Direct Contact PR, Internet media faxgrowth


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

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

Creating the Best Online Media Kits

Advice on creating the best online media kits

There are a few articles on my web site all about media kits both regular and online. Here are the links:

What Goes in Your Media Kit? Have a ready to use media kit toolbox

Building a Really Effective Online Press Center

The online media kit is simply the electronic version of a regular media kit. Instead of paper delivered, you place the content, photography, bio, advice, book covers, and references on a dedicated web site page that is easy to find, navigate and use. All the key core content media requires is made available with links or downloads.

Every media kit must be designed to meet the media’s needs. The goal with media is to get media coverage. Feature stories, interviews, and product reviews are the most common goals for most creatives. Photographs, videos, music play, event announcements, calendar items, op-eds, columns, and even letters to the editor are other possibilities.

You select and design the numerous key content components to match the entity seeking the coverage to the target media style, content, and requirements.

The most effective online media kits give the media everything they need to do their job, the way you want that job done.

Target your media carefully or fail to even hit the right people

So many media! What’s a person to do? Who is going to read your news release? How do you close the deal?

Target your media carefully, based the following criteria:

1. What are you trying to achieve with the media? Most people can benefit from feature stories, interviews, and products reviews, in that order. Some people want incoming links along with the content that drives SEO. What do you want?

2. Who can do that for you? Identify the right people by keyword and geography, by beat and area of authority or responsibility.

3. Can you supply them with the content or people they need to do their job directly? Can you send it to them electronically? Can you deliver it by mail? In person? Do they need to send a camera crew? Your chances for success go up if the delivery is fast and if the cost they incur is low. The slower the delivery and the higher the costs, the less likely you are to succeed in doing at needs to be one to get real media coverage.

4. How effectively can you reach them to engage in a meaningful communication about your proposal? Can you reach them directly by email and phone? By fax? By street mail? Only by appointment? Are they well protected by secretaries or administrative assistants? Are you using an online a post and pray news release distribution method where the only chance of being discovered is if someone in your target media trips over you having done a keyword search? Reaching media by phone, email and street mail is the best way to make a direct connection.

Lots of people get all of these wrong.

You can watch your media success improve dramatically when you treat media people with respect by targeting media carefully. Make sure you offer and can deliver:

1. Galvanizing news, education or entertainment that is designed to interest lots of people in the selected media audience

2. Tangible real value. Help the people you can help the most.

3. Easy access to the information, graphics, technology and the people that the media need to do their job the way you want it done, and by covering the travel costs for the delivery if needed.

What is the best day of the week to send out a news release?

Question came in from a member of the Yahoo Self-Publishing Group

In my experience sending out news releases using email and chasing editors and reporters by phone, Tuesday is the best day of the week to deliver a release and Wednesday, and Thursday are also really good days. A lot depends on what you are asking the media people to do and whether it involves significant work on their part.

The reasoning is that the media tends to work on a five day work schedule, Monday through Friday and they roughly work 8 AM to 5 PM with some variations for other types of work schedules, especially for early morning TV. Monday is the day they come to work catch up from Friday, have staff and other meetings, and plan the work for the week. Friday of course, they are wrapping up and trying to clear their desks so they can go home for the weekend.

Saturday and Sunday are not good days to reach media people. It’s the weekend and the media offices have reduced staff unless an emergency comes up.

Tuesday is the day where they’ve gotten past the staff meeting and drudgery that Monday’s entail and we see they have the maximum ability to focus on things that come in fresh. They also have the ability to allocate and deploy human resources to any task they decide to work on for the rest of the week. Wednesday and Thursday are also good but the time, attention and ability to deploy resources diminish as the week goes by. So early in the week is still better than late in the week.

I’ve also had some surprising hits on Friday but this was usually with something that was hard news or something enticing that requires very little action, like read this and they can say “yes, send me a review copy”.

So the absolute best timing is to try to transmit Monday timed for Tuesday morning delivery. I control the time of delivery to 6 AM west coast time, because the release arrives at 3 AM east coast time and the morning TV news producers arrive at work at 4 AM.

