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Actions to help people will get you more publicity

Best professional branding publicity comes from problem solving tips articles and advice

This is one of the most common suggestions I have for people who seek publicity.

Help the people you can help the most.

When you write a news release the best professional branding will come when you ask media to publish something that helps people and show them you can really do it well.

You can’t do this by simply talking about a subject. Too much talk and discussion and passive explanation and you will lose attention. Text dense prose lacks direct tangible, immediate effect. There’s no way to achieve or experience real results right now. So if this is what you place in a news release, you are likely to fail.

You need to shrink wrap the dialog and explanation. You also can’t preach.

What you do instead is simply define a problem and then tell people with that problem exactly what to do to make progress solving that problem.

Action pack your article and dialog from now on with the specific ways to take action that produces a predictable result, contribution, effect or impact.

Let’s just say you were a romance expert and you wrote a book about romance and intimacy. Now to get publicity you want to propose an article or interview talking points that improve intmacy between people. Well there are five types of intimacy you identify. Intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual, physical.

If you offer up two ways each that’s ten. Three ways each that’s fifteen actions.

Take all your ideas and turned them into carefully organized specific set of actions. You need to offer actions designed to produce specific feelings and sensations and experiences that create intimacy.

This does not necessarily need to come out of your book if it wasn’t done this way. When you seek publicity you are free to go outside your book and simply focus on being expert at the subject matter of your book. So go a head and be free. Grow new ideas out of what you wrote in your book.

In fact, now that your book is published your new goal is to turn people on wherever you go and offering entertaining, educational, and galvanizing suggestions in the form of actions can make a truly great and memorable impression.

So no matter what you’ve written, try to learn to speak this way (action focused) from now on when you talk to and present to media and your public.

People don’t want to hear platitudes of just how they should think. They want to be told what to do that produces the results you are telling them to achieve. Your book explains. In your PR and interviews you have to offer things that are more immediate. This is work book time. Your PR are the recipes for action.

People will not remember the why or the how come. They will remember only specific things you tell them to do, that THEY LEARN REALLY WORK. If they experience even a glimmer of success then they will remember and attribute it to you. This is what you need to achieve for AND with them. Give them the actual steps to real success. Then they will trust you and buy everything you have available in every way you make it available.

The fact that what you now offer up goes beyond your book does not matter as long as you can own the words here and make these your own. We can leave the words in the book behind. You can talk beyond the book and help the people you can help the most by giving them what they need and what the most, which is to be told what to do. Right now.Now we have to learn how we (YOU) can talk and present (in person, in interviews and in media articles) so that we (YOU) really turn people on and HELP THEM.

That’s what PR does.

Timing the transmittal of a news release

One of the members of the POD Publishing discussion group asked the following question:

When do you recommend going out with the press release (i.e. on the release date, a month before, etc.).

——-

Timing news releases depends what you are trying to accomplish and where you are at in your publishing or product release schedule. You must first recognize the key event date and then take media lead times into account. If this is associated with the publication of a book or a new product, this is usually associated with the official publication date or release date.

I do not generally advise sending out a news release till you can satisfy media requests for review copies or product test samples and interviews with the right person or people. If you can’t satisfy the media then you hurt yourself since you get a request which opens the door of opportunity but then you can’t satisfy the media’s request immediately. So you reduce the chances of getting the coverage you seek. So it depends when your books are available to you and that usually is a month or so before an official publication date, but this varies and is often a flexible date.

Second, the public has to be able to buy the product when the media publishes the news. So that means it has to be available at Amazon and/or BN.com plus any number of other web sites, and possibly be available in bookstores and or through bookstores so you can financially benefit (that is sell product) from the national or targeted demand your publicity seeks to create. This means you should not launch a news release or publicity campaign until the business system is totally operational. If you need to book to be in the bookstores or retail shops first, then you have to wait until your distributor tells you it is time to hit the switch. You have to be prepared to do what’s necessary to publicize and promote so that the window of opportunity doesn’t slip by and the lack of demand results in returns. Timing so that publicity hits when the product is in the stores is pretty crucial. If you are selling totally online, then this is not as crucial a factor.

