Thursday, May 8, 2014

Prioritize & Customize Your Media Outreach

There are four different media types out there, each with their own unique needs and strengths. When pitching the media, you need to take into account the significant and subtle differences between television, radio, print, and online. One pitch doesn’t fit all.

Let’s break things down further:

You have national network shows, as well as syndicated programs and nationwide cable shows. Then you have local and regional shows. Amongst the type of shows you can approach, you have late-night comedy like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. You have morning shows such as The Today Show or CBS This Morning. You also have weekend versions of some of these shows, as well as evening news programs, such as ABC World News Tonight.

There are also magazine shows like 60 Minutes and there are serious Sunday morning political shows like Meet the Press. You have daytime talk such as Ellen and Queen Latifah and general cable news opportunities throughout the day and night at Fox and CNN, and to a lesser extent at MSNBC and CNBC. Each network and show class (such as all morning shows) needs to be pitched differently. TV is the hardest medium to crack, in part, because there are so few outlets compared to other media.

You then have local television shows, from your morning show to your mid-day, early evening, and late-night news programs. To get on local TV you need a local hook or something that clearly appeals to the demographics of a particular city. There are hundreds of local TV show opportunities out there, but they are competitive, and short of doing a satellite transmission from one location, it can be expensive and time-consuming to visit a lot of cities.

There are national shows, such as NPR’s Fresh Air, syndicated shows such as Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern, and there are thousands of local and regional radio shows. Radio can be done primarily by phone, but a handful of the biggest shows prefer or demand you come in-studio.

You can be interviewed for just a few minutes on a news station or for 60 to 90 minutes on a call-in show. There are programs on FM, AM, and satellite radio that look for guests like you. Radio breaks down by a few things—location, format, signal power. What’s great about radio is that you can target the segments to who you want to reach. There is NPR for intelligent or serious talk, morning zoo shows on FM music stations for entertainment; news talk for issues of the day; business shows for all things financial or career; health shows for health topics; and so on and so on.

There are national magazines (People, Time, Cosmo), national newspapers (USA Today, Wall Street Journal, New York Times), newswires (Associated Press), and trade publications for various industries (Publishers Weekly). There are also newsletters that cover topics of interest to your book’s readers.

Locally, you have daily newspapers, business journals, parenting publications, and weekly papers.

Print has many opportunities, whether you’re approaching book editors, news editors, or department heads of things like business, health, or sports. Additionally, there are reporters, columnists, editorial boards, letter-to-editors, and freelance writers out there looking for interesting and relevant content.

This represents the biggest universe of media. Not only does it include the dot com side of traditional media, such as or, it offers online book reviewers, bloggers, podcasters, and all kinds of opportunities. Then you have social media -- both what you generate (your tweets, blog and FB postings) and what others post, share, or generate about you. Anything can go viral on the wild, wild west of the Internet.

Each of these media require different things, from the timing and content of your pitch to the demands of their industry and the variability of the ever-changing news cycle! In general, a good idea and a popular personality will get media attention, but nothing is a slam dunk. I’ve had clients get into the LA Times and USA Today, but little else. You’d think other media outlets would want what the top papers took, but sometimes it doesn’t work that way.

Sometimes you can get into The New York Times but struggle to get into the Milwaukee Sentinel.

You can be on dozens, even scores of radio shows, but never see a TV camera. Same with online media. You can be on 100 blogs but you may not generate interest from newspapers.

Most books/ authors are not right for all four media or some other factor impacts their ability to successfully pursue all media types. Some authors get started too late (you need to contact book review editors and magazines four months prior to pub date). Others don’t have the time or resources to research, contact, or follow-up with thousands of media outlets. Some are shy for radio, feel physically insecure for TV or find online media intimidating.

The rule of thumb is to go after all media types, big and small, and to persistently pursue media coverage, from reviews and feature stories to interviews, guest posts, and social media. But you’ll need to prioritize and time your outreach to the needs of the media that you pitch.

