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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!

Getting Your Name Out There

Quick answer to the question "How do you get your name out there?"

Go where your people are. Learn what you need to do to turn them on.

Help the people you can help the most. Undersell and over-deliver.

Do what you do best and do your best at all times.

Create a menu of options with prices and charge reasonably for lots of small deliverables in units of time, service and product.

Create and deliver candy that makes people want more of what you have available.

Create recipes for abundance, happiness and success that are truly worthy of being shared.

Give as much as you can and encourage people to share what you offer.

Publicizing Clients Before or After PR Success

Ethics and tactics of publicizing clients before and after PR success

A question came up in the Small-PR Firm group at Yahoo, about whether and how to best leverage the fact that you got a new client. Some comments said it’s OK to do so, while others indicated they had concerns about doing so. Here’s my opinion on the ethics of doing so and the proper and best way to leverage one’s PR achievements.

—–

We are in the business of doing PR for clients and ethically, how they do their marketing is critical and sensitive business intelligence that we do not have the right to share freely. I feel that the very fact they have hired a PR firm or specialist is a privileged piece of marketing information and it is very poor professional conduct to share that without client permission to other people in the industry.

The release of this type of contracting information can be damaging to the client no matter what type of publicist or professional service provider you are. The client gets hurt because you may be good or you may be not so good. Either way, the competition gets to know what your client is doing and can counter that move in the marketplace.

You can get hurt if you promote the client if: 1. They don’t want you to and they get upset if you do; and 2. If you then fail to produce the expected PR performance. Either way, your reputation is tarnished with the client, and possibly in the marketplace if it gets out that you can’t be trusted. You won’t get referrals this way.

That said, the publicity achievements we get for the client are fair game. That information is far better to use in our PR promotions anyway, since it reveals and showcases the ROI we are capable of.

You can share PR achievements in lots of highly visual, colorful and impressive ways:

* Using a series of links to media posts, clips, or audio clips in an email (four or five links to top media with client names or project or news release headlines)

* Take photos of the paper coverage or of the best moments in a TV clips.

* Post ongoing PR successes each day to a “Clients in the News” page on your web site or a similar dedicated Facebook page with photo imagery and links each time you get something noteworthy. You can just send the FB link to prospective clients. You can place a link on your web page that goes here too.

* Do the same on a blog. Post the achievements and tell PR success stories with photos and links. Make these posts keyword rich and it will improve your search engine placement.

* Create a Portfolio or Experience page on your web site, and place the Portfolio button on your navigation bar so people can see it. Get your programmer to create a web form that allows to add posts with photos and dates. Over time these client lists can get lengthy and will be quite impressive.

. Create Slide shows from Powerpoint presentations and even Word docs showing the PR success visually. Then turn these into videos you can post or send. This is the type of “Project” you can post to LinkedIn. You can also post them on your website and use them in all your other marketing communications.

. You can use prior performance and your creative works to build and formalize your own referral network. Every now and then, you contact your clients and ask them to celebrate you or something you have done, you’ve created, or are doing. This way, you create something superbly helpful and you ask your clients to give it to people who might benefit from the type of problem solving answer you have offered.

I highly recommend you just forget about posting news releases about your own company to the online news release distribution services. With the Google algorithm changes, the only media coverage that really counts is “earned media” with truly educational and helpful content. You can read all about this here:
http://blog.directcontactpr.com/2013/09/google-changes-to-the-world-of-news-release-distribution/ or http://goo.gl/rf8yLQ

You want to use the very same tactics we use for clients to improve and enhance your own professional branding. Write problem articles, get them published or posted on industry sites. Write a regular book even a series of mini-books and use them as calling cards to get clients to know you are the best. Every time a client asks a technical question, create a really good answer. Save these Q & A’s and build up an arsenal of them. Post them to your blog and again, turn them into a multitude of useful marcom and use them in all the prospect interactions you have appropriately.

Hope this helps.

Is it worth it to hire a publicist?

Is it worth it to hire a publicist?

