By Brian Feinblum, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President
Whether you’re an author, a publicist, or a media consumer, chances are you can’t read the media’s mind. When it comes to hitting it big with the media there are a lot of factors involved that are often beyond our control – timing, what’s trending, what are the biggest news items, for example.
While conceding that we are not necessarily mind readers when it comes to the media, we’ve been around long enough to know what it is the media is generally looking for:
1. Your book if it ties into the current news cycle.
2. You to only contact them if the book is relevant to what they cover.
3. Something that is actually new to report.
4. You to email them but not blitz them with a barrage of contacts.
5. You to give them a pitch in 15 seconds.
6. To never receive a voicemail unless it’s truly about an A-list author.
7. A guest that is reliable and respectful.
8. Authors that are media coached.
9. Their viewers/listeners/readers to be entertained, enlightened, informed, and inspired by authors.
10. An exclusive.
11. A new twist to a familiar story.
12. An author who is controversial.
13. Your advance review copy four months prior to publication – for book reviewers and long-lead publications.
14. To beat its competing media outlets to the punch.
15. A story that writes itself – so they don’t have to do a ton of research.
16. Bullet points and targeted press releases.
17. Free books, especially printed copies.
18. An author that doesn’t sound like a commercial.
19. Authors and books that don’t clash with its editorial ideology.
20. A book or an author to localize, where possible, the story.
21. To champion certain ideas and will use your book to channel them.
22. Likes visuals – show them a good photo or short video.
23. Not to be overwhelmed by 20 links or buttons to blogs, FB, etc.
24. Good humor, but nothing too racy if it’s a mainstream media outlet.
25. For you not to say how great a book is, but to state without hyperbole, why there’s an urgency to cover your book now.
26. For an author to talk to them without assuming they’ve read the book – because they likely have not.
27. Authors who are not egocentric and come off like know-it-alls.
28. Publicists to deliver on whatever was promised to them.
29. Those that contact them to think like them and understand their needs, goals, and challenges.
30. Examples or demonstrate details of the story angles that you assert should be used.
31. A good quote. Everyone wants that take-away zinger from an author that leaves a lasting impression.
32. Definitive, even extreme viewpoints to ponder. If you espouse middle-of-the road ideas you are merely pitching mediocrity.
33. To cover people with large social media followings since they know the author will tweet about the interview or story.
34. Lists. Top 5, 7, 10 of anything are always in demand.
35. Original content and not material that already ran on a blog or another media outlet.
36. To be treated with respect and honesty.
37. To hear a unique take on a hot topic.
38. Insight on trends, predictions, and long-term forecasts.
39. Access to polls, surveys, and studies.
40. Background information on the topic it will interview you about.
41. Suggested interview questions-and prefers a Q&A.
42. To see you have a media brand and credibility in the area you claim to be an expert in.
43. Fact over opinion or analysis over question-raising – or outrageous claims that can be backed up.
44. To cover topics of interest to their advertising demographic.
45. To follow the lead of other types of media. If a newspaper breaks a story, TV will follow. If a blog covers something, print may follow. But big TV doesn’t like to follow big TV too often.
46. Celebrities, heroes, beautiful people, star athletes, leaders, and the already famous.
47. Tomorrow’s news today and not yesterday’s news tomorrow.
48. To expose the ridiculous, champion what’s right, question authority, and come off looking like geniuses.
49. Something that the reporter/host is personally interested in.
50. To hear from people it trusts and knows , such as MEDIA CONNECT!
Related: Where’s The Book Hall of Fame?