By Fern Reiss
Do you want to be quoted by the national press on a daily basis? (How much would that be worth to your business?)
In the past six months, I’ve been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, Entrepreneur, The Associated Press, PBS, Voice of America, Family Circle, Glamour, Redbook, Self, Health, Prevention, Parents, Parenting, Women’s World, First for Women, Newsday, Newsweek, Salon, In Touch Weekly–and even The National Enquirer.
In fact, I’ve been quoted in over 100 prestigious U.S. publications. I call this “Expertizing,” and it’s good for business, regardless of the business you’re in. Anyone can learn to get this kind of media attention, for any book or any business; my Expertizing workshop attendees are achieving this same level of media recognition. Here’s how:
First, syndicate. This column is syndicated; hundreds of thousands of people read it. Syndicating a newspaper column doesn’t pay very well anymore (you’ll probably make only $5 or $10 per column) but it gets your name out. And syndicating online is even easier. My next title, “The Publishing Game: Syndicate a Column in 30 Days” will cover the topic more thoroughly, but you can get started just by doing a Google search for “[Keyword] article submit.”
Start a national association. A national association will get you media attention automatically, regardless of your other credentials. The National Pediculosis Association in Needham, Massachusetts, is a great example. (That’s lice, for those of you without small children.)
Create a holiday. Anyone can create a national holiday, and it’s free. Register at Chases.com, and on a slow news day, journalists will come looking for more information on your holiday–the more interesting, funny, or quirky, the better. I just helped an Expertizing client set up a holiday for her very technical company that would otherwise have been paid little press attention–but next year, she’s going to be inundated with press attention when National Geek Day rolls around.
If you’re going to do a flyer for your business, put something useful on the back so people don’t throw it away. The back of my Publishing Game book flyer has a useful hot contact list, with contact information for major magazines, talk show hosts, wholesalers and distributors, book reviewers, and more. (You can get a complimentary copy at http://www.PublishingGame.com) My new Expertizing flyer has information on my Expertizing workshops on one side, but the other side has suggestions of how to write Killer Soundbites that the media will quote. (You can get a free copy of that one at http://www.Expertizing.com) If you include something useful, people will hang onto your flyers forever.
Talk to the press. Press kits mostly get tossed or buried. But today there are services you can subscribe to that will keep you up to date on what journalists are working on, so that you can respond in time to be quoted in their articles. I respond to health journalists with quotes about my Infertility Diet book; I respond to business journalists with information about my Publishing Game and Expertizing products. But I also respond about lifestyle issues–entrepreneurship, marriage, kids, home business. One of the things I do in my all-day Expertizing workshops is train authors and executives to develop the soundbites that will propel them into these articles. Even without training, you can generate plenty of press.
Don’t forget speaking. If you enjoy public speaking, do as much of it as you can. Speaking can pay–even public libraries pay for talks–and even without pay, it’s worth it for the publicity. If you speak at the Learning Annex, for example, thousands of people see your information. When it comes to speaking, this is one of the few times you shouldn’t focus just on your niche. Cast your net more widely, and see if you don’t have something to say to others. For example, this year I’m speaking at Media Relations, at SPAN, and at Book Expo America, all of which are in my target audience. But I’m also speaking to over 200 CEOs at an executive transition firm event–and that’s probably going to generate more business for me, because writers and publishers have heard of me already, but these executives may have not. So look for new audiences and groups that might be interested, as well as your target markets.
And then forget what I’m telling you, about how you have to do this or that sort of PR. Do the publicity you love. What you love doing will be most effective for you, because you’ll enjoy it. So if you like to speak, go out and do that, but if you’d prefer to sit home in your bathrobe and do it all by email, do that instead. Live the dream the way you want to.
Fern Reiss is the CEO of http://www.Expertizing.com and http://www.PublishingGame.com. More information on Fern’s books (“The Publishing Game: Find an Agent in 30 Days,” (literary agents) “The Publishing Game: Publish a Book in 30 Days,” (self publishing) and “The Publishing Game: Bestseller in 30 Days” (book promotion) and all-day Publishing Game workshops can be found at PublishingGame.com. More information on positioning yourself as an expert and being quoted by the media, along with Fern’s Expertizing Workshops at the Ritz Carlton in Boston (September 19) and Manhattan (October 4) can be found at http://www.Expertizing.com.
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