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.

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As a former TV producer, video has been my whole world for almost 20 years. But in 2020, video became part of everyone’s lives as meetings and celebrations turned virtual because of the pandemic.

I’m so grateful for the power of video to connect us during this difficult time. Even with the first COVID-19 vaccine shipments on their way, video is not going anywhere.

Now that people are starting to realize how video can transform productivity and create human connection, I predict it will continue to be a big part of our lives in 2021.

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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.”

I recently presented, “How to Pitch Broadcast Media” at Robert Wynne’s “BroadcastU” event in New York City.

The event is designed to let public relations professionals personally network with broadcast reporters, producers and bookers in one place, at one time, to finally answer the big question – what does the media actually want?

I’ve known Rob since my Fox News days when he had me on as a panelist.

He very kindly invited me back to speak to the group about media training and how to get their pitches read by the media.

The audience was predominantly made up of hospital and university PR people, which meant I got to see a ton of people who I had worked with as a senior health producer at Fox News Channel – how great! Read more

Can you catch a killer with a podcast?

The Newport Beach Police Department in California sure hopes so!

They’ve launched their own six-part podcast series called “Countdown to Capture” to find wealthy businessman turned killer Peter Chadwick. He is charged with murdering his wife in October 2012 and then disappearing.

He’s been missing since January 2015 and cops are offering $100,000 cash reward for help finding him.

What they’re doing here is brilliant because they aren’t waiting for media to cover the story – they’re creating their own media content and sharing it.

This Podcast Is a Great Example of How To Produce Compelling Content

It does many things right:

  1. Creates a new hook on an old news story. Major media outlets are covering the fact that this police department launched a podcast to catch a fugitive. NOT that a fugitive is still on the loose – that’s old news and they likely covered it way back when it was breaking news. There was no reason to revisit it but this podcast has breathed new life into it. And guess what now that people are intrigued about this story you better believe that traditional media will dig into the backstory and publicize it further.
  2. Leads the conversation. You can control the conversation and don’t have to wait for a big media outlet to give you a platform. You can create your own platform. Content is king and should always lead the conversation. Now things are much different than years ago because we all have the technology at our fingertips to broadcast our own messages.
  3. Uses real people. Could they have hired a professional host to host this podcast? Yes. Should they have? That’s debatable. But what is great about using real people to tell real stories is that it’s authentic and intimate. Jennifer Manzella is a spokesperson for the Newport Beach Police Department and acts as host for the series. She’s not the most polished and I do think with a few tweaks she could be a better host but she gets the job done! (P.S. In case you’re reading Jennifer – speak louder! Fill the room with your voice when you record and you’ll sound more authoritative and your voice quality will be richer.)
  4. It’s short and sweet. Each episode is about 15 minutes or fewer. Great, perfect. The big mistake many content creators make is to go on and on via video or audio. Our attention spans are short and you have to keep the listener and viewer engaged.

Tell Your Own Story

This should be a lesson to every expert, author and entrepreneur out there.

You have all the resources that you need to start your own show or series to bring awareness to whatever your cause is.

Just start talking about it now. Get out there. Be seen so you can make a difference.

I for one am very curious to see what you’ll create.

Not to mention if the NPPD’s podcast actually leads to an arrest. Hats off to them for using technology and creating their own mass media to get their message out in a bigger way.

BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention too. 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.”

President Trump recently tweeted that something he said to a Bloomberg reporter about a trade deal with Canada that was “off the record” was leaked.

The Toronto Star is the outlet that actually printed the remarks – not Bloomberg. The Toronto Star says they got their information from a source. Bloomberg says it respected the “off the record” comment and didn’t publish it.

Regardless of what went down – this is an important message for those of you who are going to be speaking in front of the media.

In all the years that I’ve spent as a journalist, nearly 20 now, I’ve been told in interviews “this is off the record “numerous times. And every single time I honored that request.

It’s something that true journalists take very seriously.

We want to protect our sources and build trust with them. To violate that trust would be very foolish – which is why the idea behind going “off the record” should be sacred.

That said, nothing is ever a guarantee.

You can’t unsay something.

So simply stated – if you don’t want something you’ve said to leak….Don’t say it! It’s as easy as that.

I media train experts, entrepreneurs and authors every day to speak confidently in front of the media.

