Cindy is a strategist, writer, and speaker. She is a Business Transformation Strategist, founder of Women Breaking...
Karin Conroy is a legal marketing consultant and founder of Conroy Creative Counsel, which specializes in creating...
What are the myths when it comes to being published?
Do you need to be in every big media outlet to build credibility? How can you become a regular contributor? What do outlets look for when it comes to running a story?
Joining me for this conversation is Cindy Constable.
Cindy is a strategist, writer, and speaker. She is a Business Transformation Strategist, founder of Women Breaking The Mold, and co-founder of Results Global Impact Consulting Agency. Cindy specializes in communication by helping Vision-driven business leaders to create an equitable and inclusive workplace culture that respects and embraces each other’s humanity while continuing to multiply profitability.
Cindy gives listeners actionable tips on:
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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[00:00:27] Cindy actual: I’m Cindy Rodriguez Constable. I’m a media strategist who works with business owners and executive women with a strong track record for results who want the kind of pitches that give them high visibility in the media, strong social proof and recognition in target rich environments.
[00:00:42] I can do this for. Even if they don’t feel like they’re pitch ready and have not had media placements in the past and excited to be Okay.
[00:00:49] Karin: Sorry to, sorry for jumping on the, uh, tail end of that, that intro. Cindy, thank you so much for being here. This is a, a kind of mysterious category of marketing. Uh, and I know, uh, some like, uh, Public relations people don’t like to consider themselves marketing.
[00:01:07] There’s sort of a little bit of a, a drama between the two categories, but, uh, I have a lot of clients who. Want to know more about pitching and marketing and being, uh, published and all of these things that we’re gonna talk about today. So we are here to answer all the questions. , absolutely. Get it all ironed out and like tell people what they need to know, but also.
[00:01:31] More specifically the topic and the question for today are what are the myths of being published? So there’s a lot of ideas out there that are wrong and kind of the wrong paths to take and things people have said, and all of these myths that we want to address today as well. . So first of all, thank you for being here,
[00:01:54] Sure. I know you’re in Florida. We’ve had like such a challenge with all the hurricanes getting this like it’s, it’s a miracle
[00:02:01] Cindy actual: that we’re actually back hurricanes. I mean, , I was like, oh my gosh. Yeah, , it’s so, it’s a miracle.
[00:02:06] Karin: You here and dry and we’re recording. So thank you for that .
[00:02:10] Cindy actual: Sure. I’m glad to still be standing.
[00:02:13] Karin: Yeah, exactly. I’m, I’m glad that there are walls behind you that I can see that are standing as well. . Um, so let’s start today with talking about just being published and what does it take and what are some of the big. .
[00:02:28] Cindy actual: So first I guess we should do a little bit of terminology, right? Um, because anytime you wanna enter into something, you wanna make sure we’re all in agreement on what the words mean.
[00:02:36] Yeah. Um, so from a standpoint of being published, like we’re not necessarily talking about books cuz that’s kind of a whole different animal, a whole different industry. Yes. The marketing and that we’re talking about published in media publications. And nowadays those media publications are multimedia.
[00:02:52] So it could be the written word, it could be audio, uh, or it could be. Or any combination thereof. Um, so understanding, you know, and published means you are the creator of that content. So you wrote the article, you recorded the podcast, or you made the video versus a placement or, uh, just kind of standard PR where, you know, I, as a journalist writing the article and I use you as a source and I quote you.
[00:03:21] So published is a little bit different. You would have penned the piece if you.
[00:03:26] Karin: Okay. That’s important. So when you are showing, so like for example on this podcast, you’re showing up, this is, uh, my podcast, but you’re a guest on it. So am I the one that publishes it? And you’re, you’re kind of being quoted on it.
[00:03:41] You’re the
[00:03:42] Cindy actual: publisher and you’re all
[00:03:43] Karin: the, you’re all the content . Yes.
[00:03:45] Cindy actual: Like you’re publishing it. So you own the rights to the content. Okay. And you, it’s your platform. It’s your. And so for me, when I, if I mention this on my media page, I would mention it as a placement. I was featured on your podcast versus if I was in the recording seat, then I would be featuring, you know, you on my podcast, me.
[00:04:07] So let’s just, you know. That’s, it’s kind of who cur, cur curated the content, if you will. Okay. Versus who contributed. And
[00:04:14] Karin: that’s important because I think when you’re talking about, okay, whether you appeared on a podcast, whether it’s your podcast and you have people on it, um, and that’s only for podcasts.
[00:04:23] But also if you have a blog and people are, uh, guests posting on your blog, or if you are guest posting on other blogs, you know, as a lawyer, it’s important to use the right language. , or anyone actually, I mean,
[00:04:35] Cindy actual: anyone should speak like lawyers. They tend to be a little more anal. About what that word means and how it’s being used.
[00:04:41] Karin: Yeah, yeah. And they should be. Yes. Um, okay, so that’s, that’s good to clarify. Like published versus appeared on versus quoted and you know, which one is what. So, so thank you for that clarification, . Yeah.
[00:04:54] Cindy actual: And then of course, one of the big myths surrounding that is that you have to be like famous, if you will.
[00:05:01] Be published or to be, uh, quoted or featured, you know, in the media or to be on TV and you actually don’t like, it’s a 24-hour news cycle. And that goes for online publications as well as like the big media organizations. And they have a lot of air time to fill a lot of space on these here inner webs to fill.
[00:05:20] Yeah. So they need content constantly. And so understanding that you can be like a freelancer. Or a contributor versus like a staff writer. Um, yeah. And you can have your words published in the largest publications in the world, never having written anywhere else before and not, you know, being Elon Musk.
[00:05:42] Karin: Yeah. And that’s not just for, like you were saying it, that’s for large publications too. Mm-hmm. , like, you know, all of the ones that I know you talk about a lot, Forbes, fast Company, all of the big guys, not just like showing up on your local like community news newspaper, . Exactly. That’s for your like little association for
[00:05:59] Cindy actual: my first book was on the Huffington Post, like back in 2015, I guess.
[00:06:05] Um, and I had never written anywhere before and I. An article for them cuz I had something to say. I pitched it to Huffington, she said yes and they ran my piece now. So was she still
[00:06:16] Karin: part of the
[00:06:16] Cindy actual: process? I sold it. Yep. I still had the email cuz it came from her and I was like, oh. But yeah, so like you can be kind of the opinion person who says a thing, you know, you don’t have to be a staff writer.
[00:06:31] Um, you don’t have to be a big. You don’t have to be a journalist, you don’t have to have any journalism training whatsoever. You just have to be able to articulate your thought. And if you’re a lawyer, your ability to articulate a thought has been well honed, you know, for your career.
[00:06:46] Karin: Yeah. Okay. So what’s the next myth about becoming published?
[00:06:50] Especially I, I know most people are kind of focusing in on those bigger
[00:06:53] Cindy actual: publications. Yes. And most people want those. I think the next myth, and we kind of, I kind of parlay into that a little bit, is that. Can be the contributor. You don’t have to just kind of be on bended knee saying, pick me, pick me and quote me in your, you know, publication, which is nice.
[00:07:12] A well rounded mix of PR is going to have, you know, some element of everything. But I think the contributor piece is where most people. Missed the mark. And that’s where I tie PR to marketing. Cuz you were talking about PR professionals not being marketers. Yes. Yeah. It’s, it’s part of your marketing collateral.
[00:07:29] You know, if I write a piece, like I write for Business Insider and Entrepreneur and you know, shows in all these other places, that’s part of my marketing collateral because my name is out there. When you Google me, you know it’s gonna show up. Um, it’s, and it’s content marketing cuz you literally created a piece of content, hopefully for your target audience.
[00:07:47] So like, if you. I don’t know if you bake cupcakes right? You and you’re like, oh, my dream publication is Forbes and I’m Why Right. , you know? Does, does, you know Billy’s mom read Forbes? Is she gonna go there to find her cupcake shop? No. Right. Yes. So, you know, it’s understanding that Contributorship is a piece of that overall pie and that you can co.
[00:08:13] but you wanna be selective, you know, industry mags, um, you know, the big boys are great if that helps your business further. Yeah. You know, so it’s kind of, so I think that’s a piece that people miss that you can be the contributor versus, you know, just reaching out to journalists or staff writers or other contributors like myself, trying to get somebody to talk.
[00:08:35] Karin: And to have them quote it. So the difference is that you are actually drafting in and the author of that piece as opposed to just having your name sort of mentioned in an article. Right.
[00:08:44] Cindy actual: Which the link is direct to your business, so.
[00:08:47] Karin: Exactly. We love that. Um, so what’s the, what’s the difference between having an ongoing relationship with one of those publications versus just kind of you?
[00:08:58] From time to time reaching out and trying to get one publication here or there, um,
[00:09:03] how do you get those where you can have a regular contributorship?
[00:09:08] Cindy actual: Uh, that’s a great question. So a lot of publications are one-offs, meaning every time you, uh, wanna say something, you have to pitch it to the editor. Yeah.
[00:09:18] The thing is, if you’ve written for that publication before, you have a little bit easier over time because you have an editor that’s published you, so you know who you’re gonna talk to. Um, now if you only write once a year, they might not remember you . But if you’re pitching on a regular basis, so like for example, I write for Business Insider, they have many, many verticals, um, you know, travel, family, business, like you name it, all kinds of, all kinds of verticals.
[00:09:41] They write about many, many topics. So when. written for them before the editors of the verticals that I’ve written under. They send out like a call for stories from time to time to past contributors. So you know, you can get one offs that way. So you kind of have a column ish if you pick up a story they’re looking for, or if you pitch your editor and they like your story.
[00:10:04] Um, other places like, uh, entrepreneur for example, um, you would have a regular column. So once you pitch, you get. It’s your column. Um, you write, it still goes through editing so they can reject it and say, whoa, Nelly , we are not talking about that on today. This is not a thing that’s gonna happen. It’s not right for our audience.
[00:10:28] Yeah. You know, or it’ll say, I need you to change, just change that, you know, whatever. Um, whereas like Forbes is another regular contributor place. Um, so we didn’t talk about Pay Entrepreneur does not pay, um, you to write there. Business Insider will pay for your article, so you know, a little bit of a bonus there, right?
[00:10:44] Um, Forbes pays its contributor, so that’s, that’ll be another myth we’ll cover right after. So, uh, cause Forbes is, is one people are very confused about, but Forbes, if you pitch and you get in, you have a. And then you have a minimum assignment, so you have to write like at least two articles a month to keep your column.
[00:11:00] If you wanna get paid, you have to write at least five articles a month. So also understanding what is the level of commit. Yeah, but I’m required to have to keep up this column and then that’s
[00:11:10] Karin: gonna go through an editor process. And there’s, there’s, well, a good amount of work not
[00:11:14] Cindy actual: of Forbes for that allow you to self publish.
[00:11:16] They have a, a, um, like a CRM or a CMS content management system that’s called Birdie. And you can self publish, which is why okay, it is hella hard to get into. Sure. Because your articles are not gonna go through that in process. That doesn’t mean that if they’re perusing your column and they see something untoward, they won’t snatch it.
[00:11:36] They absolutely will. Sure. Yeah. And they kick people out all the time. All the time. Yeah. I’m sure. But other publications always edit first. Forbes kind of does it after you’ve published it. . Um, it’s a little weird , but it’s. One of the hardest publications to get into for that reason. Yeah, that makes sense.
[00:11:54] Because they really wanna make sure that they have vet, you go through like a panel interview, like all of this stuff to ensure that, oh my gosh, you’re not gonna say anything that is gonna get them. You know, in trouble. Mm-hmm. .
[00:12:05] Karin: Yeah, sure. Okay. Um, okay, so you talked about the difference between, that people are confused about with Forbes.
[00:12:12] So getting, um, getting paid that whole process. What is the thing that people get most confused about with, with that process? That, that it’s paid, or what is it that’s, that’s kind of throwing them for a loop?
[00:12:25] Cindy actual: So the thing that throws them for a loop is something called like the Forbes coaches. Or for realtors, council, or one of these.
[00:12:33] So a traditional contributor to Forbes goes through the pitching process, goes through the vetting process, and you have a regular column and Forbes pays you to write there regularly. Okay. The coaches, councils, and there’s many of them, solicit you to write for them. They’re not actually part of Forbes.
[00:12:55] So if you write for any one of these councils, you are not a Forbes con. Oh, the two gentlemen that own the councils pay a licensing fee, and all my attorneys know what this means. , they pay a million dollar a year licensing fee to Forbes to utilize the Forbes name. Okay? So you’re not a contributor. Your articles are not indexed on Forbes, the website itself.
[00:13:21] Okay. So they’ll post them up there, but they’re not indexed. So if somebody searched for you as a contributor, they wouldn’t find you that way they won’t find, yeah. Okay. And on your article it’s going to say, you know, Forbes Realtors Council contributor, paid. In other words, you paid to write that article.
[00:13:38] So that’s how the councils work. You’re paying $2,000 a year, 5,000 a year, depending which council you’re on. Yeah. And in that little agreement that you signed, that humans don’t always read all of the fine prints you.
[00:13:51] Karin: It’s so crazy, especially sometimes lawyers .
[00:13:54] Cindy actual: There’s a clause in that agreement that says if you’ve written for a counsel at any time in your life, you’ll never, ever, never, ever, never be able to write for.
[00:14:04] The actual public you are. That’s really important and that’s really important to know. So using the councils is not a bad thing. I have, you know, some consultant friends or colleagues who write for councils, um, you know, their target audience is big corporates, you know, big government NGOs. So they utilize that to be in front of decision makers and demonstrate their expertise.
[00:14:26] So it’s worth the $3,000 a year, whatever they’re paying to be on that particular. Yeah, but I want people to realize that because if you ever wanna write for Forbes Main, let’s call it Yeah. And want to be paid, you’re barred from doing that. Yeah. So it’s just knowing what’s what, how you’re going to use it in your business and which is why I go back to like knowing where your target audience is and should you even be writing for forms speaking with, you know, so just understanding, you know, which is why I love media strategy because there’s a lot to think about before you just start like pitching and then you come across and watch you didn’t know what it was.
[00:15:00] Karin: Sorry to jump in, but why do you think that is? That they ban you? Like they,
[00:15:04] Cindy actual: it’s almost like they can because he’s paid a fee and because that, um, you know, because remember they’re licensing that name and so if, if, so, if Forbes lets you in and Forbes is paying you, then Forbes is eroding their own revenue from that fee that they’re paid to utilize the name.
[00:15:20] Okay. And then the people who utilize the. Would have a lesser pool of people to, you know, make it worth it. So it’s just,
[00:15:26] Karin: it waters down their brand. Yeah. Okay. That makes sense. But just it’s good to know ahead of time. It’s really good to know. Yeah. That if you do that, you are shutting the door permanently forever writing for Forbes.
[00:15:39] Um, and so you started to talk a little bit for a minute ago, and I wanted, this is what I wanted to come back to my marketing professor when I was getting my mba. He, he. There was a few main big ideas that he talked about, one of which was figure out where your potential clients. And be there. And so this is kind of what you’re talking about in terms of like, if you’re a cupcake baker and you’re trying to like write an article on Forbes, that makes no sense, makes sense.
[00:16:07] It doesn’t align it. And so this comes back to strategy and figuring out where you, uh, should be like who, who are your target clients or what is your target goal? Sometimes for law firms, it’s a little bit different. They’re looking more for like reputation building, and it’s not like they’re looking necessarily for sales.
[00:16:24] They’re looking for. Big brands just to kind of boost their, their firm’s name and stuff. But whatever that goal is, you need to start with that and, and then work backwards for which publications work.
[00:16:38] So can you talk a little bit about like what, um, what categories of different types of publications there are and like where those different, they, they
[00:16:48] Cindy actual: align differe.
[00:16:49] Yeah, absolutely. Um, and for me, it all, I’m strategy girl. It all comes down to strategy. Like, what are you doing? Why are you doing it? How has it benefiting you? You know, where are you taking, how are you utilize it? Because we see a lot of folks who, you know, maybe get quoted. Yeah. Then they don’t know what to do with that piece once it’s happened.
[00:17:08] Yes. Like they post on their social media, on their LinkedIn page and they’re like, ah, you know, I’m a psychiatrist and I was quoted in, I don’t know, discovery, psychology Today. Psychology Today. There you go. Yeah. And so you’re, you know, fantastic. And then social media’s cycle is, and it’s gone. Yeah. Yes.
