January 4th, 2013 by Paul Krupin
Advice to politicians about how to get more and better media coverage
A political staffer for a member of Congress asked me for advice on how to get more coverage and better coverage. Here’s what I recommended:
1. Stick with the important facts and keep it short and to the point. I know that’s hard for politicians, but that’s what media want.
2. Get rid of all pithy quotes and remarks, all self-laudatory praise, any tedious, boring and useless blather, and anything you can’t prove with the facts. Nail it with style, using the smallest tool needed every time.
3. Tackle controversy head on, state your position distinctively and with precision, but avoid partisan platform brown bag advocacy, being pedantic, winey, or argumentative. Express passion and emotion when it is called for, but don’t go overboard and rant and rave. Be aware for your previous positions and explain the reasons for any change of heart, position or direction.
4. Indicate the vehicles for people to send comments, express their opinion and to provide feedback and the express an active and sincere willingness to listen to the people. You may find that funny and scary, but it really does impress people.
5. Offer media what they need to do their job (factual validation, photos, Q & A’s, interview opportunities, and visual aids). Make it fit the format of the media you are working with and make it unique for them.
6. Offer media easy access to the people that matter but not intermediaries or to people who don’t matter. Make it easy not hard to do interviews and schedule news conferences frequently. Give media the lead time they need to schedule and deploy the resources needed to give you what you want. Media coverage is valuable so use it wisely and get good at it.
7. Target the media who matter. Identify the people who will be interested and affected and pitch and feed to the media that they watch, read or listen.
June 18th, 2012 by Paul Krupin
Magic in a Message! Creating the IrresistIble Pitch
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY AND DEVELOP THE IRRESISTIBLE PITCH?
I write a lot of blog posts on this. I call this the miracle of the microcosm.
You need to learn how to turn people on so that they come to you for more of what you are offering.
Perhaps the simplest and most powerful suggestion I can you suggest to you is that you use The 3 I Technique
a. Identify a Success Story
b. Imitate the Success Story
c. Innovate with Your Own Information
This is a technique I recommend you experiment with. You can do this with any type of marketing communications. It basically focuses you on identifying a model of success and mimicking it as you create your own message. The idea is simple – follow in the footsteps of someone who is doing things that are successful.
You can use Google news for example on the word “troubleshooting tips” which I did for you here: http://goo.gl/gMO74
There are over 1,000 articles for you to study. Some are news releases, some are articles in newspapers and others are article in magazines and trade publications. Now your goal is to pick ONE! Find one about someone else, that is really interesting and motivates you the way you want to motivate others. This is your model success story.
Then open up your word processing program and start writing. Look at their headline, and then write your own. Then do their first sentence, then write your own. Then do their first paragraph, and write your own. You walk your way all the way through the article to the last sentence.
You may find this to be very mechanical, but guess what, it works. If for example, you use a story in USA Today as your model, and you use this technique, then you create an article that matches readership interest and editorial style on the first try. It looks like it belongs there.
And when you send it to USA Today, you maximize your chances of being successful with them because they tend to recognize when you’ve done your homework. And if it’s good enough for USA Today, then other media will respond to it as well.
Identify the successes of your competition or the authors in your genre. Study what they use to be successful and follow in their footsteps. If you are a story teller, tell stories. If you are a horror writer, scare and horrify people. If you write sci-fi, then talk about the future. Give people and experience. Engage them and let them experience something that is truly emotionally engaging. Don’t be boring. Be stimulating. Choose what you say carefully. Plan it out, test it, select and rehearse, like an actor or an actress on stage.
What you do is you talk about the ideas and concepts in your book and how it affects others. People are really only interested in things that have value to their own lives or others that they care about. That is what you must offer. I have a little poetic like formula which I wrote which describes what you need to do which goes like this:
Tell me a story
give me a local news angle (my audience!)
touch my heart (make me laugh or cry)
teach me something new
astound or amaze me,
make my stomach churn with horror or fear,
hit me in my pocketbook
or turn me on.
And you do this as many times as you can in two to three minutes.
If you study your target media and employ the 3-I technique, you will see that news coverage is largely predictable. Consumers and editors are drawn to types of stories that have worked well in the past. If you want to receive coverage, it’s important that you get familiar with these content patterns and do your best to replicate them.
The reason is simple: media publish what sells. To be in media you have to give them what they publish. Therefore to maximize your chances, you give it to them their way.
Now I’ve been doing this with clients for years and I’ve characterized the many patterns and ways media publish. The following list of most commonly featured content is derived from analyzing successful media coverage of my clients in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV:
1. A dramatic personal story that describes achievement in the face of adversity plus a little humor.
2. A problem-solving-tips article on a timely topic that shows how you can help the people that you can help the most.
3. An innovative product or service that people want because of the remarkable benefits offered.
4. A dramatic and interesting photograph that tells a 1,000-word story at a glance.
5. A new development or situation that affects lots of people in a unique way.
6. A personal battle between the forces of good and evil, or David and Goliath.
7. A truly heartwarming tale with a happy or remarkable ending.
8. New effective techniques or tactics to improving a problem or situation that is commonly faced.
9. New form of creativity that makes people feel good or experience heightened emotions.
10. A story that makes people cringe in fear, howl with delight, or experience intense desire or want.
11. An explanation of a mystery that confounds a lot of people.
12. News, analysis, and commentary on a controversial issue or topic.
13. Localized stories and media access to the local people involved.
14. Innovative and new ways to have fun, save money, help people, increase their enjoyment, protect the environment, and help them get more out of life.
15. Unusual, hot, and wacky ideas, products, activities, and situations.
16. Mouthwatering recipes, food, culinary delights, or opportunities.
17. Educational, unusual, hard-to-believe, never-before-revealed, or fascinating news, data, information, or stories.
18. Record-breaking achievements, competitions, paradoxes, dilemmas, anything that confounds the human spirit.
19. Knowledge, ideas, or information that astounds, enlightens, and inspires people to experience new feelings.
20. Remarkable little things people may not know about, that will make their dreams come true.
This is the way to make use of the miracle of the microcosm. These are weapons of mass persuasion, in part because readers and viewers know the arc of these pieces by heart. This familiarity soothes them and allows them to concentrate on the particulars of your story.
This is how you first develop and prove what you can say that turns people on and gets them to take the action you want, and then use technology as a force multiplier to repeat the message and reproduce the action you want in quantity.
If you follow my advice, please send me what you create. I’d love to see it.
May 14th, 2012 by Paul Krupin
Is this all there is? Selling books is a bitch!
I posted this today on the Yahoo Self Publishing group in response to a frustrated author.
” I wonder if it as simple as perhaps we are not asking people to buy our books? You can get the freebie advertising but it is like throwing chum to fish. You might get their attention but unless you hook them by the lip you are not going to catch any. …… Musicians and published authors actually go out and play their music or do book signings. Buddy Holly hated touring (and it killed him) but his record sales needed the public appearances.”
I don’t think asking people to buy your book is simple at all. I don’t think it’s as effective as tantalizing them and persuading them.
Most authors and even most publishers devote very little time and effort into the identification, targeting, messaging, acquisition and activation of buyers for their books. Yet figuring this out is crucial.
Even with the incredible technologies available online, people don’t know how to create the messages and communications that pull people in. Instead, they either do very little (as in, build it and they will come), or they push the product, find out how hard it is, and then give up because so few people buy the book.
You can do a lot with the media and technologies online if you seek to understand how people buy or get engaged with your books, products or services.
1. People discover a need, or want to solve a problem.
2. They begin a search usually online, but it can happen on social media like FB or Twitter or any number of other places (including discussion groups like this one)
3. But they really don’t look very hard. They only pay attention to the first few things they discover or the first few recommendations they get from people they have familiarity with.
4. People also tend to go and hang out where they are invited, accepted, entertained or educated.
Now for every type of book, product or service, there are thus hundreds if not thousands of places to search and become associated with.
But as most people now know, you can’t easily sell product and survive the act of asking. You must provide helpful, non-sales laden information, guidance, education or entertainment with subtle links that lead you back to your site. That’s where the real sales process then begins.
So what do you do?
1. Determine who your audience really is! Identify who your best targeted customers are and then figure out where they hang out. Your goal is to then learn how to be prominent and highly regared wherever they hang out.
2. You need to identify the type of content that will turn them on. Is it action laden excerpts? Is it drama? Is it illustrations, games, videos, or helpful tips?
3. You need to learn how to communicate so that your content works wherever you place it. The post for a blog is not automatically what you place in a tweet. The content and the trail of breadcrumbs has to fit the medium.
4. You need to participate in the communities meaningfully. You answer questions and provide feedback, offer tips, advice, stories, humor, experience and enthusiasm, so that people are inspired and get interested and so that you trigger the action to go to your site to explore your product.
5. You create content that people want to link to, want to share, and want to give to others.
This is what you try to do with media when you do publicity. Only now, EVERYONE is a publisher who is trying to make money off subscriptions and/or advertising.
If you do it reasonably well, you get dozens or articles or posts.
If you do phenomenally well, you go viral.
You don’t just write in a vacuum. You develop, test, deploy, analyze and improve.
My simple acronym for this process is this: CACA
C – Create
A – Ask
C – Create again
A – Ask again
Once you prove the message works in your backyard, only then can and should you use technology to try to repeat the success widely.
