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Writing & Publishing / Advice / How to Make the Media Fall In Love With
How to Make the Media
When I spoke in Los Angeles to the Book Publicists of Southern California, last week on
Valentine's Day, I emphasized this point exactly. My talk was "How to Make the Media Fall in
Love With You". I told story after story demonstrating and analyzing media responses to news
releases for books.
Fall In Love With You
The bottom line results show amazing similarity in media expectations. If I had "The Penultimate
Maximum Editor" right here in front of me, and I asked her, "what do you want from me if I
could get a feature story, she'd likely say:
Tell me story (a short, bed time story).
Give me a local news angle (of interest to my particular audience).
Hit me in the pocket book (make me or save me money),
Teach me something I didn't know before (educate me).
Amaze me or astound me (like in WOW!)
Make my stomach churn (in horror or fear).
Or turn me on (yes, sex sizzles).
So what you have to do when you write a news release is give the media what they want!
And guess what -- what "they" really want turns out to be what most people in America
Look around you and you'll see that all news coverage is basically designed to cater to what the
American Public wants.
And if you look around you, you'll see that this is really easy to identify. It's everywhere.
And in my latest talk, I boiled it all down to one simple formula:
Dramatic Personal Achievement in the Face of Adversity plus a little Humor.
If you look at almost every media around you, from the front page of USA Today to the
Olympics to the evening news to the sitcoms on TV, you'll see this is what the American public
wants, desires, and craves, and what the media seeks to provide.
You will see these elements everywhere you look in varying degrees.
And if you are writing a news release, what you have to do is recognize this insane desire and
need, and then cater to it.
Do your best to write a news relase so that it interests as many people in the audience as possible.
Ask yourself who these people are and talk to them. Do your homework and know who your
book will appeal to.
Then, write your news release so that it tells a story (or a mini-feature as Shel describes it),
Describes the 5 w's: the what, who, where, when, and why, in dramatic personal adversity and
achievement terms. This helps you cast your spell to the widest possible audience
There's a real business reason why this works.
Media are publishers, and authors and publishers need to look at them as publishers, in business,
trying to do what all of us are trying to do -- make a living. Good news relase converts to more
subscriptions or market share for ad dollars.
So when you write a news release say this to your media recipient:
"Fellow Publisher -- will you give me space in your publication?"
"Fellow Publisher -- will you give me time on the air on your show"
Then put yourself in their shoes, and understand that the media executive is going to ask the
"Is this better than everything else I have today?"
The answer determines their bottom line == Revenue!
So grab todays newspaper, and start thinking about it with a new set of eyes.
If there are more dramatic personal stories of achievement in the face of adversity, plus a little
humor available that day, you lose.
If not, you win.
We are seeing this day in and day out at IMEDIAFAX. The people who use DPAA+H get the
most publicity, those who don't get the least.
Paul J. Krupin
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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