17 June 2012

How to Get Quoted in the Media (Damaria Senne)

I seldom agree to review e-books. 

First, I’m skeptical of writers who opt not to publish ‘real’ books.

Second, they’re so often the province of people who aren’t experts and should not have published anything at all, except maybe a long-ish blog post.

But I am pleased that I ignored my own biases and read this little gem. And by little, I mean little. It’s an easy, quick, interesting read, at 38 pages.

Here’s more:

1.     This topic is ideal for e-publishing. In fact, I’d be less skeptical about e-publishing in general if more e-books were like this: short, clear, inexpensive and accessible to those outside of the industry.
2.     How to get quoted in the media does what the title suggests: it gives businesses, brands and organisations insights into how to get, and then maintain, media coverage.
3.     It’s intelligently structured, with short sections that speak to specific issues, like preparing for interviews in person and on TV, radio, email, etc.
4.     It covers some critical and often-overlooked ground, like ensuring that you have, or can present, a ‘So What?’, i.e. a real benefit to the market, the population, the industry, etc. (If you can’t, don’t send the release. It’ll annoy the editor, who’ll mark your email address as Junk for next time.)
5.     I appreciate the emphasis that there should always be various versions of a release, differently slanted for different audiences and journalists.
6.     About half-way through, I was getting itchy at the absence of a mention of free media monitoring services, like Google Alerts, and…there it was!

I have only two (small) reservations about How to get quoted in the media:

1.     I’d have liked to see a short section on when to out-source press release and communique writing to the relevant professionals, and when doing so is unnecessary.
2.     There are a few typos in the text, and a couple of formatting inconsistencies. Now, in a print book, this would be unacceptable, but in an e-book (especially one in its early iterations) it’s easily fixable. Having said that, I’d have liked to see a more gimlet editorial eye from authors who themselves are communicators.

My closing advice? Get a copy. It’s a must-read for anyone with a business, brand or cause that requires media exposure.

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