Joseph J. Sherman has more than a decade of experience managing marketing campaigns in the technology sector. Now he is a successful Sales Development Representative supporting SaaS companies in Israel. In this video interview with Jason Barnard, he shares his secrets for developing effective PR strategies that actually work.
Effective Media Cadence for PR
Joseph J. Sherman talks to Jason Barnard about building an effective public relations strategy that delivers results while focusing on people.
In this episode, Joseph J. Sherman shares his approach for engaging with editors, journalists, and bloggers.
– First, qualify media leads from marketing campaigns as sales opportunities. This means they must be treated with the appropriate respect, diligence, and urgent needs as they would with a sales lead.
– Contact potential media prospects through cold calls and emails that get responses.
– Build long-term trusting relationships with media professionals just as you would with prospects and clients.
– Proactively seek new media opportunities in a similar way that the company would pursue new business opportunities.
Set up meetings or calls between journalists, bloggers, and key team members in a similar way that you arrange meetings with prospective clients and sales executives.
Scheduled for 01 February 2022 at 17 H CEST (Paris)
The event is 100% free:
Organised by Kalicube in partnership with Wordlift.
Part of the Kalicube Tuesdays series.
[00:00:23] Jason Barnard: Brilliant! Wonderful to have you here. Today we’re going to start as always with your Brand SERP. I look my guests up, look at their Brand SERP, see what pops up. And I was pretty surprised by yours because you were apparently an artist, which I hadn’t realised. You’re an artist first and a digital marketer second or a digital marketer first and an artist second?
[00:00:48] Joseph J. Sherman: I am a digital marketer for profession and my art is for passion.
[00:00:54] Jason Barnard: Brilliant. Well, Google thinks you’re more of an artist than a digital marketer. And today you’re going to be more of a digital marketer than an artist. And what was interesting as well is that Joseph Sherman is a very common name, I imagined, and we actually have five different Joseph Shermans on that Brand SERP right off the bat. You’re number one. But then we’ve also got the Canadian poet who’s also got to see results about and somebody on LinkedIn who runs some kind of company in IMDb who wrote lots of old films from the thirties and at the bottom, a nurse practitioner.
[00:01:27] And that’s a fairly typical Brand SERP for somebody who’s got a common name. And you’ll write at the top that I actually tried searching John J. Sherman, but we didn’t show it here today. And with that, you’ve absolutely nailed it, obviously. So, great trick putting the J in the middle to disambiguate.
[00:01:44] Joseph J. Sherman: Thank you.
[00:01:45] Jason Barnard: Wonderful stuff! And today we’re not talking about your Brand SERP. We’re going to be talking about Effective Media Cadence for PR and you have a kind of sales approach, which I really like. I’ve been reading through the description. I’m really looking forward to hearing the details. But before we get into that, the partners and sponsors, same thing as last week we tried out and the animated video is absolutely delightful.
[00:02:09] So, we’re going to present the sponsors if we can have that on screen, WordLift as always. I’ve been here since the very, very beginning of the entire series a year and a half ago coming on for two years now. There we go. They’ve been helping us, supporting us. They help us with our experiments. They build an incredible internal Knowledge Graph, and that’s what we do at Kalicube as well, using the WordLift platform and the headline sponsor this week, because Ahrefs will only be sponsoring again in March and April it’s Kalicube.
[00:02:39] And at Kalicube we offer three solutions for your Brand SERP. For beginners, we have the book which is behind me here. And for intermediate, we have the Brand SERP courses. And for the advanced is super-duper agency people. We have the SaaS Platform and I did those mockups all on my own. Kalicube it’s all about your Brand SERP. That’s our motto. So, with 2 sponsors, one of whom is a cheeky sponsor because it’s ourselves. We should continue with the show. So, Joseph, I see that you have this approach, which is sales. Now, I’m looking at it and thinking about sales, how would you describe it? ‘Cause I might be a bit rude. I do apologise if it is.
[00:03:20] Joseph J. Sherman: That’s okay. So, my approach is based on Cadence and Cadence is a sales idea of how am I going to reach my ideal customer. Is it going to be a combination of SEO, of social media, of cold calling, warm leads, whatever that combination. And how do I plan that out for the week, the month, the year to reach who I’m trying to reach.
[00:03:47] And for many marketers and many sales organisations, that’s part and parcel of who they are as the company. But when it comes to PR, sometimes it’s outsourced to a PR company. Sometimes it’s done internally, but there’s this gap of how do I reach people, when I reach people, how do we communicate that with the relevant person? And the value is not usually clear. For example, if you have a lead come in…
[00:04:19] Jason Barnard: That’s absolutely brilliant! Sorry. There’s a slight delay. We’ll just have to be careful about interrupting each other, but yes, go ahead.
