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news releases

News Releases Are Not Advertisements

News Releases Are Not Advertisements

Perhaps the very worst part of my job is trying oh so hard to teach people who are remarkable marketers that a news release is not a chance to sell. It’s single purpose is to persuade a media person to give you news coverage. They get very angry and feel abused and insulted when we try to get the to sell product instead of persuade them to share good solid reliable helpful information. Editors do re-write all the time, however, to be successful quickly and maximally, you can’t insert words that require them to take the undesirable action, which is to grab the red pen.

Getting more publicity in newspapers means going beyond the book pages

Strategies and tactics for getting beyond the book review pages

One of my clients expressed her frustration in getting her local paper to give her coverage for a children’s book. Her local paper was The New Orleans Time’s Picayune.

I offer up some of the techniques I use to help identify how to increase your chances of being successful with them and other newspapers and media who cover children’s books.

Use the 3 I Technique and the newspapers’ own search engine.

The 3 I Technique consists of 3 steps:

1. Identify a Success Story (and use this for a model for your own pitch).

2. Imitate It (line by line).

3. Innovate It (with your own information).

Now go to the target media that you want to be in.

I went to Nola.com since this is where you want to be, but you could use Google News, USAToday.com, the NY Times, or any media that you want to target.

Now search on your key words: children’s book

I used the singular (book) to capture both articles that use ‘children’s book’ and ‘children’s books’

Here’s the search:

http://search.nola.com/children%27s+book?date_range=m11

The first set of results included several years’ worth of articles so I used the advanced search engine option to narrow the results to the past 18 months only.

Now start studying the articles. Look to see what the editors write and publish, who the journalists are, what the articles contain in the way of information about the books, the authors, and their stories.

Make a list of the key content you see and realize that this list reveals both the editorial style and readership interests of the media you are studying.

Now use the 3 I Technique and start writing headlines, leads, sentences, paragraphs, and ends that mimic the articles you see.

If you use this process carefully, when you get through you have created a draft article that will very likely have all the characteristics of a feature story that looks like it came right out of the media you are using. You’ve done this on the first try without much pain at all.

Now polish it up and turn it into a news release. Send it to your target media.

You can also now use this same news release and send it to a custom targeted media list of other media.

There are about 2200 media that you can pitch that will consider stories about children’s books and authors in the US and Canada.

This is one of the best ways I know to be successful when you try for reviews and stories.

If all you do is seek a book review, you are narrowing your chances of getting media coverage. Book reviews occupy a very small portion of the overall publication. You have far greater opportunity for media coverage if you expand your horizons and look at other sections of the publications you seek to be in.

To avoid the risk and stigma of being classified as a self-publisher and experiencing the negative response associated with such a determination, you must first make sure that your book has the quality and content of a professionally produced product. This is a given.

Assuming it passes muster, then you must then bring into your pitch for media coverage, news angles and story content that goes well beyond what is covered on the book review pages. You must be totally aware of the type of news, educational information, entertainment information, and human interest data that is used in the other parts of the media publication (or tv or radio show) that you want to be in. Then you must consciously and strategically array and incorporate this type of data and information into your news release.

If you look over the stories in the NOLA search you will see that they do appear to be quite discriminating in what they choose to publish. But there are media coverage opportunities you can aim at. The big area of opportunity appears to be in local book events with a strong community involvement element.

To maximize your chances, you must identify the topics and the content of the articles that you see and then propose and present comparable content.

Now there is a diversity of content demonstrated in the articles. Learn from them. Identify from these articles the characteristics and information that is deemed newsworthy and do your best to present comparable information about yourself.

Just realize that no matter what you do, the media you are pitching to may still have a standard for “celebrity” that may be very difficult indeed to achieve. In the case of NOLA, if you look over the articles they publish on children’s book authors, you will see that the “celebrity” standard is indeed quite high indeed. In the past year, it does not appear that they have even written on article about a local author unless he or she was indeed a best seller or had “national celebrity” status.

