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Paul Krupin's Trash Proof Marketing and Publicity Blog

The Wild World of Social Media Advertising

This is a quick one. I do more and more work on Presari. It’s now over 1,600 search engines. I have also started using it more in education and in publishing. You can see examples focused on marketing, Book marketing, social media advertising and at the Presari blog.

Here’s a recent post on the wild world of social media advertising.

Posted in Uncategorized

Copyright Infringement Can Be Fun and Profitable

Here is the short link to this article:

This continues to be one of the core issues that plagues new writers and authors.

So here we are, 2018. The copyright laws have not changed.

To get current, do some research.

Enter the words “copyright infringement explained” at

If you are including the names of characters and quotes from authors or musicians, be careful. There is no minimum and many of these folks guard their works very actively.

Read and study to the articles written by the lawyers. Don’t assume that authors really understand the laws, especially when they say, “don’t worry, that’s fair use.” They can get you in trouble.

This article was originally posted to the original Direct Contact PR blog in 1998, and was updated several times since then. I just read it over again and the advice is still sound.

At 12:54 PM 2/19/2005 -0800, Staggs Publishing wrote,

I wrote a book in 1997. While working on a new text book on the same subject I reviewed another author’s book (published in 2002) and discovered several illustrations and complete sections of text from my 1977 book in the other author’s book. The material was just copied right from my book. I was not asked for permission for the use of my material in the other author’s book.

At 04:01 AM 2/5/01 +0000, Gloria Wolk wrote:

I inadvertently discovered through an Internet search for something else that a Canadian life and health association put together a 140 page document about viatical fraud and included 2 pieces that I wrote. I was never asked for permission nor notified that it was being published. …[]… I would appreciate suggestions about handling this. I would have felt honored, if asked permission. Now I feel downright pissed. Doubly pissed, since I didn’t even know they used these.

This is once again, the topic of the day. Here is an article I wrote and posted many times, in response to similar questions. The facts patterns of the problems you’ll see here are original posts, and you’ll see the similarities abound.

Now please don’t take this as bona-fide legal advice. You have to go to a real lawyer, like Ivan, and pay hefty fees to receive personal information on your particular facts to receive true legal advice.

>At 01:26 PM 7/18/99 -0600, you wrote:

>>When we moved out, we left our logos and company names on the front door. …[]… However, my logo image, an oak tree and a house, still remains on the door — along with the NEW tenants company name in the adjoining window. YIKES! Isn’t this a violation of

This is similar to a question posed last year by Bill Warner, although the question presented last year dealt with copyright violations on the web, and focused on text writings. Based on what is written here, I’d venture that the same copyright laws apply since the logo is an original creative writing. So here is the post I wrote a year ago which was titled “Copyright Infringement Can Be Fun & Profitable.”

PS. I don’t think the neighbors would be too upset if you just asked them if you could go ahead and take your logo back. Explain the situation, and trade them for some books — autographed of course.


> >>At 11:08 PM 6/29/98 -0400, (Bill Warner) wrote:
> > as long as the attribution is there. If it is published on the Web for the world to read, it can certainly be copied.

Original article from June 29, 1998 =============== feel free to post with signature below.

Lots of fun to have with this question.

Sorry Bill, not quite correct. In fact Bill’s statement shows just how risky it is for authors and publishers to remain uninformed about the copyright laws. Time to get with it folks.

However as with most legal questions, the answer to the key question — “is the use of a writing prohibited and actionable under law?” is — ta da:

It depends.

I’m going to put my once-upon-a-time attorney hat on, and give you the two minute discourse. Just remember folks, this is not bona-fide legal advice. Just words from a former attorney turned publisher and now custom news distributor, with a few legal books and case law at his fingertips.

The US Copyright law, BTW, is one of the most amazing statutes to ever have been created. Just think of the industry it has created — and it was written nearly a century ago. Can you imagine the foresight of the lawyers and Congress when they were contemplating whether to pass this law? Wow. This is definitely one of the best laws in America. I love this law.

US Copyright laws and regulations grant a “copyright protection whenever an original creative writing is fixed in a tangible medium, e.g. paper, or a computer file. However, there are several key exceptions to the copy right laws that one must take into account.

To acquire the best protection for a creative writing, it is best to register the copyright by submitting the writing to the Office of Copyright with a Form T and appropriate payment, but this will only be of value in a contest or lawsuit down the road. The registration protects the filer from a contest later on. The first in time usually wins the first in right.

Original means that the work owes its origin to the author.

The copyright may not belong to the actual author if the writing was created as a work for hire. In other words you wrote the work for someone else who paid you. This is often the case when you hire someone to create a web site, but watch out for fine print in the contract that leaves the copyright in the hands of the web author — not you. Sneaky ISP’s actually have been known to do this.

If someone sends me a news release and I transmit it. The copyright is their’s. “For Immediate release” constitutes a waiver of copyright protection of any copyrighted writings contained therein. Also, I’m a publisher and they give me permission to publish it to locations known and unknown. But go to PR Newswire and when transmitted it may actually go out with a PR Newswire banner and a PRN copyright on it. Now figure that one out???

If you’re the actual author, the copyright is yours, if you wrote the work for hire the copyright belongs to the person for whom you were working. If a work is created by an employee within the scope of his or her employment, the employer owns the copyright. Thus if you hire me to write the news release, the copyright is yours, and the news release is a work for hire.

Most published works contain a copyright notice, though not on every page. For works published after March 1, 1989, the copyright notice is optional. Putting the words copyright or a big circle C on a work provides notice — it helps people see that the work is copyrighted.

But the fact that a work doesn’t have a copyright notice does not mean that the work is not protected by a copyright.

It is true that copying a very small amount is not a violation of a copyright. But what constitutes a “small amount” has been litigated across the spectrum. 300 words has been held actionable. 50 words is actionable, especially if it is the best part. Try using the words Coca Cola – It’s the real thing” in a commercially profitable way without permission. (BTW, my use of the words Coca Cola here is fair use). And PSD, in addition to copyright, you may also infringe on trademark, too.

Copying any part of someone else’s work is risky. You may have to run the risk of defending yourself in a lawsuit. Expensive. You may have to deal with public humiliation.

The easy way out of all legal entanglements and bad will is to simply get permission to include or use the writing. Compensation (required in any legal business transaction) need not be financial — it could be sufficient consideration to offer the recognition that comes from the publication. This is cross promotion, and it is done widely by publishers all the time. I cannot imagine a sane web site owner saying no to free publicity. But you cannot assume that an author will be happy that you published his or her work without permission. They may wish to license your use or receive some alternative form of consideration in exchange for your use of their work.

If you give credit to an author or owner of a copyright, you certainly are not plagiarizing that person’s work. But you still may be violating his or her copyright.

You also can’t simply change a few words here and there to avoid copyright infringement. A judge would simply compare the original and the adultered version and look to see who owned the copyright to the original creative work.

To cover your bases, you must get permission. Even an e-mail note will suffice to cover future potential liabilities. Sometimes, formal jointly signed highly detailed and lengthy permission statements are needed. Mostly not — permission must however expressly cover the intended use of the writing, and will only cover the expressly identified use of the writing. Thus an e-mail that says “you can put a link on your web site”, is different from “you can use this comment or testimonial in your books, promotion and marketing materials”.

Both are satisfactory. Both are specific. If your first permission is not broad enough to cover a second intended use, simply ask again.

There is an exception called fair use. There’s a lot of litigation over what constitutes fair use.

Generally, fair use occurs when the authors writings are used for non-commercial purposes, as in educational materials, or in a book review. Traditional fair use covers commentary, criticism, news reporting, teaching non-profit use, but not entertainment or for any commercial gain.

So if you incorporate someone’s writing into a publication that is sold for profit — watch out.

Facts and ideas of course, cannot be copyrighted either. The copyright just doesn’t cover the facts in a writing. It may cover the creative and original way in which the facts are presented.

Finally — the key question to the one whose copyright may have been infringed:

Answer — It depends!

The decision hinges on whether going after one who violates a copyright or infringes on a copyright and getting damages worth the cost and effort of doing. Some might say that money is not the question — it may be honor. You may be satisfied with a minor negotiation, or a voluntary cease and desist. If someone has made a movie off a book you wrote, it may be worth millions.

Key thing to remember is to keep your cool when approach a copyright infringer. Be careful. Be professional.

Get a little angry yes — but then put your thinking cap on and think up how to benefit from the (illegal) use of your writing. Strategize all the ways to turn the use to your advantage.

In the publicity business, they say that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. The bright side is that you get published — people see your name. Same here. The question is can you get more and can it be beneficial?

With improper use by major media, the answer is almost always yes. That’s because they cannot afford to become known as a copyright infringer. With celebrities — read the papers — they voluntarily settle for millions.

