When pitching the news media, one can employ any number of styles and call upon a variety of pitches. What will work best to get you that interview?
Customized pitches work the best. Know what media outlet you’re talking to and know more about the specific producer or editor that you are contacting. What do they tend to like? What’s been done by them lately?
Know the news cycle. Is there a big story out there that your book can shed light on? Is there a holiday or relevant anniversary coming up that you can tap into?
Are you leading with the fact a problem exists – or that you have a solution? Many people will complain about an issue heavily, but go lightly on their prescription. It should be the other way around.
Do you emphasize credentials and tell them who you are and why you’re uniquely qualified to share an advanced perspective on matters of concern?
Can you give a proportioned perspective to the media and put into context the magnitude of the issue you want to discuss? Will they understand its significance and relevance? They need to see that what you discuss will not only impact a lot of people, but especially those in the demographics of their viewers, listeners, and readers.
What you deliver to the media depends on your method of delivery. Are you seeing them in person? Talking by phone? Mailing a package? Emailing something? If you see them in person, your appearance, body language, voice, and presentation mannerisms influence their views. If you call on the phone, your voice and level of energy will need to sell it. If you mail a package, the book will speak for itself – along with supplemental materials, clever packaging, and attractive trinkets. Email relies on words – and sometimes images – to sell it – but avoid cluttering them with endless clickable and downloadable junk.
The media needs to hear certain things early into the pitch or they move on. They want to succinctly know who you are and what you have to offer. Kill the fluff and hype, hold the story telling, and get to the point. They operate under extreme pressures and lack time – always.
Use key buzzwords that draw attention. Someone didn’t pass on – they dropped dead from a violent heart attack. Someone didn’t sleep their way to the top – they screwed or screwed over anyone that stood in their way. Someone didn’t lose 150 pounds in three months with a cool diet – they lost half their body mass in just 90 days by utilizing a revolutionary diet that calls for dieters to eat fiber-rich foods. Your book doesn’t tell people how to save for retirement – it shows anyone in any career how to retire by age 60 and be a millionaire.
Have examples ready to support your ideas, claims, and predictions. The media not only wants to hear validation for your bluster – it wants to reference them for a story.
Create a villain – and be the hero. The media loves drama and controversy. Present them with a good-bad confrontation.
Hit a key touch point. I don’t care what your book is about or which media outlet you are pitching. We’re all human. Did you reference sex, money, travel, family, or death? These are driving forces – toss in emotion, curiosity, power, and crime for good measure.
Remember, most media has an agenda, whether it be to serve its followers, advertisers, ownership’s business dealings, the politics of the media outlet, or the existence of competition. Find the things that a media outlet cares about and fill the void.
Finally, communicate with enthusiasm, passion, energy, vision, and confidence. You are a force and a voice – let the media know it!
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015
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