Thursday, January 7, 2010
Today I received a great email from an author client about a press release I created and it got me to thinking. How much you really know about press releases, and for authors how do you make those most advantage of them?
1. You need to understand what a Press Release is
A Press Release is an announcement of a newsworthy snapshot of an artist's work that is distributed to members of the press.
2. You need to understand a Press Release Purpose
PRs should be created only if newsworthy, distributed first to loyal media contacts who may want embargo priviledges. Then you submit to free services strategically to generate buzz so that your media list may reconsider your pitch. Then...create another one and start the cycle again no later than a quartrely basis.
3. You need to know how to write a Press Release
It is not an advertorial. I can't stress this enough to authors. Do not include anywhere on that release the cost of that book and it's ISBN number. Please. There is a standard format. It should be written in AP Style. If you don't know how, consult with someone who does. (quicknote: Do not email me your Press Release for Review. LOL.)
4. Include a Reliable and Easily Accessible Media Contact
The PR must contain a media contact who is reliable to get in touch with at in instant. This person should preferably have some kind of media training or knowledge about speaking to media and supplying their needs.
5. Now give the Press Release a "So What" and "Who Cares" Test?
Although you may think your book should be featured in Essence Magazine, mentioned on Good Morning America , chatted about on Women's Day Magazine's Talk Radio Show, or tweeted to the hills on #litchat, if it doesn't matter to the outlet, if it doesn't cater to the outlet, if it doesn't support the outlet, if it doesn't bring value to the outlet, then don't send it there.You have to ask yourself these gut check questions.
Let me also stress to the novelist seeking media attention. Sending a press release to alert media that your book is releasing must pass the So What and Who Cares Test, too?
Hopefully, now you will value your publicist's expertise more or it could be just wishful thinking for the New Year. ;)
Next time we'll talk about free online press release services and how to use them to leverage your press release campaign.
Which tip will you use starting the New Year?