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Publicity Planner for 2017

2017 Publicity Planner 010717 original

Every year I create a specially designed, carefully constructed, forward-looking publicity calendar to help identify opportunities for media coverage.

I make this available to people in a free pdf file download. Here’s the link:

2016 Publicity Plan

This Publicity Planner contains a lot of important and unusual holidays so that you can get creative, think ahead, and identify innovative ways to tie-in to calendar events well in advance of the day they occur.

Use this calendar to plan your publicity and promotional outreach activities for the next year. Plan carefully and strategically. Offer people the best news, best entertainment, and the best education you possibly can.

Help the people you can help the most.

If you know someone else who can benefit from this calendar, share this link freely.

Paul J. Krupin, Search Word Pro & Direct Contact PR
www.DirectContactPR.com www.SearchWordPro.com
Paul@DirectContactPR.com Blog.DirectContactPR.com
509-531-8390 (Cell) 509-582-5174 (Direct) Call or Write Anytime

Unique is Not Good enough

What authors need to do to achieve success

Unique is not good enough.

What an author needs to achieve success might include one or more of the following:

Galvanizing
Uncommonly and relentlessly helpful
Magical
Transcends
Irresistible
Remarkable
Revolutionary
Game-Changing
Life-saving
Enlightening
Superbly crafted
Captivating
Pure Gold
Brilliant
True Stand Out
Exceeds All Expectations
Red Hot Imagination
Mesmerizing
Spellbinding
Rich treat
Catapults You Beyond
Brilliantly Plotted
Un-put-downable
Amazing
Perfectly Paced
Engrossing
Fiercely poetic
Lush exquisitely detailed
Gorgeous
Resolute
Page turning
Infectious
Vivid eloquence
Shocking clarity
Rich and intricate
Enthralling
Deeply satisfying
Surprising revelations
Masterful journey

Getting your articles syndicated is challenging but worth it

Getting your articles syndicated is challenging but worth it

I’ve worked on syndication strategies for a number of authors with the designed intent on increasing newspaper and magazine coverage as a means to achieving the platform and name recognition necessary to command a spot at major syndicates like Creators. It’s very difficult to be successful unless you commit to growing your devoted fan base audience and network over a long period of time. The competition is cutthroat. The demands are incredible.

The plan very simply, you create a pitch that offers a formatted ready for publication column designed for cut and paste utilization and you pitch it out there to your target media with four or five additional installments.

You tell the media, try it for free, and if you like it (e.g., the feedback they get helps them sell more subscriptions), then maybe they will buy what you offer on a regular basis. You must be prepared to sell each column cheap $1 to $5 a week for newspapers) and you raise your prices to whatever your market can handle. So $5 a week from each of 100 newspapers is $500 a week. 200 newspapers is $1000 a week. Sounds easy? It’s not.

We have been only semi-successful at this for most people who have tried it. Media actually tell us, “why should we pay you when we have so many people offering to do this for free?” The answer has to be “Quality and Sales” and you have to prove it quick and keep on proving it or they stop paying you.

Sometimes, we pitch single articles and get offered a regular column. Does it pay enough to justify the effort? It depends. Can you syndicate from a single position? Yes. Look at Dave Barry. His humor posts from the Miami Herald were syndicated nationwide.

Can you write something that turns people on like Dave Barry does? Prove it.

Of course, nowadays there are content mills out there that will take contributions from *anyone* who wants to give away content. It helps them grow, but the benefits to the author are often very low, even non-existent. Even a regular contributor position on the famed Huffington Post doesn’t automatically mean that much any more.

The ROI of course really depends on the person and whether the writing produces the interest and conversion to sales. People with expensive or multiple books, products or services income streams have an easier time achieving a break even plus. The ROI (return on investment) and ROTI (return on time invested), is worth it when you make more money off very few sales.

You have to test and pitch and improve and test and pitch again and again and again and again. 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

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.

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 incredible array of media technologies.

Fail to learn this and nothing happens.

Just remember triumph is TRI with UMPH added.

Why media say no and what to do about it

Why media say no and what to do about it

There are four primary reasons why media say no.

Media are publishers (or producers) who make their living off of two income streams: subscriptions and advertising. Every decision they make is tied to maintaining or improving these income streams, or protecting them from damage. When they receive a pitch they tend to need to see answers to three key questions:

1. How many people in my audience are going to be interested in this;

2. what’s the value to my audience; and

3. what will it cost me to do my job (time, resources, camera crews, lawyers, whatever).

The answers to 1 & 2 have to be A LOT of People and A LOT of value. The answer to 3. has to be VERY LITTLE (as in cut and paste, or we’ll come to you).

If you don’t meet these requirements, the answer is usually no.

If you get close, then you have to give them more information or the answer stays no.

The fourth issue is this: Running the article or feature or interview must also not result in really pissing off any of the existing major league advertisers. Media will not run an article if it will threaten their existing income streams.

What do you do?

Evaluate existing media coverage and design your pitch to meet readership interests and editorial style.

Make sure you won’t run afoul of the key advertisers.

Are you ready to publish? Knowing when you are done.

Are you ready to publish? Knowing when you are done.

Each year I work with hundreds of authors and publishing companies. Very few of them ask enough strangers to give them feedback as part of their book creation process.

What I recommend people do is go slow. Start with family, friends, colleagues, employees and expand the circle till you reach strangers. Show and tell one on one. It’s possible to learn how to sell. That’s the miracle of the microcosm. If you learn what you need to say to people in your little neck of the woods, chances are you can then say the same thing anywhere and everywhere you go and you’ll be equally successful selling your products wherever you go.

But you need to learn those magic words first.You have to write to sell, and the job of writing isn’t done until the book sells. This is where most self-publishers go astray. They publish their book without verifying it was really ready for market. Many don’t even get the help of an editor!

You have to test your ideas and test your product and test your mar-com (marketing communications) on real live people. STRANGERS! You need to identify your end users and the people who will buy the book for your users. Then you need to learn what to say to get these people to take the action you want.

Write to sell and test, test, test. Do this in small doses till you get the right buy signals. Reliably. Not just once or twice, but repeatedly and reliably.

Do 25 to 50 POD versions and test it with these important people.

You’ll know by their behavior and response whether you are really ready to publish the book.

If you can’t get people to even look at it, then you’re not done.

If they look at it and put it down, then you still have work to do.

If people look at it and grab it, you might be done. It depends what happens when they then pick it up and peruse it. If they put it down, then you’re not done.

If you get good comments that say “OMG you turned me on” – capture it, and do more of it.

If you get negative feedback that says “YUCHHH!”, take it out or fix it. Get rid of it.

Improve with the CACA process. Create — Ask — Create Again — Ask Again.

Yes it can be pretty s****. You may choke on your pride and wake up after a sleepless night. You have to have the guts and fortitude to redesign and re-write it till you know you are done because it sings to people. You have to work with your prospective audience to get real feedback, and you must listen to what people say and address the issues you receive.

This may take a lot of reiterations. But one thing is for certain, there is a point that you will reach when you know that you are done. It’s a wonderful thing when you get to this point and know it.

So this is my bottom line advice: Write to sell. Don’t stop writing and re-writing till you know it sells, and sells easily and continuously.

Prove it with small test POD numbers. Use the technology that is available to all of us wisely. Then move it up through the publishing and promotion chain level by level.

In most cases, the author thinks the book should excite and grab people. But it doesn’t always happen that way.

So to me, they still have work to do. But they can’t speculate about what’s wrong, they need real data.

This is what I tell people to do – get the data. Figure out what you need to say and do to produce action that will satisfy your stated goals and objectives:

Go ask your candidate customers. Ask until you are blue in the face and get the hard difficult data and feedback you need to redesign and redo your project.

Being a force multiplier is where I get my kicks

Being a force multiplier is where I get my kicks

I read with a pen in my hand at all times. The real trick is to not only underline the good ideas and passages, but open up a notebook and write down the idea and develop an action, identify who else needs to be brought in, identify a completion date and deploy the action plan to turn the idea into a reality with benefits. Even if it is inspirational, fiction or non-business related, identify the good stuff and share it with someone. Sharing and caring someone else’s life’s work can bring joy to the world. Being a force multiplier is where I get my kicks.

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.

Content Marketing: Using The 3 I Technique to Create a Publishable Content

Content Marketing: Using The 3 I Technique to Create a Publishable Content

I received lots of questions today about how to get the most out of my 3 I Technique.

There’s a neat way to create publishable content that you pitch in a news release. It’s called, “The 3I Technique” and you use it to create appropriate publicity materials for yourself, using articles about other people (= PR success stories) as a guide.

The 3I Technique works like this:

Step 1. Identify the Success Story (using the search engines to identify appropriate articles)

Step 2. Imitate it (pick one and mimic it line by line)

Step 3. Innovate it (by writing an article just like your success story, but using your own information).

Very simply, you must follow in the footsteps of those who have been successful with the media before you.

Using the 3 I Technique allows you to identify other successful media coverage and leverage it for your own practice.

Now to arm you so that you can develop releases and deploy these strategies freely, do a number of searches using your key words.

Then you’ll be able to use The 3 I Technique and do what’s necessary any time and you’ll be on your way.

Things you can’t do if you want publicity — What definitely doesn’t work

There are certain news releases that simply look more like advertising that news to most editors. Thus, while commercial advertising elements generally may be great for direct marketing, they are generally are fatal when placed into a news release.

¨ Anything that resembles a request for free advertising.
¨ Hard sell commercial pitches or marketing hype.
¨ Pithy quotes from executives & corporate gobbledygook.
¨ Clearly incomprehensible technical mumble jumbo.
¨ Freebies or discounts on prices or demos or consultations.
¨ Offers for free samples
¨ Promotes a product without more.
¨ Simply promotes a web site
¨ Promotes a publication or e-zine.

Although this may ultimately be your goal, the purpose of a news release is not to sell product. The purpose of a news release is to persuade an editor to give you news coverage – to publish information about you or your product.

You just need to interest the media decision-maker, and make it easy for them to do their job.

22 Questions for Writers, Authors, Publishers & Artists to Use to Get More Publicity

22 Questions for Writers, Authors, Publishers & Artists to Use to Get More Publicity

22 Questions for Writers, Authors, Publishers & Artists to Use to Get More Publicity

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

Each of these questions below was selected because they were used in interviews of bestselling authors and talented creative people time and again in publications like the NY Times, USA Today, NPR and PBS. These are the questions that the media ask these people.

The key is to realize that the subjective answer is not really what the media and the public are looking for. They seek to relate and understand how the creator’s experience, perspective and creative work has special meaning to them personally.

So when you answer these questions, seek to give the gift of understanding. Offer people a taste that so powerful they experience something: a laugh, a cringe, a shiver or a chill, or a blinding momentary flash of desire. Create a trail of candy that leads people to the conclusion they want and need the whole bag.

What can you talk about that’s interesting and invites people to learn more about you and your art? Pick out five to seven of the questions below and develop answers of two to three sentences in length. These become the key content you can then use in your news releases and articles and interview Q & A’s for your media outreach.

One important suggestion: don’t go for the low hanging fruit – the easy to answer questions. Go for the questions with information that you’ve learned to use to turn your people on the most – even if the answers are more difficult to develop and are scarier for you to share.

1. Describe your book/product in 50 words or less:

2. How did your book/product come about?

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

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

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

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

7. How did you do your background research?

8. Where do you research information for your books/products ?

9. How has the community responded to your work?

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

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

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

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

14. What are you currently working on?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Send these to me. I’ll help you turn these into Q & A’s that really turn media and their audiences on.

Free pdf file download:

http://www.directcontactpr.com/files/files/22questionsfor.pdf

Turn Your People On! Copywriting that Produces Action

Writing marketing and publicity copy that produces interest and action (sales)

Here’s my best advice for authors and publishers wanting publicity that helps sell books: Turn your people on.

The message has to make people pay attention and want more of what you have to offer. If you don’t succeed at this, even an article in USA Today won’t
help you sell books. Identify the hot buttons that get your audience jazzed.

Ask them, “why do you like this?”

Pay attention to what you said that produced howls of delight. Study your testimonials and reviewer comments, ask your mother or kids. Just figure
this out and focus on it. What you focus on tends to get bigger.

Identify what you do that turns people on, and then do more and more of it. Then prepare a variety of presentations that hit those hot buttons again and again in varying lengths from 30 seconds to ten minutes in length. Every word you say has to make people crave more.

If you bore them even momentarily, you will likely lose them.

This is the key to PR success and marketing success as well.

You can’t say “buy this amazing provocative book!” You must be amazing and provocative. You must do what you are best at in your own unique way. You
must entertain, educate and stimulate. You must give people chills and thrills. And you must practice this and perfect this messaging until you can
do it again and again with adequate action producing results (=sales).

Once you develop, refine, and prove YOUR MESSAGING, based on the actions people take in response to what you say and do (= proven sales), then the
rest is easy. Then can you use technology as a force multiplier to extend and share and repeat the message (using technologies and media of all types) and thus get the results you dream of achieving.