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Go beyond the book!

What do you place into a news release?

If you want to improve your publicity go beyond the book. You don’t have to just write about the book. You don’t even have to quote from the book.

In fact, to get great publicity you really need to put the book down and simply do what you are best at.

Tell me new stories.

Give me news that I’ve never heard before.

Educate me.

Entertain me.

Make me smile. Make me laugh. Make me hungry. Make me cry. Make me afraid. Make me experience something inside. Make me angry. make me sad.

Help me.

Advise me with superb insight that makes people turn their heads and listen and realize that you are handing them a gift.

Take the mystery out of a new problem that wasn’t on everyone’s radar screen when you wrote the book.

Dazzle me with new material and fresh photos.

Make me want to do something different.

Make me so interested in you I go home and look you up and even try to call you and make an appointment to see you.

One of the best strategies for publicity success: wish fulfillment

wish fulfillment as a publicity strategy

You see it in best selling books and movies. You can do it yourself if you think about it and try.

The element is wish fulfillment.

It must be so vivid that your audience can visualize it, taste it, feel it.

It can be the feeling of overcoming all odds and achieving success.

It can be the vision of being healthy or wealthy.

It can be the freedom to choose, the enjoyment of love or the magnificence of winning the race.

It can be the indulgence of eating chocolate.

It can be the thrill of flying down a mountainside or soaring like a bird.

It can be the excitement and anticipation of heading into a battle to save people from harm.

You identify the wish you can give to a media audience and then offer it up to the media on a silver platter.

Whose dreams and visions can you fulfill today?

Do your very best. Tell people what they can do to achieve their deepest hopes and desires.

Make their dreams come true.

Getting book reviews can be hard even with a really good book

Getting book reviews can be hard even with a really good book

Client had me send out a news release for a crime fiction mystery novel. The news release was transmitted on Feb 16 and produced 50 requests for review copies in four days.

It’s now April (three months later) and he has received exactly three reviews. Those reviews were all quite favorable.

But the client wonders, “is that all there will be?” He wrote “I originally thought by sending out the press releases, that all I had to do was to wait for those who solicited a copy of my book to read it, then they would do a review.”

It was not hard getting the book review media interested. 50 requests for review copies off of a single emailed news release for a fiction book is really quite good.

So why the low coverage? Why the lukewarm response from the book reviewers?

Is it the book? Maybe. It’s a relatively thick book, 426 pages, clearly self published, limited national distribution. Author is Canadian resident. Cover could be improved.

Is three reviews good or should there be more? There may yet be more to come, but three out of 50 is six percent, and that may be a very good reflection of what the media sees as the relative number of people who will be interested in this genre. It may be a very good reflection of the perceived interest in the marketplace.

Buit this is pure armchair speculation. You need hard data to make business decisions.

So what can you do?

You can call the media who received the review copies and ask them for feedback.

It may be that they simply haven’t gotten to it yet. They are busy people with their own lives, businesses and priorities.

It may also be that once the book reviewers actually see the book, they simply decide “this is not right for my audience”.

But without calling to ask them and see if they will be frank and give an honest and objective appraisal, this is pure speculation.

Call and ask. But be prepared for some hard to accept feedback.

People may not like your book.

They may resent you asking for this feedback.

They may not give you what you are asking.

You may not like what they say.

So if you do call media and ask them, be prepared.

Are you tough enough?

Free Book Publicity Podcast – Are News Releases Effective for Marketing Your Book?

Are News Releases Effective for Marketing Your Book? You betcha!

On November 19th, 2009 I had a wonderful time being interviewed for Authors Access with Victor R. Volkman and Irene Watson about whether Press Releases are still revelant to marketing and promoting books.

We covered a wide-range of talking points, including:

* So What Exactly Is A News Release?

* Why Is This So Hard To Do? What Makes This So Special?

* So What Exactly Do Media People Look For When They Receive A News Release?

* So What Do You Need To Do To Write A News Release That Really Works & Truly Gets Media Attention?

* How do you know when you’re ready?

* What Specifically Should Authors Do To Create This Galvanizing Candy ­This Magic Script.

* What is the Magic Formula (DPAA+H)? (“Dramatic Personal Achievement in the face of Adversity, plus a little Humor”)

* Which Are Better For Authors To Aim At – Book Reviews Or Feature Stories & Why?

* How do you know when you achieve success with a news release?

* So once you have a trash proof news release, what do you do with it

Download the free Authors Access podcast interview free at:

http://authorsaccess.com/archives/164
A pdf file that summarizes all the talking points is also available here:

Are News Releases Effective for Marketing Your Book? http://www.directcontactpr.com/files/files/arepressreleasesaneffectiveway.pdf

The Trash Proof News Releases is available as a free ebook at Smashwords:

Trash Proof News Releases

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/5921

If you write what you think is a trash proof news release, send it to me and I’ll send you my extra two bits!

