On March 7 we looked at 15 ways in which writers can make themselves irresistible to the media. Today we conclude the article with 15 more ways to make the media an ally in your book marketing campaign.
- Be succinct: define your story in one sentence. Keep it short, sweet, and relevant to your topic.
- Sell the benefits, not the features. The media cares about what consumers care about, and all they want are benefits.
- Make sure the media person has all the information he or she needs prior to the interview. This is especially true for late/breaking news. If there are new developments, make sure they are aware of them. This will save them research time and make them look good!
- Speaking of making media look good, this is your job as well. Yes! It’s important to make them look good, give them a set of questions, a synopsis about the book or interview topic and be prepared in case they ask you a question that doesn’t seem quite right. Sometimes the person who is interviewing you doesn’t get the media packet till 10 minutes before they go on, which doesn’t leave them a lot of time to prepare. Be sure to help make their job easy!
- Jump on breaking news when it happens and be ready when the media calls.
- Be flexible. If a reporter covering a big story wants to chat with you on a weekend or late at night/early morning, say Yes.
- Be excited about your topic: if you’re not excited, how do you expect the media to be?
- Never, ever give up. It might take a while for you to hear back, and sometimes (most times) the media won’t respond to you until they have a need for your story.
- Keep it short. Write short emails, always. Generally media folk are on email overload anyway; don’t add to that with long, elaborate emails.
- Think locally when appropriate: craft a local spin to a national story. While local media will always cover local, they love regional angles to stories that are making national news.
- Stay on topic: when you do get the interview, stay on topic. Don’t stray all over the place, you will confuse the media person and you’ll end up getting a much smaller piece of a story if you look too fragmented.
- Respond immediately: even if you are on vacation, reply right away to all media queries.
- Don’t tell the media anything you don’t want to see in print. Assume everything you say is “on the record” even if you ask them to keep it confidential. I’ve seen authors say “well, off the record;” when it comes to media, assume there’s no such thing.
- Avoid slang and industry jargon: it will confuse the media.
- Be grateful: always. Send a handwritten thank you note after an interview, and even if you didn’t get the interview for which you were being considered, send a note of thanks anyway and wish them well on their story.
When it comes to media, get started as early as you can and build those relationships. Remember that while the delete rate of pitches is high, they are still in need of great guests, interviews, and stories. Be all those things and you’ll not only be irresistible to the media, but you’ll get a lot of placements that could really help launch your career!
Bonus tip! Ready to find media on Twitter? Head on over to Muck Rack.