Book Publicity Strategy

Allen Media Strategies is proud to work with fantastic authors on their book campaigns. Often, we’re hired by both the author and the publisher. Why? Because book publicity is very competitive. With advances in technology, so many more new authors can now get their book into print, which means the competition for publicity and media coverage is tougher than it’s ever been. The power of P.R. to sell books via print and online coverage and radio and TV interviews is well documented. As such, thousands of authors and other guest experts are constantly gunning for media coverage, so getting media pros to notice you and your book is harder than ever. The number one way authors become successful is because they try, and you must try, with the understanding that book marketing is no different than any other very competitive industry. Making others aware of your book doesn’t happen overnight or because of one or two successful media hits. It takes time to achieve and sustain promotional momentum, and it typically takes at least three months to see book sales materialize from a P.R. campaign. The most successful authors we work with spend at least a year promoting their book in one way or another.

Questions You Should Ask… Before You Start Answering

Anyone who appears in the media should be prepared to answer questions. But, you should also be prepared to ask questions before your interview. Here are three of the most important items you want to find out:

1) What’s the Format? For TV or radio interviews, you can learn the show’s target demographic audience to help you tailor your content. You can also find out if you’ll be live, taped, edited, etc. You can determine the length of the interview, and whether you’ll be on the phone, in studio, at a remote location, etc. For print interviews, this question can help you determine whether the journalist will just use a quote or two, or if they’re doing an in-depth piece on you and your area of expertise.

2) What’s Your Name? We recently spoke with a popular national TV show booker who gave us an inside secret! She revealed that guests who use the hosts name when answering the hosts questions always received a warmer on-air response. It also gives the impression of an “implied endorsement” from the interviewer, as if you appear to be pals having a conversation. You should also find out what news organization they work for and whether they cover a particular topic or beat.

3) When will it air (or be published)? You want to be prepared to share the coverage with your online followers by tweeting it, posting it on Facebook, etc. as soon as it comes out (with links to video, audio or text) as long as it’s positive coverage for you. If it’s a negative piece, be ready to issue a response if called for (sometimes, it’s best to just let it go if the media outlet has limited market penetration).

If we can assist you in preparing for an important upcoming media appearance, we’re always happy to help!


Burke Allen featured in Insights Magazine

Allen Media Strategies CEO Burke Allen has been featured in a cover story for INSIGHTS Magazine.  In the feature he shares strategies from various insiders on media, marketing, public relations, crisis management, and more culled from his three decade career in front of the camera and behind the microphone.

Click here to read the article!

Develop and Maintain Media Relationships

The media has always been a very transient profession; television, radio, print and online folks move around A LOT, and the moves might surprise you. This is another reason for you to continue doing interviews for small market media outlets; you never know when one of those folks is going to move up into a bigger, better position.
Here are a few examples; we’ve deleted the names to protect their anonymity.
-A local TV reporter we know who worked in the very small Panama City Florida market just last year is now a national correspondent for FOX NEWS CHANNEL
-A print reporter for the New Orleans Times Picayune now hosts a radio talk show in Mississippi
-A producer for left-leaning MSNBC has now crossed over to produce and book one of the top rated shows at conservative FOX NEWS
-One of Burke Allen’s former interns at CBS Radio Las Vegas is now a successful on-air host and radio station programmer in Memphis
Keep track of the contacts you make, because when they switch to a new outlet, that can mean fresh opportunities for you.

Live or Pre-Recorded?

If you’re ever given the choice of doing a media interview live or taped, always opt for live.  Although your instinct might tell you to go for the taped piece so you can have “do-overs” in case of mistakes, resist that temptation.  Here are three reasons why:
1)  Content control:  Recently, an Allen Media Strategies client did a pre-recorded appearance on ABC TV’s “Good Morning America”.  While the publicity was fantastic, the final piece that aired edited out one of the key points our client felt was really important, even though the show booker had promised that it would be included.
2)  Better chance to steer:  An pre-taped interview can be easily edited to eliminate references to your website, any product or service you’re plugging, etc.  That’s nearly impossible to do in a live interview setting.
3)  Less likely to be bumped:  Taped packages are often bumped from airing until weeks or months later (and sometimes, not at all).  If you’re live, you KNOW it’s going on the air!
One caveat to the above; if pre-recording is your only option, then try to take it.  Remember, this is free publicity…and a chance of it airing is far better than no chance at all.

Preparing for Your Media Interview: 7 Tips

So, after doing extensive work in the background, you’ve successfully marketed yourself to the media, and now a television or radio station is interested in interviewing you…congratulations! It’s up to you give the best possible interview you can.

We advise our clients to “own the experience” and really knock the ball out of the park whenever they do an interview. The better you do, the more likely you’ll be asked back for subsequent appearances. In this day of instant information sharing, great performances often get bicycled around on the internet to other media producers, who are much more apt to extend an interview invitation to you if you do a terrific job. And, you’ll be proud to use that interview clip for your own self promotion purposes on your website and in social networking.

1.    Write down the three to five main points you want to cover, and look for opportunities to work them in whenever possible to the fabric of your interview conversation. Memorize those talking points, and especially on television, don’t refer to your note cards.

2.    Include short stories and/or humor to help you make your important points. This will help you to come across as more approachable and down-to-earth. Tailor your humor and the length of your short stories to the particular media outlet’s target audience. Are they younger or older? Conservative or liberal? Urban or rural?

3.    Anticipate the questions interviewers are likely to ask and prepare answers that include your main points. Study the host’s prior interviews to find their favorite questions, approaches and interview style (soft, friendly, confrontational) so you’ll know what to expect and how to respond in most instances.

4.    Keep your answers simple and short. Complex, lengthy answers tend to bore and oftentimes confuse audiences. Also, research has shown that a lengthy cadence of just one voice, even if it’s yours, will tend to facilitate audience tuneout.

5.    Your job is to make the interviewer look good, while getting your main points across. Don’t try to upstage or belittle the interviewer, no matter how silly or off-the-wall their questions may sound to you. You are a guest on their program, and as such, should act accordingly.

6.    Practice your interviewee skills by having friends or family members pretend they’re the interviewer and question you as if you’re being interviewed live. Practice both telephone and in person interviews to prepare for radio interviews. Work with a stopwatch, so that you can get used to tailoring your answers to fit within the allotted length of your media appearance. The less time on air you have, the more crucial it is to hit those short sound byte type answers. The longer the interview, the more important it is to continue to revisit the main talking points/themes you need to cover (including in most cases your contact information). That’s because there is a constant coming-and-going phenomenon in electronic media. Many viewers and listeners will miss part of your interview, and if they come in late, you want to make sure they know who you are, what you’re talking about and how to get in touch with you.

7.    When you practice, videotape and audiotape yourself to observe and critique your performance. Be conscious of your posture, facial expressions and gestures for in person interviews, and your articulation, speech rate, fluency and inflection for radio phone interviews.