One of the participants on the Yahoo Self-Publishing list wrote:

>>”I can only imagine how much money a new author of a self-published book will waste by hiring a publicist. How about some free marketing help? …{self-promotion}… Although they’ll be happy to take your money, don’t think for a minute that paying a publicist will increase your chances of getting on Oprah :-)”
>>

Here is my response:

Wow. I guess failure speaks louder than success.

I am an author and a long time publicist and I’ve worked with several thousand clients over the past 20 years. It does sort of astound me to hear you say that doing it yourself is the same as hiring a professional. The amount of (that is, the lack of) experience and personal knowledge I see you expressing here does not appear to make one particularly well qualified to suggest that others will automatically experience the same as you. Would you say the same thing about repairing your car or doing your own plumbing? How about medical procedures. Does reading free articles on Web MD qualify you to do surgery?

So I’ll respectfully disagree with your recommendation and explain why.

I’m a publicist and do a lot of work with authors and publishing companies. I’m going to re-phrase your comments into a question:

“Is it worth it to hire a publicist?”

My response: It depends.

I don’t really ascribe to the amount of money invested in the book as a decision factor. The money isn’t what matters. Lots of my clients have turned books that they write with blood, sweat and tears into financial success using POD. Very simply they write a good book and print on demand in small quantity. The amount of money invested in the book does not have to be considerable. The quality of the book just has to be what is expected in the marketplace by the consumers. Of course if you have invested a lot of money, then it begins to acquire the characteristics of a publish or perish syndrome. The stakes go up with the investment.

I’ll be honest with you. I see lots of one-book authors try to turn a profit from publishing. I see only a few succeed. I see lots try very hard and fail. So to me, self-publishing is best viewed as a risk venture. There are so many variables. Publicity can jumpstart marketing and help you create a publishing business but there is no guarantee that it will.

For the sake of argument, let’s just assume that the owner of some intellectual property can reasonably benefit from using publicity to achieve their goals. In other words, there’s a quality product or service that we can work with and a market that can be reached using media.

To me, publicity is one type of marketing or promotion and it has a cost. And to really understand what we’re talking about, it’s crucial to get on the same page. So here’s my definition of what one typically asks a publicist to do:

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).

The question is whether the cost you invest can produce the actions you want to achieve whether it be sales, votes, or social action such as human support, financial or material donation, or attendance at a show or an event.

The goal is to have a meaningful communication with the right real people on the receiving end. The message is matters, the medium matters, and the effect matters. The real value to the recipient is what determines whether they in fact are affected to the point of action. You can’t use any communication technology to trigger or motivate action without figuring out the magic words first. Can you do this yourself or do you need to have a professional publicist help you?

The cost of a publicist covers the actions needed to produce the results you want. There are lots of options for someone who needs publicity to consider from doing it yourself all the way to simply hiring someone to do it all for you. The choices range in cost from as low as the cost of acquiring a custom database all the way to hiring a full service PR, firm, or a pay-for-performance firm, all the way to hiring an in-house publicist.

Now I operate a task based service that allows people to select and deploy the simplest and most intelligent actions. For most authors and publishers this is a one-time project that involves identifying the target audience, figuring out how to galvanize them, crafting one or more news releases, creating the right custom media list to present this message to the maximum number of right people, sending them any and all additional materials the media then needs to do their job, and then calling them to persuade media who have not decided to do what you are hoping for to try to persuade them to give you the publicity and media coverage you seek.

Other publicists and PR firms do similar actions and charge more and less to do these things. But there are many different types of fee arrangements by which can acquire publicity services. There are now people and firms you can hire by retainer, by the project, by the hour, by the task, and there’s also pay for performance. You should study the differences when you make your decision and do so recognizing specifically what you will get for the money you pay.

Here’s a link to an article I wrote titled “Evaluating the Range of Publicity Tactics and Publicity Options”
http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-articles/article.src?ID=41

Here’s a second article that talks about how to get the most out of whichever type of publicity service you choose titled “Super Client! Getting the Most Out of Your Publicists and Copywriters”.
http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-articles/article.src?ID=42

You can choose to manage your promotions to achieve many different types of results.

