Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Public Relations 101 for Writers

In this day and age of social media, it is easy to think we are doing everything we can to communicate with our readers. I have a daughter who is not on Facebook. She is always reminding me that just because I post something in one context, it does not mean I am reaching everyone. She’s right.

I recently came across some old notes from when I served on the public relations committee for the elementary building where I taught. These notes and handouts reminded me that we have many more opportunities than we utilize to share our publications with others.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself (updated and tweaked for writers):

In the past year, which of the following have you done and how often?
·      Sent out a news release
·      Appeared on radio or television
·      Made a presentation to a book club, service club, church, etc.
·      Discussed publicity possibilities with a newspaper editor or radio/tv manager
·      Prepared a YouTube video related to your book or writing
·      Contacted local libraries and volunteered to offer a book signing event (Thank you, Katharine Grubb for that one)

And there’s more.

Any social media guru who uses Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram and everything else to market anything, tells us to observe the 80/20 rule. (There it is again…another 80/20!) Eighty percent of what we post should be about others, quotes we like, shared blogs, and so forth. Only twenty percent should be about our book or “read my stuff,” posts. Makes sense.

In my notes, my dear friend and principal of the school, Erick Cook said, “A complete PR program must both inform and involve the target group.” Okay, so it’s a little flipped.

Inform is the twenty percent.

Involve is the eighty percent.

Every author must be engaged in public relations. It is a given these days. This was a good reminder that I need to think a little beyond what I can do on my computer.

How about you? If you are a published author, what do you do to communicate? If you’re a new writer, what steps will you take to build interest in your work?


  1. oh dear! i'm sadly remiss in most of these! (do i really HAVE TO do a video???) i do however, have a (tentative) book signing at a local librry so yay for that! and following your post will look for local book clubs to venture out! thanks for a timely post, i really (really) need to focus on this more this year!!

    1. Glad to be of help! Now if I can follow my own advice I'll be in good shape as well!


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