By Jim James, Founder EASTWEST PR and Host of The UnNoticed Podcast.
“Stop watching your competition on TV and start being on TV.” This is what will welcome you when you visit LifeFlip Media’s website. Its founder, Eric Mitchell, is on a mission to help the unnoticed get on TV. And for him, there are different ways to learn how to do it.
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Getting on TV
Like any other media firm, Eric and company put people on TV. But apart from that, they also offer consulting services and coach people on how to do it.
The year 2020 brought forth new trends such as working from home and opening remote studios. We’re able to watch Trevor Noah do his shows straight from the studio at his house. Taking inspiration from this concept, it’s also now possible for you to be on TV, too. With the help of LifeFlip Media, you can learn how to do it and tap the power of social media without spending thousands of dollars. You won’t have to worry about not having a separate budget for a publicist (like how it’s done traditionally). Eric can help you get past such excuses and make the most of technology and powerful tools such as mobile phones.
The first thing you need to do is to have a plan. Then, start local. Across the globe, there are different local television stations that cover news and happenings in different communities. One common mistake people do is to immediately want to go for the biggest shows such as Good Morning America.
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When contacting press people, Eric recommends Twitter. It’s a great social media platform that many journalists around the world use. The majority of the reporters also include information on how to get in touch with them in their profiles.
With this platform, you can see what they report about and even have a glimpse of their personal life. For instance, Eric has a good friend who’s an anchor on a national TV show. He happened to know that that person is a huge fan of the basketball team, Arkansas Razorbacks. Based on that knowledge, he decided to send him gift boxes whenever March Madness arrives. Similar to that, with Twitter, you can learn something from your prospective journalists. You can leverage that and give them something that they want to talk about; something that will make them realise that you’re paying attention to them. You can use direct messaging to commence a conversation with them. As DMs are available on Twitter and other platforms like Instagram, it’s now easier to reach out, talk to, and engage with reporters. Getting yourself on TV is really more mental than anything else.
Being newsworthy is a whole different topic altogether.
In 2020, the world saw an increase in people who claim to be digital marketers or word entrepreneurs. However, a number of them are only “wanna-preneurs,” and they’re different from authentic entrepreneurs. What spells the difference is how you make yourself newsworthy, how you tell your story, and how you separate yourself from the bunch.
Why Bother Being on Radio and Podcast
If you will ask Eric, he would recommend you to never turn down a podcast or a radio feature. If the show is talking about a topic that you know a lot about and you can provide value for, say yes to that show.
This is what most people tend to forget about: the similarity between TV and radio. What a TV network wants is for you to have a story that resonates with others. If you simply pitch yourself and your product but it won’t provide value to their audience, you won’t make it on their show. They want you to have something valuable for their millions of audience (or hundreds of thousands, if they’re local) because it can help drive up their engagement.
The same goes for the radio. However, this platform has an advantage: You can have a longer talk time (radio shows and podcasts usually last from 15 to 30 minutes; TV shows only offer around five to seven minutes). In some podcasts, the duration can even last up to three hours.
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Also, when you look at data consumption, digital audio like podcasts are now getting bigger more than ever. Radio shows also have their own share of audience, including those who are on the road.
Unlike TV, you’ll also be rarely affected by breaking news on radio and podcasts. Furthermore, you can guest on a show, do a radio tour, and get quality media mileage without letting people know that you’re having a bad hair day. This is why Eric recommends to don’t just aspire to be on TV, but to target podcast and radio show hosts as well.
Trying Out New Platforms
In the era of live chats and live streams, many apps continue to emerge. One of the apps that grow rapidly nowadays is the audio-driven Clubhouse.
Based on his experience using the app, Eric shares that it has been a helpful platform in his pursuit of giving back and providing value to people, especially to those who are unknown and unnoticed. In his rooms, which he does every Tuesday night, he hosts question-and-answer portions featuring industry leaders, fellow PR professionals, producers, on-air hosts, and other media personnel. This gives his audience the chance to converse with these people and learn something from them. Some of the topics they discuss include knowing where and how to start, making a pitch, and assessing brand direction among others.
Setting Up Your Home Studio
Setting up home studios shouldn’t cost a lot of money. If you’re just starting, you can start small. If you will use your laptop, Eric recommends you make sure it’s clean (especially your web camera) and leveled.
You shouldn’t also oversimplify what you’re doing. Put things behind you, like fancy lights. If you want to know more about proper lighting techniques, you can go to YouTube and learn from YouTubers. While they’re not on traditional media, these people have become experts on the matter and are willing to engage with their audience.
If you will use a green screen, you have to do it right. Secure yourself to your seat so you won’t have that motion glare when you move or you won’t have your hands appear as if they were cut off. As an alternative, Eric uses a 75-inch TV and frames it properly to serve as his backdrop.
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Making Yourself and Staying Relevant
If you’re pitching yourself to the press, Eric recommends freshening up your talking points on a weekly basis. Pay attention to what’s happening around you to make sure that your pitch is relevant.
You can also rely on subscriptions and news sources such as The Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, BBC, Daily Mail, and Scoop.it! among others. There’s also Morning Brew, a newsletter that rounds up the news of the day. For instance, if you found that a news story on a Tuesday fits your needs, you can grab it, send it to a producer, and tell how it relates to what you want to share. Even if what you’re targeting is a local producer, if your story is compelling, it can entice those on the national level to invite you to their shows. If you want to affect the masses, the key is having a catchy story.
To reach out to Eric, check him out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also visit his company’s website, https://www.lifeflipmedia.com. And if you’re trying to get yourself into the media, know that starting small and staying relevant can go a long way.
This article is based on a transcript from my Podcast The UnNoticed, you can listen here.