There is no simple answer. There are costs (money, time, and material resources for the data needed and the technology needed) to achieve publicity success.

There is also expertise and technology required (copywriting, targeting the right media, utilizing the best technologies, communicating with clients and media, negotiating, reporting, integrating with marketing and other people and publicists who are involved).

It’s important to recognize that it takes skill, capability and time to do these things well. Plans have to be created, actions need to be systematically taken, and follow up actions must be completed to close each and every deal.

These are some of the issues you need to address and factor in to the decision one makes.

The original question asks “is it worth it to hire a publicist?”

The return on investment question can be answered by evaluating the profit one makes per action triggered by your publicity effort. Let’s look at some of the costs and what it means to an author/publisher.

If one makes $5 per book, then it takes 100 books to cover a $500 cost for a single news release publicity project.

You’d have to sell 2,000 books to cover a $10,000 fee for a full service PR firm or personal publicist for some dedicated time or program.

If on the other hand if you are not just an author, but also receive $3000 for a speaking engagement plus travel and per diem, then you can make $2500 or more if you even get one speaking engagement off one $500 news release outreach.

If you worked with the $10,000 PR firm, you’d nearly break even if you got three engagements and you’d make a couple of thousand with four.

Will the $10,000 firm produce more than the $500 outreach effort? This depends on what is really being done to get media coverage. It depends on the message and who gets to receive it.

There are at least five key measurement points you should use to determine your level of satisfaction with the effectiveness of your publicity efforts.

1. The first point is when you transmit a news release or conduct an outreach effort. Do you feel like the costs of performing the publicity outreach are reasonable? Do you feel like the service has been responsive to your needs?

2. The second point is immediately after the outreach is conducted and you can identify the number and quality of the media responses to your outreach.

3. The third point is when articles are actually published or when your interviews have been conducted.

4. The fourth point is when you determine whether enough of the right people respond to your message.

5. The fifth and final point is sometime later still, when you are finally able to somehow determine the overall benefits of your outreach effort and experience.

It is only now you can truly ask “Was it worth it?”

Here is a link to an article I wrote which discusses this aspect of publicity in more detail titled “Tracking Your Publicity Success and PR Effectiveness” http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-articles/article.src?ID=14

What this means of course is that publicity is more valuable when someone has multiple streams of income that can be leveraged and the branding effect triggers interest and sales in many ways. This frees people from strictly focusing solely on their product and allows them to shine again and again by helping people they can help the most in ways that really turn people on. This is how you not only trigger real interest, but trigger trust and action. This is the professional branding effect and when it works, people like what you say so much that they will buy everything you have for sale.

This is what you hope for when you hire a publicist.

So is it worth it to hire a publicist?

It depends on whether you can do what needs to be done by yourself or with the right type of help. It depends on the results you achieve when you do these things.

The one thing you really need to realize is that even if one hires a publicist, there’s still no guarantee that publicity will produce sales. All you can do is try.

And like any other marketing tactic you should really evaluate the effectiveness as a business using objective measures. Look at all the factors and make an informed decision.

If it works, do more of it, and if it doesn’t stop and do something else.

The only thing that is certain is that if you do not reach out to people somehow, nothing will happen.

Hope this all helps. Questions? Feel free.

And BTW, Oprah doesn’t have a show any more. She has a multimedia network with lots of shows and a magazine.

Article to Jason Boog’s post at Galley Cat on Free Sites to promote Your EBook

Article to Jason Boog's post on Free Sites to promote Your EBook

This unverified list posted on the Galley Cat web site (part of media Bistro) by Jason Book titled
Free Sites to Promote Your EBook
http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/free-ebook-promotion_b52130

Getting publicity for books with “edgy” content

Getting publicity for books with "edgy" content can be very difficult

Publish-L author asked a question whether to include sex, violence, drugs and “edgy” content in a new Young Adult title. I offered up some thoughts from a publicity perspective.