[00:17:26] Okay. So you did all that work. And of course, and then there’s the whole thing of whether it’s a hot link, it’s a no follow link. Like, you know, what did Psychology today do with your quote? Did they have no link? You know, um, is it a no follow meaning? It’s all not going anywhere. It shows a link, but you’re not getting any street cred for that.
[00:17:43] You know? So there’s all these things to consider, like how are those being used? Yeah. And just, and where does the fit in your overall strategy? Cuz, you know, PR or being published or being courted or, you know, any of these things is social proof. So from the perspective of even if you’re an attorney and your objective isn’t maybe necessarily to get clients from a publication, you’re trying to get good street cred.
[00:18:05] Yeah. So are you needing street cred with other people in the legal profession or you know, are you a. I don’t know, trademark attorney. And you’re trying to get, you know, street cred with like people who invent things. Yes. You know? So where would you need to, like what do you want this media placement, whatever kind of media placement it is to do for you and your brand.
[00:18:33] What do you want that to do? And so that’s kind of where you would start. And so, do I need an industry mag? You know, am I. You know, am I a government lawyer for example? Yeah. I need to, you know, have some media. So like the, you know, mayor of New York knows I’m a good lawyer cuz I wanna represent them. I mean, good luck with that.
[00:18:53] But I wanna represent them , you know, I wanna be their, you know, municipal attorney. Yeah. So what publications is the mayor of New York going to read? Yeah. Adult. He might be. Government industry publications, so maybe that’s where you want to. , you know, put some information and you wanna talk about, you know, the pitfalls of, of zoning or urban planning or development or, you know, or maybe you wanna, like, the mayor runs the police force there.
[00:19:22] That’s not true in all mayorships. Um, you know, so maybe you wanna be in a, you know, public safety type publication that talks about these things. Or maybe you have a contrarian viewpoint and how things, so you wanna really think about what do I want these media. To do for me. That was my next question. Do I need to be here?
[00:19:42] Yeah, no, that was exactly, it all comes down to like how serve, I feel like leader, A lot of my clients leadership really wanna talk about themselves, the cases they’ve won. That’s not exactly
[00:19:53] Karin: get, and then I was gonna spin that. So what are the myths and the correct. Kind of, um, direction for what you should be.
[00:20:01] So you found those publications, you figured out, okay, these are the top three or four that I really wanna be published in. Yeah. So then how do you determine what to write and what, what is really, what are they really looking for?
[00:20:21] Yes. That is a hard lesson to learn though. .
[00:20:26] Cindy actual: That’s a great question. So first I’m gonna say, and then something I say to, to clients and students all the time is stop chasing logos. That’s the first thing. Yeah. Cause that’s what you’re doing. . Yeah. Because you’re gonna spend a lot of money with IPR agency or somewhere, and then, you know, even if it’s earned media, you’re, you’re really have a lot to show for it.
[00:20:46] So stop chasing, stop chasing logos. You don’t need to appear in 65 outlets. Yeah. In order to have an impact. So once you’ve selected those, um, you know, places, media selections that you have, you’re gonna wanna investigate what does. So you look at their trending stories, their top 15, their top 10, they, they’re always gonna have some kinda list, um, and see what are they writing about, what viewpoint it is.
[00:21:11] Is it a third person story? Is it a first person story? Is it a person essay? Is it an as told to? Is it a how to, uh, is it just purely informational? Is it q and a? Is it interviews? Like what types of pieces are they publishing? Yeah. In that public, And is that what you wanna do? So say they’re doing Q and As, do you wanna be the one asking the cues or do you be the one on one?
[00:21:32] Wanna be the one giving the A’s? Yeah, that’s different sides of the fence. Um, so just understanding the nuance of those publications and how it works. Because when you’re gonna pitch an editor, you have to remember, you know, like what’s in it for me? Meaning the readership of that publication, the editor is a, and all the click 95 employee of that publication, their job is to get eyeball.
[00:21:56] On the things that that editor publishes. Some of them might get bonuses for viewers and you know, all the things. So, yeah, clicks and blah, blah. So your question is, okay, what in my toolbox, in my zone of genius, my love of expertise would benefit the readers of this publication? Do I have something to contribute to the conversation that’s being had?
[00:22:19] Do I have a contrarian? Viewpoint to a widely accepted, nobody care that I can back up. You knows, and, you know, information, expertise, um, you know, versus talking about yourself. And everyone always wants to start talking about themselves. Nobody cares. Nobody cares. Let’s just be real. Like this is one
[00:22:40] Karin: huge match.
[00:22:42] Cindy actual: has a rag, a a point way of, of hearing this being a projects in Brooklyn. Plan. You story idea. I don’t know
[00:22:49] Karin: where this started. Maybe you have some insight into it, but, um, I’ve been on podcasts where they, they, you know, tell us your journey. I’m like, no, . I don’t. First of all, I don’t, I don’t wanna speak to people who relate to my journey.
[00:23:03] I wanna speak to people who relate to where I’m at right now, because where. Yeah. Okay. So yeah, so tell me why that’s such a horrible myth and it’s so
[00:23:16] Cindy actual: wrong. Exactly. Oh, I love this. I love this line of questioning. Yeah. I have so much to say. .
[00:23:25] Karin: Yes.