[00:04:29] Joseph J. Sherman: Okay, thank you. So, if people contact you and you recognise, wow, this is a million-dollar account or potentially a million-dollar account or your account, you’re going to say, wow, I got to take care of this, this is a big account. But when it comes to PR, if someone reaches you and they say “Jason, I want to speak with you. And I want to interview you for an international newspaper or international TV media outlet.” But you haven’t heard of that because it’s in a country you don’t know about, or the communication wasn’t there between your assistant and/or your email filter and yourself, then it may be a million dollars worth of media but that’s not attributed the same weight in the organisation as a million-dollar account from an account or from a company you might recognise.
[00:05:31] Jason Barnard: Yeah. Now, if I can kind of plead guilty here is when we first started talking to each other, it’s Milos who put us in contact and I made that exact mistake as Times of Israel didn’t seem to me to be phenomenally important in all of the different things I had to do, and it got pushed back, and I didn’t treat you with the respect that I should have in terms of kind of what it was going to bring me, and we ended up sorting that out. How close was I to messing up by not paying attention and not actually kind of treating that as a real lead?
[00:06:06] Joseph J. Sherman: Just as close as I was to when someone that you referred me to and I didn’t realize that they were a CEO of a major comoany. As, as a journalist, as a writer, so I’m also guilty. And it’s very easy because we have, especially doing international work and trying to get, you know, work with people from around the world and recognising that The Times of Israel is a blog, how does that work and who are these people and who do I want to work with? It’s very easy to lose that focus. And also when we’re working with diversified teams, you know, assistants around the world, they’re different people, it gets warm or complicated to make sure that it even in the best point, when you do have someone that wants to interview you or feature you on their site, that, oh, how do I make sure they’re a priority? And that’s when we’ve already got to the high point of I’ve already gotten someone who wants to feature me.
[00:07:09] Jason Barnard: Right.
[00:07:10] Joseph J. Sherman: Yeah.
[00:07:11] Jason Barnard: But I mean, as you say, with a sale, you kind of think, well, this is a potential million-dollar or a hundred-thousand-dollar lead. And so, it’s really easy to prioritise because they will look, the person who’s going to be spending a $100 a week and put them to the back of the queue. But with PI, it’s really difficult to quantify how valuable that lead is likely to be. How do you do that?
[00:07:32] Joseph J. Sherman: That’s a great question. It’s opaque for several reasons. First is because you don’t necessarily know and it’s not so clear from the very beginning how much coverage you’re going to get. Is this a quote or is this a full article?
[00:07:52] Are they looking for something right now or are they looking for to feature me or you in six months and they want to do a full article about you. And I think it’s also because fundamentally, especially in new media and digital media, people have different goals.
[00:08:11] You, as a marketer, for example, you have a new book coming out, and people want to interview you imagine for your book and what to share your information.
[00:08:21] Jason Barnard: Yep. Sorry.
[00:08:22] Joseph J. Sherman: Exactly. No, it’s a perfect example. So, you have information to share, people want to reach you for that information, and then you as an author have multiple goals, right? You want to sell your book, you want to gain clients, you want to have other projects that you’re working on related around that, maybe speaking engagements, things. So you have, when you engage with a journalist or a blogger or another podcaster, you have all of these things in your mind of like, what do, my SERP also, wow, what does, how is this going to show up in my SERP? So, all of these things are important to you, and I think any business person needs to think what is that? What are my goals for this specific campaign? Where I want to reflect or what they want to share? And then, think about it from what many people think about that? But what many people don’t think about is what does the journalist or the blogger or the podcaster have in their mind? And often times there are multiple levels of what that person on the other end of the communication has. For example…
[00:09:35] Jason Barnard: Right. Sorry, just really quickly. I mean, that takes a lot of empathy. And I think a lot of us approach things from a me, me, me point of view, thinking this is what I want and we try to impose it. And especially with a journalist. The journalist is looking for something specific and imposing things on them is never going to work or very rarely works?
[00:09:58] Joseph J. Sherman: That’s right. Imposing things very rarely works. And, but what does work is seeing what are their goals and how can I meet those goals? For example, maybe a journalist was told by their editor. I need an article about Brand SERP and find me an expert and interview three people and oh wow, big boss said I need to write a great article about Brand SERP. Who’s a good person for that. I know where to go, and let’s say that their article was due yesterday or very soon, then that person has to very quickly, you know, in a few days put together something, make sure it meets all the requirements. And so, in that case you want to put something together and give them a quality and information that’s relevant for first of all, their publication, right? Just like you did when I interviewed you. I need something relevant to Israel because Times of Israel is in Israel. If I am writing for another publication, then I need to make sure it’s relevant for that publication. So, that’s on just an institutional level, but then you have…
[00:11:05] Jason Barnard: Yeah. I mean, when you said to me, we need to turn this around so that’s relevant for Israeli companies. My first reaction was, “Oh, dear!”. And then I sat on it and thought, okay, you gave me a good idea, then I slept on it. And between us, we came up with something and I mean, that sounds terribly pretentious, we worked together to find the solution, which is delightful and that’s maybe the attitude we need.
[00:11:30] Joseph J. Sherman: That’s right. That is the best attitude and that also works because we had the timeframe of the type of the nature of the article, but I loved how you did that. And then you found examples of your leading companies.
[00:11:42] So them side by side, and that’s a perfect example of trying to meet it and connect to the organization, the news media, and also the specific chain of blogs for that author. Because every author on a publication might have their own style or their interest, and it has to flow together.
[00:12:04] If another writer from the same publication had reached out to you or connected with you, they might say, I write about articles and stories. And I need you to tell me about connecting with people that you’ve worked with or in a different style, and so they might have a completely different thing they’re asking for.
[00:12:25] Jason Barnard: Right. And that kind of whole thing is, I mean, it’s a relationship where I need to understand what you’re looking for and the timeframe as well which hadn’t really occurred to me as we were lucky to have that long timeframe, and it’s a relationship where I really need to understand your point of view.
[00:12:43] And as you said in sales, we tend to think what does the client need, because we want to please them so much because we’re going to get $500,000 from them. And here, once again, we run into that problem with not really knowing. So what’s the next step? Sorry.
[00:13:02] Joseph J. Sherman: That’s okay though. It’s perfect, it’s great. So, the next step is thinking a little bit beyond who is the writer or person that I’m trying to reach out to and what is their organization and what is their, what are their personal goals?
[00:13:21] Because you can have someone writing for let’s say The Wall Street Journal because maybe they want to get paid by the publication or do they want to get their own reputation moved up? Are they trying to become, are they trying to move into, maybe they’re an academic where they’re trying to move into academia and they’re writing for this publication because they want to be well-known a certain circle and get a certain appointment at a university or they’re trying to get their own consulting for a moving.
[00:13:52] So, the more you think about not just what is their publication goal, but what is their bigger long-term goal, sometimes that’s clear, sometimes you can go to someone’s webpage or the LinkedIn site and say, I see they have, they write for multiple publications and they say, this is what I’m doing, or this is what I’ve moved into. And sometimes it’s not so clear at least for the initial steps.
[00:14:17] Jason Barnard: Right. Yeah. So, a bit of polite stalking is definitely necessary in this particular case. And one thing I wanted to bring to the fore is in terms of Brand SERPs is what we’ve now learned at Kalicube is that our own sources, our own profiles, and profiles we obviously control like Crunchbase are really good for educating Google, but at the end of the day they’ve got a really very fast half-life and articles on third party sites. Like Milos, in fact, who’s incredibly relevant, that was really powerful for me and The Times of Israel too obviously an important publication in a major country. And from that perspective, I think from an educating Google Brand SERP and Knowledge Graph point of view, this is phenomenally important. So, please take me to step 3 because I need to learn this technique.
[00:15:03] Joseph J. Sherman: Thank you. I think that’s actually the next path is looking at it. If your focus is on, for example, Brand SERP, what is the shelf life of the article and how does Google treat them? What is their domain authority?
[00:15:19] Jason Barnard: Right.
[00:15:20] Joseph J. Sherman: And then even more on a more personal level is what is my relationship with this specific person, with the person interviewing me or that I’m communicating with. So, maybe it’s a short, link-building for a, might reach out to me and say, I want to article like, okay, who are you? Why should I care about you? And are you treating me, you know, like just like took a one-hit wonder? Or are we trying to build a relationship and I can interview you now, I can interview you in six months or a year when you come out with another book or another major event happens and I needed you as an expert. So, it’s not just about the one time I got my quick fix so to speak with this blogger or journalist and now I’m happy for life because I need to move on, but thinking, ah, I want to reach out and build that relationship. And like any business relationship, the more you work with someone, you can build it and go to higher levels and build up value there.
[00:16:25] Jason Barnard: Right. And to what extent can you kind of, once you’ve exchanged with them, maybe you’ve done that first article, to what point can you kind of let that relationship sleep and then hope to wake it up in a year’s time? I mean, we talk about the fact that you can’t maintain more than 5 close friends or something like that. And it’s impossible to keep to juggle all these relationships. How much do you need to maintain that relationship between the times when you’re actually going to be working together?
