Be a Friend to the Media

I spent the day at the Colorado Independent Publishers Association annual “college.”

Michael J. Herman was the first speaker of the day. While I think his talk was mis-titled ("Write or Wrong–Publishing Mishaps That Can Cost You Millions . . . and How to Avoid Them"), he did outline some good points. One I’d like to share here is #9: Be a friend to the media. His notes said:

Every story should be told–the right way. If you have a story, make it mouth wateringly irresistible for the press. Make them want to and need to cover it. Make them feel like they have been on top of your story or they’ll miss the exclusive of a lifetime. KEY: FEED THEIR EGOS!

He said, “They don’t want to talk to you, but they want to know what you’re doing,” adding later, “Make them love you by making them think you love them.”

He said to read the papers and know the names of the editors, columnists, and contributors that you like. [Now I’m paraphrasing.] Stay in touch often and don’t be discouraged because you’re cultivating a relationship that takes time.

I’ll add: Get to know them before you want something from them. This is true for anyone in your career (collectors, dealers, curators, etc.).

I was particularly interested in the CIPA college’s offerings because they
APPEARED to be tech-focused (e-books, audio recordings, etc.), but I
was disappointed. I feel like I’m light years ahead of whomever they
were talking to. Not a total waste, as I met some very nice people and
purchased what appears to be a terrific book on nutrition: If It’s Not
Food, Don’t Eat It! by Kelly Hayford.

Send to Kindle

1 comment to Be a Friend to the Media

  • Walter Hawn

    As a media guy for over 30 years, I’d like to comment on the “feed their egos” thing. Our egos, in the news biz, are just fine. Mine is sleek and svelte, and needs no fattening. If I perceive that you are even coming close to “feeding my ego,” you lose. Anything beyond such polite acknowledgments as, “I hear you on the radio” or “I read your stuff” will move you into *negative* territory. Only a newbie (or maybe a network anchor) will be upset if you don’t even mention it. Remember this secret about the news biz: There is a LOT of news out there. Yours is a very small part of it. You need the media *much* more than the media needs you. Flashy stuff doesn’t work. Ego-strokes don’t work. A plain, simple, normal sized sheet of paper, with well organised contact information, a compelling reason to follow up, and decent background info, is what works. Regards, Walter Hawn KTWO Radio News