Having expertise around a particular subject or topic is one thing, but being able drive intelligent conversation around your knowledge is what the media is looking for in an expert commentator, says Nic Hayes from Media Stable, an online directory that connects the media with quality talent and expert opinions.
“You’ve got to be able to deliver the content that you have,” Nic explains in this Brand Builders interview (below).
A good thing is that the media today is seeking new views, new thoughts and new opinions.
“They’re getting a little bored of those regular contributors,” says Nic.
Which of course spells O.P.P.O.R.T.U.N.I.T.Y. for emerging thought leaders, but only if you fit the media’s criteria.
So what specifically is the media looking for in an expert commentator or opinion leader? According to Nic, there are three key things, namely:
- The expertise
- The ability to deliver
- Turn it into conversation that people understand.
Nic talks about the importance of responding quickly to media requests and explains why expert commentators should also be proactive in building relationships with journalists and producers.
We also discuss the growing trend of journalists using Twitter and other online media to gather information – this could include identifying talent and sourcing story ideas – plus the opportunities available to provide content to ‘hybrid’ media – fully-fledged online publications operated by digitally-savvy people who often have media backgrounds e.g. Mumbrella, Smart Company, Business Insider, Lifehacker.
What are Nic’s top three tips for thought leaders wanting to deal with the media?
- Make sure you’ve got your story right (“You’ve got to create the story”)
- Practise, practise, practise (“Always work on your craft”)
- Build your media network (“The real success is going to come from relationships you have with those that are in the media”)
Nic finishes the interview with a nice story as to how he scored an interview opportunity with BBC International off the back of one tweet.