So you’re fired up and ready to launch your media career…and then you see it. The giant mountain of Self-Promotion, looming ominously, standing between you and your goals. It’s ugly, it’s craggy, and it can come with a degree of altitude sickness.

Self-promotion feels icky for most of us.

Fear of self-promotion ranks on our list of worst fears right behind losing all our loved ones, tsunamis, and gas station sushi. These are all rational fears.

But while some fears are helpful (like gas station sushi) because they keep us from making harmful mistakes, other fears don’t actually serve us—instead, they let the possibility of pain eclipse our potential gains.

Take it from us: When it comes to self-promotion, you have nothing to fear but fear itself. (That’s how that quote goes, right?)

So let’s face those fears one at a time:

You’re afraid you’ll come off as selfish or arrogant.

Self-promotion doesn’t require Kanye levels of self-aggrandizement. It doesn’t require you to oversell your abilities or skill set—in fact, exaggerating or lying about yourself is a surefire way to fail at self-promotion.

Self-promotion means owning your hard work, expertise, and authority.

It requires recognition of your goal—to help as many people as possible—and putting yourself out there in order get the word out. If you want to reach and help more people, you can’t wait for them to come to you: You have to step into the spotlight and draw attention to the problems you’re solving—and how you’re solving them.

At the end of the day, self-promotion is hard work. If you stay centered by your why—helping people—it ends up being the very opposite of selfishness. You have something they need and it’s a disservice if you don’t tell them about it!

You don’t feel like an “expert.”

An expert is literally defined as, “A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.” Please note that it does not say, “A person with multiple Phd’s” or “A person who can definitively prove they are the absolute best in the world at this.”

Truth is, you know something that we don’t. You have experience and skills that we lack. You have researched and field tested solutions to my problems—and the world needs your help! Accolades and degrees are nice. But if you keep playing small out of a fear of not being big enough, you’re guaranteed to limit yourself. And you’re denying us—and the world—the help we need.

Will there be people who scoff at you? Undoubtedly. But they’re not your audience. And you do your audience a disservice when you silence yourself out of fear of criticism—or value your opposition more than your followers.

You’re afraid of failure.

Of course! The heartbreak of failure is scary, for sure. But leaving your potential untapped because of fear? That is the literal definition of failure: “A lack of success; the omission of expected or required action.” Yikes.  

Look, failure is a guarantee in media, no matter which way you slice it.

There is a learning curve for crafting a pitch, knowing whom to pitch, killing it on air, and getting booked again and again. (If you’re interested in how to do all this – hop on our waiting list for our premier training course). 

You’re bound to blow some leads, have a few slip ups, and learn a few hard lessons. That’s the price of progress. Teachers pop up everywhere. But, if you’re willing to learn and grow, those failures can become the chisel that refines the potency of your message, the specificity of your brand, and the power of your reach.

Facing your fears is, in many ways, the true marker of success. Or, as Teddy Roosevelt said (and Brene Brown reminded us),

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood…who… if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Use this moment right now as permission to talk about what you know best.  You could reach people whose lives will change forever all because you were generous enough to share your gift.

Think you’re ready to be a media star?

Take the ultimate media-readiness challenge. It’s the one thing that you absolutely, no exceptions, must be able to do in order to kill it on TV or in print.

Be able to explain what you do and why it matters—to a fifth grader.


Here’s why: Fifth graders are bright, inquisitive, and skeptical, have no context for your niche, don’t understand your jargon, and have a lot competing for their attention.

You have one minute or they’re moving on—and that’s being generous.

…Sounds a lot like your average producer.

The perfect media expert can break what they do down into terms anyone can understand. They know how to connect the dots to make the problems they solve universal. And they raise the stakes just enough to grab people’s attention, and are engaging, practical, and relatable enough to keep it.

So, can you explain what you do to a fifth grader?  Here’s a few tips.

Assume nothing

First things first, jargon is a definitive no-no: It will quickly isolate anyone outside of your field, when what you want most is to connect.

For example, “I provide customized growth solutions to private, entrepreneur-led tech companies,” sounds like you’re speaking French. Or Dothraki. It’s total nonsense.

“I help young but established tech companies find the money they need to hit their next, big growth goal—like launching and developing a new product.”

Now we get it!

Connect what you do to what they know

Remember when your parents had to give you the birds and bees talk? Your job is to give us the birds and bees of your topic—using what we’ve probably seen or experienced to explain a complicated, totally foreign, and abstract concept—without making it awkward or uncomfortable (looking at you, Mom). And much like the perfect birds and bees talk, you should:

    • Use clear metaphors and examples to connect what you do to something I know. How does the problem you solve manifest itself in smaller ways in everyone’s life? Where might I have seen it play out before? Relate the problem you solve to something they’ve encountered, even metaphorically, in order to help make what you do stick.
    • Get as specific as possible. Much like “anything a bathing suit covers” creates more questions than it answers, the more specific and simple your language, the more likely your audience is to grasp it.
    • Keep it light without compromising sincerity. Injecting humor and levity can make complicated, dense, or heavy subjects more accessible. But keeping it light is not the same thing as making light of your subject: We want your sincerity, high stakes, and vulnerability—just with a dash of humor to put us at ease.

Enthusiasm is contagious

Tell someone you want to talk about the wonders of science, and most people start counting sheep. But Bill Nye? There’s an entire generation of kids-turned-adults who would follow that guy into the jaws of the very polar bears he’s trying to save from global warming.

Neil Degrasse Tyson? Even Key and Peele wrote sketches about him! Think about that: A sketch comedy show lampooned a physicist and were confident everyone would know who he was. And we did!
Why? Bill Nye and Tyson are passionate. Their enthusiasm and love for what they do is so infectious, it makes people care. They’re not even on a mission to berate their audience into caring, or even to convince them why they should care. They just dial the complexity of what they do down to a 1 and the passion with which they share it up to a 10 (maybe an 11). And that makes us care!

Cass McCrory was waiting in line at Wegmans with a cart teeming with groceries, when the March issue of Oprah magazine caught her eye. She felt her pulse quicken.

She had been interviewed a few months ago for an article, but hadn’t heard back from the editor. There was only one way to find out if she’d made it in.

She tried to be super casual as she pulled a copy off the rack and started flipping through.

And then—there it was! Her name, her words, her business right there, in black and white.

That’s when the tears came. When she stepped up to the register she held out the page for the cashier to see and said, through happy tears, “See that? That’s me! I’m Cass McCrory. I’m in Oprah!”

How did it happen? At our urging, Cass responded to a query from Farnoosh Torabi (author and host of the So Money podcast and her own CNBC primetime show) who was looking for experts with unique insights for her finance column in O Magazine.  We knew that Cass, founder of The Subtraction Project, who joined our Lights Camera Expert course in 2016, had a unique take on decluttering that would be a perfect fit for Farnoosh’s spring cleaning article.

Farnoosh interviewed her in November. And then—as it always happens—the waiting game began.

Months later, the surprise gift blind-sided Cass at the grocery store. We were, of course, beaming with pride for her even when she texted us this:

“You guys, I’m crying in Wegmans crying!”

As anyone who’s experienced it knows, that moment—seeing your name in print for the first time—is euphoric. It’s pride and bliss and Judd Nelson pumping his fist in the air at the end of the Breakfast Club.

It’s also attainable—if, like Cass, you know how to pitch, close, and deliver.

Cass has since seen a bump in her Instagram following and hits on The Subtraction Project.

But the very best part? Cass was able to leverage this article to grab more spots in the media.

She sent out emails with fresh pitches to local TV stations and publications—and now, they were all clamoring to have her as a guest!

She sent pitches to the local CBS station about more ways to subtract things you don’t need in your life. Then she fired off another to the Rochester Business Journal about how she’s helping business owners with courses—and how that’s streamlined into networking and opportunities.

She reached out to The Rock Girl Gang (the cool girl’s lunch table) and they’re going to do a feature on Subtraction Project. She put herself out there, with Oprah by her side—and everyone said yes.

That is our goal for you. We want you to have your Wegmans moment. And then, we want you to leverage that moment to get booked again and again. So that when people think of your field, they think of your face, your brand, and your business.

When TV producers are looking for guests, what they want is a recognized expert. Someone who knows her stuff and can deliver information in a way that their viewers can digest.

But before you even step foot on a TV set or talk to a magazine editor you have to have a special sparkle that will make a producer or editor pick you.

You need to stand out amongst all the other professional organizers, business coaches, fitness trainers and lawyers, etc.

Our friend Dorie Clark is giving away her FREE 42 page self-assessment workbook to help you trigger what it is you want to be known for.

She spent two years interviewing 50 of the world’s top experts – including David Allen, Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, Seth Godin, and more – to understand how they developed powerful ideas & got recognized for them.

