2021 digital strategies are a hybrid of public relations, corporate communications, reputation management, and search marketing — and leveraging the strategies built within all of these gives you a competitive edge. This is the first in a multi-part series giving you insight into what other companies are doing to get ahead.
Become an Expert Guest on Mainstream Media
Cable news and primetime producers are always looking to fill voids with experts who know what they are talking about. Trending news topics usually require an external, expert guest to give their view on how the subject will impact everyday lives.
CNN MONEY News Headline: “Markets See Steep Decline After Confidence in Vaccine Drops”
Such a headline would require an appropriate expert guest to give valuable insight into the matter. That person could be you, even if you don’t immediately see why. There are a variety of different angles that could be taken here:
- Local Housing Agent – Comes on live TV and talks about how the pandemic is impacting buyer decisions.
- Group Healthcare MD – Discusses the challenge of implementing Telehealth.
- Financial Advisory CEO – Discusses options for the working family to prepare for tough times and how to manage finances accordingly.
- Authors – For those who have written a book on the subject, this is an opportunity to discuss any correlations between that book and the trending news topic.
Expert Guests on TV
Credibility, Reputation, PR, Trust.
The expert’s name and company are mentioned, and the video goes up on the news channel’s website and can be used in company marketing. By becoming an expert guest, you are leveraging the mainstream media’s audience to build name recognition in your industry.
How It’s Done
Most news outlets have a submission form that allows you to propose yourself as an expert guest for TV. This is rarely a paid opportunity but has value beyond that in terms of positioning the guest as a leader in their field.
Design your pitch – As an expert on a topic, you will want to design a simple and broadly appealing pitch that will get your foot in the door. Include in this pitch any specific angles you like to cover and can provide great depth of knowledge on. Bonus: if you are an author of a book or online articles, have been on TV previously, or have any videos of yourself, you can reference them. Branding expert Peter Shankman gives an excellent breakdown of a pitch.
Many producers will want to see a video of your speaking style first. Prepare a snippet of yourself providing commentary on a topic without having to reference notes. This is key for a seamless viewer experience.
Make the calls – The fastest way to secure guest or contributor opportunities on TV is to call their editorial department. Direct calls to people are 10x more effective than emails. Primetime shows and newsgroups are in such a rush for good content that you may secure your opportunity much sooner than expected.
LinkedIn – Building your network of key producers and editors is vital. Cast a wide net and you will gain introductions to the right people and get the conversation going.
Send the right emails – Most media and news productions have a contributor or expert guest submission form or a public “our people” type of page, which lists every editor/producer and their exact role. You can rapidly identify the right person to reach out to just by quickly scanning such a page.
Twitter – Producers use Twitter to scout for expert guests. Give them a nudge with an @. Keep your Twitter messaging consistent and engaging. Producers want to bring entertainment and education to their expert segments.
Becoming an Ongoing Contributor
If you have done your job right, you may find yourself being requested as an ongoing expert guest contributor. Typically, such a position may also come with financial compensation for your time but, most importantly, it will ensure your name, your face, and your brand are repeated over and over again.
PR, communications, marketing, advertising, and trust-building all work when they are consistent and repetitive. If you want to be remembered and recognized, you, your organization, or its product /service must be repeated endlessly.
And that is your legacy.