GUEST POST: 3 questions on Media and PR, and 3 fabulous answers from our “in-the-know” Author Sally Shields

This Guest Post was provided by Sally Shields, Outskirts Press Personal Marketing Assistant and published author of The Daugher-in-Law Rules and The Collaborator Rules


Q: Okay, so what is the #1 secret for getting PR? 

A: Be Timely, and have a great Hook!  Here are two examples of how I got booked by being timely:  I was able to successfully use the #1 secret to getting PR by being timely– and got 2 immediate bookings.

First I was quoted in (which is an offshoot of AOL Living) with this pitch during the primaries: 

Joe Biden’s Mother-in-Law Dies

How to Make Peace with Your Mother-in-Law, Before it’s Too Late! 

… and got booked on the nationally syndicated, The Daily Buzz with this one: 

October 26th is Mother-in-Law Day — How To Turn Your Mother-in-Law From Your Biggest Critic into Your #1 Fan in 3 Simple Steps!

I was able to get booked on Fox & Friends with this tweaked pitch: 

Barack Obama’s Mother-in-Law to Move into White House — How to Create a Lifetime of Peace With Your In-Laws!

So, try to have fun with it! You can set up a google alert with your keywords at For example, I have an alert with the keyword, “Mother in Law.” That way, I’ll be alerted to any breaking news story and can try to  creatively tailor my pitch so that I can be timely and present myself as a great source to the media! 

Q: You say that there are 2 ways to submit a media release. What are they, and to whom do you submit them? 

A: They are…

a) The Mass Media Approach in which you write one document and send it out to dozens, hundreds, even thousands of media at one time. Consists of a one page release and can be sent out through a free service such as Wireless Flash at (619) 220-8590 or  

b) The Custom Tailored Approach – in which you choose a publication or show that you want to give you publicity.  You study the kinds of things they like to cover and you send  them a personalized letter/email suggesting a particular story or show they could do around you as the expert. 

For example of the “Custom Tailored Approach,”  check out the next question and answer!!! 

Q: You say that there is a certain way to approach the media. How did you get in Star Magazine, for Example? 

A: Approach them in a fun, friendly way.  Here’s an example of what I sent to a Star Magazine editor:  

Dear Christina, 

Hi there! I absolutely LOVE your column and read the Hotsheet religiously. In fact, it is the first page I turn to when my mag arrives on Wednesday afternoon!  BTW, those Gracienne boots are to DIE for! You always pick out the BEST stuff––I am your biggest fan! (Of course, Fergie, Rachel and Kate would look good in army boots!) I wanted to suggest a cool new item for you – it’s called, The Daughter-in-Law Rules!  My vision is to inspire more harmony among mothers and daughters–in-law by teaching brides and wives the art of making friends with their husband’s mother.  This book is important for two  reasons; one, it helps  raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and two, it saves marriages. I thought that this book might be a great fit for your guide around Mother’s Day, as 55% of women surveyed have expressed a measure of tension with their future in-laws, especially during pregnancy, and after the baby arrives. I believe The Daughter-in-Law Rules will make a helpful book for moms of all ages!  Please note rule #22: Let Your Husband Be the One to Pick Out Gifts For Your MIL (Star Magazine is prominently featured) and Rules #13, 43, and 97 mention celebrities Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig, Sheryl Crow and Brad Pitt respectively. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and consideration in taking a look at my book, and I very much look forward to our continuing correspondence. 

With gratitude and appreciation,


And as a special guerrilla-marketing tactic, I attached a collage that I made, of me dreaming about my book on the Hot Sheet page of Star Magazine.

The results?…

As well, the number one thing that producers want to know, is that you’ve watched their show or read their publication. Nothing bothers them more  than an off-target pitch.

So, make sure to spend some time watching their show. Make reference to something they’ve covered, and how much you love their work. And make sure that if you’re pitching a book on dogs that do tricks, that you’re not contacting Downhill Ski Magazine! You get the idea!!!

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