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Mini-MasterClass with Gloria Chou: How to Hack Your PR!

May 18, 2021

Mini-MasterClass with Gloria Chou: How to Hack Your PR!
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Welcome to this week’s episode on The Radcast! Get ready for a special mini-masterclass featuring PR guru, Gloria Chou.

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Welcome to this week’s episode on The Radcast! Get ready for a special mini-masterclass featuring PR guru, Gloria Chou. 

Gloria started her career as a diplomat for the United States Government before venturing into Chinese Television where she was a TV Producer. Through the years, she's built a substantial network while cultivating the best practices for hacking your own PR. She’s developed her own method that’s proven widely successful.

Here’s the BEST part -- TODAY Gloria is having her own MasterClass diving deeper into the conversation you’ll hear today on The Radast! Checkout the information below for more details.

To keep up with all the latest from Gloria, visit her website www.goriachoupr.com or follow her on Instagram @gloriachoupr 

If you enjoyed this episode of The Radcast, let us know by visiting our website www.theradcast.com or leave us a review on Apple Podcast. Be sure to keep up with all that's radical from @ryanalford @radical_results @the.rad.cast


It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here. What better time than now.

Hey guys. What’s up? Welcome to the latest edition of Radcast. 

Ryan Alford[00:00:14]Hey, guys, what's up? It's Ryan Alford. Welcome to the latest edition of the Radcast. We're here live and this could be any day anywhere for you, but we're in the Radcast studios at the home of Radical here in the lovely Greenville, South Carolina. And I'm joined today by someone in a field that I've been giving more prop to lately than I've ever said, and the letters P and R have been coming out of my mouth more than I ever thought imaginable. Gloria, it is good to have you on the show.

Gloria Chou[00:00:44]It is so awesome to be here. 

Ryan Alford[00:00:46]The Gloria Chou, founder of Gloria Chou PR and PR badass. Can I call you a PR badass? 

Gloria Chou[00:00:53]Why not? I love it. Let's use more cuss words throughout this whole interview. 

Ryan Alford[00:00:59]Hey, look, you're on the Radcast. 

Gloria Chou[00:01:00]Yes, that's why I'm here. 

Ryan Alford[00:01:04]So let's talk about Gloria and PR. So I'd been talking and you've listened to all of our episodes, and I said two episodes ago I was talking to a good friend of mine, Michael Valor, who does a lot of PR, personal branding, and influencer stuff. And I'm getting to this point where I'm like, I'm not so sure you don't start with PR when you've got a brand or something, and maybe all the PR experts are going, oh, shit, I told you that. We've been telling you that for however long. But I'm serious, the power of PR with all of the channels that there are today and everything that is media, is such a powerful thing. And I don't know that people are leveraging it enough. 

Gloria Chou[00:01:46]One hundred percent and I'll tell you something else. In the day and age where we're all at home, we're not going to fancy-schmancy schmoozing events with a publicist, so your chance of getting featured is just as fair as anyone else.  So now is the time. I've never had anyone tell me how to pitch and get on a podcast. What a drag. This is a skill that people want to learn. But I think fundamentally humans are afraid of rejection. And so the reason why people don't do PR, even though they're just as you said, badasses, visionaries, is because it's so much easier handed off to someone else. So hopefully in this episode, I'm going to kind of break that down a little bit and  I will share with you a technique that's worked so that you don't have to get rejected as much and you know exactly how to pitch. 

Ryan Alford[00:02:29]I can't wait to get into it. We're going to hack your PR folks. But let's talk a little bit about Gloria and the foundation of what's gotten you here, what's gotten you coaching, and sharing all these insights. We're going to talk about the CPR pitching method, all of those things. But let's tell everybody a little bit about that background. Now, you were a producer, a diplomat, and a, PR badass. Now, let's give everybody a little background. 

