Building Your Public Platform Series Public Relations for the Author–Part 3
“Just call your contact and get me on The Today Show? Then I will sell a ton of books”
“Let’s devise a clever video and get on Jimmy Kimmel. Everyone will know what we do then and donors will flood in!”
“I am sure I can get my video to go viral by one post on Facebook then I can sell all the books I need too.”
“You know the pastor at the largest church in the city, I am sure if you tell him, and your other contact, that they need me to speak at your church…I will sell my books and people will sign up to volunteer with our program.”
That’s all I need, just one big show, one or two large speaking engagements and I can sell tons of books and get all the donors or volunteers that I need. Sounds reasonable, right?
It doesn’t really work that way.
As a book writer (whether you are independently publishing, traditional publisher or want a traditional publisher), building your platform and delivering your message is up to you.
Your Message is Uniquely Yours
So how do I get my message to stand out? You…
Normally, this stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. But I have changed it to Keep It Short & Simple. Here are 3 things you can do to develop your message.
- Create 60 sec and 30 sec synopsis of what your message is about. These are called elevator speeches. Why? If you find yourself on the elevator with a producer of a program, or even a person interested in your book, you need to be prepared to briefly tell them what your book/organization is about. These short bits of information should explain the problem, tell that it is an important problem with factual statements, and tell why now is the time to solve the problem. Explain why you are the only person who can solve that problem and include the benefits they receive from you or your group. It’s always nice to have endorsements secured from one or two celebrities or experts in your field so you can reference them.
- Create 5-10 talking points about your book/message. These are just for you to use to help you stay centered on the message. Print out the sheet and keep it as your cheat sheet for interviews or other opportunities when you have time to explain your message.
- Newsjacking—Reporters are looking for additional information for stories that they are working on. If you are an expert or have a legitimate tie-in to a news story, and you are quick to act, sending a comment to journalists on “new of the day” is newsjacking. You will want to consider how your message may fit before the news happens. David Scott writes in The New Rules of Marketing & PR, “Your goal with newsjacking is to get your take on a breaking news story in front of journalists at the moment they are looking for additional information to put in their stories.” Warning. Don’t pretend and don’t make something up for the sake of having something to say. Make your comments relevant and if you don’t’ have one, it is best to WAIT until you do. Don’t take a chance and blow your credibility.
Lastly, let me warn you that you may need to adjust your messaging during a campaign. In an article in PR Daily, the author gave two good reasons you might need to change: (1) the message is just not working, and (2) the message is not relevant anymore. Watch for these and, if needed, engage help.