You have to factor media lead time into account. This means you look two to three publications cycles ahead of the media you seek to get coverage in or on and then also take into account things like media response time to your pitch, mailing and delivery time, assignment time, the time it takes to read, write, review and then actually publish an approved article. For daily newspapers, this means a week to two weeks minimum and many times usually requires a month; for weekly newspapers, this is four to six weeks or more; for magazines this is four to six months. For radio and TV, it’s seven to ten days minimum, and preferably two to four weeks. Online media can of course react very quickly but many of the response and review times do factor into how soon these media can respond effectively. That’s all assuming you want media to do something with your book.

This means that you really have to stagger your news releases and target your media carefully if you are to take advantage of the medias needs. magazines require four to six months, so you hit them first. You do the short term media two to four weeks before your official public availability date. If you wait till the one month before launch date, then magazine publicity will come last and in some cases you lose the opportunity to time the coverage that you need at the time of product release. Still magazine publicirty at the back end can be a very helpful thing to have indeed since it will sustain your sales once the impacts of the short term efforts and coverage start to diminish.

Let’s say though that you are publicizing an event like a book signing, or a conference, or a work shop or a speaking event. If it is deemed to be newsworthy event or a hard news happening or something you propose media to witness of go to that involves people and photographers and interviews, then the minimum media times apply. We’ve seen newspaper, radio and TV camera crews get sent out and show up within 30 minutes of transmittal holding their Blackberries and iPods in their hand reading the news release and say “where do we set up?”

Finally there’s the day to day timing question. Which day of the week is it best to send out a news release to the media? The prime media tends to work on a five day work week schedule and that means they work Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday they have off and fewer people really are working in the office. Monday is a bad news day because the media show up to work and have staff meetings and have to recover from the weekend. Friday is also a bad day since they are wrapping things up and are trying to leave for the weekend. So unless it is really hard news, transmitting a news release on or near weekends is not going to get the best media response. But it really depends again what you are asking media to do. If all you want them to do is say yes to you sending in a book for review, Friday morning may be OK.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays give you the best opportunity to catch media when they have the least amount of competition for their attention and the maximum opportunity to devote resources to your project. So that is when I prefer to news releases to be delivered.

Finally, after the book is published, the publicity you seek may be far more issue and content focused and related to current events or some other angle. Regardless, you seek to get coverage for the best ideas, education or entertainment you can offer. This you can do whenever you want to do, but it really helps to get out in front to media and look four to six months out. So for example, today is March 25 so Mother’s Day is six weeks away, Father’s Day is two and a half months away, Earth Day is a month away, Independence day is three months away, Labor Day is four months away and so on.

I’ve created a free publicity calendar to help identify opportunities for people which is a free pdf file download. It contains a lot of unusual holidays so that you can really get creative and think up ways to tie-in to calendar events well in advance of the day they occur. Here’s the link:

Publicity Planning Calendar for 2010
http://www.directcontactpr.com/files/files/Publicityplan2010.pdf

The lesson learned is to be prepared, plan things out carefully, andthink through what you are asking media to do when you send out a news release.

If you’ve done your homework and you know you are offering something that interests a lot of people, has real value to the audience, and you also offer the media what they need to do their job easily and quickly, then when you send out a news release and get it to the right media people for action, then you will often times get what you wish for (which is media coverage).

What Really Happens When You Send Out a News Release?

What Really Happens When You Send Out a News Release? Marketing and Promotion Using News Releases

Marketing and Promotion Using News Releases

When you write a news release your goal is to get publicity – media coverage about you and your book – either an article or an interview. To do that you have to write a news release that is persuasive and interesting and then make sure it gets to media decision makers.

The technology you use to reach media decision makers has an incredible influence on the effectiveness of your outreach.

