Marketing and Promotion Using News Releases
When you write a news release your goal is to get publicity – media coverage about you and your book – either an article or an interview. To do that you have to write a news release that is persuasive and interesting and then make sure it gets to media decision makers.
The technology you use to reach media decision makers has an incredible influence on the effectiveness of your outreach.
Online news release services will post a news release (a page of text and some even do multimedia pages) and then post a snippet (short description) or maybe even just a headline or a subject line with a link to the news release page and your content. Media have to search to find it and read it. The headline may be on top of the list of news releases posted for only a few minutes before another one is added to the system and then it gets pushed down as it is replaced by others. It may be accessible to media if they have signed up to receive news releases for selected keywords they are interested in. But they still may only receive an email with a list of subject lines or snippets and this may not produce a very high response.
The data you see on the reports from these services is also terribly misleading. You do not know really how many people saw your pitch, compared to how many machines or even search engine spiders actually are causing the hit. Page hits do not equal media coverage.
Some of the most meaningful measurements are:
* How many media actually responded with an article or an interview;
* How many review copies requested;
* How many and what quality blog posts you get with links and attribution;
* How many quality articles/reviews and interviews results from you then sending your book and media kit; and finally
* Did you sell ultimately product and produce a return on your investment that exceeded the cost of your outreach;
The challenge with this process is that you have to communicate meaningfully with media and first persuade them to give you coverage and second, the coverage you get has to trigger action on the part of the audience.
I prefer using email html and the phone to get maximum effect when I write a news release. At least you hit the maximum number of key media people directly with a pitch.
It is not unusual for me to see 25 to 60 media responses for interviews or review copies as a result of a news release I transmit.
Here are just some recent book project email outreach results showing actual media response stats to news releases I wrote and transmitted to custom targeted media lists:
Brian Bianco, Dressed for a Kill, mystery – two geographically tailored news releases on to the US media, one to Canadian media – 49 media requests
Stacey Hanke, Yes You Can, business communications, 34 media and interview requests (see the article in the Investor’s Business Daily from Monday Feb 22, 2010 http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=521721 and see Chief Learning Officer from Feb 2, 2010 http://www.clomedia.com/industry_news/2010/February/5124/index.php for a few examples of coverage)
L. Diane Wolfe, Heather, Circle of Friends Book 5, young adult, 29 review copy requests
Maggie Simone, From Beer to Maternity, family parenting humor, 65 media and interview requests, Among other things, our news release netted her a regular column at Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maggie-lamond-simone Lisa Pankau, Beyond Seduction, relationship self help, 42 interview and review copy requests
Louise Hart, Liking Myself, and The Mouse, the Monster and Me, children’s books, 65 media requests for review copies,
Dan Green, Finish Strong, inspirational self help, 58 interviews and review copies, outreach was coupled with Drew Brees and the Superbowl, helped raise money for NOLA nonprofits, a few dozen interviews and major media coverage
Andy Andrews, The Noticer, fictionalized storytelling, motivational self help, 173 media requests from two news releases staggered one week apart, major media included Fox TV, and others. (Go see what several years of monthly news release promotion and publicizing can do at the amazing press center at http://press.andyandrews.com)
HCI Books, Going Rouge: An American Nightmare, politics, not to be confused with Sarah Palin’s book), over 250 media requests, made NY Times best seller list.
Patricia Starr, Angel on My Handlebars, sports travel memoire, 36 review copy and interview requests
Derek Galon and Margaret Gajek, Exploring the Incredible Homes of the Eastern Caribbean, luxury travel architecture coffee table book, 75 media requests.
I have similar media response statistics for products, films and videos, and even consulting services and events.
The data clearly shows that media interest and responses are a real life reflection of public interest and predicted response to a communicated offering no matter what it is.
The bottom line, is this: If you offer up an idea that turns people on, they respond to it.
Of course pitching to media is a great way to leverage technology as a force multiplier. Each person you contact is a publisher and if you persuade them to share you and your message, their audience gets to see your creation.
It can be a great way to jumpstart and supercharge your marketing efforts.
If you want to learn more, here is a link to a one page info-graphic pdf which talks more about:
What Really Happens When You Send Out a News Release?
Paul J. Krupin