Hello. Hello guys. What is up? Welcome to the Thursday Facebook live show. I'm Jen Berson, the founder of generation PR and the creator of the profitable PR pros community, a one-stop shop, a one-stop resource hub for community resources for you to become a pitching powerhouse and launch grow and scale your own profitable PR agency. Um, yeah, this topic. Oh my gosh. We started posting about it and people, I mean, even people that are not PR professionals, just people that are kind of interested in media, securing media for themselves and their businesses. Hi Catherine. Um, they started messaging me like yeah. WTF is up. Hi buddy. Thank you guys so much for being here. I knew this would be a really popular topic because you know, we're starting to see this more and more with the, these PR firms PR professionals. Hi Shanae, um, offering pay to play or only pay.
Okay. Candace messaged me. Let me know. You said you just ran into this, this conversation is needed yet. I knew this was be a good one. Um, and I it's so crazy because I get hit up in my DMS all the time, probably three times a day, maybe from these kind of shady, um, PR agencies telling me that they can land me features. Um, and I only pay and I get the opportunity to review the story. I only pay when it runs and I'm like, guys, like, know your audience here. You know, we are true earned media PR professionals. There's a skill that's involved with what we do. And all of us that are working so hard to secure these features. We know how hard it is. Um, hi, Jennifer, Candice says, I pitched for earned media and then they emailed me back asking for a fee.
That's another thing coming straight from the media versus people per, uh, representing themselves to be PR professionals or PR agencies that are offering essentially what we're trying to provide to clients, which is earned media. Hi Kelly, um, earned media features for our clients and we work on retainer results. Aren't guaranteed and they're out there saying, you know, don't worry, we'll get you a feature. It's guaranteed. We'll do it in two weeks and you don't have to pay us until we land it. And you get the chance to review it as a business owner. That's really enticing. Right. Um, and Sarah is saying some podcasts charge, insane amounts. I've prices over $3,000 for an episode. Yeah. So we have two sides here. Um, I have a lot of notes on this one. You guys, I knew it would be a hot topic because we are all wondering what's going on.
And also how do we address this with our clients? Because when it's frustrating explaining this to clients. Yes. Okay. So we're going to talk about all of that. Um, you know, it ties into the live topic. I did last week about guaranteeing PR results to your clients. So we talked about whether or not you should ever guarantee results and it might be coming up a lot for you with your clients because they are also being approached by outlets or other agencies who are guaranteeing placements. And it's been happening more and more. And I know you're all here because this is something that we need to talk about. Okay, we need to talk about this. So yeah, the whole idea of pay to play media placements. It has been around as long as I have been working in PR you know, and, and much longer, um, which for me is almost 17 years.
Um, but it's becoming more and more prevalent and it's looking a lot different these days. Right. Hi Monica. Um, so have you ever worked with a client, any of you, um, who expected certain results to be delivered like a guarantee or maybe you felt pressured, especially this happens when we're just starting out, we're like, you know, new and you think that in order to land big clients, like you're kind of, um, you know, dream clients, high-end, you know, big ticket retainer clients that you have to guarantee results in order for them to take you seriously. You know, let me just tell you that industry standard, you know, we are not guaranteeing results. Um, and I'm going to get into the coded code of ethics and what is actually happening in our industry for true earned media professionals, which is what all of you are here to learn to hone and what service we provide.
Um, you know, we kind of struggle with this, but it's getting more tricky to navigate, especially because these opportunities are sometimes coming straight to your clients. So what, even our pay to play media placements, and I've seen in the comments, many of you have mentioned both of these general umbrellas. Um, one umbrella is paid opportunities from these media outlets and these are sometimes very obvious and sometimes they're really sneaky. Okay. So hi Nelson. Um, so the obvious ones, um, have been like advertorials, or maybe there's like an ad. If you can't afford an ad in a publication, they'll do like a page that has a theme, you know, like hot fines for October, and there's multiple products and they're paying a little bit of money for the placement. And these are advertorials. Um, maybe to the consumer, it's a little tricky because they think it might be pure editorial, but traditionally clients have known that those are actual paid placements.
They are not editorial. There's also, um, other opportunities where it's like a package where they'll come to you. And this is what I think that, um, Candace was saying, she pitched the media, um, editors for on placement, and then they will either forward you to the marketing department or the ad sales department or ask for a fee. Um, and if it's true journalism, that's super shady, but if they have pure editorial and they're also selling ads, then they can kind of, it used to be complete separation. Advertising was completely independent from editorial. When I started, you wouldn't even like, breathe a word of it like, oh, well we advertise because editorial was like so sacred and they didn't want to ever cross the line. And they needed journalistic integrity very quickly. When I started that evaporated, when media started kind of, um, dying and, you know, uh, having not dying.
Cause I know we all say media is dying. It's not dying. It's evolving when it evolved away from traditional media, getting those ad dollars, the way that they were used to, they knew they needed to kind of sweeten the pot to get advertisers. And they offered editorial as part of that. And we sometimes will get hi, Natasha. Yes. We talk about this all the time. So right now I'm talking about pay to play media placements from the media outlets. Okay. Because this is going to come up. Um, and now it's that they're, um, you know, offering sometimes like amplification on social media so you could get a package. And if there is something that is so aligned with what your client like your target audience, that your client wants to reach like a baby and kids outlet and their audience is parents, um, pregnant parents.
