033: Heather DeSantis – Publicity for Good

How Authors Can Use Traditional Media to Launch Their Book


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Heather DeSantis is the Founder of Publicity for Good. She has helped so many people generate millions of impressions for the media outlets like ABC, CBS News, NBC, Fox, CNN, BBC, iHeartMedia, and more! Learn how this works for you as an author and why it’s important to focus and give attention to your book in the way the media is hoping to hear it.

What We Discuss with Heather DeSantis:

  • Why the best selling books are well-marketed
  • How to get started if you have a story to share
  • Don’t just write to get featured on the media!
  • How Heather got into the PR industry and how PR actually works
  • How to reach out to media
  • A story of Heather’s client that leveraged PR and craft
  • What to do once you get a media opportunity
  • The trends in PR and social media
  • How to prepare for a media interview
  • Some tips to break free from your fears
  • How to find and test your messaging

[01:15] The Best Selling Books are Well-Marketed

Some authors are very ingrained in their story, they feel that if they don’t get their message out to their audience, their soul is breaking—they’re so connected to their story.

But authors need to be more vulnerable in sharing their message to the media. This way, you feel happier because you won’t feel alone.

[03:12] Getting Started: Sharing Your Story to the World!

Sure, you don’t want to be in the spotlight. But focus more on how your message is going to help people and how your struggles seen in your book are going to help people.

PR is social proof. But if you’re writing about something with the aim of getting featured to make money, you’re going the wrong way.

Make that transition from selling your product to being an expert thought leader.

[06:05] Heather’s Background in PR and How PR Works

Heather worked at an investment company for six months right out of college. But she has always dreamed of being a TV anchor. Until she landed a job as a publicist and fell in love with PR.

The first thing that Heather sees people make is they try to do PR just to sell a product.

When working with a client, she digs deeper and discovers their “why” to be able to make a relevant pitch. She watches the news to look for trending topics. Then she leverages it to make her client relevant.

She tries to discover where the client lives, what other bigger media markets are around them, their dream media outlets, and who is the consumer you want to reach at the end of the day.

A strategy will then be mapped out before they start reaching out to the media. You have to make sure everything is in alignment. Relationships are important, but at the end of the day, Heather finds a way to make her clients relevant to them.

It’s important when seeking Press to think what you can provide the media – email list, social media followers, and your plan to ensure the writer gets the most amount of views.

[13:20] Reaching Out to Local Media

Start with those great media relationships before you even launch a book.

Reach out to local media and introduce yourself—who you are, what you love to talk about, and to let you know if ever they need a guest expert so you could help.

You can find them on social media, and then reach out to them through email.

You have to make it work for you rather than the interview itself.

[18:08] What to Do Once You Got a Media Opportunity

Anytime you have a media opportunity, have a plan in place to promote your social media. Have your audience help you figure out what to wear or what to talk about on TV. Start engaging people.

[19:00] PR Trends on the Horizon

Heather sees the synergistic relationship between PR and social media, with a lot of consolidation of social media companies.

Influencers become content creators and guest engines in and of itself.

[21:20] How to Best Prepare for the Media Appearance

Heather will help you practice your messaging whether through podcast interviews, practice interviews, etc.

Heather and her team would generally create the questions for their clients on TV so they’re aware ahead of time. They try to control the interview as much as possible to go to the direction they want it headed.

[23:10] Breaking Free from the Fears

Heather gives her clients some examples of case studies where they made it happen, so they can too!

Again, always focus on your message and know it’s going to stand out.

Heather shares a story of her client whom she helped grow her email list and promote her book from a TV segment the client appeared on.

[27:10] How to Find and Test Your Messaging

You’re so ahead of the game when you have a book coming out. And if your book isn’t done yet, doing media is the perfect opportunity to have different messages for different interviews then see what feels is the best. Then go from there!

Episode Resources:

Find out more about Heather on Publicity for Good or follow her on Facebook @HeatherDeSantis.

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