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Publicity Planner for 2014

Publicity Planner for 2014 - a forward-looking publicity calendar to help identify opportunities for media coverage and publicity

Every year I create a forward-looking publicity calendar to help identify opportunities for people which is available in a free pdf file download.

It contains a lot of unusual holidays so that you can get creative, think ahead, and identify ways to tie-in to calendar events well in advance of the day they occur.

Here’s the links to the Publicity Planner for 2014:

http://www.directcontactpr.com/files/files/publicitycalendar2014.pdf (full color)

http://www.directcontactpr.com/files/files/2014PublicitycalendarBW.pdf (light color version for printing)

Share freely. Happy Holidays everyone! Stay safe. Enjoy!

When can you send out a news release? Answer: as soon as your books are available!

Timing and lead time on sending out a news release about a book available for review

My rule of thumb is that you can send out a news release offering books for review as long as:

1. you have books for the media to review and can ship them within a week or so of getting the request

2. the book is available for purchase on Amazon and your web site at a minimum (and maybe other places as well).

Timing is roughly based on when you want the publicity to hit taking into account the normal lead time the media needs to do what they do even if they decide to do a feature story, an interview or a book review the day your book arrives in their hands. Your web site and Amazon need to be in place and operational so you derive the financial benefit of your promotion.

Now from experience (and I do send out lots of news releases for authors and publishing companies), 95 percent of the media response to a news release transmitted by email occurs within 24 to 48 hours of delivery. Then you have to stuff a package (with a book and a copy of your news release at a minimum), send it by street mail (I recommend First Class or Priority and never media mail), then wait for delivery (five to seven days), then wait for the media to review the book or take action (review time on the book and work time to take action on your proposal for media coverage).

The minimum lead time for media is usually two to three publishing cycles. So for online media you can estimate that even once they get the book and if they read it right away, it’s one to two weeks. For daily newspapers it is two to three weeks. Same for radio. TV varies on the urgency and perceived interest but the normal lead time is three to four weeks. For magazines, the lead time if four to six months.

I recommend you transmit your news release on timed for Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday delivery. The media tend to operate on a five day work week. Saturday and Sunday they are gone. Friday tends to be a bad day because they are wrapping things up and trying to get their desk cleared before the weekend. Monday is a bad day because they are catching up from Friday and also have staff meeting and priority assignment from on high. By Tuesday, you can get the maximum attention to read and respond to your proposal and it gives the media the rest of the week to identify, allocate and deploy the resources needed to give you the type of publicity you seek.

You may think that sending an eBook will expedite reviews. Don’t make that assumption. Media seek to validate when they get a review copy. They want to make sure they recommend something good that has real value. The ebook or pdf file is too readily deleted, discarded or ignored for you to trust a media to do a quality review. The best way I know to maximize your success with media is to make a quality presentation and give them what they need to do the best job you want done. Send them a quality book, a quality pitch, photographs of the cover and the author, plus feature story quality content and value.

Publicity success story – Self-published author makes the Wall Street Journal

Self-published author makes the Wall Street Journal

Mini brag and congratulations to client Glen R. Sontag, author of Anything Other Than Naked, for being featured in a half page article on Wall Street Journal on Thursday July 14, 2011.

Read the article here: http://snipurl.com/13e54f

He made p. 2 in the Personal Journal section in the On Style column. The print version of the article takes up ½ page and includes 5 books on fashion which are reviewed. His book is the most prominently displayed in the full color photo.

ANYTHING OTHER THAN NAKED
is a small, illustrated 86-page book with separate chapters on how to evaluate, select, and wear each item of clothing—from suits, shirts, ties, and trousers to sweaters, belts, shoes, and outerwear.