With those who rip off writings and use them at their web sites, some lesser form of compensation is desireable. You should explore this when it happens.

This is the business of publishing, and be it known — it goes with the territory. Successful people are copied — they are approach and used to the limits of legality with and without their knowledge all the time.

When dealing with a copyright infringer, your initial tactics will likely determine the outcome because it will have an immediate and direct effect on the degree of cooperation, and the nature, direction and magnitude (e.g., severity, if you’re not careful) of the response.

Think carefully about what you might want in return for some compensatory actions on their part.

You can profit when someone violates your copyright without getting legal about it. If you play your cards right, you may get quite a lot of good and valuable things in return.

Paul J. Krupin, JD (no jokes please!)

Creator of Presari
Choose where you get your information from – Get the best results fast

Getting More Publicity with Trash-Proof News Releases – Free Ebook

Someone asked “does any one use news releases any more?”

I laughed. It may come as a surprise to people, but I still do write news releases and send them out to custom targeted media lists.

And guess what. They still work. I even wrote a book about them.

But there’s a catch. There are no guarantees. The psychology o dealing with media has not changed. There are however, a lot more media – people who publish in one form or another.

The technology has and continues to evolve and there are more types of media technology and platforms.

But to be featured or interviewed has not evolved significantly. The news release is still a viable and in fact essential tool that you need in your marcom (marketing communications) toolbox.

What is a news release?

My definition has not changed:

A written proposal:

– containing a request for media coverage (feature stories, interviews or product reviews).

– 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, in person, etc.); or

– placed where they can find it and use it (as when it is posted to web site either your own or 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 seeks to persuade 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.

And even when you send out a news release, some media will view you as a target for money since after all, that is how they make a living and they do run publishing businesses. So do not be surprised when media send you sponsored post requests, or email that pushes you to participate in their business (and pay for the privilege).

Trash Proof News Releases

But if objective publicity in media is what you want, you write a news release. You mus earn the right to be featured. This is a gauntlet since you need to provide exquisite quality that meets the media needs – readership and editorial elements, and more.

The first version of the book Trash Proof News Releases captured the lessons learned for getting publicity at the peak of the fax era, and covered the techniques I had developed running Imediafax – The Internet to media Fax Service. It was published in the year 2000.

Faxes died as a technology at the turn of the 21st Century. Email took its place. So we stopped sending out faxes and switched to email html with graphics and links.

Trash-Proof News Releases was revised and published again to focus on and illustrate the techniques that work best using email to reach media and get coverage. It was published in 2015.

The one major change that has occured since then is the continuing changes and evolving changes to search engine algorithms starting with the Google Panda and the Hummingbird updates. It is no longer effective to use free news release distribution services and expect them to have your news release posted all over the Internet and in news search engines. The search engines now routinely penalize duplicate content and require sites to place a no follow command when a news release is posted so that they are not indexed and then found by the search engines.

So quality content was elevated over spam. And now, if you use a news release, your purpose and goal is to persuade the media to do their job using you and your creative work as the centerpiece of their coverage.

You need to learn and recognize that they will require you to help them create unique content so that what gets published or produced meet’s their needs and maybe if you are lucky, some of your own.

The other major change is that you can now find media and pitch journalists and producers on social media.

These were major motivators behind the decision to first create Search Word Pro which evolved into the new creation Presari

Presari helps you create the keyword strategies and the best content you need to use to find and reach out to media of all types using search engines and social media platforms. You can now search for whatever you want and find all sorts of influencers anytime. Yes, the search engines can set you free.

Free Trash Proof ebook downloads

The link below goes to a PDF file copy of the 2015 Edition of Trash Proof News Releases.

Trash Proof News Releases

Trash Proof News Releases cover

The Magic of Business – Spells That Make You More Successful at Everything You Do

The Magic of Business and How I Got to Be in Book with Donald Trump

Snip link for this post:

The Magic of Business and How Getting to Be in a Book with Donald Trump Resulted in the Creation of Presari

There’s an energetic discussion taking place on the Writers Helping Writers Group Facebook Page

The discussion focuses on the trials and tribulations of making a living writing.

So in looking for helpful ideas to share, I went online and found this link to a piece of work I did many years ago.

In all these years, I really never looked really closely at something I was published in until just yesterday. It suddenly took on new significance.

Sometime in 2004, I met Dawson Church and Jeanne House, publishers and owners of Elite Books, at a Book Expo America meeting. I got to do publicity for several of their book projects and we go to know each other. They told me about an upcoming project, for a business leadership anthology. The title of the book was called “Einstein’s Business”.

