Media Tips of the Week, Part 2 You’re an Expert
at What You Do

Every business has a story–and more

Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia logo, Michael Kleiner Public Relations and Web Design and Apps
There are stories and expertise among SBN and all its members.

Last week’s tip talked about how publishing a book establishes your status as an expert in that area and how my memoir about Norway led to being interviewed, though about a tragic event in the country.

There are other examples where you can receive more positive coverage for your expertise. The keys are knowing “what makes you different than a competitor who does the same thing? How do you do it differently or better? What is the uniqueness? And  “Strike when the coals are hot.” In other words, timing is everything. In this rapid 24/7 smart phone, app, immediacy news world, whoever answers the call first is going to get the coverage. There’s a service, Help A Reporter Out (HARO), that sends out e-mails three times a day with queries from reporters looking for sources for stories they’re working on. The queries are broken down into categories with the times and date of the deadline. It’s amazing how many have deadlines on the same day. If the deadline is 5 p.m. today and you see the query at 3, you can’t waste time.

Topics for Norway might be a place in the news that I visited; Norwegians winning medals in the winter Olympics. Can I present a look at the culture of winter sports in Norway, such as skiing was invented in the country?  John has written four books dealing with historic aspects of baseball. Someone is chasing a record. John could talk about the person whose record is being chased, how he compares to the chaser. Notice on the news shows, a guest author will be introduced as “the author of…”

Among SBN members, there’s Chilly Philly Ice Cream and Little Baby’s Ice Cream, both of whom make homemade ice cream, but in different creative ways and flavors. There are at least eight caterers, three members that make their own beers. This is just part of the food category of the membership. And what about SBN as the leader in the green economy? There’s always an expert with a story–or stories-somewhere.


Tip of the Week: Expertise in your field can net media coverage

Another way to get publicity is to realize you are an expert at what you do. This is never more true than when you write a book because people who have not written a book are envious of those who have. You’re an expert on that subject.  Sometimes publicity falls in your lap as happened to me, though because of a tragic event. I wrote a You're the Expert art for blogpost Expertise in Your Field can net media coverage, Michael Kleiner Public Relations & Web Designmemoir, Beyond the Cold: An American’s Warm Portrait of Norway, which shows how, I, though not of Norwegian descent, developed an affinity for the country, culture and people, beginning when I lived in Norway for a year with my family at age 11, and my return trips as an adult.

On Friday, July 22, 2011, Anders Breivik set off a bomb in the center of Oslo, then went to the island of Utøya, where the Labour Party was having a youth retreat. He slaughtered almost 70 young people, including a friend of my friend’s 18-year old daughter. This occurred at the confluence of another event. In Summer 1992, I attended the International Summer School at the University of Oslo with 500 students from 70 countries. In 1996, I planned a trip around the 50th anniversary of the ISS. Before I left, I was contacted by the student organizer asking me to speak as an alum at the event.

That tragic Friday was the week before the 65th anniversary event and I had planned to e-mail good wishes that day. While I worried about the safety of my Norwegian friends, I worried that ISS could be a target. I issued a statementAsk an Expert graphic for blogpost that you are an expert in your field, Michael Kleiner Public Relations & Web Design that Mt. Airy Patch used. The following Sunday, I found messages on my Facebook and LinkedIn pages, voice mail, and e-mail from Pat Loeb of KYW Radio. Notice the different media channels she tried. She was looking for someone to interview with a Norwegian connection. She Googled and found me. I didn’t think it was proper to mention the book under the circumstances, but I was introduced as a Norway expert and she mentioned the ISS’ upcoming 65thanniversary. She used the quote (about 10 seconds) when I talked about what made the ISS successful, but the point was, “This (Anders Breivik) is not the Norway I know.” She also interviewed a college professor. I am a member of the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce Philadelphia, which didn’t exist then. She could have had a choice of actual Norwegians to offer reactions. But, she found me.


“Association Innovation” theme @ MASAE Confab; Turn to Kleiner PR

Cover of Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives (MASAE) Conference attended by Michael Kleiner Public Relations and Web Design's Michael Kleiner and John Shiffert
Cover of Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives (MASAE) Conference attended by Michael Kleiner Public Relations and Web Design’s Michael Kleiner and John Shiffert

If you look up “innovation” on, you’ll find it’s, “something new or different introduced.”

More elaborately, according to Amanda Kaiser of Kaiser Insights LLC, writing for the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) “2016 Association Innovation Benchmark Study,” “the most common definition of innovation is a 3 element definition.” Kaiser thus gives the following definition, targeted to association executives, “We create and launch a member benefit or product or process that is new that provides value to members.”

We at Michael Kleiner Public Relations and Web Design, while respecting the broad, encyclopedic nature of, are more likely to applaud Kaiser’s definition, one that received a great deal of exposure at the recent Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives (MASAE) 2016 Conference in Atlantic City, whose theme was, “Association Innovation.”

Our concurrence with Kaiser and NBAA stems from two factors; the emphasis and focus on innovation that ran throughout the MASAE Conference, and the fact that, in our opinion, Kaiser has clearly stated the most important aspect of innovation.

True, anyone can introduce, “something new or different” into their organization, but, what good does that do if innovation doesn’t produce something of value? Innovation for innovation’s sake may at first seem exciting (or daunting), but, innovation should lead to some practical result, no matter in what venue you’re operating.

So, we were impressed with MASAE’s focus on helping educate its members as to meaningful innovation, through both the keynote speakers and breakout sessions. Specifically, we would be remiss by not mentioning the contributions of Kaiser and NBAA’s Jo D’Amato (a pilot with both feet on the ground), keynoters/presenters Jennifer Blenkle (Frameworks, Inc.), and Arlene Pietranton of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Construction Management Financial Management Association’s Brian Summers and Ariel Sanchirico (kudos for their extensive use of self-paced online courses, an innovation that higher education has yet to fully embrace). Indeed, so infused with innovation was MASAE 2016 that several attendees were overheard commenting at the Member Gala Reception that they thought the Boy George music video was cutting edge.

Innovation is cutting edge at Michael Kleiner Public Relations and Web Design, notably in the form of our “Service to Members” program that augments an association’s marketing and communications (Marcomm) efforts, while at the same time providing Marcomm services to the association’s individual organizations and/or members. Operating under a single monthly contract with Kleiner PR, association managers can access for themselves additional professional help in everything from public relations to copywriting, editing and content creation to web design to blogging to branding to publication management, while at the same time providing, “a member benefit or product or process that is new that provides value to members.”

That’s innovation for associations, too.