Are you looking for a way to promote and market your online WordPress or SaaS business?

Have you been struggling to find the proper PR techniques to do so? Worry no more! Our video will take you through modern PR strategies to help your business get noticed. You’ll learn how to leverage social media, create press releases and reach out directly to journalists, all designed to boost visibility and generate sales.

#1 – Mickie, can you give us some insights on how you got involved in PR and marketing in general?

#2 – What fundamental changes have you seen in the last couple of years connected to PR and working with your clients that you share with our audience?

#3 – What crucial things do you feel people need to understand in 2023 connected to running an effective PR outreach campaign?

#4 – In a world of online influencers, how has this changed modern PR outreach

#5 – If you return to a time machine at the beginning of your career, what essential advice would you give yourself?

#6 – Are there any online recourses or books you like to recommend to the audience?

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00.000] – Mickey Kennedy

Back to the WP-Tonic This Week in WordPress and SaaS podcast, where Jonathan Denwood interviews the leading experts in WordPress, eLearning, and online marketing to help WordPress professionals. Launch their own WordPress SaaS.

[00:00:13.040] – Jonathan Denwood

Welcome back to the WP-Tonic This Week in WordPress and SaaS. This is episode 766. We’ve got a great interview here. We will be talking about PR, about doing outreach to traditional media. If you’re running your WordPress or your SaaS business, you should consider it. We got Mickey Kennedy here from eRelease. I’m looking forward to the discussion. It should be great. Mickey, could you give us a quick 2036 intro about yourself and eRelease?

[00:00:52.890] – Mickey Kennedy

My name’s Mickey Kennedy, and I founded eRelease a little over 24 years ago.

Years old. No, I will be 53 this year, so I’ve been around a little bit. But I was working as an employee number three at a telecom research startup, and I had a writing background, and they said, Figure out press releases. So I did. And I got really good at it. Got a lot of media pickup and decided I wanted to start a business where I was a matchmaker. I would contact journalists and ask, Can I email you these press releases? They would say, Yes, 25 years ago, 26 years ago, when I reached out to them—and just started sending out releases for clients. Over the years, pure Newswire reached out to us and said, We like what you’re doing. We’d love for you to be able to send your releases through us. And I pointed out that they charge $12 to $1500 to move a press release. And my clients were paying a couple of hundred dollars at the time. But we made the economics of it work. And so people who use us get a national distribution over the wire, paying two-thirds less than if they went directly to the wire.

[00:02:11.060] – Jonathan Denwood

That’s great. And I’ve got my great co-host, Kurt. Kurt, would you like to introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers?

[00:02:18.190] – Kurt von Ahnen

Sure thing. My name is Kurt von Ahnen. I own an agency called Manyana no Mas. We consult with businesses and help them with their learning and membership websites.

[00:02:26.840] – Jonathan Denwood

And like I say, we’re going to be discussing all things about modern PR outreach, and how to promote your business. It’s really important stuff. It should be a great discussion. But before we go into the main meat and potatoes of this great interview, I’ve got a couple of key messages from our major sponsors. We will be back in a few moments, folks. Are you?

[00:02:47.030] – Mickey Kennedy

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[00:03:19.150] – Jonathan Denwood

Hi there, folks. It’s Jonathan Denwood here, and I want to tell you about one of our great sponsors, and that’s Zolo. Com. If you got a WordPress website, membership website, and you’re looking to link it with a great financial management package, Zolo can provide this solution. So all your bookkeeping needs are done through Zolo. If you need new inbox email functionality and you don’t want to pay the high charges that Google will charge you, Zolo offers a great email inbox platform. They’ve got over 50 apps and services that all integrate fantastic with WordPress at great value levels, and they almost always offer a fully functioning free product as well. So it’s just amazing value. Also, if you’re a WordPress developer or agency owner, Zolo are looking for great partnerships in the WordPress space. To get all this information, all you have to do, folks, is just go over to Zolo. Com and they have the product that you’re looking for. Thank you so much, Zolo, for supporting WP Tonic and the Machine Membership Shows. It’s much appreciated. We’re coming back, folks. I just want to point out that we got some great special offers from our major sponsors, plus a curated list of the best WordPress plug ins, so you don’t have to have to troll the internet to find the best solution for your project.


[00:05:04.320] – Jonathan Denwood

You can find all these goodies by going over to WP Tonic deals, WP Tonic deals, and you find all the goodies there. What more could you ask for? So, Mickey, it’s a changing landscape now. We’ve got AI, we’ve got all sorts of things going. So what do you think are one or two things that people are not understanding around the whole thing, around PR, and what the Pacific’s element that you do with E release? Are there one or two key things, some understandings that you think your clientele in general don’t understand before you educate them?


[00:05:52.580] – Mickey Kennedy

Sure. I think the biggest thing is a lot of people feel like, I’m just a small business. Why would I matter to the media? They just feel like no one would be interested in us or our story. What they don’t realize is that journalists don’t like to profile the large, well funded companies. They don’t love writing articles about Google and Facebook and Apple, but they do because they have to. But they really prefer being seen as curators where they put the spotlight on a small undiscovered company or someone’s created a new plug in that saw something, but the people behind it is just a couple of guys in their house. That’s no problem with the media. The media loves to put the spotlight on startups and entrepreneurs. And so you might really be discounting yourself if you feel that the media just wouldn’t be interested in you. And the second thing is that maybe what you’re thinking right now, there’s nothing newsworthy about your business, but if you put that through a different lens and run through a list, an audit, you might be able to flesh out some ideas. In some cases, you can actually even make the news by doing a survey or study within your industry, creating a link through Survey monkey.


[00:07:14.520] – Mickey Kennedy

It really doesn’t take much time. You want to have really good questions. Ask questions that are really relevant today. If stuff’s going on in your industry, are people doing layoffs? Ask how their hiring is going, or are they struggling to have to let people go? What’s their marketing dollars look like over the next two quarters? Are they going to spend less? Things like that could be really interesting in a survey. You send it to members in your industry, and a lot of people get tripped up over that. But in every industry, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of small and independent trade associations. Ask them to send the link for you. Most of them will do it, especially if you say, I’ll include you in the press release I’ll be issuing over the wire, because the small and independent trade associations don’t get a lot of media attention at all. And if they can get aligned to some media pickup, then they see it as a win, win. And look at the survey that you did. I recommend 16 questions, four questions on each page of the survey monkey. So if they stop halfway, you still have eight responses.


[00:08:21.210] – Mickey Kennedy

And figure out what was the biggest aha moments. What were the biggest surprises in that survey? You don’t want to cover all 16 questions in a press release, but you want to talk about maybe two to four that were really relevant and interesting and intriguing. And you’re going to put quotes in there about why you feel the survey skewed this particular way. And that makes you stand out as an expert in your industry. And that’s a really cool way to get media attention. Most of the time, my clients get between 8 and 14 articles in their industry when they do a survey or study type press release.


[00:08:53.530] – Jonathan Denwood

Wow, Mickey. Well, Mickey, I think you get a top star. You’ve provided excellent value. Amazing. I hope you’re happy, listeners of yours. You’ve got some real meat there. Over to you, Kurt.


[00:09:10.150] –  Kurt von Ahnen

I don’t know how to follow up with that because Mickey’s already provided the value upfront. We could just close down.


[00:09:15.070] – Jonathan Denwood

The channel now. That was worth the interview, really.


[00:09:19.300] –  Kurt von Ahnen

In my way back machine, I was in my former life an editor in chief of a magazine, and I remember the struggle of coming up with content. And people would say, Oh, why should I submit something? Why should I submit something? And I was on the other end of that titter totter saying, I need some content if I’m going to keep putting out this magazine. So I see the value for it. But what do you think are some insights that people have for getting involved in PR at the very start? I understand we’re going to encourage them, or you could do a survey or come up with ideas or stuff, but how do you encourage them to just jump in and make it happen?


[00:10:02.010] – Mickey Kennedy

That’s really difficult because what happens a lot of times is people hear about PR or press releases, they’re intrigued, but they never commit to it. One of the strange things in my business has been I started before the dot com crash, and we grew through the dot com crash. We grew through the 2008, 2009 recession, and our best years were pandemic years. When people are having to watch their dollars and put a lot of their marketing on hold, especially paid advertising, it seems like they then make the time to explore PR and say, Okay, I’ve had this on my to do list. It’s very affordable. Let me give it a try and try to figure out how it works. It is one of those things that it just takes someone to spend a little bit of time and effort to explore the different types of press releases that they potentially could be doing and putting together a PR campaign and staying on track to do 4 to 6 releases initially. Whether that’s over a year or year and a half or whether you do it in six months, it’s just a matter of staying on track and continuing to do that, learning as you go, determining what press releases didn’t engage with the media, and testing other different types of press releases and seeing what will stick.


[00:11:31.290] –  Kurt von Ahnen

As a follow up question to that, Mickey, and it just occurred to me, so I apologize if I go long, Jonathan, but it just occurred to me, some people listening to this might not understand the difference because some people might think they put out a blog post with information in it, and that’s their press release. So can you explain the difference between what some people might think a press release is and then what your definition of a press release is? I think that put the rest of the show in context.


[00:11:57.400] – Mickey Kennedy

Sure. So a press release can be very similar to a blog post. And a lot of our customers who don’t have newsrooms on their site, I do advise them to go ahead and put the press release on their blog posts. It doesn’t hurt. It’s great content. It’s got a lot of keywords and stuff. But basically, it’s written for the media, and you are going to be writing it in the third person talking about your company in the third person. You are given the opportunity to have a quote or two in there where you can use first person. And I do recommend that because a good quote can really ensure that an article is written about you. Because if you have an amazing quote, a journalist can build the story around it. So do not discount the value of an amazing quote. And by amazing quote, I mean something that can’t easily be paraphrased. So many quotes are written with just safe little words that doesn’t give the journalists an advantage to include it as a quote, rather than just paraphrase it themselves. So you really want to spend a little bit of time and effort there.


[00:13:01.220] – Mickey Kennedy

There’s usually a boiler plate at the bottom of the press release. It’s usually top down, the most important information first, amazing headline, opening sentence. You really want to grab their attention because these things go on the wire and they’re streamed headline first. You want to have it so that it’s informative and really cuts to what’s newsworthy so that they can click on the headline and drill down and read more information. I tell everybody, your first sentence job is to get people to read the next sentence. And the second sentence job is to get them to read the third sentence. And so journalists are skimmers by nature. So you really want to have all of that information front and center. Not a lot of fluff. It’s not elevated writing. You don’t need to be a writer to do this. It’s usually written in a sixth grade, eighth grade level. If you’re writing and your audience is journalists who understand a lot of jargon, it’s okay to include jargons. But if you’re trying to reach newspapers and other people where it’s less jargon oriented, align your goals accordingly and don’t have a lot of jargon and things like that.


[00:14:13.500] – Mickey Kennedy

So it really can be very similar to a blog post. But the difference when you send it out is there’s usually a media contact at the bottom that has the person’s name that the journalist can contact, as well as the email and phone number.


[00:14:30.200] –  Kurt von Ahnen

Excellent. Jonathan, over to you, sir.


[00:14:33.180] – Jonathan Denwood

A follow through question. I’m only surmising this, Mickey, but you’re the expert. Is there a bit of overlap between this and getting your story if you’re a startup or we got a lot of WordPress plugin developer types, bootstrap SaaS types that listen to this podcast. So is there a lot of getting your story in tech crunch or getting… There’s about half a dozen plugging review sites that dominate the WordPress professional world. Doing this press release, is there overlap with these particular type of websites that I’ve outlined as well?


[00:15:27.060] – Mickey Kennedy

Definitely. There are probably WordPress specific sites and blogs and things like that. And in those cases, if you’re really wanting to speak just to that audience, it’s probably small. There’s probably a dozen that are on your wish list that I’d love to have an article or a mention. And it might be better to network, get an email address or a contact at those places and put your pitch or your press release directly in their hands and introduction who you are, what you’re about. But if you’re also looking at a broader audience where there’s a lot of applications in the business world to use your plug in, that opens up way too many publications that you could reach out to directly. But these are great opportunities. And that’s where I think a press release over a newswire would do really well because you’re exposed to much more than just the WordPress specific blogs and publications and those that might be aligned to business tools, business resources, SaaS offerings that people have that they can utilize for their websites and things like that. And that ability to leverage beyond a very niche focus can really open you up with a wire.


[00:16:51.330] – Jonathan Denwood

Now we’re getting over COVID. The past three years, to say they’ve been slightly disruptive and different would be the understatement. So have there been any trends or anything in the past 2-3 years that you know is slightly changing the landscape, or is it fundamentally been the same for a period of time?


