Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic October 8, 2001

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 8:59 AM): Coffee's hot. Day's begun. And the Free Clinic is open -- although a minute or two early.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:00 AM): Who's up first? I smorgan still here?

Ben Woodward ( (10/8/2001 9:00 AM): Early birds get the worms, right?

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:01 AM): Lots of worms to go around today.

Ben Woodward ( (10/8/2001 9:02 AM): Actually, I've got a mini-question, and then I think I might become a fly on the wall for the rest of the session, Rob.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:02 AM): Ben, as the viagra ads say, size doesn't matter. Shoot

Ben Woodward ( (10/8/2001 9:03 AM): I have a client who's a (for lack of a better term) motivational speaker. We're revamping his entire identity, and he posed a question the other day I'd like some input on...

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:03 AM): Okay...

Jonathan Cohen (copywriter/editor) (10/8/2001 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

Ben Woodward ( (10/8/2001 9:03 AM): I know you've touched on this before, but here goes: His name is Scott Stratten, and his business/site is called WorkYourLife.

Ben Woodward ( (10/8/2001 9:05 AM): He's not sure which direction he wants to go with the brand, because his "theme" is "work your life" (he speaks a lot to young adults, college students, etc), but his name (and his person) are what people will remember (he's the one who "is" the business, after all).

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:05 AM): Tee Hee...and your question is...

Ben Woodward ( (10/8/2001 9:06 AM): So I thought we could successfully, co-brand him, and create supporting design materials for him and his "business," even though they are essentially the same. Any advice/warnings?

Ben Woodward ( (10/8/2001 9:06 AM): So much for my mini-question, right?

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:07 AM): Yup. First of all, if you get to the part of the book that contains Frankel's Laws of Big Time branding, you'll notice that one of them says "There's no such thing as co-branding."

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:07 AM): The minute you lose focus of the single brand, you're screwed. That doesn't mean you can't prioritize several messages, but you've go to lead with one.

Ben Woodward ( (10/8/2001 9:08 AM): **Gotta get me a copy o' that book, I suppose...**

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:08 AM): I have a client in a similar situation. In fact, I've been in the same situation myself. Here's what I recommend:

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:08 AM): You mean you haven't?!?! I'm shocked, nay, dismayed!

Ben Woodward ( (10/8/2001 9:09 AM): It's at the top of my Christmas list... ;)

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:10 AM): First and foremost, while branding is about leadership, you have to balance that with what I call "business reality." If people remember his name, why bother placing an artificial brand in front of that? (10/8/2001 9:10 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:10 AM): I call my kind of branding "big time branding" and I own most of the phrasing to that, but I still lead with Rob Frankel, because that's what and who people remember.

Ben Woodward ( (10/8/2001 9:11 AM): Hmmm... good point. Why give them two things to recall? Makes sense to me...

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:11 AM): It's also practically impossible to duplicate Rob Frankel, whereas some others might try to rip off BTB.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:11 AM): Yeah, Ben, you want to go with the flow, but not let the flow control you. It's a delicate balance

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:12 AM): Look at it this way: Dale Carnegie has been dead for decades, but it's still the Dale Carnegie course.

Ben Woodward ( (10/8/2001 9:13 AM): That's a good point.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:13 AM): Ben, the book is FULL of good points....why wait for Christmas? (<---- relentless)

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:14 AM): Does that help?

Ben Woodward ( (10/8/2001 9:14 AM): I've get Santa on the phone right away. He can probably send an elf, special delivery this week. Thanks for the tips. **I'm now a fly on the wall.**

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:15 AM): Okay, now that Ben's in "fly mode", anyone else want to jump in?

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:15 AM): BTW, Ben, is quicker. (10/8/2001 9:16 AM): I'll jump. My biz is very slow. What do you think of the idea of going on FBiz and offering a $99 press release for October or November?

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:16 AM): For anyone NOT in the USA, it's a semi-holiday today, so I expect things to be a bit slower than usual.... (Arizona Reporter) (10/8/2001 9:17 AM): Entered the room.

Jonathan Cohen (copywriter/editor) (10/8/2001 9:17 AM): yes, Happy Thanksgiving for us Canadian types :)

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:17 AM): Karyn, that's a good question. I think that publicity is a good business to be in right now. But it's the approach that needs to be tweaked. (10/8/2001 9:18 AM): Can you be more specific?

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:19 AM): I think simple press releases are not valued well. I also think that press release services are old hat. People just don't want to take that step. however, I find that LEAD SERVICES are very appealing. (10/8/2001 9:19 AM): I can certainly write it but don't have the media contacts (10/8/2001 9:20 AM): What exactly is a Lead Service?

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:20 AM): Press releases, being push oriented, are scary for small biz entrepreneurs for two reasons: First, there's no guarantee on return at all and second, they're ephemeral -- they don't stick around long. I could also add that they have to fight the clutter of all the other press releases.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:21 AM): A lead service provides the media with a searchable database of experts. The media requires the database and the service sends those leads to registered experts or accounts.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:22 AM): So instead of the press release going to the media, the media comes to the press release. And for the $300 annual subscription rate, you can see how appealing those are compared to a one time press release. (Arizona Reporter) (10/8/2001 9:23 AM): Since we rely on press releases for THE WEB NEWSROOM, press releases are archived on our site for three months (10/8/2001 9:23 AM): Who are some of the lead services? (10/8/2001 9:24 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:24 AM): There are a is one, is another. and Dan Janal has one. (Arizona Reporter) (10/8/2001 9:25 AM): But your press release must be web-related and something a web surfer looking for new sites might be interested in

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:25 AM): Karyn, these are web-smart organizations and businesses that should do well.

Chad Moreno ( (10/8/2001 9:25 AM): Entered the room. (10/8/2001 9:26 AM): Okay thanks Rob. I'll check it out.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:26 AM): AZ, the profiles on their sites are keyword and text oriented. Some services actually e-mail the press query right to your in box. Others just provide the media with your information and let the media contact you.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:27 AM): No problem....who's next? (Arizona Reporter) (10/8/2001 9:28 AM): Never heard of the Profiles site, but we are a member of Profnet. I'll check out ProfilesUnlimited (10/8/2001 9:28 AM): Is a Lead Service similar to a interview pool where journalists go to find interviewees?

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:29 AM): Sort of, Tracy. But I like these lead services better because some of them link you directly with the media rep. For example, one service sends me the story query directly with the reporter's email address. It makes it very easy.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:30 AM): You don't get published with every interview, but the hit rate is way higher than blasting out press releases. And in the end, it's also less expensive (10/8/2001 9:30 AM): Interesting... I hadn't heard of those.

John Charlesworth ( (10/8/2001 9:30 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:31 AM): See how much you learn here? JUST IMAGINE WHAT YOU'LL LEARN AT the BIG TIME BRANDING ROUND UP! (10/8/2001 9:31 AM): I've has almost no success with press releases. Only with individual cultivated press contacts.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:31 AM): NOVEMBER 16 & 17 in LOS ANGELES!!!

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:31 AM): Sorry, I couldn't resist.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:32 AM): Tracy, I bet you. I've had no luck with releases. The best I've done from here are blast e-mails to targeted audiences.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:33 AM): I have to admit that I have a bias against press releases.....mainly because I know that one shot doesn't do it. It has to be a sustained effort. (10/8/2001 9:33 AM): I have two great stories to flog for friends, but can't break into the publicity circles.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:33 AM): And sustained efforts are expensive, requiring commitment and faith. (10/8/2001 9:33 AM): Even one shot is pricey!

srichey (10/8/2001 9:34 AM): Entered the room. (10/8/2001 9:35 AM): From the press end.. they are missing out on some good stories because "ordinary" people can get to them in the flood of releases.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:35 AM): Right. So which would you rather pay -- $99 for a one time press release or $300 or even $1500 for a whole year on a lead service? (Arizona Reporter) (10/8/2001 9:36 AM): We have found that press releases that focus on information or providing a web surfer info he/she never knew was out there on the web do better

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:36 AM): Tracy, I created to test a number of my tactics. marketing on a shoestring is one of them. It's a great site with a great story. I'm finding that surgical strikes at the right media does produce results, but it takes time and good aim. (10/8/2001 9:36 AM): Hmmm... and if I went in with a handful of friends on a membership, the initial bite wouldn't be so painful.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:37 AM): Tracy...hang in there. I'm working on a deal for FrankelBees to provide this.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:38 AM): And if I can do it, I'll bring it in at a really good price. (10/8/2001 9:39 AM): I have a small client , a handwriting therapist, who is having great results with a new drug-free method for kids with ADHD... I can't understand why no one is wanting that story. I can only assume it isn't being read. (10/8/2001 9:39 AM): That would be great, Rob!

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:39 AM): See? I hate when that happens. Here's a great story that doesn't have the horsepower to fight its way through the rest of the Britney Spears crap. (10/8/2001 9:40 AM): wait... PillowMall? <grin> What a visual. Nap kiosks. (Arizona Reporter) (10/8/2001 9:40 AM): Just a note; THE WEB NEWSROOM posts internet-related press releases. Our site covers internet happenings, events etc. So if its happening off the web, we wouldn't have that much interest in it.

John Charlesworth ( (10/8/2001 9:40 AM): Rob, is this similar to John Audette's Internet News Bureau?

Jonathan Cohen (copywriter/editor) (10/8/2001 9:40 AM): Tracy - the 'hook' for a medical story often has to be combined with related credentials.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:40 AM): NO, Pillow MAIL, like e-mail.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:41 AM): No John....totally different (10/8/2001 9:41 AM): Jeez.. my eyes are on set on "weekend" too.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:41 AM): Tracy, what does that mean? You lost me....

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:42 AM): Never mind (10/8/2001 9:42 AM): Good point, Jonathan... maybe I need to pay up the credentials more.

John Charlesworth ( (10/8/2001 9:42 AM): Oh. I seem to remember that the premise for INB was that Journalists would "subscribe" to topic areas of their choice and only receive press releases in those areas. Or is my memory playing tricks on me? (10/8/2001 9:42 AM): Sorry... It's Monday... busy weekend. I find I can't type OR read!

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:43 AM): John, I think Audette sold that off a year or two ago.

Jonathan Cohen (copywriter/editor) (10/8/2001 9:43 AM): Tracy - my first thought was "handwriting therapy and ADHD?" - but if handwriting therapy can help ADHD, and your client can position him/herself as an expert in the field, *there's* a hook (Arizona Reporter) (10/8/2001 9:43 AM): Tracy, to get us interested in your handwriting therapist story, would be to design a press release that introduces our audience to the site and reason behind the site and why they should visit the site.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:44 AM): But these lead services are smarter operations in that they let media search and broadcast their own queries. (Arizona Reporter) (10/8/2001 9:44 AM): And Internet News Bureau hasn't been the same since.

John Charlesworth ( (10/8/2001 9:44 AM): Rob, I think he sold it too. That's why he's switching his discussion lists to pay-only ;-) (10/8/2001 9:44 AM): I subscribed to INB... I run a media site for a specific topic... it was full of ads VERY thinly veiled as press releases.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:45 AM): John, I don't expect that the I-Lists will survive a switch to pay, but I hope I'm wrong about that. (Arizona Reporter) (10/8/2001 9:46 AM): Yea, I hope he can survive. (10/8/2001 9:46 AM): I hope you are, too, Rob.. I like them a lot.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:46 AM): They provided a good service for a lot of people for a long time

John Charlesworth ( (10/8/2001 9:47 AM): Rob, I'm doubtful too. Which is too bad. I think it really helped to build John Audette's reputation in the online community. Now he's going to probably fall off everyone's radar screen (whatever happened to ... ?)

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:47 AM): But it's amazing how people react. Some reacted publicly with anger. Almost as if they expect john to run it for free.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:48 AM): Well, it's not like I didn't try to help. In fact a number of the moderators did. (10/8/2001 9:48 AM): I am considering subscribing, but like everyone else, I wonder if we can keep the chat going with far fewer participants. Discussion lists are hard to keep active over time. You need a core of blabbers.

John Charlesworth ( (10/8/2001 9:48 AM): Brutal. My take is that starting I-lists was a *great* way to build his "personal brand" on the web. And drive business to his commercial ventures (like INB).

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:49 AM): Right, John. The problem is that John can't seem to monetize that brand. (10/8/2001 9:49 AM): Entered the room.

John Charlesworth ( (10/8/2001 9:49 AM): But as you, Rob, have pointed out *numerous* times, it's almost impossible to switch a free service to a pay-to-play service without adding a big value-add.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:50 AM): I've even offered John a deal on taking over the lists. But so far, no response.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:50 AM): John, so why can't John do that?

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:50 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING) (10/8/2001 9:51 AM): The I-lists are great.... but as someone who subscribes to a number of lists with good content.. .it's hard to feel that something else free won't fill the gap.. (Arizona Reporter) (10/8/2001 9:51 AM): I think John didn't start out that way and that's why he's having troubled switching to the new "reality"

srichey (10/8/2001 9:51 AM): ?

John Charlesworth ( (10/8/2001 9:51 AM): Rob, I really think John needs to create a new tier with extra benefits for paying. (10/8/2001 9:52 AM): I tend to only buy "targeted" information... like a report on something I am about to do.

John Charlesworth ( (10/8/2001 9:52 AM): I think a lot of people (myself included) were particular steamed when he said that he wasn't going to stop putting ads in even if everyone decided to pay-to-subscribe.(!)

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:52 AM): John, I love John Audette. But for some reason, he's not responsive to my suggestions, so I just live and let live. He's personally been very good to me and I like him a lot in any case. (10/8/2001 9:52 AM): Thanks for all the information. My brain is percolating. Bye (10/8/2001 9:52 AM): Hi, I'm new. Just wanted to say that I'm subscribing (paying) to the I-lists. I believe that there will be extra benefits.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:53 AM): Tracy, these lists are TREMENDOUS marketing opps. I think people over look that aspect.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:53 AM): Hi Ann! Welcome.

John Charlesworth ( (10/8/2001 9:53 AM): Rob, I agree. He's done a lot for the community. I really hope that I-Lists continue. But I'm not optimistic about his current approach.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:53 AM): Ann, this is a case where the reality is distorted by the perception. It's a branding thing. (10/8/2001 9:54 AM): Good point... the domain list sold me a domain name. (Arizona Reporter) (10/8/2001 9:54 AM): As we redesign Arizona Reporter to the WEB NEWSROOM our e-mail lists will get more attention. We have neglected them to our monetary benefit.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:54 AM): John, if the Audette lists don't make it, it will be because John made business decisions on a personal basis, that's all. There's no reason why those lists can't make money.

John Charlesworth ( (10/8/2001 9:55 AM): Rob, what if I-Lists switched to "unmoderated" for the free versions, and required pay-to-play to continue with the moderated lists? Then people would stay on the free lists until the noise-to-signal ratio got too hard to take and then finally pay to get back on the moderated lists. Think it would work? (10/8/2001 9:56 AM): I network heavily on lists... but I tend to focus on my regional lists, where I can follow up at networking events. That works wonders for me.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:56 AM): No, John, I don't. First of all, you may not remember this, but I tested FrankelBiz as Unmoderated once. Major disaster. All the spammers came out of hiding. If Audette were to allow that, it would kill his reputation for good.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:57 AM): What John needs is a real paradigm shift. That's what I do. that's what I offered him. (10/8/2001 9:57 AM): A web women's group tried to switch to paid lists more than a year ago... and people started their own lists. hurt them badly... they have offered moderated online tutorials to paid members... that has worked for them.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES) (10/8/2001 9:58 AM): THIS chat... live.. is a value-add.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:58 AM): On the other hand, continues to grow. At rates higher than what Audette charges.....

John Charlesworth ( (10/8/2001 9:58 AM): Well, it'll be interesting to see how things play out. It's a great way to connect with a diverse base of professionals.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:58 AM): Thanks Tracy. (Arizona Reporter) (10/8/2001 9:59 AM): paradigm shift...some of the old web personalities are afraid of that word (10/8/2001 9:59 AM): You've perfected the art of giving a valuable "taste" without giving away the farm.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 9:59 AM): It's either adapt or die....and that's as old as life itself.

RobFrankel ( (10/8/2001 10:00 AM): Okay, everyone...happy Thanksgiving up north....happy Columbus Day down here...stay safe wherever you are and do some good business this week -- and come to the seminar! !

Jonathan Cohen (copywriter/editor) (10/8/2001 10:01 AM): thanks Rob - see you next Monday.

John Charlesworth ( (10/8/2001 10:01 AM): See y'all next week! (10/8/2001 10:01 AM): Have a good week, people!

Ben Woodward ( (10/8/2001 10:04 AM): Thanks for the help, Rob. See all you guys later...

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