Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Calling All Relationship Experts

If you're a divorce or relationship expert, take advantage of all the media hoopla surrounding the current celebrity divorce dramas. Those with a national platform should be contacting the national media outlets to provide expert commentary and advice while those looking to generate local publicity should be doing the same with their local media outlets, particularly TV news departments.

Here's how to get started:
  • Create a brief narrative biography (not a resume) that summarizes your credentials and answers the question: Why are you the best person for us to interview on this subject?
  • E-mail or fax that bio to appropriate media contacts (see next point) with a note or cover letter offering your services as an expert commentator on these high-profile divorces. In your note, tell the media gatekeeper what advice you would offer in an interview -- tips for protecting the children in a divorce, insight into why the current situations are playing out the way they are, advice for making sure your marriage doesn't end in divorce court, how to resolve relationship conflicts peacefully -- the tips should be relevant to your particular expertise. The point is: Show that you have valuable information to contribute.
  • For national TV shows, use media directories, available at most library reference desks, to figure out which producers to contact (I like Bacon's) -- but do it NOW. This story will fade soon.
  • For local media outlets, contact the news assignment editors at TV stations, the morning and afternoon radio drive time show producers to get on the air during high-listener commute periods, and the relationship reporter at the daily newspaper. Your local angle is: What can the rest of us ordinary people learn from these high-profile cases?
  • Remember: Publicity begets publicity. One interview that's available online can be found by reporters and producers using search engines to uncover qualified resources. (And, of course, make sure you have a media friendly Web site.)
  • Subscribe to Help A Reporter so you can respond to any reporter queries on the topic.

Have you been interviewed lately about the Christie Brinkley or Madonna marriage dramas? Tell us how it happened.

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