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How to Get in the Media, when the Media Don't Want You
How to get interviews in the media
OK, so no-one's really heard of what I do. I'm a Recovery Coach. I help people recovering from a whole range of setbacks, disorders and issues.
I'm like a Life Coach for 'stuck people', and I specialise in recovery from addiction using solution-focused tools. I'm sorry - you're even more confused now, aren't you?
Unfortunately, my slightly confusing job means that no-one is beating down the door to interview me about addiction, or overcoming challenges in life. Despite the fact that I'm a recovered alcoholic myself with the sort of life story that daytime TV would kill for; because I'm not a counsellor, a psychologist or a Doctor, no-one really wants to know.
And yet, last month, I secured publication in the UK's most-read print publication, Tesco magazine, as well as having articles published on the websites for the New Statesman and the Huffington Post, and I am currently working on being published in Closer magazine.
So, what do you do if you want to build a media platform, but no-one's biting? Easy. You go to them.
So, how exactly do you get in the media like I did? Well, you have to make yourself useful, accessible and keep a keen eye out for opportunities. And then volunteer your services.
Great places to find media opportunities include SourceBottle, Reporter Connection, StarJobs and the twitter tag #journorequest. But you can go even further and pitch straight to media outlets by having a snappy, on-target message that will appeal to their readers.
I managed to secure the majority of my articles and interviews by simply emailing or Tweeting a snappy pitch, tailored to the publication.
If an editor bites, then make sure you follow up swiftly with great material they can use. Don't spam people, don't send unsolicited, untailored material to publications in the hopes of getting some column inches.
Be an editor's best friend. Save them time, send them perfectly-formed copy and be polite, approachable and useful. Even better, become an Editorial Assistant's best friend - they are much more likely to respond.
Be bold to get your message out there. If they won't come to you, go to them. Just make sure you have something worth saying, when you get there.
Beth Burgess, Recovery Coach at Smyls - and 'Media Volunteer'