It’s The Media’s Job To Tell The Story

I had the privilege of working with a gifted writer and strategist named Steve earlier in my career. He was a former reporter at the Chicago Tribune who was cut from that old-school cloth.

Steve always said what was on his mind, which most clients appreciated. But there were times when a few feathers got ruffled. Steve felt he always spoke the truth so it wasn’t his problem that some got bent out of shape.

Media is a Conduit to Your Donor

My first job in Chicago was with a small PR/communications agency. One day I was working with my supervisor on a campaign plan for a nonprofit client and she said something that has stuck with me throughout my career.

“The media is a conduit to your donor.”

Her point: The media isn’t the donor. Their readers, listeners and viewers are.

As you’re thinking about what story ideas and value to present to a reporter, blogger or podcast host, think about their audience and how you can add value to them…and how you can make the reporter look like the hero.

Be Part Of The Conversation

What’s trending? Being talked about a lot on social media and in traditional media? Do you have an opinion or something to say?

Know what’s going on in your industry. Follow the relevant reporters on Twitter, and put into place whatever monitoring system you use to follow and understand what’s happening in your world.

I Wrote A Book Now What Do I Do To Get People To Know About It?

I just Googled the phrase “I wrote a book now what do I do” and more than 40 million results came back.

It’s a huge deal to get that book finished, but now it’s time to promote and get your book and your message out.

The media—book reviewers, bloggers, podcasters—are a great, economical way to earn awareness and promote sales of your book. It can even support your coaching, speaking and thought-leadership business if done correctly.

However, getting media coverage just doesn’t happen by writing and sending out a press release. There’s a little heavy lifting and preparation that needs to occur before we actually reach out to a media person or influencer and start seeing results.

Let me explain it this way…

My wife recently finished painting our daughter’s bedroom. It turned out awesome.

She taped all the trim, removed the faceplates, filled in a bunch of nail holes with spackle, sanded the rough spots and wiped down the walls. All this before opening a can of paint!

And once the paint was opened, she spent a large chunk of time painting the trim in preparation of getting to the walls where the real progress shows.

About 80 percent of her time seemed to be spent preparing for the moment when she could pull out the roller and really get to the painting the walls part. This is where the project comes to life and the vision of the room comes into clearer view.

I think you’ll agree that the preparation is really important if we want a great result when it comes to painting a room. Otherwise, it looks sloppy. Who wants to spend time in a sloppy looking room? Not my nine-year- old!

Take the time that’s necessary…

Like getting publicity, there’s a lot of preparation that needs to occur if we want outstanding results.

  • Gaining clarity on our message.
  • Developing the right press kit materials that clearly explain what we do, why we matter, why our message needs to be heard.
  • Identifying who can share our story and message.
  • Making sure our website, social media profiles and posts are consistent with our message.
  • Understanding how media results can play into fueling our other marketing
    communication activities.

My point is this: Let’s take the time necessary to be prepared so when a media reporter, book reviewer, blogger or podcast host says, “I’d like to interview you.” We can confidently ask, “When would you like to talk?”

Building that confidence starts with being prepared.

NBC Nightly News: How This Organization was Prepared for the Moment

Last week, former TV host Rosie O’Donnell made a very private situation public when she announced that her 17-year-old daughter had been missing for about a week.

Once she made this public, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt pursued developing a segment about the situation and bring light to the runaway, homeless and at-risk youth topic.

Working with Media: Having Strong Contacts Helps, But You Still Need a Good Story

Just about every time I present I get this question: “Do you need to have media contacts to get media coverage?”

Fair question. But there’s a myth in thinking that just because you know a reporter it automatically translates into coverage. Not true. However, there are a few things to understand and consider when working with media—and those contacts.

4 reasons why you need press kit materials before reaching out to media

My agency was recently asked to reach out to several print media outlets to try and secure interviews for a potential new client.

In the proposal I stated that my team cannot begin this phase until press kit materials are compiled (they didn’t have any materials). We were questioned on this point to which I outlined four reasons. They understood and conversations continued.

Here are the reasons any organization needs to have press kit materials in place before reaching out to media:

5 Reasons You’re Not Getting Media Publicity

I know, you’re frustrated as to why you’re not getting the media awareness you feel you deserve. You’re sending out press releases and all you get back in return is the sound of crickets.

My guess is there are several missed opportunities along the path of getting publicity. Here are my top 5 reasons that I have experienced and observed over the years.