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Pitching the Media is Just Like Pitching Your Dream Clients

Posted by Ilise Benun on

Whenever clients ask me, “How can I get media attention or publicity?” I answer the same way I answer the question, “How can I get better clients?”

It’s simple: choose your dream prospects and reach out to them.

In today’s guest post, Terri Trespicio explains how — and be sure to watch her free 3-part video course, How to Be a Media Magnet

You’ve turned on the TV before and seen someone up there chatting away on the air, and wondered, “Why is she there and not me?”

You may be curious, or wistful, or straight-up envious. But you still wonder: Why not me?

What happens next is that your brain fills in a story, much of which is pure fiction:

  • She must be smarter or more well versed than me.
  • She must be better than me.
  • She must know people.

Fact is, that person on TV, the one who’s not that different from you, is not smarter or better than you. She has figured out what the media wants, and how to deliver it. And someone said yes.

Hard for someone to say yes to you if you haven’t raised a hand, right? And yet, this is what we do: We watch people win contests that we forgot to enter! And while the media may seem unachievable, it’s not.

Growing your media brand, and getting attention for what you do, is not all that different from growing your business: It happens one contact, one conversation, at a time.

You pitch prospects right? Well, the media is just another set of prospects. You don’t pitch The Media, plural! You pitch individual producers, editors, and other journalists. The specific pitches may be different, but the effort is the same.

This is what I do for a living: I teach people how to grow their brand visibility and presence, online, on stage, on camera. And trust me, the world out there isn’t half as tough on you as you are!

Here are some of the most common objections I’ve heard when asked why they don’t share their message, mission, and expertise with the media—and why it’s high time you let them go.

“I’m not ready.”

Oh boy, do I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard that!

If you wait for “ready,” ready never comes. Why? Because you already know what you know about your industry, business, and expertise. Maybe you’re not ready to step onto the set of Good Morning America tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean you’re not ready to start building your media career.

You don’t have to start huge. You start by pitching yourself to write a guest blog post on someone else’s site. Maybe you pitch a podcast you found online and share an idea you have for an episode in which you would contribute. And you build from there. With every media hit, big or small, you will gain confidence and get practice delivering your message.

“I’m not an expert.”

Do you want to know what the definition of “expert” is? “A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge or skill in a particular area.”

That would be you. Too many people think they have to be the ONLY expert or THE most knowledgeable expert in the world to get any media attention.

Everyone thinks you need a PhD or MD or some other fancy letters after your name to get on TV. You really don’t. Trust me–there are plenty of people with BOTH titles who can’t cut it on air. They don’t teach this stuff in med school! And that means everyone starts on an even playing field.

You’ve been doing what you do a long time. Your job in the media is to make complex information relevant and accessible to everyday people.

“I don’t have any media contacts.”

Neither do most of the experts I work with; they cultivate them by finding the right fit for them and making steady, value-driven efforts to connect. The people you see on TV have some media contacts, it’s true—but they certainly didn’t start that way!

Nowadays it’s easy to find and connect with editors and producers, thanks to social media, especially Twitter and LinkedIn, and then there’s old fashioned way: flipping to the masthead at the front of a magazine, which lists all the editors by name.

“I don’t know where to start.”

Well, you start with figuring out what YOU want to say to the world, what advice, expertise, and knowledge you think could change someone’s life, if they only knew it. Think about all the wisdom you impart to your clients, colleagues, even people you mentor. That’s valuable stuff!

The next step is to practice sharing it in a public forum—and again, that may mean starting a blog or beefing up your FaceBook posts, perhaps doing a few short videos for your YouTube channel that demonstrate what you know best. Pop onto Periscope once a day and start answering questions in your area of expertise. The tools for sharing and dispensing your insight and expertise are free and easy to use!

The media is not a matter of landing a single segment or story; the key is to adopt a media mindset, and decide to make it part of your job to share what you do with the world outside your business—via whatever platform is most comfortable and suitable for you.

This investment in your brand may not directly convert to dollars, media pays you in exposure, and gives you practice at being an expert out in the world. It may seem like an extra thing, but it’s invaluable, really. When you start stepping out of your comfort zone in a big way, not only will people (and prospects) look at you differently—you’ll start to see yourself differently, too.

And you’re kind of a big deal. :)
To learn more about what it takes to attract media attention, get my FREE course, “How to Be a Media Magnet,” which I created with my friend and colleague Paula Rizzo, a seasoned TV news producer. This three-part series will give you what you need to hit the ground running and start pitching media today!

  • More in: Announcements, Ask the Experts, getting media attention, Guest Mixers, Self-Promotion

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