No matter how accomplished someone is at designing landscapes, selling cupcakes or writing novels, common sense has an unfortunate way of flying out the window whenever the press comes calling with a request for an interview. For those unaccustomed to being in the media spotlight, there’s a tendency to embrace a predisposed view that every reporter will be (1) their new best friend or (2) their worst enemy.
To err in either extreme not only impacts the comfort level of both parties but also colors the quality – and quantity – of content imparted. In my years as a freelance journalist, I’ve had no shortage of interviewees who giddily hug me upon first introduction, blather on about their last vacation, or tearfully confide they had terrible childhoods that no amount of therapy can remedy. I was even asked once if I could pick up a latte for a female bank executive on my way to our meeting because she hadn’t had time for breakfast. (Apparently she had already decided that such are the favors one asks of potential BFFs.) On the flip side, I’ve had just as many interviewees who – when asked why they went into the cupcake business – folded their arms, squirmed in their chairs, squinted their eyes and responded defensively, “Why do you want to know?”
The fact of the matter is that unless you’ve pilfered squillions from the company coffers or bulldozed the habitat of endangered muskrats to expand your parking lot, the media only wants one thing in a feature profile or advertorial: to get great stories from individuals who have not only positioned themselves as experts in topical, consumer-interest subjects but who can also provide entertaining, well-focused, informative, inspirational and/or memorable segments with a strong takeaway value for the media outlet’s core audience.
If you adhere to that approach in your professional relationships with the press, you’ll soon become the media darling who gets invited back time and again…and at absolutely no advertising cost to your business.
Here’s the lineup of this month’s blogs by my guest contributors:
Conquering Sales the Entrepreneurial Way – by Mandy Wildman
Next Stop, Success: A How-To Guide For Interns – by Olivia Meena
Ask the Content Marketing Guru: 6 FAQs on Low Cost Lead Driving – by Taylor Calhoun
Is an SEO Specialist Really Necessary for Your Business? – by Clare Evans
Podcasting: Separating Yourself From The Pack – by Craig Price
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