Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Telling the Rest of the World: Publicizing the Challenge

"WATCH YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER^^" - NAR...Image via Wikipedia
       Li from Flash Fiction requested that we address the subject of getting publicity for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  As an author, Li recognizes that participating in an event such as the April Challenge can add something extra to her writing resume and even more so when people know what the A to Z Challenge is.  How do we go about getting the word out?

       Many of you have already been publicizing the Challenge on your blogs and that is something that is greatly appreciated.  It because of the bloggers like you that the list grows with new participants.  Don't stop promoting the Challenge to other bloggers.  Let's get as many participants as we can.

       But what about the bloggers who aren't part of the community in which we blog?  There are millions of bloggers out there and most of them don't know about the A to Z Challenge.  And how about those who don't have blogs (or at least not yet) who just enjoy reading things on line?   How do we tell those people about the A to Z Challenge?

        One way is getting the word out through the media.    There are many outlets out there through which you can spread the news about A to Z:   newspapers, newsletters, magazines, radio, television, and so on.  Why would we want to do this?  My answer is to be a part of something notable.

        Many of you blog in order to promote yourself or some product that you represent, such as your books or other creations.   When you are attached to something big you gain additional recognition for what you are doing outside the Challenge.  Even if you aren't promoting anything in particular it's still fun to have the bragging rights of being part of something that others have heard about.  If an event or movement that you are a part of "makes the news", you are a part of something noteworthy and you can use that to your advantage.

       In the interest of keeping this post short, I'm going to quickly offer some ways you can help spread the word about A to Z in a bigger way than just on your blogs.

       Here are some things you might try:
        1)    Contact someone you know who has media ties.  Perhaps you know someone who works for a newspaper or radio station, publishes a local newsletter, or is affiliated with an online news distributor.   Let them know about the Challenge.  Be excited about it and ask them if they can help by featuring it in the resource they work with.   Offer to write the story for them.

       2)   Ask someone who knows someone.  Maybe you're part of a committee or have kids on a sports team.  Find out who submits news releases to media outlets and ask them if they can help you make contact.  Or there might be a neighbor or relative who has contacts that can help.  Check around. Be creative.
        3)   Keep your eyes and ears open.  Your local newspaper probably offers a forum for making announcements--add your A to Z announcement for local bloggers to see.  Put up notices on public bulletin boards at libraries, student centers, and other similar places.  Find any opportunity you can to tell others about the A to Z Challenge.  Last year my daughter in New Jersey called me in Los Angeles to tell me about a radio talk show where the topic was blogging.  I got on the phone and before I knew it I was on the radio talking about the Challenge.  Within an hour of that appearance I received several emails about the Challenge from people who had heard me and we saw a spike in sign-ups.
       4)   Be a publicity hound.   Some of you may find self-promoting to be a distasteful activity.  Do it vicariously by promoting the Challenge.  You can drop your name in as a participant and still gain some recognition for yourself.  Get your blog address published and you might get some visitors you might not have otherwise had.  For those of you with product, you may gain new customers.   Self-promo is not a dirty word--it's a necessary part of building your platform.

       These are a few ideas that you can try, but it doesn't end there by any means.  Use your imagination to come up with ways of getting the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge more widely known.  Then tell us about your experiences and send us your links.   We'll tell your story here.

        Last year I offered a series about getting publicity.  This information is not only useful for getting A to Z publicity, but also for promoting your own interests.  Here are the links from last year that you might want to read for more information:

        Here are a couple examples of good press stories:

From Alana at Writercize:    Benefits of Blogging Challenges

Nicki Elson at Not So Deep Thoughts had this one from last year:  

Author Invites Local Bloggers to Join International Blogging Event

             Try it and let us know about your results.  Have you used press releases to promote yourself or something you were involved with?  What are some other ways you can suggest publicizing A to Z beyond the blogs?



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Great ideas Lee, we're well into February now so time is marching on.

By the way have you recieved my emails about LA?


Matthew MacNish said...

We should all write to our local papers.

Anonymous said...

I'm about to enter the Publicity Hound stage. This ought to be fun. And challenging. But opportunities galore are out there. Time to move forward and start talking to people.

Marta Szemik said...

Those are some great links and suggestions Lee. Thanks!

Jeremy [Retro] said...

that is some great advice... it might become a bigger monster, than it is now... i am afraid.

Tracy Jo said...

This morning I felt like I was spinning my wheels and this post just got my creative juices flowing. Great ideas! Thank you!

Tina said...

Don't be afraid, Retro. Be VERY afraid ;-)
On a more serious note, joining this gig has re-energized me and uncorked my brain and ideas for posts are just popping out of my head like I'm making popcorn and didn't put the lid on in time. I'd been stuck a good, long, while feeling like I had nothing to say. Now all yall's are going to be wishing I'd just shut up already...

Blogging from A to Z Challenge Blog

Tina @ Life is Good

Co-Host of the April 2012 Blogging from A to Z Challenge


Anonymous said...

Tweet it like crazy, that's my advice. I get more people coming to my blog from Twitter than anywhere else.

Arlee Bird said...

We try to get the mind machine working here at A to Z. Use the resources you know whether it be social media, traditional media, or just calling friends on the phone. Drop subtle hints or get massive--word can be spread in many ways. No fears of making the Challenge too big. The Challenge will take care of itself for the most part. Our mission should be to be a part of something big to give each of our efforts more prestige and credibility no matter what your blogging mission is.


Unknown said...

I've been talking about the challenge in my writing group.

And of course Tweeting my head off about it.

These are great tips, Lee, and Tina, thanks so much for the signature you're using, its awesome!!

Susan Kane said...

Wonderful ideas. Now to implement them!

MISH said...

Phew... the challenge is really gaining momentum and we still have approximately 6 weeks left...
I wonder what the final number will be...

Jamie Gibbs said...

I've never been that great at promotion, self or otherwise. Shall take a look at the tips you've linked to :)

Shannon Lawrence said...

Great ideas for publicizing the event, and ones I hadn't thought of, thanks!

Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z