I know this might sound weird coming from a CEO of a PR agency, but PR is not rocket science.
Now, don’t get me wrong, PR is just like anything in business — knowing how to do something only takes you so far and doesn’t necessarily ensure your success. Take writing a book, for example: there are lots of experts selling “how to write a book in a weekend” products, but most people already know how to write a book. You sit down at a computer and write. But knowing that doesn’t make a difference. What makes a difference is someone who has walked the path and shares with you those valuable ahas or insights that change everything and have you put your “know how to do something” into action… and make magic.
This is the kind of support you get from NonFiction Authors Association, and why I’m honored to share some tricks of the PR trade we’ve seen work to consistently land our clients where they want to be. In my opinion, these tips win the day when it comes to PR and can make the difference with all your book marketing.
Don’t Hide Your Quirks
It’s our normal tendency to hide those quirky things about ourselves and put on a polished image for the media, but here’s the thing: it’s your quirks that grab the media’s attention. And if you’re like most of our clients, those unique things about yourself have played a key role in your desire to write a book.
What makes you unique? How can the media relate to you and your book on a personal level? You don’t have to reveal your whole book, but offer something interesting about your life or book that will pique the media’s interest.
One of my favorite examples of this is when we scored a huge New York Times feature for our client SOS Children’s Villages because their executive director Chris Zappia had grown up in a motel his father managed across the street from Disneyland. The reporter was fascinated by the fact that a kid who grew up in a motel was now finding homes for abandoned and orphaned children.
Human beings crave connection and often as authors and experts, we neglect to remember that journalists are humans too! They want to connect with real human beings who share themselves and their journey with their audience.
What are the quirks that make you more human?
Brevity Wins the Day (I’ll keep this short)
From the smallest to the largest outlets, the media is hammered daily with authors vying to be sources in their broadcasts and blogs, and in the pages of their newspapers and magazines.
In our character-counting world, you need short and simple pitches.
Pretend you’re in an elevator with Oprah, or your favorite media peep, and you have 30 seconds to tell her/him why you and your book are the bee’s knees. Your pitch should be concise, reflect your passion and stress what makes you unique. Be crystal clear about who you are and why the media should care about you.
Press Releases Don’t Work
Let’s talk about press releases as a marketing tool.
Here’s a tip that might surprise you: for the most part, press releases don’t work. Yes, they used to be the bomb (an expression from the good old days). While costly, they offered a very powerful way to let the media and the world know about your product or cause. They were distributed through only a handful of wire services and if what you were promoting had merit, you’d capture the media’s attention and land your desired PR placements.
In today’s marketing world, just like in book publishing (where every Tom, Dick and Harry can self-publish with a push of a button), anyone can distribute a press release about anything. There’s a lot of noise out there.
So, how do you cut through the noise? Simply write a brief media pitch and provide a link to your online press kit.
Don’t have a online press kit? You should! Having an online press kit gives you an edge by making the media’s job easier. Journalists don’t want attachments; they want everything organized and at their fingertips. When you link to your online press kit you can easily — with a click of a button — show the media just how newsworthy you are, while making their job easier and yours!
If you don’t have an online press kit and want to know how to create a winning one, download our free workbook.
I hope this post has sparked some insights on how you can take your PR to the next level.
For 30 years, Drew Gerber has been inspiring those who want to change the world. Drew is the CEO of Wasabi Publicity, Inc., a full-service PR agency lauded by PR Week and Good Morning America.
Wasabi Publicity, Inc. is a global marketing company that supports industry leaders, change agents, unconventional thinkers, companies and organizations that strive to make a difference. Whether it’s branding, traditional PR or social media marketing, every campaign is instilled with passion, creativity and brilliance to powerfully tell their clients’ story and amplify their intentions in the world. Create a winning online press kit and make the media’s job easier with our free workbook.
Drew will be speaking on this topic during the weekly teleseminar September 26th.
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