I have to admit, when I launched by book Pitched: A Simple DIY Guide to Public Relations for Small Business, I didn’t have much of a plan. Something I plan on correcting for my next book.
However, there was one thing I was confident on – attracting PR opportunities to promote my book. After all, if I can’t do PR for myself, I probably have no reason writing a book or even having a public relations and marketing communications agency!
For most authors, achieving opportunities to share their book with media is the golden goose – an elusive golden goose. This is why I offered to exclusively share my tips with Melissa and her authors.
I’m here to tell you that there are many opportunities for business book authors as topic experts. Maybe more than you know.
I launched my book in late February 2018 and in just 30 days I achieved 16 interview and contributing article requests, with another business podcast interview next week, six more articles forthcoming for a 10-part series request from an online magazine for female entrepreneurs. And, I am not even done yet.
You’re probably thinking “Sure, it’s easy for you. You’re a PR expert”, and while that’s true, I did write a book on DIY PR, so I am confident others can do it as well. And, now I am sharing my secret with you.
Your pitch is everything to your success. This goes for experts, products and services. It is the bread and butter talent of good PR professionals and where you need spend quality time in order to be successful attracting media opportunities.
That’s why I am sharing the pitch I created that has worked so well for me.
1. Define your audience
There are tons of business sites out there that take expert content and several radio shows and podcasts that are looking for you. They may not have international recognition, but they will provide exposure, practice interviewing and writing, social media content and valuable links back to your website or book sales page that will increase search rankings.
As a PR pro, I have access to a media list builder, but it’s not perfect. It still required time to sift through the list to ensure each target was correct. Just do some surfing and you will find many eligible opportunities with contact information readily available.
The key is to research each outlet to ensure they will be interested in your content. If there are other articles similar in nature, then I would mark it as one to pitch.
Note: We all want to be in the NYTs and have other major media review our books, but realistically, it may not happen, and that’s okay, because there are other ways to reach your audience.
2. Write a subject line that perks people’s curiosity, and one they just can’t help but open
My Subject Line: Tired of bad PR pitches? I can help with that. PR pro, author available
I must have written 20 of these before getting to this one.
Here, I play off the biggest pet peeve of media outlets – bad PR pitches from unskilled PR people/agencies and unsavvy entrepreneurs. I’ve focused on keeping it short and to the point, putting the good stuff up front and letting them know I can solve their problem. Better yet, I allude to the point that I can help put an end to bad PR pitches altogether through my book and expert advice. There’s a lot packed into that short Subject Line.
One editor actually said, “I only opened this because of the subject line, which proves that you know what you’re doing!”
3. Write an informative pitch that’s easy to skim, presents the common problem their readers have, how you can solve that problem, and what’s in it for them.
This is how I presented my case:
What exactly is PR and how does it work?
These are questions that I have heard over and again from entrepreneurs for the past 20 years. Entrepreneurs looking to hire me, who have tried to DIY PR or had a bad experience with an agency or PR professional.
It’s crazy that with all the information available out there that people still don’t understand public relations, and how to create a newsworthy story. It’s easier than entrepreneurs believe, and some do it successfully every day.
I am sure that you would greatly appreciate people understanding how to give you a great story.
Too many differing opinions and information are confusing people.
To try and clear up the confusion among entrepreneurs, I decided to create a PR workshop for SCORE Chicago that I taught for five years. Then, I became a contributor to NBCChicago.com’s “Inc. Well” blog.
This past year, I put the workshop into a book, Pitched: A Simple DIY Guide to Public Relations for Small Business (Amazon Kindle and paperback, 2018), and even include the #1 secret to a business’ overall success.
I am a veteran marketer with a degree in Journalism, principal of Cascade Communications PR and marketing agency since 2001, and committed to helping entrepreneurs understand public relations and how to use it as a marketing tool.
4. Be of service and expect nothing in return. You get what you give.
I would like to offer your readers the valuable information they need to create a powerful news story that could help grow their business.
- An article: The #1 mistake small businesses make in marketing and how to solve it
- 10 article series: How to PR, creating a newsworthy story, myths & facts, and more
- Custom content: Answer the 5-10 top questions you receive from small businesses on marketing
- Act as an expert for [Outlet] to provide needed, regular marketing content
Let me know how I can be of service to your audience.
Look forward to hearing from you,
Tip: If you present one powerful article, you will need to write it differently for each outlet. They want original content and Google will consider it spam.
I want to hear if you have success using this approach. Please follow me on @SmallBizPRXpert on Twitter and Instagram and leave me your results. You can hear my “Small Biz PR Expert #MarketingMonday” flash briefing on your Amazon Echo and Echo Dot starting next week.
Keep Moving Forward,