My mission with Savvy Sunday News and McCall Media Group is to help you get media coverage for your book so that it builds awareness and visibility, enhances your credibility, makes you feel proud, and even builds your list, which will help increase sales. That makes me happy!
The challenge is getting the media’s attention in a world inundated with information. I mean, just look at your own inbox. If it’s anything like mine, you cherry pick what you must pay attention to now, what can wait, and what to ignore completely. I get it!
When it comes to pitching media, you must give them an obvious reason to really look at what your book, and its message, is all about. We’ve discussed this before, but I have a few more tips that will be helpful in moving that process along.
Here are five ways to increase your chances of getting media coverage
1. Build rapport with journalists long before you need them.
As Lois P. Frankel, PhD, once told me, “The best time to build a relationship is before you need it,” and this is so true! Most people wait until their books are about to be published before they reach out to the media, which is not the best time to do so! It’s a little like dating. It isn’t nearly as interesting if the person approaching you seems desperate. It’s also another reason for planning and giving yourself time to put your campaigns into place. One caveat: If you have a publicist, then he or she has built out those relationships over time. Sometimes they can get coverage for you immediately because of those strong relationships. If, however, you are doing your own publicity and marketing, then you need to build those relationships yourself. Build early. It takes time.
2. Target freelance reporters.
I love working with freelance writers. They often work for multiple outlets, and sometimes you can get them to cover you in several of them. Plus, they get paid for writing the piece and you get the coverage. It really is a win/win situation. You want to target specific freelance reporters who cover your topic. This may seem obvious, but when you consider how many misdirected pitches happen out there, it needs to be said. Also, freelancers are highly motivated to get their stories picked up, so it should be easier for you to get your book’s message covered.
3. Pitch journalists, not publications.
This is an argument for doing your research and finding out who covers your topic. Sending press releases and pitches directly to various media outlets stands a huge chance of no one really looking at them. In addition, many times our egos want to land the really big outlets before doing the work in the smaller ones. (I have many stories I could tell you about this one…) There really are no shortcuts. Establish yourself in the secondary or tertiary tiers so that when you go to the top tier, you can include links to the media in which you have already been covered. This tells them that others have said yes to you, so it adds to your credibility, and they’re more likely to say yes as well.
4. Personalize your media pitch.
Do your research. Read what they have written before so that when you approach them you can refer to another story and why it would make sense for them to cover you, too. Take note of what each media person prefers. Plenty will tell you that “All media want only one or two sentence pitches, while others want everything all in one email with appropriate links.” They’re both right and there are many other possibilities. There is no one preferred cookie-cutter approach. Anyone who tells you there is only one way to do this either hasn’t done a lot of pitching, or they’re just sharing their own preferences. Be open to how others want to receive your information.
5. Digitize your pitch letters and press releases.
One major tip for getting media coverage is to digitize your pitch letters and press releases. Too many people still have a print mindset. Even if your text is on point, be sure to include digital assets, such as videos, gifs, and other downloadables. It just makes the journalist’s life easier and more likely to say yes to you rather than to someone else who didn’t take the time to do that.
The five steps above can help you increase your media coverage exponentially. Take them to heart and I promise you will have a lot more success. Until next week…
To your success!
P.S. I’m really delighted to hear from so many people following the interview I did with Stephanie Chandler on the Nonfiction Authors Association podcast. If you didn’t catch it live, you can hear it here. Quick and easy tips on how to get more media coverage.
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