Most of the prime media reviewers and many of the Internet and bloggers represent the socially conservative family oriented (hence G-rated) perspective. They actively embrace the clean and wholesome.

I have yet to see YA books that contain violence, sex, drugs and four letter words do particularly well with media. It seems that most of the adults simply nix the idea of sharing books that contain these elements with others. They cater to their audience preferences and opt for the safe and easy to promote so that they don’t suffer criticisms from those who find these elements distasteful.

Basically, while you may be able to persuade media people to take a look using news releases and phone calls that describe the books but don’t reveal or utilize these elements, once they get the book in their hands and see what it contains, you run a major risk of then being unable to get any positive reviews, and may in fact find yourself having to deal with the consequences of negative reviews.

Not that this should stop you, it’s just a factor I recommend you consider. My kids still rave about the Alana series, and witness the success of The Hunger Games. These books contain sex, violence, highly questionable behavior. Of course, quality content, style, and action packed edge of your seat writing may be playing so much more of a factor that reviewers will overlook any incidental elements they find to be distasteful within. And if the books are so good people will rave about them to each other in spite of their “edginess”, then you might not care about what media say, and in fact, it may not matter.

One of the other Publish-L participants noted that even the NY Times covers Young Adult books that contain sex, violence, and drugs.

This is true. It’s also not particularly relevant to the issue of promoting a new book from a lesser or unknown (or heaven forbid – self-published) author that contains these elements.

My point isn’t that you can’t get media to play with you once you climbed the mountain and achieved the level of a social phenomenon. You can. The fact that you’ve become a best-selling success makes the reporting of that news easy, safe, and trust worthy. The media are reporting facts. They are no longer taking a gamble on the book or the author. There is very little risk to them for publishing the news on this basis.

My point is that until you do so, getting media to play with you will be very difficult. After the fact reporting of success is much easier to acquire than coverage that helps you achieve success.

Persuading the media to give you media coverage before you’ve acquired a track record means you need to communicate and validate the quality, the value, and the importance of the writing and contribution without being able to demonstrate that tens of thousands of people agree with you and do in fact love what the author has created.

My point is that when you promote a book (or anything else for that matter) and seek to get media to share information about the book and the author, media look at that idea as a proposal for media coverage. You’ve got to answer to the three main questions that they use to make decisions correctly. These are:

1. How many people in my audience will be interested in this?
2. What’s in it for my audience?

The answer to both these questions has to be:

1. A LOT OF PEOPLE; and
2.. A LOT OF VALUE

Then you get to the third question the media asks.

3. What does it cost me to do my job?

The answer to this question has to be:

VERY LITTLE

This is because media editors will only invest staff time, energy, and publication resources into articles that help them sell more subscriptions or get more advertising, since that’s how they make their income and survive and thrive.

Good luck trying to persuade media to review a new just published book or interview an author of an unknown author of a book that’s filled with sex, violence, and drugs.

Can you imagine the how editors wince and cringe when little old ladies and god-fearing parents call up or write in and say they will no longer buy the publication because they are promoting such awful stuff?

Editors and producers will not give people coverage if doing so threatens their publishing income. Reporters and columnists won’t take the risks when they are so easily fired and replaced.

Yes, it’s sad that the world is like this, but this is the way it works and this is what really happens.

The point is that as writers and authors we get to make decisions about what to place into our works. We can think ahead and recognize what the people we will use to promote need to be successful and we can design, create and incorporate the elements that will enable them to utilize what we offer.

We can think ahead and do our best to write to sell. You just need to do so with your eyes open.

If you don’t think ahead and you create books that contain risky topics or course language, and you do so to express yourself or drive whatever points or agendas you may have, well, that’s your decision. It’s your publishing business and you take the risks. It’s your choice.

Just don’t be surprised when you then try to promote it and find out that it’s really hard to succeed.

