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Getting More Publicity with Trash-Proof News Releases – Free Ebook

Getting Real Publicity - Trash-Proof News Releases - Free Ebook

Short link for this post: goo.gl/FTvDzq

Someone asked “does any one use news releases any more?”

I laughed. It may come as a surprise to people, but I still do write news releases and send them out to custom targeted media lists.

And guess what. They still work. I even wrote a book about them.

But there’s a catch. There are no guarantees. The psychology o dealing with media has not changed. There are however, a lot more media – people who publish in one form or another.

The technology has and continues to evolve and there are more types of media technology and platforms.

But to be featured or interviewed has not evolved significantly. The news release is still a viable and in fact essential tool that you need in your marcom (marketing communications) toolbox.

What is a news release?

My definition has not changed:

A written proposal:

– containing a request for media coverage (feature stories, interviews or product reviews).

– and/or an offer to provide media the content needed to achieve that end.

A news release is either:

– sent directly to media decision makers directly (e.g., by fax, email, street mail, in person, etc.); or

– placed where they can find it and use it (as when it is posted to web site either your own or using a news release distribution service).

A news release is not an advertisement.

You do not pay for coverage and do not control what the media says. It is a document that seeks to persuade media to give you media coverage.

Your degree of success is often based on how much of what you give them to do their job is actually used.

You must provide media with information that matches what they are accustomed to publishing (or producing). Usually this means the content must be news, education or entertainment, or opinion or commentary.

If you have a different objective, then perhaps you should not be thinking what you are writing or need to write is a news release at all.

It’s OK to have a different objective. There are other types of marcom (marketing communications) you can choose to achieve a goal. It also means your target audience is not likely to be media people. You will need a different targeted list of people to match your objective.

And even when you send out a news release, some media will view you as a target for money since after all, that is how they make a living and they do run publishing businesses. So do not be surprised when media send you sponsored post requests, or email that pushes you to participate in their business (and pay for the privilege).

Trash Proof News Releases

But if objective publicity in media is what you want, you write a news release. You mus earn the right to be featured. This is a gauntlet since you need to provide exquisite quality that meets the media needs – readership and editorial elements, and more.

The first version of the book Trash Proof News Releases captured the lessons learned for getting publicity at the peak of the fax era, and covered the techniques I had developed running Imediafax – The Internet to media Fax Service. It was published in the year 2000.

Faxes died as a technology at the turn of the 21st Century. Email took its place. So we stopped sending out faxes and switched to email html with graphics and links.

Trash-Proof News Releases was revised and published again to focus on and illustrate the techniques that work best using email to reach media and get coverage. It was published in 2015.

The one major change that has occured since then is the continuing changes and evolving changes to search engine algorithms starting with the Google Panda and the Hummingbird updates. It is no longer effective to use free news release distribution services and expect them to have your news release posted all over the Internet and in news search engines. The search engines now routinely penalize duplicate content and require sites to place a no follow command when a news release is posted so that they are not indexed and then found by the search engines.

So quality content was elevated over spam. And now, if you use a news release, your purpose and goal is to persuade the media to do their job using you and your creative work as the centerpiece of their coverage.

You need to learn and recognize that they will require you to help them create unique content so that what gets published or produced meet’s their needs and maybe if you are lucky, some of your own.

The other major change is that you can now find media and pitch journalists and producers on social media.

These were major motivators behind the decision to first create Search Word Pro which evolved into the new creation Presari www.Presari.com

Presari helps you create the keyword strategies and the best content you need to use to find and reach out to media of all types using search engines and social media platforms. You can now search for whatever you want and find all sorts of influencers anytime. Yes, the search engines can set you free.

Free Trash Proof ebook downloads

The link below goes to a PDF file copy of the 2015 Edition of Trash Proof News Releases.

The free download also includes in a one hour Powerpoint Presentation I developed and gave to audiences all over the country. The original title of the presentation was How to Make the Media Fall in Love with You. This version is titled Trash Proof News Releases (and other Marcom) That Really Work.

