Just because you know a reporter doesn’t mean that your story will be covered.
Back in my local news days, people would ask me all the time if I could do a story about x, y or z.
Remember that reporters are always looking for their next story, but they don’t decide what they will cover.
It will help if your story is new, unusual, or affects the general population in a community.
Since my background is TV news, my suggestion is always try to develop some compelling visuals with your story. Why do you think that fires, accidents and crime scenes get so much play? Because there are usually going to be visuals with emotional witnesses or victims.
Sometimes it will take time and work developing a relationship with a reporter. Other times it will just be plain old luck, and of course when the media calls you have to be available.
In this Media Jedi installment, I share some secrets to help you understand how to get your story in the news.
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, in fact, I have had mixed thoughts about maintaining My Urban Report, or continuing to post here.
This blog evolved from my work at Black Family Channel, and the network’s goal of launching a citizen journalism show.
As I researched and learned about SM, blogs were often stated to be the back bone of citizen journalism, and to have a more complete understanding of the blogosphere, I decided to start this site. The show that I was working on was called UR TV or Urban Report TV, so you can see where My Urban Report came from.
Yes. I am The Urban Reporter, and that will probably never change. When I started blogging there were few professional journalists in the space, and mainstream media wasn’t at all on the bandwagon. Now, everyone is at the party, and there a plenty of niche sites that cater to urban news and info. TheRoot, and TheGriot for starters. Plus there are plenty of blogs that focus on family life, urban news, and info as well like, HealthyBlackMen, and BlackAndMarriedWithKids.
Yes. I enjoy sharing my perspective, and this vlog has been a great creative outlet. It’s help me brand myself, and my area of expertise. I’ve gotten the opportunity to travel and speak around the country, I’ve gotten great business leads, and landed a couple of jobs thanks my social media presence.
That being said, I’ve refocused my creative efforts of late. In February, I joined forces with Chip Dizard to create a new site that is strictly focused on sharing web video and production tips. It’s called Web Video Chefs. Since our goal is to develop and sell video training products, I’ve found myself spending more time cooking up video production recipes.
Then, the other night, I had this idea. I’ve always wanted to spit the real about my news, and media experiences. You see, there is a darker side, and uncut, raw side that I’ve always wanted to share. I’ve decided that I’m not going to hold back anymore. I want to be share the highs and lows of the media business. If you want to know how we make the sausage, I’m going to give it to you. If you want to ask me a question, please do so, and I won’t hold back. I want to introduce you to the media jedi, and this is just the beginning.
I’ve spent the last decade or so producing videos professionaly for broadcast and the Web (not quite as long). I’m amazed with technology, and how easy it now is to create and share messages via video. Here are some ways I’ve been able to leverage web videos for myself and clients.
Twitter – Video is only a click away thanks to Twitter. Sites like www.Kyte.tv, www.twitvid.com, and www.qik.com, make it easy to record, upload, and share videos to the Twitter community. If you link your Twitter to FB you can potentially reach thousands of viewers.
Facebook – I’ve made it a practice to upload both professional and personal videos to my Facebook account. I’ve found that Facebook is a great way to find leads, and brand amongst my network. Also, people tend to ask quesitions about video production in general after I share a video.
Mobile – I’ve been using Kyte.tv to record and upload videos from my iPhone 3Gs. I’ve shared videos from shoots, I also record daily messages about social media, and video production.
Video Blog/Podcast – In 2006, I created this vlog. The newsman in me couldn’t resist the opportunity to share news and stories without the mainstream gatekeepers. Since then I’ve been asked to speak at numerous conferences and events about multimedia journalism, social media, and digital video production. I have to say this blog has done wonders for my personal branding efforts. Visit this link to see my public speaking engagements.
Professional Videos on the Web – YouTube’s quality has increased tremendously and clients often ask me to upload their videos or compress the files for Web upload. I usually add my client’s videos to my company’s YouTube channel anyway, and recommend all companies or organizations to create a YouTube account and add videos. You may want add a video link in your email signature.
Share videos over multiple networks. www.tubemogul.com is great for this. Sites like www.vimeo.com, www.revver.com, and http://blip.tv also have strong audiences, and by using tags you never know who you’re going to reach.
Final thoughts. Keep videos fun, creative, and short.