Landing radio and TV interviews can be easier than you might think. In many cases, it’s as simple as writing a professional press release and emailing it to a targeted list of media producers. For example, one of my clients lined up a television appearance and 9 radio interviews by sending out her own press release for free!
However, obtaining media coverage must be done wisely, because a bad press release can work against you. Follow these five steps when creating a press release:
1. Don’t push your product.
The bottom line is that media producers don’t care about your book, product, or service. Instead, provide them with good ideas for an interview topic. 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’re an author with 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. Start off with a statistic.
Producers love interesting statistics, because they grab people’s attention and encourage them to listen. In addition, good stats define you as an expert and enhance your credibility. But, make sure your data relates to the show’s average listener. For example, an appealing statistic might be “Over 110 million Americans take medication for stress-related causes each week.” If you’re an author who writes fiction or an organization without any relevant 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. 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, product, or service, 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.
4. Provide 2 – 3 interview topic ideas.
Media producers appreciate when you do some of the work for them. So, come up with clever topic ideas for your interview. 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.
5. Create a catchy title.
Finish your press release by creating a memorable title for the beginning. Just like a book gets judged by the cover, your press release will get judged by the title. Spend a day coming 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, “Subject: Interview Topic – Holiday Stress Busters.”
Before you finish your press release, don’t forget 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, visit the radio or TV program’s website or call their main switchboard and ask for the producer’s email address.
Finally, 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. You may be sitting in front of a microphone sooner than you think – ready to start your own marketing wildfire.
For extensive teaching dedicated to helping you land more media interviews and turn interviews into product sales, read Chapters 6 and 7 in Rob Eagar’s book, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire.