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The three characteristics you need to be successful in media

The three key characteristics you need to be successful in media

After twenty years of working with media I always get asked similar questions by new starters; What media platforms should I be on to engage media? What’s the best way to get media’s attention? How do I pitch a story to the media? All very good questions and I’m always happy to answer to the best of my ability. But in my mind there are more crucial elements to being successful in the media.  These are less about what you do and how you do it, and more about the mindset you need to have before engaging with the media.

So each time a new expert is entering the Media Stable community, these are the three characteristics we look for that are not negotiable:

Willing – fairly straightforward in that you need to have a genuine appetite to be in the media. It must be high on your list of priorities and is certainly part of your marketing and communications plan. If this characteristic doesn’t exist the expert is wasting their time. The will to be in media takes discipline and hard work and if it was easy; everyone would be doing it. It is a challenge to maintain the will but certainly media traction gives you an injection of adrenalin and will help you keep this desire to be in the media.

Can communicate  – another obvious characteristic that you need to have to be in media. There is no point for you or your brand to have poor communications skills in the media. If you get the opportunity to deliver your expertise on radio, television, in the newspaper or online, you need to be the best you possibly can be. It does help to get some media training once a year to keep your skills sharp. If you are skilled at delivering your content, then you are likely to be asked back or be called upon again and again. And that is what everyone is trying to achieve as a subject matter expert.

Available – one of the great frustrations for media is that the expert sends out a story or alert to the media but isn’t available to respond or take a call. You need to be available; leave your phone on, check emails, respond to texts and be ready to take on questions, topics, views and opinions. There are many fantastic subject matter experts that seldom get a call from the media because they burned their bridges on account of not being available. It doesn’t mean that you drop everything but you manage your availability and try to be flexible so that media is a priority.

These three characteristics are what we talk about as the must-haves to be recognised as a credible, dependable and successful expert in the media. Once we’ve established these three characteristics exist, we then progress to discussing the expert’s areas of interest. If you are looking to become one of the media’s go-to-people, ensure you have these characteristics covered and come join Media Stable.

Written by Nic Hayes, Managing Director of Media Stable and host of media and marketing podcast Brand Newsroom

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