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.
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!
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.
We always advise our clients who want to Become Semi-Famous to seek a unique, compelling position in the marketplace. Positions exist in the minds of the audience, not in the taglines of your advertising.
It was Al Ries & Jack Trout who many years ago who proclaimed the importance of owning a word in the prospect’s mind. I think Reis and Trout are marketing geniuses, but under their theory, what is the “word” owned by Apple? Or Amazon? Or Samsung, Yahoo, Goldman Sachs, Caterpillar, Canon, or Motorola? None of these brands “own a word”…yet all are rising stars in Interbrand’s 2004 ranking of Top Global Brands by dollar value. How do you explain this?
Here’s the common mistake: We confuse TRYING to position with HAVING a unique, compelling position. We confuse a positioning STATEMENT with having an actual position. What we say in interviews and on the air may not be the same as what’s in the listener, viewer or reader’s mind. You need to be congruent with your position and your message and the consumer’s expectation and understanding of your message and position.
Unless media consumers view you differently from others in your field of expertise (your competition) you do NOT have a position, no matter what fancy words you use.
John Zagula, co-author of the forthcoming book “The Marketing Playbook” has a handy shortcut called “Positioning XYZ’s”. Fill in the blanks: “We are the only X that solves Y problem in Z unique way,” where X is the category you are in, Y is the unmet need of your target audience, and Z is the differentiation, advantage, or key positive distinction you have over your competition. Examine what you do…can you fill the XYZ’s?
If not, what modification can you do to your image or product to enhance it’s market viability?
A radio station owning the phrase “10 in a row” doesn’t mean that station owns the “Most Music” image. The same is true for you; owning a word or phrase is meaningless unless you own a unique and compelling audience expectation. The very mention of your name or your program should create a distinct and desirable image which listeners want to affiliate with.
That’s what a position is…whether or not you have a “line” or “own a word or phrase.”
To your success!
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