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The Blood, Sweat and Tears for Getting Publicity

I’m a publicist who works with lots of authors. I don’t view getting publicity for them different. I treat them the same. The best publicity for sales is galvanizing feature story and interviews. They should have both human interest and be educational. Book reviews sell far fewer books.

This comes from information I give to my clients It was developed to educate them and help them get into the right state of mind to do effective publicity campaign work. The title is:

The Blood, Sweat and Tears for Getting Publicity

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 tosell 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 both our lives a lot easier. You’ll create better more newsworthy information, it will take less time to write a good news release, you’ll get more publicity when you do send it out, and I’ll get to spend more time fishing.

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

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 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
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.

Part 2

Now there’s a special psychology you need to really get down about what you are doing when you pitch to a media person.

The real key is to give media 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 everyday.

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 their readership and editorial 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 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 theaters 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.

My 3 I technique is really useful at this point. Identify your success story, Imitate What You See, Innovate with your own information.

Just remember – you need to hit people’s hot buttons and galvanize attention. To do this you need to focus on developing some very special ideas.

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

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 it’s best that we seek here, so that people are so enamored with you that they buy everything you have available for sale.

So if you’ve done your homework, and studied what your target media are publishing, you’ll see that this is what is being published day in day out in media of all types.

It is also a pathway that you can probably follow pretty easily if you set your mind to it.

So think about this relatively easy assignment and then start writing. 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 you comments and recommendations on what to do with it to help you get 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.

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.

Publicizing Clients Before or After PR Success

Ethics and tactics of publicizing clients before and after PR success

A question came up in the Small-PR Firm group at Yahoo, about whether and how to best leverage the fact that you got a new client. Some comments said it’s OK to do so, while others indicated they had concerns about doing so. Here’s my opinion on the ethics of doing so and the proper and best way to leverage one’s PR achievements.

—–

We are in the business of doing PR for clients and ethically, how they do their marketing is critical and sensitive business intelligence that we do not have the right to share freely. I feel that the very fact they have hired a PR firm or specialist is a privileged piece of marketing information and it is very poor professional conduct to share that without client permission to other people in the industry.

The release of this type of contracting information can be damaging to the client no matter what type of publicist or professional service provider you are. The client gets hurt because you may be good or you may be not so good. Either way, the competition gets to know what your client is doing and can counter that move in the marketplace.

You can get hurt if you promote the client if: 1. They don’t want you to and they get upset if you do; and 2. If you then fail to produce the expected PR performance. Either way, your reputation is tarnished with the client, and possibly in the marketplace if it gets out that you can’t be trusted. You won’t get referrals this way.

That said, the publicity achievements we get for the client are fair game. That information is far better to use in our PR promotions anyway, since it reveals and showcases the ROI we are capable of.

You can share PR achievements in lots of highly visual, colorful and impressive ways:

* Using a series of links to media posts, clips, or audio clips in an email (four or five links to top media with client names or project or news release headlines)

* Take photos of the paper coverage or of the best moments in a TV clips.

* Post ongoing PR successes each day to a “Clients in the News” page on your web site or a similar dedicated Facebook page with photo imagery and links each time you get something noteworthy. You can just send the FB link to prospective clients. You can place a link on your web page that goes here too.

* Do the same on a blog. Post the achievements and tell PR success stories with photos and links. Make these posts keyword rich and it will improve your search engine placement.

* Create a Portfolio or Experience page on your web site, and place the Portfolio button on your navigation bar so people can see it. Get your programmer to create a web form that allows to add posts with photos and dates. Over time these client lists can get lengthy and will be quite impressive.

. Create Slide shows from Powerpoint presentations and even Word docs showing the PR success visually. Then turn these into videos you can post or send. This is the type of “Project” you can post to LinkedIn. You can also post them on your website and use them in all your other marketing communications.

. You can use prior performance and your creative works to build and formalize your own referral network. Every now and then, you contact your clients and ask them to celebrate you or something you have done, you’ve created, or are doing. This way, you create something superbly helpful and you ask your clients to give it to people who might benefit from the type of problem solving answer you have offered.

