When someone brags about their own abilities, we generally take it with a grain of salt; but when we hear someone else extoll someone’s expertise, we take notice and give it more weight.  And when that someone else is a commentator for a TV or radio program or a newspaper reporter, we are even more likely to believe it. So if we want to build our reputation, a good way to do that is to get media interviews.

How do you do that?  Maura Sweeney, this month’s guest on the SkillBites Show, shared a number of resources and tips for getting media interviews.  Maura is an internationally acclaimed speaker, having traveled to over 60 countries, speaking on such topics as influence, leadership and emotional intelligence.  She is also a published author of 6 books, a podcaster and a frequent media guest.

Maura advised that pursuing media exposure does take a lot of work, patience, commitment and getting out of your comfort zone, but it is well worth it.  Each time you land a media interview, you get better at honing your message, and then you get more interviews. When you direct your energies toward getting media exposure, then you are more likely to get media opportunities.  

Maura shared some stories of how this worked for her.  One such story involved her getting on BBC Radio. She was in Liverpool, England on vacation, and decided to do some research on the Beatles for her own personal interest.  While there, she noticed the BBC Studio building, and thought there might be someone there who could tell her what the Beatles were like before they became stars. It turned out that the person who might have been able to help her was not available, but a BBC reporter asked to talk with her. He took her out for tea and invited her to be a guest on a BBC Show.  Not long after that, she got a second opportunity to be a guest on the BBC.

Maura recommended starting small – seek interviews with podcasters and local radio shows on your topic, or who have audiences who would benefit from hearing about your topic.  A good source for finding appropriate radio shows and podcasts is radioguestlist.com. 

Another source is newspaper interviews.  There’s a free resource for this called HARO.com (Help A Reporter Out).  It’s an email that gets sent to subscribers a few times every day with a list of all the topics that reporters are seeking experts on.  It is time consuming to go through the emails, and the response has to be quick; but if you land an interview, you’ll get your name in an article that will go to thousands of people.  It’ll take your profile to a whole different level; and again, the more times you get selected, the more likely that you’ll get selected again.

Another resource Maura shared is InterviewGuestDirectory.com.  This is a paid directory that media personnel use to find experts they want to interview, so if your profile is in the directory, they’ll find you if your expertise is what they are looking for.

Before you proceed down the path of seeking guest interviews, however, you should prepare a message that you want to share.  Then, after you land an interview, you need to find out who the audience is and how long the interview is. Prepare some questions that you can send to the interviewer and practice answering them in the time that is allotted for your interview.  The better prepared you are, the more confident you will be in the interview and the better you will come across. 

Maura offers consulting services to help people hone their message and prepare for media interviews.  She generously offered to the listeners in the SkillBites community a 30 minute complimentary consultation.  To take advantage of this opportunity, email her at maura@maura4u.com, with the subject “SkillBites”.