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Obviously, media coverage is great for exposure for your product or service. If you don’t have time or the inclination to look after the steps yourself, hire someone who knows the business well, has a great reputation for results, is recommended by others-and is compatible with you, your ideas and expectations.
If you choose to publicize on your own, at least at the beginning, here are steps I followed:
1. Results are better if you have some kind of upcoming event attached to the product/service that will be of interest to people living in the area covered by the media.
2. Create a news/press release with a great hook. As it turns out, 2010 provided me with more than enough material for not only a hook but an entirely new book. Media are always looking for good stories for its audience.
3. Research media outlets. Start with the ones in your area. Look up radio, television, magazines and newspapers, what they’re about, what section would be interested, and the contact information. Can you connect with an upcoming holiday or celebration?
4. Check out the lead time needed. Does it broadcast or publish daily, weekly or monthly? How does your information fit in to the deadline?
5. Speak to someone at the particular media office about who should get the release. Often, after a couple of questions, the person answering the phone call can direct you. Should you be speaking with an editor, writer, host, or producer?
6. Be nice and friendly. Follow up, follow up, follow up! To ensure receipt, connect with the recipient of the media release. Give more detail and why what you are offering is important to the audience/readers.
Here’s how I managed – with perseverance – to get coverage for an event in Muskoka.
Full Page Article
Having accepted John Dunn’s invitation to set up a table for his Walker’s Point Marina’s Canada Day celebration on Saturday, July 2nd, I decided to try to attract some publicity. This is how one thing can lead to another.
Following the steps outlined above, I sent out my press release to all the media outlets I could find in Muskoka and surrounding area, and followed up-sometimes several times. Virtually everyone I spoke to indicated interest.
As it turned out, because I’d gone to attend a family wedding in the States, I missed one reporter’s call and returned home too late for that newspaper’s deadline. In the future, I would consider arranging to forward calls from my home office phone to my cell phone.
However, I was indeed fortunate to get amazing coverage throughout Muskoka for the July Canada Day celebrations weekend.
The Muskokan is a weekly publication widely distributed free in Muskoka during summer months …
Kelly McShane was assigned by editor Andrew Wagner-Chazalon to write a story about my background, my book, and my intention. (Look for upcoming interview with Andrew on my talk radio show this Fall.) Kelly’s subsequent wonderful full-page article “The skills you need may lie within, says author” covers many of the points we’d discussed in a long telephone interview. The issue was published and distributed throughout Muskoka on one of the busiest weekends of the summer, and just in time, too.
As it happened (is it merely a coincidence?), The Moose FM Muskoka radio station set up a booth right next to me. (Yes, I’d sent a press release there, too. This booth was arranged way before that.)
It was a very hot day. When we weren’t busy otherwise, announcer Ryan Griffiths and I shared stories in between his promotions for the ongoing events.
Throughout the entire afternoon, Ryan graciously mentioned Making Opportunity Knock on air, inviting listeners to come visit and buy copies of the book.
How One Thing
Lead To Another
With actual media coverage in hand, my next steps were to approach local:
1. non-traditional retailers about accepting my book for sale;
2. specific clubs and chapters of organizations to book me as a speaker.
The next post will describe how this successful pursuit resulted in the Mystery of Missing Books, as well as a speaking engagement.
Future Events (book an event for your group..)
For more events that are continually being added to the calendar on my website, go here.
A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the Toronto General and Western Hospital foundation for Kidney Transplantation and Research.
You’re welcome to contact me with your questions or make comments below.
All the best!
Next Post: Marketing 8 - Pounding the Pavement cont’d-A Booking and a Mystery
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