One of the first lessons I give is to ALWAYS assume you’re on camera. Look your best and act your best. Especially with television or video (which is mostly what I teach about) your microphone could be hot the second it’s put on you and recording everything you say.

As soon as you agree to that interview – everything is fair game.

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.”

Remember what your mom told you all those years ago about how “if you didn’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all”?

This goes with the media too.

If you don’t want it reported — don’t say it.

What if you do want to say something “off the record”?

Before you commit to saying something “off the record” ask yourself why you’re saying it.

Is it for shock value?

It is to show off?

Is it to seem more important?

Is it to be gossipy?

Truly think through what the purpose of going “off the record” would do for you.

The only reason you should ever say something “off the record” is to build a relationship with a reporter and give that information because it could truly make a difference.

I tell my clients all the time to reframe their mindset about why they’re commenting to the media – it should be to be of service to the audience. It should not be to seem self important or be self serving.

But if you do say something that you want to be “off the record” it’s very important that you reiterate that several times. If you’re on camera make sure to say it into the camera and look around at the crew and make sure everyone knows your request.

Never assume that anything you say will be tucked away or ignored.

As much as I stand behind journalistic integrity and I know what I have done in “off the record” situations – you can never account for what will happen once your interview ends.

Journalists share interviews with other colleagues at the same outlets and with affiliates. Whenever I shot an interview for a story on camera, the video would go into one central place where anyone in the company had access to it.

As a responsible producer if there was something that should not be used I would leave notes on the video about it.

This is common practice – journalists leaving notes to check with our legal department or to check with the producer who had produced the story originally before using it.

But guess what?

Sometimes those notes can be overlooked especially during the rush of a breaking news story.

Also understand that the media might not come back to you to ask you to fact check something especially in television news – it’s a very fast-paced medium and things get published quickly.

It is very hard to undo something that has already been done.

So use this as a word of caution when doing media interviews – if you don’t want something to get out – don’t say it!

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.”

Whenever I walk up to the counter to pay for a cup of tea or a t-shirt I always make a point to smile at the person at the register before saying anything. I make eye contact and have a moment.

That’s not something people often do. We just rush between transaction after transaction.

But what if you did pause and give a smile? What would that do?

I’ll tell you what it does on camera – it makes you likable and makes people want to pay you for stuff!

Isn’t that the point?

Think about it – how often do you buy something based on how likable the person selling it to you is?

Maybe you decided to see one acupuncturist over another one because the one you chose was kind and seemed to be generally interested in you?

Or how about the last book you bought?

Did you buy it because you saw the author on TV or at a book signing and he or she seemed fun and nice?

Take for instance my media training client,

Chef Todd Richards.

He’s the author of the new book Soul: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes. 

I worked with him just prior to his book launch to get him prepped for any media opportunities that popped up.

We met like I do with all my clients via Zoom video conference.  He’s in Atlanta and I’m in New York City.

I had already seen a few media appearances of him and I will admit I thought I had him figured out.

But when I met him I was blown away by how personable and friendly he was.

You see I thought he was super serious because guess what he wasn’t doing in those media appearances?

Yep – Smiling!

So I had a different version of what he would be like in my mind given that one piece of video.

But I was dead wrong. And you’d be too if you saw that same segment.

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. Grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”

Practice makes perfect – even with smiling!

Our media training sessions were focused on getting the “real” Todd to be seen on camera.

He was a good sport with me when I would stop him mid sentence and say, “Why aren’t you smiling? We’re talking about bacon!”

Just like an athlete practices drills and plays – any expert who wants to be on camera has to practice the same way.

Many people think they’ll be “just fine” when it comes to an on camera interview. But I’ll tell you in my nearly 20 years of experience as a TV producer that is not the case at all.

Something strange happens to people when they get in front of a camera. And without the proper training you could blow your big chance.

I love a happy ending and thankfully all that practice with Todd paid off and I feel like a proud mama!

Todd was asked to appear on CBS This Morning and he knocked it out of the park.

He was smiling, storytelling (something we also worked on,) cracking jokes and being the life of the party.

THAT is the Todd I know and I was thrilled to help him feel comfortable enough on camera to be himself.

You don’t just snap your fingers and feel more like yourself on camera – it takes practice and work.

Todd put in the time and it paid off – oh and hopefully sold some books too!

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. Grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”