Issue #822 May 31, 2014
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- How to Get “Yes” from an Editor
- What’s an Editorial Calendar?
- The Best Way to Get on Radio
- Hound Video of the Week
This Weekend in the Hound House:
Back into the garden the entire weekend. I’m digging flower beds, potting geraniums, planting zinnias, weeding, mowing and mulching. I live for this! So do my gardening friends. And we all love to complain about how sore we feel afterward.
1. How to Get “Yes” from an Editor
How do you stand out in a crowd when you’re one of hundreds of people pitching ideas to an editor or blogger?
The best way is to be zigging while everyone else is zagging. In other words, do what most other people aren’t doing.
Muckrack.com, which sells subscriptions to its database of journalists, has five excellent tips on how to encourage a journalist to say yes:
–Do something for them first, like reaching out to them before you pitch and asking what their editor calendar looks like and if they need something specific. (See Item #2 below.)
–Use time indicators in the subject line or first line of the email body. Phrases like “one quick question about…” can help attract attention and let them know you won’t waste their time.
–Include an infographic or part of a screenshot in your pitch. You can also include your small headshot in your email signature.
–Let them know you understand their niche. Refer to something they’ve written that might tie in to what you’re pitching.
Almost nobody does this. I know because a lot of people pitch me.
No more one-size-fits-all pitches.
2. What’s an Editorial Calendar?
If you’re new to publicity, you might be puzzled by the term “editorial calendar.”
It has several definitions.
For newspapers and magazines, an editorial calendar is a calendar of special sections and topics that the publication will focus on during the current year. These calendars help advertisers determined where their ad dollars will have the biggest impact. A home builder, for example, will want to advertise in the February special section on home builders.
These publications usually do a terrible job of making it easy for people to find the editorial calendars at their websites. If you’re looking for one and can’t find it, call the publication and ask to speak to someone in the advertising department. They’ll lead you in the right direction, but only after they try to sell you an ad!
Many bloggers also have editorial calendars and set aside certain months of the year for certain topics. They find that editorial calendars keep them on track and writing regularly. (I have more ideas than I can write for my own blog and don’t use one.)
The fourth edition of my ebook, “How to be a Kick-butt Publicity Hound,” includes a glossary of more than 110 definitions of things you need to know in PR, publicity, social media and self-promotion. It’s the very best overall learning tool I offer if you want to self-promote using traditional media and social media. Read more about what it includes.
3. The Best Way to Get on Radio
Here’s a tip from my ebook, “How to be a Kick-butt Publicity Hound,” courtesy of radio publicity expert Joe Sabah.
If you want to get onto a show, don’t hide behind press releases, email pitches, postcards or media kits. Pick up the phone and call!
“You’re doing an audition,” Joe says. “Radio is a vocal medium. It is not a written medium. They want to hear you. They want to hear how excited you can get.”
He also cautions against getting caught in the voicemail trap if the person you want to speak with isn’t there, or is on the air.
“Ask the receptionist, ‘What is the best time for me to call Sally back? Should I call her before she goes on the air or when she comes off the air?”
Call back at the appointed time, and sound enthusiastic.
You’ll find thousands more tips like that one in “How to be a Kick-butt Publicity Hound.”
4. Hound Video of the Week
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Otis, the skydiving pug! (Scroll down to the video.)