Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Where does impact live? 5 tips from the Master Media Coach.

One of the best speakers at last week's World's Greatest Marketing Conference was media coach, Joel Roberts. As a media coach, his job is to get other people to listen to your story which means he has to help you create a compelling, impactful story in the first place. So here are 5 things that I learned from him last week that I thought I'd share:
  1. Don't go to the media expecting to get interviewed or to get publicity until you're ready. Get clarity first and have your marketing in place before you attempt to sell your story.
  2. Clarity comes with concrete, specific language and does not live in the abstract. If you're going to make impact, be as specific and clear as possible. If you try to tell people what you do or how you got to the place you're in now in general terms, not only will you not be able to sell your story but you won't even get listeners. The media favors the concrete over the abstact, every time and all the time.
  3. Sell the problem first, not your solution. What's the problem you remedy for your clients or customers? This is a common mistake that people and businesses make. Make the problem known! Talk about it with drama and grit. Don't just enroll people in the problem but pull them in. Submerge them in it. Steep them in it. Paint that picture. Address it clearly and head on -- or -- get them to have the problem you solve (there are two kinds of problems -- ones people have or ones they don't). Think of yourself as being in the problem distribution business. You can only sell your solution when people can relate or identify with the problem first.
  4. Make it real. Make it human. Look for balance between humanity and your expertise. So in addition to making your story crystal clear, remember to access that place -- that human, vulnerable place in you -- predictably and learn to articulate the message precisely. Access predictably; articulate precisely. Tell the most dramatic story, whether it's your personal story or one of your client's. Choregraph your own energy around it when you tell it and bring the emotion in to it for people.
  5. Follow a model; master it then transcend it. An easy short model to begin with is to use this phrase "Today I'm (insert all the good specifics about your current success) but it wasn't always that way. I used to be (insert the things you were that you're not now) and/or I tried (insert specifics of all the things you tried) and nothing worked. It wasn't until I discovered (insert the thing that turned you around, your revelation or epiphany) that led me to where I am today. Can I tell you more?" If you can begin with this model of how to set up the short version of your story, then you'll be able to pique the media's interest (or anyone you're selling to) about why they should hear more. Basically, you'll use this as "the short memo that explains why the longer memo is necessary." Master this template and then you can revise to make it your own.

Joel is a masterful media coach who has helped many authors and corporate executives prepare for major media interviews on Oprah, the Today Show and radio stations too numerous to mention. His joy comes from teaching intensive 3-day Excellence in Media seminars, and upcoming dates along with contact information can be found at

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