Newsjacking the Coronavirus (Book Marketing Podcast)

by | Mar 11, 2020 | Book Marketing Basics, Getting More Media Coverage

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Dense and noisy news cycles can make it really hard to figure out how to pitch your book to media, but in reality, it can be a great opportunity to get your message out there!

Keep in mind the below is just a preview of everything we covered on this episode of our book marketing podcast, so be sure to follow us and listen to the entire show for all the tips once you’re done reading.

This is especially true with something that doesn’t look like it’s going to go away anytime soon, like the current panic over the coronavirus, you have to force your way into the conversation – so get ready to fight for your book and your message.

Newsjacking is a term that means, essentially, hijacking a big story using a specific angle that ties into your book or message. And with the coronavirus out there, and (sadly) not going away, there’s a lot of opportunity.

While the news cycle seems endless, these particular stories create even bigger opportunities for those of you who are eager to figure out how to pitch your book to media while the ideas are still fresh. Why? Because the news media is looking for new angles, different spins, and new takes on stories that are already saturating the market.

An example of this is an author we are currently working with who teaches kids to do yoga.

What’s yoga known for? Well, a lot of things – but one of them is stress reduction.

So, I suggested that we pitch her on that angle, because this is another spin (and a positive one, too) that’s consuming the media.

The idea is to find the angle within your expertise. Not everyone will have this, of course, but many of you will. So, if you’re ready to tackle this, let’s talk about how to pitch your book to media in a really smart, effective way!

The Angles Matter

There’s a lot going on right now, markets tumble and then come back again, gas prices are lowering because of a pending oil war, hand sanitizer is sold out in most stores, more people are washing their hands – not to mention things we hadn’t even considered like food sampling, toilet paper hoarding, you get the idea.

What can you speak to? What aspect of this does your book tie into, or what media hook can you pitch your story around.

Media Timing Matters

If you’re going to pitch around a busy topic like this, expect that if the media calls, you’ll need to jump into action. Be sure to stay on top of your email, because if you get media responding to your pitch, they’ll likely want to interview you quickly.

Remember the HUH Factor

The term HUH stands for Hip, Unique, and Helpful and all factors are important when figuring out how to pitch your book to media (regardless of the angle) and you should include all three of these elements:

Hip: current, trending, or pop culture – in this case we’re all talking about the coronavirus

Unique: your bent, slant or take on this ongoing issue.

Helpful: what tips can you offer the audience, because that’s what the media will care about, too. Don’t just offer the topic, but suggest how you might put forth a solution as well.

Continue to Blog

It’s always a good idea to have a voice on your topic and one way to do that is by blogging. If you already have a blog and have been working diligently to populate it with content, now might be a good time to add your take on the coronavirus via your blog.

Or how to talk to your kids, or making your own hand sanitizer, etc. Whatever your expertise is, a blog is a great way to share it.

Find a Local Spin on a National Story

When it comes to book marketing tactics, this one is a particular favorite of mine. Unless the biggest story in the media is set in your hometown, your local media is probably scrambling for a local spin to a national story.

If you can offer one, via your expertise, you’re almost guaranteed an interview. Also, while local media may not be as glamorous as a segment on The Today Show, it’s a fantastic stepping stone and a great addition to your media room.

Virtually anything that dominates the media’s attention is a great opportunity for authors. Finding your particular slant on a national story could get you a seat in the expert’s chair on the next news segment, or a feature in a national or local newspaper.

And don’t overlook blogs, either because they’re always looking for content, too.

It’s easy to get caught up in a busy and often scary news cycle, but the smart and savvy author views these cycles as opportunities for how to pitch your book to media as a way to gain attention and share important wisdom.

Good luck!

Resources and Free Downloads

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