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How To Develop Key Messages and Get A TV interview

How To Develop Key Messages

By Jackie O'Neal


One of the most effective ways for authors to promote their books is to do broadcast interviews. The reason is related to the large audiences that can be reached quickly. Radio interviews tend to run from 10- 20 minutes, whereas TV interviews are shorter, and often run less than five minutes. So to deliver the points you are eager to make, preparation is needed. Many authors work with media trainers to learn how to tighten their messages, and break their books down to easy to digest points.

 However, not everyone has the resources to hire a media trainer, or even the time to work with one, although it is a smart investment for any author.

I'd like to share what I've learned along the way, as a book publicist, and how I've trained my authors before they do an interview.

It may be somewhat challenging to apply these tips to fiction, and yet it can be done, if you take the time to figure out the expertise  you can share with an audience.

Author, Jill Lubin once said the media is obsessed with several things: love, health, and money. As simplistic as that sounds, it is nevertheless, true and can be verified by  simply reading news headlines.

When pulling together key messages, think in terms of problems your book solves for readers?  Use the ideas the media is laways keen on covering: love, health, and money.

Ask yourself, is there any theme in my book that can help the reader become sexier, richer, or healtheir? If so, you may be on to a relevent key message.

What can your book teach your audience? What will they learn that will make a positive  difference in their lives?  or their communities at large?

Spending time answering these questions will help you jump-start your key messages.  Here is an example from my own files:

I had a science-fiction writer as a client whose area of expertise was discussing benefits of using renewable energy in preventing future environmental  dilemmas like the Gulf of Mexico offshore drilling explosion, and breaking down the science of ocean energy thermal technology.

 I was able to get her featured on NBC on a Telemundo teaching viewers how to do a home energy audit. She talked about how the audience can save money by using CFL  light bulbs, the benefits of solar panels, and other ways to live green.  This was a topic she was impassioned about, and explained in a concise way.

 You can watch it here:

Try to identify topics you can speak to and see how your message can tie in to how audiences can save money, live better, or be healthier.


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Comment by Jackie O'Neal on April 22, 2011 at 5:16pm

My pleasure!

Comment by Stephen L. Brayton on April 22, 2011 at 7:10am

Thanks for the advice. I'll keep it in mind for the next book.

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