I highly recommend you just forget about posting news releases about your own company to the online news release distribution services. With the Google algorithm changes, the only media coverage that really counts is “earned media” with truly educational and helpful content. You can read all about this here:
http://blog.directcontactpr.com/2013/09/google-changes-to-the-world-of-news-release-distribution/ or http://goo.gl/rf8yLQ

You want to use the very same tactics we use for clients to improve and enhance your own professional branding. Write problem articles, get them published or posted on industry sites. Write a regular book even a series of mini-books and use them as calling cards to get clients to know you are the best. Every time a client asks a technical question, create a really good answer. Save these Q & A’s and build up an arsenal of them. Post them to your blog and again, turn them into a multitude of useful marcom and use them in all the prospect interactions you have appropriately.

Hope this helps.

Using Publicity to Overwhelm the Impacts of Illegal Downloads of Electronic Versions of Books and other Products

Using Publicity to Overwhelm the Impacts of Illegal Downloads of Electronic Versions of Books and other Products

I can’t advise you on how to prevent it or stop it, although there may be techie ways to reduce the risks. I believe that there are evil people out there and you cannot avoid all of them if they want to steal from you.

I honestly think spending time chasing down the evil people is a time-wasting negative spiral that will fail to produce meaningful success or personal satisfaction given the choices you have to create the positive platform you want to achieve success.

What you can do is market and promote and publicize so effectively and thoroughly that the number of people who steal from you is de minimis compared to the income that you derive from your publishing and other related sources of income, and because of the sheer power, presence and reach of the personal and professional brand you have created for yourself.

Focus on helping the people you can help the most. Get out there in front of the people you want to reach so many times and give them such quality content, advice, information and entertainment that the links to your articles and posts you get on your own and other people’s sites simply overwhelm the organic search results that contain the links to the illegal download sites.

Be so active in media and the online communities you can participate in that when a question pertaining to the subject of your area of expertise comes up, you are top of mind because the wonderful things people are saying about you block the discovery of the sites that cause you harm.

You have the choice. You can be passive and stay in the ‘if you build it they will come’ mode (very similar to the ‘pray and do little if anything’ mode), or you can decide to get systematically active with your marketing communications and realize that every day gives you the opportunity to reach out and answer someone’s question and share the answer so that tens if not hundreds of people see that answer and are presented with a new reason to call on you.

Even one article or post a month, shared on twenty blogs and media sites per month is 240 new incoming links in a year and then you also get the Tweets, FB shout outs, and other social media links that go with those.

So you want to know what to do? Ignore them. Build your platform! Choose to do the things that you need to do to be successful for yourself. Focus on your outreach. What you focus on will get bigger.

If you want to be flying with the eagles, stay away from the turkeys.

Dealing with Negative Reviews on Amazon

Dealing with Negative Reviews on Amazon

Can you get rid of a negative review on Amazon?

Common question.

I have a client named Rudy Mazzocchi, who recently wrote a medical thriller titled Equity of Evil published by Twilight Times Books and shepherded by the incredible Lida Quillen.

To date he has received 83 Amazon reviews, 78 five star reviews, two four star reviews, and 3 one star reviews.

One of the one star reviews in particular was very negative and raised doubts that the number of five star reviews was honestly and
ethically acquired. Amazon wouldn’t deem the comment inappropriate so Rudy exercised the comment option on the review and wrote the following:

> Hey Neil,
>
> Thought you would be interested in the most recent 3-4 reviews since your posted review on AMAZON. My publicist and Literary Agent investigated all of my 75 5-star reviews for an upcoming interview with the NY Times and discovered that 51 of them came from professional book reviewers. They are attempting to get your review REMOVED from Amazon and to warn other authors. Did you really dislike this story that much?

> Ironically, I’ve received dozens of emails from readers in response to your review telling me that this was a “jealous competitive author” that I should not worry about it. I respect all reviews (and want to establish strong reader support) since this is the first of a trilogy called “The EQUITY Series”. I urge you to reconsider your review, but respect your opinion. I’m in the process of signing a movie deal that they believe could equal “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.

