Where are You and Why Can’t I Find You?

The past few weeks have been totally exasperating, if I didn’t know any better I’d say you all are trying to drive me crazy. Pardon the sarcasm but c’mon, help a brother out. I am a faithful reader of the Daily Dog and at least half a dozen other similar publications and for some reason that only you and God know you have an aversion to being contacted for interviews.

I understand you are protective of your client’s privacy and need to filter their contacts. But if your job is to get publicity for your clients, to get them press in the media why do you make it impossible for me (the media) to reach you or your client in a timely manner?

If you are raising your eyebrows and uttering a defensive ‘what the hell is he talking about? I ALWAYS include my contact information!’ I’m not talking to you, take my thanks and carry on with the great work. But as for the rest of you…

I host and produce a daily two-hour radio talk show in Tampa, Florida. I try to stay away from heavy political bickering and try to focus on a range of topics that will inform, entertain etc. It’s more GMA/Daily Show and less Fox/MSNBC. Every day I am charged with creating an entirely different show from the day before and relevant content is what drives all media in 2011. If you want your client to get in the game, they need to be able to be interview-ready at all times. I’m not asking that you or your client be parked next to a phone waiting for the media to call, but can we at least get a phone number or an email that will get a response in a timely manner?

On at least three occasions in the past week, I have found an article or a blog that I wanted to feature in my program. When I say ‘feature’ I’m talking at least a twenty minute interview. When I open the link to you or your clients’ page, if I’m lucky I’ll be able to ‘leave a comment.’ Sure sometimes there will be contact information for me to reach you or your client for an interview, but that is the exception, not the rule. Registering information as a journalist is a swell idea but you have to understand we live in an ‘on demand’ world and most of the time we need what we need RIGHT NOW!

Here’s a lovely example: Back in July, there was the culmination of a local story here in Florida that made worldwide headlines (I’ll let you figure it out!) I contacted a prominent authority for a few comments, even just a statement from their rep. What I received (three weeks later) was a possibility of a 5-minute phone call the second week of December.

That’s timely.

Look, I understand I’m not Glenn Beck or Rush or even Entertainment Tonight. I’m just a little talk show in Central Florida but keep in mind that radio hosts and producers talk and network with each other every day. When one of us discovers a great interview, the first thing we do is make a note to share it with our colleagues.

[Side Note: Always be careful before you dismiss something like a little talk show in Central Florida. My show not only broadcasts on two AM signals in Tampa but is re-broadcast on a station in Little Rock that blankets the entire state and a significant portion of at least six other states and has seen a 4000% growth of internet listenership in three months. I also host a Sunday show that is broadcast on sixty stations across the Country. You never know who you’re talking to.]

For almost twenty years, I have been part of Bitboard, a daily prep service for morning radio whose membership includes hundreds of the top radio shows across the country as well as parts of Europe, Australia and New Zealand. We have developed boards with hundreds of experts covering hundreds of topics and we use them every day. But I can guarantee you your client will not be on that board if the only way we can communicate with them is by ‘leaving a comment’ at the bottom of their blog page.

[Another Side Note: According to Dan Lewis, author of Business Website Secrets 101: Secrets Revealed, the most common reason company websites fail is due to lack of basic contact information. A crime I was once quite guilty of committing!]

Competition is fierce over here. If you have read any of my previous articles, you already know that the media is always looking for that next potential Dr. Oz or (God help us) Kardashian. We cannot help you make your client shine if we don’t know where you are or how to get in contact with you.

Please understand that there is a great deal of sarcasm here and by no means do I want you to think that the media is made up of a bunch of idiot snobs (even though that’s a pretty accurate description). I’m just asking you to tilt the box and look at it from over here.

As lame as it sounds: help us help you.

(Wouldn’t it be hysterical if I just signed this ‘anonymous’?)

Be Brilliant!

Skip Mahaffey

Mahaffey Creative LLC


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