Well my kids and wife had done a trip to New York City and my daughter janet had taken a fun photo of me, standing in front of a famous picture of Albert Einstein which hangs in the gift shop at the Museum of Natural History.

The kids say this photo is proof of reincarnation since so many of the facial features align so well.

So I shared the photo with Dawson and Jeanne, and they we had a good laugh together. Then they asked me if I’d be willing to contribute a chapter to the book.

The book was published in in 2005.

My ten page offering was placed in Chapter 27. It’s called “The Magic of Business”. They said it was OK to share my chapter, so I uploaded it to Scribd.

You can read it for free. Here’s the link:

The Magic of Business

And here is the original color picture (Photo credit – Janet Krupin).

Paul Einstein - Einstein's Business


So here it is January 2018 and when I found the link, I went and grabbed the book of my shelf.

I’d not looked at it super closely in over ten years.

Lo and behold, the book is a remarkable compendium of some of the best business & leadership ideas offered up from 46 rather remarkable people.

I found myself in the company of Stephen Covey, Daniel Goleman, Tom Peters, Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, John Maxwell, Jeanne House, Robert Allen, Robert Kiyosaki, Faith Popcorn, John Gray, and many others…

… including, would you believe it, Donald Trump.

Yes indeed. His contribution in Chapter 24. It is titled Change Your Altitude.

We are in the same part of the book, Section 6 – Inner-Directed Change.

Personal observation – his contribution is all about him and contains a lot of hot blustery fluff.

Life is full of surprises. I don’t know whether to be happy or sad. Fact is stranger than fiction.

Here’s the link to the book on Amazon:

Einsteins’ Business:

The Birth of Presari

The The Magic of Business identifies all the key principles and critical motivational drivers that focused and guided me to create Presari — the custom search tool I created to help people select the best sources of information and use the best keywords to find the best information.

Basically, it’s the result of me being on a mission and a path to creating technology that helps others uncovering and make use of:

The Magical 3 C’s:

* Content
* Connections
* Communications

So if you want to experience some magic, head on over to enter some of your most important keywords and see what sort of magic you can create.

Using Presari to Research & Leverage Social Media Trends in 2018

How to Use Presari to Research and Leverage Social Media Trends 2018

Do you want to learn and get up to speed about how to make the best use of social media this next year?

Use Presari to research the trends. Here’s how:

Enter the words ‘Social Media Trends 2018’ at

You will be amazed at the results if you do the following:

1. Do a Google Bing side by side comparison.

a. Work through the curated text articles, sort by date and study the last day, week, month and year.

b. Look at the images. In particular, zero in on the infographics

c. Then focus on the videos. You will be able to identify the most popular videos and those by experts. There are even some actual courses.

2. Then look at the social media. Look at Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn for new and popular article and posts. Look at SlideShare for the Powerpoint presentations and at You Tube and Vimeo for the videos and interviews. With Facebook and Twitter, identify new connections. Use LinkedIn to get to the right people and contact information.

3. Then look at news media (Google & Bing News). Study the recent media coverage and identify the hot topics. Use the 3 I Technique to Identify successful feature stories and interviews. Plan and create new content that carries the conversation forward with new issues, helpful actionable tips and insights that can produce real-time benefits.

Presari is an elearning search tool – a channel changer for search engines that let’s you choose where you get your information from.

Use Presari

Posted in action planning

The Blood, Sweat and Tears for Getting Publicity

The Blood, Sweat and Tears of Getting Publicity for Professional Branding

To me, getting publicity is like making candy – it’s a tasty recipe backed by art and science, psychology, and specific tactics that come into play. It’s a persuasive communications process that one has to go through. It has a very narrow set of requirements that many people simply do not understand.

The blood sweat and tears of getting publicity is always in the writing of the news release. It contains your pitch. The news release is the crucial document that you create and transmit to media. Then you watch and wait to see what happens. It’s a very important document. Your pitch is basically a proposal. A publishing proposal.

When it’s successful, it can be real magic, like lightning in a bottle. Phenomenal things can really happen. Careers and fortunes can be created. Millions of people can potentially see your message and be influenced by your writing and thinking.

But if it’s not, very little will happen, in fact, it can be a painful economic and pride felt loss.

The hardest part that I find is that people don’t realize that getting publicity is not like marketing. When you market, you try to persuade to sell product or services.

