By Peg Booth
It’s very important in these days of 24/7 news stories that an author stand ready and able at any given time to speak as an expert on a breaking news story in his or her area of expertise.
A good publicist should be constantly pitching you to news media and their associated producers. Pitching you means not just trying to get them to feature your book (in fact, if that’s all they’re doing for you – then you might want to encourage them to do more); the best pitching really involves making immediate and exciting connections between you and your expertise and anything going on in the news in the moment.
If you don’t have a PR firm representing you, keep in mind that you do have the power of the Web and your keyboard. You can actively track the news with Google alerts – www.google.com/alerts , and those are delivered right to your inbox. These days, there are many apps and sites that track mentions of you in social media, as well. If you have a blog, then you can immediately post a response to a certain news story and help set yourself up as an expert. Make sure you link to the original story in your post. You can also forward those to your publicist and make sure she’s pitching to that journalist.
Working in collaboration with your PR firm will bring you even better results. For instance, if you’re a novelist and your book was a thinly veiled expose’ on how the big department stores were failing (as one of our clients’ books did) and you’ve done your research, then you could speak on some of the bigger economic challenges the department stores are facing because of the online shopping surge in the past ten years.
If you think as an author that you shouldn’t have to be working this hard to promote yourself and your book if you already have a PR firm – think again!
Even New York Times bestselling book authors like our client John Perkins – http://www.johnperkins.org , pro-actively responds to breaking news on an almost daily basis through his Twitter – @economic_hitman and his Facebook page. When these posts are created, we use links to them in pitching John to news media offline and online.
Keep in mind that no matter what, you have the opportunity to be an expert in your field! Timing can be everything, so keep an eye on the news.
Here are 3 tips for taking your media savvy to the next level:
1. Make yourself known to reporters in your home region – email them to let them know about your expertise and let them know you would be happy to be called upon if there was an urgent breaking story that pertains to your expertise and/or topics in your book.
2. Follow the news through Google alerts and use Twitter as another form of gathering daily news. Follow and then look through the Breaking news on Twitter – http://twitter.com/BREAKINGNEWS and use it to keep on top of the latest news.
3. Rejuvenate your media pitches and areas of expertise constantly. Get the latest statistics on your topics! For instance, did you know that in 2014, just under 70% of Americans get their news through online sources instead of print? Statistics aid in keeping your expertise at the top of your game!
Here’s to your ongoing media success!!