Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Good Girls Don’t Get Media Coverage
One thing is clear when promoting a book. Being polite doesn’t work. Remaining neutral doesn’t work. Being reserved doesn’t work. If you aren’t prepared to state strong views and alienate others, don’t bother promoting your book. If you aren’t committed to saying outrageous things and drawing clear lines of winners and losers, don’t even think of contacting the media. Being humble or waiting in line is not the way to proceed in the media arena.
This doesn’t mean you need to be outright rude, mean, or disrespectful to others, nor is this a license to lie, cheat, steal, or break the law. But to promote yourself today in the current media environment, you need to stick out, and sometimes to do that means you need to position yourself against someone or something as much as you are for someone or something.
The media rhetoric often sinks to the level of schoolyard bully vitriol. Just turn on Fox and see what I mean. We don’t need that, but you do have to speak in an assertive, inspiring, and confident tone. Sometimes, you have to make your point by putting the points of others down.
Let’s say your book is about what should be done about an issue such as the debt. It’s easy to find an enemy there. You can bash the policies of various elected officials and parties. You can make statistical claims. You can demand for changes to be made and give 10 steps to follow. But what do you do if your book seems less political and argumentative, like a book on caregiving or raising a happy child, or a cookbook for diabetes?
There’s always something to criticize or argue against. You just have to think who can be a big enough target.
For instance, maybe the enemy for caregiving is the government, and its lack of policy or support. Maybe for the cookbook, the enemy is big food companies who sell junk food. For the parenting book, we can rail against the practices of psychologists who offer useless advice. Someone has to wear the black hat and be demonized. It can be a person, a place, a thing, an ideology, an institution, the government, a business, or an event. But some opposition has to exist in order for you to be the hero and victor.
The media wants controversy, colorful personalities, debates, and wild accusations flying around – and you need to give them what they want. Look at other industries. Take sports. We love rivalries. People will talk about Lakers-Celtics, Yankees-Red Sox, Bruins-Flyers. In politics, it’s liberals vs. conservatives. In high school, it’s nerds vs. jocks. In life, it’s men vs. women or city vs. suburb or underdog vs. monopoly.
We want there to be tension, with something at stake. We want urgent calls to action and we need forks in the road. We want to feel we are at a pivotal turning point, where our rights, wealth, r, freedom, and way of life are under threat. Your pitches to the media need to tap into this emotional and psychological fervor.
Good girls don’t get attention – only those who talk, act, or dress provocatively. When it comes to the media, be a naughty girl!
Book Excerpt: HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE
SIX WAYS TO MAKE PEOPLE LIKE YOU
Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people.
Principle 2: Smile.
Principle 3: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
Principle 4: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
Principle 5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
Principle 6: Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely
Three-fourths of the people you will ever meet are hungering and thirsting for sympathy. Give it to them, and they will love you.
Say about yourself all the derogatory things you know the other person is thinking or wants to say or intends to say – and say them before that person has a chance to say them. The chances are a hundred to one that a generous, forgiving attitude will be taken and your mistakes will be minimized.
Let Charles Schwab say it in his own words: “The way to get things done,” says Schwab, “is to stimulate competition. I do not mean in a sordid, money-getting way, but in the desire to excel.”
That is what every successful person loves: the game. The chance for self-expression. The chance to prove his or her worth, to excel, to win. That is what makes footraces and hog-calling and pie-eating contests. The desire to excel. The desire for a feeling of importance.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014