Recently I had the chance to speak with Heidi Krupp, CEO of Krupp Kommunications. While Krupp’s agency, also know as K2, has built a formidable presence in the publishing world, her team has also branched out as of late with a wide variety of clients.
Krupp, who worked briefly at Ruder Finn, told us about starting her agency, “All it takes is $5,000 to start a business.” Krupp herself acquired that $5,000 buy selling her car, a Toyota Celica. Clearly a savvy publicist, Krupp realized early on that book publicity, “is not just about the book. The book is the vehicle to the brand.” In this case Krupp has done well. “We’ve had about 65 best selling titles,” she said, including the well known “South Beach Diet.”
One thing we talked about that is a gold standard in all PR, but especially in the book world: everyone wants to be on Oprah.
“Fortunately, we have a good relationship with the show,” Krupp said. However, she stated “it took two years” to get Jean Chatzky, author of “Pay It Down: From Debt to Wealth on $10 A Day” onto the show. Krupp said of course, creativity helped. “I said, we were so successful in the diet category, why don’t we think about how we can combine debt and diet. Maybe we do a debt diet? I started working with her [Jean] to noodle around on “The Great American Debt Diet.”
The creativity paid off. Despite the long time frame, Oprah eventually did a five part series, in addition to other programming. Said Krupp, “This helped Jean become one of Oprah’s friends. She has her own show on Oprah and Friends. [satellite radio].” In this sense, she said, “We’ve gone from being a publicist to a brand manager.”
So, what are some tips Krupp gives to getting your client on Oprah? “To get on national broadcast television, you must have a very good tape. You should have been media trained or have done media before. You should work with a media trainer,” she said. “National shows won’t consider having you on without a demo tape. It would be great to do something first in your local market.” Also, she said, “You want to think like a producer. How can it be visual? How can it relate to the audience? What are five key takeaways?”
That being said, Krupp admits, “It’s of course also about relationships.”