Your objective is to keep on placing things before YOUR people so they can decide to participate, play or purchase.
But just realize that this is hard to do. Think about it! When was the last time you read the newspaper, and went and grabbed your credit card.
Yet very often, a single piece of information triggers a desire that brings something to mind that does indeed get you to take action. Then and only then do you search for the contact information, the email, the phone or the order form.
Few authors realize that creating the book is only the beginning. To be successful they have to find satisfaction in connecting with people again and again till they get enough action to pay for their investment in the work they created. It’s not just mechanics and technology.
It’s not just fine art or excellence in creative writing.
There’s persistent, dedicated systematic communication outreach that has to drive people to action.
Success often lives or dies with the close monitoring of the one-to one relationship developed between the author and his or her audience.
That is where the author must determine “what did I do and say that turned you on?”
Learn this and you can use the technologies.
Fail to learn this and nothing happens.
January 19th, 2012 by Paul Krupin
Promoting and Marketing on Facebook
> Trying to promote books on Facebook is as pointless as trying to buy
> groceries in a church. It’s just not there. Been there, done that. Don’t
> waste your time. You can’t put “likes” in the bank.
OMG, failure certainly speaks louder than success.
Promoting as in marketing books with the immediate goal of selling books on Facebook is not how it works. This is not a direct marketing method of communication.
That’s simply not the right way to approach the use of these instant publishing technologies.
Think about what results in people taking action and sharing on Facebook.
They read and/or see something short, sweet, and incredibly thought provoking. They may comment on it if it’s worthy of comment. And they may share it if it’s value packed and worthy of sharing with others.
It’s a filtration process. The cream rises to the top.
Notice that only the really good noteworthy and excellent ideas and knowledge are passed on from person to person.
If you are going to intentionally and strategically use these technologies, you simply have to focus on creating messages that are worth sharing.
The Bottom Line: Quality and excellence is what triggers action.
I harp on this all the time. If you learn how to turn people on first, THEN you get to leverage the technologies to repeat the message and trigger the actions you want to happen.
Leave a trail of tasty intellectual candy and people will keep on taking bites and eventually want to buy the whole bag.
You can leverage, maximize and benefit from posting good, positive, enthusiastic, entertaining, and educational information.
You can see your ideas shared if what you post is truly noteworthy ideas, writing, photos, and helpful support every chance you get with every post you make.
You cannot just believe you are good. You must BE REALLY GOOD. In fact, other people must find what you shared to be so good, they are driven to share that incredible goodness with others.
This is real time public relations. You want to learn how to do this with Facebook, and every other media (= prime media, Internet media and yes, now even social media) you try to get published in.
If you write something that is really, really good, people will share it. But you have to learn how to create and make use of micro marcom.
I’ve been studying and developing successful strategies that people utilize for micro-marcom (micro marketing communications) for a while now. The media are masters at this.
The best way to use FB and other technologies is to make use of little tiny galvanizing nuggets of clarity.
You see the tweets in their headlines on Google News, in newspaper headlines, and in chyrons on TV. They hint of stories that will be dramatic, personal, achievement in the face of adversity plus humor. You can see these headlines are designed to be Attention Grabbing Short Phrases, with a link to get you to sit through “the rest of the story”. Study these tweets and you’ll see they basically fall into one of the following seven categories:
Someone in Trouble
Someone Saved or Rescued
Something Bad Happened
Something Good Happened
If you are going to use Facebook and all these media to promote, you will be most successful if you stay as personal as you are talking to your best friends and giving them your very, very best.
And you have to be quick about it. You can provide a link so they can get more goodness, and by golly it had better be as good as you said it is!
This way the image and impression you create is always helpful, educational, fun, entertaining, and worthwhile.
You can choose to create a personal brand that people always want to enjoy, and that results in people sharing what you offer, because it is simply so good.
When they like what you do, they will act to get more of you.
July 10th, 2010 by Paul Krupin
Book marketing case study of book marketing success by a self published author
I love this. Here’s a story that illustrates one of my primary rules for getting publicity.
Take a look at The NY Times July 9, 2010 feature story about self published author Randy Kearse selling over 14,000 books by himself on the subways of New York City
This story illustrates The DPAA+H Rule. The story captures the five essential elements of a great human interest feature story:
It’s DRAMATIC and PERSONAL
It tells a story about a real person who seeks ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY
Finally it adds in an element of HUMOR.
It’s all here and this story shows how it can be done.
This story illustrates another of my key concepts – The Miracle of the Microcosm.
Randy has developed an experience based communication script that captures his magic words that turn people on and get sufficient numbers of people to take action. They buy his books.
He has a specific goal and knows that he must present to enough people to hit his goal each day.
He has developed and documented a systematic repeatable process for achieving a known level of financial success each day.