Online news release services will post a news release (a page of text and some even do multimedia pages) and then post a snippet (short description) or maybe even just a headline or a subject line with a link to the news release page and your content. Media have to search to find it and read it. The headline may be on top of the list of news releases posted for only a few minutes before another one is added to the system and then it gets pushed down as it is replaced by others. It may be accessible to media if they have signed up to receive news releases for selected keywords they are interested in. But they still may only receive an email with a list of subject lines or snippets and this may not produce a very high response.

The data you see on the reports from these services is also terribly misleading. You do not know really how many people saw your pitch, compared to how many machines or even search engine spiders actually are causing the hit. Page hits do not equal media coverage.

Some of the most meaningful measurements are:

* How many media actually responded with an article or an interview;

* How many review copies requested;

* How many and what quality blog posts you get with links and attribution;

* How many quality articles/reviews and interviews results from you then sending your book and media kit; and finally

* Did you sell ultimately product and produce a return on your investment that exceeded the cost of your outreach;

The challenge with this process is that you have to communicate meaningfully with media and first persuade them to give you coverage and second, the coverage you get has to trigger action on the part of the audience.

I prefer using email html and the phone to get maximum effect when I write a news release. At least you hit the maximum number of key media people directly with a pitch.

It is not unusual for me to see 25 to 60 media responses for interviews or review copies as a result of a news release I transmit.

Here are just some recent book project email outreach results showing actual media response stats to news releases I wrote and transmitted to custom targeted media lists:

Brian Bianco, Dressed for a Kill, mystery – two geographically tailored news releases on to the US media, one to Canadian media – 49 media requests

Stacey Hanke, Yes You Can, business communications, 34 media and interview requests (see the article in the Investor’s Business Daily from Monday Feb 22, 2010 http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=521721 and see Chief Learning Officer from Feb 2, 2010 http://www.clomedia.com/industry_news/2010/February/5124/index.php for a few examples of coverage)

L. Diane Wolfe, Heather, Circle of Friends Book 5, young adult, 29 review copy requests

Maggie Simone, From Beer to Maternity, family parenting humor, 65 media and interview requests, Among other things, our news release netted her a regular column at Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maggie-lamond-simone Lisa Pankau, Beyond Seduction, relationship self help, 42 interview and review copy requests

Louise Hart, Liking Myself, and The Mouse, the Monster and Me, children’s books, 65 media requests for review copies,

Dan Green, Finish Strong, inspirational self help, 58 interviews and review copies, outreach was coupled with Drew Brees and the Superbowl, helped raise money for NOLA nonprofits, a few dozen interviews and major media coverage

Andy Andrews, The Noticer, fictionalized storytelling, motivational self help, 173 media requests from two news releases staggered one week apart, major media included Fox TV, and others. (Go see what several years of monthly news release promotion and publicizing can do at the amazing press center at http://press.andyandrews.com)

HCI Books, Going Rouge: An American Nightmare, politics, not to be confused with Sarah Palin’s book), over 250 media requests, made NY Times best seller list.

Patricia Starr, Angel on My Handlebars, sports travel memoire, 36 review copy and interview requests

Derek Galon and Margaret Gajek, Exploring the Incredible Homes of the Eastern Caribbean, luxury travel architecture coffee table book, 75 media requests.

I have similar media response statistics for products, films and videos, and even consulting services and events.

The data clearly shows that media interest and responses are a real life reflection of public interest and predicted response to a communicated offering no matter what it is.

The bottom line, is this: If you offer up an idea that turns people on, they respond to it.

Of course pitching to media is a great way to leverage technology as a force multiplier. Each person you contact is a publisher and if you persuade them to share you and your message, their audience gets to see your creation.

It can be a great way to jumpstart and supercharge your marketing efforts.

If you want to learn more, here is a link to a one page info-graphic pdf which talks more about:

What Really Happens When You Send Out a News Release?
http://www.directcontactpr.com/files/files/IBPAFlyer021510.pdf

Questions anyone?

Paul J. Krupin

Is it worth it to hire a publicist?

Evaluating whether to hire a publicist for marketing and promotion

Since I’m a publicist and do a lot of work with authors and publishing companies, I’ll give you my spin on this.

Is it worth it to hire a publicist?

My response: It depends.

I don’t really ascribe to the amount of money invested in the book as a decision factor myself. Lots of my clients have turned books that they write with blood, sweat and tears into financial success using POD. Very simply they write a good book and print on demand in small quantity. Money invested in the book does not have to be considerable. Of course if you have invested a lot of money, then it begins to acquire the characteristics of a publish or perish syndrome. The stakes go up with the investment.

I’ll be honest with you. I see lots of one-book authors try to turn a profit from publishing. I see only a few succeed. I see lots try very hard and fail. So to me, self-publishing is best viewed as a risk venture. There are so many variables. Publicity can jumpstart marketing but there is no guarantee that it will.

For the sake of argument, let’s just assume that the owner of some intellectual property can reasonably benefit from using publicity to achieve their goals. To me, publicity is one type of marketing or promotion and it has a cost. And to really understand what we’re talking about, it’s crucial to get on the same page. So here’s my definition of what one typically asks a publicist to do:

PR: the creation and presentation of proposed content to media (publishers or producers) to persuade them to publish or showcase a story or information that is perceived as objectively reported by their audiences, that creates interest, desire and promotes and triggers desired action (sales, votes or social action).

The question is whether the cost you invest can produce the actions you want to achieve whether it be sales, votes, or social action such as human support, financial or material donation, or attendance at a show or an event.

The goal is to have a meaningful communication with the right real people on the receiving end. The message is matters, the medium matters, and the effect matters. The real value to the recipient is what determines whether they in fact are affected to the point of action. You can’t use any communication technology to trigger or motivate action without figuring out the magic words first. Can you do this yourself or do you need to have a professional publicist help you?

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
You can choose to manage your promotions to achieve many different types of results.

There is no simple answer. There are costs (money, time, and material resources for the data needed and the technology needed) to achieve publicity success.

There is also expertise required (copywriting, targeting the right media, utilizing the best technologies, communicating with clients and media, negotiating, reporting, integrating with marketing and other people and publicists who are involved).

These are some of the issues you need to address and factor in to the decision one makes.

The original question asks “is it worth it to hire a publicist?”

The return on investment question can be answered by evaluating the profit one makes per action triggered by your publicity effort. Let’s look at some of the costs and what it means to an author/publisher.

If one makes $5 per book, then it takes 100 books to cover a $500 cost for a single news release publicity project.

You’d have to sell 2,000 books to cover a $10,000 fee for a full service PR firm or personal publicist for some dedicated time or program.

If on the other hand if you are not just an author, but also receive $3000 for a speaking engagement plus travel and per diem, then you can make $2500 or more if you even get one speaking engagement off one $500 news release outreach.

If you worked with the $10,000 PR firm, you’d nearly break even if you got three engagements and you’d make a couple of thousand with four.

Will the $10,000 firm produce more than the $500 outreach effort? This depends on what is really being done to get media coverage. It depends on the message and who gets to receive it.

There are at least five key measurement points you should use to determine your level of satisfaction with the effectiveness of your publicity efforts.

1. The first point is when you transmit a news release or conduct an outreach effort. Do you feel like the costs of performing the publicity outreach are reasonable? Do you feel like the service has been responsive to your needs?

2. The second point is immediately after the outreach is conducted and you can identify the number and quality of the media responses to your outreach.

3. The third point is when articles are actually published or when your interviews have been conducted.

4. The fourth point is when you determine whether enough of the right people respond to your message.

5. The fifth and final point is sometime later still, when you are finally able to somehow determine the overall benefits of your outreach effort and experience.

It is only now you can truly ask “Was it worth it?”

Here is an article I wrote titled “Tracking Your Publicity Success and PR Effectiveness” which discusses this aspect of publicity in more detail:

http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-articles/article.src?ID=14
What this means of course is that publicity is more valuable when someone has multiple streams of income that can be leveraged and the branding effect triggers interest and sales in many ways. This frees people from strictly focusing solely on their product and allows them to shine again and again by helping people they can help the most in ways that really turn people on. This is how you not only trigger real interest, but trigger trust and action. This is the professional branding effect and when it works, people like what you say so much that they will buy everything you have for sale. This is what you hope for when you hire a publicist.

