Friday, December 19, 2008

Example of Great Viral Marketing Campaign

Today is one of those days when I need a laugh and I found it in my in-box: A video from a great viral marketing campaign from ... wait, watch the video to uncover the marketer's agenda:

The fact that somebody sent this link to me and that I'm posting it here tells you that this campaign will get the desired exposure for its sponsor. The best viral campaigns evoke emotion and show creativity. This one does both -- which is why we'll all be passing it along to our female friends.

(Learn more about viral marketing in the September 2007 issue of Build Book Buzz.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One of the keys to ongoing publicity success is your ability to be opportunistic. There are two great local media exposure opportunities jumping off the front page of most daily newspapers today.

The first is the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges -- clearly, another case of a powerful person who believes the rules don't apply to him.

Local media outlets will be looking for the local angle to this story and will need both local and national expert sources for their coverage. Contact your local media now if you're an ethicist, politician, futurist, a "watchdog," or just plain paranoid about politicians.

The other opportunity comes from news that cancer is expected to overtake heart disease as the world's top killer by 2010. Are you an oncologist, cardiologist, affiliated with the local office of the American Cancer Society, health care provider, hospice worker, author of a book on a related topic, or have some other type of connection to this news? Make something happen with your local media outlets today before this disappears from the front page.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Publicity Begets Publicity

Cutie pie Alec Greven was on "The Today Show" this morning talking about his popular new book, How to Talk to Girls. How does a 9-year-old get a book deal? The same way I got my first book contract -- through publicity.

Publicity begets publicity and when it begets the right kind of high-profile, major-media exposure, it captures the attention of literary agents and book editors.

This charmer wrote his book as a classroom assignment. His teacher showed it to the principal, who offered it for sale at the school book fair, where it quickly became a best seller. This captured local media attention...which caught the eye of producers at the Ellen DeGeneres show...she had him on the show and introduced him to his publisher...and, well, the boy and his book are a hit.

There's a lesson in here for all of us and it's not "suck up to your teacher so she'll help turn your report into a best-selling book." The lesson is that if you want national exposure -- regardless of what you're publicizing -- don't look down your nose at local media outlets. You can leverage your local exposure to get media hits on a national level. And, doing your interviews locally first helps you get practice and finetune your pitch and messages before you go after media outlets with larger audiences.

Especially if you're a 4th grader.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Favorite Project: Bailey's Book

Just two days after Bailey Goodman died with four friends in a tragic car accident on June 26, 2007, her parents had to select an organization to receive charitable contributions made in Bailey's memory. They didn't hesitate even a moment before responding, "The asset program."

They were referring to the Fairport, N.Y. school district's developmental assets initiative, a program that promotes healthy children, youths and communities. In some districts, it's referred to as a character-building program. Bailey was active in the district's initiative while in school and felt it had done a lot to prepare her for the challenges of young adulthood.

Months later, the program's administrator assembled a committee of Bailey's friends and family to decide how to spend the money contributed in Bailey's honor. Our brainstorming sessions led to Bailey's Book: A Community Celebrates Its Assets, a book with content generated by district students and the community. Students in all grades are now writing essays and drawing pictures for consideration by the committee, which will publish the book in 2009. All contributions must be based on one of the district's 40 developmental assets.

Content can come from anyone, anywhere, so we hope you'll consider reading the submission guidelines and offering an essay, photo, or drawing for consideration. Please consider making a financial contribution to offset publishing costs, too. We are incredibly fortunate to have the book publishing pros at Windor Media Enterprises guiding us through the process pro bono, but we do need additional funds for the printing expenses.

It's a good time of the year to be thinking about contributions that will help others. Please also consider contributions made in memory of the four other "Fairport angels" we lost that day -- Hannah Congdon, Meredith McClure, Sara Monnat and Katie Shirley. You can find links to their designated charities here.

We are looking forward to creating a book that Bailey's parents, Mike and Sharon, and her beloved brother Spencer, shown here with Bailey, will be proud of.