What Have We Learned A Year or So Later From COVID, Media, and Publicity Outreach? My Special Guest Marsha From News & Experts Tells Us. . .

What The Last Year Taught Us About COVID And Media Outreach

Posted on by Miguel Casellas-Gil

“Like me, you are probably saddened by news reports that COVID-19 is making a resurgence. Once again, the pandemic is poised to dominate news cycles and, in addition to worrying about health concerns, anyone who is trying to gain media coverage will need to think about how their message fits into the current media conversation.

One bright spot in this otherwise dismal situation is that we learned a lot over the last year about the opportunities for and the importance of PR during a pandemic, and we can all put those lessons to use going forward. In the spring of 2020, we encountered something we rarely if ever had faced in the more than three decades that News & Experts has been in existence.”

Practically every single news story every day was about one subject – the coronavirus. Under those conditions, how could we pitch clients whose expertise and messages had absolutely nothing to do with medicine or health? The one-topic news cycle seemed like a barrier – but only momentarily. Quickly it became clear that the pandemic affected more than health. Finance, sports, personal relationships, corporate culture, the workplace, education, travel and numerous other aspects of life were upended by the pandemic.

All of those topics were also ripe to be discussed and explored in the news. In other words, regardless of your message and your expertise, there was a place for you in the COVID conversation if you approached things the right way. That holds true today. This time the pandemic hasn’t completely hijacked the news, but it does still touch nearly everything in one way or another. That’s why it’s good to review any lessons learned from more than a year of dealing with it.

Stay In The Game

One lesson we definitely learned is that you don’t want to put your publicity efforts on hiatus until the pandemic is over, as some people were tempted to do. Who knows when this will all end. Instead, stay in the game by constantly massaging your message so it fits with what’s happening. This really is no different from what we always told clients in non-pandemic climates. You improve your odds of media success anytime you can link your expertise and message to what print journalists are already writing about, and what radio and TV talk show hosts are already talking about. With our guidance, this is what our clients were able to do.

One client who wrote a book on how the pandemic affected schools was able to speak to the difficulties parents and children encountered, and ways education might be improved as a result of lessons learned from COVID. Another whose expertise was remote work suddenly found that lots of people needed advice about her subject. A client who specializes in helping businesses raise capital spoke about funding options for those businesses rebounding from COVID.

So, if you are trying to promote your personal or business brand, explore where you might fit into the current conversation about the pandemic. The media always needs experts to comment on events and you can be that go-to person and share your knowledge.

If you are a business owner or a consultant who advises businesses, that could involve discussing business decisions about whether to require employees to be vaccinated or whether to request that customers wear masks. If you are a medical professional, you might be able to comment on news stories directly related to the virus or the vaccines.

Or possibly you could discuss the impact the pandemic is having across health fields, such as evolving protocols for office visits or procedures that get postponed.
Doing Good While Promoting Your Brand & Expertise

Something I wrote a year ago also bears repeating now as a lesson learned. You have an opportunity to become part of the conversation about the pandemic and its impact, but making use of this opportunity doesn’t mean you should be opportunistic.

You don’t want to approach it in an exploitative way because that would quickly backfire. But, if you have something valuable to share with the media’s readers, viewers and listeners, they will want to hear from you. A bonus is that you will be doing good in the world as well as promoting your brand.

Yes, we all learned lessons in the last year – and likely there are plenty more awaiting us.

And that’s the good news because each of those lessons will assist you in your goal of building a long list of media successes…

Keep Learning and Growing with News & Experts!

Marsha Friedman, CEO & Founder

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Where Are My Holiday Book Sales? A Professionals Message & Advice . . .

Hello and Welcome Authors, Writers and Readers,



Marsha Friedman

Here is a special message and article from a great place I enjoy receiving awesome advice to pass on to all my book clients I promote. As authors and writers, we all know that book sales and reviews don’t happen over night. It takes a long while to build a readership and a social media presence. Many new authors get discouraged so early in their book promoting efforts. But the BEST ADVICE I had ever received was from my own publisher. And? He was exactly spot on of what he shared with me . . .

“It takes many months, days and hours of promoting your books. And it won’t happen overnight. It takes many, many tireless hours to promote ones book effectively.”  I found he was right. It took me a good year of non-stop promoting my first book before it caught fire!  But when it did? So many awesome doors opened. And my social media followings were growing too! So, for those who don’t always take advice at “face value”?

Marsha Freedman is a long-time PR Professional for The PR Insider, and in this article she shares what it takes to promote your books and yourself as an author to get those book sales! She has been in this PR business for a long time and knows what it takes. And much of what she talks about? It is much of what I do for al my book/author clients . . .

Happy Reading!


My Publicity and Promoting Is Solid, So Where Are My Book Sales?

“I see this scenario played out too often.”

Authors launch a PR campaign, they get a few impressive hits in print, on the radio or on TV, and they sit back expecting the book sales to come surging in. Sometimes they do. But just as often they don’t.

Why? The reason is simple: Getting media and social media exposure is just one element involved in an overall marketing plan. While public relations on occasion can lead to direct sales, it’s really a branding tool, a way to get your name out there so you can then leverage your newly acquired recognition into bottom-line rewards.

That can take time. Even a mention in a top-tier publication, such as the New York Times or USA Today, has limited impact if everything stops right there or you don’t get additional traction out of it by linking to the article on your website or sharing it on social media channels.

While there is no marketing strategy that can guarantee huge sales, there are certainly steps you can take to improve your odds.

  • A professional-looking blog or website: Your website could be your first interaction with readers, and they will make a judgment about you and your book based on what they see. Online is also where the majority of book buying takes place these days. If your website isn’t well-designed, easy to navigate with well-written copy that encourages a visitor to become a customer and want to buy your books, it’s almost worthless. Visit other professional websites & blogs and compare them to yours. Identify the positive elements their sites have that you should incorporate into yours.
  • A marketing plan: Marketing plans cost nothing to create and the simplest plan is better than none at all. Your plan will include answers to these questions: Who is your target audience? When will you start and how long will you continue marketing? What kind of publicity or promoting will you need to make people aware of your book? Will you advertise, and in which media? Is your audience using social media networks and, if so, which platforms?
    A clear message: You need to have a clear message for your intended audience of readers and you need to be able to articulate the essence of that message. By the way, that message should be about what you have to offer your intended audience, not the other way around. Way too often in my experience authors believe their message to the consumer is, “Buy my book.” That may have value for the author, but it has none for potential readers. What do people stand to gain from reading your book? Does the information you provide entertain them, solve a problem for them or assist them in some other way? Your message helps fuel your marketing plan.
    A budget: At the very least, you will need a small budget for things like hiring a website designer if you don’t already have one. You will want to buy books from the publisher to send to the media. Other expenses may include travel, postage and working with a PR professional. Even if you don’t hire a PR firm, you’ll at least need a budget for hiring a book and social media person to help you get the word out.
Just remember, publicity is an ongoing enterprise. The more you keep your name and your book’s title out there, the greater your chances of success will be over the long haul.
Here’s to persistence!