[00:16:54] Joseph J. Sherman: That’s great. I think that also goes back to, excellent question. I think that also goes back to thinking about what is important to the person, meaning if this person is an up and coming journalist or writer or they’re also working on their own books with their own things, it’s really good to have a schedule and say, okay, these are the 10 or so authors and journalists and bloggers that I’m working with and like their podcast, or like them on LinkedIn or comment and give them feedback and engage with them, not asking for another feature, you know, if it’s six months or a year, but just keeping them in the loop and keeping that relationship fresh. And that’s also very nice. That’s one.
[00:17:43] And also when you see, oh, they’re asked, I’m writing about this. Does anyone know an expert in a certain field, I could say, ah, yeah, I know so and so, that’s also a nice thing to connect all your connections. If you say, I need to interview a startup founder who could talk about a certain topic and you say, ah, one of my clients is a startup founder. I did Brand SERP for him. Now I could give him or her some nice attention here and it’s relevant and it works and they understand how everything is, that’s also very nice way.
[00:18:14] Jason Barnard: Right. Which brings me to another question, which is kind of a step back in many ways is cold calling or cold contacting people.
[00:18:22] I mean, that seems to me to be really, really difficult. I mean, I’ve always imagined, right? What you maybe should do is get yourself seen on social media by popping up in their feed every now and then, and then call them, or then contact them. Is that the correct strategy or can you just pitch up and say, “Hi, please write an article about me.”
[00:18:42] Joseph J. Sherman: Great question. So, I think saying hi can you write an article about me is probably not the best way. Yeah, but if you see this person has written 20, 30, 70 articles on a certain topic, you could, instead of writing about me, say like “I see that you’re writing these articles”. And first up, if they’re on LinkedIn or whatever social platform they’re on, engage with them a little bit there so they recognise who you are before that email comes in. And not even pitching yourself as a possible target, as a possible a sales target, as a possible feature by just “I like your article, this was interesting, maybe offer your own insight.”
[00:19:35] And then a few times later, if your engagements later say, ah, I see that you’re writing about this. Here’s some ways I can help you. I wrote a book about Brand SERP. Here’s, you know, certain things that may be interesting to you. And write it about them. How can I help them? Do you need an expert? Do you need expert in something unrelated to what I do, but yeah I can help you connect you with people and being a resource as opposed to someone who’s taking.
[00:20:07] Jason Barnard: Right. Yeah. I’ve actually noticed that, but more with kind of business contacts, as opposed to PR contacts, but I’m going to have going to spread it across that is that I get quite a lot of requests from people I work with saying, oh, can you recommend this kind of person or this kind of company?
[00:20:21] And people see me as somebody who knows lots of different people and maybe I can help them find great solutions. And I realise that, yeah I can. And that’s when you use sort of and the same goes for PR, I should use that strategy there, is that basically it?
[00:20:35] Joseph J. Sherman: That’s right. That’s basically it.
[00:20:38] Jason Barnard: Brilliant! And in terms of kind of developing the strategy, I mean you say in the description, proactively seeking new media opportunities in a similar way that the company would pursue new business opportunities. I read that off the screen. Can you explain that? ‘Cause I’m terribly intrigued.
[00:20:54] Joseph J. Sherman: Yes. Ahh, thank you. So, if I’m looking for new business opportunities, I’m going to probably run a social media campaign, reach out to people on LinkedIn by engaging with them and seeing what they’re doing. And then seeing if they’re relevant for me. If they’re not relevant, I don’t want to spend my time with their time on it. And if they are relevant, start to engage with them. One of the biggest things that I hate as a journalist and that probably people hate also if I’m working as an SDR or a BDR reaching out to people is why did you contact me?
[00:21:33] And if it’s, I’m trying to sell you something you don’t need, then like it was, like don’t waste my time, don’t waste your time, like what’s going on. But if you start from the beginning of I have something to offer you that can actually bring you real value. And first time I’m contacting you on LinkedIn or I’m contacting you by email or whatever, all these different sources that’s the real value.
[00:21:58] And going back to your original question of how do I do it? It depends for everyone’s different if you’re on LinkedIn and you love LinkedIn be on LinkedIn. If you’re on Twitter and you love Twitter, be on Twitter. I’m agnostic in terms of the platform and you probably want to find out where does the journalist hang out?
[00:22:20] Jason Barnard: Right.
[00:22:20] Joseph J. Sherman: I feel like, if you say, I really think that this specific journalist or blogger is relevant to my business but they’re on a platform that I’m not used to. Well, it takes a common sense, but it’s an uncommon common sense, say they might be on LinkedIn because that’s my favorite proto, but I should be on another platform that they’re on even it’s something I’m not comfortable with. And I think that’s a big thing. Yeah.
