Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Does Oprah Like You?

As mentioned in a post last year, Oprah Winfrey's talk show is the be-all and end-all for so many individuals and businesses seeking media attention, whether their target audience watches the show or not. A recent Ad Age story evaluates the role advertising and sponsorships play in selecting featured products and spokespersons that appear on the show, and while most of the article's content applies to large corporations with consumer products, there's a message there for small businesses, nonprofits, authors and others, too: If Oprah or her producers like you or your product, you've got the best shot at getting on Oprah's show or mentioned in her popular magazine, O.

So how do you make sure Oprah and crew become fans of your consumer product? Serendipity would help, but you can't make that happen, so you have to explore other options. Here are some ideas:
  1. Hire a PR firm with a strong track record of placing guests and products on "Oprah." It will cost you a lot, so keep reading if the D-I-Y approach is a better budget fit.
  2. Suggest a compelling and appropriate show theme that can incorporate your product through the "Be on the Show" page of the show's Web site.
  3. Get your product, service or cause in front of the right "Oprah" producer. How? It will take work to figure out who might be the most interested. And while you can send your pitch to all of the producers, it's smarter to do some research to figure out which one might be the most receptive. Some ideas: Record the show and write down the names of all the producers. Check for their Facebook or MySpace pages, where they might list their interests. Google them to see if they've posted on any discussion lists that will give you a clue to their hobbies, likes, dislikes. Use the "intelligence" you gather to make an informed decision about who might be the most receptive to your pitch. For example, if your nonprofit is on a mission to educate America about how to create a safe environment for pets, pitch the producer who has pictures of her pets on her Facebook page.
  4. Review several issues of O, the magazine, to determine where your product might best fit into the magazine. Is it "The O List" or do you think it should be a recipe ingredient in the food section? Maybe your executive director is so remarkable that she could be profiled in the magazine. Check the masthead or make a call to find out who edits that section, and send a sample, a press release with product details, and a cover letter explaining why you're sending the product to the appropriate editor.
Finally, should you be lucky enough to get a show or magazine mention, leverage the heck out of it. That should be obvious, right? Nope. In 2002, Oprah declared Graeter's, a Southern Ohio ice cream brand, as her favorite. And yet, I can't find a mention of it on the Graeter's Web site. It should be on every page of that site. Every single page.

Have you been blessed with an Oprah endorsement? Tell us about it!


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I would like Oprah to bless me and other that have been my B.S. from a business owner. I took out a minority loan being told I was 100% owner of the a company only to find out the the preson I took out the loan for never intended to give me control fo his company. He lied on the application ect. I have all the paper work to back this up . Now he has he used the resources from the first companyto stratup anther the start up money.
and stared another business useing the clientsfrom the first .HELP
I would like to expose him an others that do the same. Have you ever had a show on this topic.
He and other that do this fly just under the radar so that lawers just do not want to take this to court . what should I do. to help myself and others from falling into this trap.
phone 1708-772-5471