Enjoy

Trash Proof News Releases ebook download (PDF):
http://test.directcontactpr.com/s/K6808840019040

Here’ a clean link to just the presentation:

Trash Proof PPT Presentation (PDF): http://test.directcontactpr.com/s/L7810140021762

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Using Presari to Research & Leverage Social Media Trends in 2018

How to Use Presari to Research and Leverage Social Media Trends 2018

Do you want to learn and get up to speed about how to make the best use of social media this next year?

Use Presari to research the trends. Here’s how:

Enter the words ‘Social Media Trends 2018’ at www.Presari.com

You will be amazed at the results if you do the following:

1. Do a Google Bing side by side comparison.

a. Work through the curated text articles, sort by date and study the last day, week, month and year.

b. Look at the images. In particular, zero in on the infographics

c. Then focus on the videos. You will be able to identify the most popular videos and those by experts. There are even some actual courses.

2. Then look at the social media. Look at Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn for new and popular article and posts. Look at SlideShare for the Powerpoint presentations and at You Tube and Vimeo for the videos and interviews. With Facebook and Twitter, identify new connections. Use LinkedIn to get to the right people and contact information.

3. Then look at news media (Google & Bing News). Study the recent media coverage and identify the hot topics. Use the 3 I Technique to Identify successful feature stories and interviews. Plan and create new content that carries the conversation forward with new issues, helpful actionable tips and insights that can produce real-time benefits.

Presari is an elearning search tool – a channel changer for search engines that let’s you choose where you get your information from.

Use Presari www.presari.com

Posted in action planning

The Blood, Sweat and Tears for Getting Publicity

The Blood, Sweat and Tears of Getting Publicity for Professional Branding

To me, getting publicity is like making candy – it’s a tasty recipe backed by art and science, psychology, and specific tactics that come into play. It’s a persuasive communications process that one has to go through. It has a very narrow set of requirements that many people simply do not understand.

The blood sweat and tears of getting publicity is always in the writing of the news release. It contains your pitch. The news release is the crucial document that you create and transmit to media. Then you watch and wait to see what happens. It’s a very important document. Your pitch is basically a proposal. A publishing proposal.

When it’s successful, it can be real magic, like lightning in a bottle. Phenomenal things can really happen. Careers and fortunes can be created. Millions of people can potentially see your message and be influenced by your writing and thinking.

But if it’s not, very little will happen, in fact, it can be a painful economic and pride felt loss.

The hardest part that I find is that people don’t realize that getting publicity is not like marketing. When you market, you try to persuade to sell product or services.

When you seek publicity, you are talking to a publisher or a producer and asking them to publish what you wrote, or write about what you say or do.

When you write a news release you are in effect you are communicating a very specific message:

‘esteemed and honored fellow publisher (or producer or host), please give me space in your publication (or on your show).’

This distinctive purpose of this message is one of the most difficult things I have to teach and get people to understand when I work with clients. Many an otherwise brilliant and successful author, marketer and promoter has great difficulty with this concept.

Basically, they write an ad and expect media to publish it. They are terribly surprised and hurt when it gets rejected. In fact, their failure at this point often times results in them ceasing the whole writing and creative or business development process. How tragic to come so far and then stop over the failure to be successful at this point.

So! Heed the words of this publicist, and I truly believe if you grok this deeply, you’ll reduce the pain you go through as you learn what it takes to get publicity. It will make our lives a lot easier.

You’ll give me better more newsworthy information, it will take us less time to write a good news release, you’ll get more publicity when we do send it out, and I’ll get to spend more time fishing.

So here goes. I’ll share with you what I know.

The Key Psychology for Dealing with Media

First, understand that media are generally averse to giving anyone free advertising. They charge for advertising. That’s how they make their money.

So, if and when you write a news release and are perceived as asking for free advertising, for a commercial enterprise, the likely outcome is a call or email from the sales advertising manager at the media. So please do not be surprised if and when this happens.

Second, media only publish three basic things:

News, Entertainment and Education.

That’s it. There is no more, except for the paid advertising that is.

Don’t believe me? Look at any media publication. Look at a newspaper, look at a magazine. Identify what you see. Do this article by article. Analyze the media. Learn and try to grasp what they do. Pick up any publication and classify every inch of space into one of these four classifications: news, entertainment, education, or paid advertising. Prove it to yourself.

Do you get this yet?

And realize that if you want to be published, this is what you need to give the media people you are pitching to and be quick about it.

Now to really make the connection with your media targets when you pitch to a media person, you have to give them what they want.

The hard part is in figuring out what that is. It’s crucial to remember we are writing to a publisher and asking for them to publish something about our topic, featuring us.

BTW, if you do a good job on the news release, you’ll get some media responses even if you use the free services. But you’ll get greater penetration and quantity and quality response with services that send to custom targeted media lists matched to the message.

There are lots of issues that enter into a media decision to respond to a news release favorably: content, timeliness, quality of thinking, how many people in the audience will be interested, what’s in it for the audience, cost and effort needed to use it, prior and competing coverage of the topic, downstream issues, and the likely audience response.

These are among the many factors that go through an editor’s or a producer’s mind. You find this out when you speak to them, and also when you watch what they select, and of course, by what they publish every day. In fact, this is the greatest source of guidance you can find, and it’s available to you every day.

What I find is that very simply, if they see what they like, they use it. They may not use all of it, and they may change it, but it gets some coverage if it fits just two key critical elements:

1. their readership interests; and

2. editorial style and requirements (e.g., mandatory needs).

Media people make decisions based on how it will likely affect their bottom line, which is revenue based on subscriptions, advertising, and market share.

To you and me, it’s a gauntlet of sorts, and we try our best to learn, create appropriate material, present it as best we can, and act persuasively.

Once you understand this psychology and positioning, then you can get to work, and it’s really not that hard.

So how do you decide what do you put into a news release so that you maximize your publishing success?

Here’s a link to an article I wrote that explains this in more detail:

The Hot Button Theory: Maximizing Media Response to Your News Releases http://blog.directcontactpr.com/index.php?s=hot+button

Here are the basics.

Do you want to see your media response improve dramatically? Send a news release that pushes the media’s hot buttons. I’ve developed a little set of criteria from having sent out thousands of news releases for clients over the past two decades, and the common set of factors that produce the maximum success.

Here’s what you need to do:

Tell me story (a short, bed time story), give me a local news angle (of interest to my particular audience), hit me in the pocket book (make me or save me money), teach me something I didn’t know before (educate me), amaze me or astound me (like in WOW!), make my stomach churn (in horror or fear), or turn me on (yes, sex sizzles).

Your news release needs to do this in 30 seconds or less.

Let’s look at it again from a slightly different perspective.

I’ve studied what the media actually publish for decades now and I believe you can boil it all down to one simple formula. Look at almost every article in USA Today or any other newspaper or magazine or any TV show and try to identify the common key elements that pop out at you. You’ll see it immediately once I tell it to you.

Here it is:

DPAA+H

These letters stand for “Dramatic Personal Achievement in the Face of Adversity plus a little Humor.”

If you look at almost every media around you, from the front page of USA Today to the Olympics to the evening news to the sitcoms on TV, you’ll see this is what the American public wants, desires, and craves.

DPAA+H

As a culture, we crave to see the human spirit triumph in matters of the heart, and in trials of hardship and tragedy. We ask to be uplifted right out of the humdrum of our everyday reality into the exhilaration and extreme emotional states of those who are living life on the edge.

It galvanizes our attention. It rivets us to our seats. It captures our attention and our hearts.

It drives us to pay for newspaper subscriptions, to movie theatres for entertainment, to rent videos for fun or education, to bookstores for a good read. This is what energizes and drives the very core of numerous key economic systems and is what creates and maintains the very infrastructure of the publishing, news, and entertainment industries.

And this is what the media seeks to provide. This is what works. Human interest stores with

DPAA+H

You will see these elements everywhere you look in varying degrees. It is a rare media feature that doesn’t contain most of these items. The media uses technology to increase the assault on our senses, enhance the effect, and make our experience ever more compelling and memorable.

And if you are writing a news release to get publicity for yourself or for a client, what you have to do to maximize your chances is recognize this desire and need, and then cater to it as best you can.

