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How Small Business Owners on Maui Can Make a Big Splash

Gain international media exposure without leaving Maui (except to appear on Oprah and CNN).

August 4, 2011
Maui Weekly

On Wednesday, Aug. 10, Maui nonprofits, business owners and professionals will meet with Kïhei entrepreneur and marketing expert James Jacobson to learn how to market their businesses more effectively while also helping to solve the media’s biggest problem. Jacobson will also show participants how to gain priceless press coverage from newspapers, magazines, television and radio.

As we slowly emerge from the recent recession, Maui nonprofits, business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs are taking stock of their operations. Many remain tentative about spending money on new marketing efforts.

“There’s a marketing and public relations truism that says the best time to get attention for your business, product or service is during hard times,” Jacobson said. “But if you’re worried about how to pay the electric bill this month, it’s not likely you’re going to want to spend money on marketing. And you don’t have to.”

Article Photos

James Jacobson (far right) will teach a Maui Marketing Mastermind program called “Public Relations & Media Training” on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Kahili Golf Course. He will also teach his updated “Congruent Marketing” class that morning.

Jacobson’s background in television and radio production gives him a unique perspective on public relations. It also helps the books he publishes through his company, Maui Media, become bestsellers.

“Random House, which published the hardcover version of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s God Has a Dream, had given up on Father Tutu and claimed that they couldn’t get any interest from the media,” Jacobson said.

“But I knew they were just being lazy, just moving on to the next title,” he said. “When I published the audiobook version of the title, I got Father Tutu on several television shows, including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart… and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Because of Father Tutu’s tight schedule, Oprah even lent us the use of her private jet, so I can actually say that I’ve flown on Oprah’s plane.”

“When my own book came out,” Jacobson said, “I wanted help with the PR campaign, so I hired a New York City publicist with an impressive resume and dozens of glowing testimonials from authors I respect. I paid her $10,000 over three months, and in return she got me absolutely no press.

“Nothing,” said Jacobson. “So I fired her and got myself on Jay Leno, CNN, dozens of local network affiliate evening news shows and hundreds of magazines and newspapers. I did about five radio interviews a day including NPR, and live studio appearances with Leeza Gibbons—twice. All for a book about dog meditation,” he chuckled.

“The bottom line may seem obvious,” Jacobson said, “but you have to think the way a journalist thinks.”

“It’s a different mindset than most nonprofits, business owners and professionals have, but, if you think about it, every day, editors and producers head to work hoping that they will have enough quality content to fill their magazine, newspaper, television show or radio program.”

“But it’s not enough to have information—especially not these days,” he said, “when we all suffer from information overload. Stories must be well-conceived, well-written, interesting, relevant and captivating. Give editors and producers a good story that their specific audience will love, and you have solved their number one problem and helped your business in the process.”

Jacobson will teach Maui nonprofits, business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals how to be their own (and best) public relations expert in his “Public Relations & Media Training” at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at Kahili Golf Course.

Jacobson will also teach a newly updated version of his popular “Congruent Marketing” class that morning.

Each class is $97, with a $50 discount for taking both trainings. More details and a registration form are available at

“Once you have the right mindset and you understand what makes a good story, you are 90 percent of the way there,” Jacobson said.

“Even the smallest Maui business can have local, national and even international presence if they do what I suggest,” he said. “All they need is a computer and a telephone.”

For free mini-video-trainings from Jacobson, visit



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