And they're offering you some kind of a package where you get pure editorial, you can pitch what you want, they'll decide what they feature. And then they're going to offer you a newsletter. Um, a banner ad, um, people don't really do banner ads anymore. Uh, social amplify amplification, uh, stories, takeover. Those, I feel are worthwhile opportunities to present to clients. And when we sell our services to clients, we tell that we also get opportunities for really good pate integrations, which we will forward to them. Like we have a client right now that is interested in being part of the huge gift guide. The gift guide this year is only pay to play. They have limited numbers of products per category. Um, I think that they are not offering exclusivity, which is a little interesting. Um, but for a fee you can be part of their gift guide and you can get amplified on social and be part of their newsletter.
And this was a $5,000 fee and our client was like, sign us up. We love it, let's do it. And so in that instance, we bring value because our agency has the relationship. We can negotiate a better package, but that's not the shady opportunities. Those are becoming more frequent with publications and clients are interested in open to hearing them. Of course we tell them our goal is always pure earned media, but when we come across paid opportunities like that, we will bring them to you. There's other things that come up that are sneaky, that come from the outlets where they've come up. They've been coming up for years where the people frame themselves as producers. You know, I know this one's going to resonate. I see those hearts. I know I've been there too. So they will email the client directly. And they'll say, I'm a producer for this lifestyle segment.
And we're interested in talking to you and featuring you. Um, and then, you know, you want to learn more, they'll say, let's, you know, let's get on the phone and we'll discuss like how we're going to feature your client and in what markets we're going to feature it and all of that. And then you get on the phone and the client's all excited. Oh yeah. You know, uh, the clients all excited and they're like, oh my God, a TV segment. Right. And then the person says, well, it's $7,500 to produce it. And that's to air in this many markets, but if you want it to air more broadly, um, these are like cable shows. Um, you know, there's cable shows and other things that are really compilations of paid in a paid integrations. Um, they're sneaky. Um, wow. I heart did this to my client and the cost was hundreds of thousands for all locations.
So Kelly, what you're saying is they said we would love to feature you. We love what you're all about. You know, we want to feature you in a segment that gets, that goes out to all of our, you know, um, all of our network and it'll be heard by hundreds of millions of people. Right. And you're like, oh my God, it's so exciting. And you get on with them and it's a paid integration. Um, yeah, it's shady. And for us, it's really frustrating because the client gets it and they forward it to us. And I'm like, this isn't real. And sometimes we look like we're pushing back a little bit because maybe that lead didn't come from us. But in all of our experience, we know, and you could do a little search on it and see that it is a paid opportunity and yeah, don't even waste your time with it.
Um, these are sneaky, but they're less detrimental to our industry because it's kind of like an advertorial opportunity and it's easy to ignore. And our clients know that they're not real PR opportunities. So it doesn't take away from what we are doing to get earned media. It doesn't like threaten our business model, let's say, okay. So aside from that, and now there's like, um, councils, we've seen like Forbes council, entrepreneur council, thous company council, where they're applying, um, it would be like thought leadership opportunity for individual experts. You pay an annual fee. Supposedly they only choose certain experts to contribute that are in different niches. So they don't have too many thought leadership voices in each platform. And then you get the opportunity to write articles as part of their council and place them on, um, you know, on their platform. And that's a little misleading too.
It's another way to monetize. I get that. Usually the caliber of people that they're featuring are good and the content is good. I believe it has to be vetted in advance, but that's another kind of paid opportunity to earn real estate with an article on that platform. And I will see people post like, oh my God, I got featured on the homepage of Forbes. And it's like, well, you're paying them for the opportunity to contribute and give you credibility. And I'm not saying it's all bad, but just see it for what it is. Okay. So you might have seen those they're called like councils, like Forbes council or whatever. Um, and if you're looking for instant kind of thought leadership and you have a budget, um, and you have content you can amplify and repurpose, that might be an interesting opportunity for you. I think it's like 5,000 a year, 3000 a year or something like that.
And that might be a way for you to have thought leadership, but, and possibly include clients in that. But I don't know. Um, I do not know that if any of, you know, um, like we, um, somebody I know was a contributor at Inc unpaid before the council things. And she would use her articles as a way to feature brands that she was interested in working with in our marketing agency. So she would include them in these articles and then send it to them and get their attention. Um, but I don't know if you can do that as part of the council, um, because it's like, you're basically bypassing their advertising opportunity for clients to pay anyway. That's not why you guys are all here today. Everybody wants to talk about these guaranteed placements from PR agencies. K, give me a thumbs up, give me a thumbs up.
