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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

Facebook guidelines regarding online promotions

Facebook issues guidelines regarding online promotions

Fascinating article in the January 2010 issue of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel by lawyers Gonzalo E. Mon and Christopher M. Loeffler, of the DC law firm Kelley Drye & Warren. The article describes and interprets the detailed promotion guidelines issued by Facebook in November 2009.

Facebook Issues New Guidelines For Running Promotions On Its Platform
http://www.metrocorpcounsel.com/current.php?artType=view&artMonth=January&artYear=2010&EntryNo=10520

If you conduct promotions on Facebook, then you should really read this article and make sure you also take a look at the Facebook guidelines themselves to make sure you don’t go astray of laws and regulations as well as Facebook policies.

Incredible book publicity & promotion innovation demonstrated on the NYC Subway

Incredible book publicity & promotion innovation demonstrated on the NYC Subway

Hats off to The Book Bench and the Book Department at the New Yorker for a great snapshot of a truly innovative approach to book promotion.

Timely topic, Great energy and enthusiasm, and almost free! (cost of a subway token!)

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2009/12/1000-words-diy.html

Do note that they are asking for more picture tells a thousand word book related photo submissions at the web site.

We need to ask for a follow up to see if the author gets a NYC publisher!

Free Book Publicity Podcast – Are News Releases Effective for Marketing Your Book?

Are News Releases Effective for Marketing Your Book? You betcha!

On November 19th, 2009 I had a wonderful time being interviewed for Authors Access with Victor R. Volkman and Irene Watson about whether Press Releases are still revelant to marketing and promoting books.

We covered a wide-range of talking points, including:

* So What Exactly Is A News Release?

* Why Is This So Hard To Do? What Makes This So Special?

* So What Exactly Do Media People Look For When They Receive A News Release?

* So What Do You Need To Do To Write A News Release That Really Works & Truly Gets Media Attention?

* How do you know when you’re ready?

* What Specifically Should Authors Do To Create This Galvanizing Candy ­This Magic Script.

* What is the Magic Formula (DPAA+H)? (“Dramatic Personal Achievement in the face of Adversity, plus a little Humor”)

* Which Are Better For Authors To Aim At – Book Reviews Or Feature Stories & Why?

* How do you know when you achieve success with a news release?

* So once you have a trash proof news release, what do you do with it

Download the free Authors Access podcast interview free at:

http://authorsaccess.com/archives/164
A pdf file that summarizes all the talking points is also available here:

Are News Releases Effective for Marketing Your Book? http://www.directcontactpr.com/files/files/arepressreleasesaneffectiveway.pdf

The Trash Proof News Releases is available as a free ebook at Smashwords:

Trash Proof News Releases

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/5921

If you write what you think is a trash proof news release, send it to me and I’ll send you my extra two bits!

Paul@DirectContactPR.com

What is a News Release? Really!

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.

Knowing When You’ve Created Your Purple Cow

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
http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-articles/article.src?ID=105

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
http://blog.directcontactpr.com/public/getting-more-publicity-getting-more-sales-how-to-be-galvanizing

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
http://blog.directcontactpr.com/public/publicizing-and-promoting-by-helping-people-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.

😉

Why News Releases Fail- Free ebook and Powerpoint presentation

20 + fatal errors people make writing news releases and what to do about them

This is one of my most popular articles turned into a Powerpoint presentation and an ebook pdf file.

Why News Releases Fail

Free Powerpoint Presentation here:

Why News Releases Fail Powerpoint Presentation

Free ebook pdf file here:

Why News Releases Fail ebook pdf file

Recession-Schmecession! The sky isn’t falling. The ground is rising!

Recessions present unique opportunities to expand your business

Bruce Rigney and the remarkably talented folks at Rigney Graphics posted some very insightful data in the wonderful post titled:

Recession-Schmecession!

http://www.rigneygraphics.com/emails/recession0109/

Great data and analysis. Smart recommendations.

Now if only our bank accounts gave us the flexibility we need to take advantage of these opportunities!

Publicizing and Promoting By Helping People the People You Can Help the Most

Tactics and strategies for getting the best publicity that creates interest and sales

It’s perhaps the most common question I hear after a client walks in the front door. I wrote a book, now what do i do?

I reviewed many years of doing PR and marketing for thousands of clients and from experience, it appears that it all comes down to …

HELPING THE PEOPLE YOU CAN HELP THE MOST

What is the most effective communication that you can put in front of people that will get them interested in what you have to offer? What type of message will attract more of the right type of people to you and will create the best and lasting impression? How can you maximize your sales with the lowest possible budget?

There are several types of news releases or marketing communications that you can choose to use to get peoples’ attention and interest. Sure, you can create a product announcement, a book review or a personal story about your quest to create a book or a product. But these types of messages tend to produce a relatively low impact on how much coverage you get and how many products or services you sell. That’s because it’s all about you and you fail to really give the media what they want the most.

The best media coverage results when you offer something of value that appeals to lots of people in the audience at a deep personal level.

By far, the highest impact media coverage and sales comes from value-packed problem solving messages placed before needy people in a dramatic way.

What this means is that you if you want publicity and sales you need to craft your messages and couple them with actions so that you help the people you can help the most.

With authors and publishers this usually means that you create and use a problem solving tips article approach which identifies a crucial problem and offers your best advice on how to solve or alleviate that problem.

Then when people read or see this type of message, they experience hope and desire for these benefits, and they contact you and purchase the book, product or service that you offer.

There are three key questions you need to answer to use this technique successfully.

• What can you do to help people?
• Who are the people you can help?
• How can you reach them to let them and others know you can help them?

This technique is very powerful. Helping people in need gets attention. It brands you as a helpful person. It motivates people to find out more about you. Depending on the value of your help, it even creates a sense of obligation that triggers a reciprocal response. Of course, the beneficial impacts this has on your relationships with your prospects and customers dramatically reduces the barriers to sales. It can also be so powerful that people realize that to get as much of you as they really need, they need to hire you or buy what you offer.

With non-fiction books, products and expert professional services this technique the help you offer is based on the topic in which you are most expert. The people you focus on are those who need your expertise the most.

Even if you are a fiction author, you focus those people who are most interested in your type of work and you choose to be helpful, entertaining, inspiring and galvanizing so that they get interested in you and what you have to offer.

What is Help? To help means to give support or assistance that solves a problem or improves a situation in some tangible way. To help means to give a remedy or provide relief to someone or do something for someone else that enables them to achieve something they want, need or desire.

Help can be a noun. You can give people something tangible or intangible that they do not have enough of.

Help can be a verb. You can do something for people that they cannot do by themselves.

To offer help you must identify a problem or issue that people are experiencing. You can identify the barriers or challenges people face. A barrier to progress is an opportunity for problem solving.

Then you must identify what they must do to address or overcome that barrier. You have to look inside yourself and find knowledge and experience that you are particularly qualified to present in a fashion that people will trust with confidence.

You then organize these actions or ideas into a presentation and deliver them to the people you are trying to help so that they can receive the support or the assistance and can act on your advice to receive and experience the benefits you offer.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP PEOPLE?

Step one is to identify what you can do to help people.

There are lots of ways you can people. Think about what you do best. Think about what you created. Think about how you have learned to make a difference to people in their lives. Decide to focus and harness your energies to help people. Think about the biggest problems people in your target group face. Identify what you can do to help them.

Look over this list of possible ways to help people. Then come up with your best ideas.

Physically

Go to them
Go with them
Be with them
Lift them up
Pick them up
Transport them
Shelter them
Protect them
Bring whoever they need to them
Bring whatever they need to them
Bring them wherever they need to go

Mentally

Guide people to better choices
Consult, give advice, provide counsel, listen and console
Teach people how to do something better
Explain how to do something important
Explain how to do something better
Tell people exactly how to build, create, develop, find, or achieve something
Tell people how to avoid disaster, pain, anguish, or negative experiences
Provide interpretation to help people achieve greater understanding
Simplify and explain a complex poorly understood issue, topic or mystery
Tell stories to demonstrate a concept
Provide information to fill in a lack of knowledge

Materially

Give people what they need or want
Give money, food, shelter, materials, water, staple items, essential sundries, tools,
Provide tangible aid, support and resources where too few are available
Provide personal or technical expertise
Volunteer time, expertise, services
Send manpower — people to provide capability
Canvass a neighborhood asking for material supplies for the needy
Collect and store material supplies for the needy.
Deliver supplies to the needy.

Socially

Introducing someone to others who can help them
Giving referrals to others who can help someone
Communicate with others on behalf of someone
Get other involved or engaged in helping someone
Raise awareness of a need or situation
Enlist others to devote energy to needy people
Lead or manage an effort to get an organization to focus their resources and effort on a problem

Financially

Give money – donate funds
Give time to help raise money
Tell people about someone else’s financial needs
Create a fund for someone
Conduct or support a fundraiser for someone
Ask others to give money
Get visible in public raising money
Call people by phone to raise money
Write people by letter and email to raise money
Go see people and ask them for money and support
Get other involved, motivated, and committed to give or raise money.

No doubt there are lots of other ways to help people. Use this list as a checklist to identify the things that you can do.

There are things that fall in the category of ACTIONS.

There are things that fall in the category of IDEAS, ADVICE, OR GUIDANCE.

Most authors will tend to focus on the advice and guidance elements. But some of the best publicity that creative people can get couple advice with real social action and when thy go out into the community to find and help the people who need their help the most. Action attracts people. People in motion doing things gets attention.

WHO ARE THE PEOPLE YOU CAN HELP?

Step two is to identify the people who you can help the most.

Look at your customers. Consider that each one is representative of other people with similar interests and problems.

This is the miracle of the microcosm. It is the most powerful tool for creating a targeted marketing plan there is.

When you solve the problems of one, you have a solution that you can now offer and deliver to for many others with the same problem.

So no matter where you are, you can develop a process for helping someone and achieving a sale. Then you can target these people and re-play the messages that resulted in you being able to satisfy your original customer.

So look at your customers carefully. Identify their:

Age
Sex
Personal characteristics
Social characteristics
Employment characteristics
Religious characteristics
Physical characteristics
Education
Professional credentials
Professional affiliations
Hobbies
etc.

Do this for each of your customers. Make a list of these factors. Identify the common characteristics of your customers.

Do this systematically for each type of customer you have.

Now this is very important – now identify how many customers fall into each factor and what they spend or are worth to you.

Now put them into a tentative priority list from most value to the least value.

HOW CAN YOU REACH THEM TO LET THEM AND OTHERS KNOW YOU CAN HELP THEM?

Step three requires you identify how you can effectively reach the people who you can help the most.

So where do you find more of the people you can help the most?

For each one of the demographic characteristics you identified, think of where you will find more people just like your customer. Now you need to identify where you can help them and how you can communicate effectively with them.

You can communicate with people by taking action, by writing, by or by speaking, either in person or from a distance.

Where can YOU do this readily and comfortably? What exactly do you need to propose and get people to agree to?

You can communicate with them using directly in person, by phone or by email and the Internet.

You can also use media to communicate with them. To target media you ask the question: What do my customers read, watch or listen to, particularly when looking for the type of help that I’m offering? The targeted list of newspapers, magazines, radio, tv, news services, syndicates and Internet media that results is a structured set of people that you want to contact to see if they will help you reach your target audience.

You can also identifying the key places where you will find more people of like mind:

Groups
Associations
Clubs
Institutions
Foundations
Support Groups

Search to find ways to reach out and touch more people just like your customer. Use the communication technologies that these people are accustomed to using to communicate with their friends and peers.

You can use the list brokers and also search the Internet and make use of online subject directories and databases.

This can be done nationally, regionally or this can be done locally town by town.

If you use search engines in particular you can target the places where you find similar groups of people with similar interests or needs. Use a plus these plus a to zero in on web sites in specific geographic areas like this:

Then you create and present the right type of pitch to offer your help to them.

If it is direct aid you offer, you say, “Can I come over and help you?”

If it is an speaking event, you say “Can I talk to your group?”

If it is an article, you say, “Will you publish this helpful information?”

If it is an interview, you say “Will you let me share these ideas on the air?”

And so on. You craft your offer to help to match the situation and your capabilities. You also craft your messages to convey the appropriate ideas and actions.

Do it. Get out there and help the people you can help the most.

1. you know how you can help
2. you know who you can help
3. you know where they are located
4. you know how they communicate with each other
5. now take action to help them and communicate with them

Helping people is a natural attraction to media. It is very easy to get media to pay attention to a community involvement event.

If you schedule an event to help people let your local target media know what you are doing.

Write up a problem solving tips article that presents your support or assistance or describes what you do or did to help people. Let the media know when and where the event will happen.

Target similar people with similar problem solving actions and advice.

Create a value-packed problem solving action, package or article. Target the right media and ask them to share your message so that you help people. Target the organizations and support groups that your target audience belongs to and ask them to share your message so that you help people.

Use your value packed problem solving abilities, stories, and content in a variety of ways:

News releases for articles
News releases for interviews
Email
Business proposals
Phone conversations
Street mail
Brochures
Pamphlets
White papers
Audio
Videos
Live, taped, telephone or web presentations, speaking events, workshops or seminars

You can also tailor this same content and use it for

Search engines for key word discovery
Web page content
Blog posts and tours
Ezines and newsletters
Mailing Lists and discussion groups
Forums and Article Posts
Social media

Adapt your problem solving stories and tips articles so that your best most helpful actions and guidance are also incorporated into your marketing communications.

Leverage your core content and make use of the diverse technologies and places where you find the people that you can help the most.

Media Comments on Self-Published Books

Results of a media survey regarding self publishing and self published books

Every year for the past several years I’ve done a survey questionnaire of media and asked them to provide me with responses to several crucial questions. This year one of the questions I asked was “How do you feel about self published books?” The questionnaire was transmitted in early November and nearly all the responses were received by Nov 3 to 14, 2008. So the data is about a month old.

So here it is straight from the horses’ mouth. Media Comments about Self Published Books.

What follows is pure and unadulterated, fresh and very revealing responses from media in magazines, newspapers, radio, tv and news services and syndicates across in the US and Canada. I have not edited the responses at all. What they wrote to me is what you see.

Warning! It’s not a pretty picture. Self publishing is not viewed in a favorable way. You can understand why when you see what these people have seen and read what they wrote. But there is crucial business intelligence, perspective and valuable insight to be gained by studying these comments.

What this means is that if you choose to self publish, it’s very important that you be aware of these issues and do your best to create a quality product so that you don’t perpetuate the rather dismal perception people have of the self-publishing industry.

>>> The key lessons learned is simple: Write a good book. Make sure it is a really good book. And then do a really good job telling the right people you wrote a really good book. < < < Are you ready? Media Comments on Self-Published Books December 2008
http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-articles/article.src?ID=127

Or as a pdf file:

http://www.directcontactpr.com/files/files/mediacommentsonselfpublishedbo.pdf
Comments and discussion welcome!