Public relations is the practice of deliberately managing the spread of information between businesses and the public using media sources. It is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their public.
Consumers spend an estimated 11 hours per day consuming information. This includes traditional press (newspapers, magazines, television, radio) with digital media (Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, podcasts). The Pew Research Center found that 55% of U.S. adults get news from social media which was up from 47% in 2019. With over 190 million Facebook users and over 2.3 billion on YouTube, it is important to take a look at marketing strategies and be sure to include public relations outreach to increase brand awareness.
PR differs from advertising in that PR is about earned coverage, and is not, for the most part, paid. PR is third-party editorial endorsement of your book.
To increase positive reputation of a fiction or non-fiction book, conduct effective outreach to the press to stay relevant in today’s crowded marketplace.
When is the right time to start press outreach of a new book?
While previous times required that galleys or advanced reader copies (ARCs) of books be sent to book reviewers a minimum of 90 days prior to publication, those rules have changed. Book publishing can be done more rapidly than ever more, therefore, press outreach can take place prior to and following a book’s publication date. In fact, most press occurs after the book is available to the public.
Remember to have an updated website and social media pages prior to launching a media relations program. Journalists and book reviewers will be looking to see that the author is active on social media and that the release is available on e-commerce sites as well as author-generated sites. The website can be as simple as a book jacket, description, author biography and headshot and links to appropriate sales sites including Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, among others.
Effectively pitch the press to reach target audiences
The tradition of who, what, where, why, why and how continues to be the basis of any media coverage. Start by understanding book goals and what is newsworthy. A new release or a book that has not previously been publicized is something that will secure media coverage even if that title has been out for a number of months. Approach press outreach highlighting the book, and appropriate media will be interested.
When thinking about holiday gift-giving, for example, the press begins reviewing items as early as June for November and December gift guides. A book is always a great holiday gift. Remember such times of the year as back-to-school, Spring cleaning, New Year/New You, among many other targeted times. If the content offers insight into a specific time of the year, appropriately timed tips are always beneficial to the press.
A PR pro will craft the pitch and effectively conduct outreach to target media in the appropriate timeframe. All outreach will include a website and/or social media pages so that interested parties will have a method to read up.
Research target media
Remember that potential buyers, whether consumer or business-oriented, wear many hats. Many authors want to be a guest on “The Kelly Clarkson Show”? However, this show only features celebrities. While The New York Times is the number one newspaper in the country, not every “newsworthy” book will be featured in the publication, especially on The New York Times Best-Seller List, which has very specific criteria
Take the time to research appropriate newspapers and magazines as well as trade outlets, blogs, online news sites, podcasts and more. Magazines and trade media work months in advance. Online media tends to have shorter lead times. Podcasts run the gamut. Some record months ahead while others air live. Have a variety of press in the mix to keep the author and book in the press on a consistent basis.
Share, Post and Repost
Once reviews or interviews appear, take advantage of sharing on business and personal social media pages to increase eyeballs. Be sure to tag the media outlet and, if available, the reporter.
Since a great deal of press coverage can be evergreen, especially that featuring a book, feel free to repost a few weeks or months later and again a few months after that. Fellow businesspeople and consumers are always looking to absorb new content. By sharing an interview, bylined article, quote, book review or feature, brand awareness is increasing and the book stays relevant and in the news.
Today is the time to begin your PR outreach
According to Richard Branson, “Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.” Add public relations to the marketing mix and begin to reap the benefits of increased brand awareness.
Andrea Pass has been in the public relations field for over 30 years and has represented a wide range of authors in the areas of non-fiction, fiction and cookbooks. She has the dedication and know-how to keep authors relevant by securing press coverage in print, online and new media. Visit www.AndreaPassPR.com. To schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation, please schedule time at https://calendly.com/andreapasspublicrelations/public-relations-consultation?month=2021-06