If your clients have ever been like, well, they're guaranteeing me. Why can't you? Or you get those emails and you're furious because you're, you know, we're working so hard over here. Oh yeah. Look at that. Heart's thumbs up. Good. You're telling Facebook that this topic matters. That's good. Let me know. Who's here too guys. I see Misty. Oh, wow. This is a big one guys. I just noticed there's a lot of people on hi, Natasha, Misty Kelly. Leddy high and Shanae Nelson. Candace. Sarah. Oh, hi Sarah. I didn't even see you. Nice to see you, Jennifer. Okay, cool guys. Um, so this is what our community is the most annoyed by, based on, um, uh, I just want to read these comments in real time. So Misty said I had an agency reach out to my client directly with a package I counseled against it, but the client wanted to do it anyway.
So we did it, but I hate it. Sarah. Missy, tell me more about why you hate it and what has possibly resulted if anything, or what did they I'm guaranteed. Sarah says one client signed up for a podcast service that guarantees two podcasts a month. And crystal says, I'm furious about all the outlets asking for money now, especially in music monetizing. Yeah. It's really, it's really frustrating. Certain niches. You're right. Are doing that more than others. Um, hi, uh, Renee, the Renee Yvonne. Um, welcome. I, we haven't met yet. It's so nice to see you. Thank you for being here. She says, thumbs up. I'm starting my own business following a 21 plus year career in the Navy. Thank you for your service. Um, I recently had a discovery call with someone who argued me down about paid placements and how real it is. I declined the opportunity to work with them.
Yeah. First of all, that's not the way to kick off a relationship. Um, if you're really looking to, um, you know, really hit the ground running with your agency. Um, we have a program I don't, I know you're kind of like new around here. Um, we have a program called the agency accelerator and we work with you to help. We put together resources to help you vet clients and fill your pipeline with the right clients. Um, you know, I don't, I don't love hearing that you had a call and, you know, it was like argumentative and, um, that's not any way to kick off a relationship and nobody should ever second guess your expertise or treat you like that ever. We want to fill your pipeline with more, um, savvy, um, you know, good clients, uh, crystal, uh, canvases agreeing with crystal. It's really bad in the music niche.
Um, music is a big one and day-to-day influencers who pay to play. Yep. This is happening in a lot of niches like that. Um, Monica, um, yay. You will love it. Um, send us a DM Monica. Um, I saw you talking about that, um, reach out to Miranda, um, about the agency accelerator. Um, just reach out, send her a DM or send, send her an email. Um, okay. So these guaranteed placements and there's multiple types. This is what our community is. So, so annoyed about this is PR firms saying yep. Misty is saying they guaranteed a feature in a top tier publication, Forbes, USA today, et cetera, along with three mid tier publications. I don't like the fact that they included publications such as medium as an option B that, uh, because they knew the client would have, wouldn't have a clue that it's a free platform, shady.
Right. We have just entered the agreement. So it'll be a couple of months before we see how this plays out. Keep us posted. Yeah. Super shady. And you get to tell the client like medium is like, just go ahead and post yourself. Yeah. Media Monica is like, LOL. Yeah. People are like, oh my God, I'm published on medium or whatever. Um, yeah, guys, just post something on there yourself. I mean, God. So PR firms will say things like that are like our PR agency is solely based on results, not retainers. Um, we have, uh, an opportunity for a full feature in business insider, and it'll take about two weeks and you only pay if we place the feature and you'll get, you'll be able to approve it beforehand, right? Like all Andrew in Forbes or entrepreneur, et cetera, for $500.
Right. Give me a thumbs up. If this makes your right, makes your hair stand on and makes your skin crawl. Um, this is definitely appealing to the problem with our industry being, um, as the standard, like results are not guaranteed. That's how we all operate. And that's a pain for founders of companies or CEOs where they have to show ROI and they're taking a leap of faith because, um, they don't know if they're going to get anything. And so, um, yeah, so they don't know if they're going to get anything. And so this really appeals to them because they only pay if there's a feature and it kind of solves a problem with our industry, like the basic complaint about our industry. And there are a lot of really bad PR firms that have maybe taken a fee, not that they intended to do a bad job, but maybe they didn't, they didn't go through the agency accelerator and that their clients to know whether there were actually going to be opportunities to feature them, um, to know if they were ready for PR, um, or maybe they just over promised and couldn't deliver.
And so that client is now like PR is a waste of money and they go out into the world and they say PR, they, you know, they can't guarantee results and they didn't get me anything. And I spent a six month retainer and I got nothing. And that is a kind of, um, feeling about our industry. That, of course, none of us, whatever, you know, be on that side of it that we're having to overcome. We get a lot, like we kind of specialize in generation, my, my PR firm in like the turnaround for clients that have gone to other firms had a bad experience. And we kind of do a post-mortem what happens like where, where was the problem? And we, it takes a lot of like cajoling, but we'll say we don't know what is going to happen, but here's the approach we're going to take and it'll be a little different, um, you know, it's a problem and it's part of what we have to overcome in our industry.
