PR Expert Melanie Marten Speaks About a $2.3 Million ROI Publicity Stunt & More [S01E08]

Melanie Marten Speaks About Publicity to Syed Irfan Ajmal

After a few solo podcast episodes, we have recorded another interview finally. 

400 media mentions & press clippings in 4 weeks, along with the artwork being bought for $2.3 million.

Not a bad result for a controversial publicity stunt (or should we call it an art project) right?

German Public Relations expert and entrepreneur Melanie Marten shares what Die Guillotine (The Guillotine in German) was, what was its main purpose, and how it was pulled off.


Melanie also shares her insights on public relations in general, how she got into PR, the right way to pitch to the media, how to build relations with editors & journalists, and how companies can leverage PR to be more known and build their brands.

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  • Melanie's unconventional path to PR
  • Melanie’s definition of what PR is and what it entails
  • How PR is different than paid advertising in becoming more known and building a great brand
  • How the fact that PR is ‘earned media’ impacts the kind of stories which journalists may pick up and how much it costs
  • Edward Bernays (the founder of modern PR) - How he helped Marlboro sell more cigarettes
  • Details on DIE GUILLOTINE - how it happened and how it led to 400 media mentions & press clippings, along with a $2.3 Million ROI
  • Why she founded The Coup in 2010?
  • The goal of PR on the Go, and how it helps creatives and solopreneurs to do their own PR
  • The degree program Melanie chose to study in order to be better at PR
  • The Generalist vs Specialist Debate: Should you (as a PR professional or a PR agency) focus on offering services to a specific niche/industry? Melanie shares her take on this. 
  • How large cities like London, New York, and Berlin are made known as the hubs of arts and creativity which in turn leads to tourism, investment, and economic boom. According to Melanie, a lot of other cities underestimate "the economic importance of the arts."- My favorite part of the interview!
  • The art of storytelling and how it helps in Public Relations
  • Why and how to use micro-trends while pitching a story to media outlets
  • The right channel (Email, Twitter, LinkedIn) for pitching to journalists & editorsFind out which one's Melanie's favorite and why
  • How your pitching channel is different for print media as opposed to electronic media 
  • Do's & don'ts of relationship building with journalists and editors
  • Why it is wrong for startups to try to get featured in a typical startup magazine and what to do instead? PLUS, the rare time when a typical startup magazine may be the ideal publicity outlet for you. 
  • Accessing the wealtheir audience. HINT: It involves airplanes and launches


If you have any questions or if you would like me to interview any entrepreneurs or digital marketers, please contact me here

This episode was brought to you, as always,
by your host ⬇️
Syed Irfan Ajmal is an award-winning serial entrepreneur and a seasoned digital marketer.
He is an international speaker, and speaks and conducts trainings at various organizations and events of Pakistan and UAE.
Moreover, he also writes about entrepreneurship and digital marketing for various large publications of the USA, UK, Canada, and Pakistan including Forbes ME, the World Bank, Huff Post,, Virgin, and others.
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