Any author who is driving their own PR campaign knows that often times marketing and media can be an uphill battle. Many times authors are pitching and promoting themselves with minimal results. It can be tedious and frustrating and sometimes lead them to make fatal PR mistakes that can cost them their campaign.
One of the first, and potentially most fatal, is thinking that one or two media appearances are going to wing your book into the bestseller spotlight. Media works when its done consistently and often it takes months, and in some cases years, for you to reach your own “PR payoff.” The most important part of a campaign is the authors ability to stick with it. Most of the interviews you see nationally on shows like Good Morning America and Oprah, started with a regional buzz. Build your base (or buzz) in your own back yard first and then start getting your message out on a national level. And this leads us to our second PR mistake: ignoring regional or trade media. Sometimes when youre promoting yourself its easy to get caught up in going after the big fish, but dont ignore the smaller regional and niche publications, they can be a gold mine of PR and really help to get the buzz going.
Next on our list of fatal PR mistakes is the technique with which authors pitch themselves. First and foremost you want to make sure youre pitching the right people, dont just go after a “producer,” find the producer thats right for the story. And be cautious of when you pitch, before you start calling the media, turn on your TV or radio and see if theres a breaking news story. Theres no quicker way to offend your media target then pitching them a story when theyre scrambling to cover a plane crash or some other major disaster.
As youre navigating through your PR campaign youll also want to make sure your pitches are focused and relevant. Its much easier to get the attention of the media when youre pitching them something thats already on their radar screen. For example remember when youre putting together your campaign to keep an eye out for seasonal or news spins to your topic. If, lets say, you are discussing the topic of depression, you might want to pitch it around a nationally designated “depression awareness day” or, perhaps, given all the buzz around college kids and depression, you might want to tackle this as a back-to-school issue. Targeted, focused pitches are the best way to get the media to notice you, so open that calendar or read your local newspaper to find out whats hot and top of mind. Also, respect their time when youre pitching. Get to the point, dont ramble and remember that this is not about you, its about the benefits to their readers, viewers, or listeners and mo! st of all, never, ever, ever sell your book. You should always sell yourself and your expertise. Producers and editors will be looking for the WIIFM factor behind your pitch (whats in it for me) not how they can showcase your book.
Finally theres no quicker way to end your campaign than to over promise, stretching the truth, or not being reliable. If you miss an interview or over promise on a commitment one time, you can kiss any further media goodbye. Word travels fast in the industry and bad news travels even faster. Remember be patient, be persistent, and be professional and youre bound to get the media you deserve and keep your campaign alive and well!
About the author:
Penny C. Sansevieri
The Cliffhanger was published in June of 2000. After a strategic marketing campaign it quickly climbed
the ranks at Amazon.com to the ##1 best selling book in San Diego. Her most recent book: From Book to Bestseller was released in 2005 to rave reviews and is being called the roadmap to publishing success. Penny is a book marketing and media relations specialist. She also coaches authors on projects, manuscripts and marketing plans and instructs a variety of coursing on publishing and promotion. To learn more about her books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at www.amarketingexpert.comTo subscribe to her free ezine, send a blank email to: mailto:email@example.com
Copyright ã 2005 Penny C. Sansevieri