Book Review: How to Make a Million Before Lunch by Rachel Bridge

Book Review: How to Make a Million Before Lunch by Rachel Bridge

Book Review: How to Make a Million Before Lunch by Rachel Bridge

Rachel Bridge has made good use of her vantage point as the Enterprise Editor at The Sunday Times in London, England and compiled a book filled with stories and tactics that have contributed to the sustainability of businesses of a wide variety of types and sizes. Her observations and conclusions are based on watching and talking with entrepreneurs and cover the gamut of creating and running a business from start to finish. The book is chock full of stories and examples of ideas intended to help start-ups and existing business owners survive the risks and thrive in the marketplace. It is a delightful and easy-to-read book filled with helpful ideas and essential advice that will be appreciated by anyone who wants to solidify their understanding of basic marketing and promoting.

Published by Virgin Books, the book is available at Amazon.com.

For more information visit her website www.RachelBridge.com

Promoting and Marketing on Facebook, Twitter and social media

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:

Problem Identified
Problem Warning
Problem Solved
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.

Book publicity and selling more books

Book publicity and selling more books

Question Posted on Independent Authors at Yahoo Groups.

>> Do book reviews sell book? Yes, and the review sites can prove it, because they get paid a percentage of the “buy-through” from Amazon. They don’t sell that many, and more nonfiction than fiction, but they do sell. And why not try to get our books reviewed? There are only so many options open to us. We can try to place an article in a magazine or newspaper, we can try to get book reviews, we can enter contests and hope for the best, we can do book club talks, and we can visit our local book stores and try to get signings. Why not try them all? I’d stand in front of Costco with a banjo and balloon hat if I thought it would help. I write books that I hope people will read. How they find my book is immaterial to me. I write books that I hope people will read. How they find my book is immaterial to me. < < I just don't believe that it's smart to rely on the "proof that reviews work" for others and make the assumption that the same process will work for you. I also believe that if you are writing to create a real business, then how people find your book is crucial to your survival and success. There are many choices an author/publisher can make when deciding how to profit off one's intellectual property. Hope is not a strategy. Systematic carefully targeted communication to specific groups of high probability markets of people with money, with dedicated monitoring and continuous improvement is a strategy. The Naked Cowboy stands in Times Square in his underwear playing his guitar. That's how he communicates with HIS PEOPLE. He's built a successful nationally recognized brand doing this. He entertains and stimulates sufficient numbers of people who buy his music. There's a teenage kid with hair down to his knees who plays a screaming guitar a la Jimi Hendrix each day in Santa Monica who also is doing pretty well. So maybe standing in front of Costco with a banjo and a balloon isn't such a bad idea. If it works for you, do it! YOU have to determine how you can reach and communicate with the people who matter to you. If what matters is sales, then that means you HAVE to know how you are communicating so that the action you produce is sales. Look at this model: Write a book. Self-Publish in ten ebook formats and POD. Have the book available at Amazon and Google and dozens or even thousands of other e-stores. Send the eBook to book reviewers by email. Get reviews. Sell books. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? What if YOUR PEOPLE, don't read the reviews. What if THE REVIEWERS, won't even accept the ebook. System failure. Yet this is what lots of people are doing. They write the book and pitch to a limited number of book reviewers. Then fail and stop. I see this all the time. Sometimes the problem is the book. Some books simply aren't that good. This is one serious problem. Sometimes the book is fine, but the author and the publisher don't take the actions needed to reach THEIR PEOPLE. And they don't have the stamina to go the distance. They stop before they learn how to turn THEIR PEOPLE on. To me and my clients, this question is one that turns on return on investment. If the goal of writing and publishing is to produce sales, and there is only so much time and money to be invested in marketing, promoting and publicizing, then the determining factor is how many books can you sell? People do write to try and make some money. You have to care about how people find out about you and your writing if sales are important to you. If you don't care, then there is very little chance that enough people will ever learn about you and buy what you have to offer. My point is that YOU have to decide how to spend your time and what you receive from your efforts. Book reviews are one option. Feature stories are another. You can embark on a program of speaking and or doing entertainment. People are successful in producing income and attracting attention that triggers action (e.g., sales). Which tactic works the best for you? Do you know? The LA Times article BOOK PUBLISHERS SEE THEIR ROLE AS GATEKEEPERS SHRINK (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-gatekeepers-20101226,0,7119214.story) is pointing out that it is possible to create writings and develop audiences using the new technologies that are available. The article only hints at what JA Konrath and the other authors are doing to gain attention for their writings so that they do indeed sell books. The article says “In addition to Konrath, bestselling author Seth Godin, science fiction writer Greg Bear and action novelist David Morrell recently have used Internet tools to put their works online themselves.”

Right.

Internet tools.

This article fills people with hopeful and vague ideas that the future is here and that this type of success is going to become more commonplace.

And it may indeed for some.

BTW. Look at this article! It points out exactly what I am saying. It’s not a book review. It’s a human interest feature story. It is even a shining example of one of my favorite rules — the DPAA + H rule. It’s dramatic, personal, and tells stories of achievement in the face of adversity + humor.

So it does attract reader attention. It is emotionally engaging and even galvanizes people with visions of hope that they too can be a wildly successful author without being raked over the coals by classical mainstream publishers. It highlights the apparent simplicity of the new publishing economic model.

It also identifies the authors by name. It brands each one so that anyone who looks them up can now be exposed and potentially buy everything they have available.

Great article. This is an example of the very best type of media coverage authors can get.

Is it entertaining? Yes. Is it really helpful? Let’s look for the practical value.

Seth Godin and Stephen King can write just about anything they want and it will sell. They not only have created a huge national following, but they’ve each created consistent, high performing diverse platforms of communication that allow them to reach and sell directly to THEIR PEOPLE. They have created astoundingly successful communications systems that persuade people to take action.

Most people do not have these “Internet tools” in place. In fact, many authors write and publish without even thinking about how to reach out and touch someone, anyone. They don’t think about how to do so consistently, so that can run a writing and publishing business profitably and consistently.

The article doesn’t help most of us very much at all. In fact, the end of the article highlights what is identified as the biggest challenge to successful publishing:

“Indeed, the challenge in a world where anyone can publish a book is getting people to pay attention…. In a blog post titled “Moving on,” about his decision to self-publish, Godin wrote that “my mission is to figure out who the audience is, and take them where they want and need to go, in whatever format works.”

Seth Godin is talking my language. This is the field I work in. Targeted PR.

So back to reality.

You get to choose what you want to do.

And if you want to make money with your publishing, here’s my suggestion.

Follow the money.

The country is huge – in the US alone you have 330 million people. The potential is phenomenal. If you can develop a process for reaching people you can do very well. I believe you can even learn how to do this starting one on one in your back yard, anywhere.

I even came up with a cute little acronym which describes how to do this.

CREATE.

ASK.

CREATE AGAIN.

ASK AGAIN.

= CACA

Think about what you do that turns people on. Test it. Get a sale.

Ask people who reacted the way you wanted them to. Ask them, “What did I do that turned you on?”

Capture it. Record it. Document it. Then prove it.

If it works, do it again. Test it again. Improve it by asking again.

CACA.

Then repeat this process till you can stand in a room or present to 25 people and get half the people in the audience to hand you money.

Then use the many technologies you have at your disposal to present, broadcast and target YOUR PEOPLE with this proven message.

Decide what marketing actions to take and then document the sales and profits you receive.

Compare it to other actions you can take. Be systematic. Identify a pathway to profits. Determine if you have developed a process of steps that can be duplicated.

If it works, then do it some more. If it doesn’t, then stop and do something else.

More CACA.

Bring it on.

What Really Happens When You Send Out a News Release?

What Really Happens When You Send Out a News Release? Marketing and Promotion Using News Releases

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?
http://www.directcontactpr.com/files/files/IBPAFlyer021510.pdf

Questions anyone?

Paul J. Krupin