Hi, Andrea. Um, and Gail, nice to see you and Sally. Hi again. Um, so anyway, this is a problem for, for, you know, CMOs or CEOs that they have to show ROI. So it's appealing to say, look, I paid for an insertion in this outlet. We got this great feature, you know, but here's the deal. Um, so instead of the media outlet offering the paid integration, it's the PR firm who's being shady about it. So we all know that business insider has editorial. I've been featured on business insider, pure editorial, didn't pay a cent. Um, pitched an idea about a career transition from when I was an attorney and did this and got a really good, beautiful, nice, wonderful feature in business insider, but they also have pay to play opportunities. So sure. They probably do have an opportunity for a full feature. Um, one that a poor unsuspecting client will pay for.
And that probably has a big upcharge for the client when they place the story. And, um, you know, the big challenge, like the big sort of aha here that this is shady is when they say that you can approve the piece ahead of time, because we all know if you're working with an editor writer, journalist, and they're writing an article, they may fact check certain pieces, but they're not going to give you the opportunity to review and approve the article ahead of time. Never has this happened. Has this happened for any, any of you, um, Monica saying, how much are they paying for these placements? Well, sometimes they're a low fee. What they're doing as kind of like it's shady, there's a couple of ways they're doing it. I'm going to get more into it, um, about why and what's happening. But, um, sometimes they're, you know, buying space and they're ho you know, buying it wholesale and selling it at retail.
Um, and we've seen 500, 5,000, 10,000, um, oh, Nelson. Oh, sorry about that. Okay. Nelson, um, had a comment that I would need to check into and Toronto city TV's breakfast television, it used to be Toronto's number one morning show. They now charge for segments on the show. About 10 years ago, for three years in a row, I was able to schedule a pajama fashion show for a women's clothing store of mine at Christmas time that the producer loved a couple years later, the producer declined to do the segment again, telling me that this type of segment had to go through the sales department. Totally. Um, no, they don't come with an ad buy. Yep. And Misty sang I've been quoted anywhere from 5,000 to $14,000. Um, yeah. Offended as a journalist offended when they asked as a former journalist, Kelly is saying review by the interviewee is bad practice and it's considered unethical that's right.
It goes against journalistic integrity. Um, and crystal is agreeing. Editors do not typically allow to review PR for PR people to, um, you know, they write what they want. They take the angle, they want, you can only fact check and you don't get to see the article. They'll run by certain pieces. So sometimes they won't even do that. You have to give them the full information in advance and hope that it's accurate at the time of print. Um, Catherine is saying, ad placements can run anywhere from 500 to $10,000 and more, um, sometimes these agencies are writers or contributors and they're using their platform as a way to, um, make money. And it is absolutely against the like terms that you sign with these platforms we had in my pitch lab program, which is wonderful. I promise you, you will love the pitch lab. If any of you here, Kelly Nelson, um, are in the pitch lab, let us know what you think of it.
But, um, we had, uh, Dr. Sheryl Robbins, who is a contributor to Forbes, give us the lowdown on this, um, and told us that if they catch wind of you using your opportunity as a contributor to get paid, you're done and all of your content comes down. So sometimes what happens is that the articles that are being paid for get exposed as paid pay to play, and they take them down and they're gone, right? And now you have broken links and this thing you paid for doesn't exist anymore. It happens all the time. And when you pitch for pure editorial and somebody you're pitching, obviously they're going to do their due diligence and do their homework. They're going to search and see your client has participated in these paid, you know, shady opportunities. And that's kind of like a black ball to them. So you need to also look and make sure that you're seeing if they have done this in the past and let them know that it is going to seriously hinder their opportunity to secure real earned media, because those genuine outlets are going to look and see that they've participated in shady tactics.
And, you know, they don't want to align with, um, companies that are kind of trying to cheat the system. Catherine is saying exactly, it's owned media. So you can't control the message paid media is where the message can be controlled. That's right. That's why when, um, a PR firm says you have the opportunity to review it, that is a tip off to your clients, that it is not owned media. It is a paid integration and you're probably getting up charged. And the other thing, oh my God, I lost my place in my notes. The other thing is that, um, uh, so they don't have, um, the same amount of traffic. There have been data studies that have been done that sponsored stories have much, much lower traffic and next to no social amplification. So nobody's really even seeing it. It's just this like feather in their cap.
Most of the time, their target audience aren't even reading these articles. It's just like an ego boost to the, to the founders of the company for these like business insider Forbes, you know, all of that. Um, so your poor unsuspecting client is paying with, you know, for this, with a big upcharge and, you know, um, they get the opportunity to review it, which we know journalists will never, you know, actual journalists will never really do. Um, and this kind of tactic, this agency driven. Hi Jane. Yeah. Jane is saying the new form of vanity publishing. Um, and Jane has her own, uh, trade media outlet for the beauty industry. Um, have you ever noticed that anybody is like selling, um, spots in your publication or how do you distinguish or separate advertising from editorial? What, um, what's your approach there as someone who's kind of on both sides of the media?
Um, so this pay to play, this agency driven pay to play opportunity is newer and it's hurting our industry because it is undermining the pure kind of, um, earned media tactic strategy, this, this earned media skill that we all have invested in, and that we're all like experts in our craft. Um, it's, uh, hold on one second. I've lost my spot. Um, it's, you know, guaranteeing these placements, it really does undermine what we are doing, um, in like a retainer based service and trying to get multiple outlets, um, you know, clients for us want the right kind of outlets. Yes, crystal, I am also a journalist, but I never charged. I think it's tacky. I do use it to exchange favors with other pups. Love it. Sure. Why not? That's great. Um, exchange favors with other publicists. Why not? You know, as long as this is something you would really write about, you really believe in it, or you really think it's a fit or adds value to your readership, you know? Sure.