So is it worth it to hire a publicist?

It depends on whether you can do what needs to be done by yourself or with the right type of help. It depends on the results you achieve when you do these things.

The one thing you really need to realize is that even if one hires a publicist, there’s still no guarantee that publicity will produce sales. All you can do is try.

And like any other marketing tactic you should really evaluate the effectiveness as a business using objective measures. Look at all the factors and make an informed decision.

If it works, do more of it, and if it doesn’t stop and do something else.

The only thing that is certain is that if you do not reach out to people somehow, nothing will happen.

Getting publicity for a book about solving education system problems

Getting publicity for a book about solving education system problems

New author posted a question on Askpedia and asked:

“I have just completed a book listing solutions to the problems of habitual truancy and drop outs in our schools. I need to get the attention of people who care. I need some support or guidance.”

My response: A problem solving tips article in the right media.

I am constantly asking my clients to tell me what they can do or say that will help the people they can help the most.

Ask who your customers and then identify what they read, watch and listen to particularly when they are receptive to taking action based on the message. The right message in the right media is what you need.

When you give people your best, people will give you attention. They will respect what you say or offer. This is one of the most important rules of getting publicity. Be your best. Offer your best. Give your best. Entertain, educate, advise, help, do the very best you can.And pack these golden nuggets of wisdom that you can offer into a news release of about 250 words or less so that you can communicate your best in ten to thirty seconds. Then send it to the right media. Create or get a hold of the right custom list of media – publishers with audiences who reach the people you need to reach.

This is a very powerful and important tactic. This is what lies at the core of the problem solving tips article or the talk show interview.

When you push yourself to really help other people you develop yourself you improve how you behave with other people. You communicate better. You deliver better advice, information, problem solving analysis, and you also learn to be more useful and more effective in a wider range of situations. This makes you versatile and capable. People listen. They act upon your advice. They learn to trust you. This is how you not only sell your book, but how you sell YOU and can generate multiple streams of income when you offer your time and problem solving capabilities as a speaker and consultant and a freelancer.

WSJ article about how to write a great novel

11 top writers reveal how they write

Getting more book reviews for self-published books

Getting more book reviews for self-published books

Self-published authors often complain about how hard it is to get book reviews. Many of my clients are self published authors.

I don’t think that media distinguish books by whether they are from self-publishers or quality publshers that much any more. Some do, but it’s because they make an assumpition of quality. That is what they really seek to do anyway so as not to waste their time. They separate books that are quality books from books that are not.

Self published books get reviews day in day out. I will heartily affirm the advice from Jacqueline Simmons of Beagle Bay and Jim Cox of Midwest Book Review that a quality book is the first essential requirement.

But there is a second essential requirement you need to get down pat especially if you want to achieve financial success with your book.

That is this: You have to talk to your target audience and persuade them to take action to get your quality product. That means that the messages you create have to communicate meaningfully and incite and even galvanize these people to action.

There are many ways that authors can do that. The best way is to simply decide that you want to truly impress and interest the right people. So start with this question:

Who is going to be most interested in what I can talk about? This can’t be “everyone”. It has to be people in a pool or group that has similar interests. Then you have to think up how you are going to reach them and communicate with them. You have to identify the communications technology and pathway you will use.

Finally you ask yourself to identify what are you going to say in three minutes that will get them to come right up and hand you money.

You may think this is a crazy way to sell books or to get book reviews, but I do this for authors for a living. Authors are actually the best person to identify “the magic words” because when they start talking sincerely and openly and get spontaneous and excited about their writing, that’s when they say the things that interest people the most.

AND THE BEST PART ABOUT THIS IS THAT YOU CAN DO THIS ANYWHERE.