You may think that you deserve to be there, but these media may simply still decide that you do not have what they are looking for to justify the coverage to their audience. Accept it and move on. Don’t get in a slump over the media you can’t please. They are making editorial decisions that keep them thriving economically as publishers. Realize that they are very sensitive to the character of their articles and editorial coverage. There are economic reasons that force them to maintain rather strict policies on what they can publish, so as to avoid any loss of revenue. The “self-publishing stigma” is one of those areas. Imagine the consequences of giving media coverage to low quality books. Understand what happens to subscriptions and advertising revenue if the audience decides, that was a pretty poorly done book you wrote about. The quality of the paper goes down if the quality of the content fails to stay at the levels that the paying audience expects and demands. So realize and understand the plight of your fellow publishers. They too are trying to stay alive publishing.

My advice is to try your best, allow yourself to fail, and move on. Stay focused on working with the media that will allow you to reach the people that matter the most to you. Like my client Andy Andrews says “what you focus on get bigger”.

So focus on getting beyond the book pages. Use the 3 I technique to bring your proposal up to the caliber and style of the media you want to be in.

Then present it to that media and all sorts of other similar media who will be interested in this sort of content. You will find that when you use these techniques to create a quality media proposal that contains the type of information, you will see other media respond to that quality content as well.

You can use this combination of tactics any time to maximize your media coverage and success.

Go for it!

Being effective when pitching articles

How to be maximally effective when pitching articles

Client was heading to meetings with the National Speakers Association and she asked me if there was anything I wanted to share with them about how to be most effective when pitching articles. Here’s what I suggested:

To be maximally effective with articles:

1. Do your absolute best to help the people they can help the most on the biggest most pressing problem facing them; and

2. Target the right media with exquisite care and realize that you only need to reach the media who can reach YOUR PEOPLE. No other media matters.

3. Deliver the problem solving content in whatever format the media wants it to be delivered so that it can be easily published and utilized.

Have a great time!

Getting Publicity for Web Seminars Is Very Difficult

Getting Publicity for Web Seminars Is Very Difficult

Have to tell you that I have yet to see media (prime media or even bloggers we pitch to) cover web seminars to any great extent. But to answer the question properly I had to ascertain existing media coverage for those keywords.

So I did the following search at Google News for “web seminars”.

http://news.google.com/news/search?aq=f&pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=web+seminars

You can study the results yourself if you do this search. The proof is right before your eyes.

Here what I saw on Page 1 of the results:

• One AP article from US newspaper article talking about a free government web site web seminar on health insurance (hot topic for obvious reasons)

• One NY Times article on strategies for graduates that talks about using web seminars as a tactic for searching for work

• Three news releases posted at free online news release distribution services (not type of media coverage we are looking for)

• Two online magazine event announcements (topical but online only and good luck finding these unless you specifically look for them)

• Two topical online news service announcements (similar highly limited distribution and actual reach to people issues)

While the AP article appears encouraging, the AP cited to the US government on a hot topic.

The others are all media with very little reach or impact

So there is not one author, expert, or company article to be found in the prime media.

So at least based on this analysis of existing media coverage, the chances of seeing a business web seminar getting picked up nearly non-existent in newspapers, radio, TV, news services and news syndicates.

You may see a few pickups in trade magazines, but the possibilities of people in a given target audience are remote given the extreme paucity of bona fide media coverage that is revealed from the Google News results.

So what can you do?

Stay with the known proven tactics that perform well.

To date, media will run (in order of effectiveness and ROI to you)

– problem solving tips article by authors and experts

– local event announcements with significant community engagement

– human interest stories

– book reviews in media that serve the people you are trying to reach the most

Since the client I was working with was seeking targeted publicity that brands her and she sought to see interested people contact her for books, speaking and consultation, the best tactic I could recommend is for her to use the problem solving tips article approach.

