Posts

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.

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.”

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.”

How’s 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 expanded travel ban. Do the producer or editor’s work for them—they’ll thank you for 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.”

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.”

As a TV producer for nearly two decades, I’ve interviewed lots of experts. 

I began to get a pretty good idea of when someone had prepared for an interview and when they thought they could just ‘wing it’. 

Here’s something to remember – this isn’t always dictated by the amount of experience the expert has at their craft. Just because you know your stuff doesn’t mean you’ll be able to translate it succinctly and effectively in the media. 

As you can imagine, I’ve always been a firm believer in the importance of being prepared.

Now that I’m a media trainer and strategist I practice what I preach and I try to be a good example of what’s possible for my clients.  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.”

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

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 often get asked, when is a good time to start doing media to promote my book?

The answer is yesterday – and if not yesterday then now!

Too often people tell me they plan on doing media for their book when it launches.

That is 100% way too late.

You want the media to already know about you way before you have a book or a product to promote. 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.”

Pitching the media is not an exact science.

You could have the best pitch in the world and it might not be the right time or place for it.

There were plenty of times when I worked as a TV news producer when I would have a good pitch from a go-to expert but it might be something that worked better when tied to an event or maybe it was just missing a little something.

So then what do you do?

I recently caught up with Theresa Lyons, PhD who is an autism advocate trying to get her cause out there in the media. Theresa got a bit of traction on a recent pitch, but it just wasn’t quite clicking for the producers. 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.”

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

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.”

“How do I get on TV?”

It’s one of the questions I’m asked most often!

And actually I put together a free three-part video series called “How to Be a Media Magnet” that you can get access to right now here.

I’ve spent my entire career working in the television news industry and I’ve seen which guests get booked and which ones don’t.

So that’s what I share in this interview with Joe Polish. Read more