But you may need help with this. You may need to work with someone who watches your audience when you talk and notices what happens when you say certain things. What you are looking for is the sentences and speech that gets people to drill you with rapt attention.

You need to identify and capture what you say that really turns people on.

This is the exact language and information that you need to use in your news releases that get you book reviews. This is what you need to use so that you also get feature stories and interviews. You need to learn what you can say that really turns people on. It may or may not be inside the book you wrote. Don’t think that it has to be out of the book. It can be about you, your topic, your dog or your Aunt Tilly. It just has to be so good that people get so interested in you that they are persuaded to take a look at your creation.

From my experience with authors and experts of all types, what it really comes down to is a three to five minute piece that galvanizes people with you doing what you absolutely do the best. There is a method that I use to help people develop what they need. Here it is:

Imagine being in front of 20 to 30 of the very best people you think would be most interested you and what you do. Describe these people so that you have a picture of who they are and what they look like.

Now identify the absolute most interesting topic, challenge, or problem situation you can think of, that will interest the maximum number of people just like them.

NOW give them your five to ten best tips, problem solving actions, ideas, stories, jokes, or lessons learned. WHATEVER! Just focus your energy on your target audience and give them your very best. Can you give these people your ten commandments? Can you knock their socks off so that half of them come flying out of their chairs with their pocketbooks or wallets open? (BTW that’s a 50 percent response). That’s your goal. Do you realize that even if you only get one in ten to buy, that’s a ten percent response, and that’s still remarkable. Most business operate their marketing profitably at a much lower response rate. Less than 1 percent.

I want you to pretend you have three to five minutes to give a these people eight to maybe ten absolutely phenomenal show stoppers. That means for ten items, you have less than 20 seconds or less for each one, plus a one minute intro and a one minute ending.

This is what we put into your news release. This si what you offer to reviewers to get them interested in your book. Don’t think that all you need to do is describe your book. That’s not going to cut it. You need to prove that people will be interested. You need to communicate and demonstrate the value to the audience.

The goal is to create a vision for the media that clearly illustrates and allows them to see in their minds — How you can help or entertain or educate the people you can help or educate or entertain the most.

Focus less on ideas than on actions that people can take to deliver immediate or tangible real time or near term benefits, impacts, or predictable consequences. These show stoppers should be “Do This Today” types of actions.

This forms the core content to the news release/show proposal pitch.

These will also be publishable as an article with some caveats we can add to the beginning and ending of the core content to turn it into a proper news release offering. It will also become the core script for a Q & A style interview, so they serve many purposes. These ideas will also persuade media editors to ask for and review your book.

You can do whatever you can do. You just have to be your wittiest and most galvanizing self. You can be humorous and/or serious, just be good and make them memorable. Keep them G Rated.

This method works. I use it all the time to get my clients to stop selling and really create, develop and offer the media the news, education and entertainment they need to decide to give people media coverage. I used this technique with authors of all types.

Want proof? Create a Google News Alert on the words ‘book review’ so you can receive clips and see who’s getting covered to your heart’s content like this:

http://news.google.com/news/search?pz=1&ned=us&hl=en&q=book+review+

Study the results each day and see how the media is writing about book authors these days. Evaluate existing coverage and use my 3 I technique.

So here’s the bottom line. I hope you take may advice. Self published authors do get reviews.

First WRITE A GOOD BOOK.

Second LEARN HOW TO TURN PEOPLE ON WHEN YOU SPEAK ABOUT YOUR BOOK.

Help the people you can help the most and offer the very best most educational and entertaining three to five minutes of talk you possibly can.

BY the way, if you do follow this advice, send me your best tips or talking points in an email message. I’ll be happy to comment and give you recommendations on what you’ve created and show you how to go the distance to create a news release that will produce the maximum results.

This is how you’ll get the most media response, the best book reviews and the most effective publicity you’ve ever experienced. You’ll also sell more books.

