Say Yes to Interviews!
PR Success Quick Tips
As a publicist representing countless clients over the past years, there are many times that media requests come in that may not be on the client’s top ‘wish list’.
Perhaps the request is a smaller blog, a podcast that does not reach hundreds of thousands of people, or a local paper or freelancer. These may not be what we consider to be A-list media, but as I explain to many clients, do not discard the opportunity so quickly. My team and I have handled high profile projects; product launches, lifestyle, books, film, franchises, business, start- ups etc. When a smaller media outlet makes a request for an interview the initial reaction is often, ‘pass.’
But- Should we pass?
Our team at KBC Media have had clients on top tier shows such as The Today Show, GMA, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, PBS, BBC, Talk Shows such as Rachel Ray, Wendy Williams, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, The Doctors, The View, The Talk, top print – newspapers and magazines.
One particular client I recall, we launched on a few of the national shows, but I also encouraged her to accept a few smaller podcast interviews and niche blogs. The client reported back, because the ‘niche’ blogs and podcasts hit their target audience they actually made more sales than the national shows.
The name recognition and branding are crucial to any new launch, but to hit that target demographic, perhaps the smaller niche outlets are also truly beneficial.
I have also explained to clients that you never know who reads the smaller blogs or hears the podcasts. I had a client who was only being interviewed in the smaller outlets, until a national editor read a blurb online and we landed a national magazine.
There is value in all high-quality interviews and if that smaller blog one day turns into a viral success, they will remember you and ask you back for follow up interviews. With proper keywords in the article, it will land in google searches and you may gain an audience.
As you embark on your PR campaign, my advice is quality not always quantity!
The KBC Media book PR division has represented over 500+ authors which include ‘Best Sellers’ from celebrities to business leaders, lifestyle and fiction novels. If it is not in your budget to hire a publicist, you can still garner media attention and sell books!
The good news is any book today, traditional or self-published can become a bestseller. If your book tells an incredible story, or information the consumer needs, you can make it a top seller.
Planning the promotion should start at least 6 months prior to the publication release date.
Your book launch is crucial to future sales and building and branding your name as an author. You need to strategically plan the groundwork for the book release.
Easy Steps to Success:
Press Materials- Digital Press Kit
Book Galley’s and ARC Mailing
Finished Book Mailing
Once the final book is printed, send to key media and contact, editors, bloggers, radio/ podcast producers and hosts.
Follow up with all media you sent the book to- via phone or email.
Book Sales Support
Strategize Publicity “Hooks” If you are doing your own publicity, you need to have a solid “newsworthy” reason for the press to report on your book. So, think of how your book can fit into ‘news’ that the m media is reporting on.
Quick Tips Checklist To Do Your Own Book PR
1: Write your own press release and distribute it via a press release wire service. This will provide good backlinks and some online buzz.
2: Design a digital media kit. There are many templates online or you can hire a freelance artist on Guru.com or Upwork.com. These kits are useful to send to media upon request.
3: Design a high-quality website- seek out national best-selling books and study their websites for tips on what would make your book website stand out. Quality is more valuable than quantity when it comes to your site. Once again, you can hire a web designer to do a great site if you do not have the time.
3. You can contact your local newspapers and offer yourself as an “expert” in the topic of your book. The journalist may interview you or you can be used as a “resource” for future stories on a similar topic. Offer yourself as an ‘expert’ as well to local radio and local broadcast news. Being a ‘published’ author adds credibility to you as an ‘expert’.
4: You can arrange with local libraries, schools, rotaries, book clubs and book fairs to provide free talks about your book topic. You can also sell books at these events and it is also a great reason to contact local media to cover the event.
5.Think about donating a few copies of your books to local libraries for their local author displays. This is a fabulous opportunity to get your book displayed and allow the public to learn about your book and hopefully purchase their own copy. Offer to sign the books, as this makes it more special to the reader.
6. Research bloggers online who review books in your genre. There are countless blogs, even if it is not well-known such as a Huffington Post, if it is in your niche, you will get sales.
7. Develop your own blog on the same topic of your book. Remember to post new content daily, as that is what gets it ranked higher in the search engines.
8. Contact and send a pitch to local news/ talk radio. If the topic of the book is valuable to your area city or community, you may get interviewed.
9. Contact local bookstores about doing book signings in their stores.
11. Use social media such as Twitter and Facebook to post messages about where to find the book or about signings, conferences or other events where you will be appearing.
12. Get word-of-mouth promotions started through those that are referenced in the book as case studies or expert commentary.
13. Ask family and friends to help spread the word about your book or write a review for it.
It is important to create a need for your book and develop a must-have perception for it. These public relations tactics can be implemented immediately and at a relatively low cost to effectively get the word out about your book.
Indie films are the heart and soul of the filmmakers. Years of prep, financing, location scouting, travel, filming, post- production, submission to film festivals is the majority of the film budget. Brilliant indie films have won awards at the festivals, then competed against studio films in retail and online sales as well as Netflix and cable network deals. So, the path to success is accessible to all filmmakers.
Many of the indie films our team has successfully represented often had limited budgets. So how can you get the media to notice you without spending thousands each month on PR?
Tell your story. Whether your film is a documentary, sci-fi, romance, thriller or action film, your film synopsis has to catch the eye and ears of the media.
Find your hook! The hook can be why you made the film, any challenges you experienced, or perhaps the lead character or producers has a great backstory. If it’s a documentary, why this film will change thinking or enlighten the audience. If fiction, who inspired or if it’s based on an actual ‘event’. The spin is the story behind your film.
Every single person involved in the making of your film has a story and an angle you can pursue for media.
Create an Electronic Press Kit
(EPK) Your electronic press kit includes a photo’s and videos as well as short interviews you’re your principal cast and crew.
While filming you want to do off the set interviews with the cast, the director and producers that can be edited for the EPK.
Have them answer top questions the media might ask about the film.
If your film includes special effects interview the artists, or if filming in a unique location highlight that in the footage. These are future ‘selling’ points for media and film festival submissions. You can also include a short trailer in the EPK.
Important: Make sure any music used in the EPK is cleared for broadcast. You don’t want to have to backtrack and ask media to not use the soundtrack.
The long synopsis
This will include one single page which you need to make double spaced. You can tell the story in about ¾ of the page. The latter can include any anecdotes about the making if your film, and why it will stand out from other films.
The medium synopsis
Once again, it should be ¾ page long in which you summarize the film, but make it concise and to the point. The last few lines can be about the making of the film and why your film is unique.
The short synopsis format should be no longer then half the page. Once again, ¾ is your concise story about the film, highlight points that will grab interest, with the last few lines about the production and why the film will stand out.
Bios of Cast and Crew
Your EPK includes bios of all the key players involved in the film, from the producers, writers, composer, director, director of photography, actors and production designer. Include past work experience, for example any known films that the crew was part of in the past. Anything unique that will grab the eye of the media is valuable.
Ø Your EPK needs great photographs, include the following:Ø Producer on the setØ Director with the castØ Fabulous photos of the film scenes (have the photographer on the set days of important scenes being shot)Ø Highlight the equipment used in the making of the filmØ Any key players should be includedØ Remember, that perfect pic can be used on T-shirts, caps, posters and other promotional materials
It is vital for your promotion that you provide film festival submissions, journalists, and studios who may be considering distributing your film that you develop a most frequently asked Question and Answer area in the EPK. Include anything that explains the film, your mission, your audience and ultimate success of the film.Typically, it is about 10 questions. Often media who interview you will follow this messaging, so all parties being interviewed will be prepared.
Every filmmaker wants national attention on their film, but you may have to build to that, step by step. Start with local press, film blogs, YouTube videos and social media. Make your own buzz, then media will call you!
If you submit your film and get accepted, try to obtain a press list of who will be attending. Start to follow the key journalists on social media, then email your EPK and offer interviews with your key actors, directors, producer at the festival. Offer them a unique spin that will grab their attention. Always be polite, even if the journalist turns down an initial interview with you. If the film is getting buzz at the festival, then re -contact the journalist, you may get the interview.
If your film garners a commercial sale, Netflix, HBO, DVD sales, then you want to reach out to entertainment film reviewers/ writers. Email or mail the film screener, and follow up about a review. Gather as many friends as you can to view the film and post online reviews. Reach out to local and national journalists as well as bloggers, both large blogs and small, as long as the audience is in your niche.
Find a ‘spin’ in your film that will grab attention. Indie films our agency represented we had success with spins that landed the filmmakers on national talk and entertainment shows as well as national print. So, it is possible for a smaller indie film to get national press!
1. Make a typical news announcement come alive!
Many companies announce 'news' either via a press release or social media.
Example: Health Company Announces the Hiring of a New CFO.
An Exciting Spin on that announcement:
2. Make that announcement or other news more visual by accompanying infographics!
3.Target the media you are reaching out to with your announcement
Many companies handling their own PR campaigns often make the mistake of blasting their announcement to every outlet they can locate. This is like throwing a fishing line out in the middle of the ocean with bait for lake fishing!
Research the writers, who has covered stories like your niche in the past.
Follow them on social media, make positive comments. Set google alerts for similar topics and see what outlets are writing about it.
Personalize each email to the journalists and write the pitch to suit each outlet!