I thought everyone would appreciate this article from Daily Real Estate News....most of it really applies to blogging as well ... I know I appreciate any tips on how to better market myself and get more media exposure.......
Daily Real Estate News | August 17, 2007
Making the News: How to Win Over the Media
A reporter interviews you for a story, but when you read the published article you ’re surprised to find she missed your main points. Or maybe you’re having a hard time talking to a reporter at all: You keep pitching story ideas but can’t seem to get a reporter to listen.
Learning to talk to the media can be a valuable tool since being quoted in real estate news articles can help you spotlight your expertise and land your name in front of consumers, says Nan Tolbert, a communications coach and former TV reporter.
Tolbert gave several tips to working with the media during her talk on “Tools to Make News” during the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Leadership Summit, Aug. 16-17 in Chicago. Here’s some of her advice to working with the media:
- Know what’s newsworthy. Reporters are looking for timely stories that impact their readers. Think of yourself as the audience: What are the attitudes and concerns of your community? How does your event or information benefit others? You might consider pitching stories about real estate trends in your city or state, your market’s response to national trends, or offer to comment on legislation affecting home owners, Tolbert suggests.
- Develop relationships with local media. Make initial contact with reporters via e-mail (unless you know them already) and consider complimenting them or commenting on a recent article they wrote as a way of introduction. If you’re pitching a story, give the headline in the subject line of your e-mail to entice them to read your message. And when you pitch, be able to answer “Why should I care?” in less than 30 seconds. If you do call them, late morning follow-up calls tend to work best with reporters’ deadlines.
- Prepare 3-4 clear, compelling messages. Have interesting facts and examples that support your talking points. If you have too many talking points and give too much information, you risk burying your main message. Resist using jargon. Deliver your most important message upfront, using pauses and verbal flagging — such as slowing your speech down — to draw emphasis to key information.
- Be the 3 C’s: confident, concise, and conversational. For phone interviews, stand up because you’ll be more energetic when you talk on the phone and less likely to get distracted than if you're sitting at your desk and near your e-mail. With TV interviews, make eye contact with the reporter, not the camera. And practice aloud what you plan to say, anticipating likely questions.
- Call back with additional information. After the interview is over, be free to contact the reporter again with extra information (such as a factoid or statistic) or to clarify or add to something you said during the interview.
- Never take a reporter’s call cold. If they call you for an interview, ask them when their deadline is and then set a time to call them back before that deadline. This will allow you time to prepare and get focused on the interview. “A media interview is no place for original thought,” Tolbert says. “You can go ahead and sound like you’re talking off-the-cuff but don’t actually talk off-the-cuff because we all know what happens when you try to wing it.”
- Become a trusted resource to the media. You can be that "expert" source reporters turn to again and again to interview. Make yourself stand out by always honoring reporter deadlines, contacting them after a story they quoted you in appears to comment about it, and offering them additional sources or experts for stories they’re working on.
— By Melissa Dittmann Tracey for REALTOR® Magazine Online