When you seek publicity, you are talking to a publisher or a producer and asking them to publish what you wrote, or write about what you say or do.

When you write a news release you are in effect you are communicating a very specific message:

‘esteemed and honored fellow publisher (or producer or host), please give me space in your publication (or on your show).’

This distinctive purpose of this message is one of the most difficult things I have to teach and get people to understand when I work with clients. Many an otherwise brilliant and successful author, marketer and promoter has great difficulty with this concept.

Basically, they write an ad and expect media to publish it. They are terribly surprised and hurt when it gets rejected. In fact, their failure at this point often times results in them ceasing the whole writing and creative or business development process. How tragic to come so far and then stop over the failure to be successful at this point.

So! Heed the words of this publicist, and I truly believe if you grok this deeply, you’ll reduce the pain you go through as you learn what it takes to get publicity. It will make our lives a lot easier.

You’ll give me better more newsworthy information, it will take us less time to write a good news release, you’ll get more publicity when we do send it out, and I’ll get to spend more time fishing.

So here goes. I’ll share with you what I know.

The Key Psychology for Dealing with Media

First, understand that media are generally averse to giving anyone free advertising. They charge for advertising. That’s how they make their money.

So, if and when you write a news release and are perceived as asking for free advertising, for a commercial enterprise, the likely outcome is a call or email from the sales advertising manager at the media. So please do not be surprised if and when this happens.

Second, media only publish three basic things:

News, Entertainment and Education.

That’s it. There is no more, except for the paid advertising that is.

Don’t believe me? Look at any media publication. Look at a newspaper, look at a magazine. Identify what you see. Do this article by article. Analyze the media. Learn and try to grasp what they do. Pick up any publication and classify every inch of space into one of these four classifications: news, entertainment, education, or paid advertising. Prove it to yourself.

Do you get this yet?

And realize that if you want to be published, this is what you need to give the media people you are pitching to and be quick about it.

Now to really make the connection with your media targets when you pitch to a media person, you have to give them what they want.

The hard part is in figuring out what that is. It’s crucial to remember we are writing to a publisher and asking for them to publish something about our topic, featuring us.

BTW, if you do a good job on the news release, you’ll get some media responses even if you use the free services. But you’ll get greater penetration and quantity and quality response with services that send to custom targeted media lists matched to the message.

There are lots of issues that enter into a media decision to respond to a news release favorably: content, timeliness, quality of thinking, how many people in the audience will be interested, what’s in it for the audience, cost and effort needed to use it, prior and competing coverage of the topic, downstream issues, and the likely audience response.

These are among the many factors that go through an editor’s or a producer’s mind. You find this out when you speak to them, and also when you watch what they select, and of course, by what they publish every day. In fact, this is the greatest source of guidance you can find, and it’s available to you every day.

What I find is that very simply, if they see what they like, they use it. They may not use all of it, and they may change it, but it gets some coverage if it fits just two key critical elements:

1. their readership interests; and

2. editorial style and requirements (e.g., mandatory needs).

Media people make decisions based on how it will likely affect their bottom line, which is revenue based on subscriptions, advertising, and market share.

To you and me, it’s a gauntlet of sorts, and we try our best to learn, create appropriate material, present it as best we can, and act persuasively.

Once you understand this psychology and positioning, then you can get to work, and it’s really not that hard.

So how do you decide what do you put into a news release so that you maximize your publishing success?

Here’s a link to an article I wrote that explains this in more detail:

The Hot Button Theory: Maximizing Media Response to Your News Releases

Here are the basics.

Do you want to see your media response improve dramatically? Send a news release that pushes the media’s hot buttons. I’ve developed a little set of criteria from having sent out thousands of news releases for clients over the past two decades, and the common set of factors that produce the maximum success.

Here’s what you need to do:

Tell me story (a short, bed time story), give me a local news angle (of interest to my particular audience), hit me in the pocket book (make me or save me money), teach me something I didn’t know before (educate me), amaze me or astound me (like in WOW!), make my stomach churn (in horror or fear), or turn me on (yes, sex sizzles).

Your news release needs to do this in 30 seconds or less.

Let’s look at it again from a slightly different perspective.

I’ve studied what the media actually publish for decades now and I believe you can boil it all down to one simple formula. Look at almost every article in USA Today or any other newspaper or magazine or any TV show and try to identify the common key elements that pop out at you. You’ll see it immediately once I tell it to you.

Here it is:


These letters stand for “Dramatic Personal Achievement in the Face of Adversity plus a little Humor.”

If you look at almost every media around you, from the front page of USA Today to the Olympics to the evening news to the sitcoms on TV, you’ll see this is what the American public wants, desires, and craves.


As a culture, we crave to see the human spirit triumph in matters of the heart, and in trials of hardship and tragedy. We ask to be uplifted right out of the humdrum of our everyday reality into the exhilaration and extreme emotional states of those who are living life on the edge.

It galvanizes our attention. It rivets us to our seats. It captures our attention and our hearts.

It drives us to pay for newspaper subscriptions, to movie theatres for entertainment, to rent videos for fun or education, to bookstores for a good read. This is what energizes and drives the very core of numerous key economic systems and is what creates and maintains the very infrastructure of the publishing, news, and entertainment industries.

And this is what the media seeks to provide. This is what works. Human interest stores with


You will see these elements everywhere you look in varying degrees. It is a rare media feature that doesn’t contain most of these items. The media uses technology to increase the assault on our senses, enhance the effect, and make our experience ever more compelling and memorable.

And if you are writing a news release to get publicity for yourself or for a client, what you have to do to maximize your chances is recognize this desire and need, and then cater to it as best you can.

If you want to put your best foot forward and take a crack at writing a news release that does this, here is what I suggest:

For any particular publicity project you have in mind, study your target publications (the ones you really want to be in), identify articles that you want to achieve similar success, review prior and existing media coverage of your subject, and then make a list of the top ten things (ideas and actions) that you can write or talk about.

You can use News Search Engines (e.g., Google News) to evaluate media coverage of your topic and to identify articles that you can use as models. Then you can actually put pen to paper.

Use the 3 I Technique

My 3 I technique is really useful at this point. Here is what the 3 I Technique consists of:

1. Identify your Success Story
2. Imitate What You See
3. Innovate with your own information.

Remember, this step wise process helps you nail two most critical elements of importance to your media target on the very first draft.

• Readership interest
• Editorial Style

Nail it, and you get a chance. Hit people’s hot buttons and galvanize attention. To do this you need to focus on developing the very special ideas and content that helps them be successful.

Learn more about this technique here:

Help the People You Can Help the Most

One of the most successful types of news releases to use is the problem-solving tips article or advice article.

Even if you have written fiction or romance, you can turn the world of fantasy into something real by offering solid advice or actionable insights that only you can offer because of the unique expertise you acquired in your life.

So here’s an exercise to help you create the right content.

Pretend that you are going to speak to 20 people and you wanted to inspire, motivate and impress the hell out of them, but only had exactly three minutes.

What are the very best eight to ten pieces of advice would you give them? You must identify the topic that will interest the maximum number of people. You must also then present the very best advice or analysis and recommendations, best stories, best insights, or best humor you are capable of to address the problem or the subject you identified. These must be ideas or actions they can take or implement that will produce highly desirable benefits in their life right now.

The reason is that these ideas are just like candy. Candy produces such pleasurable sensations that it results in chemical memory. People always remember where they got good candy. And that’s what you need to make. Good intellectual property candy.

The goal here is to galvanize them into action, so that when you are done, they jump up and open their wallets, and hand you their business card, and say “call me, I need your services”.

It is not just to sell your book. It is to sell people on YOU. You are the candy. It is professional branding at its best that we seek here, so that people are so enamored with you that they buy everything you have available for sale.

Bottom line:

Do your homework – study what your target media are publishing. Study what is being published today and realize this is the very best critical business intelligence you can find. Then utilize it to match media readership interests and editorial needs in your pitches.

This is the very best path to use to get the media coverage you seek.

This is perhaps one of the easiest writing assignments you will ever receive. Use the 3 I Technique from now on, every time you seek to get media coverage, or social media shares, or interviews, or whatever.

If you do this, I’d like to see what you create. You can send it to me anytime and I’ll be happy to give comments and recommendations to you on what to do with it to help target and reach the right audiences and get you to where you want to be.

Just remember this:

If you give the media what they really want, they’ll give you what you want – free publicity.

Is this really it? The Miracle of the Microcosm

One of the Yahoo Self Publishing Group members posted two really important questions… about how to do targeted PR:

1) HOW do you find those people?
2) WHAT comprises that irresistible message?

I do this for a living for clients in all sorts of genres and industries. Here goes:

1) How do you find the right people?

First identify your target audience. Who are they? What do they do? How do they buy products like yours? When and how? Where do they get their recommendations? Research and identify what they read, watch and listen to particularly when they are most receptive to a product or service suggestion. You can focus on reaching individuals or utilizing media because of the credibility and audiences they can reach for you. Here’s a checklist of prime media:

Daily and weekly newspapers
Magazine & Trade Publications
News services & syndicates
Radio and TV stations, shows & networks

Then you have the online media:

News Web Sites
Online Version
Mailing Lists
Discussion groups
Audio Podcasts/Photo/Video Sharing Sites
Social Networking Sites

While you want to assemble a list of newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV programs, news services, syndicates, and Internet media that will help you reach your target audience, bear in mind that these aren’t the only places that people congregate. Here’s a list of non-media venues you ought to consider:

Interest Groups
Support Groups
Trade shows/conferences

Since I’m a publicist, I use a licensed media database called Cision to do this and I create custom lists for client outreach efforts.

But you can scratch the surface yourself using the Internet and make use News Search Engines and searchable free online media directories to search by key word to identify articles and media that you want to contact and pitch your own articles to. You can use the specialized search tools at Facebook, Twitter, and other MEDIA” just as easily and you can develop pitches that are properly formatted and designed to be appropriate for those technologies. The challenge will be reaching enough of them and being persuasive with them so you get your message published in enough places.


I write a lot of blog posts on this. I call this the miracle of the microcosm.

You need to learn how to turn people on so that they come to you for more of what you are offering.

Perhaps the simplest and most powerful suggestion I can you suggest to you is that you use The 3 I Technique

a. Identify a Success Story
b. Imitate the Success Story
c. Innovate with Your Own Information

This is a technique I recommend you experiment with. You can do this with any type of marketing communications. It basically focuses you on identifying a model of success and mimicking it as you create your own message. The idea is simple – follow in the footsteps of someone who is doing things that are successful.

You can use Google news for example on the word “troubleshooting tips” which I did for you here:

There are over 1,000 articles for you to study. Some are news releases, some are articles in newspapers and others are article in magazines and trade publications. Now your goal is to pick ONE! Find one about someone else, that is really interesting and motivates you the way you want to motivate others. This is your model success story.

Then open up your word processing program and start writing. Look at their headline, and then write your own. Then do their first sentence, then write your own. Then do their first paragraph, and write your own. You walk your way all the way through the article to the last sentence.

You may find this to be very mechanical, but guess what, it works. If for example, you use a story in USA Today as your model, and you use this technique, then you create an article that matches readership interest and editorial style on the first try. It looks like it belongs there.

And when you send it to USA Today, you maximize your chances of being successful with them because they tend to recognize when you’ve done your homework. And if it’s good enough for USA Today, then other media will respond to it as well.

Identify the successes of your competition or the authors in your genre. Study what they use to be successful and follow in their footsteps. If you are a story teller, tell stories. If you are a horror writer, scare and horrify people. If you write sci-fi, then talk about the future. Give people and experience. Engage them and let them experience something that is truly emotionally engaging. Don’t be boring. Be stimulating. Choose what you say carefully. Plan it out, test it, select and rehearse, like an actor or an actress on stage.

What you do is you talk about the ideas and concepts in your book and how it affects others. People are really only interested in things that have value to their own lives or others that they care about. That is what you must offer. I have a little poetic like formula which I wrote which describes what you need to do which goes like this:

Tell me a story
give me a local news angle (my audience!)
touch my heart (make me laugh or cry)
teach me something new
astound or amaze me,
make my stomach churn with horror or fear,
hit me in my pocketbook
or turn me on.

And do this as many times as you can in two to three minutes.

If you study your target media and employ the 3-I technique, you will see that news coverage is largely predictable. Consumers and editors are drawn to types of stories that have worked well in the past. If you want to receive coverage, it’s important that you get familiar with these content patterns and do your best to replicate them.

The reason is simple: media publish what sells. To be in media you have to give them what they publish. Therefore to maximize your chances, you give it to them their way.

Now I’ve been doing this with clients for years and I’ve characterized the many patterns and ways media publish. The following list of most commonly featured content is derived from analyzing successful media coverage of my clients in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV:

1. A dramatic personal story that describes achievement in the face of adversity plus a little humor.

2. A problem-solving-tips article on a timely topic that shows how you can help the people that you can help the most.

3. An innovative product or service that people want because of the remarkable benefits offered.

4. A dramatic and interesting photograph that tells a 1,000-word story at a glance.

5. A new development or situation that affects lots of people in a unique way.

6. A personal battle between the forces of good and evil, or David and Goliath.

7. A truly heartwarming tale with a happy or remarkable ending.

8. New effective techniques or tactics to improving a problem or situation that is commonly faced.

9. New form of creativity that makes people feel good or experience heightened emotions.

10. A story that makes people cringe in fear, howl with delight, or experience intense desire or want.

11. An explanation of a mystery that confounds a lot of people.

12. News, analysis, and commentary on a controversial issue or topic.

13. Localized stories and media access to the local people involved.

14. Innovative and new ways to have fun, save money, help people, increase their enjoyment, protect the environment, and help them get more out of life.

15. Unusual, hot, and wacky ideas, products, activities, and situations.

16. Mouthwatering recipes, food, culinary delights, or opportunities.

17. Educational, unusual, hard-to-believe, never-before-revealed, or fascinating news, data, information, or stories.

18. Record-breaking achievements, competitions, paradoxes, dilemmas, anything that confounds the human spirit.

19. Knowledge, ideas, or information that astounds, enlightens, and inspires people to experience new feelings.

20. Remarkable little things people may not know about, that will make their dreams come true.

This is the way to make use of the miracle of the microcosm. These are weapons of mass persuasion, in part because readers and viewers know the arc of these pieces by heart. This familiarity soothes them and allows them to concentrate on the particulars of your story.

This is how you first develop and prove what you can say that turns people on and gets them to take the action you want, and then use technology as a force multiplier to repeat the message and reproduce the action you want in quantity.

If you follow my advice, please send me what you create. I’d love to see it.

Hope this helps,

Paul J. Krupin, Direct Contact PR

Paying for Book Reviews – Are the Book Reviewer Sites Operating in Compliance with FTC Truth in Advertising Disclosure Requirements?

Paying for Book Reviews - Are the Book Reviewer Sites Operating in Compliance with FTC Truth in Advertising Disclosure Requirements?

I am participating in some heated discussion on LinkedIn regarding whether authors should pay for book reviews. Some of the owners and participants of book publishing review sites are touting how valuable the pay for review services are to authors. I openly disagree with their ideas and statements.

On December 3, 2014, Daniel Leffert posted an article on The Indie’s Guide to Paid Publishing.

I am a former attorney turned publicist who is very much opposed to seeing authors pay for reviews.

I respectfully wish to point out that according to the FTC regulations, if some one (e.g., any of the above companies identified) is paying reviewers and then posting those reviews to a review website for anyone to see, then each post is required to contain an appropriate disclosure.

Do you any of the businesses cited above abide by these requirements? I clicked on the book reviews. I don’t see very many clean and open disclosures.

You can read the regulations yourself here:

or use this sniplink:

Here’s the summary of one of the more interesting examples of FTC enforcement taken in 2012, that illustrates the expectations of the federal government:

The FTC also alleged that Spokeo deceptively posted endorsements of their service on news and technology websites and blogs, portraying the endorsements as independent when in reality they were created by Spokeo’s own employees.

The settlement fine is $800,000.

Here’s the link to this one:

Now people may think that the manner in which companies as like Blue Ink, Kirkus, Self-Publishing Review and other companies who offer paid review services self-police themselves is sufficient, but the regs and policy guidance clearly indicates that if each paid review isn’t disclosed sufficiently so that the viewing public knows of the fee arrangement, then they are very likely subject to legal action.

The Federal Trade Commission operates a complaint line too. Anyone can notify them of a situation and ask them to take action to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.

Here is the link to the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant:

People can also call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,700 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Hope this helps.

Getting More Publicity – The 3 I Technique Video

So many people struggle when they pitch media for coverage. They really don’t understand what media want and need.

The 3 I Technique makes it very easy to select the best topic and then nail it on the first try.

And with news search engines to aid you it doesn’t matter where you are are at all. You just search on your keywords to identify the most recent media coverage.

Then you use the 3 I Technique and design a proposal for media coverage that matches readership interest and editorial style. Push the conversation forward in a new direction carefully and strategically.

When do you stop marketing?

Never, unless you have one and now two books that are so good they sell by themselves.

Promoting book one evolves into promoting the brand. And the brand is you. Part of every day must be dedicated to reaching out and communicating meaningfully to the people you are seeking to help, or entertain, or work with.

With every breath, you do your best to leave a trail of intellectual candy that taste so good, that after a few bites, people decide they need to have the whole bag.

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