Issue #1243 July 24, 2018
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- Topics to Watch on Facebook
- Pitch heat-related stories
- Anonymous Authors Wear Sunglasses, Wigs
- Hound Video of the Week
This Week in the Hound House:
I’ll be peeling, cutting and freezing a second batch of peaches when “the peach truck” swings into town again tomorrow. Canning season is in full swing. Next up are pickled beets, then spiced pears, one of my favorites, and my famous sugar-free cinnamon applesauce. My friends love these canned treats. And it’s so convenient having an entire larder of goodies when I need a quick gift. I buy pretty food labels throughout the year. If I’m feeling creative, I decorate the jars with dried raffia ribbon and other froofroo.
1. Topics to Watch on Facebook
By now, smart Publicity Hounds know that the only way to gain real traction fast on Facebook is through a paid ad.
If you can’t afford one, use every free tool available to know which topics people are talking about in the United States.
In the free “Topics to Watch” report, Facebook tells you which conversations it has seen grow consistently over the past 12 months.
In June, for instance, the most popular topics might surprise you: brown sugar, beach soccer, paddle boarding and inning. The list includes two I’ve never heard of: signal-to-noise ratio (the amount of desired sound relative to the amount of background noise) and Bernoilli’s Principle, an idea in physics that explains why airplanes seem able to defy gravity.
Granted, several of these super-niched topics might never apply to you. But if you stumble on a topic that’s a perfect fit, start posting content about it.
To do: Read “Facebook Releases Latest ‘Topics to Watch’ Report, Highlighting Key Trends.” You can read more about the June topics here. Subscribe to “Topics to Watch” by clicking on the blue “Subscribe” button on the upper right corner of that page.
2. Pitch Heat-related Stories
The triple-digit heat waves in the United States, and record-breaking temperatures in Canada, mean publicity galore for smart Hounds who know how to piggyback ideas onto the weather.
Local TV stations, your weekly and daily newspapers, even business magazines are looking for stories on how high temps are affecting daily life.
Pitch stories on safety for humans animals, saving money on electricity, tips for the yard and garden, cool clothing, the psychological effects of heat waves, how to stay safe during violent storms, or any product or service that helps people stay cool.
To do: Read all the ideas I’ve compiled in my blog posts “Heat Wave Offers Great Opportunities for Publicity,” “Summer Drought: 7 Story Ideas to Generate Publicity” and “The media want drought stories now.”
3. Anonymous Authors Wear Wigs, Sunglasses
I knew the issue of authors using pen names was a royal mess.
But I never dreamed authors that want to remain anonymous would stoop to wearing sunglasses and wigs, even in their media materials, to hide their identity.
When I asked last week about how authors generate publicity if they don’t want to be identified by their name or face, I received some unusual responses. Two authors actually disguise themselves with wigs and sunglasses.
I also learned that way too many authors are using pen names when they don’t need to. Inserting an unusual middle name sometimes takes care of the problem. Digital PR expert David Meerman Scott, for example, did just that. He knew “David Scott” was too vanilla. Rather than use a pen name, he inserted his middle name, a fabulous way to brand himself.
Two big mistakes I see:
–Authors who write in multiple genres and use multiple pen names–a nightmare that requires multiple social media accounts which, on sites like Facebook, can get you banned from the site.
–Using a pen name when you write fiction or nonfiction and you want to create authority and position yourself as an expert in your topic.
To do: Watch for the guest blog post I’m writing for Joel Friedlander’s blog on how pen names create a messy dilemma for authors who want publicity. I’ll share the link here when it’s ready. In the meantime, think twice before you decide to use a pen name. It creates many more problems than you can imagine.
4. Hound Video of the Week
Thanks to BL Ochman of New York City and Pawfun.com for this cute video of three Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies looking afraid to climb down the stairs.