School for Startups’ Jim Beach has fun interviewing CEO Lonny Kocina

Award-winning radio host and best-selling author Jim Beach has interviewed many successful business leaders including TED superstar Simon Sinek and Pixar’s Lawrence Levy. Media Relations Agency CEO Lonny Kocina has joined that distinguished list. In this informative and often playful interview, Beach learns how Lonny was instrumental in shaping the modern PR industry, and why entrepreneurs should follow the SAM 6® marketing process. Beach’s nationally syndicated show, School for Startups Radio, is currently #5 on iTunes business.

Beach was excited to interview Lonny, calling him a pioneer of modern PR for introducing the Pay Per Interview® pricing model. “Instead of paying a monthly retainer, you pay a certain amount per interview,” Beach told his audience. “This totally changed the industry.”

Lonny clarified that while some PR services, such as crisis communications and investor relations, must still be charged hourly, arranging media coverage is well suited for Pay Per Interview. “And [media coverage] is just what the entrepreneur needs, right?” agreed Beach.

After some discussion about how Pay Per Interview works, with Lonny telling a funny anecdote from the Breathe Right Nasal Strips campaign, the conversation turned to the SAM 6 six-step marketing process. “Most people don’t know basic marketing,” Lonny stated, which is what prompted him to write his award-winning, Amazon best-seller, “The CEO’s Guide to Marketing”. “I believe it is the most practical marketing book ever written.”

Beach asked Lonny to describe and quiz him on the six steps:

Step #1: Marketing competence. The book defines 31 marketing terms, concepts and principles every business person should know. “Being an entrepreneur, you’re often on your own out there. You’re going to have to learn this stuff. The six-step process will help,” Lonny told the audience.

Step #2: Code. “This is about encoding your message,” Lonny explained. The code includes your primary value points and how your product is positioned in the minds of consumers compared with the competition. “People starting out really need to stay focused on their message. Some people haven’t taken the time to define their primary value points and positioning.”

Step #3: Channels. Lonny advised entrepreneurs to choose cost-effective promotional channels, but cautioned, “If you haven’t grasped the promotional mix, it’s hard to cycle [your messaging] through it.”

Step #4: Calendar. This is about scheduling your promotions. “This is learning to say the right things in the right places, and within budget.”  

Step #5: Control template. This step is essential if you are to give clear direction to your creative team. Lonny’s example: “It’s telling them, next week we’re going to run digital ads about product B to this specific submarket, stressing this specific primary value point. If you can control this process, you’ll definitely increase sales.”

Step #6. Engage the creative team. In the SAM 6 process, the creative staff gets involved only after the process work is done.

The best way to learn the SAM 6 process is to read “The CEO’s Guide to Marketing” which is available on Amazon. Tools to go with the book are available for free on

Written by Robin Miller

Robin will coordinate the writing for your newsletters, social media posts, website, blogs, newsletters and press releases. “I like interviewing clients and spokespeople, hearing their stories, getting to know their personalities and listening to how they phrase their thoughts,” she says. “It’s fun to transform what I’ve learned from those conversations into media-grade content.” Robin enjoys shaping content to ensure that the message will be clearly received. “When someone understands the relevance of what they’re writing and can position it properly for their audience, their work tends to be more convincing and on point. I’m fortunate to have a very diverse background, which gives me a good perspective whenever we bring on a new client.” An IABC- and Mercury-award winner, Robin says her practical experience in the health sciences has proven particularly beneficial as she interprets clients’ scientific information for mainstream media. “But it’s no longer sufficient to write well,” she cautions. “As marketers, we must now comply with the intricacies of digital marketing. That involves a whole set of rules, which are constantly evolving.”

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