From Press Release to Dr. Phil Show

This is my favorite press release story. Jodi Bean is married to the president of OrangeSoda Jay Bean and that's how I know her. She and I wrote books about the same time and I like getting updates from Jay about how it's going.

One day I met their daughter Victoria. I didn't know Victoria's story, or the story of how the family adopted her, but that is the story of Jodi's book Love Lessons.

In April, Jodi asked me to write a press release. It had recently broke in the news that a single mom Torry Hansen from Tennessee sent her adopted Russian son back to Russia by himself with a 1-way ticket. There was public outcry and it was on all the talk shows. I listened to a few that week on the way to work.

Jodi had been on Good Morning America recently too and wanted to highlight that. It shows that she is good on camera. Her main goal though was to sell copies of her book. While she had some other press it didn't talk explicitly about her book. She emailed me her story and the links. I used it to write the press release. She hadn't sent a press release before and pretty much trusted me to make the decisions.

The press release was targeted to Utah on Business Wire (this links to the actual press release) since I thought it was a story that the media would be interested in. I also needed it to go live immediately because the story would only be in the news a few days. It didn't get a large response but it did get a strong one.

We didn't target keywords because there wasn't a lot of demand for phrases relating to the story. The important thing was to link to the book, her other appearances and to her foundation. These built trust and gave her credibility. There was no follow-up promotion of the news that I know of.

Results from press release:

  • Book sales – unknown but still trying to get figures or ballpark from Jodi.
  • Front page story on the main Utah newspaper the Salt Lake Tribune (links to the story) which mentioned her book twice. I found out about it when I read the newspaper that morning. It was about 2 weeks after we sent the press release.
  • The Dr. Phil show (links to video preview of the show) called and they came to the Bean house to film the story.  She will appear on the Dr. Phil show today to tell her story on June 2, 2010. [update: I got a correction from Jody that she emailed the show directly with the story idea.]

Want to learn about how press releases can help you get your story told? I talk about the power of press releases in my book I Need a Killer Press Release, Now What??

Note: It's important to note that this started with a story on KSL (a local news station) before there was a big national story. That's how Good Morning America found the story when the national angle hit. This helped build credibility and likely helped her get on the Dr. Phil Show. The lesson here is to start by getting a story in a local media outlet and you can build on that for future coverage.

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