Congratulations to WildFire Marketing client, Valorie Burton, for her appearance on the Today Show last week with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. Valorie is no stranger to the national media and has been interviewed on The Dr. Oz Show, CNN, and HLN. Her ability to capture major media coverage is a crucial part of growing her brand, boosting her expertise, and expanding her platform. If you want to land more media interviews like Valorie, what steps can you take? Consider these five points:
1. Don’t push your book.
Media producers don’t care about your book. They care about audience ratings. So, provide producers with good ideas for an interview topic, rather than a plug for your book. Show how your expertise, and the message of your book, relates to current events, such as national headlines, holidays, and recent trends. For example, if you’ve got a new book about reducing stress, don’t write a press release that promotes your book. Instead, write a press release that explains a little-known fact about stress. Then, offer yourself as an expert who can help.
2. Share interesting statistics.
Producers love interesting statistics, because they give a radio or TV host the ability to grab an audience’s attention by saying, “Did you know…?” In addition, providing interesting stats helps define you as an expert and enhances your credibility. But, make sure your data relates to the average listener. For example, an appealing statistic might be “Over 110 million Americans take medication for stress-related causes each week.” If you write fiction or don’t have statistics available, consider starting your release with a fascinating, real-life story, such as “Boston woman has a nervous break-down while Christmas shopping.”
3. Provide attention-grabbing ideas for interview topics.
Media producers appreciate authors who do some of the work for them. So, create a press release based on a clever topic that would appeal to their audience. Give the producer a mental image of what your interview would sound like. Using our previous example about stress, you could offer topics, such as “How to Beat Holiday Stress and Shopping Madness” or “Don’t Let the Grinch Steal Your Christmas.” Providing good topic ideas helps media producers take the guesswork out of booking you for an interview.
4. Concisely explain your expertise and value.
After you capture a media producer’s attention, explain how you’re expertise will enhance their program. Producers want guests who can entertain and provide good advice. So, describe how you help other people overcome similar problems mentioned in your opening statistics. Then, mention the title of your related book, and list 3 – 4 bulleted statements explaining the type of results you create for people. For instance, one of your statements might say, “Learn how to create a plan to prevent and cope with holiday stress.” This information helps a media producer feel like you’ll be a worthwhile guest.
5. Send a catchy press release.
Combine the previous four steps into a press release that starts with a memorable title. Just like a book gets judged by the cover, your press release will get judged by the title. So, give yourself time to come up with several creative ideas. Shoot for phrases with 7 words or less. Then, show a few title ideas to some friends, and ask which one is the easiest to remember. Also, if you email your press release to producers, use the title in the subject line. For example, you could say, “Interview Topic: Holiday Stress Busters.”
Before you finish your press release, be sure to include your contact information. Then, send it via email to media producers whose programs fit your book’s target audience. To grow your database, combine your media contacts with other authors you know and create a shared master list. And, don’t be afraid to follow-up with a personal phone call. Remind the producer of your value to their audience, and focus on the results that you can provide.