[00:17:13.470] – Mickey Kennedy

Well, there’s always changes. When I started, we started to see blogs appear for the first time, and there were blogs that had more traffic and more followers than trade publications and industries. And they had to fight to get journalist access to the wire. And the wire is public, so anyone can see it. But to get journalist access and drill down by industry or segment and be able to set parameters like, I want releases that mention they’re in this industry and they also mentioned this topic, or exclude press releases that mention this topic, you can really create a customized feed with that journalist access and the wire. And it took a while for the news wires to start accepting blogs as media. The big change I’ve seen is social media has become front and center, and the news wires have widely accepted influencers and media from all types. There are Instagram influencers that have newswire journalists access because they represent a large part, especially in fashion. Fashion is very Instagram forward. There’s a lot of Instagram influencers that don’t have a website, but they have a huge following and they’re recognized as media to the Newswire.


[00:18:40.420] – Mickey Kennedy

So that landscape is definitely changing and they’re so much more accepting of the fact that media is changing considerably. Where we get our attention, where we get our news, where we want to explore and be entertained and delighted is moving all around. And so that is really fun to watch that. I also think that there’s a progression towards video as content. I don’t think we’re there yet with the video press release, but I do think that there, five to 10 years, a lot of press releases probably will be more video forward, where now it’s just additional collateral to your press release to have a video.


[00:19:22.040] – Jonathan Denwood

That’s fantastic. I think we’re going for a middle break. I really enjoyed the conversation. Mickey’s really given some excellent value in this interview so far. We will be back in a few moments, folks.


[00:19:36.620] –  Kurt von Ahnen

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[00:19:54.530] – Jonathan Denwood



[00:19:54.930] –  Kurt von Ahnen

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[00:19:56.920] – Jonathan Denwood

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[00:19:58.800] –  Kurt von Ahnen

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[00:20:00.190] – Jonathan Denwood

Year, you can.


[00:20:01.240] –  Kurt von Ahnen

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[00:20:05.590] – Mickey Kennedy

Copy today. This podcast episode is brought to you by Lifter LMS, the leading learning management system solution for WordPress. If you or your client are creating any online course, training based membership website, or any type of eLearning project, Lifter LMS is the most secure, stable, well supported solution on the market. Go to Lifter LMS. Com and save 20 % at checkout with coupon code podcast 20. That’s podcast 20. Enjoy the rest of your show.


[00:20:46.440] – Jonathan Denwood

We’re coming back, folks. Just want to point out, if you’re looking for a great WordPress hosting and support partner, why don’t you look at WP Tonic? We’ve got over 15 years experience in building out membership and community focused websites. So if you’ve got a major project and you’re looking for a technical partner, plus a great hosting partner, why don’t you go over to WP Tonic partners, WP Tonic partners, and have a look at the packages we offer? And we’d love to have a chat with you. So over to you, Kurt.


[00:21:24.890] –  Kurt von Ahnen

Mickey, I was trying to think about some of the PR work that I’ve done in the past, and usually it’s attached to a website or a project, right? And so I can remember submitting the press release and then getting that out and then doing a Google search to figure out who picked up the press release. And if there’s a better way to do that, I don’t know what that is. But figuring out who actually used the press release and then take whoever used that press release and link it to an email campaign to show that third party edification to our existing mail list. That’s like this cycle that I had done. What crucial things do you think that people need to understand in 2023 to have an effective PR outreach? Can you think of some best practices that need to be in place to make sure they optimize the result?


[00:22:14.870] – Mickey Kennedy

Right. So I think as you talked about Google search, that’s what I recommend to my customers, both a Google News search and a Google Web search. There are news sites that ask to be excluded from Google News, but they do show up in Google Web. So it’s really strange, but you have to do both of those. One of the things that I’ve learned is you can actually do advanced search and set the parameters of the day that you issued the press release to now. So you’re only looking at websites that include your company name since that period. So it makes it easier to search both the news and the web search. As far as best practices, it sounds like you were doing a really great job because so many of my customers will get a little bit of media attention and not know what to do with it. And I’m like, screenshot that, take the link, share it with your social media, share it with your email list of customers, share it with leads. Customers are always considering, should I be rethinking about my vendors and who I work with? And if they see you in some national news or something within your industry, they’re going to feel like, I’m with the right person.


