Issue #816 May 10, 2014
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- Pitch at Media Websites
- Your Name on a Hollywood Star
- Authors, Save the Date
- Hound Video of the Week
This Weekend in the Hound House:
My friend, the retired vet, says it’s OK with her if I use a live trap to catch those pesky wabbits in my backyard. She said a woman in her community tried the same thing and, all three times, ended up with skunks in her traps. She called the police who came and removed the critters. That’s one of the many advantages of living in a small town.
1. Pitch at Media Websites
Tuesday’s item on The Dibs System at National Public Radio resulted in questions from several suspicious Publicity Hounds who wanted to know if media outlets really look at story ideas that you submit on forms at their websites.
Yes, most of them really do. Here’s why:
–They don’t have to talk to you on the phone.
–They don’t have to sift through mountains of email to find good story ideas.
–By using a form, they can ask you specific questions that will help them determine quickly if your story is a good fit for their show, magazine or newspaper.
–TV shows can ask for your photo to make sure you don’t have “a face for radio” before they book you.
–Shows can look for specific types of guests to round out story segments. Want to be on Rachael Ray’s show? Go to the Rachel Ray show and see the more than 100 ideas for shows listed. If you see one that’s a good fit, click on it, complete the form and submit your photo.
Never been on TV before? Then don’t aim for a national show. Choose a small program in a small market where you’ll have a chance to make mistakes and learn from them before you’re ready for prime time.
One of my most popular learning tools is the interview I did with TV producer Shawne Duperon on “How to Get on Your Local TV News Tomorrow.” She walks you step-by-step through the entire process, from finding out the name of “The Queen Bee” at every station to performing so well on the air that they invite you back. Read more about it.
2. Your Name on a Hollywood Star
Now you can be one of the many stars that have their names on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Well, not really. But you can use a fun, free tool that lets you create a photo of your name on one of those giant stars on the Walk of Fame.
Go to RedKid.net, type your name into the little window, and click on “Celebrity.” In less than one second, you’ll see your name appear on the star. Save the image to a folder and use it:
–In a blog post.
–In marketing materials.
–To send to a client (create a star with their name).
–As a fun image when writing about someone on social media.
Click on “Back to Menu of Sign Generators” and you’ll see dozens more fun signs you can make.
Spell out your name in alphabet soup. Write a message in red icing on top of a white cake.
Make a bumper sticker.
Include your name or a message on an old-time movie marquee at the Buffalo Drive-in.
Is this fun, or what?
3. Authors, Save the Date
If you’re an indie author who has a book on the horizon, or you’ve already published one but you’re struggling to create a media kit, help is on the way.
My new 26-page ebook, “Book Design Templates,” is almost ready. It includes a dozen pre-formatted Word Templates with step-by-step instructions on what you need to include in your media kit and how to write it or create it.
Templates include press releases for fiction and non-fiction books, several versions of your author bio, a book synopsis, contact information sheet, types of photos to include, and lots more. I’m tentatively planning a free webinar to introduce the book to you at 4 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 21. So save the date.
4. Hound Video of the Week
Meet Twig, the dog that skates down the steps, on The Late Show with David Letterman. You can even watch in slo-mo.