Friday, May 31, 2013

Publicity Professionals Enhance The Author Persona


Sharon BiallyToday's Repost originally appeared on Writers Unboxed on 3/10/2013

 The Bad PR Hangover (and How To Avoid IT) by Sharon Bially

Over the past few months I’ve spoken to two authors who’d signed with the same, well-reputed PR firm for a book launch campaign, paid a considerable amount of money and then…nothing. Barely a review or author interview to show for the firm’s initial promises and excitement.

It also brings to light something that absolutely has to change: Many – possibly most? – authors simply have no idea what they should look for when hiring a PR firm. Nor do they know what’s “normal” or what they should expect from this relationship.

So here’s my laundry list of must-haves in determining whether the firm you hire to publicize your book is up to par, and in understanding whether it’s doing (or will do) what it should for you:
1. Set reasonable expectations up front. A good PR firm will not sell you promises, ensuring you that it can get you into Oprah or The New York Times, for example. In fact, the publicist you work with should explain, up front, what you can potentially expect from your campaign – and what you cannot.
2. A detailed work plan. Going into a campaign, you know what you want: news and reviews! But how is your publicist going to accomplish this? He or she should be able to tell you, step by step, what the execution plan is. Personally, I like to include this in a work schedule so the timing of each step is clear.
3. Accessibility. Sure, publicists are busy. Isn’t everyone? But your publicist should be available to answer any questions and concerns you have within a reasonable timeframe. For me, this means about 24 hours, unless a heads-up about being unavailable for some period has been given.
4. Regular updates. You should expect regular updates from your publicist about the status of the work plan, and – once the pitching phase begins – what reactions he or she is getting from the media. Your publicist should be able to tell you who’s potentially interested in covering you, who’s not, and when possible, why.
5. Press clips. When a review of your book comes out, an interview of you airs or an article is published (all of which are called “press clips”), your publicist should send you the link or – if necessary — tell you how to order print reprints. He or she should also know at all times what clips you have coming down the pipeline.
6. Open communications. Nothing about your campaign is proprietary or secret, whether we’re talking about press lists or the reasons reporters might give for declining coverage. After all, it is your campaign. Your publicist should be willing to share lists of your press contacts, copies of any written materials used in your campaign, and anything else you ask for.
7. General guidance. Less obvious but just as important in my opinion, your publicist should willingly offer you advice about steps related to but not included in your campaign. For example: what do you do with all those press clips once you have them? (See my post on that here.) What should guest blog posts that you’re asked to write be about? Have you done a great job writing them, or could they use a few tweaks? What marketing initiatives that you can take on your own have you overlooked?

Thank You Sharon! 

Check out - Book Savvy Public Relations for more information regarding the next stage of your career. Sharon Bially is the founder of Book Savvy Public Relations and author of the novel Veronica's Nap.

Also review: 
Post Traumatic Publicity Disorder - More Tips to Avoid a Bad PR Hangover Experience as posted on Writers Unboxed 3/21/2013; Contributed by Crystal Patriarche, founder of BookSparksPR, a full-service boutique PR agency that provides strategic public relations and book publicity support, social media, branding, marketing, and consulting to authors - from digital campaigns to traditional media.

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