Shawn McBride interviewed Kate Delaney, who is on two syndicated radio shows, and on television, and a speaker, about her experience using media and how to get media attention. You can find the full interview here:
R. Shawn McBride: Hello, everyone. Shawn McBride here. I’ve got Kate Delaney with me today as our audience builds. She’s going to be talking about using media and how to be buzzworthy to get media attention. Kate, why don’t you tell us a little about your experience while we let some people show up to see us?
Kate Delaney: Cool. That sounds good. Thanks, Shawn, for having me on. I have an interesting background. I started in the news business, went to school, got a degree in journalism, got out of school, jumped right in front of the camera, and started by anchoring, and reporting for a television news station in a little, old town called Kearney, Nebraska, and quickly moved up the ranks, ended up in Santa Barbara and Albuquerque, New Mexico along the way and Las Vegas.
As I went through those stops I ran into somebody who I thought was pretty good on the air. They were natural, conversational. They didn’t seem as robotic as a lot of the people I had worked with in front of the camera. It turned out that part of the reason why was because his name was Nathan Roberts. He was an anchorman in Los Angeles. He had a huge radio background. In radio, you have to fill a lot of time. You’re not just throwing to the weather person. You’re not just throwing to the sports person. You’re not one of those two people who are doing news where it’s a minute or so long.
I jumped into radio on the side and just had a massive passion for it because I like sports. I like politics. I liked business. I started to do radio shows and got syndicated. Now, fast forward, I do two syndicated shows, one that’s on ABC Satellite and the GCN Network. It’s called America Tonight. My other one is on NBC. It’s on the NBC Sports Radio Network. Pretty much I’ve been able to use what I’m passionate about in sports again, along with business, and politics. Then I do some television too. I’m a contributor for CNN – quite often they have me on. That’s been a real kick to do that, because I’ve always maintained my television roots as well.
The other thing I do is that I’m a speaker, and I’ve been speaking for about 10 years. I speak about “finding your wow.” How do you clearly, confidently, and concisely describe who you are and what you do? That dovetails into the media. I’m holding two retreats, and I do extensive media work with a lot of companies, a lot of law firms, a lot of accountants. How can they get buzz? How are they buzzworthy, in other words? Once they get the attention of the media, what do they do to leverage that attention? You got a spot on the local news or you got a huge national hit. What are you doing with that once you get it? How do you keep up the momentum?
R. Shawn McBride: Sure. Let’s start from the beginning. I think it’s apparent, but what does getting media attention do for somebody? How does that help somebody, or how does that help their cause?
Kate Delaney: Well, media attention, most of us … unfortunately, you can be great at whatever it is you do, but how do you get heard? How do people know who you are? How do you attract clients, except for shelling out big bucks advertising? If you create a media niche and you become an expert, let’s say, and television reporters, radio reporters go to you, you’re quoted in The Wall Street Journal, you’re quoted in USA Today, you’re quoted in Bloomberg magazine, you’re quoted in high volume blogs, (that kind of thing), I think that attracts bucks to you. It attracts people to what you’re doing, because they have a chance to see you, feel you, hear you, especially when they see you out there continuously, because then they want a piece of it. They want to know. They get to know you.
R. Shawn McBride: Right. I think we’ve learned those fundamentals now. People might say, “Hey it’s great. Yeah, I’d love to get some of this attention.” A lot of times, I guess with the media it’s free. Once you’ve cracked the code of how to get on the media they’re not going to charge you to get on there. You’re getting that publicity. How do you get the media to pick you versus all the other people that might want to be on a media?
Kate Delaney: Yeah. That’s the tough thing, Shawn, because there are so many people that do similar things, whether it’s you’re in a legal space, whether you’re a speaker, maybe you’re in retail, whatever your job is, or if you’re an entrepreneur. A lot of people listening to us might be entrepreneurs. How do you become the person who gets picked? The way you do that is by really clearly differentiating yourself from everybody else. I’ll give you a huge tip.
Here’s the number one thing. If you’re going to do a pitch, pay attention to who it is you’re pitching to. At least know their shows. Get to know their shows. Target some radio stations. Target some particular talk show hosts, or morning television shows, or big time blogs. Whatever it is that you really feel like you could be a part of, whatever that show is or what they’re talking about, for goodness sake know whatever it is that they talk about.
I can’t tell you, every day I get to your point, I get about 300 pitches a day. I’m not kidding. On slow days maybe it’s a little less than that, but people will pitch me stories that have nothing to do with anything I’d be interested in. Then the pitch is very blah. It tells me something exciting about them, but it goes right into their bio and a whole long diatribe of what they are and why we should listen to them and whatever, but it’s not sexy. It doesn’t grab you. There’s nothing compelling about it.
