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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.”

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I’ve noticed a trend among my clients. A lot of them sound like robots when they’re recording video. 

Haha I know that sounds like a joke but it’s not. 

They’re using what I call “phone voice.”

This is the voice you use when you’re recording voicemails or dictating text messages. 

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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.”

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.

Photo by Gavin Whitner.

 

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.”

 

Figure out your niche. 

Before you become an expert, you have to decide what you’re going to be an expert in. How can you figure that out? 

Ask yourself these two questions:  

  1. What are you always telling clients? 
  2. What are you always answering questions about? 

These are two good ways to tell where your expertise lies. 

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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.”

Whenever I work with clients to help them pitch media better, look better on camera or set up a system to produce more of their own content, I always ask, “What are you producing now?” 

Common answers include: 

  • “A blog post every few months” 
  • “A video here or there”
  • “I did a FB Live once”

To be interesting to the media, to your potential clients and your current fans, you need to consistently create content. 

So how do you do it? 

With an editorial calendar, of course! 

This is a trick I’ve learned from nearly 20 years as a television producer. Everyone in the newsroom knew what stories were coming up in the next minute, five minutes, five days, five weeks, etc. 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.”

When I was on vacation in Mexico a few weeks ago, I unexpectedly got an interview request from Aditi Shrikant, a writer at CNBC.com. She was working on an article about making more effective to-do lists. 

Of course I said yes to the opportunity. 

I put down my margarita and did the interview in my bathing suit poolside. 

Why? 

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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 work with lots of experts and authors on media training and strategy, and a lot of them struggle with self promotion but want people to know about their books. 

Like many of us, they don’t want to seem “salesy” or as if they have a huge ego. 

For example, I worked with Brandi Doming, author of “Vegan 8,” to train her for media while she was promoting her book. She initially didn’t want to do video and struggled a bit with self promotion. 

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