Alright, Dave, I see you quoted all the time in the mainstream media, from MSNBC to CNN.com, the Christian Science Monitor to wire stories for the Associated Press, the BBC, and more. I know you’re an expert and all, but surely you aren’t pals with every reporter in the world. How the heck do you get such great press coverage?
Actually, my address book is stuffed with thousands of reporters with whom I’m close buddies!
If you’re ready to gain recognition as an expert in your particular market segment, and just about every businessperson (and hobbyist!) can gain lots of advantage from doing so, you really want my secret of gaining visibility in the mainstream media. Because it’s not just luck.
The secret tool that I use is PR Leads , a $99/month service ably run by my colleague and friend Dan Janal (who also has an informative blog too: PR Leads Blog).
I signed up for this service, entered a rather detailed profile that specifies which categories of interest I consider myself an expert, and then 3-4 times each day I get email notices from the PR Leads site listing reporters who seek experts or testimonials for specific stories they’re writing. Here’s an example:
You can see that at any given time there are reporters from a ton of different publications looking for experts. In this case, these queries are from Business Week, The Indianapolis Business Journal, USA Today, Women’s eNews, Dow Jones & Co. and more.
For any given query, you get a sentence or two description and the name, email address, deadline, publication and preferred method of inquiry for the reporter / writer / analyst. Here’s an example:
(I’ve blurred some of the contact info because I’m pretty sure that this information is intended only for PR Leads / ProfNet subscribers)
Remember, each time you’re quoted by a journalist, your company and expertise is exposed to thousands, or possibly millions of readers. If you’re lucky, when the publication creates its online edition, you’ll get an active link out of the effort too, and what would a link to your site from somewhere like the Financial Times or Wall Street Journal be worth to you?
When you see a query to which you believe you’re a good match, all you have to do is click on their email address and shoot off a quick message offering your assistance. Best practices suggest that you should also include a brief bio or backgrounder on yourself, specific experience and training that you’ve had that’s relevant to the query and topic. I also like to actually send in a brief reaction to their query so they can see my thinking. For the above query, I might say:
“Great story idea. I really think that employees shouldn’t have any constraints on their Internet usage: the key to a successful company is to hire the best possible people, task them with an appropriate amount of work, then trust them to get it done in a timely manner. I remember when I used to work at Hewlett-Packard how I’d get into arguments with my boss because sometimes I’d be sitting and staring into space, thinking, rather than “doing”. For a lot of people, surfing ESPN, poking around on eBay or even reading Entertainment Tonight can serve the same purpose…”
Interesting, perhaps an unusual perspective, and then followed immediately by my credentials and detailed contact information (including both my office and cell phone numbers).
I don’t always get a response, but I do send out at least one query a day to a reporter writing about some story or other, and I already have three interviews scheduled for this week on various tech and parenting topics.
Heck, at $99/month, if I can get into one publication each month I figure it’s more than worth it.
What’s it worth to you, your career, and your business?
Take your career and business to the next level: Sign up for PRLeads today! 
I haven’t regretted it for a minute.