One of the best ways to enhance ad agency PR, and also help with new business initiatives, is for an agency principal or specialist to write a book. After being involved in writing or editing several books for clients—as well as helping market them—I’ve come to the conclusion that writing a book may be the easiest part.
Why? Because self-publishing has made it possible for just about anyone to be an author, and as a result there’s been an explosion of new books in recent years. To stand out, you need a specific audience to target and a plan to reach it.
Here are 10 tips for the person charged with generating publicity for a new agency book:
1. Quality endorsements are important to a book’s success, so get started on approaching influencers well in advance of the book’s actual publication.
2. Conduct a brief media training session to prepare the author for interviews and to answer questions he/she likely will get, and then develop several key messages (talking points) to use in interviews.
3. Create separate social media sites specifically for the book, and link to them from your agency’s website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, Twitter, etc.
4. Develop a customized list of media outlets and blogs you’d like to approach for publicity.
5. Hold a launch event to get the book off to a positive start, create momentum for it and generate some industry buzz.
6. Utilize a paid news service like PRWeb, PR Newswire or Business Wire to get the word out to a large audience of journalists and bloggers, especially targeting those who would be interested in the book’s topic. PRWeb is a personal favorite because it’s very cost effective, yet I’ve gotten great Internet coverage through Google and Yahoo news, trade publications, blogs and various news sites. It provides instant credibility when a journalist does a search on the book and/or author, and page after page of hits surface.
7. Use your agency newsletter, YouTube and other channels to announce the book internally and to clients. And, of course, you’ll want to integrate the book into your new business strategy.
8. After the first wave of launch publicity, write and distribute customized news media pitch letters to each outlet on your list, based on their particular audience and area of coverage.
9. Take the same approach with influential bloggers who reach your target audience and offer to do guest posts on their sites.
10. Identify author speaking opportunities where he/she would have the chance to sell the book. And be sure to take full advantage of places where the author already has connections, such as professional associations and networks.
Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to advertising agencies and businesses.