But there's a code of ethics that we work against or what is the word that we work to adhere to and PR and earned media as earned media. And we work on a retainer to try to get as much on media as possible, and it has to be the right media. So communications cannot, and it should not be driven by one single placement that short-term success, you know, regardless of whether it's paid or organic, we know that good communication, good communication strategy, good communicators like us. We care about strategy. We care about messaging. We care about storytelling and good clients care about that too. They don't just want one hit, you know, and some of these, um, pay these agencies that offer the pay to play are using that as a sales tactic, they'll use that as a way to get more money, more, you know, opportunities, or like, they'll do that one proven thing where they've paid for some, you know, bulk real estate for a sponsored opportunity.
They land you in that. You're like, wow, they're amazing. And then they kind of take a retainer and then don't deliver because they don't understand strategy messaging and storytelling, which is what we do. Catherine is saying. That's so sad though. A client's paying for ads when we can get them earned media is a terrible disservice to the clients. It also makes the agency look less than credible. Is this PR or marketing? It is advertising masquerading as PR Tallinn. So advertising is going as public relations for Halloween. They're masquerading as OND media, but they're not right. And we care about strategy messaging and storytelling. That is a skill when you're PR when you're guaranteeing a feature, what they're doing, like I said, is they're paying wholesale for real estate on these websites. Like they're buying bulk ad space because they have an inside track with a contributor or a journalist.
Um, this is not adhering to our code of ethics and the outlets don't like this. And as soon as they realize that a contributor is selling space, they're done, they cut them off. They delete the article, all the article, they blacklist the client. So you won't ever get featured. So when you, like I said, kick off a campaign with a new client, you need to look around and you need, you need to like ask them, have you ever paid for an article in a publication, like specifically paid for a feature so that you know, what you're dealing with, this is also social media. I remember back in the day, we would have to ask clients, have you ever paid for followers? You need to know that because if you get into their account and there's, they had a bot and it's all like bots follow, you know, following them.
And it's like, all these shady tactics are, they did, um, automated engagement. You're going to have a really hard time with their Instagram account. You're not going to be able to organically grow it because Instagram, you know, I know we talk about shadow banning and all of that. It does affect how Instagram, the algorithms, you know, get your content and get your page engagement out there. It does. It just does. So you need to know if they have done those things, just like when you work with a client, you have to know if they have paid for editorial, because that could come up and it'll make your job a lot harder. Um, so yeah, they can delete the content. So the client is paying for it, and then it's just gone. And like I said, the agencies that are offering this strategy, um, uh, has no idea what the company's goals are, what their key messaging is, what their strategy includes, who their audience is.
Um, and also maybe business insider or Forbes or some of these outlets. Aren't a great place for them to tell their story. Um, and the other thing too, is when they guarantee it within a certain timeframe, there's no way that these like quote unquote agencies are getting the information, getting the valid, um, the valid content in two weeks. I mean, we're crafting strategy. We're building lists, we're crafting pitching angles. We're like diving into competitors and looking at positioning that doesn't happen in two weeks. So, you know, they're, they're not focused on strategy goals, all of that. Um, the other thing we talked about this last week, but something else that PR firms are really kind of wrongly doing is guaranteeing their clients X amounts of placements. And maybe that's not in specific outlets. So sometimes they are, this is the worst guys. I've had clients that are like, look at my report from my other agency.
And literally what they're doing is syndicating press releases across low quality outlets. And they're like, they got me 150 features last month. And we're like, did you look at that? It's nothing. It is literal garbage. Um, Leddy is saying, I've seen large networking groups buy bulk media and promote members this way. Yep. One business coach claimed they were featured in Forbes. But when I did the research, it turned out she was a member of the national women's group. And then the membership package was a collaboration with media outlets. Yeah. This is one way that they're doing it too. And it's like, you know, they just want those logos. It gives them credibility, but it's not the same as true earned media. Just isn't an people aren't going to see it. Um, when they go there, the content doesn't get amplified. It doesn't get shared. The traffic doesn't go to it.
It's just like, kinda like internet garbage it's like lies. So, and then also we know that these types of like media wins that are syndicating press releases. It's so shady. You guys like that is not anything. And we'll tell our clients like that doesn't count as anything that actual value to the client of this type of work is essentially zero, but it's a vanity number. And when clients don't really understand how PR works and like a CMO can go and report that as like, look at how many media features, it's just some vanity metric that has zero impact and will not move the needle. Um, and then we also have seen some PR firms offer all a cart services. Um, if you're in the agency accelerator, you know, that we do not advocate do not recommend this. Um, it isn't much of a thing anymore, but clients still ask for it.
Like, they'll say, um, you know, can I pay you a certain number? You know, a certain dollar based on successful placements, we recommend not pricing your services this way because your value as a PR pro is so much more than that. And what we want you to do. And this is like the premise of the agency accelerator is setting up consistent, predictable, recurring retainer revenue for yourself. And so much of getting placements is out of your control. So pitching and trying to secure an article and just hoping that you land something it's not a winning strategy. And it's also leaving a lot of opportunity on the table for clients, because they're aiming to get one thing here and there. Whereas you can take that maybe that same amount for one placement and work it across the board with all of your contacts. Maybe, you know, you're not guaranteeing results, but you have more tentacles out there, more irons in the fire, more things at different phases.
And, you know, that's to the benefit of clients. So if clients, this is another thing I always say is clients, don't get to come in and tell you how to run your business. So if a client's like, well, I really only want to pay for, you know, placements that are landed. You say, well, this isn't how we run our business. And we had found that clients get the best results and the best ROI by having a consistent strategy, a retainer service. So we can get different messages out to the right media outlets. And, um, you know, you have more opportunities this way. Otherwise you're going to work on one thing until it happens because otherwise it's a big waste of time. You know, you're going to go after something, that's maybe a sure thing for you and not necessarily the best thing for the client or the last for one outlet.
And you're just trying and trying and trying, maybe it's not even the right thing for them. And that's discounting your expertise, your strategic planning. Um, all of that is like kind of, uh, discounting the value that you really bring as a PR pro. And Samantha is saying, I recently heard that the only way to get media placements, quote, the new PR is paid. That's not true. That's absolutely not true. It's coming up more and more these days from outlets. Um, and then, you know, the chat here about the music industry, admittedly, I'm not an expert in the music industry, but I have many members in my programs, the pitch lab and the agency accelerator that are, and they are still landing earned media Nelson is saying not true. My agency gets tons of press every single month that are not paid placements. And if we get the opportunity for a paid placement, we will run it by our client.
Um, if it's like not shady, if it's an actual like marketing crossover marketing PR crossover, um, yeah. And crystal saying, look, I'm in the music industry and we get a lot of features that are not paid. Um, and crystal is saying, I get so discouraged with the lack of integrity in the, in this business. And media only bright spots are when I'm able to connect the right pitch with the right journalist and score those big hits. I still got it. Yeah. I love that. Um, hit up Ashley, if you're in the music industry and Nelson said he just scored two, a huge feature in two of Canada's national newspapers, the globe and mail and the national post. And, um, yeah, Samantha don't be discouraged. It's not true. That is somebody that is, you know, maybe they're not in the pitch lab, it's, they're spinning their wheels.
They're not really, you know, seeing how they can navigate the way that media works now. And it's not only paid. It certainly is not always only paid. I knew this would be a hot topic, but the comments are flying fast and furious here. Um, yes, it is still pure. I guess if we want to say there is still genuine, genuine earned media opportunities and we getting them in national huge publications, TV shows, um, timing and relevance, um, with your pitches is our key, which is what we teach in the agent idea pitch lab. Um, and Catherine is saying, I know that the media companies I have worked with would be appreciative of me buying media, especially after giving away media to my agency on repeat. I'm not sure I understand Catherine. Um, I don't know, clarify that. I'm sorry. I don't understand it, but yeah, no, there is still a ton of opportunity for earned media.
Um, okay. Another way that this comes up is you can actually pay large outlets like Newsweek. Um, most major business outlets are doing this. Like I said before, these councils, you can become an expert contributor and they charge a fee and they'll allow you to write content on their website and it gives you a platform and it gives you credibility. And we have heard that they vet everyone that applies. Um, and then you can say you are a featured contributor and we don't know if this is true per se, but, um, if you can use your platform to include them, um, or you can basically offer this as a service to your clients, um, apply to have them become a contributor. If they're an expert voice in their space and then write and post articles for them. But again, it's pay to play and it isn't as valuable as true on media, but you might have that opportunity if that is appealing to them.
Um, Gail says, my first question is always, what are you doing that no one else is doing in your industry? I love that. Yeah. Um, and Jackie, I have national CBS morning news and CBS evening news that just flew into Seattle from New York for a story, a feature on my client. Congrats. That is awesome. That is so exciting. I'd love to hear more about it. If you're able to share that's great and kudos to you. That's huge. Um, I'm sure the client is thrilled. Okay. So here we are. How do you combat this type of sneaky, sneaky behavior? So what if your client sees other PR firms are offering guaranteed placements and they want to know why you don't, you have to educate your clients. Client education is paramount. You have to remind the clients of what you are hired to do. What is our value?
It's our job as a PR pro is being a storyteller, crafting compelling pitches for true earned media. That's the value it's aligning the story idea with the outlet, the writers, editorial content timing at the right way. It's being on top of trends. It's inserting clients into, uh, you know, like a news jacking opportunity where it's like timely and relevant and your client has a voice on the matter and timing at the right way. This is the skill of a true PR professional. You guys, hearts and thumbs up. If we know that this is the value we provide, and you cannot trade that for paid insertion of some article, that's like not even a real editorial feature, it's a fluff piece, or if it's something. Yeah. Um, thanks. I mean, I'm just like, I'm frustrated, I'm frustrated for all of us because it is detrimental to the reputation of our industry.
