Everyone promoting anything understands the value of media coverage and building relationships with producers and editors. As a result, most authors enjoy a significant spill-over benefit from their book publicity campaigns. The book launch opens doors with the media that otherwise might not be possible, so the goal is to make them lasting. Once you’ve been interviewed or quoted, if you’re well received, you can look forward to future calls. Then you’re on your way to becoming a trusted source on your topic of expertise. We all can think of people who frequently appear in the media and how it benefits them.

PR people and book publicists advise authors to make themselves available easily. You’ll be seen as a valuable source if you answer your cell phone and return emails quickly. Journalists are constantly working on deadlines, and waiting is often not an option. You may have less success if you allow calls to go to voicemail or have an assistant return your emails. Answering at off hours like evens or weekends earns you even more favor. When reporters are under the gun to find expert commentary, and you provide it, they will keep you in mind more often. Over time, you’ll build name recognition with their audiences.

Today it’s common to do a question-and-answer session in writing. If you’re offered the opportunity, follow the request carefully. Answer the questions thoroughly in two or three sentences that seem manageable. Try to answer clearly, and don’t veer too far off-topic. It’s fine to get your points across within the question’s parameters. When you provide readily helpful information, you’ll see yourself quoted more liberally and given future opportunities. With competition and staff cuts, most media outlets struggle to keep up. You’ll be favored if you make their jobs easier.

In addition to meeting the media’s needs, keep their audience in mind. The audience is the end consumer of what you say, and you want to be helpful and, ideally, memorable. Also, be flexible in your answers and the questions you entertain. You want to stick to your areas of expertise, but think more broadly than your book’s precise topic. You’ll also become more of a go-to source if the media can count on you to talk about various subjects related to your knowledge and expertise. In an era of the 24-hour news cycle, there are more opportunities than ever. The visibility will pay off in multiple ways.