Authors know that broadcast interviews (radio and television) are a critical part of any book promotion campaign. These interviews allow an author to reach many people who would not hear about a book in any other way. The interviews help build both the author brand and the book identity. Yet many authors make one common mistake in interviews – they forget to mention the title of their book.
The whole purpose of the interviews is to get the book name out to potential buyers and get them to purchase the book. Yes, most interviewers will mention the title when introducing the author and sometimes at the conclusion of the interview. But authors need to mention the title in some of their answers. Rather many authors forget this and refer to the book as ‘it’ or ‘my book’. Listeners and viewers who might have missed the opening of the segment have no idea what book the author is referring to in the interview. Add to this that if the interviewer doesn’t mention the name of the book at the end of the interview, this part of the audience never learns the book’s name and the promotion was wasted.
At the same time, the author doesn’t want to answer every question by referring to the title of their book. A good rule of thumb is that for most interviews, the author should refer to the title two times.
Broadcast interviews are essential for successful book promotion. They reach far more potential buyers then a print interview. That is why by avoiding a common mistake, authors can maximize on their potential – mention the book title.
Our society is more polarized today than at any moment in recent memory. Our politics is divisive. Opinions have become more outspoken and outraged. Driving all of this is social media. Social media has allowed millions to have a voice and share their opinion. It is also a driving force in spreading disapproval of a brand when it takes a stand that someone disagrees with. The hashtag #Boycott followed by a brand’s name is one of the most popular ones on Twitter. Brands need to be prepared when this happens.
Here are a few examples.
A local Cracker Barrel in Indiana fired the wife of a man named Brad. Brad went on to social media to demand that Cracker Barrel explain why his wife was fired. His posts were picked up by people on social media with the hashtag #JusticeforBradsWife. The Cracker Barrel social media sites were inundated with comments and questions about Brad’s wife. Traditional media picked up the story which became a humorous running joke. Cracker Barrel ignored the posters and social media outcry. This led to a new hashtag #BoycottCrackerBarrel. The chain took a hit and its stock price went down.
Adidas made a tone-deaf move by sending out an email to Boston Marathon participants with the subject line, “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!” the day after this year’s marathon – just four years after the bombings at the 2013 marathon. The backlash was immediate. The hashtag #BoycottAddias started. Before it could gain traction and Adidas quickly issued a public apology saying, “We are incredibly sorry. There was no thought given to the insensitive email subject line we sent Tuesday. We deeply apologize for our mistake.”
The heartfelt public apology stopped #BoycottAddias in its tracks. It prevented the incident from turning into a negative three- to five-day story.
A result of #Boycott means that it is more important than ever to make sure that you are prepared with a statement supporting your decision if you are caught in the crosshairs of a boycott. Or if you feel like you’ve made a mistake, make sure the statement explains why you made the decision in the first place and what you are doing to fix the issue. Consumers want to know their voices are being heard and changes are being made.
Social media drives narratives. That cannot be emphasized enough. And it is particularly true during a crisis over customer service. More and more dissatisfied customers are taking to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to express their displeasure over poor customer service or what they view as poor quality products. A case in point happened with the Twitter war between conservative author, Ann Coulter and Delta Airlines.
Coulter’s problems with Delta began, after the exit-row seat she reserved on her flight from New York to West Palm Beach was given away to a fellow passenger without any “explanation, compensation or apology” she claimed on Twitter. Delta’s social media team reached out via Twitter apologizing to Coulter and offering to compensate her the extra money she had paid. But that wasn’t the end of the Twitter war heard around the world. Coulter took again to Twitter attacking Delta, its employees, and even the passenger who took her seat. Delta responded to her via Twitter defending its employees and passengers. The feud between Coulter and Delta was picked up by the news media and is still ongoing. Yet it raises the question in this social media driven age in which every tweet and post is analyzed, how should a company respond when under attack via social media?
These are some things a company should do and remember:
- Respond to the complaint. Ignoring it will only make the customer angrier and lead to others on social media joining in. Like Delta originally did, acknowledge a mistake if it was made, offer an apology, and finally offer a resolution. Always act as if your response will be viewed by the entire world because with the power of social media it probably will be.
- Stand up for the company if you are unfairly accused of something. In the case of Delta, the company stood up for its employees and passengers when Coulter’s tweets began attacking them. This showed a humanizing face for Delta and allowed the company also to stand up against false allegations. They also remembered that part of their brand identity is their employees and they defended that brand DNA that was under attack.
- Use humor and class in admitting a major mistake if possible. Social media can be abusive and snarky. If admitting a mistake, a company is always smart to use some self-depreciating humor in its response and take the high road. Anything else will make the social media crisis worse.
- Have a social media team that responds 24/7. Social media never rests and that why a company always needs to respond right away or else the social media firestorm will grow.
Social media complaints are never-ending. The key for companies is to respond to each in a way that it is one and gone. Failing to do so will ensure that the complaint becomes a full blown crisis on social media and then in the traditional media causing extreme brand damage.
Brands know that public relations is essential to success. It develops brand identity and reinforces ongoing marketing efforts. But to see strong success from public relations, certain elements must be in place.
What elements are critical and need to be in place for successful public relations?
- Effective Website: People need to be able to find you after they hear about you. Beyond that, when people land on your website, are they taking the action you want them? Your website needs to be designed for that. And this should go without saying, your website needs to be friendly on all devices.
- Powerful Call-To-Action: Your website needs to have a clear call-to-action allowing you to capture email addresses of those who come on it. It should offer an incentive that corresponds to your public relations message in exchange for that valuable contact information. Without effective lead capture, you’re missing out on all potential leads the public relations sends your way.
- Social Media Presence: The key to effectively using the public relations you have obtained is by promoting it. In this day and age, that means promoting the message on all social media platforms. You should have a strong, clear, and active social media platform with an engaged community when doing a public relations campaign.
Without these key elements in place when doing a public relations campaign, public relations is like striking it rich at the lottery. With these elements, public relations brings a strong return on investment not merely for brand identity but sales.
The major challenge for a business after a major crisis is regaining public trust. It has taken years for a business to build the trust and now that the crisis has hit, the business must begin rebuilding the trust again. It helps if the business had a reservoir of goodwill prior to the crisis and managed the crisis with a strong response. It cannot be emphasized enough that in having a strong crisis management plan in place during the crisis helps in the rebuilding.
So now moving forward what is to be done?
The first step is to explain now that the crisis has passed what steps the business is doing to ensure that it will never happen again. This message must be conveyed to the public, vendors, and internally to employees. This should be done in a strong way, outlining the specific steps that are being taken.
A greater emphasis on customer satisfaction and service is critical during this time period. Look at the steps United Airlines took after its disaster when a passenger was dragged off one of its flights.
The organization might want to look at developing a new mission statement as it emerges from the crisis. This should emphasize more than just profits. It should put a premium on customer service and making the world, the country, state, or city a better place.
Ethics and sensitivity training programs based upon the crisis should be instituted. This helps ensure that every employee knows the proper procedures and what is expected of them.
Also a greater emphasis should be placed on community outreach and charitable programs. This will help rebuild goodwill and also show that the company cares.
Rebuilding a reputation after a crisis doesn’t happen overnight but it can be done. Just as with the crisis, you need a strong plan for after the crisis to regain public trust.
Here are some useful tips for print interviews.
- Print interviews comprise of newspapers, magazines, and online news resources such as blogs.
- Are typically done over the telephone or via email.
- Unlike live radio interviews, if the interviewer stumbles or remembers something they want to add to the interview, they can go back to the answer.
- Always make sure you have a clear phone line.
- If you can’t hear a question ask them to repeat it.
- In print and online interviews, the more that you provide the better as your answers will be edited. So the more information that you provide, the greater the chance you make it into the story.
- Some print and online stories will be available the next day, some are for future stories that may not appear for several weeks or months.
- Never ask the reporter or blogger to read back your answers to you.
- Never demand to see the story beforehand.
- Always record the interview.
Red carpet events are a major component of any celebrity’s publicity campaign. Almost daily the news is filled with images of celebrities at red carpet events. From film premieres to record releases to award shows to charity events to art shows, these events are a major component of entertainment publicity. Whether you are attending the event to promote your work or as a guest it is essential to maximize the event.
How can you do this? By following some simple tips.
- Know the event. Yes, we all know what the red carpet event is but as in everything, the devil is in the details. You need to know the dress code, the carpet times (when it opens and closes), the purpose, and the host.
- Be prepared. Red carpet events can be unpredictable and sometimes chaotic. Know that. Reporters typically ask the same questions at these events – what brought you here; what are you working on now; and where can we find you (social media and website) – knowing this you can have you answers ready.
- Be on time. Red carpet events are only open for a certain period of time and the press doesn’t stay after the event has closed. Some events will tell you when to be there others don’t give an exact time. The best thing is to be at the event precisely when it starts or even a few minutes early.
- Take your time. Most red carpet events have a cushion time between participants. Don’t rush through the event. Your publicist will be there or the event will have a person assigned to you to announce you to photographers and reporters. Just pace yourself and don’t rush.
- Be consistent with the brand you have established. You have worked hard to establish your personal brand. At the event be consistent with the image that you have developed. That means in your answers, body posture, and attire be the person that you have branded.
- Utilize the media. The purpose of the event regardless of why you are attending is to promote your brand. Reporters are the way to do this. Engage them when they interview you. Answer all of the questions. When doing this look at the reporter and not the cameras and fans about you. That makes for a better interview.
- Utilize social media. The one thing many celebrities forget is the power of social media. Tweet at the event. Tag the event in all posts related to it. Utilize pictures from the event on all social media channels. In many ways, the social media aspect of the event will reach even more people than the traditional media aspect.
Red carpet events are a part of life for any celebrity and a key to successful publicity. Avoiding mistakes and maximizing the events are critical for long term branding and success.