Um, you know, we want to really show the value of the work we do. And the, the PR pros that get the best results are really clever storytellers. They craft compelling ideas and present them to publications that want to feature that, you know, story or that content, um, um, backtracking with no editorial oversight. How do we counteract bad press given to a client? Um, I don't know that you can per say, I'd have to know more about it, but you know, what angle did they take and is it factually inaccurate? Is there a way to clarify it? Um, oh, look at you. Look at that. Samantha, I got my first paid client by the way, and have organized two huge community events for a client in the last two months. Thanks to the push that she got here. I love it. Congrats, Samantha and Nelson shared his articles, please click through and see his amazing work. Always impressive Nelson. Um, so yeah, educate the client on what it is that we actually do. They need to understand, you know, that it's out of our control and that the best PR pros are able to oh, Jesus. Um, give me one second. I just got a note from my son's, um, special ed teacher one sec.
Um, okay. Never a dull moment. Um, so we have to really kind of highlight re introduced to them that results are not guaranteed and that's the industry standard. That's just the way that it is because true. Oh my God. I'm sorry. My son is having a hard day at school. Um, okay. Bye Lenny. Nice to see you. Of course. Um, um, yeah, my son had a meltdown at school it's picture day and he doesn't want to take pictures. He had a meltdown. I don't know why the special ed teacher, this is my son who is on the spectrum.
I let him go to school in sweats today. I didn't make him dress fancy. He didn't want to this poor kid. You guys, it's so hard. He says, he's not feeling well. He has so much anxiety where we're switching schools for him. So I think it's all just a, you know, just a matter of that. Um, anyway, if you're still here, thank you. So you want to really, uh, he's crying you guys, this is so freaking hard. I'm gonna wrap this up very, very soon and call her, but, um, on your very first call with clients, you need to let them know that results are not guaranteed industry standard. And let them know when you're onboarding that client education is like a major part of what you're doing right at the beginning. And you're going to let them know of the value of true earned media and the skill that it takes to get that.
Um, and again, I say this all the time, clients that are not happy are not, um, their expectations are not aligned with what's reality or what is actually possibly going to happen. So this client education piece kind of starts in that discovery call and it extends into when you're actually providing service, because they need to really understand how long these things take, what goes into it, how results aren't guaranteed, how the, you know, like what, um, Gail said, like, um, you know, that, that something that runs that's unfavorable is essentially out of your control that you can work to provide. Like she said, past information that may have been unfavorable. She is going to work to provide the most recent information, the current information, what the company's up to now, how they've overcome, come this past unfavorable incident and get ahead of it if possible, but that's not guaranteed.
So it's about your relationships, your understanding of storytelling, you know, letting them know it's not guaranteed. And most large clients do understand this, that it's not guaranteed. And they also get that those pay to play opportunities. Aren't so legit, but smaller clients, you know, it's really, really enticing and crystal saying, yes, we have to educate and be proactive about setting expectations and reality. They don't know how PR works. They don't, they really don't. And we have to tell them so that they give you that benefit and that runway of time and give you your space to do your thing, because it's a real skill. What we do, um, tracing I've been, there are clients that feel that we're just pulling it out of a hat. Yeah. Um, if you're struggling to work with clients who have unrealistic expectations, it could be a sign that you need to set your sights higher and work with more high-end clients.
Gail says, make no promises. That's right. Nothing's guaranteed. Um, higher end clients appreciate the nuanced skill that it takes to get the results that we do, and they will appreciate you. And they will let you do your thing because they know that you have the expertise that they don't. Um, the other thing too, I said before, you want to thoroughly vet clients, before you take them on to make sure they're a good fit for you, as much as you are for them, that they understand the value of PR and how it works, or that you educate them on that. And that they're actually ready for PR, do they have all the assets in place? Do they have everything aligned for you to hit the ground running? Is their product actually available or is the launch imminent? Do they have samples and images and do they have their marketing messaging?
Do they know who their ideal client avatar is? You know, you, you have to kind of take these elements that they have established and run with them. And if you talk to them and they're not ready, you can advise them and let them know what it's going to take for you to be successful. And we also actually have a, uh, checklist, like there's a PR agency owners tool kit on my generation academy website. Um, and you can get, there's like a checklist that shows them when they are PR ready. Um, so you can grab that it's free, um, and also be confident in your ability to secure amazing results for your clients, even if you're not guaranteeing those results. So, um, you know, for those of you and many of you here in the pitch lab in that program, we cover the a to Z of scoring press and, um, how you can do it so that your clients know what they need for you to be effective so that you can actually get those results.
We give you monthly pitch angles ideas. Again, it's about mastering the art of timing and relevance. So you have all of that. You don't even have to like, think you can just be like, okay, how can I apply my client to this, this trend that's timely for long leads right now. So that gives you the confidence that you need to pitch on their behalf and know that they have the best chance of securing true earned media with you, right? Feel confident in you give you that space, know that you are bringing the skill to the table. That is not what they're getting when they just do a paid placement, that's shady and it's not legit, and it doesn't add any value to their business. Um, oh gosh, well, Gail, um, so we have our little insider secrets. I'll post it again, totally free. You guys totally free.
