A MESSAGE FROM Joel Kessel
Thank you for visiting. I appreciate your interest in learning more about how I’m helping authors, nonprofits and entrepreneurs get publicity and more awareness about their books, cause and work.
I’ve been working with you and your media colleagues for nearly 25 years and one thing I’ve learned throughout is this: Be helpful.
This kit is a way to be helpful to you. I want you to understand the work I do, but more importantly, why I do it, who I help, what their challenges and frustrations are and how your readers, listeners or viewers can benefit from my experience and perspective.
Feel free to contact me for more information or to set up an interview.
(614) 467-9083 (office)
(773) 209-6125 (mobile)
ABOUT Joel Kessel
Joel Kessel is a communications advisor with a specialization in working with media. He helps organizations and those who have something to say—nonprofit organizations, authors, speakers, thought leaders—gain clarity and confidence on how to strategically and authentically communicate and deliver their message through the media—reporters, podcasters, bloggers, influencers—so they can have a larger impact on the people they serve.
He provides thoughts and insights on communications and communication strategy through his blog site at www.JoelKessel.com. He also hosts a weekly podcast called Conversations on Conversations where listeners gain insights and thoughts on how they can strategically and authentically communicate and deliver their message and story with clarity and confidence.
Joel also is the founder and owner of Kessel Communications, a strategic communications agency that helps businesses get their products and services noticed in a busy world. The agency focuses on defining and delivering a company’s message and how that message is managed and communicated through various earned media channels for third-party credibility and validation, such as local business journals, industry trade publications, influencer bloggers, podcasts and online outlets.
Joel began his career in Chicago nearly 25 years ago working for a number of public relations and communications agencies before going off on his own in 2000.
Throughout his career, Joel has developed a specialization in PR strategy and media relations, which has garnered attention for his clients in numerous publications and outlets from USA Today, New York Times and the Associated Press, to the CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News and numerous local and trade outlets, among others.
He has worked with organizations of all sizes—start-ups to nonprofits to national brands—developing and executing an array of strategic communications programs. Current and past clients and accounts Joel has worked on include the National Runaway Safeline, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Weber Grills, and Master Lock.
Where you can find Joel:
- on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/joelkessel)
- Twitter (@joelkessel)
- The number of authors who are opting to self-publish continues to rise, with a growth rate of 21 percent between 2014 and 2015 for print and Ebooks combined. ISBN registrations for self-published titles have grown more than 375 percent since 2010, climbing from 152,978 ISBNs to 727,125 ISBNs. (ProQuest; Bowker. http://www.bowker.com/news/2016/Report-from-Bowker-Shows-Continuing-Growth-in-Self-Publishing.html)
- In a Googled search of the phrase, I wrote a book now what do I do? more than 19 million results showed up. (Pulled online Jan. 20, 2017)
- Authors experience anxiety when it comes to getting publicity for their book. In two posts in two private Facebook groups for authors, the question was posed: “What one word comes to mind when it comes to getting publicity for your book?” The responses included: Trepidation, Yikes, Oy vey, Clueless, Confusion, Uncomfortable. (Questions asked in fall 2016)
- In 2011, over 1.6 million tax-exempt organizations of all kinds (various 501(c) subsectors) were registered with the IRS.
- Building awareness was found to be the leading organizational priority, regardless of size or subsector. The exception was professional associations, which identified member acquisition and retention as their main concern.
- Only 30 percent of nonprofits have a written and approved marketing plan for 2013.
- Nonprofits need to invest the time to strategically identify who they are trying to reach, what their organization stands, what they can offer of value, and how they will take proactive steps to communicate their identity through their materials, their services, and their day-to-day actions.
- 84 percent of nonprofits characterize their messages as difficult to remember.
Here are some of the topics we can focus on during an interview:
- The top five steps an author, nonprofit organization or entrepreneur can take to ensure they have success when working with the media. What are they and how can they implement them?
- The importance of position and having a clear message (doing the behind the scenes heavy lifting) before reaching out to media.
- Understanding how to build genuine relations and how media can play a role in an organization’s awareness efforts. It’s media “relations” for a reason.
- How best to be prepared and the tools to help an author, nonprofit organization or entrepreneur gain the confidence and direction to be a helpful resource to media.
- Why many reporters aren’t too warm about PR folks. Let’s talk about your pet peeves. The same ones I teach and explain to my clients. It’s about being helpful, doing your homework, and making it about the media outlets audience.
I’m not married to only these topics. Let’s talk about other topics and how I can add value to you, and your readers, listeners and viewers.
SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
- Why do you do what you do?
- Why the focus on authors, nonprofits and entrepreneurs?
- What are some common mistakes organization’s make when it comes to working with media and getting media coverage?
- As a PR and communications professional, what marketing and PR mistakes do you most commonly see authors, nonprofits and entrepreneurs make?
- What is one concrete tactic an author, nonprofit or entrepreneur can use to be sure their message is memorable and authentic?
- How do you help authors, nonprofits and entrepreneurs get publicity and raise awareness about their book, message, business?
- What are some of the benefits of getting publicity?
- What are some ways to leverage those free media placements?
- Where can our (readers, listeners, viewers) go to learn more about you and your work?
 Blackwood, Amy S., Katie l. Roeger, and Srah L. Pettijohn, The Nonprofit Sector in Brief: Public Charities, Giving, and Volunteering, 2012, Urban Institute, 2012: 2.
Lipman Hearne, American Marketing Association, The State of Nonprofit Marketing: A Report on Priorities, Spending, Measurement, and the Challenges Ahead, July 2008.
 Leroux Miller, Kivi, 2013 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, January 2013.
Johnson, Tobi. “Not So Different: Business and Nonprofits Face the Same Problems.” Tobi’s Nonprofit Management Blog. November 4, 2011.
 Schwartz, Nancy. “Get to Aha! Messages: Nonprofit Messages Survey Results.” Getting Attention, Helping Nonprofits Succeed Through Effective Marketing. June 20, 2012.