One of my goals when I set out in my business was to be on news television (I’ll have a different blog discussing reality TV). I wanted to get on TV – not because I’m some kind of egomaniac who likes to hear and see myself on electronic media at all times of the day and night. But because I understand the overwhelming power that TV and being on other media can bring to my personal brand, and in turn, my company and I have a genuine passion for teaching people and helping people through this channel.
I’ve been asked so many times how I got the opportunity to be this person. And while my tips for getting on TV may seem easy, please understand speaking and commentating on live television is far from that…
Be Knowledgeable. If you want to be on TV, you need to first establish yourself as an expert or credible source to weigh in on a topic. How do you do that when you are new to a business with no name recognition? Unless you make the media for being part of some news event–which could be a bad thing – find another way to establish your expertise. I started by blogging and writing for various publications online and even my local newspaper. Media outlets are looking for content and there is a lot of opportunity out there. Always remember to do your research and know your sh*t – no one wants to interview an “expert” who doesn’t have the knowledge to back it up. And please invest in media training which teaches you how to speak on camera. In this age of viral videos it’s a great way to make a fool out of yourself if an interview goes wrong. Yes, it’s pricey and will cost hundreds to thousands of dollars but not knowing what you’re doing and/or possibly looking like a moron will not only destroy your pride but can ruin your chances of ever getting back on another show.
Be Persistent. When I was getting started, I worked with a public relations firm that flat out told me I would never get on TV. They said it was too difficult to do and TV outlets really only want “recognized names” as guests.
Fortunately because of my persistence and love for HARO, I was able to connect with producers on my own and pitched them with ideas that were current and interesting along with my opinions and outlook. Other than “breaking news” stories and other major headlines, news channels need new stories to cover that will engage their audience.
Make sure not to “blanket” a number of producers with your idea. Do you like it when you get mass texts or emails? Well, neither do producers… And just how you block the sender, so will they. Know who you’re reaching out to and personalize your emails and pitches accordingly.
You may not hear back immediately and heck, you may not hear back at all. Put your ego in check and do not take this personally. Producers receive thousands of emails a day and possibly after this blog, thousands more…
Patience is important and there’s a fine line between persistence and pestering– know where the line is and know never to cross it.
But there are other ways to grab attention. I’ve once sent a producer a holiday pie wishing them a happy new year. Creepy? Possibly, but hey, they called me to be on their show soon after.
Be appreciative. This one is a big one. You don’t need to send pies to every news channel in the country, but you do need to at least send an email. There are millions of real estate agents and business owners across the country and I am lucky enough that producers call me when they need someone to speak about a pertinent topic–and you’d better be sure that I immediately thank them and show them my gratitude. Whether you gave a good or bad interview, a thank you letter goes a long way.
Want to hear more about my business tips and advice? Make sure to check me out in January at IMG Expo in New Orleans!