One of the biggest problems people make when they want publicity is treating everyone who can give it to them like a herd of cattle.
Got your hands on a pretty good media list? Great.
Using the same pitch for them all? If so, it’s like herding cattle into the barn, feeding them all from the same trough, and shooing them all back out into the field when they’re done eating.
I’ve identified 11 groups of journalists, information publishers and others who are in an ideal position to help promote you. During the 90-minute training I’m hosting at 4 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, July 14, I’ll explain how to customize every pitch to fit the needs of the audiences that follow each person you’re pitching.
That sounds difficult, I know. But the secret is pitching fewer people, not more. It gives you time to find out who they are, and research the topics that press their hot buttons. Register for the webinar “Pitch Your Story in 5 Easy Steps for a Publicity Homerun.”
Here’s a sneak preview and what to offer each group that might give you publicity. You’ll think of more, but this is a good start:
1. Reporters Want Expert Sources
Sure, they want story ideas. But they also want people who are leaders in their industry or know what’s happening behind the scenes when news is about to break. Reporters are trolling the social media sites, especially LinkedIn groups, looking for experts. You should be active in your industry groups.
2. Editors Want Multimedia
If you’re pitching newspaper or magazine editors, think beyond print. Editors want audio, video, photos, slidedecks, infographics and other content for their websites.
Offer a little “extra” like an infographic along with your pitch. It just might push them off the fence and encourage them to say “yes.”
3. Freelancers Want Ideas for Multiple Media Outlets
Pitching a freelance writer? Remember that most of them write for multiple publications. A food columnist might also write a car maintenance column for a women’s magazine and a monthly column for a travel blog. Knowing who covers what and who writes for which media outlets gives you more opportunities for pitching and, if you do it right, more publicity.
4. Photographers Want Compelling Photo Ideas
Too many people who are pitching forget about photographers, and that’s a pity. When I worked at daily newspapers, the photo desk loved it when readers called with ideas for stand-alone photos that didn’t necessarily require stories. That meant the photographers didn’t have to resort to the same tired boy-feeding-geese-in-the-city-park shot.
5. TV Producers Want Ideas for Entire Show Segments
Don’t pitch an idea. Pitch a segment for the show. That means multiple sources, props and a lively discussion. Former TV reporter Roshanda Pratt offers more tips on how to entice your local TV news team to cover your story.
6. Radio Talk Show Hosts Want Guests That Make Listeners Call the Station
Media trainer Joel Roberts, who was a radio talk show host in Los Angeles, says radio talk shows don’t want light. They want heat. They want conversation so hot that people pull onto the berm of busy freeways, whip out their phones, and call the host.
Willing to dive into a controversial topic? All the better. Publicity expert Marcia Yudkin offers 12 angles for sparking controversy that generates publicity.
7. Ezine Editors Want Short Tips, Tricks & Tools
Ezines can be fabulous publicity opportunities because so few Publicity Hounds pitch them. Because ezines are much shorter than print publications, the publishers usually want shorter items. And they love telling their readers about free resources, whether it’s a website with simple plumbing tips or an app that will save you time or money.
You can offer a short how-to video you’ve created, perhaps one that’s on your YouTube channel. Or pitch a free tip along with a link to an article or blog post you’ve written that goes into more depth. To find ezine editors, I start with a simple Google search like this: “best ezines for PR” or “top electronic newsletters for human resources.”
8. Print Newsletter Editors Love Coupons
Yes, printed newsletters are still around, despite the ease of producing electronic newsletters. Business growth specialist Rita McAllif makes a compelling case for sending a print newsletter even if you already publish an ezine. She recommends you consider offering coupons.
You don’t even have to buy an ad to offer one. If your shopping cart lets you create a coupon code, use it go give readers a discount on your new book. Or offer a 2-for-1 coupon special for tickets to a local performance.
9. Podcasters Want Niche Experts
No other medium has such narrowly targeted audiences as podcasts. That’s because many podcasts specialize in shows devoted to super-narrow topics. Listeners can’t find information just anywhere on say, pens and stationery like those featured in The Pen Addict, or Great Speeches in History. So they flock to podcasts, and many turn into loyal listeners who consume the content when it’s most convenient—while walking the dog, working out or during the morning commute.
To find podcasters, start with the iTunes Podcast Directory. Bookmark this site because it’s almost impossible to find in a Google search.
10. Bloggers Crave Q&A Interviews
Bloggers want lots of sources and types of content, but they particularly love Q&A interviews. Why? Because they’re so darn easy to publish, and the blogger doesn’t have to spend hours writing! I’ve interviewed experts, recorded the calls, and found a cheap transcriber on Fiverr.com. I don’t have to write much more than about three paragraphs for the lead-in.
Some bloggers prefer email interviews which is fine with me if I’m the one being interviewed. It gives me more time to think about my answers.
11. Book Reviewers Want Interesting Books
Don’t forget book reviewers! Some have their own blogs and podcasts. Others write freelance book reviews for magazines and industry publications.
Some want to be on Amazon’s Top Book Reviewer List. Many of these reviewers don’t provide email or website addresses so tracking them down can be a chore. That’s why I recommend Debbie Drum’s “Book Review Targeter” (affiliate link). It’s slick software that will shave weeks off the tedious job of contacting reviewers who are a good match with your book. It finds only reviewers whose keywords match those of your book, and only reviewers who have public email or web addresses.
Once you know what each of those 11 audience want, and I’ve just scratched the surface here, you’re in a better position to pitch it. And that means you’re increasing your chances for publicity.