Thursday, January 12, 2017
How To Craft Press Releases That Net Your Book Media Exposure
Everyone tells you to create a great pitch or press release that you should send to the news media, but you probably don’t know how to get started in this process. Here’s the approach you should take if your goal is to craft a great press release that draws the news media in:
First, keep in mind the purpose of the press release is to get the media’s attention and to lure them into wanting to connect with you. They may want to interview you, review your book, or offer you a by-lined article opportunity. The release is just a short teaser – it is not a detailed summary of your book and it’s not intended to reveal everything that you have to say that’s newsworthy. Keep the release to between 600-1000 words, include your contact information and one relevant link, such as to your website. Use a catchy headline, a sub-head that supports the headline, a strong opening paragraph, and offer some key message points in the form of bullet points (5-7 will do, each a line or two long).
Ok, so how will you determine what goes in this press release?
1. Start by allowing yourself to just freely write, in an uncensored flow of thoughts and ideas, on the general topics, angles, and ideas that relate to you, your book, and the topic area of expertise.
2. Then go through the list and revise it. Brainstorm deeper thoughts about each idea.
3. Have others – friend, family or colleague – brainstorm on their way own, independently. Then come together to play off one another and select the best ideas.
4. Look at press releases on similar books or topics and borrow ideas.
5. Consult Lexis-Nexis and see what the media has already covered or said about this topic.
6. Explore how your message ties into news events, pop culture, calendar of events, the nation’s mood, special honorary days, leading personalities, hit books, and the upcoming news cycle.
7. Reach beyond your topic and then bring it back to what you really need to say. Boil your message down to its essence or core: exactly what’s interesting, unique, new or special here?
8. State the obvious – the basics, facts, and ideas. Then jazz up the language. Pose questions that make people curious. Point out a shocking statistic. Identify major challenges. Issue a warning or raise fear. Strike an emotion, fill a need, create a desire, or solve a problem with your message.
9. Look to see if you can relate your message to something people identify with - a big event like the Super Bowl, a major holiday like Valentine’s Day, a seasonal event like graduation time, or a major movie release.
10. Lastly, do you quote yourself? Say something profound, timely, relevant, and controversial. Status quo won’t work here. There’s no plaything it safe with press releases – you need to stretch yourself and go out on a limb with a prediction, revelation, warning, challenge, surprise position or extraordinary promise.
Compile your targeted media list.
Send your press release out.
Craft another release and repeat these steps.
All-New 2017 Book Marketing & PR Toolkit