Paul@DirectContactPR.com

Not all media are created equal – targeting the right media – targeted PR

Not all media are created equal - targeting the right media - targeted PR

Targeting the right media takes special skill.

They say that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. It’s exposure in front of people in any case. Right?

But it can also be true that even good publicity in the right media may not be worth very much in the way of immediate direct sales.

When was the last time you read a newspaper article and ran and grabbed your credit card and the phone?

When was the last time you watched a TV interview or a commercial and felt compelled to buy the product or service featured?

Then again when was the last time you read a post to a blog or a forum or an ezine describing a solution or a tip and found it so good that you went to the web site and contacted the owner, or bought a service or product site unseen?

The point here is that the context of the message and the medium are both important.

The right message has to be in the right media and your audience also has to be in the right state of mind to be receptive and even open to taking action.

You target your media by asking what do my customers read, watch or listen to, especially when they are in the mood to hear and act on information related to what you are offering.

This leads you to the right media.

The right media could be prime media: newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, news services or syndicates.

Prime media are still one of the most powerful and trusted media for the masses. Each media is a business that makes its income from paying subscribers and from advertisers who also invest money in advertising because of the number of subscribers.

The right media can also be online: blogs, Internet online media web sites, articles sites, forums, ezines, mailing lists, discussion groups, and social media and networking sites.

The right media is media where enough of the people who see the message take the action you want them to take.

There is no way to know for sure which ones will produce fruit until you place your message out there and see what happens.

You find them where you find them.

Smart, Intelligent, and Broke… and What to do about it

Tactics for creating a writing or services business that makes money and helps the people you can help the most

I’m a copywriter and a publicist and an author so I guess I do make a living writing. I’m happy to share with you what I’ve done and what I’ve learned.

I wrote my first news release in 1977. I went online with my first website in 1993. I’ve built up my copy writing and publicity services company at home and online over the past 15 years.

You can read the story about how I created my business in the book “Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul” published by Health Communications in November 2006. It’s titled `Ripples’. Fun story.
If you want to see it click here Ripples

The marketing I do is pretty nominal but it is consistent, and I take baby steps to keep it going nearly every day.

I’m of the belief that if people and companies have employees doing work that you can do and have more work that you can do than they have employees available to do that work, then getting paid is easy.

Can you do it?

Yes you can!

You just need to present them with a very desirable alternative turnkey to hiring you as an employee. Make it attractive and make it easy and it’s a done deal.

I’ve found that if they have employees doing something, then outsourcing to you is often a very attractive option. You can normally charge four to six times the hourly rate of pay that they pay full time employees to do exactly the same work, but without them having to carry the overhead that they have to carry for an employee. So if top technical or professional employees are making $50 an hour, then you can charge $200 an hour. Most companies will not bat an eye at these rates these days. You can run the numbers and see, at these rates, it’s not hard to bill over $100,000 a year and do it part-time from home. The Internet and email can be a wonderful place.

So no matter what the employees or you do, you can create a short menu of options and fees that break both the services you will provides (just like an employee performs, or the deliverables they create), and format this into a short list of the fee based time or product deliverables that you can perform or deliver on demand or by schedule.

So instead of a resume, create a one page brochure that says “menu of options”. Then itemize options so people can hire you in bite size chunks of payable time or for products or services by known typical units of performance (by the hour, by the day, by the week, by the page, by the document, or whatever).

This menu allows you and the client to select what you do and price it in advance, and build this into a one page contract or an email or even a phone call.

I’ve found that the best marketing tactics that work in this business are ones that allow you to leverage professional branding with your target audience. You should not waste time, effort and money unless it brings a professional branding message in front of someone who will potentially be amenable to doing business with you.

So I recommend you experiment, test and most importantly and track and analyze what you do, to identify how you are getting clients and where the biggest income streams come from. Then apply the basic rules of systematic continuous improvement to what you are doing. Simply put, if it works, do more of it, and if it doesn’t stop and do something else.

You can use my business as an example. To this day, I get most of my new business by:

* meeting people at conferences at which I exhibit, and giving short but personal consults on the fly, and once I hear what they are all about giving them recommendations that help them a little and indicate what they can get by involving me more.

* writing and publishing articles (problem solving tips articles) in magazines, to demonstrate skills, expertise, ability, knowledge and wisdom, and create desire once they realize they want more of what I can offer.

* posting articles and responding to posted questions in newsgroups and on discussion lists, to do the same.

