Steve Harrison of Bradley Communications Corporation gave a web seminar, a webinar, having this title. I listened raptly as he presented over an hour of useful information for free, followed by a twenty-minute pitch for services his company offers.
Harrison started out in journalism, having majored in English in college. He soon joined his brother Bill Harrison in publishing the Radio and TV Interview Report, started in 1987, and the Harrisons and their Bradley Communications Corporation have by now coached over 12,000 authors and speakers, helping them to obtain successful promotion of their books and presentations.
The company’s mission is simple: to help you achieve your mission. Among the successful authors that they have helped obtain widespread dissemination of their works are Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, whose Chicken Soup… line of books have sold over 500 million copies. Another author they helped to succeed is Dr. John Gray, whose Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus relationships book and associated activities have made him a millionaire many times over. They also coached Robert Kiyosaki, whose Rich Dad, Poor Dad book also rocketed into a highly successful worldwide publishing orbit.
Publicity is better than advertising because it is free, more credible, and tends to multiply, as media coverage leads to more media coverage. It’s almost viral.
Publicity makes you an expert. This then increases traffic to your website, word-of-mouth recommendations, distribution, social media buzz, buyers for your product, and makes you sought out for speaking engagements and interviews, giving you the opportunity to raise your fees and product prices and generate even more publicity. You establish a virtuous circle, where success leads to more success. “The rich get richer.” Well, less poor anyway, as most books lose money.
It surprised me to learn that every day over 100,000 media outlets are seeking guests of one sort or another, interviewees who are in some sense experts, due to education, training, or experience. Despite this, most authors and speakers fail to promote themselves successfully, remaining relatively unknown. Jack Canfield has commented that not promoting one’s book is much like giving birth to a baby and then leaving it on someone else’s doorstep. If you have something worth communicating, then self-promotion also serves others.
Harrison described seven different ways in which famous authors and speakers differ from those who remain unknown.
First, the unknowns have tended to talk about their products, whereas the famous have understood that they must direct attention to good ideas. The famous understand the need for a “hook.” A hook is an attention-grabber, a teaser, the kind of headline you see on the cover of popular magazines. On radio or TV a hook might be prefaced with the words “coming up….” What follows can usefully be a statement of how to do something, the countering of a myth, presentation of a prediction, or the proposing of a question, such as, “Is your house making you sick?” (I would add that journalists have a favored set of question starters: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?)
Second, famous authors and speakers give reasons why they need to be covered NOW. They have a timely hook: a season, anniversary, holiday, news event---sudden or predictable.
Third, the famous authors and speakers have not relied on a single hook but have developed multiple, good hooks. Harrison gave as an example a hypothetical book, Nutrition 101. Certainly, one would approach media outlets that are centered on fitness and health, but Harrison gave examples of tailoring the message for those outlets interested in consumer affairs, personal finance, personal relationships, and self-improvement. An example from his talk would be for the author of Nutrition 101 to offer to speak about “five ways to trim your grocery bill” or “how your beloved may be sabotaging your diet.”
Speaking about multiple hooks, Harrison presented the following list of media interest groupings:
· Small business and entrepreneurial advice
· Parenting and family
· Personal finance
· Consumer advice
· Sales and marketing
· Psychology and self-improvement
· Health and fitness
· Leadership and management
· Career advice
· New Age and spiritual
· Alternative health.
No doubt there are more, and each of these could be further sub-divided into narrower niches.
Fourth, the famous utilize many different media types to maximize their exposure:
· Trade-published newsletters
Who will become the new Oprah Winfrey? Bloggers may deserve this title. For example, the blog babble.com is the 276th most popular website, receiving over 4 million visitors per month. To get your message on such a blog, you can offer a guest post, offer to be interviewed, present a book to be reviewed, give away some chapters of your book, and offer your book as a prize. To be successful doing this, however, you must research the blog, to make sure that what you’re offering is appropriate.
Fifth, the famous have had publicity plans, knowing WHO is their core audience, WHAT they read or watch, and WHEN various topics will seem timely to them.
Sixth, the famous often prepare the ground for their publications and presentations by getting publicity before the book is completed. One good way to do this is through the creation of short, few-minute videos, placed on YouTube, which has become one of the top search engines on the Internet. In 3 minutes one might cover a topic such as listing “the top reasons men are afraid of commitment.” Be sure to include links to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Seventh, the successful have learned that they cannot do this all on their own. There is a lot of work involved, with special skills, data bases, and experience needed. They need the help of professionals, such as the Harrisons and their Bradley Communications Corporation. For $2500, the Harrison’s will give you an in-depth consultation with one of their consultants, at least four valuable publicity hooks, three half-page ads in their Radio and TV Interview Report, four ads in their publication Experts4Interviews, a 90% discount on attending Steve Harrison’s multiple-day $2000 publicity workshop, and they will shoot, edit, and upload five videos for you. They placed the value of this package at over $5000. Those who are interested in learning more about their program should go to the website http://specialpublicityoffer.com .