By Jennifer Tuma-Young
I wanted to blog about this topic because I think so many of you ladies ARE INCREDIBLE, and deserve to be used as an expert source or have your product/service featured in a magazine. Since I am on both sides of the pitching fence (as a “Source” and as a Radio Host/Writer), I wanted to share some tips on how to get national media exposure based on your response to a query.
Where can you find queries? Here’s my top 3 list: -
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By answering queries on the above listed and through years of trial and BIG error, I finally figured out ways to respond that have led to things like appearances on nationally syndicated shows, such as Rachael Ray, guest-hosting shows for Dish Network, being quoted as a source for many magazines and blogs, including Woman’s World as one of “America’s Ultimate Experts”. I also have responded for my clients and they have been quoted as a source, or products used, etc. (no- I’m not a publicist just a firm believer that if you’re passionate about what you do, the world needs to know about it, and I believe in every single one of my clients, so I like to help them spread their word, too!!).
And, now, on the other side of the fence, I have posted queries on HARO looking for guests for my Girls Night Out Radio Show, and each time I post I literally get HUNDREDS of responses. My radio inbox is flooded, and to be honest, unfortunately I don’t have the time to thoroughly read through all of these pitches. Imagine a reporter looking for a source for an article- they need a couple of lines, a few tips, and they get hundreds or even thousands of replies? Responses need to be formatted in a receiver-friendly way, or else they end up in the “deleted” bin.
So, the BIG question- how does one respond to a query effectively enough to get chosen? Now, of course, every editor/producer/journalist/writer/etc. has his or her own style, and it’s impossible to know exactly what catches his/her eye in a response, right? But, I think there are a couple of things that can increase your chances of staying in their inbox so you’ll be used as a “Source”.
1. Read the Query and Give Them Exactly What They Want
Often I’ve posted a query asking for specific things, and I get an inbox flooded with generic press releases about pitches off-topic. Maybe they’ll start with one unique sentence, and then it goes right into their generic press release. I am telling you, I know press releases can be expensive, and you want to use them, but if a query is asking for something specific, give it to them!! Nine out of ten times, a press release isn’t going to answer a specific question. For example, sometimes a query says to include specific personal details, like where you are from. They may be trying to get a mix of responses from experts around the country- so, if you forget to include