National Publicity Summit – Should You Go?

As a publicist I get asked by clients and authors about going to the National Publicity Summit in New York. I've attended almost every Summit since Steve Harrison started it and go once or twice a year to create new media relationships, maintain old ones and of course, to pitch my clients to the media. Through the Summit, I've gotten clients booked on Fox News, PBS, CNBC, MSNBC and a number of national magazines. I represent a lot of authors. Here's the problem: authors have to do most of the promotion of their books if they want them to sell. Even if you've been picked up by one of the big publishing houses, they only do so much to get you media attention. This is the reality.

So, let's say you decide to get media attention yourself. You plan your trip to New York City, where most of the big media are headquartered. You roll into Manhattan with your strategy all laid out: "First, I'm going to try to meet with the producer of Good Morning America, and then I'm going to Fox News, and then I'm going to see the guy at Reuters. After lunch, I'm going to try to talk to the Today Show and then I'm going to stop by and see if I can talk to the producer of 60 Minutes."

Forget about it. It's not going to happen.

Reason #1 why I recommend the Summit for many people is access, one-on-one, to these media gatekeepers in a very efficient and organized event. But is it for every author? Depending on your situation, it may or may not make sense to go. I'd recommend it if you have a consumer-oriented, non-fiction topic. Does it have broad audience appeal? Can your book help the average person in their day-to-day lives? If so, then it makes sense for you to consider attending.

If you have a highly technical topic such as how computers work, or one about a historical event such as WWII, it probably doesn't make sense to go to the Publicity Summit, unless you can connect your book to current trends. (In fact, the Summit staff will probably turn down your application if they feel that the media would not be interested in the topic.) Generally, fiction, poetry and books about localized topics will not do well at the Summit. For example, a book about the best bars in Chicago would probably not be of interest to the national media who attend the Summit.

Should you go if you feel you're not ready to meet the media? Here's the dirty little secret: no-one feels ready. Don't worry about that. If you're an expert with a decent topic with a unique angle, the Summit can work for you. Go there to build relationships, yes, but also go to get feedback from the news industry professionals. I've seen people before the Summit starts coming in thinking they're heading in one direction, then after having interacted with 100 journalists and producers, leaving with all new information or direction...a better book title, the perfect pitch, new business ventures and relationships.

I'm such a fan of Steve Harrison and his National Publicity Summit that I am now an affiliate for the Summit. If you are interested in attending please check out the link in my bio or feel free to contact me personally.


R. Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm which specializes in marketing authors, doctors, lawyers, iPhone app developers and entrepreneurs. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC Nightly News, ESPN, The New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Family Circle, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Lorenz works with bestselling...

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Have a question for Scott?

Laura Madsen
2nd February 2015 2:48pm
Hi Scott, I'm known in entertainment as Laura Laforce Psychic Medium and Published Author. I am looking for is a publicist and an agent to represent me. I'm looking to bring my live show "Connections by Laura Laforce" to United States. I'm also looking to land a TV contract and to successfully bring my books to the United States. "Connections" Live has been successfully performed across Canada. The Connections Show recently taped and air 5 TV episodes at Shaw TV ... Read More

3rd February 2015 11:26pm
Hello Madsen,
Thanks for your query. I can help you in promoting your book and getting publicity for your act. But, if you need a booking agent to line up show dates that is outside my area of expertise.

If you'd like to discuss your book send an email to:
In the meantime check out my website:

Thank you.

2nd July 2016 11:15am
Hello Scott,
I am a new Author working on publishing my first non-fiction book,
titled, The Making of a Testimony!
I am interested in securing an Agent to assist in marketing and attending the 2017 National Publicity Summit in New York City.
Thank you kindly!

Scott Lorenz
6th July 2016 5:23pm
There are usually several agents who attend the event and a couple of book shepherds (people who help authors get published) The focus of the event is media however you will also receive valuable training that will help you in the promotion and marketing of your book.

Feel free to contact me by phone or email. 734-667-2090

Peter Olivo
30th September 2016 11:19am
Scott, I lost both my legs in the Vietnam war and even with all the obstacles I've done very well. I started a business and did very well, I have a BA in Counseling, but, what my biggest battle was Pain and Attitude, I've learned to beat them both and wrote a book on the subject. I have become very positive and get invited as a motivational speaker to many places. I've been thinking about doing the National publicity summit this October and wanted to know if you think it would be a ... Read More

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