Christina Nicholson is a former TV reporter and anchor who has worked in markets from New York City to Miami. With her business, Media Maven, she helps entrepreneurs reach thousands, even millions, of their ideal customers or clients in minutes instead of months through the power of media without spending big bucks on advertising. We’re talking coverage in Forbes, the Today Show, Washington Post, and more!
You can still see her in front of the camera as a host on Lifetime TV, in national commercials, on WPTV for her monthly segment, and read her work online in Huffington Post, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company.
- Who is Christina Nicholson?
Christina has always looked telling stories through media, she’s someone that likes to hear, read, or watch a good story. The things that resonate online are stories.
She started writing stories from an early age and now her daughter is following in her footsteps. Being in the media has always been something that Christina has wanted to do, even when she was a child in her family’s home movies she pretended to be a news anchor covering the story.
Traditional TV media is a very competitive industry with only a handful of positions available in a large city. Christina spent hundreds of dollars sending her resume tapes to studios in different markets and she didn’t get her first job offer until two years of effort.
- Is the media more competitive today?
Media isn’t necessarily harder or easier than it was years ago, it’s just different. In the beginning, you would have a photographer that would follow you around, today, you are responsible for everything yourself. The nature of media has changed, what used to be earned media in an editorial is slowly turning to paid. This is why influencer marketing is picking up.
If something is obviously an ad, the audience is going to ignore it.
You have to be savvy with social media and be everywhere all the time to succeed in today’s media environment.
- Has does an entrepreneur attract attention to get their story out?
The biggest secret to getting earned media coverage without spending money is to give the journalist what they want and need, when they want and need it.
Your pitch should talk about the journalist and what you can do for them, not what makes you so important. You have to ask why people will care.
A lot of coverage comes from timeliness, it creates a sense of urgency around the story.
- What if someone is afraid of being on camera?
You don’t have to be on TV, you can be in print, online, and on podcasts. There are lots of different kinds of media that don’t require you to get in front of a camera.
If you want to reach more people, you have to get comfortable in front of the camera. Start with videos at home and get some practice in. Any interview on TV is just a conversation, just like when you’re on a podcast.
- What does it take to get earned media?
A lot of people will call you promising to get you into the media, but they are actually just advertisements. Earned media can’t be guaranteed. Be careful of someone that is promising you something.
Pay attention to what is breaking in your industry, if you position yourself correctly you can get into the media in a single day. You have to be pitching different people with different ideas so that you don’t come off to spammy.
Journalists are on Twitter, if you want to build relationships you should engage them on where they spend a lot of their time. Get clear on where the ROI is and who you need to get in front of, then ask what media serves that purpose. Start building your media list and adding value to the journalist to build a relationship before you pitch them.
What you do after you get the earned media is what will determine whether or not you come back. The easier you make it for the outlet, the more likely you be invited back. Share the piece with your followers and tag the outlet.
- How do you measure earned media ROI?
Measuring media ROI directly is very difficult. The truth of the matter is you can’t guess how people will react. If anyone has a definitive answer, they are lying.
- Christina’s Takeaway
The very first step is to get clear on your goals, where you want to be and why you want to be there. People get excited about the media coverage in general but you have to be strategic. Be specific to who you are reaching out to and target your niche directly. It’s better to reach out to 10 people a week in your niche than 1000 people a week in a broad category that may not care about what you do.
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