Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘media’

Want to be attractive to the media? Include a MEDIA ROOM on your website!

_____________________________________

Now that we’ve discussed how to write a news release and what goes into a media kit, it’s time to build a room to house them. A media room is not an actual room, but the virtual space (usually on your website) where you aggregate all of the things that would be interesting and useful to any sort of journalist, blogger, or author who might be using your website to learn more about you. After your home page, this is the spot where you want your website to shine!

What kinds of things belong in your media room? High resolution photos, your bio, your book cover blurbs, reviews, links to any interviews you have done, and the like. Now don’t worry if you don’t really have all of those things collected. You’ve got to start somewhere, so begin with what you do have, and add the other items as the PR campaign for your book grows.

What are the benefits of a media room?

Rather than having to navigate all over your site, all of your media materials are collected into one space, making them easy for a reporter to find, and saving them precious time either looking or calling you.

A media room can also bolster your SEO, giving you a place to constantly update your site with relevant new content.

You can either host and manage this on your own site, or pay a third-party company like PR Newswire to do it for you. While a third-party site might be slightly more professional looking, you’ll have more immediate access and control if you (or your webmaster) do it yourself.

What should go into a good media room?

High Resolution Photos

  • A good head shot, first and foremost.
  • Preferably one of you by yourself (not holding Fido, a fishing reel, or at your laptop, unless your book is about dog training, fishing, or Internet marketing)
  • You want to be smiling (or with a pleasant look).
  • It should be against a neutral background (no nature shots).
  • Make sure your eyes are open – not tiny slits, as so much of your personality shines through your eyes.
  • Even if you HATE all your pictures, you need to get this picture taken, both for the book itself and for your media room. You needn’t hire a professional photographer, just someone who can capture a friendly shot, chest up or head only.
  • Your book cover (front and back)
  • Any other relevant images.
  • Make sure all of these photos are good quality and high resolution (300 dpi) so that they will reproduce well in print.

Your Media Kit

Granted, your media kit will contain a lot of what is included in the media room, but it will be a shorter version that you update less frequently.

Media Releases

Include PDFs of any media releases you (or your PR team) have written about your book, your launch parties and book signings, events you’ve attended, etc.

Videos

Include links to any videos you have created about your book, like your book trailer. Third-party videos, such as interviews, probably go in a different location within the media room.

Articles and Interviews

This is a collection of any third-party coverage you have received, including articles, radio and TV interviews, podcasts, online chats, etc. The easiest thing is to use links to the sites where they are hosted – but make sure to check periodically to be certain the links remain live. There’s nothing worse than having a reporter be interested in learning more, only to find your links don’t work.

Reviews

Much like the articles, this is a collection of reviews you have received – but you want to set them apart specifically as REVIEWs. Whether they were in print publications, online publications, blogs, or other places, include links to each of them, placing the most current at the top of the list.

Awards and Endorsements

This media room is your chance to toot your own horn – LOUDLY! Include all awards, endorsements, and acknowledgements that in any way further your establishment as a credible author. For instance, should you mention your award as Home Room Assistant of the Year at your child’s school? Absolutely – if your book is about parental involvement in their children’s education!

Catalogue Page/Listing

If you have a traditional publisher, chances are good that your book was included in their print or online catalogue. Include a PDF of the printed page that contains info about your book, or a link to the online version.

Bio and Credentials

Include a brief bio of yourself that you would want to see reprinted in an article. It should be short, but thorough enough to give a radio interviewer sufficient information to introduce you properly.

Schedule of Coming Events

If you’ve got readings, book signings, and or workshops booked, include a list of those in your media room.

Personal Contact Info

Make it easy for visitors to get in touch with you! Include your name, e-mail address, social media handles, business mailing address, and business phone number.

For a look at an author with a good start on a media room, please visit AmaraCharles.com.

MARCIE

__________________

Please contact us if you’d like help putting together your media kit, media releases, or book proposal. Free 30-minute consultation when you mention this post ($99 value).

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Thursday, September 15 – 10 creative alternate uses for media releases

Monday, September 12 – Get your MEDIA RELEASE to the right person in a timely fashion for a better chance of response

Thursday, September 8 A dynamic MEDIA KIT can help you land those coveted interviews

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

A LESSON for authors from a trip to the HEALTH FOOD store

The other day I found myself in a local health food store, doing some recon on a potential (non-publishing) client. This vitamin/supplement company is looking for help to refine their brand and marketing message, so I went to the store to see what I could find out about them by the way their products were stocked and displayed. Come to find out, of the dozen+ products the company makes, this store carried only 3 of them – and I had to remind the store manager that one of the 3 was this company’s product. Whew – we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us!

I was fortunate to get a few minutes with the store manager, who reminded me of a few things I want to pass on to you, my fellow SBMs*, because they are quite easily translatable to your books.

  1. A phone call isn’t going to do it. In order to jump the huge hurdle of getting your book into a reputable INDIE shop, you (or someone acting as your rep) have to go to that shop and build a one-on-one relationship. “I get as many as 3 dozen calls a week, asking me if they can send samples or e-mail me a brochure,” Christine, the health food store manager, told me. “They almost never make it to the shelves.”
  2. Customer requests significantly influence the store’s decision to stock a product. If no one ever asks for your book, a bookstore has no incentive to give up valuable shelf space for it. On the other hand, if people regularly call to request your book – and/or go to that shop to purchase it – the store now has a reason to make sure they keep copies on their shelves.
  3. In-store demos are a huge boon for many products. Translate “in-store demos” to “book signings.” Sure, some bookstores charge for that book signing, just as this store charges for the supplement company to set up a table, but if you do it at a high-volume time and promote your visit beforehand, you can attract additional interest in your book.
  4. Use the store’s existing marketing channels. This particular store runs a M-F radio show on a local station; suppliers can purchase commercials or pay to be featured guests on the show. What a great credibility builder! Most indie bookstores have a newsletter – see about getting your signing (or even an ad or review for your book) into their newsletter.
  5. Show good faith by marketing the store as part of your own promotions. How happy would that indie bookshop be to have you put a note at the bottom of each article, blog post, FB announcement, or ad that says, “Available at XYZ Indie Bookstore”? If you promote them, they’re going to be a lot more willing to extend the reciprocal favor to you.

Bookstore sales aren’t for everyone. It takes a LOT of work for an indie publisher to get in, even to an indie bookstore. The Passive Voice blog shares these points about two indie books that succeeded in an indie bookshop:

  • The books were actually good.
  • Both authors were relentless at getting excellent press about their books. They didn’t just get press once, they got it repeatedly.
  • The authors were good about checking in about stock levels. Self-published authors can get a little overly aggressive about checking stock, but with these two books at the holidays, it was enormously helpful.
  • Both authors were very meticulous about record-keeping.

And it is the RAREST of indie authors who make the jump to the last big chain, B&N. However, Barnes & Noble does offer the following tips for getting into their distribution channels:

  1. Does your book have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN)?
  2. Does your book have a bar code?
  3. What sort of binding (saddle stitch, staple, perfect, plastic comb, ring) does your book have?
  4. Is your book available through a wholesaler?
  5. Is your book priced competitively with other titles of a similar topic and quality?
  6. Has your book met compliance certification?
  7. Why should Barnes & Noble place your title on its shelves?
  8. Where can you find more information on the topic of book writing, publishing, and marketing?

While it’s no longer a requirement that your book be in bookstores to sell lots of copies, it is possible for a small/self-published/indie author to succeed in brick-and-mortar shops. If you want to get your book into bookstores, make sure you do your research first. Cross all your T’s and dot all your I’s. Follow the store’s protocol. Whenever possible, walk in and talk to the purchasing manager. Follow up diligently and keep good records.

Remember, your attitude and focus will go a long way toward influencing your success. If you believe you can do it, you will.

Happy promoting!

Laura

*Savvy Book Marketer

__________________

Please contact us if you’d like help putting together your media kit, media releases, or book proposal. Free 30-minute consultation when you mention this post ($99 value).

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

Read Full Post »

A well-written media release could be printed AS-IS.

In a recent post, we reviewed tips for writing a news release. Our focus was the traditional use of a news release: getting your information to the media in a succinct, interesting way that will trigger them to follow up with you for a story. In doing some further research, I came across an interesting post by the good folks over at copyblogger. They make an excellent point that I rather neglected: the stronger the writing in the news release, the better a chance it has of going into a blog/publication as-is. No editing; no rewriting.

A great press release is NOT something that prompts a journalist to write an article; rather, a great press release is published AS an article. While that may be an abstraction outside of the most time-strapped of reporters, many times the better your press release, the more of it ends up verbatim in the resulting article.

So stop writing press releases, and start writing news stories.

For good or ill, this is one of the new aspects of modern journalism. Reporters are stretched thin in newsrooms across America, so they’ll sometimes take shortcuts, such as printing a media release verbatim.

I do want to say that this is not always a good thing. A Guardian.co.UK post from 23 February 2011, sheds some light on the above-mentioned practice of printing news releases verbatim, describing it with the unflattering term, “churnalism.”

A new website promises to shine a spotlight on “churnalism” by exposing the extent to which news articles have been directly copied from press releases.

The website, churnalism.com, created by charity the Media Standards Trust, allows readers to paste press releases into a “churn engine”. It then compares the text with a constantly updated database of more than 3m articles. The results, which give articles a “churn rating”, show the percentage of any given article that has been reproduced from publicity material.

[The site] revealed how all media organisations are at times simply republishing, verbatim, material sent to them by marketing companies and campaign groups.

What’s the problem? you ask. It’s in those nine little words: “sent to them by marketing companies and campaign groups.” Think about campaigns, political ones, for example. Do media releases sent on the candidates’ behalves always espouse facts, or does an opinion or two or three sneak into their news releases? Likewise, with a marketing company. Now, I’m on your side – my whole reason for including the post about media releases in the first place was that I believe they are a stellar marketing tool. But I’d be a lot more comfortable knowing the media outlet that was generating an article due to my release was also fact-checking all their third-party information.

That being said, if I were given the choice between having my release run verbatim or not run at all, I’d obviously take the former. So do your homework, fact-check your own material, and write a release you can be proud of. That way, if it does happen that your news release is printed verbatim, as an article, you won’t have any excuses to say, “I was misquoted!”

Happy pitching!

Laura

__________________

Please contact us if you’d like help putting together your media kit, media releases, or book proposal. Free 30-minute consultation when you mention this post ($99 value).

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

Read Full Post »

Get your MEDIA RELEASE to the right person in a timely fashion for a better chance of response


Click twice (slowly – not a double click) on this image to enlarge.
_____________________________________

Most self-publishing authors have limited budgets when it comes to marketing and public relations. If you have to choose between spending your dollars on advertising vs. spending them on public relations, PR will get you more bang for your buck every time. The job of a PR firm is to get you face time in the media, whether in the form of an article in the local paper or a spot on a national news program.

QUESTION:  Do you have to hire a PR firm to get your media release noticed?

ANSWER:  It’s a good idea — but it’s not always necessary.

It is possible to have your story picked up from a media release you write yourself. A well written media release, put in front of the right editor or news programmer at the right time, can generate a story — regardless of whether you hire a PR person to write it for you, or you write it yourself.

Tips for Crafting a Successful Media Release

(1) Use the term “media release” instead of “press release.” There are many forms of media now — “press” is passé, and some editors are touchy about the term.

(2) Understand that you a media release is addressed to the editor or reporter; do not make the mistake of “writing to” your target audience. Your only goal is to generate enough interest so that a reporter will call you for more information.

(3) When they decide your release merits a story, the story will be directed to your audience.

(4) Write in third person, even if you’re writing about yourself.

(5) Use a quotation from someone connected to your event, award, promotion, even if it’s your own quote.

(6) Keep it short — 300 to 500 words MAX.

(7) Use appropriate style — generally Associated Press style — for your release. If you will be doing a lot of releases, it probably is worth it to invest in a copy of the AP Stylebook.

(8) Many larger publications and news outlets prefer you to include a “Fact Sheet” with your release. This is a bulleted list that contains ALL the details of the information in your release.

For instance:

  • Company name: Moondanz Creative
  • Founded: 2002
  • Owner/Operator: Laura Orsini
  • City of operation: Phoenix
  • Contact info: Laura@1001rlqfw.com
    or (602) 518-5376
  • Name of event: Book signing for 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women
  • Date of event: October 1, 2011
  • Location of event: Changing Hands Bookstore
  • Description of event: Author discussion and book signing
  • Open to the public? Yes
  • Admission: Free

(9) Find out how the media outlet you’re approaching prefers to receive their releases: in the body of e-mail, as e-mail attachments, or via fax.

(10) If you do send an e-mail, be specific in your Subject Line — perhaps use the headline from your release.

(11) Get it to the proper editor or producer (i.e., don’t send an item about your book, Crafty Cat Lady, to the sports editor).

(12) Allow enough lead time (generally 2 to 4 weeks — but it’s up to you to research this for the particular media outlet you’re contacting).

(13) Do NOT call to “check whether they got your release.” This is almost guaranteed to get your release tossed in the trash. If you want to “pitch” your story to the reporter in person, call ahead to speak to them, and then send the release immediately after speaking with them.

(14) You may, however, call back to “add” further details to your release. All you’ve actually done is hold back some bit of important info from the original release, but when you call, you present it as though it is an added “development.” IF the added info is important enough, and IF you handle it correctly, this can move your release to the top of the pile, or you may be asked to re-send it.

