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Client success stories: The Three Ts in action

Everyone has their keys to success. Warren Buffett says “no to almost everything,” Tiger Woods credits his “work ethic” for his success, and Dwight D. Eisenhower said “unquestionable integrity” is the “supreme quality for leadership.”

People often ask if media connections are our key to success. It’s a good question, especially since a lot of PR firms tout their relationships with key influencers and media outlets.

But our approach has little to do with who we know. It’s instead about what we know – the Three Ts that land diverse clients in desired media across the country. They are:

  • The right Topic – Gatekeepers want content that is of interest to their consumers.
  • At the right time – Think financial thought leadership during tax time instead of Thanksgiving, or announcing an M&A transaction just before it happens instead of a month later.
  • From someone with the right title – Nobody cares about a lawyer’s opinion on the best wheelchair after surgery. They might care if that lawyer just won a major case about disability rights. 

How we put the Three Ts into action

Don’t get us wrong. It’s easier to get through to someone who knows that your clients’ messages are legitimate. But the same gatekeepers who jump at relevant stories one week will turn down your best pitch the following week if it’s not a good fit.

This is especially the case when gatekeepers constantly change beats, jobs, and outlets. That’s why we developed a formula that works with clients that are known in their industry as well as those who are just making their steps into wider brand recognition and credibility.

Here’s how we’ve put that formula into practice for some of our clients.

Topic

A seasoned CEO and nonprofit leader wanted to build credibility for his new consulting brand. We helped him draft an essay on the challenges facing professional trade associations – and the solutions to those challenges – and placed it in a top international business outlet. 

One author understood how proposed public policies would harm landlords and tenants. We drafted his piece and secured it at a national media outlet that had a political viewpoint which aligned with the argument he made.

Timing

There’s only one time of year to talk about Halloween (hint: it’s not in February), so in October we knew gatekeepers would be more interested in content about one of the year’s most sugar-filled nights. We helped a dentist write and place a piece in a national outlet about how parents could balance healthy teeth while allowing their kids to fully participate in trick-or-treating. 

A few weeks earlier, a mother of five wanted to inspire people to enjoy the loving chaos of family life. Her topic was navigating back-to-school; and her timing was early September. Her op-ed found a place in a large regional newspaper that likely wouldn’t have cared about that same topic – or her title as a mother – if the piece was pitched in March.

Title 

Police tactics and training is a heated debate. The author, a retired police officer, wanted to show how his training for the streets applied equally well as a school resource officer. He used research and his own experience to make the case that police operate with more soft, non-violent skills than most people realize. The piece was well-written, but it wouldn’t have landed in a top national paper without his titles as a former deputy sheriff and school resource officer. 

An insurance broker wouldn’t have gotten his opinion on police work published anywhere. But we did use an insurance broker’s counter-intuitive perspective about drug pricing to get him into the biggest paper in his state. His excellent topic was timed to recent news, but the paper was most interested in his being an area resident who tied the issue to area readers.

Combination

All three Ts must be present for successful media coverage. Sometimes, all three must be equally present, like when we had people with the right titles (mental health therapists) talking about a relevant topic (holiday grief) at the right time (right before Christmas). Or when we got the CEO of a women’s health advocacy organization (title) published on the anniversary (timing) of a major cultural and legal event (the topic which she addressed).

Rinse, wash, repeat: The Three Ts work for everyone

Warren Buffett is one of the world’s wealthiest people, but the principles of his success work for someone investing $200 or $200,000. McDonald’s has built a repeatable process that has delivered billions of burgers around the world. And we put client’s impactful messages in trusted media outlets using our not-so-secret sauce of the right topic at the right time from someone with the right title.

It’s just part of our process for client success.

Republished with permission from our partner Proven Media Solutions.