Gloria Chou[00:02:54] I always say my life is a lot like building a bus while I'm riding in the bus, I never know where it's gonna go. With me, people always wonder about my career goals. Like just pick a career, dammit. But luckily, we're in an age now where it's a little bit more acceptable. But I'll break it down to this as I just love to see people win and nothing makes me happier than helping people be more seen, more heard, and more valued.  So as you know I started as a TV producer where I was Googling to try to get interviews with A-list stars. So Oliver Stone, like Nobel Prize winners and this is for a Chinese TV documentary. We were staying in motels as we had no money. And my job was to get these A-list people onto the show. And I think that's really what helped me perfect my cold calling, my cold outreach method. You know this more than anyone, that it is so pivotal to someone's success,  just being able to get out there and get rejected. I did a lot of that and then I got sick of it. I got sick of being a documentary producer and not having that much income coming in. And my mom was like, you need to get a real job. So then I was like, all right. And I was like, oh, I love foreign relations. I love public affairs. I'm multilingual. Let's give this a shot. So I went one hundred and eighty degrees in the other direction and became a government bureaucrat. I had a security clearance, and was sworn in by then-Secretary of State John Kerry. And I was on the diplomatic track. I had twenty-five years of that ahead of me with a pension and all of that. But I was deeply miserable because I was in a golden cage and I was at age thirty. I would like to say,  at age 30, it's a mid-life crisis. I moved back home. I gave up my pension, gave up my diplomatic security. And by the way, every time I'm in an airport, I'm reminded of that because now I can no longer go through the diplomatic line. But, hey, we all make choices, right? And I got home, got back on unemployment, and rebuilt my career. I wanted to work in PR because I just love pitching and I knew that that was something I could do. I probably applied for over 1000 jobs with people putting in references for me. And I just could not get a single one because everybody, every agency wanted a very specific experience. They wanted agency experience. And I did not have agency experience. So I said, all right, Universe, what have you got for me? Is this a test? I'm going to just go for it. I started out doing PR for very small startups. I'm talking about two founders and an engineer. They didn't even have a product. And they said, sure, I'll have PR who doesn't want to have PR. You know what, I will pay you five hundred bucks to get me featured on CNBC or something like that and two hundred and fifty for publications. I ended up cold calling and getting them onto F.T. Reuters, AP, Yahoo! Finance, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, NBC, so you name it. I did it. And I was like, all right, maybe I could do this and. So now I just teach the methods that I learned from thousands of rejections and cold calls and I teach Founders' around the world how they can do their PR, 

Ryan Alford[00:05:55]I think I  would have a hard time giving up that security clearance. Let me tell you, flying commercials sucks. That might have made it a little better for us as we traveled to Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago to be on a podcast.  I was reminded of the grief and so I would have a hard time giving that up. 


Gloria Chou[00:06:21]Back with the peasants. Yeah, but I love it now. It's like finally, I feel like I'm making an impact in a way that I'm supposed to make an impact. And I mean, just getting messages from Founders', I'm on my LinkedIn. They say, Gloria, I watched your master class and I got my bedsheet company, something super boring in Canadian Vogue. And I'm on BuzzFeed. And I was like, all right. So now I have a pair of bed sheets that he gave to me. 

Ryan Alford[00:06:47] I love that we had the founder and CEO of Sheets and Giggles a month ago, and I am now sleeping on a bed of their eucalyptus sheets. And let me tell you, they're amazing. But Colin, what was Colin's last name? Macintosh, Colin McIntosh is a cool dude. Anyway, the sidebar; talk to me about this. I think there's a fine line, before we get into some of your methods,  this fine line of advertorial PR paid. We're getting into this messy middle sometimes of what's earned media, what's paid media. What's your perspective on all of that and how do you delineate the two? 

Gloria Chou[00:07:29]Oh, that is such a good question, and it's so funny. Every day I get targeted with these ads as well. That's like we'll get you featured on boom, boom, boom. And I'm like, do you even know what I do? Because it's so yes, I get it. 

Ryan Alford[00:07:43]But their targeting wasn't very good. 

Gloria Chou[00:07:46]One hundred percent. So it is such a complex and nuanced landscape. Because what you have now is a lot of people and a lot of these are channels who will accept advertising money and they will be able to give you in return a placement. But it says on their advertising content and this is twenty, twenty-one. We have a smart generation of consumers and once you read that, you're not even going to continue to read the rest of the story. So consumers are smart and they understand the difference between something that's paid and something that's truly earned. And that's why PR agencies are getting away with charging 10, 20, 30, 40 grand.  And so my whole mission is to make it accessible and pull back the curtain and say, you know what, it is daunting to go and pitch to a journalist, but it doesn't have to be that hard. You need to have a pitch that's not super marketing speak because they don't want to be your free advertising vehicles. And as long as you can transform your product or your service into a relevant, newsworthy story, then there's no limit to the number of articles. I always say there is no such thing as a newsworthy company because I've read pitches for candles, and bath salts, but there is such a thing as a newsworthy angle. 

Ryan Alford[00:09:01]I love it. It is no different than branding on some levels. We say those things sometimes to make your brand memorable you have to make your story memorable. So all of that relates. So talk to me about what went into developing your system and coaching methods. I imagine it's from trial and error for how many every year and learning and experiencing doing this for others. Right?. 

Gloria Chou[00:09:31] One hundred percent. So I didn't study journalism. I don't have a single journalist friend. I studied politics and I never worked at an agency. So I came into it cold calling Google. And I didn't have anybody relying on their relationship. So that's how I started. And I took all of the different commonalities from the times that I pitched, whether it's email or cold call and at this point, it's thousands of them. And I started to notice patterns of when an editor would actually respond and when it just went into the trash. And so after years of doing this,  now I've gained over one billion organic views for all of my clients, most of whom are in the super early stage, some of them don't even have a website. I noticed that there were some key elements to a pitch that usually gets noticed. And so that is how I came up with my CPR method. That is the tangible part of it. But I think a bigger part of it is the mindset part. And I think, in a saturated market, we know that traffic alone is not enough. Right. So if I see an ad or whatever, but if I'm debating between, let's say, two companies and I see that you've lent your expertise to a podcast or an entrepreneur, I'm probably going to go with you, even if it's more expensive and marketing just doesn't get you there, right? You know that because you're in branding. So PR is the only way to both get authority and traffic. So that's kind of what I'm talking about here, is that earned media. And so how do you have a conversation with a journalist who you've never met and you probably never will and get them to feel like your pitch is value-driven enough that they want to share it with their audience? 

Ryan Alford[00:11:11]Huge. I'm going to circle one word there. That is kind of the crux of it, whether it's a brand, a business, or the founders or people personally.  AUTHORITY. That is the key with PR that people don't understand that you can't build authority with advertising alone. It's not that it has zero impact on authority because you could buy your way to some of it, but 80, 90 percent of it has to be built through more authentic, more earned, more other people building you up and talking about you or writing about you or whatever that medium is having that influence that elevates you. I say this to people all the time. Sometimes you can't always lift yourself. Sometimes others have to do it, and authority is such a crucial ingredient these days with having that authenticity and having leverage. 

Gloria Chou[00:12:11]And I read somewhere that it takes twenty-five touch points or more from when someone encounters your brand to when they buy. So  I think of PR and that authority breaking, reducing twenty-five touch-points to two touch-points especially if you're in B2B, you need that authority.  And in terms of marketing and PR, the analogy I always love to give is to imagine a man and woman are on a date, to the man telling the woman that he's smart, he has a great family and he graduated from this school that's marketing, saying the right things, the right people. Now, imagine the woman going home and her most trusted friend from childhood calls her up and says, you know that guy you're on a date with? He has such a good reputation. I see him volunteering at the cancer hospital every Saturday. He is such a gem. You have to play your cards right. You see how that's different. That is the power of PR. 

Ryan Alford[00:13:00] One hundred percent social proof, baby. It's like that's all we call all time. Everybody wants to sell their stuff,  we are e-commerce brands, they have no reputation and they're like, why aren't we selling stuff? We built an e-commerce store and I'm like, there's no social proof. We can do that with PR, but you have to do that with reviews. You've got to do that through social media. I mean, it's all of those things, but it's authority and then credibility. And all of those things kind of go hand in hand. And that's what PR can do for you that others can't. So what are some other parts of the CPR method?  I'm sure that's an acronym for something. 

Gloria Chou[00:13:39]All right, let's get it. Let's get into it.  Whoever is listening and multitasking comes back to us because this is the most important part. Ryan, I found this throughout thousands of cold calls, thousands of times people have slammed phones in my face. I started to pick up on when I could get that person to stay on the phone a little bit longer. And I boiled it down to my CPR method. So your pitch needs to have these three things, the C, which is credibility. One sentence on why you are giving this pitch. A lot of founders' go crazy here and they overstuff it with their autobiography and all kinds of stuff that journalists don't care about. So the credibility is one line. I am a founder. And then the P stands for point of view. Why? Because experts have a point of view. Remember, you're not positioning yourself as a seller, you position yourself as a thought leader. That means you need to have insight into where the industry is headed. For example, you are in e-commerce, and you make stuff for moms, I don't care what industry or what product you are in. Twenty, twenty has changed the landscape for all of us. So what are the three ways people are using products differently? How has that influenced family dynamics? Or it could be three ways to use technology to homeschool your ADHD child. Whatever it is, I want three bullet points. Your point of view positions you as an expert. The R stands for relevance. This is super important and probably the most important part. This tells the editor your pitch needs to be answered right now and not three years ago or three years from now. So think about what are the seasonalities. If you are in a heavily regulated industry like therapy or finance, it might be something to do with the new laws that are coming out. Like SBA loans, whatever it is, if you are in e-commerce or retail, it could be about Black Friday. It could be about shopping trends around the holidays. If you are a career coach, it could be something about graduation day and the three most important sought-after skills. So that's exactly what I'm talking about here. And so you need to make sure your pitch has credibility, the point of view, and relevance. 

Ryan Alford[00:15:38]Love it. I love it. Credibility, point of view, relevance. And you can see where all three of those are key because I think you nailed it on the credibility part. I think founders; and  I have been guilty of this, not intentionally. I know what you just said. And it's like I've got to; should I tell them?  They're not going to write a two-page story on your background. You've got to condense it down to what are those salient points that will truly build you that authority because they want your point of view and then, of course, make it relevant. And that's the biggest thing I see, it is no different than a brand and we're building a website or doing something else. Less is more, baby. 

Gloria Chou[00:16:28]. Because it's not what you write, it's about what's the value for the audience. And look, your story is important. Every single person that's founded a company has a story. But the point of the pitch is just to get the journalists on the phone. It's not a whole life autobiography, Ken Burns style. It's just what is the shortest way for me to convey three value points that they can turn to a headline? And here are two things I think anyone listening to you should do right now to start to train your mind, to think like that is I want you to install a Google News alert. So if you type in Google News Alert, Google will ping you with all the different publications, anything that's written online about your industry. So if you're an AI, if you're in fitness, whatever, you're going to start to understand what are the actual subject lines that people are talking about.  Another thing you can do is if you've ever heard of HARO, which stands for help a reporter out, it's kind of like a journalist inquiry. It can get crazy because there are hundreds of journalists asking to be interviewed for whatever. They're like, oh, I'm looking for the person who has expertise on this. So those are two very grassroots ways you can start to figure out, how to connect with journalists and what they're looking for. 

Ryan Alford[00:17:39]I love the Google Alerts I get. I think I've to trim mine back because it's hard to get too many. But I, I load them up. I don't know if you have that problem. I've not been following that topic anymore or whatever, but it is super powerful because it will give you everything. I've got like my own name in there and if there are several Ryan Alfords it'll show up. I did a joke on an Instagram story about some guy who won a golf tournament with my exact name. And I was like, I did this whole thing right around April Fools Day. And it was I who won this tournament. And three people, dm me and go man I didn't even though you play. It was hilarious. But I do love Google Alerts. Huge. 

Gloria Chou[00:18:18]. And then if you go on my website, Gloria Chou PR.com, I have a template which is a podcast template. You can fill in the blanks and then you can start to see how I write the C and the P and the R in my CPR method. And so that's kind of my way. If you've ever wanted to get on a podcast, you can start there.  I have my master class where I reveal the pitch that I wrote for a founder who is not funded. And I show you the email pitch I wrote and how it got on to Fast Company with a link to the eventual article. 

Ryan Alford[00:18:48]We're talking value here, folks.  These are real-world examples of how to do this, so get after it. I believe this and I tell clients this is where some PR and advertising and marketing are synergized, which is,  everyone's favorite radio station is WIIFM; what's in it for me?. And it's no different when you're writing the pitch to the reporter or the journalist, what's in it for them?  You got everyone's favorite station. 

Gloria Chou[00:19:19] There is one thing as you get past the OK, I'm not going to put three, four lines about my credibility and they're writing the pitch using my method. Another stumbling block is that they want to appeal to everyone. And you know this more than anyone. When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one. So if your pitch is super fluffy and it's like how we are living in twenty, twenty-one, that doesn't give me a lottery. So I want you to be specific. Does your product or service target a certain demographic?. If you can cross-compare to different sectors, that's even better. For example, I worked with a career coach. So talk about market saturation. And what I came up with for him was, you know what? You should run a survey. So he did a survey. I'm talking like three ninety-nine Google forms. OK, not a data scientist you could go to Google for as you went on to LinkedIn and said, hey, I'm doing a survey $5  Starbucks card. If you graduated in two thousand and eight, which is in a recession or 2020, let me know. I would love your thoughts. He crossed compared their survey answers on how they felt their college degree was worth it, whether or not they feel optimistic about it. He took that as proprietary data and he was able to start conversations with New York Times, Forbes, and Fast Company. He ended up getting featured on Forbes Inc, the Tennesseean. And I think I think one more, I think entrepreneur. So it works because journalists are not going to be able to do that kind of work. You don't need a big sample size. You don't need to interview five thousand people. It could be like 20 and 20. 

Ryan Alford[00:20:47]I love that a lot. We've talked about that very tactic of surveys and other things. And because people want data and that's back to that proof the points, and all those things and building the story and having credibility around it. Yeah, you could say it and you've got experience and all that. But when you've got thirty-three percent of this and four percent of that, you've got credible data points that back it up. I've always been coached before that journalists love that stuff. 

Gloria Chou[00:21:20]If you can just do like one percent or 10 percent a little bit more work automatically, you're going to be the one to be interviewed. It just shows that you're willing to go out there. And here's another thing about pitching, is that I think it shows that you are so confident in your fidget spinner, in whatever it is. That you can put yourself out there and pitch. And that gives me confidence as a consumer. So a lot of times, as you're saying, oh, I just make a product like, why do I need PR for or what is my angle? So if you don't know how you're making an impact beyond just your product, then maybe you shouldn't get featured. But I would dare to say that every single founder is here to make an impact in a way that's just more than their immediate product. So let's channel that energy. 

Ryan Alford[00:22:02]  And that's what brings me to another point. The struggle with some companies now is, it's hard for the founders to be behind the curtains. You know, it's just we're just in such a day and age, people want to know the people they're doing business with. They want to know their values. They want to get to know them. PR allows those angles. And it's such a struggle. And don't get me wrong, I guess if you're fortunate enough to build a category-defining product, maybe you can hide behind the product. But short of that, it's just so important for people that want to know and understand the person, the background, the perspective of the people they are doing business with. 

Gloria Chou[00:22:43]Well, exactly. Especially now with our values. Right? Whether it's political, environmental, people want to know. And so what better way to communicate exactly where you stand than being on a podcast and being interviewed. And it's not just about being interviewed. It's like getting to know these people and speaking at conferences. It's going to be able to help you with every future endeavor that you have.  It's about networking. So, yes, if you want to stay behind the curtain, that's fine, but I've never heard anyone complain about being invited to more tables, 

Ryan Alford[00:23:14]Especially the right tables and get to the Emmys table or the Golden Globes. Where can everybody keep up with everything Gloria Chao, I know you mentioned your website. Let's mention it again and any of your social channels, all of those things, where can we keep up with you? 

GloriaChou[00:23:35]I have the podcast sampler that's gotten me on at least 30 podcasts and that's on my website. And I have a thriving Facebook community now of small business owners who are probably on the same journey as your listeners who may be feeling a little overwhelmed, feeling like PR is an expensive luxury item. And I made that community full of supportive founders. And I go live in it every Friday with how I got featured. So every Friday I interview a small business owner who got featured and I have a lot of podcasters on there. So you might be able to get onto a podcast as well. You can find that and join our community at getting featured now.com 

Ryan Alford[00:24:10], I love it. I love it. And I want to stay in touch because I want to leverage some of these secrets and maybe any of the other things you got up your sleeve that you keep for special people that have you on their podcast. 

Gloria Chou[00:24:25]And one more thing is in my master class that I do every three months, and  I have one coming up. I reveal the exact pitch that I talk to you about, the one that she got to Fast Company. So I do a screen share of exactly how I wrote it. So if you want to come to my upcoming master's class, you can go to Gloria chou PR.com/master class. 

Ryan Alford[00:24:45]Love it. Get on people. PR is the key, especially in twenty twenty-one. Might have been always the key and maybe I'm just coming around to it. Twenty years of my career, I don't know which it is. It's probably a combination of both. But Gloria knows her stuff. You know where to find her. She just told you, you know where to find us at Theradcast.com all of this content, all the highlights from this episode, and others will be there. Just search for PR, all the angles, all the stuff is there search for anything, you know, to find me on Instagram at Ryan Alford, On Tik Tok at Ryan.Alford. I am verified there. You could DM me there. Anything you want to do. We'll see you next time on the Radcast.

Gloria Chu

PR Guru