Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How Will You Convince The Media To Interview You?

How do you convince the news media to give you exposure?  You have to convince them to take a next step, so determine what that is.  Your goal may be to get the media to write about you and your book, but your first goal is have them agree to: look at your book, or to be available to briefly chat about what you have to offer, and to schedule an interview.

Each step leads to another.

One step you take is to convince them to look at your book, you’ll need to impress them with its contents.  In order to make them aware of relevant sections or passages, highlight with sticky notes or a letter as to what they should see first.  Then, help them make the transition from explaining what you wrote and identifying who you are to getting them to see why they should consider you as a source or a personality worth talking to.

Should you get them to take step two – to talk to you – you’ll need to discern their level of interest and feed them what they are looking for.  It’s not about you and what you wrote – it’s about them, their needs, and how you can service them.

If you make it past the first few steps, all that is left is to close the deal with an interview.

Try to learn of their questions ahead of time.  Get an idea of where they want to take their story and look to meet them where they need to get to.

So how do you get past the initial stage of convincing the journalist to take a next step with you?  You’ll need to approach them in a strategic way.  Here are some ideas:

1.      Reactive Approach
You see the journalist just wrote on a matter related to yours.  Contact them to show what you can offer on the subject.

2.      Pre-Emptive Approach
You may know a holiday, anniversary, or expected news event is coming up and you want to ride its coattails to get coverage for your book.  Contact the media and reference the special day, week or even a month out, and show how you’d be a good source should they choose to cover that special day.

3.      Argumentive Approach
Offer a contrarian viewpoint on a popular subject and show why it has merit.

4.      Controversial Approach
Make inflammatory statements, challenge the norms in a way that’s not so polite, and call out/criticize people and policies.

5.      New Facts Approach
Make media aware of new findings on something the media didn’t know about.

6.      Insiders Approach
Show how, based on experiences or connections, you are in the know with a behind-the-scenes look at something newsworthy.

7.      Popularity Approach
If your social media numbers are substantial, tell the media.  They run towards people with lots of followers. 

8.      Solutions Approach
Can you solve major problems?  Tell the media how.

9.      Criticism Approach
Is something wrong that needs fixing and we didn’t know it was a problem?  Expose the problem and watch the media run in.

10.  Celebrity Insight Approach
Are you in a position to comment on newsmakers, such as why a celebrity couple broke up or what drove a company out of business or why a politician is in a scandal?  Do tell.

There are many ways to get the media’s attention.  It all begins with a timely idea that is expressed succinctly to the right person at the targeted media outlet.  Get them to want to know more and to see your book.  One step will lead to another.

The litmus test to sound convincing?
·         Use facts and not bullshit
·         Sound firm and confident
·         Intimate you have knowledge the media doesn’t have
·         Explain your intentions are noble and purposeful
·         Come off as a friend they’d like to have
·         Don’t hyperbolize or theorize – just hit them with substantive ideas and information
·         Approach them as if you are doing them a favor

Good luck.


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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