JOIN ME FOR GO LIVE! MASTERCLASS: Everything you need to produce a polished, lucrative and fun live-stream show that makes you stand out. Sign up here! 


No one wants to come off as boastful, self-involved, or a pest. But we all want to be recognized for our accomplishments and network with leaders in our fields. 

So, how can you respond to this tension? Jennefer Witter has some ideas. Jennefer is a public speaker, author, and founder of The Boreland Group, a public relations agency that specializes in minority-led and women-owned companies.

Read more


JOIN ME FOR GO LIVE! MASTERCLASS: Everything you need to produce a polished, lucrative and fun live-stream show that makes you stand out. Sign up here! 


Communication is crucial to every aspect of life. But healthy communication isn’t always easy.

That’s especially true during the pandemic, when so much communication has become virtual.

Communication expert, professional speaker, coach, and consultant Robyn Hatcher, a guest on my live-streaming show Inside Scoop, helps people connect with purpose. 

Read more


BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”


Annie Scranton, founder of Pace PR, knows a thing or two about the media. She and I met as producers at Fox News Channel, but she’s also worked at MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, HLN, and even Good Morning America!

With all that insider knowledge, Annie can predict what the future holds when it comes to getting on TV as an expert. She knows what it takes for people to get their message out there, because she helps people do that very thing every day.

Read more


BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”


Confession: I never went to college for list-making. I don’t have a degree in productivity.

But I’ve written two books on the subject, appeared on TV and podcasts to discuss it, run a blog about it, and have a LinkedIn newsletter, LinkedIn Learning courses, and live-streaming show where I talk about it an awful lot.

Yep — I’m a productivity expert! And I became one by speaking and writing about everything I know on the subject.

If you feel like you’re not “expert enough” to start talking about your knowledge, you might have an expert obsession.

Read more

It’s Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re celebrating singlehood or blissfully coupled, romance is on the brain today. And there’s no better time to consider your relationship with the media.

If you find yourself singing Adele’s “Hello” to producers and editors, and all you hear back is Beyonce’s “Sorry,” it might be time to step up your seduction. Here are three tips to woo the media this year.

Don’t Be Desperate: Swipe Right AND Left

Don’t be that person who swipes right on anything with a pulse. A quick perusal of someone’s profile may not tell you whether someone is your soulmate, but it can certainly help you find a real connection—and rule out the red flags.

The same goes for your match with the media: Know the person receiving your pitch and their work. What kinds of stories do they love? Do they tend to gravitate toward a certain style? They will know when you haven’t done your homework—and it will make them want to “ghost” on you fast.

Get to know the person receiving your pitch by checking out their social media presence. Do they engage their followers? See if you can strike up a light conversation over a tweet or post. Are they attending networking events? Try to meet them in person. (Warning: Coming on too strong is disastrous in love and in media. Definitely keep it light).

But also ask yourself: Are they a good match for ME? While it may be tempting to throw yourself at every reporter, producer, booker or editor who comes your way, that plan can backfire in the long run. If all goes according to plan, this is the start of something ongoing—better to be single than entangled in a bad romance.

Make Yourself Irresistible

If you want to get rejected by the hot girl, ramble on about her looks while you ask her out. Likewise, the media knows it’s sexy—and it doesn’t want you to use it for its body.

Another surefire way to get rejected? Toot your own horn so much, you compose a symphony to your greatness. Confidence is hot, but narcissism is a real turn-off.

The key to being irresistible is simple: Be a giver, not a taker. If you want to woo the media, you’ve got to sell yourself as an attentive partner. Always link your pitch back to the audience: Why should those people care? How can you help them? How will your expertise transform their life? Show the editor or producer that you get what they do and you’re here to offer your help—not to use their platform, love ‘em and leave ‘em.

Sweep Them Off Their Feet

Picture this: You’ve just cancelled a date because you caught a monster flu. You’re a little bummed, but you were only lukewarm about the date in the first place. Thirty minutes later, the doorbell rings. You open the door and find a care package of chicken noodle soup, emergenc-C, tea, and a “Get Well Soon” card from your date. And just like that, things start heating up.

If you want to sweep the media off its feet, be the producer or editor’s hero. Don’t just figure out what they need—give it to them when they need it most.

The media needs pieces that link back to the top trending hashtags. If you’re a parenting expert, the Grammys would be the perfect moment to pitch a story on how celebrity feminists like Beyonce are changing the way our culture views motherhood.  If you’re a constitutional lawyer, start drafting that pitch on what will happen next with Trump’s travel ban. Do the producer or editor’s work for them—they’ll thank you for it. 


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 ListProducer.com.

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 territrespicio.com.

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 territrespicio.com.

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 ListProducer.com.  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

How do you know you’re ready for TV (or media in general)? You probably have your own made-up ideas about it. Everyone does. You think you need: a bestselling book; a regular column; a PhD; a TED talk. Perhaps you think you need to have worked somewhere special or worked for yourself or started your own company, or earned your first million.


Fact is, you don’t need all or even one of these things to get media attention. It’s true. These things help, for sure—and the more you create and demonstrate your expertise, well, the easier it is to get media. But how do you know you’re ready to start doing media?

I’ll tell you. Here are five signs that tell me you’re ready:

  1. You know a thing or two. In other words, you have a specific area of expertise, based on years of practice, study, reading, doing, what have you.Don’t get thrown by the word “expert”; all it means, by definition, is “a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.” You don’t have to be THE expert or the world’s best known expert. You’re an expert. And whether that means you’re an expert in parenting, gardening, or underwater basket weaving, it doesn’t matter.
  2. You are burning to share a specific message. In short, you’re on a mission. And I don’t just mean “to make the world a better place” or “empower women.” I mean, a specific thing you are going to share and teach. You know what people get wrong about whatever it is you’re passionate about, and what’s more, you have the tools and insights to help us change our minds about it, and improve some aspect of our lives as a result.
  3. You’re able to explain what you do and why it matters. More importantly, you’re able to do this for people who may not actually be sure they care—which includes producers, editor, their readers and their viewers. Because while you believe in what you do and why, no one else necessarily does. They’re not mean or willfully ignorant; they’re just busy. The people who catch the media’s eye know how to make what they care about compelling to other people.  
  4. You want to create content. I don’t mean you have to be a writer or a journalist, or spend all day blogging. But in order to teach people and to write pitches, you do have to love the idea of coming up with content to share.Because even if you never blogged once, you still have to be able to flesh out an idea for a producer and that means you need to know how to turn your expertise into content. You have to be ready to tell them what they should be thinking, trying, or doing differently, and that means being able to can offer a smart, counterintuitive take on what you do.
  5. You’ve been watching long enough. You’ve been reading interviews in magazines and in blogs, watching experts chat it up on morning shows, evening news. And you think, “I could do that. I know I could.”You’re ready to stop watching from the sidelines as experts in your industry take up all the airtime sharing the kinds of insights you could be sharing. Why not you? That very tug you feel, to get in the game, to raise your hand, to step up? That’s probably the most important sign of all.

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 territrespicio.com.