Sunday, March 25, 2007

Smart Idea

My friend Peggy Collins has a new book out. It's titled, Help Is NOT a Four-Letter Word. Peggy knows she needs to pull out all stops to get publicity so that the books will sell. The initial days and weeks are important for bookstore orders, reprints, etc.

Peggy is lining up newspaper, magazine, radio and TV interviews. Because she had done few television interviews, she didn't want to be intimidated by the lights and equipment. So she called one of the stations nearest her home in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Peggy told the person she talked with about her upcoming interview in Dallas and wondered if she could have a tour of the station and see the news desk. The employee was gracious and invited Peggy out immediately. Shortly after the tour, the station asked Peggy to come back for an interview about her book.

That wasn't Peggy's intention when she asked for the tour, but she was happy to publicize the book in her own market.

One of the reasons Peggy was able to get a station tour is that she lives in a smaller media market. In the nation's top 25 markets, you usually have to know someone who works at the station--or be part of a larger civic group--to get a tour. I'm sure another reason she got the tour is that she knows how to ask for help--something covered in her book.

But getting a tour is no guarantee that guides will ask about your book, or if they do, have the decision-making power to schedule you for an on-air interview. At the worst, you'll have spent time getting more familiar with your local station. At best, you get publicity.

If you're reluctant to call and ask for a tour, then buy Peggy's book!

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