If you want to put your best foot forward and take a crack at writing a news release that does this, here is what I suggest:

For any particular publicity project you have in mind, study your target publications (the ones you really want to be in), identify articles that you want to achieve similar success, review prior and existing media coverage of your subject, and then make a list of the top ten things (ideas and actions) that you can write or talk about.

You can use News Search Engines (e.g., Google News) to evaluate media coverage of your topic and to identify articles that you can use as models. Then you can actually put pen to paper.

Use the 3 I Technique

My 3 I technique is really useful at this point. Here is what the 3 I Technique consists of:

1. Identify your Success Story
2. Imitate What You See
3. Innovate with your own information.

Remember, this step wise process helps you nail two most critical elements of importance to your media target on the very first draft.

• Readership interest
• Editorial Style

Nail it, and you get a chance. Hit people’s hot buttons and galvanize attention. To do this you need to focus on developing the very special ideas and content that helps them be successful.

Learn more about this technique here: http://blog.directcontactpr.com/category/3-i-technique/

Help the People You Can Help the Most

One of the most successful types of news releases to use is the problem-solving tips article or advice article.

Even if you have written fiction or romance, you can turn the world of fantasy into something real by offering solid advice or actionable insights that only you can offer because of the unique expertise you acquired in your life.

So here’s an exercise to help you create the right content.

Pretend that you are going to speak to 20 people and you wanted to inspire, motivate and impress the hell out of them, but only had exactly three minutes.

What are the very best eight to ten pieces of advice would you give them? You must identify the topic that will interest the maximum number of people. You must also then present the very best advice or analysis and recommendations, best stories, best insights, or best humor you are capable of to address the problem or the subject you identified. These must be ideas or actions they can take or implement that will produce highly desirable benefits in their life right now.

The reason is that these ideas are just like candy. Candy produces such pleasurable sensations that it results in chemical memory. People always remember where they got good candy. And that’s what you need to make. Good intellectual property candy.

The goal here is to galvanize them into action, so that when you are done, they jump up and open their wallets, and hand you their business card, and say “call me, I need your services”.

It is not just to sell your book. It is to sell people on YOU. You are the candy. It is professional branding at its best that we seek here, so that people are so enamored with you that they buy everything you have available for sale.

Bottom line:

Do your homework – study what your target media are publishing. Study what is being published today and realize this is the very best critical business intelligence you can find. Then utilize it to match media readership interests and editorial needs in your pitches.

This is the very best path to use to get the media coverage you seek.

This is perhaps one of the easiest writing assignments you will ever receive. Use the 3 I Technique from now on, every time you seek to get media coverage, or social media shares, or interviews, or whatever.

If you do this, I’d like to see what you create. You can send it to me anytime and I’ll be happy to give comments and recommendations to you on what to do with it to help target and reach the right audiences and get you to where you want to be.

Just remember this:

If you give the media what they really want, they’ll give you what you want – free publicity.

Is this really it? The Miracle of the Microcosm

One of the Yahoo Self Publishing Group members posted two really important questions… about how to do targeted PR:

1) HOW do you find those people?
2) WHAT comprises that irresistible message?

I do this for a living for clients in all sorts of genres and industries. Here goes:

1) How do you find the right people?

First identify your target audience. Who are they? What do they do? How do they buy products like yours? When and how? Where do they get their recommendations? Research and identify what they read, watch and listen to particularly when they are most receptive to a product or service suggestion. You can focus on reaching individuals or utilizing media because of the credibility and audiences they can reach for you. Here’s a checklist of prime media:

Daily and weekly newspapers
Magazine & Trade Publications
News services & syndicates
Radio and TV stations, shows & networks

Then you have the online media:

Blogs
Columnists
News Web Sites
Online Version
Forums
Mailing Lists
Discussion groups
Audio Podcasts/Photo/Video Sharing Sites
Social Networking Sites

While you want to assemble a list of newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV programs, news services, syndicates, and Internet media that will help you reach your target audience, bear in mind that these aren’t the only places that people congregate. Here’s a list of non-media venues you ought to consider:

Interest Groups
Associations
Clubs
Institutions
Foundations
Support Groups
Churches/Synagogues
Trade shows/conferences

Since I’m a publicist, I use a licensed media database called Cision to do this and I create custom lists for client outreach efforts.