I guarantee that once you create and prove this little script of yours and once you really get it down and prove to yourself that it’s repeatable, you can use it again and again everywhere you go. That’s the miracle of the microcosm in America. We’ve got a country of 330 million media indoctrinated people, and once you learn how to galvanize them in your back yard, you can use technology to repeat the message and reproduce the response again and again.

Being bumped by the media – what do you do when this happens to you?

Tactics for responding to media when interview is postponed by other news

One of my clients just shared his experience of being bumped by a big media for a TV interview.

This does happen people some of the time. The question is ‘what do you do when it happens to you?’

You can strategize and come up with actions and ideas to best position yourself when it happens if you stand in their shoes and seek to understand what happened to them when they made the decision.

Media are businesses that are best viewed as publishers (in the case of print) or producers (in the case of radio, TV or some other electronic medium) who make their living from two income sources:

1. Paying subscribers
2. Paying advertisers (the number of whom is dependent upon the number of paying subscribers).

Media decisions are almost always made in favor of one proposal for media coverage over another because of the perceived value of the news, entertainment, or education offered and the direct impact it has on these two income sources.

Media evaluate these story by story, day by day, for each income producing media coverage opportunity that they have to offer. There are three key questions they ask:

1. How many people in my audience will be interested in this?
2. What is the value of the information to my audience? and
3. How much time and efforts (or people and money), will I need to invest to create this story?

The pass-fail answers have to be:

1. A lot of people 2. A lot of value and 3. Very little cost

So when something out competes you, you can at least you can empathize (or sympathize) with the media as a fellow publisher!

So the key thing to do is try to be understanding and professional when you follow up and speak to them.

Now this next step is the crucial one.

Never let conversation die. Don’t think that ‘not now’ means ‘not ever’.

The key action is to make another proposal for media coverage. Ask them:

– Can we re-schedule?

– What is the date and time for the interview?

If the planned coverage is based on a current event or issue and the timing or opportunity passes by, then look ahead and create another proposal.

Say

– If we can’t do this show, then how about we do this one instead?

– Can I send you more information and another proposal?

– Would you like to see some Q and A’s on this topic?

Never let the conversation stop. Once you have opened the door to a relationship as a professional guest, entertainer or contributor always offer to send them some additional ideas or information.

In fact, it is a good policy to never let a media person (or in fact any book sale prospect), get away without you making another proposal to send them something more, so you can keep them mentally engaged with you, and ensure they are taking steps towards doing something to help you promote or sell your products or services.

Just remember that these are very important people who hold the key to placing your message and magic words in front of thousands, even millions of people. Think about what they do for a living and give them ideas and answers to help them do their job.

Of course, “the magic words” have to be there. Your media pitch, whether it is in a phone call, a personal email or in a news release, has to offer the media content and value. Your proposal has to turn them and their audience.

That is how you can turn a cancellation, or even a no, into a new interview or feature story opportunity.

A Book Publicity Success Story for a book published over ten years ago

A Book Publicity PR Success Story - about a book published over ten years ago

I just had to share this one hot off the press.

About a month ago I wrote a news release for client Susan Casey, author of the book Women Invent! The book was first published in 1997.

I decided to create a feature story and I worked with the author to develop quality detailed content with an offer of photos highlighting the accomplishments and achievements of famous women inventors from the past 100 plus years. We sent out the news release email html in early February to a custom list of science, education, and women’s media nationwide.

Here’s the link to the article published yesterday March 31, 2009 in Fast Company Magazine:

http://www.fastcompany.com/article/some-greatest-inventors-were-women

Lesson learned – the age of the book doesn’t matter. Galvanizing content and timeliness matters.

March is Women’s History Month.

Good to the last drop!

If anyone wants to see the news release pdf file please send me an email.

