Spice Up Your Media Outreach With These Ingredients

 A few excellent ingredients can help brand your leader as a media rock star. Flickr Creative Commons photo by   Enric Martinez   .

A few excellent ingredients can help brand your leader as a media rock star. Flickr Creative Commons photo by Enric Martinez.

There are three key ingredients to branding your organization’s leader as a media rock star.

We covered the first — a compelling origin story — this week in our newsletter.

But while an origin story can be incredibly valuable in capturing the imagination of journalists and audiences, to become a true rock star, it’s important to also include these two additional ingredients in your media relations recipe:

A Succinct Vision

While many media rockstars have a strong and interesting backstory, they are also able to connect that backstory with an equally strong and compelling vision for what they want to achieve.

Organizations such as Share Our Strength, which has a concise and clear vision -- to end childhood hunger -- are able to quickly convey their objectives and capture the attention of reporters and other journalists who are looking for sources.

If you can find opportunities to clearly connect your messaging and mission with an easy-to-grasp vision, you have a strong chance of branding your leader as a capable and strong spokesperson.

Smart, Focused Media-Relations Support

While a compelling backstory and vision can help capture the attention of reporters (and their readers and viewers), the most important ingredient is sustained media relations support.

Branding your leader as a viable source in the media requires skill, experience, and a true willingness to invest time and resources to support your leader and build connections with the media.

If you truly want to establish your expert as a thought leader, you'll need to develop and execute a thought leadership strategy that includes:

  • Creating original content by your thought leader. This can include research papers, speeches, blog posts, or even social media musings. The important thing is to make sure you can provide source material that shows your expert knows their stuff.

  • Coaching your expert. Not everyone is a natural in front of a microphone or camera. And even the most polished speakers often need help honing their messages and talking points. It's important to work regularly with your thought leaders to help them put their best feet forward.

  • Building relationships. Your thought leaders typically don't have time to cultivate relationships with reporters. That's why they have you. The most effective media rockstars have a strong promoter working the phones and helping establish the connections that will yield feature stories and interviews.

By taking these steps, you're not guaranteed to have your executive director profiled on 60 Minutes or quoted on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

But you will have a much greater chance at getting your leaders to appear more regularly in the outlets you care most about.

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