How can you establish yourself as an expert in your field? One way is by being recognized by metropolitan newspapers, journals, news magazines, or your local television news. Mentioning you were quoted in The Wall Street Journal or appeared on a major network or cable television station boosts your credibility and introduces you to a new audience.
Here are some ideas on how to raise your media profile:
Use HARO. Help A Reporter Out is PR professional Peter Shankman’s brainchild. It’s a free site that helps reporters and authors find experts to comment on stories they’re writing. Anyone who agrees to the site’s basic rules (no spamming, etc.) may post inquiries or sign up to receive three daily emails requesting input from subject matter experts. If you carefully review HARO’s messages and respond to relevant inquiries, you may wind up quoted in a book, blog, or other media outlet.
The site categorizes its e-mails, which are easy to skim. One trick: reply to inquiries promptly (this means monitoring the e-mails closely), and follow reporters’ directions to the letter. For example, if the request asks for an e-mail message detailing your expertise and ideas, don’t send your phone number and tell the reporter to call you.
Identify media influencers on Twitter. Locating reporters, authors, and others who influence major media is easy through Twitter. Once you’ve identified your targeted authors and journalists, follow them and retweet their messages. Many use Twitter to source information. If they do, and you keep a close eye on their Twitter streams, you may win an opportunity to share advice and expertise. It’s okay to send reporters and authors public messages (known as @ messages), but don’t pitch them in the public stream or ask them for favors. It’s more effective to build a relationship by commenting on their tweets and retweeting their information.
Tools to mine Twitter for information:
Don’t forget Facebook. Search for official Facebook pages for news organizations. You may be able to identify individuals who write for magazines and newspapers. If they or their organizations have fan pages, “like” those pages and spend time commenting and contributing.
Media resources. Another Facebook resource is Facebook Media, which allows reporters to share their stories. Anywhere reporters congregate online is an opportunity for you to learn about them and ultimately to connect.
Connect through LinkedIn. Search LinkedIn for organizations or people you would like to contact. LinkedIn makes it easy to see whether anyone in your network can connect you to someone who may be interested in your expertise. For example, go to the search field on LinkedIn’s toolbar. Select “companies” from the drop-down menu and search for a newspaper or television station. If your network is diverse enough, you may know people who link you to those organizations. Ask for an introduction or use social networking venues to virtually follow up with the journalist or author.
Don’t miss out on the multitude of opportunities social media provides to help you demonstrate your expertise and expand your credibility. Network and share your knowledge, advice, and information; focus on helping other people without expecting anything in return and you may be pleasantly surprised by the results.
Miriam Salpeter is a job search and social media consultant, career coach, author, speaker, resume writer and owner of Keppie Careers. She teaches job seekers and entrepreneurs how to incorporate social media tools along with traditional strategies to empower their success. Connect with her via Twitter @Keppie_Careers.