It is the only reliable proven way to let people see and experience what she can do for them so that they act by asking for her to do more of the same for them.

How do you get book reviewers to look at your book?

An analysis of the ways to get more book reviews

How do you get reviewers to look at your book?

Getting reviews is to me just one form of publicity, and it’s not even the best form of publicity for generating sales.

I’ll try to explain how I perceive the process and seek to explain what I believe we are up against.

Book reviewers are people who review books and like many people, many of them are trying to make a living writing and publishing their reviews.

They are media! They are best viewed as fellow publishers who are writing to sell. They make money writing and publishers and make decisions based on how their writing and publishing impacts the number of subscribers and the advertising revenue the number of subscribers allows them to receive as well.

They have limited amount of time in a day they are forced to make decisions as regards what to read and write about. They choose to focus on the areas that interest them the most because they will write best about subjects that they care about the most. They also choose to spend their time on books that they will enjoy reading and that will interest their audience.

Even bloggers ask “what’s in it for me?” because they want to publish articles that at the very least increase the number of eyeballs on their blog and hence drive whatever income they make off their blog.

What they seek then is good books. Books that command attention and allow them to drive traffic.

So when you pitch a book to a reviewer you have to make them see and understand how reviewing your book will impact their income. You have to understand who they are, who they are writing for, and what that audience wants and are willing to pay for.

The pitch you send it very important because that news release is the very proposal that influences what they then do. A news release is not an advertisement. It is not designed to sell a book. It is a proposal for media coverage, and it explains what you have and why it is important and to whom. It also give the media what they need to do their job, or at least contains an offer by you to help them do their job.

So this pitch is very important.

Media look at this pitch even before they look at the product – your book. They ask three key questions:

1. How many people in MY audience are going to be interested in this?

2. What’s in it for MY audience?

The answer to both these questions has to be A LOT!

You have to demonstrate and even prove to the reviewer that lots of people will be interested and the story and content of the article they get to write and publish, or the show they get to produce and air (whether it’s radio or TV of even blog radio or streaming TV), has lots of news, education or entertainment value.

Those are the first two crucial hurdles. If you make it over those hurdles, you reach then next big hurdle.

3. How much time, effort, and money or people will it take for me to do
my job?

The answer to this has to be “so little I can make a profit”.

In other words, you hand them a ready to go published article or even a review that can be modified easily.

And that’s just to get them to even be willing to look at your book.

Then you get to send it to them. The book and package you send is the next decision point. This is where the rubber meets the road. What happens next is dependent on what they experience and how they feel with the book and your pitch in their hands.

What they first and foremost are looking for is VALIDATION. They need quality content that offers relevant timely and value laden news, education or entertainment for their particular audience. If it helps them sell subscriptions, you can get in.

That’s what you’ve got to communicate to them. That’s what you’ve got to offer and that’s what you have to deliver.

If you do that, you will succeed in getting them interested no matter what type of publisher you are. The door will open and media will let you present more information and you might get media coverage for you or your author and the book. Getting reviews and getting feature story coverage for an author and a book is a process.

So very simply, when you deliver the book and your detailed media proposal for coverage, the content and the quality have to be sufficient to carry the day.

Whether it is self-published or not doesn’t matter that much. Even if you publish as an ebook, the product format is not that important.

But the publication quality has to be good enough so that the media has the confidence in the credibility of the author and isn’t turned off and scared off.

It’s the essential validation that helps persuade another publisher that it makes good economic and business sense to publish a story and not regret making that decision later.

So what do you need to do?

You need to create a quality product. The cover has to be quality, the layout needs to be professional and the writing and content has to be quality.

Then you need to create a develop, test and re-test and refine your communications so that you have a persuasive pitch.

Now to me this is the miracle of the microcosm because we have 330 million media trained and indoctrinated people in this country and they tend to respond the same way to media communications. We laugh at the same jokes, cry at the same sad stories and get turned on by the same scantily dresses celebrities. We see media messages everywhere that are designed to get us to buy things.

