Getting Free Media Coverage
July 10, 2017
When a person hires a public relations representative to promote their books, this is the one thing that PR people do. They contact the traditional media representatives via the news services. That’s about it. The rest of it is up to you to make happen. This is one of the reasons that I have decided to do it myself as an Independent Author. What they do is not as mysterious as public relations people want you to think.
I don’t have to do all of the press releases all either. Sometimes I enlist help. Tomorrow I am going to be at the Marionville and Mount Vernon Libraries in Lawrence County, Missouri, but the library put out the press release to the local papers and radio stations. Here’s a link to the
A Local Approach to sending out Press Releases
First thing that they do is write a press release for you. Writing press releases are not that difficult. I have written and sent out several over the past several years and for the most part, the media that used the press release that I wrote word for word.
I have learned from my process is that I am more likely to get into a publication if I can find a local edge. One thing that I did was that I sent a press release of every new book when I put out it out to my local newspaper. In addition, I sent press releases to my hometown in Pennsylvania. The hometown approach was the local angle that I used.
Here is another angle I am using to get my latest book into a local newspaper. I am getting ready to send a book to one of my readers Heather who lives in Louisville, Kentucky. I intend to write a press release about the fact that she won the book during my “choose the cover contest”. I put the name of everyone who responded into a hat and I drew her name. The prize is the book.
How to Find Specific Media Representatives
Using Louisville as my example, in order to reach a local representative, the first thing I do is look up the areas local newspaper on google.
To find a specific media representative in any location is not difficult. The first thing to do is to find the newspapers that are in Louisville. To find any newspaper, radio station, television station or even colleges in any state in the United States, go to http://www.usnpl.com/
At this site, you’ll find the link to the state of Kentucky. From there, you can then go to the city of choice and in this case I then go to the Courier-Journal. I can then click on the A with circle around it to indicate that I want to see the address. On the address page I can then either send the newspaper an email or I can investigate further. Because I want to know as much as possible about who is I should specifically send the information, I click on the staff page link. From this page I am able to see exactly who is most likely to handle this type of news.
If I still couldn’t tell exactly who to contact, I would call the main phone number and ask the gatekeeper exactly who that person is and from there I can then contact that individual.
How to Contact a Media Representative
When it comes to actually contacting this individual, I would start by sending this person an email, introducing myself and what I am doing. I would not attach the press release but would include it in the body of the email. By contacting this individual directly with a specific plan, I am more likeqly to get coverage through that media outlet.
When approaching your media representative, think of the journalist as your customer. Recognize that the way to get this person to promote your book is to give the journalist what he or she wants, and what a journalist wants is a story that will please his or her customers—the periodicals or newspaper’s readers. This is why local slants work well with journalists.
Well written press releases, directed toward specific journalists and directing a specific slant to that journalist’s readers, although it won’t guarantee coverage, exponentially increases your chances for media coverage.
All good advice. All things I’ve done. Best wishes in the weeks to come.