Dispelling 4 Myths About Author Publicity Services
written by Julie Parise
As a company offering author publicity services, we hear from a lot of authors and entrepreneurs who are looking to get featured on TV or get podcast interviews. Many times, these potential clients aren’t sure what to expect from a public relations company or what it takes to get author publicity. Often, new clients even come with misconceptions about what hiring author publicity services will do for them.
Here’s 4 things to expect when you hire a publicist:
Signing with a PR agency means you don’t have to do any work to get featured on TV and podcast interviews
For authors and entrepreneurs looking for media coverage, success is not a one-way street. Yes, along with many other tasks, publicists are here to do the research, find opportunities, and craft your story in a way that’s attractive to the media. However, we often need input from our clients.
Hiring a PR firm doesn’t mean you can set it and forget it. We often need to touch base via email at least weekly to help secure interviews with podcasts, TV stations, newspapers, magazines, blogs, and any other outlet you can imagine. These interactions may be short, but critical to helping us land the perfect interview.
This could be as simple as sharing your schedule with us. It could also mean we need you to send us some thoughts on a breaking news story, so we can pitch you as a source to news stations (we call this newsjacking — read all about it here). Or we have an idea for a new angle to pitch you on, but want to run it by you before sending it out to reporters and editors.
Publicists have connections that will guarantee you media placements
This is one of my favorite myths to turn on its head. As publicists, we get asked all the time “What connections do you have?”
Here is the honest answer to this question: We may have plenty of connections, but it doesn’t matter. Really. It doesn’t matter. What matters is your story, your strengths, and what new ideas you can bring to the media. Our connections won’t get you media coverage, but your story will. That’s why it’s so important for us to focus on learning all we can about our clients, exploring new angles, getting our clients’ feedback, and strategically pitching it to people and outlets (whether we have a connection there or not).
To put it simply, what I tell clients is this: Having a “connection” somewhere might guarantee my pitch will get read and replied to. It doesn’t mean anyone will run with the story. Having a great story of course makes it more likely, though.
Anyone with a good story deserves media placements
Authors and entrepreneurs often have incredible and compelling backgrounds and areas of expertise. You wouldn’t have a book or success if you didn’t. But that alone doesn’t mean you will automatically get requests for interviews on TV, podcasts or for print outlets.
Instead, we urge our clients to share with us how their story can help others, what people can learn from it, and how they are different from their competitors. This is what is going to get you placed for interviews. It’s not a guarantee, of course. Sometimes really compelling, amazing people get rejected by the media — it’s a fact of life.
We sometimes get requests from clients to get them placed on a particular TV show, podcast or a website because they saw one of their competitors interview with the same outlet. They believe if a successful person in their niche is doing it, they need to be doing it. But we disagree. There’s a phrase (often attributed to President Theodore Roosevelt) that’s become popular on social media in recent years: Comparison is the thief of joy. You don’t have to do all the same things your competitors are doing. Walk your own path to earn results that are right for you.
Hiring an author publicity service equals instant success.
If you want to instantly see your name in print or on TV, there’s one surefire way to make it happen fast: Buy an advertisement.
Public relations, on the other hand, is a long game. At Guide My Brand, we sign every client for a minimum of four months. Based on our experience, that’s the minimum amount of time necessary to craft a story, get it out there and start seeing some serious traction in the media. That means, no matter who your publicist is, do not get discouraged if you don’t get a call from CNN or The New York Times during the early days of your campaign. Great results take time.
At the end of the day, you’ll want to find a publicist you feel comfortable talking with, who has great references and is straightforward about what they believe they can do for you. Trust will go a long way when securing your author publicity services, especially if it’s your first time working with a publicist.
Still have questions? Schedule a discovery call with us today. We’d love to hear from you!