But you can scratch the surface yourself using the Internet and make use News Search Engines and searchable free online media directories to search by key word to identify articles and media that you want to contact and pitch your own articles to. You can use the specialized search tools at Facebook, Twitter, and other MEDIA” just as easily and you can develop pitches that are properly formatted and designed to be appropriate for those technologies. The challenge will be reaching enough of them and being persuasive with them so you get your message published in enough places.

2) To identify THE IRRESISTABLE MESSAGE

I write a lot of blog posts on this. I call this the miracle of the microcosm.

http://blog.directcontactpr.com/index.php?s=miracle

You need to learn how to turn people on so that they come to you for more of what you are offering.

Perhaps the simplest and most powerful suggestion I can you suggest to you is that you use The 3 I Technique

a. Identify a Success Story
b. Imitate the Success Story
c. Innovate with Your Own Information

http://blog.directcontactpr.com/index.php?s=the+3+I+technique

This is a technique I recommend you experiment with. You can do this with any type of marketing communications. It basically focuses you on identifying a model of success and mimicking it as you create your own message. The idea is simple – follow in the footsteps of someone who is doing things that are successful.

You can use Google news for example on the word “troubleshooting tips” which I did for you here: http://goo.gl/gMO74

There are over 1,000 articles for you to study. Some are news releases, some are articles in newspapers and others are article in magazines and trade publications. Now your goal is to pick ONE! Find one about someone else, that is really interesting and motivates you the way you want to motivate others. This is your model success story.

Then open up your word processing program and start writing. Look at their headline, and then write your own. Then do their first sentence, then write your own. Then do their first paragraph, and write your own. You walk your way all the way through the article to the last sentence.

You may find this to be very mechanical, but guess what, it works. If for example, you use a story in USA Today as your model, and you use this technique, then you create an article that matches readership interest and editorial style on the first try. It looks like it belongs there.

And when you send it to USA Today, you maximize your chances of being successful with them because they tend to recognize when you’ve done your homework. And if it’s good enough for USA Today, then other media will respond to it as well.

Identify the successes of your competition or the authors in your genre. Study what they use to be successful and follow in their footsteps. If you are a story teller, tell stories. If you are a horror writer, scare and horrify people. If you write sci-fi, then talk about the future. Give people and experience. Engage them and let them experience something that is truly emotionally engaging. Don’t be boring. Be stimulating. Choose what you say carefully. Plan it out, test it, select and rehearse, like an actor or an actress on stage.

What you do is you talk about the ideas and concepts in your book and how it affects others. People are really only interested in things that have value to their own lives or others that they care about. That is what you must offer. I have a little poetic like formula which I wrote which describes what you need to do which goes like this:

Tell me a story
give me a local news angle (my audience!)
touch my heart (make me laugh or cry)
teach me something new
astound or amaze me,
make my stomach churn with horror or fear,
hit me in my pocketbook
or turn me on.

And do this as many times as you can in two to three minutes.

If you study your target media and employ the 3-I technique, you will see that news coverage is largely predictable. Consumers and editors are drawn to types of stories that have worked well in the past. If you want to receive coverage, it’s important that you get familiar with these content patterns and do your best to replicate them.

The reason is simple: media publish what sells. To be in media you have to give them what they publish. Therefore to maximize your chances, you give it to them their way.

Now I’ve been doing this with clients for years and I’ve characterized the many patterns and ways media publish. The following list of most commonly featured content is derived from analyzing successful media coverage of my clients in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV:

1. A dramatic personal story that describes achievement in the face of adversity plus a little humor.

2. A problem-solving-tips article on a timely topic that shows how you can help the people that you can help the most.

3. An innovative product or service that people want because of the remarkable benefits offered.

4. A dramatic and interesting photograph that tells a 1,000-word story at a glance.

5. A new development or situation that affects lots of people in a unique way.

6. A personal battle between the forces of good and evil, or David and Goliath.

7. A truly heartwarming tale with a happy or remarkable ending.

8. New effective techniques or tactics to improving a problem or situation that is commonly faced.

9. New form of creativity that makes people feel good or experience heightened emotions.

10. A story that makes people cringe in fear, howl with delight, or experience intense desire or want.

11. An explanation of a mystery that confounds a lot of people.

12. News, analysis, and commentary on a controversial issue or topic.

13. Localized stories and media access to the local people involved.

14. Innovative and new ways to have fun, save money, help people, increase their enjoyment, protect the environment, and help them get more out of life.

15. Unusual, hot, and wacky ideas, products, activities, and situations.

16. Mouthwatering recipes, food, culinary delights, or opportunities.

17. Educational, unusual, hard-to-believe, never-before-revealed, or fascinating news, data, information, or stories.

18. Record-breaking achievements, competitions, paradoxes, dilemmas, anything that confounds the human spirit.

19. Knowledge, ideas, or information that astounds, enlightens, and inspires people to experience new feelings.

20. Remarkable little things people may not know about, that will make their dreams come true.

This is the way to make use of the miracle of the microcosm. These are weapons of mass persuasion, in part because readers and viewers know the arc of these pieces by heart. This familiarity soothes them and allows them to concentrate on the particulars of your story.

This is how you first develop and prove what you can say that turns people on and gets them to take the action you want, and then use technology as a force multiplier to repeat the message and reproduce the action you want in quantity.

If you follow my advice, please send me what you create. I’d love to see it.

Hope this helps,

Paul J. Krupin, Direct Contact PR

Why media say no and what to do about it

Why media say no and what to do about it

There are four primary reasons why media say no.

Media are publishers (or producers) who make their living off of two income streams: subscriptions and advertising. Every decision they make is tied to maintaining or improving these income streams, or protecting them from damage. When they receive a pitch they tend to need to see answers to three key questions:

1. How many people in my audience are going to be interested in this;

2. what’s the value to my audience; and

3. what will it cost me to do my job (time, resources, camera crews, lawyers, whatever).

The answers to 1 & 2 have to be A LOT of People and A LOT of value. The answer to 3. has to be VERY LITTLE (as in cut and paste, or we’ll come to you).

If you don’t meet these requirements, the answer is usually no.

If you get close, then you have to give them more information or the answer stays no.

The fourth issue is this: Running the article or feature or interview must also not result in really pissing off any of the existing major league advertisers. Media will not run an article if it will threaten their existing income streams.

What do you do?

Evaluate existing media coverage and design your pitch to meet readership interests and editorial style.

Make sure you won’t run afoul of the key advertisers.

Content messaging: Broad or narrow – which ROI is better?

Content messaging: Broad or narrow - which is better?

What did you say today? What did you sell today?

Look at your messaging. Is it aimed broad or is it aimed at a specific niche. Which sells best depends on where and how the ROI is returned?

If ten broad content posts produces a 0.02 percent ROI (in terms of dollars) and the ROTI (return on time invested) and you can get a 2 percent ROI off ten niche posts at the same ROI, then you get 100 times the ROI from your niche posts.

I personally observe in my clients and have experienced myself that broad content also carries a much higher risk of producing a negative ROI, if it produces “energy vultures”. These are people who simply become a time and money wasting drain which reduces and undermines the ROI you get from real prospects and customers.

Traffic does not always equate with profit. Sometimes, there is an investment required to to turn a cold call or inquiry into a hot prospect and paying client.

This is why I train my clients to go where your people are and learn how to turn them on. Usually that means teaching them something they didn’t know before.

But it’s not always niche content that does the trick. I have many clients who are superb generalists. They can be witty, hilarious, and make all sorts of people laugh, cry, cringe in horror or squeal with delight. Hey a half naked man or woman with six pack abs always gets heads to turn.

But when and if you get up close and personal, they turn you off. Their niche communications are too pushy, too impersonal, too demanding, and don’t deliver on the promise or expectations.

