This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

This blog is part of my life journey. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me and maybe join in the discussion...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

What Story Should I Tell?

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!



  1. Awesome, Lee! I'm getting pumped! I'll check out these links so I can get ready.... my head is already spinning with ideas!!!!

    Erin go bragh, brother. :)

  2. Another great post on how to get the Ato Z noticed and publicised.
    Happy St. Patrick's Day to you also.

  3. great post and happy st. patrick's day

  4. Over 500 and still almost 2 weeks to go...amazing. (I think that's a larger population than my local village.) And by luck, I have April 1 off work, which will allow me to spend extra hours reading blogs! Woohoo!

  5. Thanks for the mention, Lee. I finally picked a topic, and it will be a challenge as I'll be in Oregon all next week, but I'll try to start scheduling posts early.

  6. Happy Saint Paddy's Day to you too! I loved your favorite books... especially the Bible.

    And thanks for commenting at Joy's blog The Character Depot. I'm so glad I did the interview. I've met a lot of nice people. I need to sign up for this challenge. I'm blog impaired.

  7. the big FIVE OH OH! :) Huge applause and standing ovations to the master Arlee! :)
    I think your idea to put the news on AZ CHALLENGE in newspapers is brilliant since this event really connects people from all over the world for a whole month!

  8. Pretty cool that you're up to 500. Kudos on that! I promised myself I'd get started writing up my posts in advance, but haven't go to it yet. Have time still, so I'll get cracking soon.

  9. Congrats on 500!!!

    I totally agree with this. Promotion starts with you and building bridges to others.

  10. PK - That's the spirit. Get fired up! Spread the word about the Challenge.

    Yvonne & becca -- Thank you!

    Alex -- Now heading toward 600! Can we make it 1000 by April 1st?

    Li -- Maybe more of us will have to get some vacation time to read all of these blogs.

    L.Diane -- Your Monday post fit in so well with what I have been writing about this week that it seemed a natural fit. Now I hope some readers check your links to find some places to get us and them some press. Glad you are in with us Ms. 500.

    Doralynn -- I hope you will join in with us.

    Dezmond -- It can really be looked at as an international news story -- and good news at that! We all need more good news.

    J.L. -- You still have time to get a head start on things.

    Carol -- You get the concept. Its the us and not just the me factor.

  11. Wow that is a mega post!
    I have been puzzling over my A-Z posts and having fun deciding on presentation. I have already planned 5...

    I admire Rhyme without reason being able to post a poem a day.

  12. I think I ready for the posting it the visiting everyone’s blog I’m nervous about. With 500 participants, I busy calculating the best way to visit. Ten new blog a day? How do you do that without blogging all day?

  13. Happy St. Patrick's Day, Arlee! Just a fortnight to go until A-Z Challenge! Are you ready???

  14. Thanks for the visit and comment, so you have Irish Lineage? Who knows it could be from the O' Donnell clan. Now that would be something...........


  15. Great post.

    Congratulations on reaching 500 participants! Wow. And there are still two weeks to go till April.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  16. Congratulations on the HUGE turnout for your challenge! This is a really interesting blog and I'll definitely be back.

    But, um, I feel like the kid in the class who just doesn't "get it" but what is the A-Z challenge about?

    I can't seem to find the right post.

  17. I´m still trying to work out what I´ll make as my first post....and X is giving me a headache...a model starting with X ????
    still...I´m still here...
    Happy St patricks day.

  18. Terrific article by Nicki! Love her theme - there should be a lot of fun posts!

  19. Hey Arlee---WooHoo 500!!! That is truly amazing work, sir, and you are a truly inspiring person, as are your A to Z co-conspirators.

    Thanks for the mentions. :)

  20. Madeleine -- Yes, my posts this week have been rather large, but the information if very useful for those who have something to promote--which in reality is most of us.

    Holly -- Visit as many as you can each day and don't stress over it. Do what you can to still have a good time.

    Jeffrey - Still not ready with my April posts--keep thinking of things to post now.

    Yvonne-- We were Jacksons. I'm pretty sure not related to the O'Donnells.

    Golden Eagle -- Thanks!

    Perri -- I sent you an email to explain where to look. If anyone else is wondering, click on the badge at the top of the sidebar.

    Paul -- I'm sure you'll come up with something. How about X-acto knife? Do you use those?

    Jemi -- I also like Nicki's theme for April. It sounds like a month long version of some of those blogfests we had.

    Nicki -- I'm looking forward to your post on Monday. I hope you can inspire some others to get some A to Z press coverage.

  21. Thanks for the tip...I want to have all my entries as models though..

  22. Hi Lee .. something else cropped up - so I stopped the press idea - however having this here - will be so useful for when the time comes ..

    Extremely valuable information, especially with Diane's link .. great she's joined in & is no 500!

    I know you're way more now - heading to 600 ... here's to some happy fingers in April .. cheers - have a great weekend and thanks for all the help, support and guidance you've given everyone - let alone the suggestion!

    Cheers - Hilary


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