Here are 21 tips to help you secure media coverage for you and your book. Not every item is for you, but if you do some of these correctly you will secure a lot more attention for yourself:
1. Really take a hard look at who your target book reader is and then think about specific media outlets that your reader consumes. Now piece together a pitch to those outlets that truly creates a connection or flow to your potential readers.
2. Always express a “why now” reason for the media to cover your book. Set deadlines or create a sense of urgency or key timing – otherwise nothing pushes the media to covering you now, and as time passes, you are not top of mind to them.
3. Think of your unique selling proposition, that 20-second statement that seeks to show why you are new, better, different, or needed vs. your perceived competition. Express your USP in every communication with the media.
4. Do your research. Know something about the media outlet that you pitch – and about the specific individual you seek to persuade. Information is power and customization is what’s demanded today.
5. Think of how you look, sound, and come across to others. What do they see, feel and hear when they are pitched by you? Put a mirror to yourself and if you are not liking what you see, change it up.
6. Try multiple fronts to approach the media. For instance, don’t just rely on sending emails. Make calls. Fax pitches. Send packages by FedEx or mail. Track journalists down on social media and directly connect with them. Do what works and don’t assume your message is being rejected. It might not even be reaching them or perhaps it got ignored.
7. Try a multiple of pitch approaches. Sell them something that’s different and vary your pitches. For instance, figure out your strongest offer. Is it to offer a fresh take on something old? Is it a contrarian perspective? Is it news or human interest? Do you raise questions or make bold statements? Do you lead with humor, sex, power, politics, money, family, religion or some other push-button topic? Is it a trends piece? Is it a focus on an anniversary, holiday, or honorary day? Is it a pitch that provokes strong responses? Figure out what to lead with – and then have several different leads to send out until one resonates with the media.
8. Are you tying your whole pitch into being relevant to something in the news specifically – Trump impeachment, Halloween, or World Series – or something generally in the news – racism, me too, antisemitism, or transgender?
9. Be authentic, passionate, honest, and visionary in how you comport and express yourself. Low energy, lies, or insincerity come through loud and clear to the news media.
10. Have strong follow-ups to your outreach. Survey who received your pitch and ask what else they need to make a decision or do a story. Be persistent.
11. Provide great collaterals – photos, videos, documents, witnesses, press kits, web site – at the ready for media who show interest but are not completely sold.
12. Express confidence in all that you do. The media smell weakness and weaklings. They know not to believe the bullshit shoveled their way, but they also expect to see confident advocates who can support a certain point of view.
13. Not to sound cliché, but think outside the box. Provide the media with something unique or present it to them in a unique way. Playing it safe or saying what others say won’t get you very far.
14. Share, where possible, valid, original, and current research, stats, and facts to support the claims that are presented in your press release.
15. Appeal to the competition. If you seek to hit with the Today Show, also contact the shows they compete with – GMA, CTM, and Fox and Friends. Throw out a chance for one of them to get an exclusive.
16. Be aware of what’s in the news, how things are being covered, and determine how you fit into all of that. What hasn’t yet been discussed? How can you convince the media you have something relevant to add?
17. Dream a bit. You should imagine a few “what if” scenarios and build a pitch around not how things really are but if they could be different.
18. Highlight awards, honors, milestone events or major endorsements, so that your pitch shows your legitimacy.
19. Be sure to reference or share links/clips to other media, showing you are worthy of media attention and capable of saying something interesting in an interview.
20. Be a storyteller. Don’t drone on, but show how you can be insightful, relevant, interesting, and inspiring.
21. Send images that support your story and appeal to the media visually. But make sure these are really good photos of inviting subject matter.
The bottom line here is that getting media coverage requires skill, tenacity, resources, timing, creativity and of course, a really good story. Don’t feel intimidated or overwhelmed. Instead, see the media as an opportunity for you to have a conduit to impress the masses.
Now go pitch the media.
Now go pitch the media.
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
“We must free ourselves from the prison of everyday affairs and politics.”
“He who does not punish evil commands it to be done.”
--Leonardo Da Vinci
“It is sad not to be loved, but it much sadder not to be able to love.”
--Miguel de Unamuno
“Imagination and fiction make up more than three quarters of our real life.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. 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.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.
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