The miracle to is that you can do this anywhere as long as you pay attention to what you say and do and learn what it takes to turn YOUR people on. You get this feedback whenever you speak about your book to people. You figure out whenever you make a sale what you said that resulted in the interest and the sale. You capture that.

Then you use it in your Marcom. You find out what to say that gets people to want more of what you have to offer. You use it to sell product and you use it to get media coverage and reviews.

What’s the very best galvanizing media publicity you can get that will produce the maximum ROI? I don’t think it’s a book review. I think it’s a three to five minute piece that galvanizes people with you doing what you absolutely do the best.

So how do you develop this? Here’s what I recommend you do:

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 me your eight to ten best tips, problem solving actions, ideas, jokes, or lessons learned for this audience. 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).

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 is what you pitch to media people for reviews and articles.

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 the most. You have to focus less on passive ideas and more on actions that people can take to deliver immediate or tangible real time or near term benefits, impacts, or predictable
consequences. This forms the core content to the news release/show
proposal pitch.

That is what you need to do to get more reviews, and better still, get more lengthy and detailed and galvanizing feature stories, which in my experience sell lots more books.

In a POD publishing world, you get to optimize this process inexpensively since your printing costs are so reduced. You also get to maximize the profits if you sell direct.

What you need to remember is that every media publisher has a unique audience and unique set of needs. And you need to address their needs if you are going to gain their cooperation and get what you want.

Case in point: I’ll give you a real life example from today. This is one of the most memorable rejections I’ve received of late and it illustrates exactly how media evaluate a proposal.

I wrote and transmitted a news release for a self-published POD author Eileen Dey, who wrote a book about Reiki. The book teaches about the benefits of Reiki. Veterans day is approaching and we have two live wars in progress so the news release focused on how war veterans and other people affected by post traumatic stress were enlisting Reiki in helping achieve relief. The targeted media list included personal health media, military and veterans, mental health and of course I included the new age media and those interested in paranormal phenomenon.

Media responded with requests for review copies and in many cases their emails indicated how they viewed the subject and the proposal. The medical media with a narrow focus on the evidence based medicine and a pathological basis were close minded since Reiki is not exactly mainstream medicine. Others who are more open to the Eastern alternative health practices and mind, body, spirit were favorable and interested.

The most noteworthy of the media responses of the day was this one.

The email came back from the editor of Witches and Pagans magazine. The editor said and I quote:

“Unless your author is a self-avowed Witch, Pagan, or Heathen, we wouldn’t be interested.”

How Important is a News Release?

What a news release does and why they are so important

How Important is a News Release?

A news release is the key deliverable for those seeking publicity (much like a résumé is for job seekers, or a contract is for contract seekers).

If a news release works you can get an article in a newspaper, an interview on radio or TV and information about you will be placed in front of an audience of people who can take action based on what they learn about you.

With publicity comes increased interest, name recognition, calls from prospects, sales, and profits. Compared to advertising and direct marketing, publicity is very, very inexpensive to acquire.

The publicity you can generate with a news release can be phenomenally valuable. You can inform people and generate interest in your products and services, educate and entertain hundreds, thousands, even millions of people, drive traffic to a website or get people to attend an event and as a result acquire fame and recognition.

But if the news release fails to capture the attention of an editor or producer, your business, event, or idea may wind up in the trash along with it.

When I published the original Trash Proof News Releases in 2001, the primary ways you could send a news release were:

1. street mail
2. fax
3. e-mail
4. in person
5. telephone

Internet based media platforms and personal communication devices have evolved considerably in the past seven years. In addition to those outlets listed above, we now have:

1. web pages
2. regular search engines
3. news search engines
4. specialized search engines
5. online libraries, directories, databases
6. newsletters and ezines
7. discussion groups and mailing lists
8. forums
9. audio and podcasts
10. video (You Tube)
11. chat rooms
12. blogs
13. social media (MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc)
14. cell phones and PDA’s

The technology continues to evolve, get smaller, and faster. The way we receive news continues to change.

