This is the final part of a five part series on promoting in the media. If you have not yet read the earlier segments, you can find them here:
Part 1 -- The Media Challenge
Part 2 --Why you should promote yourself?
Part 3 -- An easy way to get press coverage
Part 4 -- What is a press release?
The Story Is You!
This is the last in the series about getting press coverage (it's about time some of you may be thinking). Once I got started on the topic though I began to realize that this is a very important topic for any of us who have, or expect to one day have, something to promote. Even if we have someone doing our promotion for us, it's still not a bad idea to know the ins and outs of how publicity works.
The promotion challenge that I extended a few posts ago was to try to get something in the media telling about the A to Z Challenge and what your role in the Challenge is. Blogging from A to Z can be looked at as an international story since hundreds of bloggers from over twenty countries are participating. Every one of you represent a link in a chain of interconnecting communication that extends around the globe. In my eyes that can be seen as a story that is news.
A story can certainly be written from the international perspective, however I am suggesting that if you choose to try my publicity challenge that you make the story about you. You are a part of this larger challenge that is in its second year and has grown five-fold so far. Think big! And in the process see yourself as someone who has a story to tell.
What is your story?
Each of you has a unique story to tell about who you are and what you do. Your ulterior motive should be to gain a foothold in your future, or if you already have something to promote, in the present. Your story should have a broad appeal that speaks to many. In other words, it's not just about your book or whatever you are promoting, but also about how you are connected to your world and to those who read your story.
In the context of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge of 2011, let me offer some of the following ideas that you could apply to your own blogging story:
1) Your personal journey--the story of your book, product, blog, or what have you and how you will tie it in to the A to Z Challenge. If you did the Challenge last year, how did it affect you? Where are you going in the future? This is a human interest story.
2) Your art and your life as an artist -- Yvonne from Welcome to My World of Poetry or Vinay from I Rhyme Without Reason both gave us a poem everyday of the challenge last year and will be doing the same this year. Others of you may be presenting your arts or crafts. We are all artists in some form or another. Perhaps this can be part of your story--your creations presented on the world stage via the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
3) Your cause or charity -- Perhaps you might be blogging in April using topics related to a charity or a health issue. Something like this can offer great opportunities for publicity. For example, if you were planning a series of articles about "Diabetes from A to Z" you might contact the local branch of a Diabetes Awareness group. You could let them know what you plan to do, get their endorsement, and maybe some quotes from a spokesperson and put it all in a press release. This approach could be taken with any group that has a cause to promote.
4) Your knowledge or expertise -- If you are going to do your A to Z series on a particular field of knowledge such as science, social studies, literature, etc, you might arrange to give a presentation to a school class, at a library, or to some other group about your field of knowledge. Notify the paper about this and tell your blogging story as part of the news release about the presentation you have given or are scheduled to give.
5) Your ties with the community -- Are you going to blog about the area where you live--the history, the people, the sights? Ally yourself with a local museum, chamber of commerce, tourist bureau, or another local group and get some publicity for the A to Z Challenge tied in with the group you are with.
6) Book, music, or other reviews -- Contact the entertainment editor of the local paper or find some of those free entertainment publications that you often see outside of restaurants, music stores, etc and try to get a story about your month of reviews. Who knows--you might end up with a job reviewing.
Use Your Imagination!
Above, I have offered just a few ideas to stimulate your thinking. In a publicity story you need to find that which is unique to you and how you integrate your uniqueness into your community. Ask yourself what makes you special, what your unique talents are, and why people would be interested in your talents. Then you want to tell where and when readers can find out more about you, which in this case is the Blogging from A to Z Challenge in April.
If your story is written in an intriguing manner and tells a good story, readers will be interested in you and in the Challenge. With the publication of an article you will have expanded your presence in the public eye. Done right, your story will leave the readers wanting more and the next time they hear your name they might remember it.
Seeing Is Believing!
I have put forth the challenge and we have the first article. The amazing Nicki Elson, author of the novel Three Daves, got her first article on an online news site affiliated with the Chicago Tribune and you've got to read it cause it's darn good.
Check it out: Nicki's news story
As you can see Nicki did it right. She got information about herself, her book, and the A to Z Challenge all tied together in the story. And her topics for April sound pretty cool too! So let's give Nicki a big hand and then drop by her blog, follow her, and let her know what you thought of her article. She hasn't stopped there either--she said she will be submitting the press release to other papers in the Chicago area including print media.
Nicki's story is proof that it can be done. Now who's next--we're anxious to read your stories.
If you've been trying to figure out what to write about in April, be sure to check out Jeffrey Beesler's World of the Scribe today (3/17). He will be offering some ideas about picking a topic--a helpful post not only for the A to Z Challenge, but for anytime.
Tomorrow (3/18) on Jen Daiker's blog Nicki Elson will be a featured guest. If you missed Jen's post on Monday she had some A to Z tips that might be of help to you.
Also tomorrow Alex J Cavanaugh will be delivering another interesting post with tips for the A to Z Challenge.
Oh, and in case you didn't notice, last night we hit 500 participants signed up to the Challenge. That magic entry was submitted by L..Diane Wolf at Spunk on a Stick. Drop by and tell her hello and while you're at it check out her Monday post, Finding and Pitching to the Media--WHAT A GREAT POST! This is the perfect accompaniment to what I've been talking about this week. She provides some super useful links so do not miss this post.
Happy St Patrick's Day!