capable of understanding what motivates people to engage. Deb stresses the importance of lifelong learning and the value in being exposed to marketers, innovators, researchers, and creatives in the advertising world and beyond.

High points in her career have included winning the USO contract, when she won her first Silver Anvil award, presenting the James C. Bowling Executive-In-Residence Lecture at the University of Kentucky, and serving as project lead for the IBM centennial celebration, which included IBM’s Watson competing on Jeopardy.

Listen to Part 1 of the conversation


Quotes:

“Paid, earned, shared, and owned media all have to work together.”

“Shut up and learn to listen.”

“Great teachers in public relations make leadership, ethics, intuition, and courage your learning target; if you can embrace that, you’ll go far.”

“Appealing to the heart is the most powerful motivator to get people to communicate on your behalf.”

“Communication is part of everything we do and who we are.”

“I wish we could have more breadth and experience in different disciplines in the PR programs, such as at the University of Kentucky.”

“Think about learning as a project for your whole life.”


Let me know what you think about this episode!

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001: Dylan Phillips on starting an advertising career

Know your stakeholders - Dylan Phillips

To benefit from every episode, please subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Player FM, or Acast.

In this episode, we focus on advertising, particularly:

  • How to use the Internet for brand research:
    • How pain points can give insight into stakeholder
    • How to use Amazon reviews as a good source of opinion data about products and brands
    • How to use Reddit to spot emerging trends, then monitor their progression on Twitter, Facebook, and BuzzFeed
  • The power of good stories, in addition to statistics
  • The importance of understanding your stakeholders

"Listen more." - Dylan PhillipsQuotes:

“Who you work with is more important than the name on the door.”

“It’s really important to get to know who your stakeholders are and treat them like people, rather than just numbers on a page.”

“The whole point of the BrandCenter’s strategy track is to learn how to learn about people, to think strategically, and how that applies to advertising.”

“You need to understand the essence of a brand, who cares about it, and why they care about it.”

“Looking for pain points is a great way to figure out how a company or brand can fit into someone’s life.”

“As human beings, we’re story driven.”

“Get to know who your stakeholders are, treat them like people rather than numbers, and figure out how to strengthen the emotional connection.”

On VCU Brandcenter: “Overall, a great experience … it’s kind of difficult to get in, but it’s totally worth it.”

“Listen more.”

Transcript:

Continue reading “001: Dylan Phillips on starting an advertising career”