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Common PR Mistakes: Flying Blind

Beneath the Cover, publishing, marketing, writing a book, platform, gravity wellWe’ve been looking at some public relations errors in book campaigns (in our last post we looked at not targeting the right media). Another common public relations mistake in book-promotion is not having a clear strategy, or engaging in PR rather than working a public relations campaign.

Don’t charge ahead without a strategy. When you realize that you need to reach your target audience three times every five days in order to reach the bestseller lists (or in order to be noticed generally), the temptation is to begin writing press releases willy-nilly – coming up with something quickly and distributing it fare and wide. Or you might do things in the wrong order. You might begin setting up interviews or staging public relations events such as book sightings without considering what your story will be in the weeks after that interview or signing. Follow-up is as important as the initial media mention: you have to continue to be the story that keeps on giving.

Timing is everything. Without a thorough, preplanned public relations campaign, you won’t have a developing story to tell. Your news grows old, and your book seems stale. Don’t let this happen.

You may put everything into your first couple of press releases and not save additional important information or new perspectives for weeks later when you will still need to generate stories in your subject area (and interest in yourself as an expert), as well as in the products and services that you provide.

For something as important as the success of your book, you need to make sure that every promotional activity in which you engage is part of an overall strategy. Otherwise you’re not doing your book or your message any favors.

In our next post, we’ll look at how you develop your marketing plan.

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