How to Get the Media’s Attention

By Peg Booth

If you’re an author, whether you are working with a publicist or not, it’s very important to keep in mind that part of your success is being able to answer the who, what, why, when and how for the media and its listener base.

We’re all curious about the latest trends, breaking news, innovations, interesting and unique people or products – and the media is exactly the same way. Imagine creating a new trend with your book or ideas. Imagine giving the media a brand new angle for coverage of a saturated topic.

Creativity is key to providing the unique news-hook for your book or your platform so that the media wants to feature you. Authors must think about how their book applies to the hot issues of the day – it’s a constant and ever-changing focus. One of the basic questions to ask is, “Is my story relatable? Does my story tap into something that people are worried about or an issue that might be controversial?”

For instance, some very prevalent issues as I write this column are the environment, the economy, civil unrest and war in parts of the world, the family crisis in terms of parenting and stresses on family, diets and healthful living. Each day a new opportunity presents itself to pitch your story forward in a meaningful and news-worthy fashion.

Think how you can be part of the news discussion almost in real-time, as it is happening. Don’t discount your opinion and how it might be valuable to many other associated topic interviews beyond your book.
Whether it’s hard-hitting news interviews or feature pieces, the key for you is to be able to successfully tie-in these larger issues to your book or your platform, and speak effectively on those when you are tapped by the media.

Reporters and media need credible sources, and you are the best possible source for them as long as you’re well-versed in your topic area and you are armed with verifiable facts.

The media is counting on you to be the expert, to elevate the discussion and help everyone progress to a deeper understanding of the topic or subject manner. If you think of several different angles for the story, this will help you in creating something unique from your expert perspective.

Asking questions is crucial to this practice. Who is important in this story? How will my interview impact the listeners, and why should they absolutely be listening? How can I effect change in their lives through this interview?

The media aims to establish significance of any story for their listener base, and they rely on their guests to help them do that. The more a news story applies to current events and topics, or is relevant to the listener community at large, the more opportunity and success you’ll have to be a featured expert.

6 Tips for Successful Media Interviews

By Peg Booth

No matter whether you’re on your first media interview or you feel you’re a seasoned professional, there are always good tips to remember when being interviewed, and these six are a few of our favorites.

Simply being able to complete a media interview is not the only goal. With practice you can also become a powerful spokesperson for your book and your thought leadership in your professional field.

Here are six tips to ensure you’re doing the best interviews possible. Whether television or radio – you’ll hit it out of the park every time!

Tip #1: Focus – Treat every media interview as an opportunity to speak directly to your target audience. It’s good to understand the audience base of the radio or TV show, but always keep your focus on who your target is within that audience.

Tip #2: Facts – Always have some statistics that can underline your topic. For instance, if you’re speaking on Obamacare, the situation in Crimea, or “Conscious Uncoupling,” then make sure you not only have sound bites from your book but also from the latest news about the event or subject.

Tip #3: Flexibility and Preparation – Often interviewers will ask a question that is off topic from your subject but will still relate to news of the day. One of the things you can do in order to give yourself a bit more time to answer this type of question is to say, “That’s a really good question..,” and then pause for a moment. Thinking on your feet is incredibly important and valuable in live radio shows.

Tip #4: K.I.S.S. “Keep It Simple, Stupid” – Less is more, and simple is better! Make sure when you’re being interviewed that you keep a lively tone and that you create space for back and forth dialogue. Answer in 1 or 2 sentences, not long paragraphs. Don’t sound too sound-bite rehearsed. Keep it conversational.

Tip #5: Takeaways – Make sure you have some words and phrases that specifically identify you and your brand or your book. These help differentiate you from other interviewees and provide great quotable soundbites that the media will repeat. Tell the media and the audience what you want them to remember!

Tip #6: Bridges – Be ready to bridge back to your topic no matter what kind of question the media throws at you. Have a little set of phrases ready to go, such as:
• “Before I answer that, let me point out…”
• “That question ties in with another point I’d like to make…”
• “…but what is most important is…”
• “…but what I’d really like to point out is…”

BONUS TIP: Media love to repeat great words or new terms – think of a term like “gamechanger” and how it was used over and over during the presidential election. See what terms you can come up with for your specific topic that are new and catchy.

Finally, to have success always know what you want to accomplish during the interview and have your 2-3 talking points ready. Be confident! You are the expert, after all.