* adding more free articles and free downloads to an extensive highly educational and focused website, to educate and motivate people to do more themselves, or hire me if they can’t do it themselves.

* adding more success stories and testimonials to my portfolio, to again demonstrate and affirm.

* sending really value added email introductions to prospects, to supply them with a plan of action that leads them to hire me.

* doing 30 minute consultations by phone, learning what clients need and delivering strategic advice and one page action plan proposals by email.

* answering prospect questions as though I was already working for them.

* carefully cultivating word of mouth off prior exceptional performance.

* speaking engagements, giving workshops and training sessions for free and for fee, but only to the right targeted company or audience.

* meeting people for lunch and listening to their project needs or dreams.

* sending them one page email proposals.

* building off referrals, and speaking engagements, and seeking to leverage host beneficiary relationships.

This last one is perhaps the most crucial. As you satisfy clients, of course, you can get repeat business. If you do work for a headquarters or a home office of a company with lots of offices all over the country, your host contact can lead you directly to many other prospects. You then get to pitch them all or better still, the headquarters contact shares you and everyone in that business network then contacts you. This situation can be phenomenally beneficial. Lucrative in fact. Same thing can happen with speaking engagements at associations. The local speech or workshop travels up to the headquarters.

Once every few years I create an innovative post card and do a mailing. My most recent mailer was a one pager back-to-back. If you want to see my most recent one, send me an email message request and I’ll send you the pdf file. I was using US Mail for mailings until two years ago. Now we participate in coop mailings and use email.

Nowadays I also use a show off business card. It has a picture of me fishing. It’s a memorable experience to look at and to hold. It brands me as a distinctive writer.

I use email, short letters and one page business proposals extensively to close deals by email and phone. In fact, I have a rule which basically says that you never have a conversation with a prospect without making a customized personal proposal. It works very well.

I actually don’t need or use formal contracts at all. I just take credit cards and bill them at the time of performance. I take very few checks and only in advance if the client insists upon paying that way. Client satisfaction with this arrangement is nearly 100 percent for many years now.

I spend NO money on advertising at all and do not care about search engine placement or ad words. Clients who call me have either heard about me or find me online through research or referral. They basically have decided to hire me before they call me so I actually do very little selling.

I’ve actually found that in my business, the people who search using search engines aren’t the clients I seek to work with. Most of them don’t have the products or businesses that I enjoy and can be successful with. The people who find my site online rarely are quality clients. So search engine ranking and placement mean very little to me. I can be found very quickly if people search for me nonetheless. In fact, search on my name and you’ll see thousands of links going back 15 years.

I’ve also found that the decision to hire is based on people having convinced themselves that you offer needed value that can be acquired no where else at the costs that you present. What you need to do is just learn how to make the product or service you give remarkable and personal, unique, and phenomenally effective. You also need to learn how to communicate this to them quickly.

Do that and your business will grow consistently with everything you do. The key to enjoying yourself along the way is to simply focus on helping the people you can help the most. You also need to know when to say no to a project that is problematic and where you know won’t be able to satisfy yourself or the client. The rule should be `no unhappy clients’.

I learned this business model by studying a variety of other consultants and copywriters. This model is actually very easy to operate and fairly low cost. I incorporated a few years ago as a full C Corp to take advantage of the tax structure since the business bills over six figures a year. I pay myself a salary. I also just use QuickBooks Pro to do the day to day bookkeeping myself but do hire a professional accountant to do the taxes each year. I use the merchant credit card services offered with Quicken and it does the bookkeeping entries as it processes the credit card authorizations.

The skills I acquired to conduct my business the way I do is mostly out of books. I am a voracious reader. This is in addition to reading or skimming all the client books that come to me (Fed Ex and UPS stop here nearly every day Monday through Friday). I read at the health club, I read during the day and at night, and in front of the TV. I basically am reading (or searching and surfing the Internet) if I am not writing or on the phone.

My house is totally wireless and there are two computers on plus two laptops available for use by me and the rest of the family at all times.

I can even take my cell phone and my wireless laptop in my boat and take client calls and work while fishing along the Columbia River because of the many hot spots and homes with unsecured wireless routers along the river. It’s amazing! The technology really is wonderful these days. That makes for some very pleasant days working (yes really working) while catching salmon, steelhead and walleye! If you’ve ever called me during the day you may hear me tell you that if I get a fish on I’ll have to get off really quick, but I’ll call you back! OK, enough bragging.

I just looked over my library and I highly recommend you basically commit to reading most every business, sales and marketing book published and get whatever you can out of each and every one of them. I still probably spend $100 to $200 a month on books in this area and have for years. My wife says it takes more to keep me well read than it does to keep me well fed. I have a 25 year collection and I still refer back to them constantly.

My favorite book authors and the books I can point you to for the best answers to this question the most are:

* Harry Beckwith (everything he writes is golden including: Selling the Invisible, What Clients Love, The Invisible Touch, and his new one, You, Inc.)

* Bob Bly (again, anything he writes is worth owning. The Copywriter’s Handbook, Secrets of a Freelance Writer, How to Promote Your Own Business, and Write More, Sell More, which is still one of the best books ever written on running a writing business).

* Ralph G. Riley (The One Page Business Proposal is perhaps one of the most important books you’ll ever find. It has made me tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars).

* Dan Kennedy (The Ultimate and No B.S. series)

* Seth Godin (Purple Cow, Free Prize Inside, and Unleashing the Idea Virus)

* Mark Stephens (Your Marketing Sucks)

* Jay Abraham (Getting Everything You Can Out of All You Got)

* Dr. Jeffrey Lant (this dates me! No More Cold Calls, Cash Copy, The Unabashed Self-Promoter’s Guide, and Money Making Marketing. Good luck finding these but if you do, consider yourself lucky)

* Jeffrey Fox (How to Become a Rainmaker and How to Become a Marketing Superstar).

If you need attitude adjustment to get into the right frame of mind for running a business, then I highly recommend:

* Jack Canfield (The Success Principles)

* Napoleon Hill (Law of Success)

* Steven Scott (Mentored by a Millionaire)

* Brian Tracy (Maximum Achievement and many others)

* Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul (Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Bud Gardner)

The real trick to reading is that you have to create a written plan with the ideas that come to you.

Reading and not writing simply isn’t productive. Writing a plan of action turns the idea into something tangible. You must add in the tasks and place dates and performance measures so that you know that you have completed the task.

Knowledge is valuable but to turn a fantasy into reality you must take action and try, try, try till you actually succeed.

You need to create two independent processes:

The first is the process for creating quality work (writing) that you can get paid for.

The second is the sales process that you use to get customers and get money.

Once you create these success processes for yourself then you apply technology to get more of each done in less time, with less effort and expense.

In fact, if you do both of these enough, it all becomes second nature, much like riding a bicycle or a car.

At some point, it can even get boring. To avoid losing faith and being unhappy, you have to find your happiness in delivering whatever happiness and help you can to others.

And that is my belief in what life is all about. .It’s my definition of success:

You achieve happiness and success when you help the people you can help the most and get rich at the same time.

The bottom line is that I believe that the opportunities to be a well paid writer right now are simply phenomenal. You can specialize and focus on any one or more of hundreds of markets. The country is huge. There are 300 million people in the US. There are 30,000 towns. There are simply millions of companies all of whom can be helped again and again.

Don’t be shy. This isn’t that hard to do and you’ve got the skills. Focus and go for it.

BTW, here’s the link for the pdf file containing the story `Ripples’ from Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul, or if you want the latest flyer I used in my mailings, just send me an email request. I’ll send you the pdf files.

Hope this helps. Questions welcome!

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

Knowing When You’ve Created Your Purple Cow

Knowing When You've Created Your Purple Cow

A question was presented to me today:

>> If CNN does decide to interview me, or if I’m scheduled for an interview on
>> any of the other cable news networks I’ve approached, I’m going to want the whole world to watch and learn about my concept.

>> I need to hire someone who knows how to use the Internet to make that happen.

Actually, I don’t think you need to hire anyone. I can’t imagine lots of people being motivated by a message that says ‘watch me on CNN!’ Think about it. You might send out an email to friends, colleagues and your mother, but most media won’t tell their audience to go watch you on another channel or network.

What I think you really need to do is refine your idea until it flies by itself when you present it to anyone and to everyone.

You’ll know you’ve got what it takes when it happens repeatedly and reliably and a level that produces a sustainable yield.

I call this the miracle of the microcosm. If you create something good and can communicate it so that people want it in your little neck of the woods, then when you go on CNN and say the same thing, it will have the same effect on millions of people.

But if what you created isn’t all that great, and what you said to people to get them interested wasn’t all that persuasive or galvanizing, then it won’t matter at all what you say even if you are on CNN.

You can develop your ‘mar-com’, script, or that magic sequence of communications yourself right in your back yard. You create the interview script that goes A-B-C-D-E and produces action XYZ.

This works because we are a nation of people who have been raised to respond to media communications the same way. We laugh at the same jokes and cry at the same sad stories, we cringe at the same pictures of tragedy and disaster and squeal with delight and water at the mouth when promised something sweet to eat.

