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BONUS FREEBIE: Do you want to know what the media is looking for and how to give it to them? Check out my free three-part video course How to Be a Media Magnet for my expert tips on how to become a pro at pitching and getting booked. 

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.

Yup.

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BONUS FREEBIE: Do you want to know what the media is looking for and how to give it to them? Check out my free three-part video course How to Be a Media Magnet for my expert tips on how to become a pro at pitching and getting booked. 

We’ve all seen the news recently — the media is reporting on coronavirus (COVID-19) 24/7.

I worked in newsrooms for almost 20 years — I know how this works. Journalists are eager to find coronavirus stories, since it’s what everyone wants to know about. 

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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.”

Imagine having about ten 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.

I used to get so many emails in my inbox when I was a senior producer at Fox News Channel and when I worked in local news in New York City as well. It was impossible to look at them all. So they had to really catch my attention and make me want to find out more.

There were some that popped up over and over again and made me 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 them do all the work! 

Editors and producers would have to stop, think about it, and write you back. Plus, they might not even know who you are. Journalists just don’t have time to do an audit of all the stories they’re working on.

Instead, make your offer. Tell the journalist how you can help them do their 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 the producer what you can do to help them lighten their load, don’t add to it.

 

Bad Subject Line #2: Can I pitch you?

Don’t ask to pitch – because you could have wasted your one shot at getting the person’s attention. When I saw emails with this subject line, I had no idea what was inside – it didn’t give me one detail. So I would 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. Also take a look at magazine and newspaper headlines for inspiration. 

 

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

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

Instead, I loved when pitches gave me a glimpse. Show the journalist what you as an expert can give their 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” might have initially gotten my attention, my BS meter is highly calibrated. People were always trying to dupe me this way to get media coverage. I always knew in seconds whether the person pitching me actually had 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 journalists 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 their attention if you can’t deliver. Be careful with how you 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 producers find recurring guests? They keep going back to the experts that deliver quality content over and over again.

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.”

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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.”

One of the questions I’m asked the most when people find out I’ve spent nearly 20 years as a television producer is “How do I get on TV?” 

It’s not a simple answer. 

But one of the things I always ask is “what are you producing yourself?”  

You have to be your own producer and create content the media cares about. That’s step one! 

I recently saw my friend Kate Hanley on her local news station talking all about her podcast, “How to Be a Better Person” so I had to talk to her about how she got booked. 

We shot this video of our conversation where she talks all about how it happened. 

Kate has a background in media as a journalist who has written for national magazines including Real Simple, Parents, and Martha Stewart’s Whole Living.

Now as an author and podcast host she’s tasked with getting the word out about her expertise. Here’s how she did it: 

Making the Connection..

Kate lives in Providence, RI, and she heard of a new morning show that she thought might be looking for pitches. She posted in a local networking group to see if anyone had a contact, and a connection suggested reaching out to a producer over social media.

People who work in media often have their email address in their bio — and that’s because they want you to pitch them.

“That’s one thing that we have to just tell ourselves is that we’re actually helping people do their jobs by pitching them,” Kate says. 

 

Make your pitch timely.

One of the elements of a well-written pitch is the “hook.” Why is this relevant right now? 

Kate took this into consideration when she planned out her pitch. When Kate thinks of a pitch, she connects her ideas to current events or holidays.

“I think I just Googled ‘crazy national holidays’,” Kate says of one pitch. “There were all these wacky days like Flip Flop Day and Hotdog Day. I noticed that there was Make a Difference Day was coming up, which perfectly aligned with How to Be a Better Person.”

By connecting your pitch to an upcoming event, producers feel more urgency when considering your idea. “Not only might they like that idea, but they’re going to need to act on it because that day’s coming up,” Kate says. 

 

Reuse and recycle.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they start to pitch media is that they think they have to create completely new or different material for a pitch. Nope! Use all your content to feed your blog, your book, your podcast, your pitches. They all go hand in hand. You will taylor the ideas for each outlet but your ideas are your ideas. 

Kate’s lightbulb moment happened when she realized she didn’t need to be creating totally separate blog posts and pitches. She made a Google Drive account for organizing her ideas and realized that she had lots of great material that could be adapted and updated. 

“I found old pitches that I had written and blog posts that I had written and just stuff that I thought might be useful in a lot of different ways,” Kate says. “And I can go in there and really slice and dice.”

That doesn’t mean you should use the same posts and pitches over and over. Like Kate says, it’s important to customize your content and pitches to the outlet you’re pitching. 

You can watch the whole video here to hear all of Kate’s tips — including why writing thank you notes is the small gesture that an leaves an impression. 

And be sure to check out Kate’s podcast “How to Be a Better Person.” 

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.”

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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.”

The media isn’t some secret secluded club as most people seem to imagine. In fact getting on TV as an expert isn’t all that difficult once you know how.

A perfect example is Juliet Murphy, executive career coach & resume writer. I recently had the chance to interview her on how CBS came to her to feature her for a story. You can check out the video here. Read more

Think about one of the experts you see on TV over and over again.

Now think of someone you hear on the radio or on podcasts a lot.

Guess what they have in common?

They can hold their own on camera and give the audience information they can use.

Not to mention they also knew how to get a producer’s attention and become a go-to expert.

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’ve spent nearly two decades as a television producer in New York City and even won an Emmy award. Most recently I was the senior health producer for Fox News Channel for over a decade. That means I’ve conducted a lot of interviews and booked a lot of guests throughout my career. Read more

Have you ever been talking to someone at a party or event and you get onto a topic that they are clearly really passionate about? Even though it might not be your cup of tea, their enthusiasm for it becomes kind of infectious! A person’s passion or interest can really help to connect with them.

On the other hand, passion can also be your downfall. As my friend and business partner Terri Trespicio points out in her TEDx Talk, which has nearly 4 million views by the way.

You might also have been at a networking mixer listening to someone talk about a project or side gig and, while their heart might be in the right place, but they just keep talking and talking and you keep losing interest! Read more

Pitching the media is not easy if you don’t know what producers and editors are looking for. It’s all about understanding what draws producers into your story and why their audience will care.

But, if you thought pitching yourself to the media was hard, even harder is pitching an event. There are a million and one events out there at any given time – so what makes yours so special?

The unfortunate truth is no one in the media cares about your event.

As a national television producer with nearly 20 years experience I can say definitively that I can count on one hand the amount of events I’ve actually covered. That’s because most events are self serving – ribbon cuttings and grand openings. What does that do for the viewer or reader? But that doesn’t mean you can’t get your event into the media, it’s all about how you pitch 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. Grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”

 

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