The Core-Message Key to Media Coverage

November 2002
by Bob Karstens

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A media interview is like gathering honey–the rewards are sweet if you can avoid the sting. A good way to get the media buzzing around your book is by crafting a core message packed with value for the audience.

Distill your ideas into a potent elixir, the very essence of what you have to say. To demonstrate credibility and arouse interest during an interview, return to this core statement again and again. Your information-overloaded audience will love you for simplifying your message. As Henry James said, “In art, economy is always beauty.”

First, stand back from your own wonderful ideas and take a look at your readers, your audience. Ask some important questions. Why should they care about what you wrote–what’s in it for them? Why is your book so important that people should buy it? How will it deepen their understanding and enrich their lives?

Now write a 20-word summary of the answers. Play with the summary until you can deliver it within 15 seconds. Try it out on your friends and neighbors. Say it two or three different ways driving in the car. Practice it out loud until it sounds perfectly spontaneous. Then sleep on it and recall it first thing in the morning. That’s your core message, your raison d’etre–thecentral idea that should underlie an entire interview. Draw a circle in the middle of a piece of paper and write your core message inside it.


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