We can work on copy and strategy all the time. Basically you transmit your news and pitch when the lights are on and someone is there to receive and act on your message.

Social media often respond to this same pattern, especially if they are working in a five day office setting. However many of them are less office bound. They see your pitches often on mobile devices and respond on the fly. They work with more flexible schedules and often respond after their day job is over. The benefit of email is that your message stays there till they read it. The disadvantage is that everyone else’s pitch does as well.

Posted in Uncategorized

NY Times Favorite Book Covers

NY Times Favorite Book Covers

You can learn a lot about good cover design from this article.

Favorite Book Cover Designs from 2012

The value is enhanced when utilized in email html news releases.

Posted in Uncategorized

Getting Publicity – One on One

How do you get the best publicity & media coverage? You go one on one with a single media person.

Identify your media target. Buy the latest journal. Get online, Tear apart the latest edition. Learn and understand what they publish (or produce). Identify where you want to be.

Identify the media person you need to pitch. Call them.

First, ask them if there is an opportunity to contribute (to where you want to be).

Assuming yes, then ask them to help you figure out the best way to take advantage of the opportunity.

Say: “What exactly would you like the most? What are you looking for?”

Then shut up and listen carefully to what they say. Take careful notes so that you get it down correctly.

Agree on the length and basic structure of a deliverable before you end the call.

Then get busy and do your best creative work. Create the content that meets their needs.

Do not write by committee. Do not involve other people unless you absolutely need them to validate ideas or verify facts or correct your grammar.

Keep your content focused on the topic and guidance you received. Keep it tight. Create a very structured careful outline.

You are only here to do one thing – satisfy the question with content that fulfills the stated needs of the media.

All the needed content is to be supplied to the editor or producer in writing.

Deliver that content when you finish.

Then call or email and say, “Does this meet your needs?”

Posted in Uncategorized

Improve Your Publicity Success: Focus on the Media Audience

Focusing on the media audience dramatically improves coverage success.

Media don’t care about you. They care about their audience. They care about their bottom line.

To get media to give you publicity, you must give media what they need and want.

What is publicity? Media coverage. What type of media coverage? There are lots of possibilities:

Book or product review
Feature story article
Book or Product announcement
Event announcement
Opinion article (Op-ed)
Case Study
Expert Q & A
And more

When you create a pitch, tell the media what you want right up front. Then give them the story so they can visualize the final coverage in all its glory. 1. 2. 3.

Immediately create a remarkable experience, for the media that shows them 1. That lots of people will be interested 2. That has significant information, news, education or entertainment value, and 3. That is so well written they say yes, I’ll run with this, (or they ask you specifically for what they need that you have not already provided, so they can do their job).

If you want media to people to write about, talk about, or feature you in a favorable way then you have to give them the facts, the content, and graphic, visual, audio, technological aids that they need to create what you are asking for.

The secret is simple: think three steps ahead, anticipate what they need and give them more than they what they see 99 percent of the time from other people.

In your rush to get attention and create build buzz, the instinct is to sell product. That’s a mistake.

Everything you give media must feed and satisfy their needs and desire for quality information for their audience.

Every word, issue, every idea, every graphic, every link, that must be included has to help media decide to give you what you want.

However, anything that takes mental attention or time away from you (or your product or service) reduces the chances you get coverage that focuses on YOU.

Cut the hype. Just the facts. Give it to them their way.

Posted in Uncategorized

Bad experience with a big-time publisher

Bad experience with a big-time publisher

Penelope Trunk offers some startling insights and lessons learned based on her experience as an author with a big-name publisher and why she chose to self-publish.

Posted in Uncategorized

Response to Publicity Doesn’t Work

Response to Publicity Doesn’t Work

Forbes just posted an opinion article “Book Promotion for Self-Publishers

Quite a number of authors express great frustration and anguish over the fact that the publicity (book reviews, interviews, feature stories, etc). they received didn’t result in lots of book sales.

In fact several of them conclude that publicity doesn’t work.

OMG, failure certainly speaks louder than success. What a sad perspective.

Their experience with media may be due to a lot of things. But to me what appears to have happened is that whatever the media published certainly didn’t result in them “turning their people on”. I don’t see that as a reason to conclude that “Publicity Doesn’t Work”.

I see that a failure to make effective use of any number of golden media opportunities. Very simply, they didn’t turn people on.

In the middle of February, one of my clients, JJ Smith, did one interview on The Steve Harris Morning Show, and sold over 6,000 books and made it to the top of Amazon’s best seller list ahead of The Hunger Games Trilogy. Sure, it was only for 24 hours or so, but it was a single talk show interview that did it.

One of my favorite authors, Vince Flynn, did an interview with USA Today on Feb 6. He’s a best selling author of 13 books. He was asked three questions, and he spent one to two minutes more or less, answering each question. I was tickled to see how he handled the last question from the USA Today interviewer, one that he apparently had never been asked before – “What is it about your stories that brings the reader in?” BTW, it worked since I ran to the local bookstore and bought a copy.

For those of you who have worked with me, I challenge you with this very same question “what do you do that turns people on?” whenever we seek get media coverage whether it is for a review, a feature story, or an interview.

Think about what happens – just for example, when was the last time you read the newspaper or a magazine or watched TV and grabbed your credit card?

It probably doesn’t happen very often., does it? In today’s world, it may actually happen more often if you read something on a trusted blog or on a friend’s Facebook and they say, “…this is cool. You gotta have it.”

Think carefully about the times that it does happen. How did you feel? Weren’t you amazed, galvanized, and stunned? Wasn’t your attention riveted?

Well, if you want publicity or any other marcom that you create to do that, then you’d better figure out what is happening when it happens to you first. Then you have to learn what you can say and do to make it happen to others.

Realize that if you want to be a successful author you not only have to write a really good book, but when you get in front of media you need to turn your audience on. You have to learn how to do that or else people won’t respond the way you want them to.

Now I’ll share with you something I’ve learned doing publicity for a few tens of years.

I believe that you can learn to do this anywhere. I call this the miracle of the microcosm because I’ve found from working with real people, from all over the country, that it really doesn’t matter where you are. You can learn what to say that turns people on one person at a time. Yes you can.

You just have to keep talking to people and pay attention to what you said when it happens!

You can ask people at a speaking engagement to tell you. You can have a partner watch the audience and take note while you are speaking. You can record your talks and track sales or how many people raise their hand or come up to you after your talk. You’ll find hints in your reviewer comments and testimonials where people tell you why they love what you do.

The miracle is that once you learn the magic words that produce the action you want, you can then you can use all the media and other marcom technologies as a force multiplier to repeat the message and keep reproducing the effect.

In a nation with 330 million people, you have very good reason to focus on that message. Even if you are successful in reaching and converting an itsy bitsy tiny percent, you can be phenomenally successful.

Before you think that doing publicity or any other MarCom (marketing communications) technology is going to help you, you really need to learn what you can say and do that turns your people on. You need to develop a script that produces action.

Can you stand in front of 50 people and talk for three minutes so that half the people come flying out of their chairs and hand you money? That is what you need to be able to do. You need to hit their hot buttons by being the very best you can be. You need to give people a transcendental emotionally engaging experience. Learn how to do this in a small audience and then place that script into your interviews and feature story proposals.

The same is true by the way with social media. The real promise of social media is only achieved when what you’ve done is so good people rave about it to all their friends. If it’s not good enough, it’s just panned.

If you learn how to turn people on, and then use that in your targeted communications so that you help the people you can help the most, you’ll see your success with the media hit maximum levels. This isn’t easy to do. But if you are strategic and test, improve, and prove your communications systematically, it can be done.

Make sure that the content you offer is like candy. Create a recipe that tastes so good that people just can’t get enough of it. and they want the whole bag.

BTW, I’ve create a five minute, self-serve Prezi that describes how to do this process in a highly entertaining and visual way. It’s at my blog – here’s the link: