Tuesday, October 16, 2018

#28 The Secrets of a Blitzkrieg PR/Publicity Campaign

ISSUE #28 – Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Posted by Denny Hatch

The Secrets of a Blitzkrieg PR/Publicity Campaign

How to Achieve Instant Exposure for Your
 Book, Product, Service—or Anything Else
Click Here to Meet Marji Ross

 Shown here is one of the savviest marketers in the $123 billion book publishing industry.

Half the books Marji publishes reach The New York Times Best-Seller List. No other publisher comes close to that percentage.

If you are going to launch a book, know that nobody does it better than Marji Ross.

About Regnery Publishing
The company founded in 1947 by Henry Regnery has become the beating heart of Conservative book publishing in the U.S. It is renowned for its a take-no-prisoners attitude and record of New York Times best sellers to die for.

Regnery has always thrived on controversy and hype that grabbed headlines and sometimes changed history.

A prime example: “Unfit for Command”—by the notorious Swift Boaters—an exposé that very likely cost John Kerry the presidency in 2004.

A number of years ago Marji Ross shared her secrets at a New York City Book Expo. Her session was worth the price of admission to the conference.

Among the blue-ribbon roster of recent titles

More to the point, Marji’s PR/Publicity wizardry directly applies to launching any product, service or event—consumer, non-profit or B2B.

Marji Ross describes what she does as Blitzkrieg PR.

an intense military campaign
intended to bring about a swift victory—
named for Adolf Hitler’s “Lightning War” of
the late 1930s when the Nazi armies, tanks,
planes, ships took the world by surprise by
suddenly ganging up to destroy much Europe.

The object is to have everything in your PR arsenal to hit at once. Blitzkrieg PR is reminiscent of the invasion of Northern France, June 6, 1944.

With Operation Overlord, two years of planning came down to 24 hours of action on five beaches where 6,939 allied vessels delivered 156,000 soldiers and 200,000 vehicles with the help of 9,500 aircraft delivering 7,616 tons of bombs.

Suffice it to say Operation Overlord did not escape the Nazis’ notice.


STEP 1. Involve everyone at the outset
In most publishing houses, the editor works alone with the author. When the book is ready for production, it is then passed on to the designers. Thereafter it goes to the marketing, publicity and sales departments to work their alchemy.

At Regnery, the entire organization is involved from the moment a title is accepted for publication.

STEP 2. The author interview
Before a book is accepted, the author is invited to a meeting to sell the editorial, marketing and sales people on the project. The author must be:
—A crusader
—On a mission to make news
—Revealing something new
—Impressive to the people sitting around the table

The first question: “Who will this book be for? Who will buy it?”

If the author replies, “This book is for everybody,” it’s the kiss of death.

“No book is for everyone,” Marji Ross will snap. It is imperative to know precisely whom the book is for, because that affects every facet of the product: cover, chapter headings, the type and the voice, as well as where and especially how to publicize and sell it.

If the author—who is the main character in this drama—comes across as wishy-washy and weak, any publisher would be nuts to go ahead with the project.

STEP 3: Determine the USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
Regnery does not publish books.

Its authors make news. The book is the vehicle to carry this news.

For example, A Regnery press release never has a headline that says, “So-and-so wrote a book.”

The mental image of a book is a big, clunky thing made up of paper with lots of words on pages. Reading a book is work.

Instead the Unique Selling Proposition is:
• News about to be made.

• Here’s an opportunity for influencers to get in on a private preview.

• The book is incidental to the author and news about to be made.

The Main Spokesperson
The author is the main salesperson.

With the exception of talk-show hosts such as Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson—or a practiced politician such as Newt Gingrich—nearly all authors (as well as CEOs, inventors, entrepreneurs and company founders) must be coached before media appearances.

STEP 4. The Murder Board
Here’s the drill. Bring the writer into the office to face a “Murder Board”—a panel of merciless questioners who hit the author with tough, nasty questions. A grilling by the murder board will keep the author from stumbling and flubbing answers when live on the publicity tour. It may take several Murder Board sessions to get the author up to speed.

STEP 5: Wholesale Phase
Here’s where you create a detailed PR, publicity and sales plan.

The campaign objective is to reach those movers and shakers who will give you coverage in print, broadcast and digital media. These are the media columnists, industry insiders, TV-radio-online hosts, bloggers, commentators, retail store buyers, merchandise managers and opinion changers whom you convince that what you are promoting is news that is worth serious attention.

• In the case of launching a book, this entire PR effort is the lead-up to the day of publication (“PubDate”) and the two weeks that follow.

• Printed books must be at retail sales venues so they can be physically pawed over by in-store customers and prospects, e.g., Barnes & Noble, Costco, etc. During this phase, the actual books must be embargoed—kept secret from the public until release on the PubDate. But they must be in situ and on display on the PubDate.

• At the same time, Internet venues must be ready on the PubDate with a navigable web page and a foolproof ordering and payment system—so simple an idiot can understand it.

• Plus, of course, arrangements must be in place for physical shipments of individual books to get out the door of warehouses within hours via FedEx or Overnight Post.

During the Wholesale Phase
Press releases need to be written.

Media names and addresses must be assembled and divided into two groups:

   Premier Influencers to Receive Actual Advance Copies (plus a press release and short personalized note) from the publisher.

Secondary Influencers to Receive Press Releases Only

Eblasts also must be written and ready to go at the click of “SEND.”

Regnery has the e-mail addresses of 800,000 Conservative readers. Does the author have a list of contacts and buyers of prior titles? If so, it should be combined with the Regnery file and readied for an eblast to be sent on the PubDate.

Author appearances must be booked. This means contacting the important influencers. This requires a phone call followed by sending a review copy of the book with press release and personal note. Plus follow-up phone calls to confirm the appearance.

Sidebar: Of course review copies must go out to key book
reviewers. Alas, book review sections are the least-read pages of
newspapers and magazines. Book reviewers are generally paid bupkis and make most of their money selling their review copies to second-hand bookstores (e.g. The Strand, 828 Broadway, New York).

In addition, an author featured on the network morning shows—Today, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning—with many times the viewership of cable news—will result in so-so sales. The giggly network morning show feel-good hosts simply do not grill guests and rivet audiences with the same fierce urgency as cable TV news anchors and conservative talk-radio hosts.

Get advance copies plus press releases into the hands of relevant bloggers, columnists, podcasters etc.

IMPORTANT! Secrecy must be emphasized during this Wholesale Phase. All review copies and press releases should be stamped: "EMBARGOED UNTIL [PUBDATE]."

Secrecy Is Sexy! Yes, these are important people you are reaching. But “EMBARGOED” is flattering. It says, “YOU ARE SPECIAL! DON’T BE A SPOILER!” (Serial leakers will leak, of course. This gives them power, making them feel more important.)

The entire project and the author are kept under wraps for a month during the wholesale phase before launch.

• No publicity.

• Advance copies are now in the hands of influencers, but embargoed along with all discussion until the publication date. This dark month gives media royalty time to read the book and write their reviews, columns, commentaries and blogs.

Note: spending time and money publicizing anything when it is not available for purchase is an absolute, total waste.

STEP 7.  PubDate! The one-week Blitzkrieg attack!
The object is to pile on as much action, publicity, buzz and sales in the first week as possible. This is the convergence of months of planning dedicated to turning the book into a bestseller instantly.

On the PubDate, network, cable and local TV will explode with the story, along with the blogosphere, Social Media, reviews, commentary, columns and news stories.

Regnery authors do 10-to-15 TV and radio interviews every day the first week. These are not five-minute quickies. Shoot for 10 to 20 minutes or more on every relevant network and cable news show—Fox, CNN and MSNBC day and night—as well as on network and local TV news and radio shows.

Book reviews, Op-ed columns and commentaries will be published on the PubDate week window everywhere.

The 800,000 e-mail blast is unleashed on the PubDate with crackling prose, breaking news and peppered throughout with hyperlinks to the title on Amazon.com and local booksellers.

• In short, every element of the campaign comes together at this time.

It is essential to continuously monitor results. 

• Record all TV and radio appearances and create transcripts so all statements by the author and interviewers are in your arsenal and ready to be sent off to sell.

STEP 8.  Follow-up "Blurb Campaigns"
• Create one or more “Blurb Campaigns”—new press releases and 800,000 new e-mails stuffed with news-making short, pithy paragraphs from author appearances and media discussions and transcripts about the book, the author and the news that has been created.

• Armed with the excitement and verbal ammunition from this bestsellerdom, re-book the author for more appearances.

• Work to help the author become a regular “guest commentator” and panelist on cable news shows where the introduction will include showing copy of the bestselling book as part of the author’s CV.

Takeaways to Consider
• The above campaign is how a leading book publisher hypes a product launch.

• In the case of a non-book product or service—consumer, non-profit or B2B,—adapt these techniques to your market.

• The 8 Steps of a PR Blitzkrieg Campaign:

— STEP 1. Involve everyone at the outset.

— STEP 2. Interview the author/spokesperson.

— STEP 3: Determine the USP (Unique Selling Proposition).

    STEP 4. The Murder Board.

     STEP 5: Wholesale Phase.

— STEP 6: Go Completely Dark for one month

— STEP 7.  Pub-Date/D-Day is the start of the one-week Blitzkrieg

— STEP 8. The Follow-up "Blurb Campaign and author re-bookings.


Word Count: 1796

At age 15, Denny Hatch—as a lowly apprentice—
wrote his first news release for a Connecticut
summer theater. To his astonishment it ran
verbatim in The Middletown Press. He was
instantly hooked on writing After a two-year
stint in the U.S. Army (1958-60), Denny
had nine jobs in his first 12 years in business.
He was fired from five of them and went on to
save two businesses and start three others.
One of his businesses—WHO’S MAILING WHAT!
newsletter and archive service founded in 1984—
revolutionized the science of how to measure the
success of competitors’ direct mail. In the past 55
years he has been a book club director, magazine
publisher, advertising copywriter/designer, editor,
journalist and marketing consultant. He is the author
of four published novels and seven books on business
and marketing. Denny is delighted to be reached at
Note to Readers:  
May I send you an alert when each new blog is posted? If so, kindly give me the okay by sending your First Name, Last Name and e-mail to dennyhatch@yahoo.com. I guarantee your personal information will not be shared with anyone at any time for any reason. I look forward to being in touch!

Invitation to Marketers and Direct Marketers: Guest blog posts are welcome. 
If you have a marketing story to tell, case history, concept to propose or a memoir, give a shout. I’ll get right back to you. I am: dennyhatch@yahoo.com

You Are Invited to Join the Discussion!



  1. Wow, Denny…

    Your second best post ever!

    Thanks for lifting the curtain on this brilliant woman and her amazing PR campaign.

    OK, in case you (and your readers and friends) were were wondering = best post ever: your expose of a pump and dump penny stock scheme. Brilliant journalistic research and writing.

    Thanks for all! Jeffrey Dobkin

    1. Hey, Jeffrey! Thanks for your kind words. Will resurrect the Pump-'n'-Dump Scheme and bring it anew. Do keep in touch!

  2. Hi Denny: I always enjoy your articles and I agree with Jeffrey - this is one of your best!

    I'm the author of 14 books including The Book of AFFORMATIONS® and The Secret Code of Success.

    So my question is, what are the best strategies to keep the PR campaign going after the book is published?

  3. MEGA GAME นำไปเล่นเกมได้ทุกๆ เกมในเวลานี้ทางค่ายของเรานั้นจะมาจัดโปรโมชั่นแสนพิเศษให้กับผู้ที่เข้ามาเล่นทุกท่าน เครดิตฟรี 100 เพียงเท่านี้