What Exactly Does a PR Firm Do? Part Three

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We’re finally here! We’re ending our three-part series about what a PR firm does with book tours.

Book tours are one of those things that, if you decide to pursue, should be handled by a PR agency. Pitching, following up, and booking interviews can be stressful and time consuming – so let a trained professional do it!

Deciding to embark on a book tour is like deciding to take a road trip across America. It’s not impossible by any means, but some planning and a map are highly recommended. Think of a PR agency as your road map and a trained guide all in one. We’re here to make sure you have a professionally planned and successful book tour.

When deciding on a book tour you should have a reason for traveling to specific cities. Having a conference, event or connection to the cities you’re touring in will give you the best media coverage.

At Booth Media Group we have booked hundreds of book tours so trust us when we say it takes dedication to have a successful campaign. When looking into a book tour, you must keep in mind that it is a full-time commitment for the duration of the tour. A good PR firm will start planning for a book tour at least 3-4 months in advance.

To make your book tour successful, besides hiring a PR firm, you should have a reason for touring in a city. If you’re going to Chicago, New York and Austin, you have to have a compelling reason for the media in each city to talk with you and learn about your book.

The hook for the media can be anything from having a conference in the city, having your book celebration or commenting on the anniversary of a major historical event, or even having a party at a restaurant in the city.

These local events will interest the media, who will then also talk with you about your over all message. It’s also very valuable to have friends in each tour city who can come to your events – and bring THEIR friends! With events, who you know can be very helpful, and there is really is strength in numbers. The media are more likely to be interested in you, and the venues are more likely to help promote you, if you can bring more warm bodies with you.

As crazy as a book tour might sound (and feel,) having a dedicated PR firm behind you (and before you) will help things go smoothly. They can even be fun!

GUEST POST: 21st Century Marriage: Crisis or Opportunity?

By Marcia Naomi Berger
www.marriagemeetings.com

I believe in marriage. This might sound naïve, what with half of first marriages ending in divorce and even higher failure rates happening in second and third marriages, respectively.

But there is a reason for so many marriage unhappy endings. Huge cultural shifts have occurred in recent decades. These changes have bred new expectations for marriage, which are often unconscious so that people lack clarity about why they are marrying; what they hope to gain from the union.

Until recently, most women needed marriage for financial security and social status. People, in general, are no longer stigmatized for living together and bearing children outside of marriage, or for being divorced. Currently most women hold jobs and a third of married women out-earn their husbands.

Clearly, the rules have changed. The old reasons for marrying, by and large, no longer apply. What looks like a current marriage crisis is the result of a widespread lack of understanding for how to create a satisfying 21st century marriage.

What most of us now really want, whether we know it or not, is a relationship that fulfills us emotionally and spiritually, as well as physically. When these needs are not met, spouses tend to blame their partner. Some blame the institution of marriage, saying it is obsolete.

I don’t think so. I think marriage is evolving—and that’s a good thing!

The vast majority of us can create lasting, loving marriages. We just need to learn how.

I’d like to propose a solution that has worked beautifully not only for my clients, but in my own marriage of over 25 years. You and your spouse agree to hold a weekly thirty minute “marriage meeting” with a simple format that covers all of the important aspects of your relationship. (Any two people who live under the same roof can benefit from holding similar meetings.)

A marriage meeting has four parts: Appreciation, Chores, Planning for Good Times, and Problems and Challenges. During Appreciation each of you takes an uninterrupted turn to say what you liked that your spouse did during the past week. Chores is the business part of the meeting. You each bring in your to-do list. Together, you agree as to who will take care of what task(s). Planning for Good Times is when you schedule a date for just the two of you, and perhaps also an enjoyable activity to do on your own. During Problems and Challenges, you talk about issues or lingering concerns. Start with light matters during early meetings and make sure to use positive communication skills.

An easy-to-resolve challenge might be telling your spouse that you’re trying to lose weight, so could he or she please either not bring home the junk food you find tempting or keep it somewhere where you’re not likely to see it. Once you’ve gained confidence by holding five or six successful meetings, more challenging topics can be introduced, like in-law issues, money, sex, and parenting concerns.

Some people object to the idea of a formal meeting. The trade-off is worth it though, because without an ongoing system for addressing details of our lives that need attention, it is easy to ignore them for too long. You might want to talk about something when your partner is otherwise occupied or decide to wait for a right time that never seems to come. If you do bring up a sensitive matter when your spouse’s mind is elsewhere, you might feel like you’ve entered a mine field.

Similarly, it’s easy to forget to express appreciation or to plan dates and other enjoyable, restorative activities. Chores can pile up or get mishandled. By scheduling times for marriage meetings, you will get to reconnect and feel valued by your spouse every week.

You’ve probably heard people explain their failed marriage by saying, “We just grew apart.” Couples do not grow apart; they drift away because they stop making time for each other. Marriage meetings provide a weekly wake-up call for staying connected emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually.

Soon after our honeymoon, my husband and I took a class for couples that included a brief mention of the idea of holding a weekly marriage meeting. We’ve been holding meetings ever since then. I don’t know how we would have stayed happily married without them.

Every week we have a time to reconnect, feel appreciated, coordinate handling of business, plan dates together, and deal with whatever is on our minds. Because the meetings help to clear up misunderstandings promptly, we don’t accumulate grudges—which is enough of a reason by itself to hold marriage meetings. I give them major credit for our lasting happiness together.

Marriage meetings foster romance, intimacy, and teamwork, and smoother resolution of issues–a golden opportunity for your 21st century marriage!

You can buy Berger’s book Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love on Amazon!

Bio note: Psychotherapist and clinical social worker Marcia Naomi Berger, LCSW, is the author of Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love: 30 Minutes a Week to the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted, where you will find detailed guidelines, step-by-step instructions for conducting each part of a Marriage Meeting agenda, and communication skills for successful meetings. www.marriagemeetings.com.

It’s Never Too Late for A Boost of PR

By Peg Booth

In this competitive book arena, both online and offline, it’s still very important to empower your book’s visibility with PR outreach. The good news is that every book has a reader; in fact, with the Web’s reach, many books are finding new readers daily even if they’ve been out for awhile. But it’s not enough to coast along with your book’s profile on Amazon and do nothing, not if you want to increase book sales. This is where PR comes in.

There are a few things that you can and should do to give your book every chance for success. Every author needs to have a website or a blogsite so that readers can easily find you and find out more about your book. We can’t stress enough how important it is to be visible in the online world. Having a Facebook page, a Twitter profile, even a Google+ presence can dramatically help people get to know you and your book. People are now searching for experts and authors on Facebook almost as often as they are on Google. As Facebook continues empowering its search capabilities, that number will continue to grow. Having a clean, professional looking website for people who find you on social media can be the difference between making a fan, and getting nothing.

The power of the Internet is that online you also have the book bloggers to reach out to for good PR and reviews. Whether you use a full-service media agency or plan your own blogging campaign, the book bloggers are important and should be respected as any other offline media person. As we look at print publications slowly moving more and more of their editorial content online, you might have the best of both worlds with hybrid reviews that are featured online and offline all in one.

Keeping your book at the forefront of the current news and happenings will give you additional and empowering ways to highlight your book and your ideas. Always look for the news hook as you make your way toward success, and keep your PR firm in the loop with your ideas. After all, you’re the expert on your book; your ideas are what your audience wants to hear.

In PR there is a saying, “Pitch new and often.” What that really means is that you always want to find new ways of pitching ideas and you want to continue to pitch no matter how many “no’s” you might receive.
In the midst of pitching your book as many different ways as you and your PR professional can come up with, it is vital to maintain a fresh, vibrant online presence through your website and your social media profiles.

So even if your book is months past its publication date, by using all of these tools, you and your PR team can improve visibility and sales. It’s never too late.