So many of the people I meet day to day tell me that getting seen, heard, and celebrated within the pages of the Puget Sound Business Journal — or their hometown business journal — is high on their DIY publicity priority list.   The best way to earn a place in any of these media outlets is to make a practice of reading them.   If you don't yet subscribe, let me know by sending me an email at  I'll send you a special subscription form that will allow you to save big on your subscription and get a 2009 Book of Lists as a gift.

If earning a Growing Your Business story is a priority for you, here are some of the story criteria:

  • Your business must earn above $250,000 a year.
  • You must employ at least three team members.
  • You must have been in business for at least three years.
  • You have to have business lessons to share from which other business owners can profit.

fieri1My newest client, La Panzanella, was a perfect fit.  I pitched the food manufacturing reporter about the company's journey to gourmet cracker success, and a wonderful story debuted in Friday's Puget Sound Business Journal.  If you subscribe to the paper, you should be able to read the story conveniently online.  Otherwise, you can buy the paper at newstands around town or see the story online within 30 days.  Being a subscriber does have its rewards.

I am going to share the specific pitch I sent so you can mirror a similar approach when you target your story to earn editorial consideration.   The good news is that the reporter received the pitch favorably, connected with me within minutes of receiving the pitch, and followed through with a stellar story that included wonderful photographs and reinforced the key points that were important to my client.

Dear Steve,

We've worked together over the years to break food manufacturing stories from the likes of Fran's Chocolates, Oberto Sausage Company, and TalkingRain Beverage Company.  Today, I come to you with a food manufacturing story about better crackers that hails from Tukwila, Washington.  The good news is that the business story behind this award-winning company has never yet been told, and there are some powerful lessons the owner has learned from which other business owners can most certainly benefit.   I am bringing this story to you first because I believe the readers of the Puget Sound Business Journal will want to know more about this local company and benefit from the lessons the owner has learned since taking ownership of the company in 2003.

The CEO and owner is Paul Pigott.  And the news hook is that this profitable company that enjoys national distribution of its award-winning Croccantini line of gourmet snack crackers is introducing a new line of spicy, artisan-made snack crackers called Fieri this June 28-30 at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York. This product line is sure to capture attention for its distinctive, spicy flavor profile and give food shoppers and grocery and special food buyers something delicious to cheer about and share with their customers and neighbors this summer and beyond as at-home entertaining continues to be a trend gathering great speed in this demanding economy.

Since the “Growing Your Business” features within the Puget Sound Business Journal typically share useful lessons from which the readers can profit, here are a few to capture your interest:

  • It pays to narrow focus and apply focus to a high growth potential product, while never compromising on quality;
  • Attention to production operations management and manufacturing best practices delivers powerful dividends for productivity and  profitability;
  • New, well maintained production equipment beats repairing old equipment every time.
  • Focus on distribution.  Earning “yes” decisions from quality specialty food retailers and national grocery store decision makers lends powerful fuel to achieving national distribution.
  • When you have a winning recipe, extend the line and offer the consumer choices for  quantity. Today, Croccantini  comes in nine delicious flavors. They include original, rosemary, sesame,  black pepper, garlic, fennel, whole wheat, tomato oregano, and onion. The product comes in 8 ounce and 5  ounce portions at retail and five pound bulk or foodservice Croccantini Bites in six pound bulk packaging.
  • Welcome international distribution when the timing and opportunity are right.  Today, about 5% of the company’s sales flow from Canada.  Pigott believes that the new Fieri line of snack crackers – with its  spicy flavor profile – is likely to earn loyal buyers from France, Italy, Mexico, and Asia.
  • Create new  product lines to reflect changing tastes. The new spicy Fieri line is coming  to market in June of 2009.  A  dessert cracker is in development for holiday gift giving and entertaining.  Smaller crackers  are in development to satisfy consumers who want the same great taste of Croccantini in a smaller, more consistent shape to adorn their artfully arranged trays of h'ordourves.

Steve, I have a backgrounder to share, a bio and photo of Pigott, and a press release to share to offer even more details to support your potential reporting.  These elements are so new that they are not even yet posted to the company's online press room.

Can I compel you to read more and set up a meeting with this local business owner who is successfully growing his company, even during these daunting times?  I will follow up with you by phone in a few days, unless I hear from you first.  Thank you for your consideration. Looking forward to taking the next step.

DIY Publicity Tip: How can you fram your business story for a Growing Your Business feature within the pages of the Puget Sound Business Journal?  Can you demonstrate quickly that you read the reporter's work and know that your story is a perfect fit?  Follow the example above and make your pitch on a Thursday morning to the right reporter.  You can find the right reporters by following the work of those who write about your industry.   I also have a “Guide to the Newsroom” that I'll happily send you if you make that request here at the blog or via my email at   Thursday is the best day to pitch because the newspaper “goes to bed” on Wednesday, and Thursday marks the beginning of a news gathering week for the next edition of the paper.   If you need more tips in this regard, let me know.

And, if you are looking to add some sassy, spicy flavor to your summer entertaining plans, look for Fieri gourmet Italian snack crackers and Croccantini snack crackers in the deli departments of better grocery stores in the Puget Sound and well beyond.   They are simply delicious.