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Vol. 1 issue #120 Sep 14, 2004                     


3 Secrets of Establishing Yourself as the Expert of Choice
2004 By  Marisa D'Vari


Have you ever felt a jolt of envy to see a competitor - or even a friend - grinning up at you from a newspaper or trade publication? Why him, and not me, we often wonder.

     When you are interviewed by the media, you gain official third party credibility. On a subconscious level, prospects, clients, and colleagues may subconsciously believe that the publication or show is actually endorsing your services and giving you the golden seal of approval.

     Receiving media attention is the quickest way to emerge as the expert of choice, and elevate yourself above your competition. And the great thing is that a single media appearance begets even more media appearances. You don't need a high priced publicist to become a media darling, but you do need to become proactive and resolve to start now.

     Here is an easy-to-implement 3-step plan that will have you generating publicity in no time flat.

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Step 1:
      Buy a notebook and carry it with your everywhere, especially when you read the paper or your trade publications. Journalists today feature between 3-5 experts for every story to add a balanced perspective, local color, and help the reader map the anecdote to his own experience.

     Begin to write down the names and publications of journalists who cover experts similar to yourself. Jot down the titles of their stories and add this information to a database such as Act.

     Write these journalists a four paragraph "introductory letter." In the first paragraph, tell them that you are a fan and mention a specific article by name. This flatters them, but more important, shows that you actually read their stories and know the themes and issues they actually cover.

      In the second paragraph, briefly discuss your area of expertise, and offer yourself as a source for future stories. You may score more points by mentioning that you are also a member of many associations related to their beat, and that you can offer other experts should they need them. In the third paragraph, you may mention a few timely, relevant story ideas (see Step 2).

      Then, in the last paragraph, mention you will call them to discuss it further on a specific date, and do so.


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Step 2:
      Develop a running list of story ideas. With that same notebook you take everywhere, begin to jot down story ideas as they occur to you. For example:

1. Research you have done for a client. Can you turn this into a case study or story idea?

2. Questions clients are asking you. Are clients all suddenly asking the same question? This may be a universal concern journalists want to know about.

3. Trade show gossip. What were people whispering about in the halls? What can you turn into a story?

4. Trends.

     Journalists love trend stories. You are out in the field and read an assortment of trade publications, but they are shackled to their desk and rely on experts such as yourself to feed them hot information and new trends. What's new in your field? What do you see for the future?

5. Observations.

      In the course of your daily life, story ideas are all around you. In the past, before directed awareness and your notebook, they might have flown into one ear and out the other. Now, you'll write these observations down and turn it into tasty media morsels.




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6. Evergreen stories.

      Each year, the media needs to cover the same topics. If you are an accountant, you know the media is going to want timely tax saving tips, so score brownie points by giving the subject a new spin.

Step 3:

     Put yourself in the position of an editor, reporter, or producer. Specifically, realize that:

1. They want news and information relevant to their audience.

2. They want "new news" - if it could have been told last week, or next week, it's low on their radar screen.

3. They prefer it if you put the story together for them. Instead of just giving them a one-line idea, do the legwork yourself and find sources in addition to yourself.

      Score even more points by finding a source who opposes your point of view, since journalists like to cover both sides of an issue and love the tension created by controversy.

     Becoming a media darling can build your business and give you the "celebrity status" usually bestowed on film stars and politicians. 95% of the trick is simply becoming aware of the opportunities around you, and realizing that if an expert similar to yourself was featured on a show or in an article, so could you!


Download a complimentary 79 page ebook describing a multitude of ways to build buzz for your business and read more valuable free articles on publicity at http://www.BuildingBuzz.com or email D'Vari at mailto:mdvari@deg.com
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