How to Maximize Media Leads

Maximizing Media Leads

Thanks to HARO (www.helpareporterout.com) and similar media leads services, there are media leads out there for everyone, all the time. Media, media, everywhere! The key, however, is to maximize these leads. Often, we think that as long as we respond to them, and give them our information, the hard part is done. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact it’s really just the beginning. How can you get better exposure for your pitches? Here is a quick guide to pitching these media leads services that will provide you with insight and guidance for better placement and better stickiness to the stories you pitch.

Pitching the right lead: First and foremost, you need to define the right lead to pitch. But really, it’s more than that. Keep in mind that for a variety of topics such as finance, dieting and parenting you might find a lot of leads but not all of them are appropriate to your topic. Some people think that you shouldn’t pitch anything that isn’t 100% spot on. If I followed this way of thinking, I wouldn’t have gotten myself into a variety of publications, including Entrepreneur Magazine (issue forthcoming).

So what’s the goal? The goal is to go after as many leads as you can within the appropriate market. For example, if you have a diet book that is focused on a soy based program and you see a lead about getting ready for summer, you might think it seems off, but the idea here might be to pitch them your topic, to help people get ready for summer. The same is true for an article on the high divorce rate and you have a book on making divorce a smoother transition. This could be a great opportunity for you to pitch a sidebar idea on creating a gentler transition for families of divorce.

The idea really is that, to the degree it’s appropriate, pitch yourself to as many on-point topics as you can. When I do this, however, I will always address the issue of the topic they pitched and then ask if they are interested in perhaps taking a sidebar angle to the piece or offering an extended insight into their topic. You’d be amazed at how often this gets a response.

Response time: Basically, as fast as you can. You should never, ever, ever sit on a lead unless you need to gather additional data before responding. Don’t wait. Period. Remember that you aren’t the only person seeing that lead, many of these reporters and journalists get hundreds of responses per lead they send and generally, the first who respond get the most attention. Ignore the deadline and send it right away, if you wait until minutes before the deadline you might get buried in the hundreds of other leads that have flooded the recipient’s inbox.

Responding: Short, sweet, and to the point. While I suggested in the above tip that you take some liberty with some of your leads and responses, I still recommend keeping it on point and short. In fact I’ll often highlight some key points, send the response off and indicate that I’m aware they might be sitting with a flooded inbox and if my response has piqued their interest, I am happy send as much additional data as they need. Also, if appropriate, cite or link to any current articles that you’ve been featured in online so the media person can see the breadth of your knowledge. Oh and one final note, please, please, please spell check your emails. You’d never send a resume to a potential employer with typos in it, right? So it baffles me that anyone would send an email that wasn’t spell checked.

The media are your customers: Remember to always treat media like your customer and like a consumer, they probably have a lot of choices. Serve them as you would a new client. Give them what they need in a timely fashion and don’t under deliver. Ever. Don’t embellish, don’t alter the facts and be ready to prove every single point you are making in your pitch.

Managing the responses: As you get responses you should be ready to act immediately. In fact if you are pitching yourself to *any* media you should be checking your email regularly – several times a day in fact. Depending on the story you are pushing for, you should really be on top of your email, all the time so you can be prepared to respond immediately.

Follow up: Unless you’ve been tapped by the media person to be in the article don’t follow up on a lead you sent, ever. Why? Because if they need you they’ll let you know; if they don’t, a follow-up email is just annoying. Keep in mind that even if the media person doesn’t respond, you might still see some activity from them down the road. This happened to me with an INC online piece. They didn’t need me for the original story I had responded to but kept my information on file and used it later. Had I followed up a few times this might not have happened if I had gotten labeled as a “pest” – be careful the impression you make in email!

You’ve got placement! Great! Congratulations! So, what now? Well now it’s time to promote, promote, promote the lead you were just featured in. Post it to Twitter, list it on your blog and Facebook Fan Page and oh, don’t forget to thank the media person too!

How to find great leads: There are a number of great resources out there for finding leads. Here are just a few of them!

Help A Reporter Out: www.helpareporterout.com
Reporter Connection: www.reporterconnection.com
Blogger Link Up: www.bloggerlinkup.com
Pitch Rate: http://pitchrate.presskit247.com/index.asp

Media leads are a great way to get yourself in front of media who need your expertise. I have found media lead responding to be a fantastic way to gain media attention for our authors. Get on the media leads bandwagon and start responding. You never know where you could land a story!
Good luck!