[00:23:29] Cindy actual: Yeah. So if you think about, you know, so I’m a professional speaker, right? So if you think about storytelling and speech writing, I always talk about the hero’s journey, right? You know, blah, blah, blah. Go through the hero’s journey, which not that that doesn’t sell, because if it did sell, it wouldn’t be working.
[00:23:43] And most, if you’re branding, marketing, most of them are gonna wanna use your story and start there. So by default you think, okay, I need to use my story and my marketing collateral. And in my PR campaign. Now, there are times that your story may be useful, but this goes back to where I’m a word nerd and a communication strategist, because how you tell that, which pieces of that story you use matter.
[00:24:11] Because if you were, you know, broke, busted, and disgusted for a while, yeah. And you came up through the ranks and you do all these things, and now you’re here. Yes, that story. So stories are about relatability, right? You want people remember, you know, stories, you know, sell, you know better than exactly. But what about that story are you trying to connect with the audience on?
[00:24:33] So if you’re connecting with the broke, busted, and disgusted as a lawyer, that’s kind of problematic because you’re probably not gonna be able to get any good billable clients, , if you’re connecting with those folks, they can’t afford you. . And then that’s not to say that you abandon your roots or where you came from.
[00:24:49] It’s how do I use that? Yeah. In what capacity? Does that make sense? Or is the part of my story where I was the Exactly. You’re not
[00:24:59] Karin: gonna start at birth. Like, okay, then I learned
[00:25:03] Cindy actual: the place where I drop them in. Because when you’re telling a story, you’re gonna drop them in to a piece and then you’re gonna move them along.
[00:25:08] Cause the hook right in marketing got on hook. Right? So what’s the hook? , right? Was the hook. I was broke. No. Now the hook might be I was broke depending on what your story is and where you’re going with it. But the hook might more be Right. You know, like, you know when I stepped in front of the jewelry to give my opening argument, you know, this happened or that happened.
[00:25:29] And so you’re like, what happened? Exactly. Exactly. Because you know, lawyers are storytellers, right? Yep. Opening arguments, closing arguments, you know, even when you are preparing your line of question. For your witnesses. You know, that’s why the objection leading the witness comes up, right? Because you’re trying to paint a picture, tell a story.
[00:25:47] Um, so it’s, it’s not just like, this is my story, what I did, because the problem is the only people who can relate to that are people who have had a similar story as you and who you, like you said, in my capacity, who I am today, where I am now, and what, and the service I provide to. , yeah. Is the people who connect with a prior version of myself who I’m trying to reach, or am I trying to reach people that are connecting with the current, yeah.
[00:26:13] Nobody cares. Version of myself and the the services and the products and whatever it’s I provide. So you really wanna just really, really, and then most of the times you wanna pitch story cause you just want people to know all about, you’d be great now, they’ll get to know your story over time. They’ll get to know your story.
[00:26:29] So when you’re pitching. It’s very, very challenging to be me centric, me focused because that’s not focused on, that’s egocentric. It’s not focused on the readership. It’s not benefiting them in any way. Cuz one, you know, unless you’re like Jeff Bezos, they probably don’t care how you got there initially.
[00:26:47] Now once they get to know you and what you can do for them, then they might say, oh, right. So you’ve not always been aware you went to law school in your forties. Wow. Tell me about that. Yeah. Then you’ll get the well and wrapped story that people connect to the thing they created. They, they’re like, oh,
[00:27:07] Karin: I, it’s not, they care about what happened at the beginning of Amazon when it was just a bookstore and it was competing with, you know, it was still competing with Barnes and Noble and whatever.
[00:27:16] Nobody cares about that part of the story. The part of the story they wanna hear. is the part that like connects to something. Yeah. That in their head about the hope of that. And maybe I won’t be a billionaire, right? But maybe I can be super successful. And so I think that’s so, so important. It’s possible for me too on that part of the story that you want to connect with people.
[00:27:38] So if you wanna connect with those people who are down. And you wanna say, okay, I was down and out at some point, which makes no sense. Like, why would you want to pull those in? Um, then that’s the story you tell, but that makes no sense. So you wanna make sure that,
[00:28:03] yeah, right
[00:28:04] Cindy actual: now, if you’re like a civil rights attorney, totally different. You may very well. Want to connect with those people, or you’re probably more likely trying to connect with the organizations that represent those people. So it would still be in how you tell the story. Oh, yes. And of course, I might know a lot of lawyers listening, making up a
[00:28:23] Karin: story probably.
[00:28:24] I want
[00:28:24] Cindy actual: to, um, put my disclaimer out. Yes, , by no means am I advocating for you, being untruthful. Or inauthentic in how you tell your story. So I’m not saying no, we’re not making up stories. We’re not manipulating our story. We’re not manipulating the, you know, anybody, you know in this, it’s being
[00:28:43] Karin: No, that’s important too.
[00:28:44] Yeah. Let’s not just like decide that all of a sudden you born in a different part of the world and you went through an entirely different experience but didn’t more than you know, just cause you want a good story. So for me, I wanna make sure
[00:28:55] Cindy actual: it’s not a good idea. We’re not trying to defraud anybody here.
[00:29:01] Karin: Correct.
[00:29:03] Cindy actual: Right, correct. Because you’re trying to connect with someone. Yes. Um, you know, so you wanna connect on a realness or an authentic basis, or sometimes even being upfront and saying, you know, cuz you know, so part of my, you know, when I talk about, you know, curiosity right under like, connect from a curiosity is so important.
[00:29:20] Maybe I don’t underst. exactly what my client, so you’re an accident attorney. Do you really understand what your client is going through? No. Exactly. If you didn’t sustain the brain injury, you don’t understand. Right. What you understand is how to help them get compensation or accommodation for the injury they sustained.
[00:29:38] But you don’t know what it’s like to be. How about, you know, a, a tbi, so, right. You know, understanding too, like maybe this is the client I need, and so then the story is more success I’ve had in the past. I’ve worked in this case validated case in the past. This is what I know you,
[00:29:54] Karin: and this is the story I can tell in relation to experience, but I don’t know your experience.
[00:30:05] How the legal system. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:30:08] Cindy actual: Right. or these are the myths and the downfalls and pitfalls Along those
[00:30:13] Karin: lines, I know you talk about being, you know, words matter and being really careful with your words,
[00:30:19] Cindy actual: but also
[00:30:20] Karin: talking about different voices and I that you and I both work with a lot of women. Um, and, you know, kind of alternate.
[00:30:27] Opinions and positions than sort of those typical voices that you see, and especially a lot of the large media publications.
[00:30:35] So let’s talk a little bit how, what, what are those myths around? Um, be having kind of a different position or opinion and what people think they need to say. I’m sure you know.
[00:30:47] Even for myself when I started, uh, drafting blog posts and appearing on different publications, I, I start by looking at what, what’s out there, what, you know, like you were saying, what’s being published and it’s all, oftentimes a lot of white guys, they’re saying things a little bit differently. They have a different approach for me, and it’s like, and I’ve had that conversation in my own head, like, do I.
[00:31:08] Adjust my approach to be more like them or what, you know, what’s your advice and, um, what’s the kind of mythical ideas that people have around that kind of, uh, that kinda work?
[00:31:32] Cindy actual: Yeah, so, you know, it’s, it’s no secret that assistance and structures upon which things are built were built for a very specific demographic. They were not built for demographics like mine in any way, shape or form. So, you know, media outlets, all that for diverse voices. And diverse does not just mean because, you know, I have brown skin, or I’m Puerto Rican, um, or I’m a woman.
[00:31:55] Diverse meaning diversity of thought and what informs your thought or how you see the world is your lived experience, you know, which is why, you know, I sure can see the same situation differently because my lived experience, the lens through which I’m viewing the world has been. By the things that I’ve been through, you know, as a Hispanic woman, you know, like working to not have my Hispanic accent, you know, so that I speak plainly and you know, so there’s lots of things that I’ve been through, so it forms my opinion differently on the same subject.
[00:32:31] Yeah. So, you know, our, our world, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, you know, the polarization. Yeah. We like to look at things very black and white. And for lawyers in particular, great crowd that understand that we actually live in the. , there’s, you know, we try to make everything black and white, but it’s not, we live in the gray.
[00:32:47] Yes. So the gray is those diverse voices where you bring nuance to the perspective, because we want to bring the approach of, you know? Yes. And versus either or. And so, you know, media outlets are very open to diversifying their contributor base to not have a homogenous. Voice and a homogenous opinion. And the, and even though, you know, like politics is a great example of this, right?
[00:33:13] We like to homogenous people the women’s vote. Well, what does that even mean? Like, you’re a woman. I’m a woman. We’re still gonna see things different because we’re not all the same. You know, we have lots of different, you know, or the Hispanic vote. Well, the Hispanic vote’s not all the same, depending on.
[00:33:30] You know what, you know at this day behind that, you know, if I’m been in SW or if I’m Cuban, or if I’m Puerto Rican, if I’m, you know, like, you know, like Hondura, like we’re not a block, we don’t vote as a block. Um, and so it’s important for publications to, you know, have those diverse opinions. And so editors really actually love a good contrarian opinion.
[00:33:51] Yeah. Because if, like you said, you’re looking and most of the advice is very similar. One from the standpoint of like, you know, standing out in the sea of sameness, it gets very challenging to get your pitch accepted because you sound like everyone else. Like, what’s, what’s the hook here? What’s the angle?
[00:34:11] What’s my reader gonna take away from this? That hasn’t already been said, you know, a hundred different times the same-ish way. So being able to present your idea, you know, with nuance, with texture. Um, in the gray and doing it in a way that doesn’t alienate or attack the other side. Yeah. You know, is important.
[00:34:34] And so that’s where language comes in. Words matter, you know, what terminology are you using? You know, have you like researched the context in which those words are good or not good? Um, you know, so, and of course, you know, humans have assigned morality to just like everything, uh, which is just hilarious in of itself.
[00:34:52] So it’s, it’s really about, you know, those, so you recommend perspectives. How do you recommend way diverse perspective should come with oftentimes from those lens d of make
[00:35:04] Karin: that particular sort of as a subnote within your content? Or do you, you know, just go loud and proud in the title or what’s the best way?
[00:35:13] And, and here’s this follow up question. Have you ever had seen publications where they are not open to this, this.
[00:35:27] Really, that’s kind of surprising. .
[00:35:31] Cindy actual: Oh yeah. Um, so both great questions and that short answer to your second question, that’s. Yeah, absolutely. That’s true. Um, well, if they have a very particular audience, you know, like, you know, if we’re talking major media outlet, like, you know, Fox News may not really be interested in a different perspective, cnn, whatever, they have a narrative, right?
[00:35:52] Yeah. Um, you know, so like if your automotive Wrench magazine, you know, if your, you’re writing about a particular brand of car and you same muscle calls your shit, they’re oh way, hey, You know, like, so they might just wanna be open to it. Um, so you all look for publications. They’re open to perspective. Um, but from the standpoint of like, so pitch now, one, I’m gonna tell you to not fall in love with the title of whatever it is your proposed article is.