The article talks about Randy in ways that make him very likeable and very approachable. Several of his books are also mentioned along the way and he is positioned as being a very helpful dedicated and innovative individual who seeks to achieve financial success while he does his best helping others.
This is a beautiful example of the best publicity one can get.
Congratulations to Randy Kearse.
April 15th, 2010 by Paul Krupin
Book Reviews VS. Feature Stories - Which Sells More?
I personally don’t believe that book reviews sell as many books as do feature stories. Yes, they have a role to play, but it’s actually a very limited role. The real gains are to be made with galvanizing feature stories.
The key to understanding this is that book reviews tend to simply show and tell the book and what’s inside the book while good feature stories are designed to galvanize and get people emotionally involved. If what people see gives them an experience, then they are far more inclined to take the action desired, which is to step closer to the book and the author. Articles about the author also tend to produce a professional branding effect. this means that if people read and like what they see, then they will be inclined to buy everything the author has for sale.
This means that if you put down the book, stop selling the product for a second and focus on doing what you do best – entertaining your audience and giving them your best, then this is when you stand your best chance of saying and doing something that will really turn people on.
Give people an experience. Make them laugh, cringe, make them hungry, solve a painful problem, make them feel good, feel bad, feel sexy, or feel awed and inspired.
Do that and they’ll remember you.
That’s what really causes people to pay attention and buy what you are selling.
April 3rd, 2010 by Paul Krupin
Don't sell the book
Don’t just say, I wrote a book. Please buy my new book.
Do your best and make a really good impression.
Let your book go. Go beyond the book. Give people news. Educate. Entertain. Explain. Exhort them to take action.
Do your best at whatever you do.
if you are a comedian, make people laugh.
If you are a teacher, teach them something new, and make them realize the importance of that knowledge in a way that changes their lives, for the better, forever.
If you are an auto mechanic, help them with a problem and solve it easier and fatser than they ever imagined.
If you are a children’s book author, make the children smile.
If you are a health and fitness expert, help people lose a few pounds and enjoy it.
If you are a financial expert, take the mystery out of an important money making or cost producing event or happening and make it easy for them to find out more if they want to.
If you are a fiction author, tell a really good story. Make people interested in your genre by sharing something fascinating and intersting about the story you wrote or the history and facts upon which your story is based, or the characters and what they represent to you.
Help the people you can help the most. Do what you are best at. Be exceptional.
And do it in 30 seconds.
If you do that, they will remember you, and they will share you, your ideas, and your products or your services with others.
December 5th, 2009 by Paul Krupin
Discussion of the differences between marketing, PR and advertising
Great discussion over at Yahoo Small PR Agency Pros
I’ll throw in a little twist here to focus on what a person who works for a living has to do to communicate and accomplish these various and distinctive roles and objectives.
Advertising: paying for the creation and placement of communications so that target audiences of the selected media take the action wanted (which for products and services is usually sales, but for politicians could be votes, or for organizations, could be social action).
Marketing: the creation and management of programs and people and the execution of strategies, tactics and actions to achieve sales and profits of products or services (or votes or social action).
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).
And btw, if the latter is what you spend a lot of your time doing, my new book Trash Proof News Releases is up on Smashwords – it’s a free download. It’s expressly designed to be an immense help to anyone who even thinks about writing a news release. I basically spend whole chapters of the book trying to explain clarify and communicate the difference between PR, and marketing and advertising, since what I see day in day out is otherwise successful marketing people fail to realize the difference between these distinctive functions, and the different types of MarCom copy required for each.
Book page to download Trash Proof News Releases Smashwords edition:
The book can be viewed online or downloaded in ten different formats.
May 21st, 2009 by Paul Krupin
What is a News Release? Really!
So much confusion over this simple question. Here’s my definition of a news release:
A written proposal:
– containing a request for media coverage
– and/or an offer to provide media the content needed to achieve that end.
A news release is either sent directly to media decision makers directly (e.g., by fax, email, street mail, etc.) or placed where they can find it and use it (as when it is posted to a news search engine using a news release distribution service).
A news release is not an advertisement. You do not pay for coverage and do not control what the media says. It is a document that persuades media to give you media coverage. Your degree of success is often based on how much of what you give them to do their job is actually used.
You must provide media with information that matches what they are accustomed to publishing (or producing). Usually this means the content must be news, education or entertainment, or opinion or commentary.
If you have a different objective, then perhaps you should not be thinking what you are writing or need to write is a news release at all.
It’s OK to have a different objective. There are other types of marcom (marketing communications) you can choose to achieve a goal. It also means your target audience is not likely to be media people. You will need a different targeted list of people to match your objective.
But if publicity in media is what you want, you write a news release.
January 15th, 2009 by Paul Krupin
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
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
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
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.