Most people who are in business or who are experts, authors, or entertainers, would love to be featured in, or on, major media outlets, not only so they can spread their messages to millions of people quickly, but because large media outlets have a trusted following. This “third-party endorsement” from the trusted editors, writers, and producers at the media outlets goes a long way in building their audiences’ trust in you and providing a third-party endorsement to your potential clients or customers!
If you want to see your face or words in the media, you need to know how to present your information the way the media want to see it. The first place most media members go to check you out is your website. Then, they will immediately look for an online media page where they hope to find everything they need to determine whether or not they to include you in an upcoming broadcast or article.
Following is a list of items to include on an online media page.
If you don’t have them all, just begin with the elements you do have, and continue to add components as you develop them.
• On your online media page, post the words “Media contact” followed by the name, email address, and phone number of the person who will handle calls and inquiries from the media on your behalf. It’s okay if it’s you.
Do not skip the phone number or email address here. Members of the media do not like to fill out online forms, and they frequently need to reach potential guests quickly. If they can’t call you, they may move on to someone who is more accessible.
• Include your biography and/or company backgrounder on your media page.
If you are an expert, you might only have a biography. If you have a company that exists beyond yourself, you might also have a company backgrounder.
• Your video reel or videos of you speaking should be near the top of your media page.
If you have not yet been interviewed on TV, you can include other videos of yourself speaking, to give the media an idea of how you come across. Be sure the quality is good and that you are talking about topics that are relevant to the way you are positioning yourself.
If you don’t have any videos yet and you have not obtained any prior media training, a few media training sessions with a seasoned media trainer will boost your clarity, confidence, and poise on camera. Just a couple of media training sessions can help you to capture the attention of television producers with your videos.
For experts or people who want to do a lot of demonstrations in the media, include video segments of you providing tips or information or doing demonstrations. If you can make these segments downloadable from your media page for news producers to capture and include in news segments, you’ll have an advantage over your competition.
Be sure your video content is viewable on your website and on your media page: don’t use links that will lead people away from your site and onto YouTube, Vimeo, or elsewhere. If your videos are hosted on YouTube or Vimeo, you can create a playlist and embed it onto your website. This would allow members of the media to watch several videos of you, within one small frame on your page. I use Vimeo Plus so that I can have my videos on my site, without the Vimeo logo and without other people’s videos being shown following mine, as YouTube videos often do.
• An audio reel or links to audio interviews can also be included on your media page.
If you have not yet been interviewed on the radio, but decide to include other audio recordings, such as those from teleseminars, only include top-quality content. You may want to edit it to capture only the best parts of each teleseminar.
• On your media page, post a list of topics you can discuss, and story or segment ideas.
Conduct some research to determine what has already been covered extensively in the media, and then think of some topics that are compelling.
To get a sense of how to write your list of topics, look at media outlets’ websites, the covers of magazines, and other print media, and pay attention to the way guests are announced on the TV and radio shows where you would like to be featured. One of the topics or segment ideas on your list may be the very reason a member of the media decides to create a TV segment or article featuring you.
• Include links to press releases, news clippings, and articles you have authored on your media page.
If you include links to the media outlets’ sites, check them frequently: many media outlets regularly move content on their sites.
• Create interesting fact sheets for your media page.
To increase your chances of gaining media coverage include a fact sheet(s) on your media page that includes background information on topics related to your area of expertise, relevant facts and statistics from universities and research institutes, and professional associations. Be sure to use reputable sources, such as top universities or institutions, for the data you include in your fact sheets, and be sure to credit all sources. It is good to include a link to the source of the information, so a member of the press who wants to quickly verify it can do so.
•If your work includes creating transformations of any kind, whether you transform environments or people, include before-and-after images in your downloadable photo gallery. Just make sure you have the right to publish all the photos you use.
• Authors should include a link to a book one-sheet on their media pages.
This document usually contains a one- to two-paragraph description of your book with bullet points of the major topics covered in the book, top reviews for the book, a photo of the book cover, a photo of yourself, and a brief paragraph about you (approximately one or two paragraphs). Include the publishing information, ISBN number, price, publishing date, and stores or sites where the book is available.
• Testimonials can be included on your media page but be sure to only include those that don’t sound too salesy.
Put the most important elements above the fold, including your “media contact” information, video(s) of you, a photo of you, and at least a few sentences of your biography. For those who don’t know what “above the fold” means, it’s an expression that refers to a folded newspaper: the most important news was usually placed “above the fold”. On a web page, “above the fold” generally refers to whatever is visible before someone scrolls down.
The more you present yourself and your offerings in a professional, organized, and accessible manner, the more likely you will be to capture the attention of the media and keep them coming back to you.
Here are more links that you may find helpful.
This post was written by Lisa Elia, a media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert, and speaker. She trains clients around the world for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, panels, investor presentations, and promotional videos. With more than 25 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E!, and many others. Clients include entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between as well as athletes, celebrities, and other public figures.