>Best,
>
>Rudy

You can read the details if you wish on Amazon here:


Equity of Evil Kindle edition


So my advice when you receive a negative comment is to:

1. Study it carefully, get what you can out of it.

2. Study the reviewer and commenter profile and his or her history of commenting on Amazon, to ascertain their sincerity, authenticity and veracity.

3. Do your best (e.g., active marketing and PR outreach that specifically asks people to post their comments to Amazon so that a. you get the benefits and b. overwhelm the negatives with positives), particularly with comments from people in your target pool that are specific, that explain specifically what you do that turns them on, and communicate clearly the sincere heartfelt value they experienced.

4. Explore the possibility of having the comment declared inappropriate and expunged from the Amazon record. And if that doesn’t work, then…

5. Comment back to the author comment directly on Amazon (and ask or request others do so as well) and make sure the response comments are written coolly, calmly, personally, professionally, and in a manner carries the dialog forward, openly acknowledges and address the issues you wish to discuss, and that allows you and others to see the big picture, capture and occupy the moral high ground, and view the commenter as questionable, biased, conflicted, and generally out to lunch.

This not only gives you the opportunity to show the Amazon users that you are in command, but you also get to add even more value and persuasive force to what prospective readers see when they come to the Amazon pages.

Make every word count. Think three steps ahead. Be assertive and act with power and style.

Use the negative review as an opportunity to turn a lemon into lemonade.

It may actually increase your sales.

Can you get a negative review removed? Probably not. It depends on whether you can persuade Amazon that an abuse policy was indeed violated.

There is a button on Amazon reviews that opens up a form that allows you to describe the problems you have with a review. You can read about how they want you to address these issues in their “Managing Reviews” section. Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=16465311

That said, Amazon refuses to remove reviews just because they are bad in the authors opinion. If they go to the writing or the merits of the writing, then they won’t honor the request for removal.

You have to give them evidence of abuse as it is defined in their policy. You submit your complaint through their customer service.

Kickstarter Success Story

Kickstarter Success Story

One of my newest clients is Ms. Erin Faulk, who just conducted a successful Kickstarter campaign.

She raised more than $24,000 to fund an independent film adventure where she goes cross country, meets, interviews, and films 140 “characters” she only knew previously through Twitter.

The PR campaign resulted in numerous articles and radio and TV interviews which contributed to her going over her $15,000 goal.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1020889969/follow-friday-the-film?ref=category

She did an interview with the Cision Navigator in which she offers tips on building online relationships.

http://blog.us.cision.com/2012/06/building-online-relationships-tips-from-follow-friday-the-film/

Two days ago, icing on the cake. Audi USA donated her the use of a brand new Audi for the 8,000 mile cross country tour.

http://followfridaythefilm.com/

Getting Publicity with Book Awards Update 2012

Getting Publicity with Book Awards Update 2012

For those of you who do get a book award these next few weeks, I thought I’d give you my thoughts and advice on how to make the best use of your award as far as how to get publicity with it. So many people come to me and say how can I leverage this?

First I’d take a quick breather after getting the award and within a day or two sit down and do some quick research to calibrate what you are really trying to accomplish next.

I’ve written all about pay to play book awards like this before. I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of authors who win or are finalists (which in my book means you were one of several considered) in all sorts of categories by all sorts of organizations. My take it or leave it advice is that they rarely mean anything to anybody from a PR standpoint. They may result in a minor amount of media coverage IF you choose to do an outreach promoting yourself as someone who won an award. They may or may not mean anything as regards actual book sales.

Read all you want: http://blog.directcontactpr.com/category/awards/

Realize that media want quality yes, but they want objective proof and not paid praise. With so many book awards being given out by so many organizations every week and with each author paying to be considered, the “objectivity” is seriously in doubt. Look at what the awarding organization is doing. You’ll likely see they are using it as a promotional vehicle for their own purposes. Their business model is usually very clear to see. $75 per book per category times 60 categories. If they get dozens of books in a category and they can get dozens of volunteers to do reviews, they they can do pretty well.

