Entrepreneur Office Hours - Issue #171
As featured on the Today Show
If you happened to be watching the Today Show on Monday morning around 8:53 AM ET, you saw a familiar face. If you weren’t, click here (or the video above) to see yours truly in a featured segment talking about my Duke social marketing class, “Building Global Audiences”… a.k.a. the “Duke TikTok Class.”
Needless to say, it’s been a busy week here at Entrepreneur Office Hours as my work teaching social media content creators at Duke went mainstream.
As part of that, I know I’ve been promising to share my “Duke TikTok Class” online for a long time, and I’ve finally made a big step toward doing it. This month, I’m hosting a free, live session to kick off the online version of Building Global Audiences on Social Media (a.k.a. my Duke “TikTok Class”), and I’d love to have all of you there.
During the class I’ll discuss strategies for growing audiences on social media including concepts like:
Trend jumping — Dramatically increase views by easily identifying key trends and content opportunities
Content Niching — Multiply engagement with your content by verticalizing your content to speak to specific communities
Hook testing — Go viral by testing messages and video “hooks” that will make the algorithm launch your content
Space is limited, so be sure to register ASAP before the sessions fill up.
See you soon!
To be fair, I’m not literally burning anything. But I might as well be burning the money since it’s probably more useful than what I’ve decided to do with it.
Building off my Today Show experience, I wanted to share some observations about the current shift in media and the kinds of opportunities entrepreneurs should be exploring.
Register for one of my free, live social marketing courses:
Office Hours Q&A
I had the Today Show on in the background this morning while I was getting ready for work when suddenly I hear them talking about a social media professor at Duke. I looked up, and of course it was you! That’s so amazing!!!!!
Congrats on the big press. It’s great to see your work getting the credit it deserves, and I’m just excited to be able to say I was one of your earliest readers.
And that brings me to my question, which is about getting press for your work. I was curious to know if you did anything to get the Today Show to “discover” you, or if it magically happened, or what?
I’ve been running a non-profit for nearly a decade and I think the cause is very important and deserves more attention, but I’m not sure how to get press for it. I thought if anyone would have the answer for getting the media to notice what you’re building, it’s clearly you.
Thanks for your advice, and, again, congrats on the Today Show!
Thanks for all the kind words, Jillian!
I have to admit I’m not the press/media/PR savant you’re suggesting I am. I have, however, learned a few things over the years, and I’m happy to share some of what I know if you think it would be useful.
Regarding this particular experience with the Today Show, it wasn’t magical or lucky or anything like that. It began with years of hard work. After all, I’ve been teaching social marketing classes at Duke for nearly a decade.
Since you mention working on your nonprofit for a long time, it sounds like you already understand all the work that goes into building things from scratch, but I want to make sure the long timeline and all the required effort is clear to other readers, too. Often, when we see someone or something getting big media coverage, we forget we’re seeing the outcome of lots of effort. Sure, it can seem “sudden” and “lucky” from the outside, but I guarantee the person/organization being featured doesn’t feel like it was random or sudden. They surely feel like they worked incredibly hard and the accolades didn’t come nearly fast enough.
Beyond my years of researching/teaching/experimenting/etcetera, the most direct reason for my Today Show coverage was from other media coverage I’d been getting prior. Specifically, a year earlier, I began getting some smaller press coverage for my class thanks to my students posting about it on their social media accounts. Slowly, and over time, those press hits got bigger and made the class more prominent. Finally, my university’s comms team published a story about the class, and that’s what got it on the radar of NBC producers.
So that’s the high level process… the seeds for the Today Show interview this week were planted over a year prior, and they required a series of increasingly more prominent media pushes.
Anyone looking for similar types of publicity should think about following the same general process. Don’t start by pitching the biggest media outlet you can find. Instead, build relationships with smaller media opportunities (social media creators and niche bloggers are great places to start), then work your way up from there. As you do so, remember it’s a slow process and can be derailed at any time. Remember that there are no “magic bullets,” so don’t get frustrated. Keep working hard and keep putting yourself in a position where your story and work can become more visible.
Got startup questions of your own? Reply to this email with whatever you want to know, and I’ll do my best to answer!