By Scott Lorenz
As a book publicist I am always on the lookout for effective ways to reach book buyers and the media. One way is to utilize a service called ProfNet. As one of its first users I’ve seen ProfNet become one of the most important ways of reaching the media in a non-intrusive way.
Here’s how it works. A reporter, freelance writer or television producer is assigned a story. Unless they know someone who is an expert on that topic they’ll need to find someone to interview. So the reporter will place a query on ProfNet requesting an expert with certain qualifications and who could speak to a certain issue they are writing about. They’ll include a deadline, contact information and their media outlet.
These queries are compiled by ProfNet and are emailed out to thousands of publicists, experts, authors and other subscribers multiple times a day. I personally read just about every set of queries as they could contain a big media opportunity for my clients. On any given day there could be queries from the NY Times, Good Morning America, Women’s World Magazine, NPR and just about anybody you could think of.
I’ve landed clients in all the above mentioned outlets and hundreds of others as well. One reason it works so well is that the media is looking for the expert rather than you or me (the publicist) pushing my client on them. In this case they actually have a story they’re working on and NEED an expert.
Who in the media uses ProfNet? Meet freelance writer Lisa Iannucci. Lisa has written many articles for consumer and trade publications including Weight Watchers, Muscle & Fitness, Parenting, Shape, ePregnancy, SkyGuide Go (American Express), American Health, USA Weekend, Parenting, New York Magazine and more. She has also written for New England Condominium, The Cooperator, Business Travel News, DDIFO (a Dunkin’ Donuts trade journal), Sports Travel and more. She is constantly on the lookout for interesting experts and authors to interview for her various freelance assignments.
Authors are perfect for Profnet because of their built-in credibility since they wrote about the subject matter covered in their book. The media likes people who have credentials and are authorities and experts.
Here are key tips to remember when responding:
- Note the deadline. Get your response in well ahead of it.
- Answer the question or query directly. Keep your email short and to the point. Nobody has time to read a dissertation.
- Google the reporter or the publication if you are not aware of them. Get every edge you can as you’ll be competing against others who want the coverage too.
- Remember Radio likes “sounds.” Television likes a “visual.” Online services like ‘links’ and Print likes everything! So cater to the medium in your response.
- Put “ProfNet Query” in the subject line
I pitched one of my authors to a ‘major consumer magazine’ about her Hollywood makeup book as they were looking for the latest in Blush/Luminizers/Contouring/Makeup. Another author of mine wrote a book about Type 2 Diabetes and was quoted extensively in a highly regarded association publication with two million readers because the ProfNet query asked for tips about Type 2 Diabetes and insurance.
On another occasion, I responded to a ProfNet query from the New York Times who was desperately looking for someone to comment about a financial issue at 6pm on a Friday night. Got that one too!
ProfNet is not free and is billed on an annual basis. Authors can sign up directly or work with a publicist who subscribes. For more information visit: http://www.prnewswire.com/profnet/ or call 800-PROFNET (800-776-3638) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bottom Line: Authors, put ProfNet into your marketing mix. By proactively promoting your book to the media you can become the Go-To-Expert on your topic. Do it today!
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at email@example.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist