Here’s something you may not have known. The media needs YOU (and you need the media). At least the media needs interesting, witty, timely, informative and irresistible stories. You have more leverage than you think. Even wonder why some creative people are celebrities and others can’t get a break? In most cases it is the creative person who is able to play the media game that wins. A mention in the media (conventional and on the internet) can mean a boost in sales, larger crowds at your shows, and it can increase your marketability.
The media can make you (or break you if you screw up). Let us talk about how to turn the media into a promotional tool that works for greater good, our success!. For instance, you could use your positive reviews to convince galleries, distributors, editors, agents, sales reps, clubs and the public to buy (or buy into you). It drives people to the store and it also pushes your people to pick it up, and convinces stores to put it on the shelves.
One myth I want to explode is that publicity is free. I assure you it is not. It costs you patience and persistence, but it pays off, big time! The cost for spreading the word through positive press is a mere pittance compared to what it would take to run ads. Many authors have to augment what the publisher is willing to do for them by hiring a publicist (very expensive) or hiring an assistant to help deal with the details (not cheap, either). It is so important that it is worth the extra expense. Getting good media gives you instant credibility, makes you appear successful to others, even if you are still driving that old Jaguar and can barely pay the bills, people see you as successful because you are in the paper, on TV or on the radio. It is up to you to turn that into something more than a giant ego massage. People will remember stories in the paper longer than they will an ad, and maybe recognize you. Whoopie. You have to take that notoriety and become a known name and increase your value. Use the exposure to sell yourself and your products and services. The funny thing is media begets more media, so once you start the wheels in motion, you should find it easier and easier to promote yourself.
Treat the media with respect. Seriously, they are real peple. If you can be friendly but not phony, prepared but able to get to the point, and persistent but not a pest, you will likely land some press.
Get to the point, fast. People in the media are almost always short on time. Get to the point. Ask yourself: Why is this worth their time? Get a handle on your central story. Don’t overpitch, but you also don’t want to undersell yourself. Remember, they need you, too. It is also a good idea to find the ‘human’ element of a story as part of the pitch. Tell them why you are perfect for their show.
Don’t be boring! You are not the first person to pitch them; they are pitched all day. That is where the expression ‘been there, done that’ originated, i think. Practice your pitch. Find the angle, hook, or newsworthiness, and then present it in a convincing and compelling way.
User friendly. The media is VERY busy. If possible, be available when they call back. You may not got a second chance. In a sense you want to be easy to work with, userfriendly. Write press releases that are so good they are ready to print. Make their lives easier and they will love you. Be a resource they can turn to when they need ‘a source’. Provide interviewers with story ideas, sample questions, fast facts, anything that saves them time is good.
Show that you did your homework. You know their readers. Pay attention to what’s on or in a publication you are pitching. You don’t want to pitch something they just covered that very day. Even add a personal touch.
Confidence sells. Unwavering beleif in a project is hard to resist. Act like you have been there, done that before, but that you also want to it again. If they say they aren’t interested at this time, have a backup pitch or rethink the angle and try again later, or come up with something new. Reinvent yourself, especially if they seem bored or uninterested.
Simplify it. Show them what you do and what makes it exciting or different, timely or useful, funny or fun.