The best quote from the article highlights why other men should trust his advice:

“Gentlemen might ask: Why take style advice from Glen R. Sondag, a former financial adviser and U.S. Air Force captain? Well, for one thing, because his mother sewed and he helped her, so he knows his way around wool, cotton and silk. More to the point, Mr. Sondag has been working outside the fashion world for 35 years. His slim volume, “Anything Other Than Naked,” is full of practical, direct advice.”

I love it. He helped his mother sew.

I worked on the project with Jim and Lynda O’Connor. We created a two page problem solving tips article for his outreach effort and made some phone calls. We sent out the news release twice a two week period in March 2011. So the time between news release transmittal and media publication was four months. The custom media list we developed targeted fashion, clothes, men’s interest, and work/life. The WSJ was one of over 80 media requests or review copies acquired as a result of the outreach effort. The WSJ has an audited circulation of 2,117,796.

🙂 Glen’s author website http://anythingotherthannaked.com is worthy of inspection as a masterpiece of simplicity and beautiful design that matches his style and elegance. It is a great example of letting people see and know exactly who you are.

Kudos to Glen.

Publicity Planning – Look ahead and pay attention to lead times

Publicity Planning - Look ahead and pay attention to lead times

Pay attention to lead time and start working on publicity well in advance of holidays and calendar events:

It’s August 23, 2010

Labor Day is two weeks away
Salami Day is Sept 7 this year
Rosh hashanah is Sept 9
Patriot Day (9/11 day) is two and a half weeks away
Grandparents Day is Sept 12
International Chocolate Day is Sept 13
Columbus Day is two months away
Fall is four weeks away
Halloween is two months away
Thanksgiving is three months away
Christmas is four months away

Plan ahead and pay close attention to media lead times.

Best days to transmit your news releases are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Plan and write copy Friday through Monday. Plan ahead and start writing early.

Critical lead times: Blogs, Daily Newspapers, Radio and TV – seven to ten days. Weekly newspapers – four to six weeks. Magazines – four to six months.

Free media calendar available at http://www.directcontactpr.com/files/files/Publicityplan2010.pdf

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).

Publicity Planner for 2010

Publicity Planner for 2010

Publicity Planner for 2010

Each year I create an annual publicity plan to help people look ahead and map out their ideas for acquiring publicity throughout the year.

This unique publicity planner provides a month-at-a-glance roadmap to holidays throughout the year and identifies the lead time for each holiday.

The special design makes it easy to develop a detailed personalized framework of key dates and events so that you map out your strategy and ideas to promote your book or your writing in 2010.

You can get it along with lots of other free downloads here

Publicity Planner for 2010 – http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-downloads/

Or just click here to download the pdf file stratight away.

http://www.directcontactpr.com/files/files/Publicityplan2010.pdf

Publicity Planning for Fall of 2009

Publicity Planning for Fall of 2009

If you want to get more publicity, then you need to look ahead and identify the opportunities that will be coming your way.

So get out your calendar and think about what sort of article you’d like to see come out in the months ahead.

Identify the holiday or date or season that allows you to create a tie-in.

Then craft a news release or an article that’s appropriate for that date or event.

Pay attention to the crucial lead times and transmit the pitch idea to the right media to ensure that your proposal gets the timely consideration and attention it deserves.

To help you identify what’s coming up, here’s a quick look ahead at the next few months of opportunities.

Today is August 19, 2008

Ramadan begins Friday

Labor Day is three weeks away
Columbus Day is three weeks away
Grandparents Day is three weeks away

Rosh Hashanah is one month away
Yom Kippur is one month away
Fall is one month away

Halloween is two months away
Election Day is two and a half months away

Thanksgiving is three months away

Christmas is four months away
New Years Day is four plus months away

Valentine’s Day is five months away

Critical lead times: Daily Newspapers, Radio and TV – seven to ten days. Weekly newspapers – four to six weeks. Magazines – four to six months.

Best days to transmit your news releases are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Plan and write copy Friday through Monday. Plan ahead and start writing early.

You can get your free 2009 Annual Publicity Plan download here.