How to Be a Great Source for Television

By Ryan Halvorson
Jan 16, 2014

A terrific way to increase your exposure and elevate your “expert” status is to be featured on local news media.

However, grabbing a media person’s attention requires savvy and creativity. Lori Corbin, food and fitness reporter for KABC-TV, Los Angeles, offers these insights on how to become an expert source for your local media:

Be unique. Send a
press release that pitches one or maybe two “fresh” topics— something that hasn’t been seen before. For example:

Stale topics: Bikini season and New Year’s resolutions.

Fresh topic: Why squats and overhead raises help you run better.

Be educated. Media people don’t really care if you train
celebrities unless your celebrity is going to go on camera with you. They don’t care that you have been a Men’s Health model. They do care that you are certified, that you have a season
or two (or more!) behind you in experience and education, and that you are articulate regarding your topic.

Be prepared. Tell the media organization what viewers are going to see if they have you on camera. Think in terms of “pretty pictures.” Also, think of the following questions: Are you going to demonstrate exercises, or will you bring an on-camera model to demonstrate while you chat? Are you going to the television station to do a live shot, or can the crew come to your studio?

Be professional. The media want to know that you want to
educate—not be famous. You should know how to dress, know how to write a decent press release, and be comfortable on camera. If you aren’t comfortable, practice interviews with friends and family so that you are. Also, never memorize your presentation. Know your topics, and be able to have a comfortable conversation with energy and passion.

Be aware. Check local news Internet sites to see what they have already done, so you aren’t redundant. Know the reporter you are pitching, and know the style and format of the station.
It will impress them that you’ve done your homework.

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Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

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