Dorie started out as a presidential campaign spokeswoman. She has since started her own business as a marketing strategy consultant and professional speaker.  Recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press, Fortune, and Inc. magazine, she’s also written two books, Reinventing You and her most recent book, Stand Out, which was named the #1 Leadership Book of 2015 by Inc. magazine.

Oh and might we add – she’s also a stand-up comedian like our own Terri Trespicio.

Click here to download Dorie’s workbook. We know you’re going to love it.

Paula Rizzo is the co-creator of Lights Camera Expert, a six-week program that teaches experts, authors and entrepreneurs how to get, and keep, media attention. She’s also the author of Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed and founder of

You know that getting the attention of a producer or editor is key to raising the profile of your message and your brand.

It’s just as important, however, to hold your own in front of a crowd. The ability to speak on camera and on stage are absolutely linked; they just require different applications of the same skill. And the better you get at one, the better you get at the other.

In his (fantastic) book, The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, TED curator Chris Anderson says that as a “leader—or as an advocate—public speaking is the key to unlocking empathy, stirring excitement, sharing knowledge and insights, and promoting a shared dream.”

Oratory, as transformative as it can be, is not magic. You can learn the skills for being a better presenter on TV and elsewhere—and public speaking is a great way to flex that muscle often.

Here’s what great speakers have in common with go-to media experts.

  1. They know why they’re there—and why you’re there.
    A great speaker, like a go-to media pro, is attuned to both. The way you think about the different audiences on television or in magazines is precisely how you should think about event attendees. Know exactly why they’re there.

    I always ask the event organizer not just what the event is for (“women’s networking” or “stress relief for our employees”), but literally why they are there. In the room. Meaning: did they pay $200 a plate to attend, or did the boss say, “You have to go to this.” When you know this, you can shape your talk and expertise to serve that need first.
  2. They work hard to keep your attention.
    Believe it or not, I think public speaking can make presenters lazy—because they have a captive audience who claps when they’re done (which they do no matter what they think). The strongest, most effective speakers treat that audience the way they would a media viewer, whose finger is poised to change channels in a heartbeat.

    Realize that just because your audience is sitting there doesn’t mean they’re “there.” The best speakers work hard to keep you engaged—by being entertaining, piquing your curiosity, making you laugh, inviting you to participate.

    You have seen speakers fail to do this (when they take the stage, you start scrolling through your email). Make it your goal not just to dispense information to your audience, but realize that everyone is a half second away from tuning out. Everything you choose to say should connect with a reason why they should care.
  3. They stick to the point.
    In media, you’ve got seconds, not minutes. And with such a tight window in which to deliver key talking points on air, you know you’ve got to stay on topic.

    Same goes for speaking. Thirty minutes flies, too (trust me on that). Don’t assume you can squeeze all you’ve got into a 30-minute sized bag. Instead, think of every talk as a carry-on suitcase: You only have enough space to pack what they can take with them that day. You can’t pack everything, and shouldn’t try.

    You should be able to make a case for why you’re including every point, every paragraph (as I do when I’m packing three pairs of shoes for a weekend trip). Beware the temptation to go on and on because they’re sitting there. Be sure that your goal first and foremost is to solve the problem you’re there to solve—and do it efficiently.

(Want to be a better speaker? Have dreams of giving a TEDx talk? Register for my FREE online training, “5 Steps to a Killer TEDx Talk—Even If You Don’t Have a Topic.” It’s happening live this Wednesday, February 1st and Thursday, February 2nd 2017. Hold your seat!)


Terri Trespicio is the co-creator of Lights Camera Expert, a six-week program that teaches experts, authors, entrepreneurs how to get, and keep, media attention. Visit her at


Imagine having about 3 seconds to decide to keep or toss an email. Hundreds of emails. That’s what a typical day is like for a producer or editor. We get so many emails into our inbox that it’s impossible to look at them all. So they have to really catch our attention and make us want to find out more.

There are some that pop up over and over again and make us cringe. Don’t make the mistake of sending one of these subject lines to a journalist – she will likely hit delete immediately.

Bad Subject Line #1: What stories are you working on?

Ugh this is a common mistake. You think you’re being inquisitive and conversational but instead you are inadvertently rubbing a producer the wrong way with this subject line. Here’s why — it makes us do all the work!  We have to stop, think about it and write you back. Plus, we might not even know who you are and definitely don’t have time to do an audit of all the stories we are working on.

Instead, make your offer. Tell me how you can help me do my job better. Is it that you are an expert in Jamaican cooking and you have a few simple recipes to share for the cold winter months? Or maybe you’re a publicist and you have several experts to share. Give up the goods!  Show me what you can do to help me lighten my load, don’t add to it.

Bad Subject Line #2: Can I pitch you?

You’ve already lost my interest. Don’t ask to pitch – because you could have wasted your one shot at getting a journalist’s attention. I have no idea what is inside this email by this subject line – it doesn’t give me one detail. So I will just pass it by.

Instead, be catchy. Lay out your topic in a compelling way. Watch some TV news shows to get this tactic down. You know right before they go to commercial how they say “Coming up after the break” and go into what’s still to come? Well those are called teases and they are meant to whet your appetite and keep you watching. Do the same with your subject line. Make me want to find out more about what you’re offering.

Bad Subject Line #3: Can I call you about this?

No, I don’t have time to talk to you. I just don’t—especially when you haven’t made it clear what you’re pitching.  So unless I know what I’m going to get from you, the answer is no.

Instead, give me a glimpse.  Show me what you as an expert can give my audience. The one question you should be answering with your pitch is “why do I care?” And that “I” is the producer or editor who is sitting in the place of her audience. So why does that audience care about what you have to say?

Bad Subject Line #4 : Anything including “breakthrough” or other over-the-top claim

While obviously something described as “breakthrough” may initially get my attention, my BS meter is highly calibrated—people are always try to dupe us this way to get media coverage. I’ll know in seconds whether you’ve got the goods. So you better be sure you do. Because fool me once…and that’s it. Make a big claim, and fail to deliver, and I will no longer take your pitches seriously.

Instead, deliver on your promise. Make sure whatever it is that you choose to send to a journalist is rock solid information. Don’t go all over the top or outlandish to get our attention if you can’t deliver. Be careful with how your frame your stories because more than just getting media exposure you want to develop real relationships with members of the media. How do you think we find our recurring guests? Those are the ones that deliver quality content over and over again and never try to trick us.

Paula Rizzo is the co-creator of Lights Camera Expert, a six-week program that teaches experts, authors, entrepreneurs how to get, and keep, media attention. She’s also the author of Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed and founder of

Excuses are sneaky things. Sure, some of them are loud and whiny.  But there are plenty of others whom you might mistake for good reasons, simply because they appear that way: They report for duty in fitted suits and fine shoes, freshly shaved and coiffed. Their job? To provide perfectly sound and logical responses to the question you keep thinking about: “Why haven’t I”—written my blog, pitched that editor, made a bigger effort to get in front of people.

Your excuses, disguised as “reasons,” have responses ready: The time isn’t right. You’re not ready. You should wait until you have more money or whiter teeth or more information.

These guys work hard—on the wrong things. It’s time to lay them all off.

Why? Because the reasons that you pay a lot of time and attention to are actually keeping you from your real goals: To stand out, step up, to speak out and get yourself heard.

I happen to know a few of these by name—I’ve caught them wasting my time too. It’s time to  purge them from your mental workforce so you can recruit more effort for the things you want to achieve. Let’s tear the masks off these three in particular, Scooby Doo style.

Excuse #1: “I’m not an expert.”

In fact, you are an expert—not on everything, and probably not the only expert in the world or in your industry. But you absolutely are an expert in what you do. You likely assume other people know what you do. You would be wrong.

You underestimate what you know and how valuable it can be to others. If you spend your life keeping the books or planning parties or training dogs, you have an opinion about how to do it well.  That means that you’re in a position to not just run your business, but to speak, write or contribute in the media as an expert on that topic. It’s true! You’re pretty driven by what you do and whom you help. Wouldn’t it be amazing to reach more people that way? Of course it would.

Excuse #2: I’m just a small business. No one’s looking for me.

You could run a brand-less business (see: the corner deli on my street) where you just take money and provide a service and keep it purely transactional.

But the reason you’re even reading this is because you want your brand, your work, to mean something. And for your brand to mean something, you need to stand for something, but also, have a reason why you do it, and communicate it to the people who need it most.

Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you should think small. But bigger does not mean “broader”—bigger means seeing the many other ways in which what you do matters to someone else. Find it and lean into it. (Here’s a post I did on how you know you’re having a brand crisis.)

Excuse #3: I need to do more research on the right software/platform/etc.

You might think a fear of tech and learning new tools would stop you cold. And it can. I knew an incredibly bright woman who wanted to start a podcast but was completely hung up over the tech. Paula and I showed her exactly what mic to get and we physically plugged it in for her and walked her through it. She couldn’t believe how easy it was.

But a love of tech can slow you up, too, because then you spend all this time researching instead of doing. One guy on FB was dithering over the right email platform because he hadn’t written to his list and wanted to.

I called him out on it, and said that he needed to just go with the one that seemed simplest and most appealing, the subtleties of functionality didn’t matter. He could always switch as his needs changed, but if he was already behind on his goal to connect with his readers in a meaningful way, it actually doesn’t matter which one he used right now. One lady disagreed with me and I called her out, too. Because I can get feisty on Facebook, and I also thought she was adding fuel to his perfectionist fire.

So whether you love tech and research, or loathe it all, do not let it stand between you and the people you want to reach.

Seth Godin says that perfectionism is a way of hiding.

Rather than waste time shopping for the right platform or tool, he says, you should shop for commitment, because that’s what you need right now. Boom.

It’s time for you to be committed less to your excuses and more to the brand you want to build. The world is waiting.

Terri Trespicio is the co-creator of Lights Camera Expert, a six-week program that teaches experts, authors, entrepreneurs how to get, and keep, media attention. Visit her at

If you want media attention for your book, brand, or business, you need to know what your “thing” is.

And by that I don’t mean your topic or your subject matter or your industry. Because that’s broad, and while it’s part of what you do and who you are, it’s hardly specific to you.

What I mean by ‘thing’ is that place where your personality, your expertise, your business, and your mission overlap to create that one unique fingerprint of a brand that is yours and no one else’s. Your special gift.

And yes, you do have it. I know you do because this is what I do—and I’ve never worked with someone who doesn’t have one! They just have trouble finding, or committing, to it. But most times, they can’t see the forest for the trees.

Let’s take an example.

If you’re a meditation teacher, your thing is going to have something to do with helping people access peace and stillness in a churning, distracting world. That’s great—but that’s what meditation does, and you are more than the tool you share. You might speak to a range of topics (yoga, mindfulness, stress, resilience, and so on).

But you are more than that. You are not just the technique or tools you teach, but the person who believes in it–and you have your own reasons why that is. THAT is your thing. THe key to get that into words.

Everyone I work with resists the idea of having “one thing.” Even I resist this idea sometimes. We don’t want to think of ourselves as two-dimensional, as similar to everyone else or unoriginal. But. When it comes to media, the broader your pitch, the less interesting you are.

I also know lots of people who throw EVERYTHING at a producer or editor (“I’m a this, and a that, and I do some of this and that”) and it’s confusing to them. And if a producer is confused, it’s a no.

A producer or editor or other member of the media can’t tell you what you are—so don’t leave it up to them to help you figure it out. They may have their opinions, and they may even suggest some things, if the spirit moves them. But it’s not their job to know; it’s yours.

Sure, there are a lot of people who might describe themselves in a way similar to you; i.e., help women invest their money, help millennials negotiate better salaries, offer men insights into how women think so they can win the right one over.

There are no new ideas under the sun—but there’s no one exactly like you. That’s the difference.

Think of your brand positioning as the thing that gets you up the mountain to where you’ll be more visible (a metaphor for media, you with me?). You may think, “oh I’m going to wear the most comfortable, softest shoes so I can wear them as I work my way up the mountain.”

But no. Those shoes are too broad and soft and they can’t hold up to the rigor that’s required of them to climb a steep mountain. You need an edge—something that can cut into the mountain, through the ice and snow and whatever else, and give you some steadier footing. You need the brand equivalent of hiking cleats!

If I am sitting down with the meditation teacher one on one, I’ll ask her why she got into meditation and what she thinks is important for people to understand about meditation, why they might resist it, and why they might want it and not realize it yet.

But I also want to know what she struggles with, and what she has in common with those who would benefit (and the answer can’t be “everyone” and if it is, she’s not being focused enough. Maybe it’s that she’s always been a wildly distracted and distractable person, and liked to move from one thing to the other, but realized she couldn’t finish anything. Maybe meditation gave her the freedom to be more creative without letting silly things detract from meaningful efforts. A distracted meditation teacher who applies the solution to her life? Now I’m interested.

And remember, you don’t have to be the only one doing what you do. If you were literally the only one, chances are that means no one’s interested in it.

It’s fine that there are scores of other meditation teachers or nutritionists or dermatologists. Doesn’t matter.

What matters is that when the media goes looking for one to interview or feature, that you give them a clear picture of who you are and what you think or do that’s specific to you. Find that thing, and go big with it.

Ask yourself:

  • What am I trying to do, specifically?
  • Why is this a problem for the people I’m speaking to?
  • What misunderstandings do they have about “x” and how will I change their minds?
  • What personal story do I bring to bear? What key insights?

And give your ideas the cliche test: If you’ve heard it a zillion times before, if everyone already agrees with it, keep digging.

Terri Trespicio is the co-creator of Lights Camera Expert, a six-week program that teaches experts, authors, entrepreneurs how to get, and keep, media attention. Visit her at

Everyone’s an expert in something. And the media’s job is to give its viewers and readers an interesting and informative take on a multitude of subjects.  

That’s where you come in. The media is looking for you all the time. Don’t believe me?  

Well — more than 35,000 journalists subscribe to Help a Reporter Out — better known as HARO to find the perfect expert to help them tell their stories.

It’s a simple concept that was thought up by public relations whiz, Peter Shankman. A reporter needs a source – a source wants to be found and voila HARO was born.

The email blast goes out three times a day with reporter queries ranging from, “people who wake up at 4AM to exercise” to “amazing gifts for designers that won’t be regifted” to “seeking knowledgeable African-American hair expert”.

If you’re an expert in one of the usually 50 or so queries, you can reach out to the reporter and pitch yourself as the perfect person to talk to for the story.

Ok, so how do you do that to make sure you get picked? Two ways:

  1. Be quick: I’ve used HARO as journalists and one of the things that happens when you hit send on your query– the floodgates open. Reporters are inundated with responses from experts ranging from darlings to duds. The key here is that because so many emails come in and reporters are often working on tight deadlines — you have to be first to the finish and deliver the goods.
  2. Be indispensable: What you say in your email matters. Don’t say you could provide tips or you will provide tips – actually do it! Time is of the essence here and you need to catch the reporter’s eye now. Be generous but don’t be overwhelming.

Pitching is pitching – no matter if you’re pitching your business to a potential investor, or pitching your expertise to the media. Keep the audience in mind — and answer this question when you’re answering HARO requests — “what will the reader/viewer take away from my tips?”  So what will that person be able to do differently tomorrow after hearing your insights that will make their lives better and solve their problem?

Maybe they won’t eat a donut for breakfast because you’ve laid out three alternative meal ideas including a recipe for a nourishing Amazonian acai bowl. Yum.

Make Sending Responses Easier

Sign up for Help a Reporter Out emails and start monitoring the requests that come through and might be a fit for you.  Then start answering them and keep track of what you send out.

Here’s how:

  1. Create a Google Doc or Evernote folder exclusively for responding to HARO requests. In it create documents for each individual request along with the query and your answer below it. Then when you work out what you want to say copy and paste your answer into an email to the journalist.
  2. When naming your documents be sure to be specific about what the pitch was about. For instance, it’s much easier to reuse “How to pack like a pro” rather than “Travel magazine HARO pitch.”  You’ll save time the next time a similar inquiry comes through when you label specifically. You’ll come to find that after answering several of these your introduction will likely be the same. You’ll include your name, your expertise and links to your websites and books.

This is what my intro typically looks like when I reply to requests:

Hi there —

I’d love to help you with your article!   

My name is Paula Rizzo and I’m an Emmy award winning television producer in NYC and founder of the productivity site  I’m also the author of the book Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed.  

  1. Then when you start answering queries about your expertise you’ll also find that your tips can be used for multiple requests with a bit of tweaking for each individual audience.  

For example, if two journalists send out identical queries with the headline, “Best Productivity Apps” and one is from Brides magazine and one is from Parents magazine – you better believe you’ll need to cater to each audience specifically. However, some of your tips can translate for both audiences and it won’t take you as long as it would if you were starting from scratch each time.

Remember often times the first few responses to come through get the most attention because reporters are strapped for time. But make sure to send thoughtful and helpful responses. Also don’t worry if you don’t hear back sometimes you have to send to multiple outlets before getting a bite. But the good news is the more emails you answer the more ready-to-go pitches you’ll create in your pitching folder.

Paula Rizzo is the co-creator of Lights Camera Expert, a six-week program that teaches experts, authors, entrepreneurs how to get, and keep, media attention. She’s also the author of Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed