A huge part of being a good publicist is being able to form a partnership with our clients – we rely on them as much as they rely on us. From helping with bylines to scheduling interviews, we like keeping our authors involved in the publicity process. Of course, publicists can’t report every detail or micromanage all of an author’s activities, which is why it’s important for our clients to stay on top of things like social media and sales before, during, and after a publicity campaign.
So check out my top five tips for you to get the most out of your campaign:
- Be social. At Smith, we practice traditional media outreach, meaning that while work with a lot of journalists and media contacts, we won’t be doing the tweeting for you. That’s actually a benefit for you, since one of the most important factors for producing good social media is authenticity. Tweet, post, and pin things related to your book but also things that reflect what makes you, well, you! Not sure where to start? Check out Smith client, Jaunique Sealey, and her great web series on getting started with social media. CMO also has an excellent breakdown of the major social media platforms and what they do best. And don’t forget to tell your followers about your latest media placements!
- Pay attention. You never know where the next big story is coming from, right? Publicists are always reading, watching, and listening to the news and so should you! When cultivating your author reputation or brand, it’s important to be aware of the real and current ways your work can contribute or enhance a discussion. The Linhart PR Blog has some great tips for staying on top of current and developing trends.
- Be open. Most of our authors are new to publicity and marketing, which means we’re used to helping you out when things start to seem overwhelming. However, your publicist isn’t a mind reader so be proactive about discussing your campaign. For everything from questions to critique, feedback (done concisely so that they don’t lose precious time pitching!) is essential. Often times, problems with a campaign arise out of a lack of communication or unrealistic expectations. Trust us when we tell you things are going well and ask for help when you need it!
- Stay organized and don’t miss opportunities. It is critical that if you commit to an interview or important deadline, you follow through. While we all make mistakes, remember that you don’t always get second chances with the media. Keep a calendar, file emails, and make to-do lists and you’ll soon find that your campaign will start running a lot smoother. I use TweetDeck to organize the social media for Smith and Wunderlist is a great task management app for your computer and devices.
- Keep your website up to date. In the new digital age, any journalist worth their salt is going to do a few Google searches before they decide to work with an author and the website you built and last updated in 2004 just isn’t going to cut it. While you don’t need to drop a ton of money into it, making sure your site is easy to navigate and includes information about you and your book will go a long way toward enhancing your PR efforts. What should your website have? Recent media placements or reviews, links to places where you can buy your book, book summaries and/or excerpts, and a solid author bio. Downloadable press kits, with your press releases and an author photo are also handy to have.
Have fun. Working with a publicist who is pumped to promote your book and interacting with the media is the icing on the cake. Enjoy the ride!
By Abigail Raymond