So media tend to play very carefully since if they publish something and they are wrong, then they get hurt in ways they do not like. The key to being successful with media is to give them quality content anyway, and not a medal that says “I came in second place in a pay to participate commercial contest”.

But as I said, the proof is in the pudding. My rule of thumb is simple. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t, then do something else.

As Colin Powell said, “Don’t let a little bad data get in the way of a good decision.”

My best suggestion on how to use a book award in your copy writing and news releases is to study what is being published by media and see and learn how the book award information is being used and incorporated into stories. You can do this online by using news search engines.

I just did this for the key words:

“Book Awards”: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&q=book+award&oq=book+award&aq=f&aqi=d2&aql=&gs_l=news-cc.12..43j43i400.22856.26918.0.29259.16.9.3.4.0.0.164.924.6j3.9.0…0.0.

http://goo.gl/mA2yI

There are several interesting things you can learn by studying the results.

1. This is the season! There are lots of little local stories about book award winners.

2. The book award information is in the headline half the time. The book, the author and the importance of the book or the ideas surrounding the book are the lead.

3. Most of the stories being published feature the top award winners. Stories about authors who receive second or third place are much less frequent.

4. The biggest media write articles which feature the books who receive the top national awards in the top national literary contests.

5. The regional and local media writer about the lesser well-know or recognized awards.

You can also do a search on the words “book award nominated”:

book award nominated http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&q=book+award+nominated&oq=book+award+nominated&aq=f&aqi=d2&aql=&gs_l=news-cc.12..43j43i400.1776.6262.0.8576.20.6.0.14.0.0.134.488.5j1.6.0…0.0.

http://goo.gl/UTu3r

Here you’ll pick up a few additional news clips and see that many authors are creating news releases which they submit to several of the online news release distribution services. But most of the articles that you’ll see don’t cover books that are nominated. A few do mention these especially when it is coupled with other newsworthy facts.

One of the more amazing things I learned when I did this search and studied the results is that there are tons of book awards. Just in the top ten pages of these two searches, I was able to make a list of over 50 different individually named book awards in the current window of news coverage (two to three weeks):

Commonwealth Writers Book Award
City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Award
Next Generation Indie Book Award
Hawaii Book of the Year Award
Nautilus Book Award
USA Book Award
IPPY Book Award
Ben Franklin Book Award
National Book Award
California Book Award
Harvard Book Award
UK Christian Book Award
Grampian Children’s Book Award
BC Award for Best Canadian Non-Fiction Book
BC Award for National Business Book
Children’s Choice Book Award
National Business Book Award
Arizona Book Award
LA Times Book Award
New England Book Award
US National Book Award
Reader Views Book Award
Dartmouth Book Award
Vadaphone Crossword Book Award
McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book Award
Governor’s Literary Book Award
Julia Ward Howe Book Award
National Outdoor Book Award
PEN/Beyond Margins Award
Independent Book Award
Catholic Book Award
Corretta Scott King Book Award
Schneider Book Award (ALA)
Flicker Tale Book Award
Human Rights Book Award
Michigan Notable Book Award
Irish Book Award
International Reader’s Association Book Award
Jane Addam’s Children’s Book Award
Great Lakes Book Award
Saskatewan Book Award
AAPOR Book Award
Christianity Today book Award
American Book Award
Robert F. Kennedy Book Award
Northern Minnesota Book Award
Toronto Book Award
Phi Eta Sigma Book Award
Science Fiction Book Award
Hugo Book Award
Edgar Award
Newberry book Award
Trillium Book Award
Ohioana book Award
Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award
Pushcart Press Editors Book Award

Now multiply by the number of categories, and then by 3 for gold, silver and bronze for the top three prizes in each category, and you’ll get a picture of how many people are getting awards and potentially competing for news coverage using book awards as a factor this week.

If you are going to create a news release and seek publicity for your award, then here my suggestions on the essential facts you need to include in your copy:

1. headline – Author wins prize/award

2. one sentence killer – knock their socks off description of what the book is about

3. unusual or interesting facts about the situation/the book/the author/the topic/the issues

4. the specifics of the award – what, where when, or how much and why is this award so important and prestigious

5. three to four paragraphs about the book, who it features, what’s amazing about it, why people will like it

6. basic book facts and marketing information so people can find it and buy it

7. author bio and information

8. book cover photo and author photo

9. contact information

10. offer for review copy and interviews if you want to offer these items.

Finally, once you have the news release written, it needs to be distributed to the right media. Proper targeting will maximize your chances of getting the right type of coverage in front of the people you can interest and help the most. So a children’s book needs to go to children’s media and editors, and a travel book needs to go to travel book media and editors and so forth.

You’ve worked hard to get this award. So congratulations. I hope this helps you take a few more steps in a positive direction so you can make the most of it.

If you get an award and want my help finalizing your news release and creating the right custom media list and getting the word out, just call me or send me an email with the facts and the book cover jpeg.

The Multiple Publicist Question

The Multiple Publicist Question

How do you manage several publicists at one time? Some clients are pretty well funded. Others simply seek to get the job done and the publicist they hire, doesn’t do everything they want or need done. How do clients handle this?

I have never really before had a conflict while working with a client who has multiple PR people on a project. I’ve worked with big firms and other specialty publicists. It happens a lot with several of the big name publishers. When I work with HCI and Thomas Nelson, for example, they always has one or more big PR firms working, plus an internal publicist, and they hire me to do what I do best all at the same time. It seems that we all do different things.

When any of us gets a fish nibbling on the line, the trick then is to reel them in and get them in the net. Even when a media receives proposals from two or more different people, they will usually call up the one that strikes their fancy and not both. I’ve never been asked “who’s in charge”, since the client really is. The key is to get the right content to the media from the right person (THE CLIENT) so that the media gets what they need to do the job we want done, and the coverage we all hope for is indeed achieved. There are so many media people, we rarely even hit the same people from one day to the next. THE CLIENT needs to be engaged to fully integrate things at the top and on the way across the finish line, especially on the big plays. The publicists need access to the clients schedule for interviews, and answers to key questions, and they need to respond appropriately and fast. Media will not wait very long, and the window of opportunity closes unless they get what they need.

My specialty is my copywriting (which focuses on the content we offer to media for publication and interviews) and how I target, reach and interact with the right media, project by project. I create my own targeted media lists, transmit and make selected phone calls. The goal is to get reviews, feature stories, and interviews. We try to get as many as we can and of the best quality. Results vary. I typically go beyond the book seeking to get galvanizing feature stories that strike wide interest. These types of dialogs outsell book reviews by far. So even when we pitch one thing, we offer media the opportunity to do it their way. This creates new ideas and opens the doors to content development that pushes us into new areas of intellectual pursuit.

Other PR people come up with different content, proposals, and media lists. They will more or less stay within the confines of the core content associated with the book. Some PR people have better success within a certain genre of literature, certain types of products, a certain category of media, or industry, or blogs, or social media, or other types of Internet media, while others develop radio and TV better, and others focus only on top tv. You may not know till you see where people strike a chord and achieve success. Costs and what people actually do also varies significantly.

The client and the PR people should be introduced by phone or email and the methods or media coverage plans should be shared, since it helps to communicate openly. It’s helpful for all those involved to know a little about what others on the team are doing. I am happy to share always. But it’s really not necessary to force a detailed involved coordination to try to create a dominant/subservient competitive system, since it’s not helpful towards the achievement of success. You just need to hire people, delegate a job to them, get out of their way, and let them do what they are best at.

The crucial thing is to stay connected to those who are pitching so you learn what works, and then pass the word once you learn what chord to strike back to everyone, so that the whole level of effectiveness rises.

When you learn what works, then you do more of it, and you stop doing what doesn’t work.