[00:23:26.640] – Mickey Kennedy

I have the right partner. They’re on point. They’re in this publication. There’s been this social proof or third party corroboration that they know what they’re doing, and they’re a great outfit. The same thing applies with leads. There are always leads that are on the fence about who they want to work with and who they’re going to choose. Seeing an article that includes you in it is really a great implied endorsement and boost your credibility so that they’re more likely to tip over and use you as opposed to someone else. And so that’s some of the most valuable parts of media that people don’t take attention or pay attention to. They think about just new customers they get from articles and things like that. And that does happen. But you can also take that and use that as your sales collateral and really put yourself out there and expose that to people and get the benefits of that implied endorsement, that third party corroboration by sharing that.


[00:24:32.370] –  Kurt von Ahnen

I feel like when I was doing this in the 90s, you put something out and it would just get sucked up. And then even in the 2000s, you would put something on Twitter, you would grow a Twitter account for a customer. Next thing you know, there’s 80,000 followers. It just seemed easier. And now it seems like there’s more competition for that attention, that currency that people that like Gary Vee and Chuck would talk about. Are there any easy buttons or top secret things, any features that you can click on or buy that get you that tiered access?


[00:25:04.690] – Mickey Kennedy

Not really. I think you’re fighting a lot of algorithms that really try to minimize the exposure you get. So if you post on Twitter, fewer people that even follow you will see it than before. And Facebook is doing the same. All the algorithms are changing so that it is very competitive and harder to get attention. So I suspect it’s going to continue to get harder. But I think that the more places that you get yourself and expose yourself to… I mean, when you get mentioned in an article in the New York Times, and if you’re lucky enough to get a link, which I’ve managed to get one customer a link in the New York Times article, even though their policy is not to link out. When you get that, that really boosts your SEO. It really sends a signal of authority to you. And I think that all you can really do is just play the game, take advantage of all the social media places, try to have a presence everywhere, and people naturally will find you where they are comfortable, and then just share through all of these different outlets and not really put all your eggs in one basket.


[00:26:23.090] –  Kurt von Ahnen

Nice. Thank you. Jonathan?


[00:26:26.070] – Jonathan Denwood

Yeah, it’s not on our list of questions, but I thought I’d ask this because you’ve probably been thinking about it yourself is, how do you see AI affecting the whole world of articles and outreach? Now, you’ve got a lot of experience in this business, so you must have been thinking about it. I’ve got such mixed feelings about it, Mickey.


[00:26:51.390] – Mickey Kennedy

I do too. When it comes to content on my website, I don’t want AI content on it because I’ve done some tests and there’s free websites that will determine and grade your content, how human it is. And the AI content grades very poorly. I’d won 8 % human, I want 12 % human that we had generated through AI. It was a blog post that we were testing how good it would be to create a blog post. I felt the article was pretty good and I felt like from a blog post standpoint, it was good content. But I don’t want that content on my website because I know Google is smarter than a free website and they could probably more easily readily determine this is AI content. And I know that Google has always been about giving their customers the best experience and they try to avoid manipulated links and things that are done through computer intelligence. And so when it comes to that, I’m against it. But a press release is different because you’re writing a press release for the media that will be transformed into an original article. So I actually believe that having AI write your press release is not a bad idea.


[00:28:05.050] – Mickey Kennedy

I think that having the AI generate the idea for the press releases where it could go wrong, I find that you really have to have that human spark of creativity and trying to leverage what could be really compelling press release idea really comes best from humans. I’ve played around with ideas for press releases with AI, and I’ve been very disappointed. But the actual press release that it generates, I haven’t been disappointed. I thought it’s done a really good job. I usually use prompts that are paragraph specific rather than write an entire press release because that way you can really focus on what I want the first paragraph to accomplish, what I want the second paragraph to accomplish. But I think when prompted correctly, AI does a really great job and I don’t see a penalty coming from that unless it doesn’t read well. I found that chat GPT 4.0 specifically reads pretty darn well. And I don’t think you’re going to get tripped up. And if that gets more people doing press releases, I’m okay with it. It really is one of those things that I find interesting. But I’m not sure outside of those parameters how wide AI should go.


