Joanne McCall: How to Be a Media Darling and Shine Through Every Interview
Nonfiction Authors Podcast | July 13, 2022 10:00 am PT / 1:00 pm ET
“The outer game of media is the game we’re all pretty familiar with…The inner game is more about mindset. And I don’t think a lot of people spend much time with that. But it’s so crucial.”
Joanne McCall is a publicist, media insider, trainer, and coach who helps influencers, nonfiction authors, and business leaders become Media Darlings, so the media calls them. As a licensed Business Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a licensed Advanced Hypnotic Practitioner, her secret sauce is not only positioning, securing, and helping authors to capture media attention and deliver compelling interviews while creating and developing their own media empire, but also helping them enjoy the process. On a first-name basis with hundreds of top-rung producers, editors, writers, and journalists, Joanne secures coverage for clients including Brian Tracy, Ken Blanchard, Dave Ramsey, Geneen Roth, Dr. Donna Stoneham, The Deepak Chopra Center for Wellbeing, the co-founder of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Dr. Richard Bandler, and many others. She is the author of Media Darling: Shine Through Every Interview. www.joannemccall.com
Nonfiction Authors Podcast: Joanne McCall
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Live on July 13, 2022 at 10:00am PT
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In this episode…
- The right time to start marketing.
- The three main areas of media.
- How to present yourself in a way where you just come across as believable and credible.
- The inner and outer game of media.
- How to use NLP and hypnotic practices for media.
- How to do interviews without fear.
Hello and welcome to the interview series for the Nonfiction Authors Association. Today’s session is with Joanne McCall and we will be talking aboutHow to Be a Media Darling and Shine Through Every Interview. I’m Carla King, your host, and I’m happy to have you with us today. This interview will last only 30 minutes and you can find the replay on our Nonfiction Authors Association website and social media platforms including YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.
And now I’d like to introduce our guest.
Joanne McCall is a publicist, media insider, trainer, and coach who helps influencers, nonfiction authors, and business leaders become Media Darlings, so the media calls them. As a licensed Business Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a licensed Advanced Hypnotic Practitioner, her secret sauce is not only positioning, securing, and helping authors to capture media attention and deliver compelling interviews while creating and developing their own media empire, but also helping them enjoy the process. On a first-name basis with hundreds of top-rung producers, editors, writers, and journalists, Joanne secures coverage for clients including Brian Tracy, Ken Blanchard, Dave Ramsey, Geneen Roth, Dr. Donna Stoneham, The Deepak Chopra Center for Wellbeing, the co-founder of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Dr. Richard Bandler, and many others. She is the author of Media Darling: Shine Through Every Interview.
Hi, Joanne, welcome to the podcast.
Hi Carla, I’m delighted to be here. That was kind of a tongue twister, that bio, wasn’t it? Goodness, what a mouthful.
It’s a lot to describe, we’ve got to get it all in there. I’m totally impressed–the NLP stuff, I’m sure it really helps you in your work as a media specialist. But let’s start at the beginning. When should we start thinking about seeking media? We know PR doesn’t happen in a vacuum, we might have to do a little marketing of ourselves and platform building. Is that right? When do we start?
Boy, that is so true. The truth is, the time to start with your marketing–your PR, your publicity–is at the time you have the idea for the book. And I know that might seem insane. But really, it’s true, because it will help you in your writing of the book. But that said, if you’ve already written your book, and you’re ready to get out there and publicize it, then the second-best time to start is right now. So right now is the time that you start doing your own publicity, and your own marketing, and get things in line so that you can take advantage of all the opportunities that you will create through the promotional process.
Okay, yesterday or right now, that’s great. Right now is always good. And I know there’s a lot of media that we need to be aware of. What kind of media opportunities might a nonfiction author have?
It’s countless, the opportunities that are out there. They’re everywhere–every time you turn around, there’s some new possibility. But I would highly suggest that you consider organizing, in your own mind, what this process is. And when it comes to media, there are three main areas to keep in mind. And if you know these three main areas, it will help you to define everything that you’re doing. It’s going to cut down on any kind of overwhelm, any kind of, ‘Oh my gosh, what am I doing now?’ It will cut down on a lot of that because you will understand this process.
So let me just briefly share with you. The first one to really be thinking about is what I call ‘you media’. This is like your own media empire. This is the media that you create– your own content generation, what you put together, it’s what you own. It’s anything you put on your website, on your blog, you own the territory. If you want to post it, it sees the light of day. If you decide you don’t like it, it never sees the light of day. You are in charge of what goes on. You are in charge of your branding, of what people hear about, of your vision, of what you put forth. So that’s the first area of your media. And it’s really where you start this whole process.
