Joanne McCall is this week’s podcast interview, see the details here.Joanne McCall

Authors spend a lot of energy researching appropriate media, writing compelling pitches, and securing interviews and great media coverage. But what is not covered nearly as much is what to do once you land the interview. Just as finishing the book is only the beginning when promoting it, landing the interview is only the beginning when it comes to attracting people and enticing them to buy your book. Being a great interview guest is an art and a science, and those who understand this get invited back again and again.

I call them Media Darlings. Media Darlings know how to deliver, they’re easy to work with, they’re enthusiastic, they know how to dance with the host, and the audience loves them. A Media Darling is someone that the media loves to interview, and that’s why they get invited back again and again.

But there are also many things a Media Darling is NOT, and I thought that might be fun to share too. Just as it’s important to know what to do, it is equally important to know what NOT to do. Here are the Top 8 things a Media Darling is not:

A Media Darling is not

A prima donna. This is challenging for some because within their own area of influence, they are used to others deferring to them. However, they may be completely unknown in the media. Success in one area does not automatically transfer over to another. Prima donnas have a tough time understanding this.

Late to interviews. Ever. It might be forgivable if your plane was diverted, you were stuck in a hurricane, or there was blood involved. Of course, there are times when life gets in the way, but being busy is not an appropriate reason for missing a scheduled interview.

Unresponsive or slow to respond. Top-tier media will move on to the next expert in line if they have trouble reaching you. After six months of trying, The Wall Street Journal finally gave the green light to an interview with my client but gave me only five minutes to get him on the phone with the columnist before they would move onto the next person.

Focused only on themselves. The job of a Media Darling is to make the producer look good, the host look good, the show look good. Then the Media Darling looks good and will be perceived as someone they will want to interview again.

A complainer. Life is challenging enough without having someone complain when things go awry. Media Darlings look for solutions and keep a positive attitude.

Someone who caves under pressure or surprises. This is why media training is so important. Anticipate any tough questions and work with a media coach to produce the best response.

Annoyed when the host hasn’t read their book. Most of them do not. It is one reason creating a press kit is important.

Someone who says, “I am beyond this kind of interview.” Not every interview is going to be top-tier. You must fill in the lower tiers to even get a shot at the big media brands. No one has to take a chance on a guest anymore, so you must be on top of your game. They will want to see you in action before they even consider having you on, so don’t say no to the smaller opportunities. You need that coverage too.

Bottom line: Whether you are looking to be an influencer, a national figure, a local one in your geographic region, or a big fish in your particular niche, media appearances expose you to more people and help you grow your audience. Media exposure gives you that third-party endorsement which translates into immense credibility. Your coverage sticks around, unlike being at the mercy of changing algorithms. Just as there are specific things you must do to gain media attention, there are things you must NOT do, as we have addressed today. When you’re a Media Darling, the media calls you, and that’s the way it should be.

About Joanne McCall

Publicist, media insider, trainer and coach Joanne McCall helps nonfiction authors and business leaders become Media Darlings as the media calls them. Her secret sauce is to position, secure, and assist authors in capturing media attention, to deliver compelling interviews, and help you create and develop your own media empire. Joanne is on a first-name basis with hundreds of top-rung producers, editors, writers, and journalists and secures coverage for clients including Brian Tracy, Ken Blanchard, Dave Ramsey, and Dr. Richard Bandler. She is the creator of Media Book Camp and is the author of Media Darling: Shine Through Every Interview. 

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