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