- Nov 24
A Thanksgiving Story for Your Certification
Just before and after Thanksgiving 2014, professional chef and new author Keith Guerke booked appearances on five local TV morning shows to promote his new book, Leftovers Right: Making a Winner Out of Last Night’s Dinner.
He promised easy and delicious recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers.
In the actual TV segments, he used leftovers to create mashed-potato ice cream cones and smoothies made from turkey, ham, turnips and gravy.
His creations were uniformly awful as confirmed by the reactions of the TV hosts who tasted them.
Guerke was actually comedian Nick Prueher and was neither a chef nor an author. And there was no book.
It was all a gag, and Prueher's success in getting on camera became a teaching moment for businesses—and that includes the business of certification—to discover how to build credibility to gain the attention of the media (and customers) and to do so in a productive way.
Authority and Credibility
A book is an automatic, subconscious and effective statement of authority. Prueher's claim of authorship was the essential element of his pitch to the TV stations.
The good news for the rest of us is that self-publishing a book has never been easier. Books are high-value, low-cost marketing collateral that communicate thought leadership.
The media attention they generate is an even stronger statement of credibility because it includes an implied media endorsement.
Prueher approached the media about solving a problem for their target audience.
Get. That. Man. On. Camera.
The first law of the Four Immutable Laws of Certification Success, whose video you can download here, states that a successful certification must solve a problem for the target market. And it must be a problem the market is willing to pay for.
What pain or problem does your certification resolve, reduce or eliminate? Figure that out, and you’ve earned the attention of your prospect.
Timing and Relevance
Prueher offered an immediate solution to an immediate problem. Too much leftover turkey.
His fake name, Guerke, even rhymed with turkey. That was subliminal and intentional for associating his name with his solution.
His TV appearances and purported book were perfectly timed to arrive at the very moment a solution was needed.
Are there factors you can take advantage of when framing your own certification offers?
One idea might be to offer test candidates the convenience of taking your certification exam while attending a major industry conference.
If you have certifications that build upon one another, could you plant the seed for the second certification right after certificants earn the first? This aligns with proven consumer behavior that customers are most inclined to buy again right after the initial purchase. Just an idea.
Food for Thought
The Thanksgiving holiday takes place in a few days here in the United States, but you don’t need a holiday to give thanks.
May you find your reasons this week.
If you do enjoy some turkey, and the tryptophan sends you into rest-and-digest mode, it might be the perfect time to ponder the relevance of your certification offer(s)!