Behind the Scenes at Media Training; Do Authors Really Need it?
For three intensive days, we took a small group of a dozen attendees, most of them authors, through hands-on, in-studio training in the art of how to generate, and then deliver, television and radio interviews. We also worked with them on other, complimentary skill sets.
So, what really happens at a media training event, should you attend one and why is receiving media training important for authors? Well, free media exposure on TV, radio, in print and on-line is one of the most efficient ways to market your book to a large number of potential readers. However, without possessing the basic skills of how to both generate and then execute media interviews properly, you can actually do more harm than if you had never tried to market your book in the first place. If you’re considering receiving media training, it’s good to know what to expect. Here’s how our Allen Media Strategies Media Mastery Weekend sessions work:
Our media training takes place in a state of the art television and radio training facility. It includes two radio broadcast booths, a TV studio with a set, lighting and cameras. The facility also includes a compact classroom filled with audio and video monitors, where our trainees learned the ins and outs of doing effective interviews and receive audio and video critique sessions from our faculty.
Because Allen Media Strategies happens to be located in Washington DC, the city that generates more media coverage than any other on the planet, we have an unbelievably skilled faculty to help put our students through the paces. Our instructors are all working media professionals, and this year included a network TV reporter, CSPAN producer, a CBS Radio producer, a national voiceover talent on speech and diction, the afternoon drive talent at one of the markets top radio stations, a former national magazine editor and our own top media booker, who has been responsible for placing our clients on all the big national TV and radio programs and has himself appeared on CNN, FOX, MSNBC and more.
To round out the top notch faculty, we brought in specialists to assist our attendees to help look beyond their books and at other additional revenue streams. One of the country’s leading speaker trainers A.J. Puedan gave attendees tips on generating income by holding seminars and workshops. Web and social networking pro Dave Hamilton educated the group on using the web to promote your book or service, and information marketing specialist Fred Gleeck shared his proven strategies for developing information marketing products including audio and video packages.
We also gave our students VIP access to FOX NEWS CHANNEL’S Washington DC network bureau, where they visited the sets, quizzed an Executive Producer and FOX network reporter Griff Jenkins on how to be a guest on a national TV program. For radio, the students got a behind the scenes tour of Washington DC’s number one radio station WTOP and even a Q&A session with station personnel about radio interviews.
After several hours of intensive instruction on who to contact at each media outlet and exactly how to present you and your book to them (using topical or controversial angles, for example), our students were ready to go on-camera and behind the mic for their interviews with network caliber media pros. By day two of their interviews, their skills had grown tremendously.
This year’s group of attendees was a very eclectic group, including several self published authors. They had written books on business, sales, relationships, the digital revolution, memory improvement and the immigrant experience. There was an author who had hit seven lottery grand prize drawings who had written a book about his method, and even the widow of a very famous television personality whose memoir was about to be released. Every one of them was able to find and identity media “pitch” angles for their books during the training, and learn how to best market them during their on-air appearances in an entertaining, subtle fashion.
One of the biggest points our instructors made to the attendees is that being the author of a book in and of itself is not enough to generate those free interviews; the book is viewed as more of a credentialing device. It’s you, and your comments and point of view that the media outlet is after…the book just provides your foot in the door.
One discouraging note we did hear from a handful of the self published authors in attendances is how they’d been taken advantage of by less than scrupulous “publisher” firms who had severely overcharged for their books (in one case, by over 60% more than they should have paid), or in one sad case being charged tens of thousands of dollars for “book coaching” and recieving very little in the way of services. So, be wary of the bad guys; they’re definitely out there.
If you’re really serious about making a big splash with your book, being on television, radio or in print and online is a terrific way to go. So, attending media training, whether in a small group or individually (we offer both) is highly recommended before you pursue your “15 minutes of fame.” If you have any questions about media training and what to expect, don’t hesitate to reach out.
To your success!
A longtime media trainer and head of Washington DC based Allen Media Strategies Burke Allen has been a working media professional since 1982. He has served as radio and television on-air talent, Program Director, Operations Manager, consultant and station owner in markets including Las Vegas, Orlando, Washington DC, Savannah, Salt Lake City, Roanoke and Charleston. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We believe that to be effective in today's world, you need to know what your message is, how to communicate it, and where to strategically market it.
Allen Media Strategies does just that. We're a small boutique firm based in Washington, DC specializing in custom media and marketing consultation and strategy. We pride ourselves on giving outstanding customer service and close, personal attention to our limited client list.
Our staff has extensive experience in the broadcast, entertainment and public relations industries. We offer a wide variety of services that are custom tailored to our clients' needs.
Allen Media Strategies
12019 Trossack rd
Herndon, VA 20170
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