Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Friday, January 30, 2015

Tips for Making the Most of Your Print Interview

Marsha Friedman, Guest Author

Getting media exposure means putting yourself out there. It might be chatting live on the air with a radio talk show host, taping an appearance for TV, or being interviewed by a print journalist.

Some people enjoy print because they have more time to ponder their answers. But it makes others (me included!) nervous. I worry about how the reporter will interpret my responses, and how they’ll be sliced, diced and repackaged for an article.

PrintInterviewThere are things you can do, though, to ensure your print interview goes well; that the reporter understands you, and you get your message across. Here are 5 tips:

Do NOT try to pitch, sell or promote your book, product or business:

Yes, it may be the reason you’re granting interviews, but if you want to sell something, you should buy an ad. The journalists are looking for you, as someone with a particular expertise, to provide content for their readers. That may be adding another voice to a story with multiple viewpoints. Or it may even be sharing your story – how you reinvented yourself after being laid off, or how you managed to write a novel while raising 13 kids. Either way, the goal of the journalist is to write an article that’s useful, informative and/or entertaining. Your goal is to get media exposure: your name and the source of your expertise in front of thousands, perhaps millions, of eyes.

Try to speak clearly and at a moderate pace:

Whether the reporter is taking notes with a pen or a computer, it will be difficult for him or her to keep up if you get excited and start talking very quickly. Not only might he miss some of the brilliant things you have to say, he may (gulp!) make an error that becomes a misquote in the story. Speak at a conversational speed, and if you really want to be a big help, offer to spell any less-than-obvious names you toss out. A good reporter will double-check the spelling, but you’ll save her time by giving her a starting point.

You don’t have to answer immediately, and you don’t have to answer every question:

Most of us would be hard put to respond off the top of our heads to, “What was the most pivotal moment of your life?” If you can’t, don’t. Ask the reporter to give you some time to think about it. By the same token, if you don’t feel qualified to answer a question, it’s far better to be honest about that than to take a stab at a response that makes you sound, um, unqualified. Remember, you’re in control. No one will think less of you if you politely decline a question for which you have no answer!

Take your own notes before the interview:

You likely have a good idea of what the reporter is writing about – and if you don’t it’s perfectly acceptable to ask what the gist of the story is. That gives you time to prepare relevant comments. If they’re looking for tips, list a few on paper in case you draw a blank. That will also help you plan ahead so you can speak concisely and get to the point quickly. Personal anecdotes always add color and interest to a story. Think about whether you’ve got a good short one (short is appreciated!) that will illustrate your point.

Be prepared to email a high-resolution photo of yourself:

Print publications cannot use the low-resolution photos that look so sharp online; the files are too small to reproduce at any decent size on paper. Most require an image that’s 300 dpi (dots per inch). Keep one of yourself at the ready to send via email, if the reporter asks, as soon as the interview is over. Not having it – or not knowing what a high-resolution photo is – could mean a missed opportunity to get your name, book title and face in front of a big audience.

Sound easy? You’re right, it is. So relax and enjoy your interview.

Before you know it, a Google search of your name will produce dozens of publications quoting you and mentioning your product, business or book. That may lead to even more requests, all of which build your profile and your audience.

Stop the presses!

Marsha-with-Signature Copyright 2015 by Marsha Friedman. Reprinted with permission. Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children. Visit Marsha’s Website!

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

How to be the Perfect Talk Radio Guest

Marsha Friedman, Guest Author

I was, and still am, a huge talk radio listener. It’s educational, entertaining, and open to any and all topics – more so than any of the other traditional media. Pair a great show host with an informative guest (tips on that coming up) and I’m rapt. That’s why, when I started EMSI 25 years ago, I focused on booking clients on talk radio shows.

Over the years, we added TV, print and social media. The four media each have a different audience and characteristics that sometimes make one better for a particular message than another. But, between you and me, talk radio is still my favorite.

A&STalkRadioSince I’m often a guest on radio shows myself – I practice what I preach when it comes to publicity for my company! – I’m reminded just how much I enjoy this medium. Doing an interview over the phone from my living room or my office is easy, the conversations are fun, and I not only help people by sharing what I know, I get the word out about my business!

If you haven’t considered talk radio for marketing, you might want to. Here’s what those interviews can do for you:

• Position you as an expert in your field.
• Gain you (and your product/company/book) the implied endorsement of mainstream media.
• Put your name and the name of whatever you’re selling in front of a large audience.

The best way to ensure you have a successful interview is to forget you’ve got something to sell and work your marketing efforts around the goal of being the perfect radio guest. How?

Engage the host. He or she is your most important audience. People are usually fans of particular shows because they’re interested in what the hosts have to say — if you can engage them, you will engage the audience. Talk candidly and openly about your topic in relationship to the current events surrounding it. Be upbeat, honest, conversational, and as natural as possible. Listeners will be able to sense whether your interview is genuine. But don’t worry about entertaining them; entertain the host.

Don’t sell. Stay on topic during the interview, and when appropriate, mention the free material on your website that could benefit listeners. If you engage the host, give a great interview and offer helpful information, you don’t have to worry about selling anything. The host will do it for you. He’ll make sure his audience knows you’re an expert, he’ll share your website’s address, he’ll mention the name of your book or he’ll talk about the value of your product. He’ll do the promotion for you.

Have a website that does more than sell your product. Feature a blog on your site with content that’s regularly refreshed. Offer tips and insights related to your topic so that your visitors keep coming back. Create free reports or articles for your site that lay out the problem your product solves, again, in an informative tone.

Your great interview will get radio listeners interested in you. The host will appreciate your efforts and reward you by urging his loyal audience to visit your site. If you’re really good, he may even ask you back again.

Don’t forget to share your interview on social media, and to post it on your website, where it can continue to work for you by boosting your credibility to visitors.

That’s what I call the magic of radio. It’s an incredibly cost-effective and versatile marketing tool, whether you’re an author, a professional or a manufacturer of consumer products. There’s simply no better way to have a live conversation with a dedicated audience tuned in to hear what you have to say.

BONUS Articles: Why Talk Radio May Be Your Best Bet for Publicity
How to Be a Great Radio Guest! ~ Part One
Preparing for Your First Interview as a Published Author

Marsha-with-Signature Copyright 2015 by Marsha Friedman. Reprinted with permission. Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children. Visit Marsha’s Website!

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

“Top Tips” for TV and Radio Publicity

Stafford “Doc” Williamson, Guest Author

So, you want to get on radio, or television shows to publicize your latest book, video, song, or hot new “rope-on-a-string” invention. Okay, I’ve learned a few things over the years, and having had a little success recently in hitting some top national shows with a very modest publicity budget (money well spent on ads in Steve Harrison’s the Radio and Television Interview Report publicity magazine), let me share with you a few tips and insights. You may have to adapt them to your particular product, personality or situation, but I trust that you will find some of this useful.

Broadcasters have, for the past half century and more, relied upon statistics to set their advertising rates. Unlike the internet, where your server can literally count every “hit” (request) from every visitor, there is no direct way to measure every viewer/listener to a radio or television show, so they have resorted to that “black art” called statistics.

RadioTVPublicityThree times a year in North America a few select companies that specialize in this, survey the public about their viewing and listening habits. These are called the “ratings periods”, sometimes known as “heart attack season” in the entertainment industry, as well as “musical chairs” since so many jobs end up depending on the outcome of the ratings.

These rating periods generally correspond to the traditional landmarks in the television broadcasting “season” and are November, February and May. A period of lesser importance because of the shifting and staggering of start times of new programs in the fall is the September Sweeps.

Too many shows with many millions of dollars, potentially even billions of dollars, at stake were prematurely falling victim to transitory factors like what big news stories might be happening on any given Tuesday or Thursday before loyal viewing patterns were established, so the networks and their program suppliers reduced their do or die decisions based on early audience statistics that used to be crucial to programming decisions following the September measurements. The “important” ones are still November, February and May.

The characteristics of these sweeps are slightly different. The term “sweeps” is short for “sweepstakes”, which should give you some idea of how random the outcomes appear to at least some observers. November and February Sweeps tend to get peppered with special programming.

Thanksgiving Day parades, Sports playoffs (and Superbowl), and spectacular or epic movies and mini-series. May, in contrast, tends to be “season finale season” as annual program cycles come to an end, and try to offer cliffhanger plots or some other devices to pique interest in the shows that one will have to eagerly await until the series returns in the fall.

All of which may seem like it has very little to do with getting publicity at those times. Actually this is an important clue as to how to go about seeking publicity at those times, or even, why to avoid competing head-to-head with others who might be willing to do battle with the heavyweights, when you are not quite ready for that level of competition.

Advising you to “retreat” may not seem like very constructive advice, but this may be a case of better to live to fight another day. I am reminded of some friends of my parents whose daughter was a figure skater. These proud parents thought she had national competitive potential. If they have persuaded rich Uncle Morris to stake millions of dollars on putting her on national television in a live, televised special while Uncle Morris advertised his car dealerships in 7 cities, it almost certainly would have bankrupted Uncle Morris and been the last time this girl put on her skates. She really wasn’t ready for prime time. The sad result would have been that she would have missed all those years she has since enjoyed teaching and coaching other young figure skaters.

So my first piece of advice is, don’t expect to get on during Sweeps periods, and if you do, be sure you are ready to deliver the goods for a great show for the producers and hosts who have put their faith in you. They really don’t care if you’ve invented “the pocket fisherman” that will sell 7 million worldwide if all you can do is pull it out of your pocket, cast a line across the studio and say, “Isn’t that great?”

But if you can come on the show with a hand-painted, porcelain doll face with handmade Victorian period costume and explain how every piece of lace was crocheted, the bloomers were authentic to the period and show your genuine passion for the trials and tribulations of miniaturizing lingerie in the styles that inspired Victoria’s Secret, you might give them just the kind of show that would liven up Seattle’s afternoon on another dull, drizzling February day.

That too is another important point about all public appearances in the media. They don’t care if you don’t sell a single pair of handmade dolly bloomers for a 25 cent profit. They want a show that they can sell! One that is entertaining to their audience. They don’t care about you or your product or service.

Those traits make them very tough customers to sell. They need a reason to have you on. So here are a few clues to what producers are looking for during ratings periods.

tv3-3The perpetual winners in the wars for viewer attention during ratings periods are: puppies, babies, babies with puppies, death and the supernatural, Nazis, money, and sex. In that order. If you want to get the attention of the producers during sweeps periods you had better have something ripped from TOMORROW’s headlines, or one of the forgoing topics as the “hook” into your story, your segment, your pitch.

Okay, admittedly there are limits to how outrageously you can pile it on. “Nazi puppies and their hidden Swiss bank accounts,” just might stretch your credibility beyond redemption.

I remember sitting with some (Canadian) “emmy nominated” (they actually have another name in Canada, but roughly equivalent) producers on awards night. They held great hopes because they felt that they had done some of the best work of their lives in a documentary on death and dying. The competing film on Nazis won. Then to add to their pain, the documentary on sex won in a different category.

So, for example, say your field is separation anxiety for college students and their families. A couple of ways to bring in these perpetually dominant sweeps week themes might be either to pitch pets (puppies as the top of the hierarchy of pets, of course) for college kids to adjust to loneliness after moving out of first year dormitory life, or parents starting fostering babies and the dangers for all concerned if they are really just trying to compensate for that “empty nest” hole in their hearts because junior is off at college.

Note too, that these themes have a negative slant. That doesn’t mean your point of view or position has to be negative, but the “hook” value often works best when it plays upon some sense of concern, fear or foreboding. By all means tell people about how to avoid the pitfalls of your topic, but don’t be afraid of a negative catch phrase of soundbyte.

The old adage that “no news is good news” is also interpreted by the news and information peddlers in today’s media as “good news is no news.” Be careful not to be seen as “no news” if you can avoid that perception.

So, what are the best strategies for dealing with this most volatile of audience periods, the February, May and November sweeps? First, avoid them until you have had some practice in dealing with the media. You don’t want to “fail” when it is most important to the shows. Second, if you are ready, give them plenty of notice in advance.

Make initial contact the month before sweeps begin with the basic idea. Third, follow up. Make an effort to contact those outlets that didn’t respond to your initial pitch early in the ratings period to see if you can help them with last minute openings later in the period. Make sure they know you are available on short notice if they need someone.

Ask them what they “need”, and try to refine or re-work your pitch to suit their needs, the next time. Do not switch the pitch in mid-call. You will just sound desperate. Stay confident that the uniqueness of you and your expertise or product will shine through eventually, and don’t be discouraged if at first you don’t make a massive breakthrough.

Even if you appear once on Good Morning America, or Coast-to-Coast; you may not become an instant celebrity with untold wealth rolling in. But it you persist, with confidence that your eventual outcome will be worthwhile, you can succeed. You can have the success you are looking for. Just don’t forget to enjoy the journey as much as the destination, because most of life is the journey and any destination is just a stopping-off place along the way.

BONUS Articles: 8 Tips for Being a Great TV Talk Show Guest
How to Be a Great Radio Guest! ~ Part One
FREE eBOOK Download: “How to Book Radio Shows & Be a Great Guest!”

DocWilliamsonCopyright © 2014 Stafford “Doc” Williamson. Reprinted with permission. Stafford “Doc” Williamson is an author and consultant. His writing ranges from self-illustrated children’s books to theories about sub-atomic structure, and comedy. He first appeared on national television at the age of 7, and has been employed in almost countless jobs in the entertainment and many other industries for nearly 50 years. Recent appearances on regional and national media have garnered strong interest as he promotes his books. www.Facebook.com/stafford.doc.williamson

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Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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