Listicles Not So Much

With modern technology and the availability of the internet, the way we seek, receive and distribute publicity has changed, or has it?

In the past decade, the term Tip Sheet was used as a news release that offered tips or advice in a bulleted or numbered format. It was one of the most useful tactics for generating publicity. Tip Sheets were used to generate short column notes in newspapers and magazines.

Tip Sheets were also crafted by book publicist to capture the attention of reporters and editors, to inspire them to write a feature article about a new book.

A Tip Sheet was created by placing tips and advice in a numbered or bulleted format. You would start the headlines off with a phrase such as “9 Common Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make When Approaching The Media.”

Once the headline was created, two paragraphs were written about the topic. The first paragraph would explain why the tips were necessary or it would be formatted in a way that the tips would solve a problem.The second paragraph would identify an expert source and establish the subjects credentials. The last sentence of the second paragraph would lead into your Tips as such – “Here are 9 common mistakes that entrepreneurs often make when approaching the media:

The Tips were then listed with bullet points or numbers, making sure that the information provided ‘how to’ advice, or reasons to avoid something. The writer made sure strong verbs were used, and that the Tips were written in an authoritative writing voice. The reason the Tips were listed in this format was to give the editors the ability to scan through content quickly to assure that the information would be useful to their readers.

After the last Tip, a small paragraph would be written that brought the whole Tip Sheet together.

If you are a blogger, I am sure this method sounds very familiar to you. However, the term that is commonly used today is Listicles. While the name has changed, the reasons why this method is still around remains the same. It makes an article easy to scan through for editors and allows the readers to take quick action on the advice given.

There has been a few tweaks to the modern day version to meet the changes of how we communicate in the media and publicity world today. Quotes are now often used, and link backs are created within the bullet points or numbered Tips to link back to the notable sources. Other than the few minor changes– Yesterday’s Tip Sheets are Today’s Listicles.

I hope you enjoyed a little Old School goes New School Publicity history lesson!

If you are trying to think of new ways to get publicity for your book, remember there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes taking something that already exists and putting your own unique twist on it, can change the way we all communicate and do things. What old new ways are you getting publicity for your book today? We wanna know!


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