What Have We Learned A Year or So Later From COVID, Media, and Publicity Outreach? My Special Guest Marsha From News & Experts Tells Us. . .

What The Last Year Taught Us About COVID And Media Outreach

Posted on by Miguel Casellas-Gil

“Like me, you are probably saddened by news reports that COVID-19 is making a resurgence. Once again, the pandemic is poised to dominate news cycles and, in addition to worrying about health concerns, anyone who is trying to gain media coverage will need to think about how their message fits into the current media conversation.

One bright spot in this otherwise dismal situation is that we learned a lot over the last year about the opportunities for and the importance of PR during a pandemic, and we can all put those lessons to use going forward. In the spring of 2020, we encountered something we rarely if ever had faced in the more than three decades that News & Experts has been in existence.”

Practically every single news story every day was about one subject ‚Äď the coronavirus. Under those conditions, how could we pitch clients whose expertise and messages had absolutely nothing to do with medicine or health? The one-topic news cycle seemed like a barrier ‚Äď but only momentarily. Quickly it became clear that the pandemic affected more than health. Finance, sports, personal relationships, corporate culture, the workplace, education, travel and numerous other aspects of life were upended by the pandemic.

All of those topics were also ripe to be discussed and explored in the news. In other words, regardless of your message and your expertise, there was a place for you in the COVID conversation if you approached things the right way. That holds true today. This time the pandemic hasn‚Äôt completely hijacked the news, but it does still touch nearly everything in one way or another. That‚Äôs why it‚Äôs good to review any lessons learned from more than a year of dealing with it.

Stay In The Game

One lesson we definitely learned is that you don’t want to put your publicity efforts on hiatus until the pandemic is over, as some people were tempted to do. Who knows when this will all end. Instead, stay in the game by constantly massaging your message so it fits with what’s happening. This really is no different from what we always told clients in non-pandemic climates. You improve your odds of media success anytime you can link your expertise and message to what print journalists are already writing about, and what radio and TV talk show hosts are already talking about. With our guidance, this is what our clients were able to do.

One client who wrote a book on how the pandemic affected schools was able to speak to the difficulties parents and children encountered, and ways education might be improved as a result of lessons learned from COVID. Another whose expertise was remote work suddenly found that lots of people needed advice about her subject. A client who specializes in helping businesses raise capital spoke about funding options for those businesses rebounding from COVID.

So, if you are trying to promote your personal or business brand, explore where you might fit into the current conversation about the pandemic. The media always needs experts to comment on events and you can be that go-to person and share your knowledge.

If you are a business owner or a consultant who advises businesses, that could involve discussing business decisions about whether to require employees to be vaccinated or whether to request that customers wear masks. If you are a medical professional, you might be able to comment on news stories directly related to the virus or the vaccines.

Or possibly you could discuss the impact the pandemic is having across health fields, such as evolving protocols for office visits or procedures that get postponed.
Doing Good While Promoting Your Brand & Expertise

Something I wrote a year ago also bears repeating now as a lesson learned. You have an opportunity to become part of the conversation about the pandemic and its impact, but making use of this opportunity doesn’t mean you should be opportunistic.

You don’t want to approach it in an exploitative way because that would quickly backfire. But, if you have something valuable to share with the media’s readers, viewers and listeners, they will want to hear from you. A bonus is that you will be doing good in the world as well as promoting your brand.

Yes, we all learned lessons in the last year ‚Äď and likely there are plenty more awaiting us.

And that‚Äôs the good news because each of those lessons will assist you in your goal of building a long list of media successes…

Keep Learning and Growing with News & Experts!

Marsha Friedman, CEO & Founder

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Meet My Dear Friend Marsha Friedman of News & Experts and Now Part of The Family of Advantage Media-Forbes Books. I Learn So Much From Marsha …

Hey Authors?

“CELEBRITIZE Yourself” in The Coming NEW YEAR!

And you can by hiring an expert in the media field and she will do that and so much more! Why am I sharing this? Because I have helped many authors through my years of book promoting and marketing and some have needed to take that Next Step and work with a media marketing firm to get them elevated and noticed more so than my little “book promoting” throughout social media.

And they were serious writers and their books are “just that good” to move on to a higher level of media attention. I am only a “One Woman Show” and when those authors were ready?

The only PR Agency, Marketing, Branding, and Publishing firm I recommend is Marsha of News & Experts now part of The ForbesBooks Family. They do it all for your brand and books through Print, Television, Radio, and even have a Satellite TV Tour for Authors! So make you visit Marsha’s¬†News & Experts Website!