We put this together. We haven't really promoted this one, but I asked a bunch of successful prolific PR pros in our community about some of their secrets. Basically, we asked all of you guys what you wanted to know about landing clients or landing prep, top tier press. And we asked several of the pros in our community, and we put this together for you. So it's like a PR insider secrets, you know, whatever. So grab that. It's really good. Um, no one can compete with the skill that we are experts in storytelling message crafting, you know, timing, relevance, um, really true, um, strategic thought process in how you're going to position your clients. One paid placement. I'm sorry, that CA that can't compete with us and it's not legit. So just keep educating clients, keep educating clients on what it takes to get the features that we are working on on their behalf and the real value of those and know that these paid things that are inserted into other outlets just don't get the traffic.
They don't get amplified, amplified as much, and they really don't have a lot of value and they can disappear at any time because they're not kosher with those outlets. And if they find out that they're paid, um, which they do, and they'll terminate that person's, um, you know, contributor status and then delete all their content and it's gone and you don't get your money back. So that's what I have for you today. Any last minute questions, a lot of you, I knew this was going to be a popular one. We all want to know how to, um, combat deaths when it comes to clients asking us about it, I'll stay on for like a minute or two. And apparently I have to deal with my port little son. Oh, excellent session today. Thank you. Um, Nelson, anybody else have anything that you want to chat about?
Uh, I'm glad you mentioned that they, yeah, they will delete it for sure. And, um, Kelly, you were there with, um, in our, uh, masterclass with, um, Dr. Sheryl Robbins, who is a contributor to Forbes and she, I mean, she takes it incredibly seriously. Um, yeah. Oh my gosh. I'm so glad you found us. Thank you for being here. Of course, we welcome all savvy PR pros. We're collaborative, and I have a ton of resources if you need help finding anything or are curious about any of our programs, let me know. Um, yeah, I'm, I'm so grateful that you found us and as you're starting your agency, um, we, we can help you with the agency accelerator. It's it's really good. And Angela that's what brand reputation management is for, is for, and what I do for clients. Um, Kelly says, I'm going to take that to my clients since they're having so many people send them pay-to-play oh yeah, for sure.
You have to tell them that it's, it's, uh, the risk of it getting deleted and also giving them problems with true earned media opportunities because, um, outlets will do their diligence and they'll see, they were part of some like paid. They can tell, they can tell, um, they'll see that I was part of something paid or that the person who wrote it is like a contributor and, um, doesn't have a good reputation or something like that. Um, most contributors do, but some of them it's pretty shady. Um, the ones that DME and they go to my spam folder, I'm like, guys, look who you're pitching. I'm a PR pro. And we, you know, specialize in earned media. So, and Natasha and I always messaged about how annoying and shady it is that they're reaching out to us. She puts them on blast. I just kind of delete and block them.
But anyway, you guys thank you so much for being here as always. I so appreciate you spending time with me. Um, yeah. Let us know any other topics that have been on your mind, what we can put together for you. We are always creating content around the questions we get asked in this community. I am here for you. If you really want to master the art of timing, relevance become a pitching powerhouse. I really urge you to check out the pitch lab. It is such an amazing program. I promise you, um, we have put so much into it. We love this program so much. Um, oh, thank you, Jane. Awesome. I appreciate you so much. And the pitch live is, is fantastic and it's a very low monthly fee and there's so much value that we have provided. So we do masterclasses the chat with, um, yay.
Thank you, Gail. The chat with, um, the contributor to Forbes was inside the pitch lab. Really good stuff guys. And, um, it's just $97 a month and it's super good. So you know what, actually, I'll leave, I'll leave a link here, um, because it's, it's good and I promise, but at least just check it out. Um, here are actually all of our programs. Um, here we go. And then you can scroll down and see the pitch lab. And actually the pitch lab is linked first and then I have a little like $47, um, little no-brainer, but it's really good on, uh, generating client leads. It's called leads landed. And then of course the agency accelerator is like a comprehensive resource with everything you need to grow and scale your own profitable agency. Angela. Hi. Any thoughts about having more info in your programs pertaining to the entertainment industry?
Yeah. We, um, have brought in, um, experts, uh, because admittedly, like I said, it is not my expertise, but we had, um, we had Anika hi, we had Annika come in and talk about in a masterclass. Talk about the entertainment industry. Um, we have had, um, people come in and talk about premieres and launches. I would love to know more Angela about specifically what you would like to know and we can build it out and it will not be me because that's not my expertise. We will find someone who is a true expert to craft the content that we need. Oh my God, my son, you guys, he doesn't want to go back to class. He's having a meltdown. I don't know what's going on. Um, I'm going to
Go and see. It's never a dull moment, guys. Thank you so much for being here. Angela, send us think of some things that would be helpful to you, let us know, and we will see if we can craft some content that will help you and others who specialize in the entertainment industry. Okay. Thank you for being here. I'll see you really soon. Wish me luck trying to get my kid back in class. Bye guys.