By Brian Feinblum, Media Connect CMO
If authors hire a publicist – or work with one their publisher assigned to them – they should take the following into consideration:
1. Hold Them Accountable
Have a conversation of what they are doing and for how long. Always cooperate with them and be willing to share, sacrifice, or take responsibility for the PR campaign. But hold them accountable and monitor their progress.
2. Exploit Their Strengths
Take advantage of whatever they can provide, whether it’s their skills, knowledge, media connections, ideas or enthusiasm and energy.
3. Set Goals
Set a clear objective on tasks, deadlines, and plans. If you want to yield great results, set some lofty goals.
4. Strategize & Brainstorm
Be available to bounce ideas off of your publicist and for them to do the same with you. Work together to mastermind a real plan.
5. Communicate Clearly & Often
It’s important that you each update one another on efforts and results, otherwise it’s hard to be successful and unite to generate progress.
6. See Things through The Publicists’ Eyes
Start to see the world in the way your publicist does. Start to filter and edit your activities based on what will help them help you to break through the media clutter.
7. Stay Focused
Your book’s PR is the main event and everything else is a distraction or side show. Keep your eye on the prize and live for your book’s success.
8. Check Your Ego
Easier said than done but if your ego gets in the way of you doing all that’s needed to make your book a success, you will have failed. No matter how good you think your book is, let humility lead over arrogance. It’s good to be confident, but don’t come off as arrogant.
9. Conserve Your Energy
Get enough rest, sleep and proper diet and exercise so that you are in an optimal position to contribute to promoting your book.
10. Keep Learning
No matter how much knowledge you have on the subject of your expertise, remain updated and proficient. The news changes by the moment – so keep up with it.
11. Evolve Your Position
Be prepared to change your views or stand on a particular topic. Perhaps the world is changing – you may need to evolve with it in order to be seen as relevant by the news media.
12. Be Persistent
Persevere and stay in touch with your publicist. Inspire and nudge them to go the extra mile for you.
13. Think of It As A Numbers Game
Outreach alone is not a measurement of results or success, but the media is a numbers game. The more people you reach out to the better the chance you’ll get a hit. But the quality of the pitch and whom you contact – how and when – will ultimately play a huge factor.
14. Say No To No
Infuse a feeling of invincibility to your publicist. A “no” just means a “yes” could be coming. Sometimes you get turned down by one writer but another one at the same publication says yes. In other cases, the very same person who said no three weeks ago might say yes today. Why? Because news cycles change. Maybe your pitch got better. Maybe the mood of the reporter improved. Never argue a no at that moment, but do try to find out if it’s a soft or hard no. A soft no sounds like they’re hesitant, leaving the door open if you can just convince them how you can help them. A hard no sounds like they simply don’t touch the topic you are pitching or they are under rules imposed by higher-ups, or they really dislike you or your topic.
15. See Things Like A Member Of The Media
To be successful in pitching the media you need to understand what they want, how you can help them, when/how they like to be approached, and what makes individual members tick. If you know a reporter is a parent or a senior or hates football, it will help you in your pitch. If you know a producer is only available on Tuesday and Thursday between 4:30 am and 6:15 am EST, then you call then. If a talk show host only wants to be e-mailed or if you know an editor best responds to you when you take him to lunch, then factor this into your pitch.
16. Celebrate Media Wins
Reward your publicist – and yourself – when you garner a huge media placement. Work hard – and play hard!