Monday, May 25, 2009

Brian Jud on Media Skills to Market Your Book or Product

Brian Jud on Media Skills to Market Your Book or Product

Have you wondered why celebrities being interviewed on television can look so calm when millions of people are watching them? And have you ever wondered if you could do that?

You can appear on national television and radio, and you can appear calm and collected, just like the actors you see every day. And like actors, you cannot simply show up for performances. Actors learn their lines and rehearse them until they create a believable, entertaining performance.

The key to any good performance is preparation. Good media guests need to know what they are going to say during all their performances and practice their delivery of each word before hand. Adequate preparation will make you more confident in your ability to perform and help you relax while you are on the air.

You have heard it said that practice makes perfect. However, that is not necessarily true. Practice makes permanent, so you have to make sure you are rehearsing the right things. Before you appear on any media event, engage the services of a professional media trainer so the techniques you make permanent are the right ones.

Practice on a regular basis and you will conduct professional and successful interviews. Your practice sessions can be as formal or informal as you want them to be. They run the gamut from talking into a cassette recorder or performing before your video camera. One technique is to have someone who knows nothing about your subject ask you questions. This simulates most interviews, and it will help you practice responding to unexpected questions.

Practice can be as easy and fun as listening to, or watching, talk shows. On television, watch how successful guests interact with the host and audience.Try watching the show on which you are scheduled to appear, with the sound off to focus your attention on the guests. How do they sit? What do they wear? What are the seating arrangements and backgrounds? What are the predominant camera angles? Incorporate what you see into your own performance.

Turn the sound back on and listen to the host. How are questions asked? How does he or she stimulate audience participation? What is the pace of the show? On radio, listen to the interaction between guests and host and between guests and callers. What makes one show better than others? How are stories woven into the author's answers? Does the guest answer the host's questions directly or follow his or her own agenda? The important point is to do something every day to improve your media skills.

Brian Jud is host of the television show, The Book Authority, a media coach and author of the media-training video program, You're On The Air. Brian also hosts Book Central Station where you can find rated lists of suppliers to help you write, publish and market your books. For a free trial, go to

Contact Brian at P. O. Box 715,Avon, CT 06001; (800) 562-4357; or go to Need Help Marketing Your Book? Get free book-marketing tips every other week in Brian Jud's Book Marketing Matters e-newsletter. Go to: to sign up!

Reprinted from 'PR/PR Pulse,' a free e-zine featuring tips and techniques for gaining publicity. To receive this e-zine, please send an email to with 'Add Me' in the subject line.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Every Salon Needs a Back-up Plan

When the Lights Go Out

Winter snowstorms and the heat of summer have a few things in common. One thing is the potential for power outages. I was reminded of this recently. A seemingly small snowfall left the salon without power and phones.

Fortunately, we’ve done this drill before—after a hurricane. The lessons we learned then proved helpful this time around. We fired up the generator and had all the salon calls transferred to a cell phone. Disposable cell phones allowed us to make outgoing calls without tying up the incoming line. The thing we could have done better was our backup plans for Internet service. Tethering the cell phone to a computer turned out not as reliable as we had hoped. An aircard from our local wireless carrier is now our plan C.

When you operate a salon, things will happen. Sometimes they are little and other times, well, they can shut you down completely. The idea is to control the little things and have backup plans in place.

If you depend on certain utilities, what would happen if they ceased to work properly? What’s the worst-case scenario and what would you do?

If the power goes out- Consider installing a generator for backup power.

If the phones go out- Keep a salon cell phone and a couple disposable cell phones for emergencies. Make sure you have cell phone numbers for clients and staff members.

If the water is shut down- Keep emergency bottled water on hand to get you through the clients you have and to flush toilets.

If the gas is shut off- Have an alternate means to heat the salon.
If the Internet service is out- Aircards and tethering can be done through your wireless company.

The difference between staying in business and losing out on income may boil down to how prepared your salon is. What’s your backup plan? And your backup plan for the backup plan?


I occasionally do product reviews. If you would like to be considered, you may send a sample to: Erin Snyder Dixon, PO Box 1189, Newport News, VA 23601. We do not receive any funding for reviews. If you would like to pass along a discount code, we will consider including it in the review. We don not guarantee that we will review a product or the time-frame in which we decide to do so. It is helpful if background info is included that can be included in the review. We review products (products, books, CDs, tools, etc.) that are related to health and beauty, or the written word.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pam Lontos of PR/PR on Creating Articles for Publicity

Pam Lontos Column: Writing That Sells!

Q&A on Creating Articles for Publicity

Q. Will writing articles help bring in new clients or sell more products?

Yes, articles are a great way to get information to consumers about a product, book, service or company. However, you have to write the "right"kind of articles - those that are not self-promotional but instead focus on how-to tips for the readers. These will help you establish more credibility and reach a targeted audience. Articles help because you can target magazines from your existing customer base, and also reach new markets with different magazines.

Q. What is the best way to decide what to write about? Do you have any tips on great article ideas? What is a bad article?

The best way to write is to write about what you know. If you are an expert on etiquette, write advice about that. If your focus is on regional cooking,write articles on that. If you know the best way to climb the corporate ladder, then by all means, share your advice. The only bad articles are the ones that provide no "real" content or fail to provide the readers with interesting, how-to tips. Bad articles are self-promotional; after all, no one wants to hear about how great you are or how great your product is.Readers DO want to know how you can help solve their problems or how your product can resolve their issues.

Q. What market would be best for your article? How do you decide who to target?

Well, it depends on what you are trying to promote and who would be interested in your product or service. If you are an etiquette expert who helps executives or business professionals polish their manners, you should target business publications. If you are an etiquette expert with a program for teaching children, you probably want to reach mothers with children. For that, you would target your article towards women's and parenting magazines.

Q. Which editors should you target within those markets and how do you get in touch with them?

Read up on the magazines in your target market. If you want women's magazines, stop by the library or newsstand and pick up some of the top publications. Get familiar with their writing style and how frequently they publish articles. There is usually a masthead in each magazine that features the editors' information. Of course, you can also find this information online, as most magazines have their own websites. You may want to see what stories they plan to work on, too, so try to find their editorial calendar.

Q. Is it smart to pitch your idea in a query letter? Or should you write the full article and send it in?

It depends on how much time you have! There are many books out there that talk about what to include in a query letter. Having some solid idea or a written outline may help you get your article into the publication you desire. Not everyone has the time to write a complete article without knowing if or when the publication will use it.

Q. I don't feel like my writing is as strong as it could be. Would I be better off hiring a professional writer?

If you're a great writer and you know how to write in a "magazine style"then you should write the article. If you don't have the time, energy or knowledge to write like a professional, consider hiring a ghostwriter. This ghostwriter can be used to help you write or edit the articles. Some ghostwriters charge by the hour; others charge per word. Ask your friends and colleagues for references, if they have any, or check out the Internet for ghostwriters.

Q. What are some tips for writing great articles?

Know your audience when you write, and provide them with helpful tips and insightful information. Many topics have been written about, but think of how you can update that topic or add a unique perspective. Provide your readers with something that they can take away, whether it is knowledge about their industry, tips on how to do something better or insights on a unique product or book. Articles with more 'meat' and how-to tips are the ones that will bring you more business.

Pam Lontos is the president of PR/PR, a public relations firm that specializes in professional speakers, authors and experts. An author,speaker and former VP of Disney's Shamrock Broadcasting, Pam knows the ropes of getting you good publicity and how to use it to boost your bookings or book sales. Call for a free consultation: 407-299-6128 or

Reprinted from 'PR/PR Pulse,' a free e-zine featuring tips and techniques for gaining publicity. To receive this e-zine, please send an email with 'Add Me' in the subject line.

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