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Common PR Mistakes: Overpromising

Beneath the Cover, publishing, marketing, writing a book, platform, gravity wellIn your book promotion efforts, there are some common public relations mistakes that you should avoid. We’ll look at them in this next series of posts. First up is the mistake of pursuing instant gratification.

Don’t expect that everyone will immediately herald your book and want to interview you. Successful PR require a long-term approach. Blasting out a series of quickly conceived (that is, created with little thought to their impact) accomplishes little. You need to plan your public relations strategy month ahead of implementing it.

Before you even begin sending out press releases, you should have developed relationships with key writers in your field (journalists, reporters, bloggers). These writers should recognize you as an authority and a competent source before they begin receiving press releases from you. Otherwise the releases you send out are likely to be ignored.

Since your goal is to reach your target market with a certain frequency, you should also plan the topics that each press release will cover (generally speaking these releases should be in the form of e-mail blasts). You should have all of the releases written before sending the first one out, since if they’re successful you’ll be approached for interviews at essentially the same time as you’re sending out these releases.

Even with all of your planning, it takes time for people to become aware of your public relations message. People are unlikely to purchase your book after your first few messages or after hearing you speak on a podcast or radio show (or read about you in a blog or even in a newspaper article – this last being increasingly rare). Your message must not only tae up residence in your target market’s memory, but also motivate people to buy your book.

This is why you can’t think in terms of short-term goals, but longer-term ones. Your book is ultimately about your business, and it’s a tool for building your business. So think of it not in terms of how many people buy it or download it right away, but of the long-term arc of how its sales will affect your business.

In our next post, we’ll look at two further common public relations mistakes: going over budget and overpromising what you deliver.

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