But the message you create when you send a news release to persuade media to give you exposure is the crucial starting point. What you write, say, or look like influences their decision and if they decide in your favor people get to read, watch or listen to some version of your message. Your news release to the media is the key – the crucial proposal that determines what media do.

What you place into a news release determines whether you get media coverage. If the message is deemed newsworthy, you can fly across the media and soar to majestic heights like an eagle in the wind.

If the message fails to incite media interest, then it sinks like a rock in a pond, never to see the light of day again.

The successful news release provides a story arc, anticipates questions (who, what, where, when, why, and how?), triggers an emotional connection, and leads the media who reads it to a decision to share you and your message with an audience of people.

In the face of the hundreds and even thousands of other people competing for media attention, this is no easy task.

Oftentimes, you’re trying to capture all the most meaningful aspects of your life’s efforts in one single phrase. You must outshine all the other twinkling stars in the night.

The success of a news release resides primarily in the quality of the copywriting. It must address the needs of the media outlet, its sponsors, and its audience. Those audience members can tell the difference between content and advertisement pretty easily, so your news release must be pitched perfectly if it’s going to accomplish both your aims and the media’s. It must be concise, easy to understand, interesting, believable, value-laden, and actionable.

That’s what you need to do when you create a news release.

The length of a news release doesn’t matter anymore.

The length of a news release doesn’t matter at all anymore. This is email. We create and transmit articles ready to go and they are used for both print (even as is), interviews (the Q & A’s are right there), and as a pitch if media decide they want more, less or even something else. It allows them the freedom of choice and they like it and respond to it.

Quality matters. Content, originality, innovation, and value to the audience matters.

We use what creative driven people bring to us and we focus on the biggest problem facing the audience they want to reach. Then we offer to solve that problem and we do our best to help the people we can help the most.

This process works and gets us more coverage in the right places than any other method I’ve ever seen used.

This is how we achieve professional branding that not only results in book sales, but in the case of people with multiple income streams, it sells everything they have to offer.

That’s how come so many experts and people with experience and mature businesses do so well with the publicity they get. Even one single sale of a consulting contract can be worth many tens of thousands of dollars.

Book Publicity for Fiction Writers

22 Questions for Fiction Writers to Answer and Use to Get More Book Publicity

One core set of quality content that’s entertaining, educational and sheds light on your personality and the unique things you bring to your writing and the value it has for people all make for a good recipe for author success with the media.

What can you talk about that’s interesting and invites people to learn more about you and your book?

1. Describe your book in 50 words or less:

2. How did your book come about?

3. Can you tell us about the story and a bit about the main characters?

4. What has been your experience with (the subject of your book)

5. How does it relate to what happens in your story?

6. What are some of the rules or prejudices you’d like to see changed about (your subject)?

7. How did you do your background research?

8. Where do you research information for your books?

9. How has the community responded to your work?

10. How did your work on this get started? Where do your characters come from?

11. What can you say about (aspect of writing) and what it plays in your work?

12. What do you find to be most exciting about (name the issue)?

13. How did you get your start in writing? What, if anything, lit the “spark” to get you started and keep you motivated?

14. What are you currently working on?

15. What are your favorite and least favorite things about being a writer?

16. What do you do in your spare time, when you aren’t writing?

17. What was the last book you read and would you recommend it?

18. How have the books you’ve read influenced the books you write?

19. What do you do when you’re having writer’s block to “shake” it off?

20. Have you ever had to overcome real tragedy or hardship in your life?

21. What makes a good (type of book, e.g., thriller?)

22. What do you enjoy more, writing or discovering other people’s work?

If you write 50 to 100 word answers to these questions you can then offer them to media as a news release, feature story content about your book, an email questionnaire for bloggers, interview article, and Q & A’s for a radio or TV talk shopw interview.

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).