[00:22:52] Jason Barnard: Yeah. So, is that something Ted Rubin was saying about businesses, communicate with people in the manner that they use on the platform they use to, and if they prefer LinkedIn, that’s where you should be going because it’s up to you to adapt to them and communicate with them.
[00:23:07] Sorry, go ahead. Ohh, we’ve half lost Joseph, where you can’t hear him. Anyway, so the last question was going to be all about setting up meetings. You mentioned setting up meetings. I mean, you’re saying just like with a prospect, sit down and talk to them face-to-face, that’s incredibly fast.
[00:23:27] Joseph J. Sherman: That’s right. As much as possible set up meetings. And a few things to think about when you’re setting up meetings. One is the time zone, like what country are you in, what country are they in, and what country are they in at the moment when you are going to have the meeting?
[00:23:49] Jason Barnard: Oh yeah.
[00:23:51] Joseph J. Sherman: And especially if it’s something with like 12nn or midnight, make sure it’s very clear, AM or PM.
[00:23:57] And try to set up meetings, you know, if it’s Zoom or another platform, face-to-face is always, I prefer that. I found that that’s really very helpful. It’s not always possible. Try to get to meetings and also keep in mind that it’s a process. Your first time with a journalist or a blogger, they might list you in a column of top 10 books for Brand SERP this year. And someone might be like, I wasn’t number 1. Well, be glad that you were number 5 or 10 or on the list. Like keeping the expectation of just because I got a meeting and I spoke with someone for an hour, maybe a win for that particular author or yeah…
[00:24:51] Jason Barnard: No, sorry. Exactly. Sorry. I wasn’t interrupting. I was just thinking about something is that I was talking to somebody a while ago, about two years ago now, and we were talking about Brand SERPs and they were going yard don’t really care, but they were listening. And in fact, what then happened is that they, when they wrote a summary of a wrap-up of 2021, one of the things they talked about was have Brand SERPs been overhyped and are they going to be a thing in 2022? And so, it stuck in their mind and that was really pleasant in the sense that there wasn’t any result immediately, but the result was much, much further down the line and that long-term patience is really difficult to have. Isn’t it?
[00:25:32] Joseph J. Sherman: It is, it is. It’s difficult to have. And it also goes back to thinking about the other person because a lot of times in digital media, we’re used to instant. I can post on a certain platform in five minutes and I have to think about the post and I hit press. I hit publish and it goes, it’s live. But if it’s on a publication, they have their own timelines and that timeline could be 5 days. It could be 5 months. It could be, they might be backed up for a long time. They could have their own schedules changed based on the editor and based on other business circumstances. So, just like you’re saying, think about the timeframe and sometimes it takes a year or more for that initial meeting to turn into the type of a deal. Just like any business might take to people, you know, the end of the year or the 6 months to come around and realise, okay, now we’re finished with this and we’re ready to start the next project or the next product. And that’s when we want to invite you in with our company.
[00:26:40] Jason Barnard: Absolutely brilliant. Yeah. So, I mean thinking more long-term, building up relationships, and looking at this as a process in which you’re going to talk and exchange with journalists much like they would be clients.
[00:26:53] That’s absolutely brilliant, Joseph. Thank you so much. That was absolutely awesome! Thank you everyone for watching, listening if you’re on the podcast. Then now, I’m going to introduce next week, which is going to be Brie Anderson. Data Driven SEO. I’m sorry, Data Driven SEO and Always Be Testing. I don’t know if it’s Brie or Brie, but I like Brie because it’s the same as the French cheese and I was eating that at lunch time. So, we’ll be seeing Brie next week. I’m really looking forward to that. Joseph, could you pass the baton?
[00:27:24] Joseph J. Sherman: I’m so looking forward to hearing about what Brie is going to say about analytics, managing SEO, and everything online with data and measuring everything is tremendously important. And so I’m looking forward to hearing what Brie has to say.
[00:27:42] Jason Barnard: Brilliant. Wonderful. Thank you so much, Joseph.That was delightful discussion. I’m going to take away a lot of tips and tricks, and I’m going to be much better at PR outreach from now on inwards. Thank you very much, everybody for watching and see you next week.
[00:27:53] Kalicube Tuesdays. Thanks a lot. Bye-bye
[00:27:55] Joseph J. Sherman: Thank you, Jason.
[00:27:57] Jason Barnard: Brilliant.
[00:28:02] Oh! A quick good bye to you and the show. Thank you, Joseph. Thank you, Anton, man.