This is a recap of a teleseminar I attended which was given by Steve Harrison. It was “Seven Things You Absolutely Must Know to Get Publicity in Major Magazines and Newspapers.” The intent of this call was to give information on how to get publicity and to impart this information; he provided mini interviews with various people involved in PR. Based on the information the speakers provided – there were actually more than seven things to know – there were 14!!
He stressed that just one feature article about you in a major publication can bring you a flood of orders – overnight. When you get publicity, you get something that no other kind of marketing can give you – a â€˜silent endorsement’. People assume that if you are the one who has been written up in something like USA Today, they figure you must be the best at what you do. It is a silent endorsement.
Publicity is free exposure without having to spend thousands of dollars on advertising. Publicity has great staying power. When you are written up in a publication, the people who read that eventually pass that on to other people by giving either the article or the entire magazine.
You can easily add reprints and copies of the media to your marketing material so that people can see the story and be impressed. Major TV Shows like Oprah on down have producers that are constantly reading newspapers and magazine to discover people. If you are quoted in one place, people are comfortable quoting you in other places.
People who book speakers for meetings and conferences, will often book people that they have read about. It creates an instant celebrity credibility.
The interviews started off with Anne Frith – Fashion and Beauty Editor at Women’s Day – Her magazine is looking for new products, experts and trends. She provided the first ways to get publicity in major magazines:
1. Target your pitch. Know the magazine; refer to a recent feature or column. Keep it focused to get the Editor’s attention. Read the publication and be familiar with the entire magazine to give an on target pitch.
2. Work with the Editor in the way that he/she likes to be worked with. Build a relationship with the Editor. They should understand a column that you do; they should ask you about follow up, meeting face to face is always helpful. If she’s met them face to face, there is more a chance for her to take their call.
3. Have a good name for yourself. Names that are memorable are more likely to get her attention. She gave an example of someone she met at the Publicity Summit – “The Clothing Doctor” and he ended up being a great fit for Women’s Day.
Features Editor Jamie Kissell (Women’s World) was the next one to speak. She is responsible for the sidebars of the feature articles that are located in the magazine. She has to find experts, and what she needs depends on the article that is featured that week. She also added to the list:
4. Know the magazine as well as possible. She said that she knows if someone hasn’t ever read the magazine. She doesn’t want to feel like the person is in it for himself or herself. It should feel like a two way street. They need to understand where in the magazine there might be a fit. You are judged by that first pitch – you need to go about it the right way.
5. Become friends with Editors. The experts she uses over and over are the ones that become friends. Be friendly – send an email every once and a while and just be friendly. Not everything has to be intrusive and you don’t always have to sell yourself. She gave an example of Eileen Silva, is a Naturopathic Doctor that she met, who is friendly and easily accessible. Jamie continually goes back to her and she gives her perfect bite sized information that she can use.
Jennifer Kushell was next and she spent the last 12 years working with young people to help them get the tools they need to be successful. The book they created â€˜Secrets of the Young and Successful – How to Get Everything You Want Without Waiting a Lifetime’ has had phenomenal publicity success.
6. Need to think about the marketability of your book. Have to think about what will make a mass market book. Her book has the distinction of hitting the NY Times Bestseller’s List before the publication date.
7. Help the editor or writer out as much as you can. She wound up being in Cosmopolitan and ended up getting a 4 page article out of something that was only supposed to be one or two pages. By helping the editor out by providing experts, interesting facts, interview etc. you can really extend the amount of publicity you get.
8. Think very carefully as to who is the reader. What’s the broad range of issues they will be dealing with. Think about it beforehand and before approaching a magazine/newspaper etc.
9. Remember that editors are busy. Jennifer prefers to contact media by using email because emails get more of a response than phone messages. Editors are busy, so she will follow up. Be persistent but respectful. She’s now at a point where media will contact her when they are writing a story. You need to build a relationship with the media, because they will call you again. She will always go the extra mile to give a journalist what they needs – because they will come back to her. She has to make sure that what she is talking about is relevant to them. Need to focus on what they need for that story and how to make it great.
10. PR is more than just press releases. When most people think about publicity – they think about a press release. The problem is that everyone is doing that. The strategy just puts you in the pack with everyone else. It’s tough to expect you’ll get much out of it. Steve also stressed that you don’t have to wait until your book is finished to attend.
11. Pitch to freelance writers. Another idea is to pitch to freelance writers that write for a bunch of different magazines. Then Steve presented freelance writers who also gave some interesting ideas on how to get publicity in print publications. Sheri Simco was first and she has written 21 books for major publishing houses and loves writing magazines.
12. Tie in with a major news angle. If you have a great selling idea and want to write articles – it is important to tie in with a major news angle. When you are pitching an articles editor, get the name of the editor before sending info. If you are writing on something that is in the news, you’ll have a better chance of getting a response.
John Grossman was another freelance writer on the call. He has been freelancing for over 25 years and writes for any number of publications depending on what interests him.
13. Content is important. It is obvious; it is the basis of getting published. Magazines publish stories. It is important to ask â€˜what is your story’. You have to be able to summarize and get a good grasp as to what exactly is your story. Come up with the headline, and follow the headline with a sub head- in the process that helps bring the idea into sharper focus. A great story makes your eyes get wide with wonder, it makes the rest of the world around you go quiet; it makes you want to know more.
14. Use Google Alerts. If you are an expert on something, get Google Alerts on that topic and when news arises – get in touch with media in that area immediately and tell them you are an expert in that area. They are looking for experts and if you come to them, you have an excellent opportunity of getting publicity.
Overall, it was interesting to hear from a variety of perspectives from Editors, and writers and to people who have used media publicity successfully. Each had an interesting viewpoint and provided to the overall list of ways to get publicity in major magazines and newspaper. Thanks to Steve Harrison for organizing the call!
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