If you don’t have something compelling, you’re not going to attract the attention. If you want to attract the attention, you have to be consistent, and you have to . . . I think target who it is that you want to go after, and just keep going for it. It might take time to develop that relationship, but if you gain their trust, (somebody’s trust), they’ll go to you as the expert versus anybody else, for sure.
R. Shawn McBride: I think one of the dots we’re connecting here is the personality or the person that wants to be interviewed by the media, you’ve got to give them a reason. They’re obviously trying to build their audience. They want to provide a good product. They want to provide something interesting to get people tuned into whatever program they have. You want to provide that, but how do you get to the point of getting them to like you and trust you enough to say, “Hey. Come on the air with me,” or give the person who’s looking for exposure a chance to be interviewed?
Kate Delaney: Well, I think it goes back to that. It goes back to that consistency again. If you’re talking about a complete stranger, how do you crack the code of the local anchor guy who knows nothing about you, is busy, has producers, et cetera, you have to make sure you go to the right source. Is it the anchor? Is it gaining the trust of the anchor? Send them something maybe personal. Send them something that connects you to them.
Let’s say you could send your book, “Hey. Here’s a copy of my latest book. Blah. Blah. Blah,” and do that. That may just end up on a desk somewhere, but look for some kind of connection. It’s pretty interesting to me, even though I’m in the media, I’ve gotten a lot of media coverage for not what I’m necessarily doing in the media. I’m able to leverage all the different places that I lived. I had a connection.
Remember, all the people you’re reaching out to are people. If, for example, I’ll give you an example. Cynthia Izaguirre is a local anchorwoman on a big station in Dallas, Texas, on channel eight. She happened to live in New Mexico, a different time than I did, but I knew I had that connection to her. I sent her a pitch and I talked about, “Hey, I don’t know how much you like red chili, but I know I miss it.” Boom.
R. Shawn McBride: Got you.
Kate Delaney: It’s funny. Then I gave her the rest. Then all of a sudden, it’s like, “Wow. I totally relate to that, Kate. I like green chili, but I like it mild.” Then they put me on the show. They are a person and people forget that.
R. Shawn McBride: These are human beings at the end of the day. They may be on TV. They may be cool. They may have a personality, but at the end of the day you’ve got a human being that wants to connect with other human beings.
Kate Delaney: Yeah. Absolutely. If you can find that connection, especially for a lot of you who are watching this I should say. If you’re watching this and you’ve lived in a lot of places … Shawn, I know you’re pretty mobile – you’ve lived in a lot of different places. You visit a lot of different places. I’ve been to every single state, except for Alaska, and I’ve been able to use that. That more than anything … I have that goods, but I have some funny, some connection, whether it was sports, food, nightclubs, whatever it was. You got to do a little digging. You got to do research. People do not research enough.
R. Shawn McBride: Excellent. Yeah. Just build that extra connection. What would make somebody buzzworthy? What makes somebody have some kind of pitch or beyond this personal connection, but what is in their profile, or their experience, or other things that might be something they could use as a hook to try to get the media people to really want them to come onboard?
Kate Delaney: Yeah. That’s a great question. That’s what I call what’s your wow. What’s your wow a lot of times has to do with maybe it’s something numerical, like I’ve flown frequent flyer miles on American, and they’ve run out of cards to give me. It could be … I’ll give you an example. I was giving a speech the other day, or a couple of weeks ago. It was through Skype, and it was a manufacturing company. At that manufacturing company you had chemists and you had customer service people. What makes them buzzworthy? What makes them interconnected?
It turns out when I dug a little bit the chemist was a champion Frisbee player. That was the wow. How many times have you thrown a Frisbee? Oh. I’ve thrown a Frisbee probably 150 thousand times. Boom. The chemist that throw Frisbees for fun 150 thousand times. It made it much more compelling, much more interesting. It’s that other layer. It could be a number. A lot of times with people it’s a number. What’s compelling about you?
R. Shawn McBride: Right. What I’ve heard too it’s some combination. It’s like you’re a good chemist, but you’ve also got this personal side. That’s probably, from the media’s perspective, it’s interesting to talk about both of these together. It gives him some more flavor for an interview.
Kate Delaney: Yeah. I’ll give you a great example. I was talking to somebody the other day. She’s an entrepreneur, incredibly successful at what she does. She does masterminding groups and speaks. She had this sidebar to her personality. Toys. She loved wind-up toys. It turned out that so many people got into that. She now is going to have the Guinness Book of World Records. Boom.
All of a sudden the TV stations weren’t so interested, “Here’s another entrepreneur. Yeah. Tell us about masterminds.” No. She had this other side where she had all of these wind-up things. They end up doing a story on the windups. Then also, gee whiz, she’s an entrepreneur and his specialty is masterminds. That’s a good way to get somebody in the door. You get a lot of coverage for something super unique.
R. Shawn McBride: Yeah. One of our friends, a fellow speaker, Jill Schiefelbein, just commented. She was saying how you helped her find her wow. I guess that’s part of what you do is you help people figure out what that is about them that makes them a little different or unique.
Kate Delaney: Yeah. Everybody has it. Everybody has something. A lot of times they don’t think they do. Maybe it’s because I’ve interviewed 12,000 people. My wow is that I’ve been to every single state in the United States, except for Alaska, and I’ve interviewed over 12,000 people. I really connect with people. I really get it. I can drill down what somebody’s wow is within minutes of meeting them, because I’ve had to do that, whether I’m interviewing someone famous or somebody that’s just a little bit interesting. I’ll call them an average Joe.
If you’re listening to this, start to write out, what have you done in your life? I mean, were you a championship tennis player that beat the snot out of Andy Roddick who run a US Open? I don’t know. Did you swim with sharks and you escaped somehow? I can guarantee you’ve got something. It doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be compelling or interesting.
R. Shawn McBride: Yeah. you’re looking for something – something you’ve done just a little different than other people and take it to them. Let’s say we’ve got somebody who went from the process we talked about at the beginning of this. You wanted to be on the media, then you figured out some hook or something to get to the media. Now you’ve figured out some wow in you. How do you communicate this? Is it letters? Is it emails? Is it telephone calls? What’s the best way to take your packaged message to the media?
Kate Delaney: Definitely not phone calls. I would dissuade anyone from phone calls. I would say what you want to – well, there a couple ways. You definitely could go the email route, because especially reporters, assignment editors, producers are looking for stories. Believe it or not, it’s your timing too. Can you tie yourself to a national day? There’s a million national days. Can you tie yourself to a slow news day? Holidays are slow. We have Christmas coming up and New Years. They’ll be looking for content. If you have something that you can tie yourself into, it is perfect timing to pitch to the media.
Make sure on the subject line, what we talked about, what’s compelling, what’s interesting – you put it in that subject line. Immediately, right out of the gate, you don’t keep it any longer than maybe two paragraphs, and make them short. Write it really good. Make it really compelling why you’re pitching them, why they need to have you on. If the video is clever and it makes sense …
If I was my friend with the windup toys, I would shoot myself in front of the windup toys. I would do something talking about that. Then boom, they click on that and they see it. They see these thousands of windup toys all over the place. I’m a photographer, or even not, even if I’m a blogger I’m thinking, “Ah. That’s visual. I can put a link to a video with that. Her video I can link to.” That’s a good way to do it. Definitely not a cold call. I think cold callers are tough. People are busy. They don’t want to hear from you. What are you going to say when you leave a message, “Hey, anchor woman, I have a billion windup toys. You need to come cover my story.” Even if you’re great and you have a good rap, it’s not going to work.
R. Shawn McBride: Definitely. Something written medium is what we’re hearing. Probably email, maybe a letter, but just something to get it in front of them.
Kate Delaney: Absolutely.
R. Shawn McBride: How do people get ahold of you if they want to follow up with you?
Kate Delaney: Easy to get ahold of me. You can go to www.katedelaneyspeaker.com. There are links there. It’s got my email address, email@example.com. Shoot me an email that way, best way.
R. Shawn McBride: Awesome. Great. You’ve provided a lot of value. I really appreciate it. We’ll keep a copy of this video up, and we’ll get a transcript out for people. I’m Shawn McBride with McBride for Business, www.mcbrideforbusiness.com. We’re always helping people bring these business connections. What can they do better in business, whether it’s working with great people like Kate to find your wow and get in front of the media or whether it’s building your business, continuity planning, getting plans that really work. That’s one of my critical messages. I want people to do plans that work, whether it’s planning a media campaign, planning that succession of your business. Thank you so much for being here, Kate. I really appreciate it.
Kate Delaney: All right.
R. Shawn McBride: Happy holidays.
Kate Delaney: You too.
R. Shawn McBride: See yeah.
Kate Delaney: Cool.
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Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (www.rshawnmcbridelive.com/3laws) , gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 418-0258.
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