Firing Up Your Media Presence

Jeff Bezos

Amazon.com’s newly-unveiled smartphone–Fire–has a truly unique feature.  Called Firefly, it can “read” a picture of an object and find it for you—then try to sell it to you (Through Amazon.com, of course).

It’s probably too early to tell if Firefly will have a dramatic impact on the smartphone/retail space, but for those focusing on “getting noticed” in the media, one thing is clear.

You want to be Firefly.

What I mean by that is you want instant recognition.  There’s almost nothing better for getting media exposure than to be automatically associated with something.  It’s very powerful when your name, image or voice is immediately tied to a certain topic.

When I was a TV producer, one of our “go to” retail guests was Kristin Bentz, who calls herself and her company “Talented Blonde.”  Kristin has used her catchy nickname as a way of connecting herself to the topic.  Every time I see Kristin or hear “Talented Blonde” I just naturally think “retail expert.”  She is Firefly.  The same for travel specialist Tom Parsons of Bestfares.com.  Tom always appears on TV wearing a Hawaiian shirt, as if his bags are already packed and as soon as the segment is over, he’s jumping on a plane to enjoy the sunny tropics.  It’s a created persona that is memorable and subliminally tugs at the desire inside all of us to go where he’s going!  Tom is Firefly.

You can be Firefly, too.  How?  First, you need to know what makes you special in the eyes of the media.  The “jack of all trades, master of none” is almost always a non-starter for reporters, bookers and producers.   Zero in on what makes you stand out.  Then play that up.  Act as if there is NOBODY on the planet that knows more about your topic than you.  I don’t mean be arrogant or put on airs, but be confident and believable.

Second, create something memorable about you that will stick with the audience.  Economist Peter Morici always sports a flashy bowtie….Auto expert Lauren Fix is “The Car Coach”…Euro Pacific Capital’s Peter Schiff never misses a chance to tout the virtues of gold.  You get the idea.  What is it about you that you can parlay into a high recognition factor?  Find that and use it.

Finally, unless you are dealing with life and death topics, have fun!  Everybody respects people who know how to laugh and not take themselves too seriously.  Being “real” is a great way to stand out from the crowd.

So, how are you Firefly?  Find that and you’ll surely be a media success.

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