I spent an hour with a publicist. Here’s what I learned.
A few days ago, a box of preview copies of my new book arrived on my doorstep.
Opening the package was completely surreal … a book? My book? That’s going to be in bookstores? Whaaaat?
It’s a feeling I hope that every aspiring author / writer / scribbler / creative minx can experience, at least once in a lifetime.
And — once the initial wave of shock & delirium passed through me — I was left with one thought:
I’ve got to promote the FRACK out of this book!
Good thing I scheduled a date with my friend Melissa Cassera — a media & publicity powerhouse.
My hour with Melissa was a mega eye-opener. Turns out, uh, I didn’t know as much about securing major media attention as I thought I did (Oops. Except — now I know a lot more! Not-oops!)
Melissa helped me rewire my brain to “think like the media.” And today, I’m sharing 3 of the best & brightest tips I learned … with you.
1. You may be a fascinating human being, but that doesn’t make you “newsworthy.”
Harsh, but true. Journalists and producers are looking for a hot story — something timely, trendy, or provocative. Just “being cool” … usually isn’t enough. Neither is “writing a book.” New books come out every day. What makes yours so darn special?
For example: here’s a media pitch for my book that probably wouldn’t be very successful …
I wrote a book called 50 Ways To Say You’re Awesome. It’s packed with playful, quirky ways to express your affection. I’m smart & cool & have pretty hair! Interview me, please!
But! With a little tweaking, I can spin my story into a newsworthy nugget …
Gratitude. A whirlwind of new studies show that taking a few minutes to express your gratitude every day can help you sleep better, boost your immune system, spike oxytocin — & even raise high schoolers’ GPA.
My forthcoming book — 50 Ways To Say You’re Awesome — is packed with playful, quirky ways to express your appreciation.
I’d love to hop on your show to talk about the incredible effects of gratitude — and share 3 fresh & easy ways to express your affection, to the people who matter most.
Now, I’m not saying you have to bring me on your show — but, the health & sanity of our nation may depend on it. ;)
2. You need a job title that the media can wrap its head around.
I know, I know … you love calling yourself a Mistress of Manifestation, or a Sparkle-Pony Priestess of Empowerment, or a Visionary Vixen of Wordy Magic. And that’s rad. Really.
But if you’re looking for major, mainstream media coverage … you’re going to need a job title that journalists (and audiences) can understand, in three seconds flat. Without further elaboration.
Melissa encouraged me to start calling myself a Communication Expert. Which initially made me freak out. Me? An Expert with a capital E? Somebody’s going to yell at me!
But then I thought about it, and realized … uh, I run a highly successful copywriting business — and I’m booked, like, til the end of time. I lead sold-out workshops on writing & self-expression. I have two books coming out, and I’ve been featured in four others. I’ve been spotlighted on over 50 blogs & podcasts & radio programs. If I’m not a “Communication Expert” … who is?
3. You need to make friends with freelance writers. Like, now.
Ever wonder how folks get featured in glossy magazine articles? Often, it’s not because they pitched an editor or staff writer … it’s ’cause they’ve built a relationship with a freelancer!
Melissa recommends reading lots & lots of magazines (well, gosh, if you insist!) and then Googling the names of freelance contributors. Many freelancers write for multiple magazines … and have websites … with contact forms … that anybody can use.
You can introduce yourself to freelancers and position yourself as a smart & reliable source, for future articles. Annnd … just like that, you’re in like Flynn. No press release required.
What I’ve (already) done to make myself more media-friendly — and what you can do, too.
Since talking to Melissa, I’ve updated my media page (look ma, I’m an expert!) and tightened up the language on my about page (less woo-woo, more soundbite-y.) I booked another photoshoot with Leslie (just ’cause.) And … I’ve sketched out a rrrrreally exciting online event that’ll help me create relationships with local TV & radio stations. (More on that, soonish.)
I still have a LOT to do — like building a list of freelancers to contact, and scheduling my first video shoot (eee!).
Most of all, I need to practice talking (and writing) about myself in simple, succinct, media-friendly language … until it feels like second nature.
Hmmm. I think I’ll start practicing, right now:
Hi. I’m Alexandra Franzen. I’m a Communication Expert & the author of 50 Ways To Say You’re Awesome.
I teach people how to write with astonishing ease — and lots of love.
What do YOU need to say, today?