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Areva Martin Make it Rain Book Review

I don’t usually write book reviews, I usually don’t write book reviews on my birthday. But Make it Rain by Areva Martin Book deserves some notoriety. Let’s start with the most serendipitous way of me coming into possession of the book. I was randomly invited by Areva Martin on LinkedIn, I don’t usually respond to networking event requests but since it was a book signing from a CNN Judicial Correspondent I figured that it might be my ticket to get onto CNN. For years I have made it my personal goal to become a CNN Marijuana Correspondent. Yes, that’s right, I dream big. During the Areva Martin book signing, in a packed room of 200 plus people at 1871 Chicago’s Tech Incubator, I asked Areva the following:

My Stupid Question

“My name is Michael Mayes, and I own a Marijuana Consulting company here in Chicago, I have been featured in many local programs around the world but have not broken through to CNN status. Do you think I should keep trying as the owner aka a scrappy PR guy or should I engage a publicist?” Her answer was not as expected. “Well Michael, if you buy 10 of my books you will be able to get onto CNN, but will that accomplish your business goals? Is CNN the right media outlet or is a more industry-specific channel a better option?”

At first, I thought this was a bribe tactic, but after reading her book, I see that the question was absurd since that question is what the book teaches you. I now feel pretty embarrassed about asking the question in the first place. Me asking the question did, however, give me face time with her. Her book is engaging and full of excellent real-world examples of how to get your message out. After getting a signed version of the book, I read the book cover to cover in 10 days, which is not typical for me. I reached out to her to tell her what fantastic content she wrote. I learned that the best way to show appreciation for an author is to give a five-star review on Amazon and Good Reads. Please find the following links to do that:

Give Areva an Amazon Review: Here

Give Areva a Good Books Review: Here

All in all, it was the right book at the right time written with the right voice and tone. I could feel Areva teaching me, getting a sense of her voice at the book signing put the book into context. Since the event, I put together the following Media Kit and Newreel. I’m very new to public relations so any suggestions on my work are well warranted. Please comment. Check out the Quantum 9 blog here.

Quantum 9 Newsreel


Quantum 9 Media Kit

Below are my top 10 takeaways from the book.

Top 5 Takeaways

  1. My Headshot: Use a headshot a customer would expect from a cannabis consultant. Since I’m a marijuana consultant, I should probably get a headshot in a dispensary or a cultivation facility.
  2. My Biography: Focus on my background in my biography. I mostly do marijuana permit acquisition services legally I’m an “expediter” which requires a ton of grant writing experience, my biography should include a bunch of my experience from my last employer. I submitted maybe 10-15 Request for Proposals government and private companies. One of them resulting in the Microsoft SharePoint Partner of the Year award. I also won contracts with companies like Unilever, General Motors, Rubbermaid, and General Dynamics with my writing skills.
  3. Media Outlet: Instead of trying to get on CNN, it would pay much better for my business to reach out to local news stations in West Virginia, Virginia or South Carolina, or Indiana when Marijuana first becomes legal. Start sending my media kit and newsreel to reporters and producers in these areas. Shooting for the moon is cool but will that result in dollars? When reporters first start posting content, it would be ideal to reach out to them and establish a relationship as the marijuana subject matter expert.
  4. Three Good Points: News outlets are looking for strong opposing views. It isn’t good enough to just have an opinion, it must be with conviction. Areva suggested sending producers and reporters information or story ideas with three good talking points. Make reporters and producers’ lives as easy as possible.
  5. Three Brand Building Items A Day: This is my favorite suggestion that I have been doing this ever since I read the book. Areva suggests doing three things a day to build your brand. This can be Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram posts or reaching out to 2-3 reporters a day.

Top 10 Takeaways

  1. Proper Hashtags: Use to research trending hashtags prior to posting something. I have already started to use this as well.
  2. Engagement with Social: Make social media posts engaging. Ask questions to ensure engagement. Make your fans post answers to questions you ask in your posts. Get them involved and start talking to your audience instead of just bragging about what you are doing. People don’t care about posts that are “look at me”, they care about contributing to a conversation.
  3. Facebook Suggestions: The best times to post on Facebook for shares are Thursday and Fridays at 1 PM, for the most Facebook likes it is 3 PM on Thursday and Fridays.
  4. Working with Producers: Try to make relationships with producers along with reporters. I never knew this, so moving forward I will ask or research producers of news stations instead of only trying to make the relationships with the anchors and reporters.
  5. Be Prepared: If you are about to go on a live or recorded broadcast, make sure you have a very good understanding of the show and their viewers. For example, if I were to get an appearance on Dr. Phil I would watch a few episodes to understand the show flow. I would review the type of content they are targeting to their viewers and have a script that matches that audience focus.

Best Piece of Advice from the Book

One of the biggest takeaways from the book was Areva’s advice to make every social interaction a brand building communication, use a Call to Action. Her book made me realize my goal is to get on CNN and CNN needs to see me in action. Until I get more media appearances where I provide value for these networks I will just have to wait until my lucky break.


About Quantum9

Quantum 9, Inc. is a Chicago, IL-based cannabis consulting firm. We specialize in getting high net worth individuals and private equity cannabis business licenses to cultivate, manufacture and dispense marijuana. We have over 50 marijuana consultants that work for the company, and we have practiced in 12 countries. Our areas of expertise include permit acquisition, team building, employee training planning, and process planning. We help clients fully maximize the potential of any cannabis cultivation, processing, and dispensary business.

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