Here is an article which describes a method for developing your own galvanizing communications sequence and testing it till you know it works.

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

Here’s a link to another article I wrote with tips and ideas on:

How to Be Galvanizing- 22 ways to be galvanizing and interesting to media, prospects and customers
http://blog.directcontactpr.com/public/getting-more-publicity-getting-more-sales-how-to-be-galvanizing

To me and based on my experience with my own books, databases, inventions and clients, perhaps the most powerful thing you can do is make your presentation in the form of a helpful problem solving article or interview. Being helpful is the most important thing you can do to get people interested in what you have to offer. What you offer has to be truly remarkable and useful.

So here’s one more set of ideas for you all about:

Publicizing and Promoting by helping the People You can help the Most
http://blog.directcontactpr.com/public/publicizing-and-promoting-by-helping-people-the-people-you-can-help-the-most

If you do create a script that produces reliable action when you present it to people, of course, then it’s time to incorporate it into news releases and other business proposals and send it out to media and companies and organizations everywhere, so you can use the power of the media as a force multiplier.

I’ll be happy to see that ‘mar-com’ once you’ve created and feel like it’s ready to be pitched.

😉

Timing and galvanizing content – the Rolling Stone article about John McCain

quick analysis of the copywriting style and elements of the Rolling Stone article about John McCain

Sometimes you just have to look and marvel at how well some publishers do their job. This front page article in the October 16, 2008 edition of Rolling Stone Magazine demonstrates all sorts of lessons learned for anyone who yearns for publishing and publicity success. This article is worth reading not just because of the importance of the topic but because of the way it is written. This article captures and demonstrates many of the rules I teach and advocate for my clients.

Look at the timing — three weeks before the election. Lead time is right on.

Look at the headline. Short, catchy, top of mind. Does this present ideas that interest a lot of people in the audience? You betcha!

Look at the subheadline: dramatic personal achievement in the face of adversity plus a little ironic humor. Does this indicate that there’s a lot of value in what follows? You can bet your six pack on it.

Look at that first paragraph. Does it contain the five w’s and weave it into a story that hooks you and engages you emotionally?

Look at the goal and objective of this article. Does it seek to provoke decisive action?

I don’t care which way you lean. From a writing and copywriting standpoint, you can learn a lot about what you need to do to capture media and public attention.

To the editors of Rolling Stone magazine – heartfelt thanks for this gutsy and important article.

Here’s the link:

Make Believe Maverick – October 16, 2008 Rolling Stone Magazine

Professional branding PR and the miracle of the microcosm

design a professional branding PR message by helping the people you can help

What’s the best type of publicity?

It’s publicity that makes people want more of what you do best. It’s publicity that makes people taste and want what only you can do. It’s publicity that is broadcast to groups of people by someone with a publishing vehicle or system that allows your message to be heard by lots of people.

You can get publicity that does this many ways but it to really achieve the branding, you have to realize that you need to craft a very special message.

The message can be developed carefully and intentionally. It all comes down to helping the people you can help the most.

Who can you help? What problem will you help them with?

Use real life experience to guide you.

Who did you help? What problem did you help them with? What exactly did you do or say to solve their problem?

I call this the miracle of the microcosm.

When you can really help one person, you can then help others with the same problem.

If you select and target a person who is representative of a large group of people with that problem, then the solution has value to everyone with that problem.

You can then utilize technology as a force multiplier to repeat the communications you used to reach and share the message with your target audeince of problem owners.

Then incorporate the solution into a script of communications.

You can tell your story an article for print media including newspapers, magazines and their online counterparts. You can tell the story in an interview on radio or TV.

You can then share the story in all sorts of other online media as well. You can tell the story of what you did in an ezine article, a blog post, on a discussion group, a forum post, a pod cast. You can also create a video about it and post it to You Tube and Google Video and use it for education on your web site and others.

All these spinoffs communications can be developed by you once you decide to help the people you can help the most.

And the publicity you get will create interest from other people with the same or similar problems.

You get to be the expert with the knowledge and skill. You tell your story about how you helped.

You can create this type of publicity any time you want.

All you need to do is help someone.

Jim Rohn on working on your fortune part time

Jim Rohn on working on your fortune part time

Jim Rohn is an amazing teacher. He was broke and 25 years old when he met an extraordinary man who taught him some very important and basic things. These things are life changing.

Here is a short session where he explains two very simple concepts that are crucial to making changes in your attitude and how you view what you are doing in your life and work.

1. Success is something you attract by the person you become.

2. Profits are better than wages.

Now once you hear and understand a little more about what he says about these ideas then you’ll grasp the amazing insights and power that flows from these nuggets of wisdom.