SO, PLEASE, MEET MARSHA FRIEDMAN, As she announces some exciting news from earlier this year and just in time for those authors looking to be elevated in the media and beyond. I have known Marsha since I began book promoting for authors almost 7-years ago and I have learned so much from her.

I look up to her as a mentor, as she’s never been “stingy” lol, when it comes to sharing media tips and advice of her “Magic” she uses to help authors flourish. That’s why I love her dearly.
So when you are ready to take a step into the ‘Media Big League?’¬†

Give Marsha a call . . . 1-727-443-7115

~Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon and “Lyon Media Services”


by |  2018 | PR Education

I’m excited to share this news with you!

For the past few months, I’ve been in negotiation with Advantage Media Group|Forbes Books, to acquire EMSI.  Finally, we signed the papers and our new company name is now officially News & Experts.

EMSI with its News & Experts division (our face to the media) has been ‚Äúmy baby‚ÄĚ ever since I launched it 28 years in 1990. It‚Äôs my legacy in a way and it‚Äôs always been my desire to build the brand bigger and stronger so our work can positively impact more people.¬† This acquisition allows the growth and expansion to happen in a way that was truly beyond my wildest dream.

“In 2016, Advantage Media Group partnered with media giant Forbes to create Forbes Books, the first-ever book publishing imprint by Forbes.
As they are a fast-growing authority marketing and publishing company that spans the globe, we‚Äôre so proud to be a part of their team and able to contribute to their continued success.”

This marriage makes sense on so many levels.  We’ve been representing Advantage authors to the media for many years and have a proven track record of working well together.  As a result, our relationship is one of great mutual trust and respect, and we share a total commitment to our clients.

I want to assure you that absolutely nothing will change in our relationship with you!¬† Adam Witty, Founder and CEO of Advantage|Forbes Books, has insisted we continue doing ‚Äúbusiness as usual.‚Ä̬† Our services remain the same, as do our rates and agreements.¬† But even more important, all of our team remains the same.¬† They‚Äôre each very excited about the career opportunities and growth potential joining the Advantage Family offers them personally.

As for me, I have no plans to go anywhere for quite a long time ‚Äď I love what I do too much!

This is truly an exciting time for all of us.

Marsha Friedman






MARSHA’S NEW YEAR 2020 News Letter and Blog Post

Can 2020 Be The Year That Sets You Apart From Your Competition?

New year, new decade, new opportunity to distinguish yourself from your peers!

I always find the approach of New Year’s Day invigorating because it gives us the opportunity to take a step back, review where we’re at in life (and in business), and consider where we want to go.

There’s something magical about Jan. 1. It’s like the world says to us, “You get another chance!”

So, as you take advantage of that “new chance” and make your business plans for 2020, let me remind you of something that might not be at the top of your priorities list, but can differentiate you from your competition, and if leveraged correctly will open the door to greater success.

I’m talking about getting interviewed or quoted in the media. Each time a newspaper reporter turns to you for an insightful quote, or a radio or TV show host interviews you on the air, you are building your brand as an authority in your field.

You can then leverage this media exposure by sharing links to your press coverage on social media, on your website, and in your marketing materials. Potential clients who are trying to decide whether to hire you or your competition across town are going to be impressed that it’s you – not the other guy – who the media turn to for expertise.

But to accomplish that, publicity can’t be an afterthought.

With 2020 nearing its arrival, let me offer three essential steps that will get you started on this journey and keep you focused:

  • Make a decision.¬† You have to make a conscious decision that this is the year you will go all in and do what’s necessary to promote your personal and company brand. Then (and this is really important!) stick to that decision no matter how many obstacles you encounter. Publicity is tough sledding at times and success isn’t always immediate.

    Maybe you craft what you think is a wonderful pitch for a story idea or radio interview segment, but the local newspaper doesn’t bite or the radio show host never replies. Persistence pays off in the long run, and in the process, you’re learning what engages the media’s interest and what doesn’t.

  • Set a budget.¬† As with anything else in business, you spend money to make money. How much? That will depend on you, your message and your goals. Do you plan a do-it-yourself publicity campaign? Do you plan to hire someone in-house to execute your campaign? Or do you prefer to enlist the aid of a PR firm? Regardless of your approach, you need to make sure you’ve set aside the necessary funds to accomplish what you set out to do.


  • Commit to the time.¬† If you aren’t prepared to carry through on this step, then the first two steps won’t make much difference. I’ve witnessed publicity campaigns fizzle because a client wouldn’t take the time to be interviewed by a journalist from a top-tier publication on short notice, or provide answers to questions from a reporter who’s on a tight deadline.

    Yes, it can be a pain and I realize you have other responsibilities, but you must find ways to make the time. If you’re not willing to do that, the newspaper reporters, radio show hosts, and TV producers will find someone who is.

When you think about it, vowing to make publicity a priority in 2020 is much like any other New Year’s resolution. You have to make a decision about what you want to accomplish, make sure you have the resources you need to accomplish it, and then commit to following through.

Do those things and 12 months from now you’ll be able to look back at your 2020 publicity efforts and realize how the recognition you’ve gained has set you apart from your competition.
Here’s to a wonderful and productive New Year!
P.S. If you want professional advice on getting the most out of your publicity efforts, give us a call at 1-727-443-7115 …

Marsha Friedman


Social Media War and Blunders! How Do You Handle a Rude Person on Social Media? Be Careful …

My dear friend Marsha is back from¬†“News & Experts” and her PR Insider post with some real solid advice on how to handle “rude” people on social media while keeping your Professionalism intact …


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How To Respond When The Social Media World Gets Unpleasant 


Most of you are fully aware by now that social media plays a significant role in building your authority as a thought leader and expert in your field.

One of social media’s great advantages over traditional media is that you get to control your message to an extent you can’t when you’re being interviewed by a print journalist, a talk radio host or a TV show host. With social media, there is no media “gatekeeper” standing between you and your audience.

That’s the good news!

But, as wonderful as social media is for promoting your brand, it does present its own treacherous pitfalls. A particularly onerous drawback is that your social media followers can post responses to your posts that are, shall we say, less than ideal!

That happened just this week to one of our clients when one of her Twitter followers suggested quite publicly and forcefully that she quit posting about one subject (business culture) and write about a different subject (blockchain) he cared about instead! (This is the polite version. I will refrain from injuring your ears with the sailor’s language he actually used.)

It was, to say the least, quite an aggressive response to a fairly innocuous post.

Luckily for all of us, there are lessons to be learned from how this situation played out. Jay York, our senior social media strategist who manages our client’s social media platforms, says there were a few options he considered.

On behalf of the client, Jay could have directly challenged the person’s comment. He could have also tagged the blockchain community, who likely would have brought down their wrath on the errant poster.

But the option Jay chose was to send a private message to the poster, politely requesting that the comment please be removed because it didn’t help a mutual objective they both had of bridging the gap between business and blockchain people.

A few hours later, the very contrite poster replied, apologizing and removing the post.


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So, in case you ever find yourself in a similar distasteful situation with one of your social media accounts, let’s break down how you can try to duplicate what Jay did:

  • Find common ground.¬†“In marketing, sometimes you can turn threats into opportunities,” Jay says. Let’s face it, social media has plenty of trolls who post objectionable things just to be jerks, and there’s no reasoning with people like that. But Jay says he surmised this wasn’t the case in this situation. After all, this person chose to follow our client on Twitter and seemed to respect her. By finding common ground (their shared interest in blockchain) they were able to come to a mutual understanding.
  • Be respectful.¬†When someone is rude to you (and this post was exceptionally rude with foul language to match) there’s a natural temptation to respond in kind. You want to just let them have it! Resist that temptation. Maybe you’ve heard the old saying “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” I think Jay proved that saying has merit because the disagreeable person became agreeable in the end, doing exactly what Jay wanted to happen for our client. A hostile response might have escalated the situation rather than resolved it.
  • Look beyond the face of what’s occurring.¬†Everything isn’t black and white, and sometimes you have to dive below the surface and explore what’s really going on. Yes, this person had come off as critical to an almost irrational degree, but he also had raised a point about the kind of social media content he was looking for from our client. Once you worked your way through the vitriol, his post really was a request for her to share more content about a subject he cared about.
What’s interesting here, I think, is that while social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others are largely a product of the 21st century, the human beings who use them are still fundamentally the same way human beings always have been.
Just like in face-to-face business dealings, good manners are still important and can help smooth the way through those less-than-desirable situations.
Respectfully yours,


Just Some Writer Ramblings, Tips, and Idea’s…..

I spent the day catching up on some finishing touch’s on book number two, catching up on reading and visiting some helpful websites that I wanted to pass on to you.
First the ramblings as it is a New Year, it should be time too for all new passwords on all the important things YOU use a password for to change. Like Your emails, all your Social Media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, About.me, Path, Tumbler, Pinterest, maybe even your vendor accounts through Amazon, Kindle, and GoodReads, Barnes and Noble too!

Some you haven’t heard of you say? These¬†are couple tips on more exposure for wares your promoting! Another great place to give you insight on the “Best Ways” to maximize your FB posts, Twitter posts, YouTube videos and more is my friend Robert at http://Sparkah.com¬†he has all kinds of Marketing videos from his YouTube account that he shares on all the¬†perfect ways to use¬†social media marketing!

For Writers and Authors, it also means some New Year Goals in maybe publishing a new book. Have you considered using a “Fund Raising” site to help cover¬†out-of-pocket expenses¬†and publishing costs? That is what helped me last year get my book published and my e-book out this past May¬†too! Since I had 2 different book covers, one for my paperback, and one for my e-book, I needed help with the costs. We all know the only people making the BIG BUCKS are those who are FAMOUS. Their books sell, but us “Penniless Writers” need some help!…LOL…

There are many to choose from like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and more.
That’s why I did some research, and the best¬†one that fit my needs¬†is “Go Fund Me”¬†http://gofundme.com/5zeqjo This is my link to my “2014 Donor Dream Goal” for Donors¬†to¬†help get my next 2 books out in the world.

My last fundraiser was through “WePay.com and I had good success there as I raised enough to get my first book done!¬† But I wanted a more “Professional” look, and “Goal Levels” of giveaways¬†for my¬†Site this time around, and to be able to get my “New Donors”¬†feel more involved in the Writing and Publishing process! So¬†“Click On” my link above¬†and¬†take a peek at my “GoFundme” site¬†and see how easy it is¬†and creative you can be!

Another website I use, and really helps with marketing my book and both my WordPress Blogs is http://about.me.com¬†¬†This is a new and fast growing network and community of ALL types of people! It’s free, fast, and easy to be creative on making a PAGE for yourself no matter what you do, or kind of business you have! They have “Share Widgets” to use¬†so you can share your¬†“About Me” page on your Blogs or Websites as your Home or About Tabs.¬†I use mine on my Recovery Blog here.
Here is my link: http://about.me/AuthorCatherineLyon as I use it as my Author Bio!


Now I just came across an awesome website via Twitter! I wanted to share a little of what they do. If you are a poet, writer, published author, article writer, you really need to check out this website! It’s a fantastic concept that I have not seen much around before,¬†an excellent way to make income as well, but in a very different way.
They are called: “NokBok” Read Unlimited Books….. ¬†https://nokbok.com.
I have only met TWO of the web team members, Kailee and Joey, and here is a little of what they do as they bring Readers and Writers together!

What is Nokbok?

Nokbok is a subscription based digital library of published and self-published material. Our collection includes books, journalism, articles, academic papers, documents, poems, short stories and more.

Publishers and authors can upload their written material to Nokbok for free and gain royalties whenever their work is read. Nokbok uses a unique royalty model where publishers/authors share in the Total Gross Revenue from the website.

Our vision is to build the world’s largest collection of stories and ideas and place it at everyone’s fingertips for a low monthly cost, while ensuring that the creators of these works receive competitive royalties. Through the Nokbok community, we hope to offer great opportunities for exposure to aspiring, self-published and published authors. Additionally, we desire to¬†encourage people of all ages to spend more time reading and discovering. And finally, our goal is to become a community of action by reaching out beyond ourselves to give to those in need.


The simple answer is. . . pretty much anything, and there is no limit to how much you can upload. We hope to see books, magazines, newspapers, dissertations, lesson plans, poetry, satire, political disputes, cookbooks, short stories, children’s books, works in progress, blogs, citizen journalism, published and unpublished books, journals, research, collaborations, articles, and serial stories. . . oh, and did we mention all of this in multiple languages. We have over 30 languages available. See the following link for a detailed listing of genres and categories: Nokbok Genres and Categories.

Nokbok uses a system of rating works like movies (G, PG, PG-13, R, MA) in order to protect young readers from inappropriate material and to ensure that all readers are aware of what they are about to read. We do not accept¬†promotion of violence or sexual offenses, or pro-terrorism material. See¬†Writer¬†Terms of Service¬†for a complete list of unacceptable material……
So please, go give their website a look at: https://Nokbok.com become a member and read to your heart’s content. They have a great choice of Reads.¬†Visit the “How It Works”¬†tab, if you’re an author or writer, go upload you work and give them a try to¬†gain more readership and earn a little “Cha-Ching” at the same time!

I think Nokbok is going to spread like wildfire once¬†the word gets out! Make sure you tell “Kailee and Joey that¬†“Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon” SENT YOU! That’s it for today folks! Hope what I shared with you today helps in some little way!
“Yes I’m an Author¬†in Recovery, but my Passion is Writing”!
God Bless All!  Xo Xo