(15) Don’t get discouraged if your story is not picked up on your first try — but keep on trying! There are so many media outlets, and they all need copy! You can provide that with a well-written release about something newsworthy.

(16) Try online sites like PR Web , PR News Wire, and Prudent Press Agency. These are Internet sites for posting media releases that generate great visibility. They have fabulous rankings on the major search engines!

(17) This one seems like it should go without saying — but whenever we say that, it’s because it unfortunately does not go without saying: MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDE YOUR CONTACT INFO, that it is correct, and easy to locate on your release.

(18) Make sure the contact person on your media release is available to talk with the media ― and not on a trek through Nepal at the time you send the release.

(19) Hire a pro to help you craft the perfect media release.

Check back Thursday when we’ll talk about building and stocking your media room. Remember, you don’t need to hire a PR firm to make an impact you just need to create professional documents and then have the willingness and determination to send them out!

MARCIE

__________________

Please contact us if you’d like help putting together your media kit, media releases, or book proposal. Free 30-minute consultation when you mention this post ($99 value).

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Thursday, September 8 A dynamic MEDIA KIT can help you land those coveted interviews

Monday, September 5 Traditional Labor Day celebrations offer tips for Savvy Book Marketers

Thursday, September 1 A noteworthy statistic, a question, or both can be the hook that lures a reporter’s attention

Read Full Post »

The secret to contacting a company may lie in their MEDIA ROOM.

It’s no secret that I love the Internet. I remember the days of searching the World Book Encyclopedia for info or begging my dad to take me to the library so I could do research for my term papers. When I worked at the Arizona Daily Star newspaper library in the pre-Internet days, we used to get queries from the public on all kinds of random topics:

  • How do you spell “Schwarzenegger”?
  • Is Anthony Quinn really Greek?
  • What was Mariel and Margaux Hemingway’s relationship to Ernest?
  • What are the words to “Auld Lang Syne”?
  • What are the names of the seven dwarfs?

Can you even imagine calling a newspaper library – or a library of any kind – to ask a question like that? In 2011, it seems ludicrous, but just 20 short years ago, it was actually a good idea. The #1 reason people use the Internet today is to search for information. All kinds of things, from job listings to the name of artist who wrote that song, to movie times, biographies of artists, both famous and obscure, reviews of smart phones and hundreds of thousands of other products, the number of calories burned during given activities, fast food menus, home remedies for burns, what to do when your cat keeps bringing dead birds into the house … the kinds of information you can find online are just about endless.

One excellent use for the Web is to do research on people or businesses with whom you want to connect. With the myriad social media platforms, people are slightly easier to research. Any smart, reputable company has a decent website with all manner of information about it. However, the one thing you may not be able to find on a company’s website is contact information for a particular individual, such as the PR or media relations person. Quite often, the email address available is one of those infernal info@ addresses that might occasionally be read by an intern and whose likelihood of being answered is unfortunately slim.

Say you’ve compiled an anthology of stories and witticisms from quilters of a bygone era, and you’re trying to make contact with a store like Hobby Lobby or Joanne ETC to pitch book signings and events in your area. How do you get around the gatekeeper or find contact info for a real person?

One idea is to find the company’s media room on their website. Posted there, you’re likely to find media releases the company has issued about its own news and events. And within that media release, you will likely find a nugget of gold: contact info for the company’s media relations person, usually a name, phone number, and e-mail address.

Now before you go contacting this individual, make sure you do your homework.

  • If you will make a phone call, rehearse your pitch ahead of time.
  • Be prepared to leave a message and, in the perhaps unlikely event that the person answers their phone, also be ready to speak to them live.
  • If you will send an e-mail, double check your spelling – especially of the contact person’s name!
  • Be brief and to the point in your pitch/query.
  • Make sure to position your pitch in terms of how hosting your event or working with you will benefit the company.

Realize there are NO guarantees that this person will respond to your first query. Or your follow-up query, for that matter.You might also think about tapping into your social media network, particularly LinkedIn, to attempt to find another real name inside the company to whom you can reach out.

It took Greg Godek, author of 1,001 Ways to Be Romantic, more than 10 tries before he got through to Oprah and eventually became a guest on her show. If he can succeed with the queen of all media, YOU can succeed at getting through to the right person in a national chain of craft supply stores. Be creative, be thoughtful, be direct, and be succinct. Most importantly, be determined.

Happy pitching!

Laura

__________________

Please contact us if you’d like help putting together your media kit, media releases, or book proposal. Free 30-minute consultation when you mention this post ($99 value).

