Games People Play

Courting The Press

Tera Walker is a court reporter, but she doesn't use her steno writer to document trials or take depositions. The Tuscany Hills, California, entertainment reporter opened her business, Steno Scripts, last April, marketing her crack skills as a court reporter to quite a different market: Hollywood's grandest awards shows. We're talking the Oscars here.

Court reporting was depressing for Walker, and she got an idea to use her skills in a completely different way: to take verbatim notes for the media when they interviewed celebrities after awards shows and other events, making their jobs infinitely easier. So she ordered a personal change of venue and opened Steno Scripts, leaving the courtroom in the dust.

What Walker did sounds revolutionary--and in court reporting circles, it is--but what it boils down to is marketing to alternative sources, a strategy every entrepreneur should consider. Does your product have more than one use? Could your service benefit people other than the demographic group you're targeting? Think about other applications your product or service might have.

Walker is glad she did. In her new line of work, she can make more in a day than most court reporters earn in a week. Besides, if she had limited herself to the confines of the courtroom, she wouldn't be rubbing elbows with the likes of Sean Connery and Andre Agassi. Well, at least not under the same celebratory circumstances.

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This article was originally published in the January 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Games People Play.

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