[00:29:20.110] – Mickey Kennedy

I know that there are people who are creating entire campaigns, the copy on their website is AI generated. The emails that are sending out are AI generated. I think that that’s a really cool concept. If that gets you to market fast and you can get an affiliate base or someone to promote you and you’re not relying on SEO, I think that that can work. But if you are looking at building an asset that you want to last over time, I think having that content on your website could hurt you long term with Google and other people ranking those pages.


[00:29:58.740] – Jonathan Denwood

Yeah, there have been I totally agree with some of the things you’ve said because Google has been really koi about how they’re going to be dealing with AI generated content. They’ve been, to say, they’ve been giving mixed messages on that particular topic. So I’ve been experimenting. I think you’ve got a very common sense stance there. And I think my observation is you’ve really got to read it well and you’ve got to check everything. If you’re not deeply knowledgeable, you’re going to have to spend time researching because it gets a lot of stuff wrong. And really basic stuff, it gets wrong. And what I found with it is it gets a fair bit. And then suddenly it gets really fundamental stuff totally wrong. And you’re surprised, but I’m not surprised anymore. So I think just slapping it on and just sending it out, that’s where probably Google is going to hit you because it is wrong, isn’t it?


[00:31:13.150] – Mickey Kennedy



[00:31:13.960] – Jonathan Denwood

Yeah, you would agree with it? Over to you, Kurt.


[00:31:20.870] –  Kurt von Ahnen

I was thinking about the next question, and it was asking about online influencers and how that may have changed the modern PR outreach. And I think you touched on that a little already, Mickey, but I’m just curious, in this world where influencers and all of these other things are taking our attention, is there a best practice or a best way to get influencers more involved, maybe in the PR process, or maybe leverage that in a more creative way to have them bring more skin to the game?


[00:31:59.670] – Mickey Kennedy

Yes. I have seen campaigns where they are really trying to outreach influencers, particularly TikTok, Instagram, with engaging with followers. I think that that’s great. I think that as part of a campaign focusing on them, it gets tricky into paid sponsorship because it seems like so many people feel that’s just easy. Let’s just rather than try to network, facilitate, show what we’re doing is really cool, and have them organically promote us or talk about us is one approach. And I think that a lot of people just like to cut through and just do the paid placements. The thing about it is I think that there usually is the paid partnership mention. I think people see that. I think people see it for what it is because generally they read cold pitches. I follow one guy who each week covers what’s new in the fast food arena that week and what’s new with snacks. He relies on press releases and images from press releases for a lot of the new snacks and things like that, as well as some of the fast food as well. N one of that’s paid. It’s organic. I think that the content feels like it is.


[00:33:23.590] – Mickey Kennedy

It makes us like, Oh, there’s a Spiderman Whopper now. Maybe I should go check that out. Where it was just a paid, here’s this whopper, let’s focus on it and it’s paid sponsorship. It would be unnatural and come across in a way that I wouldn’t want to go out and give it a try. So I think you just have to be careful. I know it’s easier to just reach out and pay someone, but you can naturally, organically get stuff in front of people that will excite them and that they’ll want to share with their audience. And if you can balance that on also doing a PR campaign and also reaching out directly, I think it could be a really great win. Yeah.


[00:34:10.800] –  Kurt von Ahnen

I was thinking specifically of a campaign I remember from the Ford Motor Company where they were releasing a new model, and they had the PR release for the new model. But then they also asked influencers to take the car and take it on a trip somewhere and then report about it. And then there were all these follow up press releases from those influencers. And I thought, well, that’s cool because it’s blending those two worlds together in a way that really I thought that skin in the game was the way I looked at that. Yeah, you got paid and you got a free car, but you actually had to do some work.


[00:34:39.820] – Mickey Kennedy

With it, too. Sure. Yeah.


[00:34:44.230] –  Kurt von Ahnen



[00:34:45.570] – Jonathan Denwood

Yeah, I think it’s really fascinating that you’re saying there, M ikayla. I think it’s another area where you’re going to have to utilize common sense, which there isn’t a lot out there, is there, by observation. A lot of influencers in the crypto currency have got into a lot of hot water. They were financial influencers, and a lot of them have been sued, aren’t they, even as we speak. I think as long as you tell people that you’re being sponsored, they didn’t. They were pushing stuff and they weren’t making very clear that they were being sponsored. Were they, Mickey?