[00:36:16] Cause editors are gonna, they’re gonna change it. They’re gonna run it. Let’s work. Yep. On. Different ways with different titles. I think that’s actually, just to interrupt
[00:36:24] Karin: for a second. There’s an marketing strategy for everyone to pay
[00:36:28] Cindy actual: attention to all time to see like what’s gonna work. You need to try, you can’t with your title and marketing is a
[00:36:34] Karin: lot of trial and error, and being patient with that process and realizing that you’re gonna try a lot of things.
[00:36:41] As a part of the process. And it’s not that those things are wrong or failures, they’re giving you information for what is right. So keep that in mind in terms of your entire marketing strategy. This is, this is something that we should all be doing for, for all of the parts of your marketing.
[00:37:01] Cindy actual: Yeah.
[00:37:08] Yeah. And so, and publishing articles are being mentioned recorded is, is much the same, um, because they know what works for their. For the audience. So you, I, I tell my, you know, fellow, my clients, you know, you’re gonna have to draw. I’m gonna recognize it , because the editor’s gonna get in there and especially if you’re not a writer or journalism major.
[00:37:27] Right. You know, like my, some, my articles I’ve written have been edited so hard. Those are gonna be your leads. Like those are still the same people that are, could come to, that’s my idea. You’re gonna make that, that connection’s, whether the
[00:37:38] Karin: word is this or that, does it really matter? That
[00:37:41] Cindy actual: sound amazing.
[00:37:43] You’re still getting the totally their. , right? Yeah.
[00:37:53] Okay. Right. So it’s just your feelings are gonna get hurt if you’re worried about theaters are gonna do to your title and to your piece, so, ugh. But, so, but yes, but if you’re gonna pitch it, you wanna pitch strong. Okay? What that hook is, you know, why the reader should care and what’s the, you know, intended outcome of.
[00:38:13] Because you don’t wanna sugarcoat what it is you’re trying to convey. So you know, if you have something very contrarian, you know, I would just put that right out there and say, this is exactly how I feel. Or if you maybe are agreeing with some premise, But that I have to talk about, there’s something people have missed about it.
[00:38:28] Yeah. You wanna just put that right out there and say, this is the element. I agree with how we’re doing it, but this is the element that people are missing that would, you know, make it better, make it different, or whatever. So you always wanna, wanna be very, very clear on that, but also understand now if you submit an idea to stop editors.
[00:38:44] Yeah. Um, they. May come back and say, Ooh, I like that idea. Could you write it from this perspective or from this viewpoint? And that’s your opportunity to say yes or no. Yeah. If you feel like that would dilute your idea or diminish it or,
[00:38:59] Karin: you know, make, not make it better. It’s for the book review. You goes right in line with all of this stuff that you’re talking about.
[00:39:05] So this is a nice, like easy, uh, runway into the book.
[00:39:11] Cindy actual: So tell us,
[00:39:11] Karin: Cindy. Book you have to recommend for the audience that aligns with all of these awesome ideas that they should really pick up and, um, consider in terms of all of their publications.
[00:39:31] It’s a long one. Yeah.
[00:39:34] Cindy actual: So, uh, a book that I love, it’s not a marketing book. Um, it’s called The Anti-Racist Business Book, an Equity Centered Approach to Work Wealth and Leadership, uh, written by Trudy LeBron. Yeah, so that’s kinda the subtitle, right? But the anti-racist business book is, is the name of it.
[00:39:48] Take a Breath and, you know, so one, you know, if, if that ruffles your feathers a little bit cause we’re, you know, we’re talking about, you know, that kind of thing. Just relax. Um, you know, nobody, nobody’s calling you anything. Um, yes, the. Yes, the, the reason I like that book so much is because she is living in the.
[00:40:11] Right. And she is understanding, and she’s talking about, you know, how having an equity centered approach to, you know, leadership or, or business processes Yeah. Is important because, you know, the modern world is constantly, you know, evolving and there’s, you know, a lot of times are like, you know, our theories, our leadership, were, were, were craft.
[00:40:31] Long time ago. And you know, we have to understand that people are I not omnipotent necessarily? Exactly. We couldn’t have thought of some of the things that we have now. Um, like Yeah, exactly. You know, I’m a seventies baby, right? So, I know I could never have dreamed of being talking to I’m with you to you right now.
[00:40:48] Yeah. Like,
[00:40:49] Karin: like we’re doing, I mean,
[00:40:53] Cindy actual: to to age myself a bit. Yeah. Home waiting didn’t exist.
[00:40:57] Karin: Okay. It was
[00:40:58] Cindy actual: not thing in the flying cars. I remember when it came out distinctively, so. Yeah, exactly. Right. Exactly. Oh my gosh. Like where is my rosy, that’s what I want to know, . Yep. But so, you know, understanding, right.
[00:41:12] That like fixing old. Isn’t slap it is like, like innovation wouldn’t exist if we weren’t willing to examine how something worked and do something different. So it’s no different with words. and you know, the way that you, you know, think of a, you know, like we have new words that come up all the time that were not used before, or the context in which a word is used now is different from how it was used in the twenties or the 18 hundreds or whatever.
[00:41:43] So sharing, you know, those perspectives, you know, if you can like not be offended for a minute and, you know, read. What the toxic parts of capitalism look like versus a justice, a justice based like commerce system. Because, you know, the systems are not designed in perfection, you know, and the systems don’t even operate.
[00:42:05] Like if you’re looking at the textbook definition of a lot of the, you know, systems that we have now, the systems that we exist under are not those textbook definitions. They’re manipulated for all sorts of reasons, right? So I just really love this book because it tries to, You know, look at the existing business practices, you know, how do we make them equitable?