The cost of a publicist covers the actions needed to produce the results you want. There are lots of options for someone who needs publicity to consider from doing it yourself all the way to simply hiring someone to do it all for you. The choices range in cost from as low as the cost of acquiring a custom database all the way to hiring a full service PR, firm, or a pay-for-performance firm, all the way to hiring an in-house publicist.

Now I operate a task based service that allows people to select and deploy the simplest and most intelligent actions. For most authors and publishers this is a one-time project that involves identifying the target audience, figuring out how to galvanize them, crafting one or more news releases, creating the right custom media list to present this message to the maximum number of right people, sending them any and all additional materials the media then needs to do their job, and then calling them to persuade media who have not decided to do what you are hoping for to try to persuade them to give you the publicity and media coverage you seek.

Other publicists and PR firms do similar actions and charge more and less to do these things. But there are many different types of fee arrangements by which can acquire publicity services. You should study the differences when you make your decision and do so recognizing specifically what you will get for the money you pay.

Here’s a link to an article I wrote titled:

“Evaluating the Range of Publicity Tactics and Publicity Options”

http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-articles/article.src?ID=41

There’s a second article that talks about how to get the most out of whichever type of publicity service you choose titled:

“Super Client! Getting the Most Out of Your Publicists and Copywriters”.


http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-articles/article.src?ID=42

Hope this helps. Questions anyone?

Guy Kawasaki knows how to make candy – Response to “Launch Any Product Using Social Media”

Analysis of the utilization of social media on the creation of a NY Times best seller

I read Guy Kawasaki’s very interesting article titled on Mashable “Launch Any Product Using Social Media”

Guy’s post describes the social media actions he took to launch a new book titled Enchantment

Here’s the post I placed on Mashable comment in response (Guy’s personal comment is also included at the end):

Guy,

It would be wonderful to learn how many books sold each channel produced. That might be hard to document. It would be nice knowing how many books sold from the effort in total.

I don’t attribute your success to the social media. I attribute your success to the fact that YOU are known to produce candy. You have for many years now produced books and all sorts of information that is remarkable. It is intellectual candy, so that when people get a small taste of a new recipe, they instantly want the whole bag.

You are one of those individuals who will be able to sell anything you offer. You are one of those individuals whose every published word has been worth reading.

The fact that you used these social media technologies is interesting, but if it were anyone else, it wouldn’t necessarily work. You can make great use of these technologies because you’ve got credibility and the people you want to reach are interested in what you have to say.

To really work well, the technologies (any publishing technologies, not just the social media) need a message that produces the feeling of want and desire instantly. It has to offer tremendous news, education, or educational value. It has to come from a trusted source. It has to taste like candy.

Without that candy, nothing will happen no matter what technology is used. With that candy, every technology you use can be a force multiplier.

The key with everything that you do is that YOU are known to produce candy. And the real lesson to be learned is that if anyone wants to achieve success like you, then they have to produce their own candy first. And it’s not just the product, but it’s also the little and large snippets of communication in all the marcom you offer, that also needs to taste like candy. The messages have to be really good, the content has to be quality and offer tremendous value.

And in your case, the person who is offering it is someone who can be trusted and known to produce worthwhile advice, entertaining insights, and helpful information.

That’s the lesson learned. You do your best and make candy. You help the people you can help the most and you do it with style, energy, and pizzazz. You make it your life’s work.

If all these things happen, then no matter how people learn about it, they will likely conclude it truly worthwhile. They will then feel very much inclined to buy not only the bag of candy you are suggesting we buy, but everything you have for sale.

In a nation with 330 million people trained and indoctrinated in reading and using media and technologies, truly remarkable sales and success are indeed possible. And with 1.3 billion people in China, the world is indeed a remarkable place filled with global opportunities.

You’ve earned it. That’s really what other people have to do, too. Make candy.

———–

Paul,

You made my evening. Thanks so much. I feel like Willy Wonka. 🙂

I don’t know how many each channel sold. It’s very hard to figure this out because so many things pointed to my Amazon affiliate account.

I hope I can continue to make candy that pleases you!

Guy