Are You Being Helpful To Media (And Yourself) With This Tool?

Since launching my own podcast, Conversations on Communications, it’s been interesting because I’m now starting to get pitched by publicists, PR professionals and other authors and entrepreneurs asking to be a guest on my show.

What makes this even more interesting is that I teach and coach authors, entrepreneurs and nonprofits on how to get awareness and publicity for their book, their cause or their business. I feel like I’ve pulled back the curtain and can see and experience how others are doing it. The research, insights and perspectives are invaluable. And now I can share more with you.

Now that I’m being “pitched,” here are a few things I’m looking for to help me determine if this person or expert is the right fit for my audience. And I’m not the only one. There are other podcast hosts, bloggers and members of the media who look for these things as well.

  1. Have they taken time to do any research and check out my podcast page to see if my show is the right fit? If it feels like a cut and paste email pitch that has been shared with multiple others, a red flag goes up. The subject line and opening line is a clear indication whether they spent at least 5 minutes learning about the show or 5 seconds to hit the send button.
  2. Does the positioning of the email feel like all they want to do is sell something or do they truly want to come on and add value to my audience?
  3. Do they have a press kit? A link in their email to their press kit tells me that they have it together and want to be a helpful resource and guest.

Here are two examples, 1) of a guest I booked and 2) one I did not.

Examples one:

Mary Valloni was a guest on episode 47. She has a press kit that was very helpful in getting me prepared for that conversation. It had her bio, a summary of her book, suggested questions, insightful statistics, and suggested interview topics of things we could discuss.

The amount of time it took me to prepare for that conversation was a fraction of the time compared to what it typically takes me to prepare for an interview with someone who does not have a press kit.

Result: Mary and I had a great conversation that educated my nonprofit listeners about “An Effective Fundraising Strategy Starts With These 7 Steps.” You can listen to the full episode here.

Example two:

On the flipside, about a month ago I was pitched by a publicist who wanted to get their client on my show. The pitch was solid, but it didn’t include a link to additional information. I requested a press kit to which they replied with what they called a press release that was nothing more than a bio of the guest. My time, just like yours and every other media professional—radio host, TV producer, podcaster, blogger, online writer—is limited. This was simply going to take too much time to get prepared, plus, I would be taking a chance based on the disorganization that came through our correspondence. Was this person truly going deliver?

Result: No interview booked.

This is what can happen if you don’t have a press kit or if your information isn’t easily packaged and presented. Be helpful in making it super easy for media to cover you.

Are you an author or entrepreneur who doesn’t have a press kit? Here’s a free press kit template for you to download.

Looking for a great example? Here’s a link to Mary Valloni’s online media room where you can download her press kit.

Have you been successful booking media interviews and earning media awareness because you had an informative press kit or press materials? What else has worked for you?