What a Little Publicity Can Do for You

Radio appearances, blog post mentions, and a review by a prestigious publication are just some of the opportunities that author Chelsea Dixon, Bridging the Gap, a Simple Guide to College, received when she won a month-long publicity Smith Publicity campaign at our 2015 Winter Writers’ Weekend.
Smith Publicity is a 20-year-old international public relations agency that has successfully promoted thousands of books. Its president, Dan Smith, was the keynote speaker at this year’s Winter Writers’ Weekend. Following is an article by Chelsea about her experiences with Smith Publicity.
Chelsea Dixon
I was recently awarded the opportunity to work with Smith Publicity. Thanks to the awesome teamwork of Laura Cummins, Brian Perlman, Eileen Sinett and Barbara Stange, I won this free, one-month publicity campaign while attending the 2015 Winter Writers’ Weekend in Lambertville, NJ. Alexa Cordeiro was the publicist who was assigned to work with me, and she was fabulous.

photo by Laura Pedrick Photography
photo by Laura Pedrick Photography

The process began with me completing a very detailed author questionnaire that was given to me by Smith Publicity. They used my answers to help them better understand me, my book and my goals.
Upon the completion of the questionnaire, Smith produced a press release that they sent out to various media outlets. I also gave them 25 paperback books as well as a PDF version to distribute for requests.
Each week, Alexa (my publicist) would send me weekly publicity updates. Each report would include the focus of the week, the types of outlets and contacts pitched as well as the various action items from the week. I was also updated with who requested my book as well as any media interest and the correspondence that took place.
The first round of pitching began with targeting print outlets. After that initial round, they also reached out to bloggers, freelance journalists, broadcast producers, program directors, hosts/anchors and newspaper reporters and editors within my local market. Needless to say, by the end of the campaign, all 25 books had been distributed.
At the conclusion of my campaign, Alexa was kind enough to create a hit sheet for me to make it easier to follow-up on the leads that she generated. She was also kind enough to offer to continue to send me indefinitely, any media leads that came in after my campaign was over.
I am grateful for the opportunity that I had to work with Smith Publicity. Because of them, I received blog posts mentioning my book (bloggers from California, Virginia and Florida), a podcasts from Massachusetts, radio appearances (The Michael Dresser show out of Wisconsin and Parenting Tips 2 Go out of Turnersville, NJ), and opportunities to write articles for the online platform Noodle (based out of NYC) and for the magazine “M Magazine” (based out of San Francisco – Oakland – San Jose, CA).
Again, I want to say, “Thank you,” to Dan, Alexa and Smith Publicity, for giving me opportunities that I wouldn’t have had without them. The “buzz” and opportunities that were generated for my book have been wonderful. It’s now up to me to keep the momentum going.

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