Thursday, September 25, 2008

Learn How to Promote Your Book in October Workshop

Want to sell more books to more people who need to read them? Take charge of your book promotion yourself because, quite frankly, nobody is going to do it for you and nobody cares as much as you do.

Learn how to publicize your book in the most time-efficient and cost-effective ways in this fall's "Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz" e-course offered October 6-31, 2008. Get the details here . . . and don't wait for the next course, because there's a good chance the price will go up. One of my former students called yesterday and commented that he thought the course was grossly underpriced for the value offered, and I've already been thinking the same thing.

Register now, while it's a steal. It will probably cost significantly more after the first of the year.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pay Attention to Your Messages

While looking for a parking spot at my doctor's new office space this morning, I noticed that the eight spots closest to the building's entrance were all reserved for the practice's physicians.

What message do you think this sends to patients? I'm sure we all interpret things differently, but my interpretation was "doctors first, customers second." The needs of the physicians are more important than those of their patients.

It's a reminder to all of us that we're sending out messages about our businesses all the time, even when we don't realize it. Take a few minutes to look around your organization and its communications to assess what message you're sending customers with your actions, signage, decor, demeanor, etc. Then compare those messages to those you use in your marketing and promotion campaigns. Do they match? If they don't, which one of them is the most authentic?

Identify the "real" you and integrate it into all of your overt and subtle messaging. If you're the most curmudgeonly accountant in town but are also the best accountant in town, embrace your grumpiness. Make fun of it. At least you'll be honest -- people will know what to expect when they choose to do business with you, either because they like crabby folks or because they want the professional with the most knowledge, regardless of personality.

Our messages are everywhere. It can be a challenge to make them authentic and consistent, especially if we aren't getting feedback or paying attention. What do yours say about you?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

When Your Spokesperson Becomes the News

After acknowledging to the media that a preliminary investigation showed the Metrolink engineer ran a red light before crashing into a freight train last week, Metrolink spokeswoman Denise Tyrrell -- who got permission from the organization's chief executive to share that information -- has become part of the story.

Tyrrell, subjected to criticism from Metrolink leaders and others for sharing too much information too soon, resigned. CEO David Solow said he was "wrong" to give her permission to be frank with the press. And yet, companies are urged to tell the truth and tell it soon when there's a crisis. Isn't this what Tyrell did?

What would you have done in her shoes? And why?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Definition of Irony

A recent poster to a service that links journalists with sources wrote that he was looking for suggestions for "eye-popping, mouth-opening, 'nobody in their right mind would ever do this' ideas to help draw attention to (a) ... book on the element of surprise in marketing."

The poster goes on to say that, "a book on this subject MUST be marketed differently, so go ahead...Surprise me!"

Well, color me surprised -- for two reasons -- and I haven't even seen any of the responses.

First, these services position themselves as resources for journalists, not as forums for soliciting free marketing advice for people trying to sell products. I'm surprised that such a blatant request for unpaid consulting services made it to the query list.

More importantly, though, why is the author of a book on the element of surprise in marketing asking others for surprising marketing ideas for his book? Is this the definition of irony or what?

If I were this guy's editor, I would be wondering if I had the right author for this project.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What Does Sarah Palin's Nomination Mean to Your Publicity Plan?

Who can leverage Sarah Palin's nomination -- and the weekend announcement about her daughter's pregnancy -- to bring attention to their business, book or cause? There are exciting possibilities here for a wide range of nonprofits, authors and business owners who are willing to be opportunistic and act quickly with their local, specialized or national media.

I'd love to see my "Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz" student Meagan Francis, who wrote Table for Eight: Raising a Large Family in a Small Family World, run with this.

For starters, Meagan can send Palin an autographed copy of her book and her cell phone number so Palin can call her at any time for help or advice. Meagan should, of course, then send out a press release to her local media announcing that she has pushed aside her own political beliefs and stepped up to help a high-profile mom in need. It's a great local angle on a national news story.

Then I'd like to see Meagan send out a tip sheet (a type of news release that offers advice or tips in a numbered or bulleted format) that gives Palin advice for traveling with that large family on the campaign trail. Meagan can provide solid, helpful bits of advice while having a little fun with it. Using an online media release service such as PRWeb will let Meagan send her advice to daily newspapers and parenting pubs coast-to-coast quickly while also getting it into the inbox of parenting and family bloggers.

Meagan needs to be sharing advice with Palin on her blog, too -- and offering it on the blogs of others, as well. She can become the rallying point for mothers of large families nationwide.

Meagan's not the only one who can capitalize on the buzz created by Palin's candidacy or the latest expanding family revelation, either. If you're finding yourself spouting off about something related to his development, think about how you can get a microphone in front of your mouth when you're doing it -- and watch the impact the media exposure has on your business goals.