Goal: Create some publicity.
Strategy: Market your way to some publicity.
Prompt: Sell yourself as news.
Okay, let’s make a few things clear first. Marketing is everything you do to deliver a product or service that people will want to buy. Marketing includes knowing what people want, designing and developing your product or service, then promoting and delivering it. Publicity is everything you do to generate public awareness about yourself, your product, or your service. In short, publicity falls under the umbrella of marketing, but they are not the same thing.
As a writer, publicity is important, because publicity is directly related to awareness. Much of what authors do to promote themselves and their work falls under the category of publicity. Most of the advice given to writers is about publicity. A lot less attention is paid to marketing, which is unfortunate.
Publicity is often seen as the difference between a best-seller and a mid-lister. Of course, reality is far more complicated than that. But, considering that relatively few in this industry that acknowledge the difference between marketing and publicity, it’s easy to understand how this illusion is created. You, my dear reader, have now been told this is an illusion: Whether or not you believe it is your problem.
Considering that publicity falls under the umbrella of marketing, it should be relatively easy to understand that marketing tools can be used to create publicity. Think about what you are offering. Think about the people who will want it. Think about what else they’re interested in. Think about how that can be tied in with you and what you’re doing. Now, think about how you can announce this connection. If you hit the right note, your announcement will spread, and that will generate publicity.
The mechanics are simple. But the mechanics of playing piano are pretty simple, too. You just press down on the keys. Unfortunately, pressing down on the keys doesn’t necessarily make music. Unless you’ve done your marketing homework, you’re not going to know what to announce to generate publicity for yourself and your work.