A great publicist is hard to come by these days. There are so many publicity firms out there which claim to guarantee the success of their clients and charge a hefty dollar for it, only to leave the client feeling neglected, disappointed and financially depleted. So how do we distinguish between a mediocre publicist and one who is first-rate?
Your publicist should typically begin by assessing your content in order to design a customized publicity campaign which suits your needs and public. This includes assessing the size of the campaign and publicity channels needed to reach the targeted audience, creating a press release to send out via email, compiling a list of press contacts to which they will pitch the material, and finally, evaluating the cost of the entire endeavor. The publicist needs to be transparent with you. By that I mean, they must let you know on a day to day basis exactly what is being done.
Choose someone who you see is genuinely passionate about your project. If they’re not they won’t have the drive to promote your material, especially when they may not see immediate results from your campaign. Take the example of “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” which got rejected 33 consecutive times from publishing houses. Health Communications took a chance on the now multi-million dollar series because they believed in their project. The rest, as you know, is history. A publicist who is passionate about your work will ensure they exhaust all possible avenues to promote your book. And, make sure the publicist wants to read through your book so they know exactly what it is they are talking about.
In all aspects of life, you always want to work with someone honest. Honesty doesn’t mean being brutal and stepping on a client’s toes --it means being honest in business dealings and having the courage to tell the client that they can only go so far with the project. An honest publicist will want to ensure you will benefit from their service to the maximum ability.
It’s advisable to choose a publicist who has a past track record of successful publicity campaigns and a well-developed network of contacts.
Finally, an exceptional publicist will offer you financial flexibility in terms of repaying the service fee you owe them. Publicity costs money because it’s a big, time consuming job, so if it’s too financially burdensome for you then try to find someone who can arrange a feasible payment plan. The expense will pay off in the long haul by hiring a publicist who knows what they are doing.
Sherri Rosen's first client's book was on The New York Times Bestseller's List for 63 weeks. She has had her own business in NYC for 17 years giving a powerful voice to authors who are doing good things in the world. She just published her third Amazon-award winning book, "Publicity From The Trenches: For Published And Self Published Authors".