The lesson is that you have to develop whatever messaging you use carefully and test it till it gets the action you want. You have to study, analyze and improve every step in the funnel – every communications touch point and the overall process.

If you fail to track, then you lose the ability to know what is really happening. The trick is to take actions that can be tracked and use metrics that matter, so you can manage what you do effectively.

If you do something that helps, do more of it. If it doesn’t work, stop and do something else.

In fact, if you practice and test and improve your messaging so you do this really well, you will make them realize that hiring you (or buying whatever it is you are selling) is simply the best action they can take.

Are you ready to publish? Knowing when you are done.

Are you ready to publish? Knowing when you are done.

Each year I work with hundreds of authors and publishing companies. Very few of them ask enough strangers to give them feedback as part of their book creation process.

What I recommend people do is go slow. Start with family, friends, colleagues, employees and expand the circle till you reach strangers. Show and tell one on one. It’s possible to learn how to sell. That’s the miracle of the microcosm. If you learn what you need to say to people in your little neck of the woods, chances are you can then say the same thing anywhere and everywhere you go and you’ll be equally successful selling your products wherever you go.

But you need to learn those magic words first.You have to write to sell, and the job of writing isn’t done until the book sells. This is where most self-publishers go astray. They publish their book without verifying it was really ready for market. Many don’t even get the help of an editor!

You have to test your ideas and test your product and test your mar-com (marketing communications) on real live people. STRANGERS! You need to identify your end users and the people who will buy the book for your users. Then you need to learn what to say to get these people to take the action you want.

Write to sell and test, test, test. Do this in small doses till you get the right buy signals. Reliably. Not just once or twice, but repeatedly and reliably.

Do 25 to 50 POD versions and test it with these important people.

You’ll know by their behavior and response whether you are really ready to publish the book.

If you can’t get people to even look at it, then you’re not done.

If they look at it and put it down, then you still have work to do.

If people look at it and grab it, you might be done. It depends what happens when they then pick it up and peruse it. If they put it down, then you’re not done.

If you get good comments that say “OMG you turned me on” – capture it, and do more of it.

If you get negative feedback that says “YUCHHH!”, take it out or fix it. Get rid of it.

Improve with the CACA process. Create — Ask — Create Again — Ask Again.

Yes it can be pretty s****. You may choke on your pride and wake up after a sleepless night. You have to have the guts and fortitude to redesign and re-write it till you know you are done because it sings to people. You have to work with your prospective audience to get real feedback, and you must listen to what people say and address the issues you receive.

This may take a lot of reiterations. But one thing is for certain, there is a point that you will reach when you know that you are done. It’s a wonderful thing when you get to this point and know it.

So this is my bottom line advice: Write to sell. Don’t stop writing and re-writing till you know it sells, and sells easily and continuously.

Prove it with small test POD numbers. Use the technology that is available to all of us wisely. Then move it up through the publishing and promotion chain level by level.

In most cases, the author thinks the book should excite and grab people. But it doesn’t always happen that way.

So to me, they still have work to do. But they can’t speculate about what’s wrong, they need real data.

This is what I tell people to do – get the data. Figure out what you need to say and do to produce action that will satisfy your stated goals and objectives:

Go ask your candidate customers. Ask until you are blue in the face and get the hard difficult data and feedback you need to redesign and redo your project.

Pay for Performance PR – Analysis of Pros and Cons

Pay for Performance PR - Analysis of Pros and Cons

There are several different types of PR firms and they operate in accordance to one of more models.

Pay for Performance
Pay for play
Relationship Based
Retainer Based
Specialty Boutique
Task Based Service Providers
Pay & Pray News Release Distribution Services
Internal PR
Do It Yourself PR

If you want to see the whole article, please send me an email at Paul@DirectContactPR.com

I’m excerpting just the first section, which addresses your pay for performance question.

First we have to recognize what a publicist can do for you.

Recognize that a publicist will spend time researching, writing, copywriting, and devoting their experience and expertise on your behalf. They will study what you have created, evaluate your skills and hopefully identify and leverage what you are best at, then craft copy to be used in persuading media to give publish articles, interviews, and reviews, or producers to feature you and do interviews on their shows. They will then contact media, hopefully the right media, on your behalf, and pitch you and see if you can meet the media needs. They will then try to get you the best type of coverage you seek. They may also train you and guide you so that you do the best article or performance and maximize your chances of turning a profit.

When you hire a publicist, you must negotiate the work that the publicist will do for you. It is best if you clearly understand and have a precise definition of the work that will be performed and when it is completed.

Pay for Performance

Very simply, you will pay for the quantity and quality of the coverage you receive based on a rate that is commensurate with perceived and or prior proven value of the coverage, the market size and importance.

If you think that the “pay-for-performance” is a way to produce guaranteed media coverage you might want to think again. You may fall victim to your own success.

Every pay-for-performance PR firm warns and acknowledges that clients are likely to pay way more than they anticipated, particularly when a PR campaign is successful in a big way. You can negotiate and will pay more on a spectrum that goes from pithy or snappy quotes from you as author or expert, to company mentions, to book or product reviews, to feature stories, to short interviews, to long in-depth interviews.

For example, a single placement in on a major national TV show may cost $15 – 25,000, while a mention in a small newspaper might run you $150 – 300, a radio show in small town America might run you $200 – 500, or in a major metropolitan area for $1000 – 1500 or more. Feature stories will go for $300 to $3,000 depending on market, industry and circulation.

If you sign a contract for pay-for-performance, you will be obligated if you get the interview or if the story, large or small is printed.

Here’s the catch: Whether you sell product and break even on the costs of getting the media coverage is up to you and what you make of the golden opportunity.

In other words, if you galvanize people and your interview and story results in sales, yes, you can do very well.

But if you put on a mediocre or boring performance, then you will still be contractually obligated to pay for the coverage whether you make money or not. You are on the hook and yes, you can be sued if you fail to honor those contractual obligations.

Dan Smith owner of Smith Publicity has posted a great reference case study article on his website.

http://www.smithpublicity.com/2012/03/february-2012/

Here are links to the rate sheets for two pay-for-performance companies:

http://www.payperclip.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/PayPerClip-Rates-7-26-12.pdf

http://www.publicityguaranteed.com/rates.html

Here is a link to an article on the negatives of pay-for performance in Your Business Arizona

http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/negatives-payforperformance-public-relations-4362.html

BTW, I operate a task based services provider company. Hope this helps!

Which content has more impact? Niche or generic?

Content is King. How do you identify the right content for you?

I’ve studied this intensely as a publicist. My experience is that it depends on how you make your income and what you do and say that turns your people on and gets them to take the action you want them to take (sales, fundraising, votes, participation, whatever). Whatever you do best is where you will shine the most. You have to make light that outshine your competition. and you have to be able to communicate to YOUR people wherever you find them. So what do they read, watch or listen to, particularly when they are receptive to taking action? What can YOU say that fits in those circumstances. Prove the message first, then select the technology and format the message to the culture. For many professionals, the problem solving tips article or Q & A is the best professional branding tactic. For others, it’s a educational photo feature.

So many people struggle to figure out the right words to use to turn people on. I believe you can learn what to say that turns people on one person at a time. You just have to keep talking to people and pay attention to what you said when it happens.

I call this the miracle of the microcosm because I’ve found people can do this anywhere and everywhere. It doesn’t matter where they are at all. And once you do figure out the magic words, then you can apply the numerous outreach technologies as a force multiplier to repeat the results.

Here’s a link that goes to my Magic in a Message slide show presentation.

http://www.slideshare.net/PaulKrupin1/magic-in-a-message-120613-pdf

Being a force multiplier is where I get my kicks

Being a force multiplier is where I get my kicks

I read with a pen in my hand at all times. The real trick is to not only underline the good ideas and passages, but open up a notebook and write down the idea and develop an action, identify who else needs to be brought in, identify a completion date and deploy the action plan to turn the idea into a reality with benefits. Even if it is inspirational, fiction or non-business related, identify the good stuff and share it with someone. Sharing and caring someone else’s life’s work can bring joy to the world. Being a force multiplier is where I get my kicks.