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Getting More Publicity: Hitching a Ride on Current Events

tips and tactics for writing a news release that gets publicity related to hot items in current events

Question came up on one of the publishing discussion groups that i participate in.

>>I have two books that tie-in with the recent news concerning the raid
>>on the polygamist ranch in Texas. … I need to know how to use recent
>>events to market both these books as soon as possible.

Here’s my perspective.

Current events do present opportunities for media coverage. But you have to be very smart and very careful. To see whether you can get involved requires you to analyze what you have and quickly identify what you can bring to the table that the media needs. Obviously you do not want to be seen as an ambulance chaser. But there are ways to get out in front of the news, regardless of what happens.

There are very special questions you have to ask which will allow you to determine if you have what it takes to become an asset to media once a hot topic surfaces in the media. There are also risks that must be avoided.

If you think about what media does in response to an event, they go through several stages of activity. Break these stages down and identify specifically what these activities involve.

On any event of note the media needs:

– relevant facts and explanation to provide insights into what this event means to the watching public

– expert commentary with an ability to assess and relate history and the past to the present and the future

– analysis of impacts and consequences

– opinion on what individuals, organizations and cognizant governments should or shouldn’t do

– evaluation of developing trends and consequences

– prevention, protection, remeditation or financial protection ideas and strategies and remedies for the people involved directly or the next touched and the support network for both.

If you can clearly identify and then flesh out your ideas and credentials, you can send a news release and draw attention to yourself (or your client) and offer to provide the information to the media for their use.

The real key is to not look backward but look forward. The actual news releases you write do need to contain some key information. Successful event follow-up news releases:

1. Have a short and to the point headline

2. they clearly state what, when, where, why, and how the ideas benefit the targeted impacted group of people

3. it also clearly states why the information is of interest to the media audience.

4. Provide a quick, solid, easy to use statement of facts, issues, analysis points, conclusions, questions and answers, talking points, or whatever it is you have to offer.

5. Presents your credentials quickly, which qualify you as an expert worth trusting.

6. Provides clear contact information (name, phone and email) that allows for quick booking of the interview.

7. Offers the media more free additional information quickly (review copies, white papers, pdf files, etc by web site, e-mail, fax, overnight).

You should send out your news release as soon as you can after the event occurs because the clock is running once the event starts.

One key guerrilla tactic, once an event occurs, is to create a likely timeline whereby you predict what will happen over time, and identify the key events and breaking opportunites and even identify and present the key people for timely media intervention and coverage. Then you pitch and let the media know what’s going to happen.

If you want to see more you can read an article I wrote on how to hitch a ride on current events.

I have a real time example of this type of opportunity to demonstrate how it’s done right now.

Earlier this week I wrote and transmitted a news release for Jim Trippon, a financial planner, author of the new book China Stock Guru, and expert editor of the China Stock Digest.

We offered up a counter point to the three US candidates for President all appearing to endorse the idea that the US should boycott the Olympics over the China actions in Tibet. His point – to do so shows a lack of understanding of the Chinese and won’t help settle things at all. He then offered up some expert views and ideas on what we our top management and leadership should be doing instead.

We transmitted the release and as a result got many calls for the book and booked interviews with FOX News (twice and they even sent a limo to pick him up at his office in Houston for the interview) , the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, and a bunch of others.

If you want to see the actual news release that resulted in this media success please send me an email message .

Posted on Sunday, April 20th, 2008 at 9:58 am In
book publicity, copywriting, news releases, press releases, publicity