Issue #796 Feb. 25, 2014
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- Why People Will Give You Money
- Use Twitter in a Crisis
- 9 Seats Left at Publicity Summit
- Hound Video of the Week
This Weekend in the Hound House:
An 8-year-old girl was burning up the chess boards last night at a local coffee shop in my town. I play chess or Scrabble every Monday night, and last night was a special chess tournament where the game went really fast and players hit a button on the chess clock after every move. When I glanced over to see how she was doing, I saw her capturing rooks, bishops and knights from guys old enough to be her grandfather. I’m not good enough for a tournament yet so I played it safe with Scrabble and won one of two games.
1. Why People Will Give You Money
When I wrote last week about crowdfunding, a way to get financial help from total strangers to fund marketing for your book, or materials for an art project, or direct mail pieces for fundraising campaign, several Publicity Hounds wrote to me, asking why people will gladly give you money you don’t have to pay back.
Here are nine reasons:
–They sympathize with you, particularly if they love the topic of your book, or your project is for a cause close to their hearts.
–They’d feel guilty if they didn’t donate.
–It makes them feel good.
–Even though they don’t have to pay back the money, you have to give them something in return to thank them, like a free book or a free gizmo you’re inventing. Many people simply look forward to getting a package in the mail and being able to hold your creation in their hands and say, “I helped make this possible.”
–They feel passionate about your cause or issue and want to help in their own little (or big) way.
–It helps them be a part of a community of creative people.
–They want to help because you’re a special friend or relative they love, and they don’t like to see you struggling to get a project off the ground.
–It lets them strengthen connections with people in their social networks.
If you like to take advantage of crowdfunding for your own book or project, knowing where to start can be very confusing. Join me and Judith Briles
from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, Feb. 27, when I host the webinar “Crowdfunding: How to Use Other People’s Money for Your Book or Project.” (Update: The video replay is available for purchase along with a big bonus package.)
Judith has successfully used crowdfunding to raise money for her author clients. She knows the best ways to get started, the booby traps to avoid and how to encourage people to push you past your goal.
2. Use Twitter in a Crisis
If someone hacks your website and knocks it offline, do you have a crisis communication tool in place to let customers know what’s happening, what you’re doing to get it back online, and what they should do in the meantime?
These tips are a day late because AWeber, my email marketing provider, was the victim of an attack on Monday and again yesterday.
After several failed attempts to get onto their website yesterday morning so I could send you these tips, I checked their Twitter feed. Sure enough, their website had been hacked. Their staff was busy tweeting every few minutes to let their 25,000 Twitter followers know they were working on the problem and to reply to the many tweets they were receiving from customers.
But things got worse.
Customers started complaining that their websites were loading too slowly. The problem was traced back to AWeber’s email sign-up forms on their sites. AWeber tweeted the solution: a screenshot with specific instructions on how to make websites load more quickly by inserting a line of code. You can see the code here.
Tweets continued throughout the night until service was restored at 6 a.m. today.
I love AWeber, and they get two paws up, way up, for using Twitter as a crisis tool. Their phone support is excellent, but their tweets saved me time calling for updates.
“I don’t use Twitter because no one cares what I had for lunch,” is a common refrain from publicity pups who don’t know any better.
Smart Publicity Hounds understand the value and power of this free tool when things are going swimmingly, but especially on those Days from Hell.
3. 9 Seats Left at Publicity Summit
As of this morning, only nine slots remained for the National Publicity Summit, the live event in New York City where you can meet top journalists, TV producers, freelance writers, editors and guest bookers–behind closed doors.
It’s April 2-5. If your application is accepted, Steve Harrison’s staff will coach you beforehand so you put your best food forward when you meet journalists face to face and pitch.
I’m a paid affiliate for this event and promote it because it’s one of the few chances for Publicity Hounds to meet top journalists and broadcasters in one place, over one four-day session, and wow them with your pitch and expertise.
4. Hound Video of the Week
Watch what happens when this guy asks if his dog wants to go for a walk. (Sort of like what happens in my house.)