[00:42:27] How do we exist within the framework as we work towards, you know, improving, changing, innovating, and you know, how this model Yeah. That we exist under works. And a lot of that comes down to, you know, definitions, understanding what the meaning of some of those things are. You know, how far are we from the textbook definition of how it was meant to work, and what languaging do we use?
[00:42:51] How do we get people to come together in community and agree to do things different or better that make the world itself, if you will, you know, more equitable. Yeah. Well, that was what I was just gonna add, is that in. The press pr, um, one word, one word is slightly wrong. Seen people, the meaning
[00:43:10] Karin: is they meant something different, but doesn’t matter.
[00:43:13] It’s being
[00:43:14] Cindy actual: in a and that’s
[00:43:16] Karin: it, that’s all it takes to, uh, I mean, people are losing their jobs, they’re losing their careers, they’re losing their reputation, um, over one. Phrase when, um, if they had just taken that step back and kind of recognize where those pitfalls and the challenges and the changes are.
[00:43:34] Cindy actual: Right. Yeah.
[00:43:45] And that’s where the diverse. Uh, perspectives come from because, you know, if you work in an office that’s very homogenous in nature. Yeah. You know, everybody comes from the same similar background and all the things their, their intersectionality are very similar and you write a think piece. Yeah. Because you’ve existed kind of in a vacuum and you’ve not sought outside or different perspectives.
[00:44:07] Yeah. , when you hear a different perspective, you know, your feelings are hurt. And so you can’t take it on board and realize that, oh, there might be a different way to look at this thing , um, that I was just unaware of. You know, people, people take ignorance as, as a, as an insult. No, I am ignorant of how to build an airplane that doesn’t make me stupid.
[00:44:28] I just don’t have that information. I’ve never sought it out. I haven’t had a need. And it’s the same way when we talk about communication strategy and, and you know, all of those things. You may not have had access to that, to that information because you haven’t sought it out. Not that it isn’t available.
[00:44:44] Like if I Googled it, I could probably find some information on how to build a lane. Yes. But I’ve never gone and looked for it. So if I’m going to take a stance on something, I’m gonna draw my line in the sand, which as you are, if you’re writing a think piece of some kind, what is that informed? And what kind of pushback might I get?
[00:45:03] and if I get pushback is my answer. You just know what’s done. Or this is how I feel like, cuz your opinion’s not a fact. No matter how much we wanna allege that opinions not facts. All my lawyers in the room can, you know, yay. Opinions are not facts. Um, and and ignorance is not a defense. You know, that’s another lawyer is right?
[00:45:19] Yes. So being ignorant to how, yeah, a segment of the population would feel about something being said by a certain segment of the population is not a. Of why I said it, you know, and we all know that double down doesn’t really work either, you know, so it’s just for me, if you’re going to try to rise in thought leadership, especially if you’re professional, you know, an executive, um, you’ve put a lot of, you know, blood, sweat, and tears into your getting to where you are in your career.
[00:45:47] Yeah. And you know, as you try to step out on a bigger stage by getting press, getting media, we really wanna think. That brand reputation management, you know, if you will, because your brand is one thing, but how people perceive it. Something else altogether. So it’s just, for me, it’s just that piece. So I, I just like that book cuz it kind of just points.
[00:46:07] Well I think that to all of those different things, so important, I wouldn’t have so many lawyers, um, are doing a lot of this so that you can have dialogue, press and publications versus, you know, present themselves experts and
[00:46:17] Karin: intelligent and well informed on all of these things. And so if you. Really missing this whole angle and coming across as ignorant on, like you’re saying, ignorance is no defense on this.
[00:46:30] And so if you have not informed yourself on how to present your, your language and what pitfalls you might have, you’re really missing a huge part of what’s happening in the world. Mm-hmm. . And so it’s, it’s critical if, if you’re trying to present yourself as an expert to make sure that you’re informed on this.
[00:46:53] yes. Right,
[00:47:00] Cindy actual: right. Yeah. And it also helps you again, you know, stand out from the Z of sameness, right? So if you’re, you know, a corporate lawyer, or you do, I don’t know, business law, you know, then you don’t sound like everyone else. You’re not saying the same things that everyone else. Because that doesn’t make you interesting.
[00:47:16] Now, you might get on some spots because you’re an expert and they’re like, Hey, can you tell us how XYZ thing works? Yeah. How it works. Awesome. Okay. But Cindy Constable is writer and speaker specifically, and
[00:47:26] Karin: is the founder of Women Breaking the Mold, which I think most of our listeners, especially the awesome women lawyers who are at that point in their career, when they’re really looking for being present in these publications and they need the help.
[00:47:40] This is, this is the thing for you, the women breaking the mold. Excuse me. We will link to that as, and your website and all of that on the, on the show notes page, but also the co-founder of Results Global, uh, impact consulting, but pay attention to women breaking the mold. That’s where, that’s where I think most people need to, uh, follow those links.
[00:47:58] But thank you so much for being here. I think this was, there’s so many little solid gold nuggets of, of value and information here. Um, I, I know people are gonna get awesome takeaways and feel just a little bit more. Understanding and solid in what they need to understand to think about being in these, these big publications.
[00:48:17] So thanks again for being here. I really appreciate it.
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|Published:||December 26, 2022|
|Category:||Marketing for Law Firms|
The podcast that provides the expertise of a Marketing Co-Counsel for your law firm. Where your firm gets answers and clarity to your marketing questions.