Another really interesting workshop took place on Saturday at the Novium Museum in Chichester and this time it was all about PR and the do’s and don’ts of writing a good press release.
Launching the discussion, was Phil Hewitt of the Chichester Observer
Phil has written a number of books so fully understands the struggles facing self-published authors. He have us some extremely valuable insights into press relations and how not to approach your local newspaper. He also entertained us his advice as to how to go about writing a press release, illustrated with some truly awful examples from a few who got it wrong! I wish I could remember some of these examples, one of which came from a Belgium rock band – it was such a cracker, one participant even asked for a copy of it to use in a book. Apparently an event is a good way to get your story in the paper, such as a launch or a book signing. We learned some interesting lessons and the talk was very absorbing.
Our second speaker was Helen McCusker of BookedPR and her colleague Esther
The first advice was to really think about your pitch – to start with a hook and consider what is likely to appeal, for example something topical which may have been in the news recently. To simply announce you have written a new book is simply not enough to whet journalists’ appetites, they need a story! Both speakers gave us some fascinating ideas for appealing to not only the local press, but the national press and looking for publications to target – something many of us have not even considered. One of the best bits of advice too, was to get a press page onto your website. Like a press pack, this needs to contain all the information a journalist needs to know about your book and can even include downloadable samples.
It was a workshop in which we made some important contacts in the world of PR and the two hours flew by very quickly. It has given is all plenty of ideas for future publicity and a very enjoyable session. Many thanks to the speakers.