Then the second area to be aware of is what I call ‘borrowed media.’ And borrowed media really is another word for social media. Someone else owns the platforms. You have accounts and you can promote through–you know all the ones–there’s TikTok, there’s Facebook, there’s Instagram, there’s LinkedIn, there’s Twitter, and there are others. And you decide where you want to put your material and be really visible. So that’s a choice you get to make.
However, if any of those platforms decide to take down your account, for whatever reason, and it happens, I’ve heard it in the news where–Stephanie, I think this happened with her and the Nonfiction Authors Association with a Twitter account that got taken down. It’s very arbitrary, but it happens. And there’s not a lot you can do, really. I mean, you can object, and you can email the great abyss. Hopefully, maybe you’ll hear from someone, but you might not.
I’ve known a number of people–which I always advise against–that their whole promotional process is through borrowed media. So they’re just using social media to promote. If something happens, and they’re taken down for whatever reason, they lose their audience. So that’s the second bucket. It’s important. Social media is important and you want to use it, but it’s not like ‘you media.’ It’s not like you own it–you don’t.
The third area is ‘earned media.’ And maybe you’ve heard about this. It’s really what we’re used to. This is all the possibilities of getting interviewed–for podcasts, for columnists, for features, writers, for anybody–where you’re pitching yourself for a story idea, or a segment. And ‘earned media’ means, basically, you’re jumping through some hoops to get the coverage. So you don’t own that either.
But this gives a sense of real credibility, when someone else says how great you are. They present you to the world, they present your book to the world, and they say, ‘this is really a great book,’ and then they interview you. It’s so credible. It’s always better when someone else says something great about us than when we say it about ourselves. It’s just different.
An example of that that I like to share is if you go to a party. You go to a party and you’re standing there talking to a group of people, and someone walks in the door. And the person next to you says, ‘Oh, that’s so and so and you really should get to know that person. They’ve written a book on such and such, and you ought to have them on your show,’ right? So there’s that versus someone walks in the door, they walk up into your group, and they say, ‘I am so great. You want to know me, I am someone that you really ought to get to know.’ It just does not have the same sort of impression that it does when someone else says that about you, right? So having ‘earned media’ and that kind of attention and credibility just goes a long way. And you can use it in so many different ways.
Those are the three areas of media to be aware of. And as you make your choices about where you want to be and what you want to do, you want to put them in these various buckets, and then plan for when you want to go after each one. And I would also add, the first one you go after is your ‘you media,’ right? It’s your platform–a word that people get tired of hearing–but nonetheless, it’s an important word to be aware of. And that’s where you want to start. Because anytime you go out, they’re going to come back and look at what you were already doing. So you want to be present and visible in putting your best face forward, if you will. That’s the start of knowing what to do–is just understanding media, and what it is these days. So is that helpful?
Oh so much. Thank you. So ‘you media,’ which is your platform, I am going to say, too. And borrowed media, which is social media, which we’re all used to and kind of fearful of sometimes. And earned media, which is what we’re all kind of scrambling for all the time. That’s the elusive one for most people. So once you understand this, how do you plan for that? How do you stick to your plan and have fun with creating a plan for these three stages or parts of the media game?
I think it’s starting with just understanding how they all work together. So when you have your car–no, your body might be a better example. How you have the respiratory system, and you have the different systems in your body. They’re all important, they all work together. If one goes down and has trouble, it can very much impact the others. So you want to keep them all healthy. Your ‘you media’, ‘borrowed media’, and ‘earned media’, you want to keep them all healthy.
You start with your ‘you media’, as I mentioned a moment ago. Then when you get that into place–your branding, what your vision is, what your key messages are, and what you want to be in the world, and what you want people to know about you–then you can begin writing pieces and amplifying that through ‘borrowed media’ or social media.
So that’s when you would amplify–hopefully have friends that share and like, maybe comment, that sort of thing–you’ve got that going on. Once you have those things in place, and you’re starting to build those numbers–you know, there’s people listening to what you have to say, following, liking, etc–then you can start your outreach to the earned media. The thing to understand is they too are looking for more visibility. Even the top tier media–they’re looking to get a stronger presence. They all are.
It’s everyone working together trying to build each other. So when you go to the top media, you want to be able to show that you have something that they would be interested in, too. And it isn’t always the numbers–although the numbers are important–they want to know you have an audience, too. But it isn’t the only thing.
Some of the comments today, and the points that I’m making, are somewhat generalized. Because there are outliers, there are exceptions. One exception would be a very good friend of mine now–over the years. She was a columnist with USA Today for 20 years. And I would talk to her about this. She would actually interview people who did not have the kind of presence that we’re talking about, you know, a huge social presence, lots of followers. She was more interested in the unique idea. She would be willing to go with someone who didn’t have such a big following if they had a really unique, interesting viewpoint and idea that they wanted to share, she would then do it.
Even though you will mostly hear people say, ‘You got to build the numbers, you got to build the platform,’ and you do. It isn’t the only way. There are exceptions to that. So you can get coverage, even if you’re really just, you know, in the early stages of this. I don’t want you to think you have to be this huge presence before you can get attention. That’s not the case. Generalities here.
No, that’s great. We love those hosts who like to find the unique voice who may not be the person that’s known already, and that’s where we can enter, right? But boy, it can be hard to gain confidence as an expert, right? Especially if we’re not used to being in the front of the mic, or the camera. I know you must have some tips for getting in the right mindset to present yourself well to the media, on-camera, or on the microphone.
At the risk of sounding like a shameless plug, I mean, my new book that’s coming out is all about exactly that. And it’s called Media Darling: Shine Through Every Interview. And it’s all about being able to present yourself in a way where you just come across as believable and credible. And that others watching you or listening to you, really want to listen to more, and buy your book. Obviously we want people to buy your book.
Part of that is what I call the inner and the outer game of media. The outer game of media is the game we’re all pretty familiar with. ‘I want to be in the New York Times.’ ‘I want to do this podcast.’ It’s your whole list of where you want to be and what you want to do. The inner game is more the mindset piece. And I don’t think a lot of people spend much time with that. But it’s so crucial.
It starts with four questions, I would say. So the first question is, ‘Where do you want to be?’ And again, we’re talking the inner game. Where do you want to be with your book? With what you’re promoting? Where do you want to be? That’s your vision. Where are you right now? Where are you at this moment in time? ‘I’m right at the beginning,’ or well, ‘I’ve done a little bit.’ ‘Well, I’ve done quite a lot. But I have a different book now, and it’s a different message.’ Wherever it is, where are you now? And what are you doing to get to where you want to be? So those three questions are very important.
Then you want to know, are you moving forward? And how do you feel about it? Because that says everything. If you get a feeling like, ‘Ugh,’ you may not be putting your best stuff forward. If there’s a part of you that’s going, ‘Uh, I’m scared.’ And you know, we don’t often say we’re scared about things. I think we’re more sophisticated than that. We kind of hide it. We just say, ‘you know, I’m a little nervous’ or, ‘maybe the timing just isn’t right’ or, ‘I’m waiting for something.’
But if you’re procrastinating, usually it’s fear–some kind of fear that’s going on. That has to be addressed. If you really want to reach your vision, that has to be addressed. And I run across this when I’m working with people quite often, and it comes out in various forms. Sometimes it happens when I have a client who just misses interviews, which just does not go over well with anybody. But for some reason, the calendar gets confused–maybe now and then that might happen. But if it happens, as a pattern, or there’s a deadline to get a piece written, and it just doesn’t get written, I mean, sometimes these are the things that happen, these are the symptoms of the problem.
So if it’s not happening, then there’s something that needs to be addressed. Because if you really have a vision, and you want to get out there, all you need to know is how to do it. And once you know the steps and how to do it, you’re going to do it.
Those are familiar. I’ve had some writing clients I’ve seen do that. It’s tragic, but I can also relate. I actually did an improv course, to get over my shyness, which was a huge leap for me. And I know you, as a practitioner of NLP and a hypnotic practitioner, you probably have a lot of steps that you can do without having to make that leap. That was really scary for me. So I’m looking forward to hearing about some of those, maybe, if you have some tips there.
Oh, sure. Well, it sounds so dramatic, but we do it all the time. Anytime you imagine something going well in your mind, that’s hypnosis. It’s just imagining how it can be, how you want it to be. It’s also important to know where you kind of are, so you can address those things. But there are a lot of different things.
So for example, let’s say you’re going to do an on-camera interview, maybe in a studio. It’s not just at home on your own webcam, but you’re going into a studio, which feels much more dramatic. And there are things like walking–when you walk from the green room to the studio, it’s jumping up and down and kind of getting your energy going. You might look kind of silly, it doesn’t matter. You’re just kind of getting the energy flowing. That can make a big difference. Even before you get on to do an interview on your webcam, you can be doing that before you get on camera.
Warming up your voice is important. You don’t want to come right out of the gate without at least doing little singing exercises, or a lot of speaking to warm things up. Don’t eat a half hour before you do any kind of on-camera appearance–you’ll be clearing your throat. Particularly dairy, dairy will cause you to need to clear your throat quite a bit. But you were asking specifically about how to do things without having a lot of fear, correct?
Yes, that’s the magic question.
Let me ask you this. When you did the improv, did it help you?
So much. I used to be so afraid. I had just started publishing my writing. And I would have a reading, and I would be awake for three days before–I was so shy. Believe it or not, I was so shy back then. And I still am an introvert. But when I did the improv course, I learned that being me was what people were interested in. They were there to see me. Because when somebody’s throwing an invisible cat to you, you can’t say, ‘No, that’s not a cat.’ Somehow that improv step allowed me to realize that, okay, I just have to go with whatever’s happening, instead of trying to rehearse and be some other professional anchorperson, you know. So, yeah, somehow it really did help.
There’s a rule in improv, because I took some improv classes too, just to help the whole process along. And the rule of, ‘yes and,’ was big, you know. Whatever someone presents you with–’yes, and,’ and then you add to it, so that’s a good one.
Another one is, as you’re kind of getting accustomed to this–is to imagine someone you know who does this really well. They can stand up, and they can speak in front of everybody, and when you hear them, you marvel at it. So you can pretend you’re them. It’s just a way to get the feeling of what that’s like. You’re not trying to be them, but it’s just a way to experience the feeling that they have, and have it in your body so that you know what that feels like. So that’s one thing you can do, is practice being that person. That helps a lot.
That’s really interesting. And we can do that. I wish I could talk to you for so much longer. But, you know, we kind of do that with hair, and makeup, and accessories, and things like that. That’s what you call the outer game. Is that right?
It’s part of the outer game. Yep, yep.
Yeah, paying attention to that. Especially makeup-like eyebrows. You know, I always do my eyebrows. I don’t do my eyeliner and things because it just gets washed out in the camera, right?
Yes. And so when you’re doing an on-camera interview, particularly if you’re going in studio, you want to ask–ask the producer when you’re setting all this up–you ask them, ‘Do I need to arrive camera-ready? Or will there be someone there to take care of that?’ And sometimes they will have someone there who handles some makeup for you, which is wonderful. If you have to arrive camera ready, then you get to do it yourself. And you can explore YouTube videos, because there are lots of tutorials and that sort of thing.
So you can look at those sorts of things if you’re not used to it. If you have a friend who knows how to do their makeup really well, ask them if they’ll do a makeover for you, maybe teach you a few things. You could try a few things.
And here’s the other piece. I’m a big believer in mock interviews, or practice interviews. So before you go on and start doing any kind of interviews on camera, it’s great. Practice your makeup too. So you practice your makeup, and then you do mock interviews. And you have either someone else ask you questions–they can ask off-camera, and then you answer. Or you can just start your camera.
You can just say, ‘A lot of people ask this question. They want to know, how do I get top-tier media? I’ve done all kinds of media, but I want the top two, how do I do that? Well, what I tell them is…’ and then you go into what those answers are, and then you review it. And you watch yourself. And then you see–is there something you could be doing better? Is there something that’s distracting? Do you need to change your tone of voice? Do you need to smile more? People need to smile more but they get on and they look really serious.
Now if it’s a serious topic, you don’t want to be laughing all the way through it. I mean, there’s an appropriate and an inappropriate way. But usually, when you’re on to do an interview on a serious topic–at least at the beginning, in the introduction, and at the end, at the conclusion, there’s an opportunity to smile, because you’re saying, ‘well, thanks for having me,’ or, ‘I’ve appreciated being here,’ you know, smile. That kind of thing.
So mock interviews, and practice interviews, will help you in enormous ways. Media training–if you need someone to help you get some media training, do it. Because it’ll help you with your key messages. You want to be able to get to the point, rather than rambling on. Because a lot of people will ramble on, and you will lose your audience. So hopefully each thing you’re saying will grab their attention. That’s the goal.
That’s the goal. And I’ve done that. I was shocked to see myself and my habits. I changed them early on. That’s all such great advice. And I know you have a ton more. And that’s why, I mean, we’re just thrilled at the Nonfiction Authors Association that you’re going to be doing our Book Publicity Master Course. Yay!
Can’t wait. August 4th.
So tell us what you’ll learn about in that course on August 4, 2022, and hopefully repeated in the coming years, so keep checking back. What will we learn in that course? And also, just also tell us where we can find you, too.
So I’m thrilled to be doing this. One thing about publicity–and really anything in life–is that it evolves. So, I’m out in media every day–this is what I do. And I encounter how things are changing, and how things have moved from being this way, to now being this way. And it’s taking note of that, and then sharing that with other people.
A lot of this course is going to be things that I’ve learned over the last recent history, and where things are moving now–what direction they’re moving in now. We’ll cover a lot in terms of–how do you get to your key messages? How do you deliver a great interview? How do you launch an interview? That first minute is so essential. I can’t tell you–that the first minute does a couple of things. It tells everyone in the audience if they’re going to listen to the second question and your answer, or if they’re going to click off. And it also tells the host where they’re going to go next in the interview.
I listened to a podcast once, not all that long ago. And it’s kind of funny because the person–the podcaster–was interviewing a media trainer. And so I thought, well, this ought to be really great. And the media trainer, not to disparage anyone, but they did one of the things that they really should have known better. And that is they would answer the questions, but rather than teeing up the next question, they would just let it fall, you know? ‘And that’s how you do that.’ And then the podcaster had to come up with–’Where do we go in the interview now?’ And then had to think about that. After the third question, the podcaster didn’t want to do that anymore. So she just said, ‘And then what? And then what? And then what?’ And it was put back on the guest, to come up with, ‘And then what?’
So part of the Publicity Master Course–there’s a lot that we’ll cover, but this is part of it–is how to really, effectively do a great interview so that it inspires people to want to buy your books, follow you, know more about what you’re doing. And if you can communicate effectively, you can get to that vision that you want to get to. But so often we get hung up in, ‘Am I saying that okay?’ Or, ‘I’m a little nervous,’ or, ‘What am I doing?’ And all those kinds of self-doubts. So we’re gonna look at those, and let go of a lot of those right now.
We’ll also get into creating great hooks. How do you create sound bites? What are sound bites?’ I hear about sound bites all the time. What are they? How do you create them?’ You can create them, and there’s a system for creating them. This right there is going to be so helpful, I promise.
Oh, my gosh, I need that so bad. I tend to ramble on and on and on. And I just want the sound bites really. So yeah.
The length of the interview determines [the sound bite]. If you have a four minute on-camera interview, that’s very different from the 60-minute podcast interview, and how you respond. So you might have a really short answer sound bites in that four minutes, but in the longer interview, you can get into actual stories. So we’re going to cover all of this ,and more. And by the end of it, you’re going to feel very equipped to do this yourself. I’m really confident in that.
Oh great. Okay, awesome. And where can people find you, and get your book?
My website is my name, joannemccall.com. And it’s just being published now, it’s a July book. So around July 10. It should be available as you see this now. And that would be great. Please do pick up a copy because–it took me two years to write it. Someone told me I should have been able to do it in two months. But, Carla, I don’t know. I don’t know. What do you tell people–’You should be able to write your book in two months!’
Oh, my gosh, no, no. Lead magnet, maybe in two months. Outline a book in two months? I don’t know. That’s a stretch for sure. Well, thank you so much, Joanne, for being with us today. And I look forward to seeing you in August and beyond.
And thank you to our listeners for joining us today and every week. For a list of guests and topics just check our schedule on the site, use your favorite search engine, or better yet, sign up for our mailing list at NonfictionAuthorsAssociation.com.
Quotes from our guest
Borrowed media really is another word for social media. Someone else owns the platforms, you have accounts that you can promote through.
You start with your you media…then when you get that into place, your branding, what your vision is, what your key messages are and what you want to be in the world, and what you want people to know about you, then you can begin writing pieces and amplifying that through borrowed media or social media.”
If you’re procrastinating usually it’s fear, some kind of fear that’s going on, that has to be addressed.
I’m a big believer in mock interviews or practice interviews. So before you go on and start doing any kind of interviews on camera, it’s great to do this, you practice your makeup too.
The outer game of media is the game we’re all pretty familiar with…The inner game is more about mindset. And I don’t think a lot of people spend much time with that. But it’s so crucial.
People need to smile more but they get on and they look really serious. Now if it’s a serious topic, you don’t want to be laughing all the way through it. I mean, there’s an appropriate and an inappropriate way.
If you have a four minute on camera interview, that’s very different from the 60-minute podcast interview, and how you respond. So you might have a really short answer, sound bites in that four minutes, but in the longer interview, you can get into actual stories.
The first minute [of an interview] does a couple of things. It tells everyone in the audience if they’re going to listen to the second question… or if they’re going to click off. And it also tells the host where they’re going to go next in the interview.
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