[00:35:33.320] – Mickey Kennedy

No, they weren’t. I know that there’s tags in, for example, TikTok that says paid sponsorship or something like that. I can tell when I’m being pitched and that’s not appearing there because it feels inauthentic. It doesn’t seem natural the way they’re talking about the product. It’s all just marketing and hype and things like that. So I think that there is something where when we see paid sponsor or advertiser or something like that, we get protective and we get distanced. I think that that’s why a good landing page for a company might be 5 %. But I have customers who say that this article, we had 400 visitors from it and 300 orders. Is that seem right? 75 % conversion rate? And I’m like, It can be. Because when someone reads an article about someone and they just want to do business with you, they’ll just click through and want to buy. They’re very often not in shopping mode where they’re going to compare you with other products or services out there. They’ve read this, they’ve got the Goodwill, and now they’re moving on. As I also point out is, we don’t know how many people read the original article and didn’t click through.


[00:36:56.050] – Mickey Kennedy

They weren’t engaged enough to want to click through and find out more. But that is one of the cool things that happens with earned media, where the conversion rate of these pages can be substantially different than a paid landing page. And I think it’s because an article is just got that third party endorsement that’s written by an objective person. And what they’re saying, they weren’t paid for, they weren’t prompted. And what they’re going to focus on may not be what you as the marketer would want to focus on. But it is what it is. But it also can be very valuable. I’ve actually had a couple of clients who were so intrigued with what was happening with the articles that they sent paid traffic to the article. The important thing here is they can’t retarget to those people because unless they click through to their website. But they tested it and they found that in some cases it worked really well for a period of time to just send paid traffic to a third party site that they had no connection to.


[00:38:04.120] – Jonathan Denwood

That’s fantastic. Fun question. Obviously, I’m English. I live in America, though. I was a big fan of Dr. Who and the Tardis. So if you had your own time machine, you could go back to the beginning, first part of your career. Is there any one or two things you wish you could tell yourself? Don’t go on English run podcast to be interviewed.


[00:38:32.910] – Mickey Kennedy

I think the biggest thing would be to learn to delegate and trust employees more sooner. I was really bad about micromanaging, wanting every conversation that every employee had to be scripted, as I would say it, and you just can’t do that. And at a certain point, I just walked away from the day to day operations and went back to focus on education for my clients and marketing for the business. And that was really good. Freed me up from the day to day grind so that I could grow the business substantially more than we were doing. And I think that doing that sooner would have really helped me and helped the business as well. But I am glad that I eventually learned to fire myself from the day to day operations.


[00:39:24.030] – Jonathan Denwood

That’s fantastic. Over to you, Kurt.


[00:39:26.680] –  Kurt von Ahnen

Well, the follow-up to that is, what are any online resources or books or something like that that you can recommend to our listeners to help guide them along their growth?


[00:39:39.410] – Mickey Kennedy

Sure. So if you’re looking to learn more about press releases, ereleases. Com is our website. We have a lot of free resources there, and a couple of ebooks that are available. I have a free video Masterminds, less than an hour long, and it goes through strategic press releases that get media attention. I always tell people to consider this an audit. It’s an hour-long video. Run it through the lens of your business and jot down ideas that come naturally because these will be ideas that are more strategic and more likely to get media attention if you do a PR campaign. And that’s available at ereleases. Com plan, P L, A N. And there’s also a link in our footer at to it as well.


[00:40:29.660] – Jonathan Denwood

Fantastic. Cool. Well, I think I’m going to wrap it up. Mickey, you’ve been a fabulous guest. Actually, you’re given a lot of value, actually. I really enjoyed the conversation. If you want to support the show, folks, share it on your social media, whatever your poison is, and just Twitter or Facebook or whatever, and tell your tribe about the podcast. We’re growing; we’re seeing and getting a lot of good feedback. We’re having some great interviews. I really enjoyed this one. We will be back next week with another great interview. We’ll see you soon, folks. Bye.


[00:41:06.660] – Mickey Kennedy

Hey, thanks for listening. We really do appreciate it. Why not visit the Mastermind Facebook group? And also, to keep up with the latest news, click WP-Tonic. com newsletter. We’ll see you next time.

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