Media Exposure Is Marketing Gold – If You Know How to Use It


Media Exposure Is Marketing Gold – If You Know How to Use It

Media Exposure Is Marketing Gold – If You Know How to Use It
By Marsha J Friedman

At a glance:

  • Implicit media endorsements make you stand out from the competition.
  • It’s not advertising; it’s building credibility.
  • Maximize your exposure by posting it on your Web site and sharing it via social media.

A colleague of mine, who’s a former newspaper reporter, tells a story about a savvy attorney she knew. He’d tip her off whenever he had a particularly juicy case if she promised to include his name alongside that of his client in her story. Whether he won the case or lost it, people remembered his name and associated him with high-profile cases. He’d figured out that having his name in the paper bought him something no amount of advertising could: credibility.

For anyone trying to build a business, sell a product or get their book into the hands of more consumers, the implicit endorsement that comes from being interviewed by the media is what I call “marketing gold.”

Let me explain. Thanks to the Internet, you and every competitor you have, big or small, have the same chance to reach your potential consumers. So, what makes one business, one product or book more appealing than another? It’s endorsements from the media that make you stand out. Let’s face it – if USA Today has chosen to review your book, or refer to it in an article, it gives reason to believe there’s something special about it. If a doctor is quoted in the news about solutions to a particular health issue you’re dealing with – your instinct will be to check out him and his product first, because the media must consider him an authority to have quoted him.

When the media recognizes that you have something important to say, you gain credibility. This is the marketing gold I’m referring to: the endorsements from TV and radio show hosts, the editorial coverage in newspapers and magazines – and now, bloggers, news Web sites and followers on social media too. All these forms of recognition give others confidence you’re as good as you say you are. But, it’s upon you to use this “gold” as a critical part of your marketing to let people know these endorsements exist.

The return on investment usually isn’t immediate, which can be frustrating to people who expect a surge in business or a spike in sales with every media interview. That used to happen more often in the old days – I’m talking way back in the ’90s – when a radio talk show host might chat with you for 30 or 60 minutes and newspapers had twice as many pages to fill. It became apparent that when a client’s message clearly addressed an urgent public problem, along with their expertise and solution-oriented content, they could hit the jackpot.

From January to April, an IRS expert who spoke of resolutions to IRS problems or gave on-air tips on how to prevent IRS abuses would always see a huge jump in book sales. Or, the health expert, who got on the air during flu season and explained why his health program would make them feel better faster would sell a ton of product.

But the old days are gone and here we are in 2012. Today’s talk radio interviews are brief – 7 to 10 minutes in the larger markets – and newspapers have no space for full feature stories on interesting entrepreneurs and writers. There are far fewer opportunities to grab an audience for a significant length of time.

So how do you grow your investment in PR? Marketing your media exposure is a strategy that pays big dividends over time – but requires an effort from you.

  • Your Web site should prominently display your endorsements: “As seen on CBS,” “featured in the Louisville Gazette,” “heard on WFLA radio.”
  • Don’t forget to mention the media coverage to your Twitter followers and Facebook fans, too. The third-party endorsement will help you build more contacts, because people like knowing who the experts are and following them.
  • Use the media you’ve obtained to help you gain more TV, radio and print exposure. It serves as credibility for journalists as well and they will be more likely to want to interview you if you’ve already been vetted by other media professionals.
  • Let your personality shine online and respond to journalists and followers alike with interesting commentary and insights – not pleas to buy your book or product.

Yes, it takes work, a strong theme and a message that resonates. But if you invest wisely, you’ll grow rich in marketing gold.

For 20 years Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on public relations as CEO of EMSI. Go to www.emsincorporated.com to signup to receive her free weekly PR Tips today! More resources for authors can also be found at www.publicitythatworks.com. Or call at 727-443-7115, ext. 202, or email at mfriedman@emsincorporated.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Marsha_J_Friedman

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Conversation with Dream Relations PR Maven Dawn Hardy

UM: Budgets are tight in the industry and especially for most self published authors. How does the book marketing differ from book publicity?

DH:

Publicity/public relations are just one of many “marketing” tools. Marketing overall is reaching out to your audience and customer based using a combination of advertising, market research, product pricing, distribution, community relations, public relations, and sales tactics.

Publicity which consists of media placement across various mediums including, print publications (magazines, newspapers, newsletters), broadcast (television, radio), online( blogs, social media) is just a portion of a marketing plan.

