“If you climb in the saddle, you better be ready to ride.” ~Cowboy saying
In media relations, as in most things, failing to plan usually means planning to fail. So let’s take a look at some simple steps you can take to ensure a successful campaign.
Have clear goals for what you want to happen as a result of the publicity.
Maybe you want press coverage so you can sell your book or product. Maybe it’s so you can get a promotion or a better job. Maybe it’s to set you apart from competitors and attract more business. All of those are reasonable goals, but the paths to achieving them could be drastically different! The clearer you are about what you want the media attention to do for you, the better able we are to help you get there.
Be a good consumer of the media you want to interview you.
Please don’t ask us to book you on a show you’ve never seen. Most publicists will tell you that if they had a nickel for every time a client begged to be booked on Oprah, they’d never have to work again! And I bet they’d also tell you that most of those clients were the furthest things in the world from the kind of guest Oprah would have booked. Don’t be that client. Consume as much of your target media as you can so you’ll have a feel for the topics they cover, the kinds of guests they choose and the interviewer’s style and pacing. That way you’ll be ready to deliver exactly what they want when the booking comes.
Study the competition.
Watch interview segments on a variety of shows and see who the good guests are. What do they do that make them fun to watch? Are there things they do that you could incorporate into your on-air performance?
In television news, there are only a few big stories a day, and in a 24-hour news cycle, producers have to come up with fresh ways to cover the same ground. Think about new ways you could contribute with an angle that hasn’t been covered or insight that moves the story forward.
See each interview as the beginning, not the end.
Once you have an interview in the bag, use it! Post it on your website’s media page (you do have a media page, don’t you?) Tweet about it; share it on LinkedIn and Facebook; link to it in your newsletter. Each time you’re interviewed, it tells your shareholders, employees, customers, prospects and competition that a media outlet thought enough of your expertise to invite you to comment on a top news story. That kind of endorsement, credibility, and gravitas is worth far more than advertising, so be sure to get the most mileage that you can.