Judgement call on 'USA Today' pick

Article about leadership judgement has an immediate impact on 'USA Today' Money section readers

Who is your client, and what are their media goals?

Keren Schultz: Noel Tichy and Warren Bennis are both business gurus as well as co-authors of a new book, Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls. The authors and their New York publisher, Portfolio, turned to us to generate coverage in top-tier media outlets read by business executives.

USA Today obviously has a huge circulation, but what made it a good placement for this business book? How did you pitch the reporters and editors there?

Schultz: USA Today is the most widely read newspaper in the US, which made it a great target for us. Our agency had worked with the USA Today Money section editors and reporters in the past, so we focused on reporter Del Jones, sending him an e-mail offering first rights to an interview with both authors. That, combined with the fact that leadership judgment is a topic that hadn't been covered much before, convinced Del that it would be a good story.

Did you media train the authors prior to their interviews, or provide other support material to help clinch the placement?

Schultz: The authors had a lot of media experience in the past, so [they] didn't need much training. But we did outline what Del would be looking for, and worked with Portfolio to give them talking points. We also provided a copy of the book and stayed in contact with Del to make sure all of his questions were answered.

What was the impact of the hit?

Schultz: The article, "Even Good CEOs Pick the Wrong Direction" ran on the front page of USA Today's Money section and had an immediate impact. [On] the morning the story ran, "Judgment" was listed on Amazon.com as ranked 26,635. By the end of the day, it was around 2,000; and by the end of the week, it was under 1,000. Needless to say, both the authors and Portfolio, the publisher, were thrilled with the placement.

Name: Keren Schultz, media specialist, Stern & Associates (Cranford, NJ)

Placement: USA Today, Oct 7, 2007

Pitch timeline: One month

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