Despite the popularity of social media, old school traditional media continues to have a massive impact on people’s lives and be a must-have in your book publicity campaign.
Although you may not be a PR expert (yet!), you will eventually learn how to write a press release, pitch a story to the media, and create long-lasting relationships with journalists. Perhaps one of the most important ideas to bear in mind when you approach them is to make it all about how you are serving them and their readers – the value you are bringing to the table and not about your needs.
Elira Bregu, writer, journalist and blogger at elirabregu.com gives insider information on what you need to do to win the traditional media game and get traditional media exposure for your books.
What makes you tick, as a journalist?
I am a storyteller. I love stories that make me feel alive. The way someone solves a particular situation in life motivates me to keep walking through my daily struggles. Your accomplishments keep worries at the door when somebody hurts me. Your failures are lessons I use for my evolution. Your love story reminds me that love is the Power that boosts my creativity. The stories of patients who had managed to defeat cancer were the only consolation I had when my father was battling this deadly disease.
The stories of the winners strengthen my belief that I can overcome all obstacles and win my daily battles.
It’s funny, but my daily journal’s name is “the lesson of the day,” and is based on what has happened around the world or into my friends and readers’ lives. Reuters, NBC, or Times are my information source about what’s happening worldwide. The ability to choose allows me to read only the news that bear the lesson I need and which I share with the readers of the EB Daily News website.
In your opinion, what is the definition of a good story?
Solving a strong inner conflict and overcoming obstacles is a popular theme nowadays. You also need to use the right point of view and words and create an original plot to make it memorable.
What are the most common mistakes people make when they pitch you their stories or press releases?
They talk too much because they have no clue about how they should tell their story. Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” People want to share their struggles, which changed their perception of life. It is a matter of pride and is nothing wrong with that. However, to bake a cake first, you need to know the recipe, gather the ingredients, then put in your time and effort.
What are the three essential features of a successful media pitch?
Know what the journalist is looking for. Do your research. Keep it simple. Be concise and effective. Journalists love to work with well-prepared and talented people.