Publicity is that free media exposure you get when you’re quoted in the press. It could be an interview for a(n):
- Online media outlet or content site
- Radio station
- TV program
It’s more powerful than advertising and other paid-for marketing tactics because it brings with it far more credibility. That’s because when you’re quoted by the press, you get an authority boost.
People are smart enough to know that journalists are selective about who they use as sources. So, if a reporter chose you, you must know what you’re talking about.
What are the easiest and most effective ways to get publicity? Here are my top three.
1. Write and distribute a publicity tip sheet.
A tip sheet is a type of press release that offers tips or advice in a bulleted or numbered format.
Like a press release, it’s written like a news story so that a media outlet or blogger can run it as is. No additional research or writing is necessary.
Media outlets, especially newspapers and magazines, like tip sheets because they can pull out just one or two tips to fill space. They also run them as short articles or use them as a starting point for longer feature stories.Media outlets, especially newspapers and magazines, like tip sheets because they can pull out just one or two tips to fill space. They also run them as short articles or use them as a starting point for longer feature stories.Click to tweet
Radio stations like to share the advice in snippets or, like TV talk shows, build author interviews around the tip sheet topic. Bloggers run them as new posts because tip sheets with substance help them deliver useful information to their followers.
Learn how to create one and see an example in “How to create a book publicity tip sheet.”
2. Blog regularly.
When I’m looking for sources for my freelance writing article assignments, I often start with a Google search.
I might type in my article topic, or, when I specifically want to interview an author, I’ll type the topic plus the word “author.”
More often than not, search results take me to blog posts. I contact the blogger via email; if they respond (and sadly, it’s “if,” not “when”), we do an interview … and that expert scores free publicity.
Here’s how you can leverage your blog’s content to get publicity:
- Provide your email address on your “contact” page, not a form that people have to type into. Because I rarely get a response to my form-based inquiries, I try not to use them when I find a source I’d like to interview. If I can use only one of the two experts I’ve found, I’ll start with the one who provides an email address.
- Respond to media inquiries quickly. Most of us move on to the next option quickly when we don’t hear back from someone we’ve contacted within a reasonable amount of time.
3. Subscribe to HARO.
HARO – Help a Reporter Out – is a free service that helps journalists find sources to interview and quote in articles and broadcast segments.
It is one of the easiest – if not the easiest – ways to get book publicity.
HARO is every book publicist’s secret weapon because works. That’s why every time I coach an author who wants media exposure, the first thing I ask is, “Are you using HARO?”
And it’s free.
HARO feeds you requests from journalists
When you create a free HARO account, you’ll get three emails a day. Each of these emails includes a collection of brief messages from journalists who are looking for article or segment sources. We call those messages from journalists “queries.”
I use HARO regularly to find people to interview or quote for my freelance writing assignments, and, sad to say, I rarely hear from authors.
Worse, those I hear from don’t respond in a way that makes it possible for me to interview or quote them.
That’s because there’s a right way and a wrong way to respond, and many sources of all types, not just authors, respond the wrong way.There’s a right way and a wrong way to respond to HARO queries, and many sources of all types, not just authors, respond the wrong way.Click to tweet
HARO response secrets
I teach how to use HARO the right way to get publicity for your author career and your book in my course, “Get Quoted: A Journalist’s Strategies for using HARO to Snag Book Publicity.”
Mastering HARO will give you a competitive edge that will not only help you sell more books, it will contribute to the platform you need to get a traditional publishing contract.
And, for those who consult, coach, or speak, it will boost your profile in ways that attract more clients and allow you to charge more for your services.
Get more information on the Get Quoted course description page.
Publicity begets publicity
It’s important to use any of these methods or others, including contacting media outlets directly with article or segment ideas, because publicity begets publicity.
Here’s what often happens once you’ve been quoted a couple of times:
- You, your book, and your website show up higher in search engine results when people, including journalists, search for your topic.
- Journalists who see you’ve been quoted already are more likely to contact you for an interview. That’s because another reporter has vetted you, and because it’s clear that you’re willing and able to talk about your topic.
You also earn the right to share media outlet, blog, podcast, and content site logos on your website in an “as seen on” banner.
Don’t wait to pursue publicity. Let this free strategy help you reach more of the right readers.
Have you snagged publicity? Please tell us how you did it in a comment!
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