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Myth #1: A good news release is all you need to get “ink”

The days of the “one size fits all” news releases are gone. Now it’s all about customizing and knowing what the media target you’re pitching is looking for. Making one release isn’t a bad idea, but use it as a starting point, not the final message.

Myth #2: Mention your book every chance you get

The surest way to kill an interview (and your chances of getting asked back) is when you mention your book over and over. When you say things like: “as I wrote in my book” you’ll cheapen your message and make it look too sales-like. Viewers hate being sold, give them solid information and they’ll buy your book because they’ll want to know more.

Myth #3: You must answer every question the media asks you

Despite all your research and expertise, you can’t expect to know everything. If you don’t know an answer don’t lie or speculate. It’s much better to say: “You know I don’t know the answer to that question, but I’m happy to look into it and get back to you,” than to make up a story that will make you (and the reporter) look bad.

Myth #4: You can use advertising dollars to influence media interviews

If you’re trying to get some airtime or print placement, do not ever elude to buying ad space in order to get them to commit to an interview. This is a completely unethical thing to do, conversely, if someone is trying to get you to buy an ad in order to be considered for their publication or program run for the hills.

Myth #5: Use big, complicated words; they’ll make you sound savvy

It’s unfortunate, but the “dumbing down of America” is a necessary trend and one you shouldn’t overlook. Do not use complicated industry jargon to impress your audience (unless you’re speaking to industry experts), you will only confuse them and alienate the person interviewing you.

Myth #6: Emotion is a bad thing

Marketing fact: People buy on emotion. Whether it’s happy, sad, or angry. Make them feel something and you’ll send them straight to your Web site to buy your book. Now I’m not suggesting that you fall apart on camera, but emotion is a good thing. Look human! If it’s a subject that you’re passionate about, look passionate! If it’s a terrible thing you went through that you’re writing about, let your audience “feel” that emotion right along with you!

Myth #7: You should never even consider doing an interview without media training

Don’t get me wrong, media training is a great thing, but media training without the proper interview prep work can lead to a disaster. For example, don’t assume because you’re media trained that you can survive any interview without researching the show or publication. Even worse, don’t put all your focus on your media training and then forget to update your data to support your interview.

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