Tuesday, June 12, 2018

TV’s Criminal Minds Reveals A Killer Approach for Authors To Get Media Coverage

If you want to learn how to promote your book successfully, you might consider watching Criminal Minds, a television show that depicts how a special unit of the FBI profiles and tracks down serial killers.  No, you don’t have to commit bloody murder to get attention from the media, but you do have to apply their use of profiling to get a better handle on how the media thinks and what they want.  You need to be a better hunter.

Criminal Minds always comes up with a hypothesis and tests it against the evidence in hand.  Sometimes they have evidence that allows them to imagine competing scenarios of the truth, and it’s up to the FBI to play out every lead until new facts are learned, and the evidence is re-analyzed and put into a new perspective.

It seems to work in catching repeat killers, rapists, bombers, and psychos.  Maybe such an approach can work with the media.

Let’s start with the facts.  There’s plenty of evidence to examine.  

Begin with what a media outlet has covered in the past.  Start to see the patterns and styles that develop. Match up your observations and collection of data with what the media outlet says it likes to cover.  You’ll learn about how it views itself by the way it sells advertising.  What demographic do they emphasize and say they reach?  How do they describe their outlet on their website?  What subjects does their social media tend to cover?

Next, look at specific reporters, hosts, producers, and editors.  Just as you looked at the whole media outlet, do the same with the individuals responsible for what gets covered by that outlet.  Look up their social media profiles and form a picture of their backgrounds.  What can you assume they may be interested in, personally, once you know things like their age, sex, religion, race, hobbies, education, etc.

Now think about who that media outlet sees as its direct competition, the way the New York Times views USA Today, WSJ, and Washington Post – or the way Today Show competes with GMA, Fox & Friends, and CBS This Morning. Start to have a sense of how they want to scoop or beat their competitors.  See what differentiates these competitors and determine how your story can be packaged as an exclusive to each one, with a customized twist.

Criminal Minds shows there’s a predictability and consistency to serial killers.  Many of them follow patterns and live under some code – if not delusion – to guide their actions.  The media too, lives by its sense of what’s news, what’s ethical, what’s important to them.  Tap into the voice and branded image of a media outlet and appeal to what they admittedly stand for and promote. 

If all else fails, you can always go on a killing spree and get some media coverage.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.”

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