Paul J. Krupin – Direct Contact PR
Reach the Right Media in the Right Market with the Right Message
http://www.DirectContactPR.com Paul@DirectContactPR.com
800-457-8746 509-545-2707
http://blog.directcontactpr.com/

Boiler Plate for a News Release

Guidance to a novice self publisher about writing a news release

A new author self-publisher on the Self-Publishing Yahoo list wrote:

> Can anybody direct me to a boiler plate for a press release that I
> can use to create my own? I have heard a variety of different things
> should be included. Most say that it should be only one page and
> other say it should be three to four pages. I would like it to be
> brief and to the point and something I can send out via email to a
> variety of sources. … I need to get this done in the next couple of days
> because my book will be back from the typesetter by then to go to
> Amazon, so I truthfully don’t have the time, nor the money to be
> purchasing several books and wading through them.”

Goodness, this looks like you’re hopping on the first and fastest and cheapest train to go by without looking where you are going. You run a real risk of ending up somewhere down the river with no hope of getting where you really want to go. Are you really hoping this will help you achieve publicity and publishing success?

I urge you to slow down and first really take the time to create a marketing message that truly inspires people to take the action you want. Learn to walk and talk with people about your book and learn to sell and speak about your topic first. PR and news releases aren’t a guaranteed trip to the bank. You need to learn how to connect with the people that matter the most to you.

If you don’t really focus on creating a pitch that works and refining it until it reliably produces a good response (as in they buy into YOU and your book), then you will encounter failure no matter what media you present your boilerplate messages to and no matter what technology you use to spread the word.

On the other hand, if you do slow down you can create a short set of talking points that educates, entertains and galvanizes the people that you help the most. Then once you have proven that your MAR-COM works, you can use it in your news releases.

But this is what you need to do first and you can do this right at home with the people around you. What you say (or write) will depend on who you are trying to connect with, what they need (in the way of guidance or advice or inspiration or entertainment) that you can give them, so that you make such an impression on them that they want to buy what you have to offer.

To really figure out if you are ready to do publicity you might want to read the following:

The Magic of Business
http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-articles/article.src?ID=105

If you are indeed ready and your goal is to persuade them you have valuable ideas that can help them, then I would recommend you emulate a problem solving tips article or a feature story article format, or a radio and TV interview format.

One of the most popular sections of my web site is the free news release samples — pdf file downloads of numerous types of news releases for you to use as models for your own efforts. You can find examples of news releases for you to use as models.

http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-downloads

Once you have a goal for a news release in mind, then you can use my 3 I Technique.

Create a Better News Release with “The 3 I Technique”
http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-articles/article.src?ID=52

You may also want to go directly to the hot button theory article to get more insight and education in making the media fall in love with you.

The Hot Button Theory: Maximizing Media Response to Your News Releases
http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-articles/article.src?ID=35

If you’ve never really written a news release or have experienced limited success when you do, you might benefit from reading the following articles:

Why News Releases Fail — The Most Common Reasons & What to Do About It
http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-articles/article.src?ID=22

Press releases – which types of news releases really work the best?
http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-articles/article.src?ID=122

Copywriting – The blood, sweat and tears of getting publicity
http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-articles/article.src?ID=121

If you really don’t have the time and energy to put into doing your publicity yourself you may choose to work with a publicist.

Evaluating the Range of Publicity Options – Making the Right Decision for You
http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-articles/article.src?ID=41

Finally – once you do create a news release you’ll need to then figure out how to transmit it to the right media. That’s where a good publicist can come in handy.

If you need help identifying who they are give me a call anytime, I help people in creating custom targeted media lists, book reviewer lists, and systematic action plans and tactics to identify the best web sites, newsletters, libraries, article repositories, blogs, forums, search engines, ezines, audio, video, radio sites and even social networking sites to contact to get the word out.

There are several other highly experience people on this list who can provide you with quality professional publicity guidance and assistance if you choose to make use of them. I highly recommend you take some time and do indeed read their books, study the articles at their web sites and contact them directly before you invest any more time and effort in your publishing endeavors so you avoid the personal pain and harsh financial impacts of failure.

One last little thought for you. I just am reading Reality Check, Guy Kawasaki’s newest book. I highly recommend this book to all serious business minded publishers, along with his previous book, The Art of the Start.

Chapter 41 is titled and devoted to DIY PR. He begins the chapter with a quote:

“If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.

~ Bill Gates.