There’s a common opinion that it’s difficult to get started with the media to use them to help to be seen as an expert.  That’s not really the case.

It’s incredibly easy to be involved in the media.  The media are always looking for people to interview and speak to.  There are many radio stations, local, national and international. These stations are looking for guests to appear on their shows.  It can be cheaper for the station to interview somebody then it is to play music and pay royalties. There are plenty of talk only stations that take advantage of that.  There are also podcasts needing regular guests. Combine the spoken media with a huge amount of newspapers that are published worldwide and news sites that exist online and so there’s a vast market out there for you to exploit. I hope that you can see how easy it can be to be seen as an expert by using the media once you’ve got yourself known as being available to speak.

To get started, you need the information ready for the press to promote. A good way to do this is through a press pack.

How do you go about putting together a press pack, something to give you a new area to talk about on the radio or in the media?  Well it’s actually quite easy.  I’ve got a simple process that you can follow.  I’ll start off by summarising it. The first thing to do is to find some original research or some original results which you can talk about.  Secondly, you need to put together a detailed press pack, or summarise the results through a press release. Send this out via the Internet and promote it through social media.  Finally, you need to take advantage of a local angle by contacting local journalists directly.  Let’s break that process down in more detail.

The first thing you need to do is to collect together some original results or some original opinion.  Opinion is the easiest thing to do.  Look for a big news story that’s breaking and if it’s in your field and you feel able to add an expert opinion to it then go ahead.  Don’t be shy.  Share your opinion to the world by releasing a press release, pushing your own ideas and say how they relate to the wider happenings.  If you can do this and include a local angle or if you a new direction you can take the story in, all the better.

If you can’t piggy back on a story, you can start to develop your own original results. That means, you’re making the story. The easiest way to do this is by doing a small scale survey about your niche.  You can collect this information quite quickly.  If you’re on a forum, why not set up some kind of poll with multiple choices?  Let people add their own thoughts about your poll question as a reply to the thread you posted.   Put that together and you got some original numbers and the media often will jump all over that.  This works particularly well if you can ask something quirky or entertaining and you get some unusual numbers back. Package this and be ready to talk about the results and the media can run with this.

Once you’ve got something newsworthy, even if it’s quite slight, you need to write a press release.  There are many press release sites now which will soon get your name all over the internet.  The media are always monitoring these sites.  A simple press release has a standard format.  You have a catchy title, you have a number of quotes, and you have some results.  And if you look at any internet press release, which you can find just by doing a search, you can soon find one to model yours after.  The format is standard. Put together this press release which is quite suitable for the internet.

As well as sending out a press release, for the best results, you need to contact the local media directly.  There’s always a local angle and media are keen to talk to people with interesting results in their own area.  Whether this is being aimed at newspaper, radio stations, magazines, even local TV, that local media is important.

A few more hints to conclude. If you’re sending your press release out through the post, try and make sure that it doesn’t look too crude.  Do this by laying it out nicely and adding some local flavour in there if you’re going after journalists.  On top of that, make sure you’ve included full contact details for the journalists to get in touch with you.  Send out the press release to the appropriate places in your area.  You can find these by looking in printed publications or searching on the web.  You may wish to follow this process up after a couple of days by giving these places direct calls to see if they want to run with your story.  Radio stations, for instance, often need to fill time slots at short notice. If you’re there at the right time and ready to speak with little notice, you can benefit from some excellent opportunities.

There you have a simple process which you can follow to use the media to help support your expert status.  Just go ahead and collect some original results, perhaps by doing a survey or perhaps by commenting in an interesting way on another story which the media is covering.  Release these results first on the internet by using a press release.  This might get you some publicity straight away but if not at least your name will be out there with press releases associated with it.  Then, and only then, contact the local media.  Make sure you take advantage of any local angles that are out there.  By doing so, you’re showing yourself as being of local interest and this can lead to you being invited on shows, not once but sometimes time and time again.  Once you get this process down to a tee, you’ll be all over the media and this will help to push your continued expert status.

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