I often explain to self published authors when creating a marketing budget they are to include the cost of everything outside of printing the book–including flyers and bookmarks, travel expenses, online advertisements, book release party and promotional items. If they can afford to, they should consider hiring an experienced publicist with a proven track record of success in the genre in which they are publishing their book. All of the forementioned are part of “marketing” your book.

Can you give authors three or four tips of what they should be doing on their own before they hire a publicist?

I strongly suggest social media should be the first and is the least expensive place to start. Social media sites Twitter, MySpace and Facebook are global. They are all free sites where communities can be located and formed without anyone traveling or spending any money. I encourage authors to take a photo with their book or use their book cover as their profile picture. Increase your numbers on all of these outlets by locating readers of fellow authors in your genre. A reader who loves Teri Woods (True to the Game), will enjoy Danielle Santiago (Little Ghetto Girl); and a one who reads Miasha (Secret Society) will enjoy Kiki Swinson presents (Cheaper to Keep Her).

#2 Website. Authors should really take the time to get an attractive easy to navigate website under their name, publishing company or book title. You need one location online where someone can find out all they need to know about you book including purchasing links, excerpts and contact information. As a publicist this will be the hub that I direct all media to for further information.

#3 Authors should be able to set up their own book signings or have someone on their behalf coordinate at least 5 for them. Publicist should be used more for the large scale events they may involve more pitching for participation ie: Brooklyn Book Festival, Los Angeles Times Book Fair, Essence Book Festival, Congressional Black Caucus Authors Pavillion.

I like to see what ideas and plans authors have for their books. How do they intend to promote? Who can help them promote,? Have they reached out to their local newspaper for a book review? Where can cities can they travel to for signings? I expect authors especially self-published authors to come to me with a plan of action on what they would like to accomplish for their book and how. By having all of these accomplished beforehand, it shows how diligent the author will be when we join forces.

UM: Some authors have a belief that a publicist will make them an overnight celebrity. If an author is looking to hire a publicist, what are some basic things they should expect and in what type of time frame?

First and foremost anyone who hires a publicist must understand that there are NO guarantees to media placement. Media coverage is current and up to the second. Short story, I had a client interviewed and his event photographed for a two-page photo spread in the Daily News. His story was bumped because the Pope came to visit New York City. Breaking news of the Pope’s visit was bigger than our event; therefore our story ran without photos, a month later.

When hiring a publicist you must have a realistic understanding of what they will be doing for you. I share with my clients what angles I will be pitching, we brainstorm on ideas and I allow them to fact check everything that goes out. Dream Relations works to make sure the every clients is placed in some form of media. I believe a publicist is a teammate. Even if you want to consider me the quarterback I need someone to throw the ball too, so the author and I must work together to make things happen.

I can guarantee that as a publicist I will work ensuring that my clients do receive placements that they can use to enhance their profiles, however I can not guarantee a time line for when the articles and interviews will run. Generally within one month of pitching I have garnered interviews

UM: In your opinion, at what point in a writer’s career when should strongly consider hiring a publicist?

DH:

In my experience an appropriate time for an author to consider hiring a publicist would be any of the following: author has a hot topic that is unique and special to mainstream readers, has garnered a lucrative publishing deal, option for television or movie, made the New York Times, LA Times or USA Today bestsellers list, or has won a book award. A publicist could leverage the accomplishment and bring it to the attention of readers, publishing industry executives, entertainment tastemakers and the media.

What project do you have going that you are excited about?

DH:

Recently Dream Relations signed on as the PR agency of record for national bestselling author Kiki Swinson, ( Wifey series, Playing Dirty, Cheaper to Keep Her) www.kikiswinson.net

UM: If someone needs a publicist, how can they reach you?

Website: www.dreamrelations.com Twitter @dreamrelations
Facebook Dream Relations, PR & Literary Consulting Agency

Mini bio—In 2004, Dawn Michelle Hardy formed Dream Relations, PR & Literary Consulting Agency. The agency has planned public relations campaigns for fiction authors signed to Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster and Kensington/Dafina, as well as nonfiction self-published titles on career, health and empowerment. Most recently, Dawn Michelle joined Serendipity Literary Agency as an associate agent. She’s actively seeking to represent a broad range of projects including nonfiction self-help, pop culture and women’s fiction. She will be a featured columnist in the upcoming print issue of Urbania. Her column will be titled Power Lunch. 


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