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

Read Full Post »

A dynamic MEDIA KIT can help you land those coveted interviews

Click twice (slowly – not a double click) on this image to enlarge.
_____________________________________

If one of your PR goals is to get on local, regional, or national TV or radio to promote your book, a media kit is an essential tool. Spend the money and/or take the time to create a high-quality, professional media kit.

Remember how many other authors, performers, and speakers are vying for the same airtime and program directors’ attention. A well-conceived media kit will contain the materials that convey the importance and relevance of your book WITHOUT being unduly long or burdensome for the reader.

Elements that good media kits contain:

  • Table of contents
  • Personalized pitch letter (Send this only if you are mailing the media kit to a specific person.)
  • Author bio
  • Author head shot
  • Image(s) of the front and back covers
  • Q&A (Write out suggested questions for the interviewer with anticipated response times.)
  • Reviews and praise for the book (Do not include questionable or negative reviews.)
  • Media coverage you’ve already received (Include dates and article/show titles – links to the same, if possible.)
  • Media release about the book launch
  • Short excerpt of your book (It may be a good idea to include a sample of your writing but keep it SHORT.)

Here is Page 1 of a sample media kit that is succinct, yet works to land media opportunities:


So what should you DO with your media kit?

  • You can put together your own list from media websites – but this will take some time, and you won’t always get the most accurate info from a website.
  • You can buy a media list – but check the validity of the source first and be prepared to pay, possibly a lot of money.
  • You should add it to the Media Room on your website (more about this in an upcoming post).
  • You should have it ready to send out to anyone who asks for it.

Make sure to check back Monday when we’ll talk about what goes into a well-crafted media/news release. Remember, you don’t need to hire a PR firm to make an impact you just need to create professional documents and then have the willingness and determination to send them out!

MARCIE

__________________

Please contact us if you’d like help putting together your media kit, media releases, or book proposal. Free 30-minute consultation when you mention this post ($99 value).

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Monday, September 5 Traditional Labor Day celebrations offer tips for Savvy Book Marketers

Thursday, September 1 A noteworthy statistic, a question, or both can be the hook that lures a reporter’s attention

Monday, August 29 What’s the HOOK that will lure that reporter, agent, or publisher to READ your book?

Read Full Post »

A noteworthy statistic, a question, or both can be the hook that lures a reporter’s attention


Click twice (slowly – not a double click) on this image to enlarge.
_____________________________________

So you had a little homework assignment last time: to dig around until you uncovered the theme, aspect, storyline, statistic, or other compelling concept from your book that will make any editor or producer sit up and take notice. What did you come up with?

This idea of finding the hook is important for two reasons:

(1)    You want to grab the agent’s or publisher’s attention immediately by standing out from the thousands of other manuscripts they see.

(2)    The hook, if it’s strong enough, will become the newsworthy element that causes the editor, reporter, or producer to want to interview you about your book.

As far as contacting the media, it’s important to remember a few things:

  • The media are hungry for news.
  • You don’t have to be a professional PR rep to get through to the media.
  • You do need to write a professional news release with a GIANT hook.
  • The media’s job is NOT to promote your book, but to provide relevant, newsy content to their readers, listeners, and/or viewers.
  • If you position your hook as something newsworthy, and they’ve got the space, they MIGHT contact you. There are no guarantees.
  • The fact that you wrote a book is not, in and of itself, newsworthy. Lots of people write books!
  • Do your research! Make sure you contact the proper reporter, editor, or producer in their preferred way to be contacted (i.e., some old-school media outlets still use fax machines; some want you to e-mail attachments with photos; others prefer the media release in the body of the e-mail).
  • This should go without saying: PUT YOUR CONTACT INFO ON THE RELEASE!
  • This also should go without saying: Once you send the release, BE AVAILABLE if someone from the media contacts you. You won’t get a second chance with that reporter, so don’t tell them you’ll call them back or ask to reschedule.

We’ll get into more details about media releases in an upcoming post.

In the meantime, a good way to present your hook is by using a noteworthy statistic, a question, or both: “Which mistake do 4 out of 5 plastic surgeons routinely make?”

See you Monday, when we’ll talk marketing tips from traditional Labor Day celebrations.

MARCIE

__________________

Please contact us if you’d like help putting together your media kit, media releases, or book proposal. Free 30-minute consultation when you mention this post ($99 value).

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Monday, August 29 What’s the HOOK that will lure that reporter, agent, or publisher to READ your book?

Thursday, August 25 – Create a MiniBük: Fifth of 5 easy ways to give away samples of your writing

Monday, August 22 – Put Your Book on a CD: Fourth of 5 easy ways to give away samples of your writing

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: