If you are an author of a book about dogs/cats, a small business owner with an office pet, an animal groomer, dog walker, pet sitter, or a blogger or writer who focuses on the pet market, your dog/cat can have their own business card… pass these out at networking events, meetings, conferences, book signings and watch people smile. Better yet, they will remember you as the person with the animal business card. (My dog also has her own driver’s license)… marketing and PR is all about being creative and standing out in fun and memorable ways). Woof woof woof !!!
Dear PR folks… before you send me or other reporters, editors, bloggers your press release(s), answer these questions honestly…
1. Have you ever read anything that the reporter, editor or blogger has written? If so, have they ever written anything about the topic/subject of your press release?
2. Is this breaking news, a really interesting story or something your client wants to tell others and you don’t have the nerve or knowledge or expertise to tell them that this is not newsworthy?
3. Do you know if your client’s competitors have written on this topic ? If so, what angle did they take on it? If not, why not?
4. Is the copy longer than 300-400 words? Can you make it shorter?
5. Are there any typos, grammatical or spelling errors?
6. Have you fact-checked all statistics and confirmed quotes?
7. Do you know how the reporter, editor or blogger prefers to be pitched? Are you following their preferences?
8. Have you personalized the story/pitch to each reporter, editor or blogger?
9. Do you follow the reporter, editor or blogger on Twitter and know what they like to discuss so you can pitch them intelligently?
10. Is your pitch a sales pitch, advertising or news? Do you know the difference?
11. Is the reporter, editor or blogger male or female? Does that matter in how you approach them?
12. Have you included a phone number with your pitch in case the reporter, editor or blogger wants to talk to you?
13. Are you sending attachments with the press release?
14. Do you follow-up with the press release with numerous emails and phone calls?
15. Are the links accessible without having to register or subscribe to a website?
16. How is your timing? Do you know the reporter, editor or blogger’s deadline?
17. Does your press release/pitch have an intriguing title/subject matter ?
18. Can you sum up the pitch/story message in ONE sentence/ or 30 seconds?
19. Is your message controversial, timely and/or a different take on a subject and adds to the topic/subject?
20. What is your client’s expertise about this topic?
Millions of people say they want to start a business. Some go ahead and do it. Others are all talk and no action. Why? Starting a business after you’ve been an employee all of your life can seem very scary. Fulfilling your dream can be thrilling, exciting and seem death defying. In this economy, many people have felt that they did not have a choice. Start a business or be permanently unemployed.
Below are some tips on how to take a few baby steps and maybe even get your baby business off the ground.
Risk-Averse Entrepreneur’s Guide to Startup Success
7 steps on how to launch a business…
“If you decide to go for it and start a business, be committed to it. If you’re not passionate about what you’re trying to do, you probably won’t stick out the inevitable bumps in the road.”
Benefits of business: Tax write-offs
|Top Five Reasons To Establish Business Credit and Separate Personal From Business Credit|
|Even in these tough economic times establishing business credit can increase the chances that your business will stay afloat and help you beat the odds.|
1000 Ways to Start a Business with $1,000 or Less
18. Create a newsletter that educates others
19. Create a Social Media following on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Digg, Reddit, Pinterest or elsewhere
(Note: Crucial to building a network of potential and actual customers/clients and getting the word out about your business)
45. Turn your job into a business. If you have a job now, see how you can turn your job skills into a business. If you keep the accounts accurate for your employer, you could start hiring your accounting and financial consulting services to other businesses in the area.
53. Decorate homes for the holidays. Everyone wants to have a pretty home for the holidays – lend a hand and earn some extra money doing it.
54. Decorate yards for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.
55. Start a dog walker, pet sitter, pooper scooper business (Only if you love dogs!)
56. Start a Renovation Company. Are you an auto mechanic or computer geek? Then you probably have all the skills necessary to buy and sell used and renovated cars or computers.
57. Start a tutoring business! Teach another language, musical instrument, computer, cooking, chemistry, whatever you have to offer.
58. Start a massage business
59. Start an aromatherapy business
60. Start an intuitive counseling business
Note: Thanks to CeliaSue Hecht for contributing ideas #53-60. Learn more from her and email to get her E-Guide to getting cold hard cash in your wallet
How to use social media to promote your events
If you want to learn how to create Buzz about your Book, Events, Business, give me a ring at 702-225-8206.
- Give surprising answers and new information. People love media guests who bust traditional myths and offer new insights.
- Bring gifts for the interviewer and their team. If you have a book, this would be perfect.
- Send a thank you right away.
- Take a photo of you and the on-air talent
- Put your media interviews on Social Media including YouTube.
- Use celebrity photos, media and publicity on your web site, marketing materials, even your sponsor proposal.
Linda Hollander is the Author of Bags to Riches and the founder of the Women’s Small Business Expo.
if you would like assistance with your PR, feel free to contact me at prmatchmaker at yahoo.com
From a PR professionals perspective…
If you do not know why the comments below are unreasonable/insane, you do not understand the news business/cycle / media… and it would behoove you to LEARN. You could ask your PR professional to teach you, ask questions, take classes, educate yourself.
But the gist of this is that it is NOT up to PR professionals whether an article/story gets into the news / media or not no matter how hard they try or want or desire or beg. Bottom line, even if your PR professional does a Fantastic job, ultimately, the Editor/Newspaper Boss decides what goes into print. And if your PR Professional follows the RULES, does NOT send the media ads or advertorial copy disguised as news, has great contacts, and is persistent eventually their hard work will PAY OFF in lots of media coverage… AND it takes TIME, ENERGY and being in the WRITE Place at the Write Time…
Most people want to succeed, do a good job and make money, WIN WIN WIN… so STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and LEARN…
I wrote a few additional comments in parentheses…at the end of some…
They pay us the lovely money so we can’t be too mean about them…but sometimes they make us want to saw our heads off.
Here is our list of the most common, idiotic and maddening client comments we hear on a regular basis – and what we would LOVE to answer them with – if they didn’t pay us the lovely money…
1. “We really need this to make” – Oh, OK thanks for telling us because before you mentioned it, we weren’t planning on trying very hard.
2. ‘“Which papers are going to use the story?” – Um – whichever papers decide it’s OK and that they’ll use it?
3. “Do you know what the news agenda is like for June?” – Hang on a second *looks into crystal ball for updates on future murders, natural disasters etc*
4. “Sorry but the release can’t be sent unless the brand name is in the intro paragraph” – OK fine, let’s get absolutely no coverage for you whatsoever. Not any. Not even a Sun Spot.
5. “Do you guarantee coverage?” – Um, No. If you want guaranteed coverage – pay for an advert.
6. “Can you give me a reason WHY the story didn’t make?” Not unless I call every national news desk in the country and ask them directly, which will make us both look like complete tools.
7. “How many papers will the story make it into? – Hang on a second *looks deeply into crystal ball for updates on future murders, natural disasters etc*
8. “It’s what the brand people want, the story has to stay like that” – Grow a pair and tell them it’s crap – and then do your job by telling them how it’s actually going to work.
9. “Can we send the journalist a free gift to coincide with the story being distributed?” – Are you insane? (sending a journalist a free gift/bribing an editor, is a good way to get BLACKLISTED)…
10. “Can you send this picture of the product out along with the story? –Are you COMPLETELY insane? (NO Attachments unless reporter ASKS for one)
11. We need more information in the story about where you can buy the product? – Have you lost every single one of your marbles? (Consider yourself LUCKY if the media prints your website link page or a phone number)
12. “We need to make sure we get page leads with this one” – Oh, OK – could you just hand me that silver wand?
13. At 4pm: “are you able to send this story out to the nationals today?” –Are you in an entirely different time zone?
One of the most important things for people who say they want to obtain publicity for their book or biz is knowing the who, what, where, when, why and how of pitching the media.
For the New Year, you might consider doing some coaching to set your New Year UP for Success.
You might learn a few things such as who are the best media contacts for YOU, when and how to approach them specifically and customized/personally, and what the benefits will do FOR YOU.
Now, I am listed as a freelance journalist on Cision (used to be Bacon’s) and every day I receive pitches from people just like you, who would like me to write about their book, product and/or service business and/or interview them. Many of the pitches, too many, even from PR companies, unfortunately miss the mark.
Here’s an example, from a CEO who has an interesting product. And her pitch was for the upcoming New Year’s EVE holiday. I bought her pitch and immediately responded to the pitch (within half an hour). Too bad she was NOT at all READY nor prepared to receive a YES, all systems are GO. She wrote back to me saying that since her staff was gone for the holidays, she would have to send me a sample of the product AFTER the New Year. Anybody see the Problem here? Instead of OVERNIGHTING the product to me, she LOST out on an opportunity to get her product written about BEFORE New Year’s Eve. No PR, no sales. If she sells her product to me via a pitch and then DOES NOT DELIVER, how does that bode for her customers and her business? Not good news.
If/when you send out press releases and/or pitches to the media, bloggers, reporters, editors and so on, BE PREPARED and READY TO GO. Otherwise, you are spinning your wheels and wasting people’s time. And busy bloggers, reporters and editors DO NOT like having their time wasted.
Call or email me if you’d like to do some PR coaching to Set UP your New Year for Success. Good reasons to Celebrate.
List of New York Times reporters/editors on twitter you can follow…
Follow John Kremer’s Book marketing tweets and you can get a lot of worthwhile info including editors and publications who do book reviews on various topics such as these:
Bon Appetit Magazine – editors and columnists – http://magagenie.com/bon-appetit-magazine
ESPN the Magazine – sports editors and columnists – http://magagenie.com/espn-the-magazine
Executive Travel Magazine – editors and contributing editors – http://magagenie.com/executive-travel-magazine
Forbes Magazine – editors and columnists – http://magagenie.com/forbes-magazine
IDEA Fitness Journal – health, fitness, and wellness editors – http://magagenie.com/idea-fitness-journal
Internet Retailer Magazine – Internet marketing magazine – http://magagenie.com/internet-retailer-magazine
Organic Gardening Magazine – editors and contributing editors – http://magagenie.com/organic-gardening-magazine
Outside Magazine – editors and book reviewers – http://magagenie.com/outside-magazine
Vogue Magazine – editors and columnists updated – http://magagenie.com/vogue-magazine
Wild West Magazine – history editors and history book reviewers – http://magagenie.com/wild-west-magazine
Wired Magazine – editors and online writers – http://magagenie.com/wired-magazine
The above are just some of the tweets John sent out during the past month.
Follow his tweets at http://twitter.com/johnkremer
if you have a book, here are four tips Kremer suggests you follow to promote your book:
Here are the top four book promotion activities you can engage in to sell more books in today’s world . . .
1. Speak. Speaking builds a word-of-mouth army better than anything else. Speak locally – at garden clubs, libraries, bookstores, Rotary clubs, JCs, poetry nights, story swaps, book club meetings, etc. Then expand out to a wider area, to nearby cities, to nearby states. Eventually, expand out to an even wider audience.
When someone hears you speak, they become a bigger fan than if they had just read your book. If they like you when they hear you speak, they will tell ten times more people than by just reading your book.
2. Book yourself on national TV. TV is still the largest mass market media. It still reaches more people than any other media – and with more impact. It’s worth spending the time contacting the ten or twenty news and talk shows that reach your audience. For most national TV shows, you can get the contact information in one of two ways: 1. from their websites, and 2. via your network of friends and fellow authors.
Your appearance on one major TV show will not only expose you to millions of viewers, but it also opens the door to dozens and sometimes hundreds of other media: newspapers, magazines, radio, more TV shows, etc.
3. Create relationships with high-traffic websites. How many major high-traffic websites that attract your target reader have you created relationships with? Are these real relationships where you contribute content to them on a regular basis? In today’s world, Internet relationships are the key to marketing success.
Uncover five to ten top websites that already reach the audience you want to reach. Look over their sites until you find a way to contact someone behind the site – a webmaster, an editor, the founder. Then email them with an offer of free content for their readers: an interview with you, a review copy of your book, a free article (that is really good), some tips for their readers, a Q&A column on your specialty, etc. Their obligation, in return, is to link to your website or sales page.
4. Do a Superstar Blog Tour. Or a Mega Blog Tour. Or a Blogpalooza. I’m not talking about the old-style humdrum virtual book tour of 15 or 20 blogs. I’m talking about an event blog tour that creates Internet buzz on a major scale. Event blog tours can build brands, create incredible website traffic, and sell tons of books.
In addition, Outskirts Press offers these five ways to promote your books for the holiday season…
You don’t have to be a Big Star, famous celebrity, politician, singer or movie actor/actress to garner interviews in local or national newspapers, magazines, or blogs and other online publications. If you are an author or business owner who simply would like the media to give you a bit of attention, do a book or product review, quote you in a story or article they’re working on or perhaps have an editor publish your opinion or article in their publication, then read on about how to accomplish this daunting feat.
Some people approach obtaining media attention as if there is something magical, mysterious and/or weird about it (and therefore, there is NOTHING for them to do or learn or educate themselves about). Others shy away from all mention of their name in public. And some folks are hams who are greedy hogs who eat up all the media attention they can get. Most people fall somewhere in between these extremes.
If your business or book could use a boost from some exposure, then here are some tips on how to get the job done without too much muss and fuss.
Do you have a website? Is your website media friendly? Does your website have your contact info easily portrayed on every page (email, cell and other phone numbers)? Is there a media coverage/press page where you feature press releases, articles, and/or clippings of coverage that you’ve already received?
Are you able to write a press release that gets published?
A press release requires a certain format. A catchy headline. The first paragraph should offer the Who, What, Where, How and Why of the story… a few good quotes, startling statistics, and/or a counterintuitive question to start the conversation.
Imagine that you are at a party and want to talk to a reporter/editor. How do you begin? What might you say to capture their attention? Are you bragging, begging or boring? Is your elevator speech a whodunit, leaves a lasting impression and/or funny but succinct? Can you start with a funny quote or startling statistic? Do you think anyone would want to know more or are you so full of your own jargon that you can hardly talk to regular humans? Is your subject matter appropriate for the person you are speaking with or is it old, out of date and who cares?
More about writing press releases
Do you know how and who to pitch your story to the media?
Is your pitch perfect or fatally flawed? Pitching the media your story is not a slam dunk. It requires research, a newsworthy relevant story, and excellent communication skills. Have you got what it takes?
Do you know the process?
1. Write a WOW of a press release/pitch
2. Research who to send it to (compile a list) and when
3. Individualize/customize the press release/pitch
4. Send out your press release/pitch
5. Follow up follow up follow up
6. Results… publish on your website and send to other clients, friends, family, associates
If not, revise, edit and review and start the process again…
7. Create a regular, ongoing, scheduled time of the day, week or month for pitching the media. Media Coverage accrues over time…
And once you get the Media Coverage, what you DO WITH IT, COUNTS… here’s Brian Tracy on this very important subject:
Getting to know you… Getting to know all about you… Getting to like you… Getting to hope you like me… you are precisely my cup of tea !
when should you answer a reporter’s call?