The one consistent thing amongst the media is that it’s a numbers game. You are looking to register your message with as many people as possible, preferably with people in your targeting demographic. So whether you hit it off with radio or print on TV or online or some combination of these media outlets—you will slowly but surely build a media resume and a path to book marketing success. 


by Ken Blanchard and Norman Vincent Peale

There are ways in which companies can encourage and foster management decisions grounded in ethics. Every manager can play an important role in helping his or her organization to create the kind of positive and productive environment that fosters sound ethical decision-making and behavior.

It all comes down to how people -- both employees and customers -- perceive the way they are being treated by the organization and its management. Is it possible today to stay competitive in business and still operate in an honest and ethical manner? If you don’t have a clear vision of what you want the company to be, it is apt to become something you don’t want. When there are no standards for behavior, anything goes. People’s negative feelings about their organization are at the root of unethical behavior. If people feel appreciated they are more likely to resist temptation to act unethically. If they are proud of their company and what it represents, people will fight to maintain integrity in the organization. When that occurs, it is proof that the organization’s purpose or mission is working on a daily basis.

Sound ethical practices occur in organizations where the previously agreed-upon decision-making process is not compromised or bypassed to achieve desired results. Most ethical deterioration you find in an organization can be traced to impatience in attaining goals and objectives. That impatience compromises customer and employee satisfaction and begins a negative cycle that affects results. In other organizations, managers who do not persistently uphold established standards of ethical behavior are not held accountable for their lack of commitment. Without accountability-positive or negative consequences of actions or inactions- any policy or program is apt to fail.

Because feedback on results is the number-one motivator of people, we all want to know how well we are doing. When a performance-review system is effective, people are given ongoing feedback on results almost daily, rather than having to wait until a formal performance-review interview. Unfortunately, most organizations either don’t have a performance review system- and therefore people don’t really know where they stand-or the established system is simply an organized method of beating people up. When someone calls and asks you to do something, don’t automatically go to your calendar to see if you have time. Instead, reflect on your purpose and related goals and ask yourself if you really want to commit your time to that person or activity in the first place. If you consistently do this, it will be easier to keep yourself on track and live according to your purpose, values, and ethical beliefs.

Being an ethical person means behaving ethically all the time- not only when it’s convenient. In fact, it is especially important to act ethically when it is inconvenient or unpopular to do so. We need to make a distinction between commitment and interest. When you aren’t interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. Often there is an excuse for why you can’t do what you said you would do. When you are committed to do something, however, you accept no excuses-only results. When you have patience, you realize that if you do what is right-even if it costs you in the short run-it will pay off in the long run.

Seek out and gather people around you who support you and encourage you. Avoid individuals who are negative or always putting you down. These kinds of people are parasites who drain you of your inner strength. And don’t be awestruck by other people or feel you have to compete against them. Remember, no one can be you as effectively as yourself; but try to be your best self. We must take responsibility for the condition we’re in and stop acting like passive victims. You may not have had much control in shaping your current circumstances, but you have the power to change your circumstances and thereby shape your future. Once you realize this fact, a lot of anger and frustration wash away.

The highest standards of honesty, integrity, and fairness must be followed by each and every employee when engaging in any activity concerning the company, particularly in relationships with customers, competitors, suppliers, the public, and other employees. Our company now expects that no employee will undertake any activity while on company premises, or while engaging in company business, that is (or gives the appearance of being) improper, illegal, or immoral, or that could in any way harm or embarrass our company or our customers. We are given the freedom to choose to live ethically or choose to live otherwise. Having this freedom to choose, and exercising it with integrity and humility, actually makes us strong. The toughest ethical problems provide the biggest opportunities for growth.

The mirror test. Can you look at yourself in the mirror without guilt? When you do what’s right, you can look yourself straight in the eye. But when you disregard your purpose and do something that you know is wrong, you won’t feel good about yourself. No matter how much you rationalize your actions, you will feel uncomfortable.

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 He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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