If today’s headlines have any relevance to your business or book, you could be in for a gold mine of free publicity!
That’s because reporters are always looking to interview authorities when a story breaks.
Leveraging controversy is pretty much the same thing as leveraging ANY trending theme or story.
If reporters know about you, there’s a good chance you could be interviewed on TV or appear in news stories.
This is phenomenal publicity for your business and/or book because reporters will always say you are the author of the book.
On TV, they likely will show the cover of the book as well.
Here are 10 ways to help you piggyback off the news to get free publicity for your book or your business.
- Monitor the news. Google Alerts is a free service that will notify you when news breaks.
- Follow social media sites like Twitter to see which topics are trending, i.e. what people are tweeting about. That can give you the fast track on breaking news. The first report of the plane landing in the Hudson River in New York City was carried on Twitter.
- Create a list of reporters you would want to contact when a story breaks. These could be local reporters at your local television station or newspaper. They could be editors at trade publications. The choice is yours.
- Contact these reporters and let them know about your expertise and your willingness to be quoted in stories about this subject. They’ll appreciate having your name on file.
- Make sure they know how to get in touch with you. Give them your direct dial numbers, not a switchboard or voice mail jail. If you aren’t easy to reach, they will call the next person. They are on tight deadlines and don’t have time to wait for you to return calls. You must be accessible.
- When stories break, contact these reporters and ask how you can be of service to them.
- Have appropriate attire ready at your office in case they want you to do an on-camera interview. If you go to work in jeans and shorts, that’s fine. But if you go on air, you’ll want to look professional and you might not have time to go home to get spruced up.
- Do as much research on the breaking news as possible so you can speak to those issues directly.
- Get media trained. If you haven’t been in front of a camera before, hire a media trainer to give you tips on what to say, what to wear and how to move your body. You’ll be glad you did.
- Always carry copies of your book/s. If you go on TV, they’ll want a copy to show to the audience. If you speak to print reporters, they might want to post a picture to their website and print edition. If you speak to a radio reporter or talk show host, they might want to give away copies as a promotion. Put a box of books in the trunk of your car. You’ll never regret it.
If you follow these publicity tactics, you’ll have a better chance to get free publicity for your book or your business.
As always, great advice, Dan. I’d add that a website with great searchability or seo (it comes up quickly when you “google” the subject) can help reporters find you during a breaking story–and of course, I would guess your press release service must help authors get “found” when a story breaks as well–though not a free publicity option, an excellent strategy.