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How To Become A Media “Authority Figure” And Be Quoted In The News : BoardroomArts.com

How To Become A Media “Authority Figure” And Be Quoted In The News

While packaging is part of the promotion game, another part depends on the status of the packager.

Authority figures,” people who can be identified in some way, are important in journalism because covering, quoting or citing them gives depth and credibility to stories. The “person on the street” and the “family from Peoria,” represent the common people. The company president, the elected official, the college professor, the society ball chairperson, the town doctor, the union leader, the minister, the rabbi, the judge and the Indian chief all receive regular coverage because of the positions and constituencies they represent.

What if you’re not a doctor, Indian chief or elected official. Can you still be an authority figure?

The role of authority figure is an equal-opportunity position, everyone qualifies or can qualify, if they choose.

To be an authority figure there must be some reason why you’re quotable. If it happens that you don’t have a law degree or high position in industry, don’t worry. It’s okay to create your own credentials.

For instance:

Contribute to an industry journal or self-publish your own booklets and pamphlets. You’ll have a quotable something to send reporters.

Give a speech. Speeches convey an element of authority and importance. Speaking engagements are available everywhere, all the time. Try clubs, associations, professional societies and industry groups for speaking dates. You’ll need a cover letter and program outline to get booked.

Letters-to-the-editor are popular, well-read and sure to attract media attention. Be brief, concentrate on one subject, quote sources to back-up your viewpoint and criticize, if appropriate, in a respectful manner.

Teach. Give courses and seminars through community groups, professional organizations, adult-education services, junior colleges and non-credit schools. There’s a constant search for good instructors, people with real-world experience and solid teaching skills.

Lastly, get stationery, call a few friends and create your own organization. If you’re unhappy with the latest phone rate increases, it’s easier to get coverage if you’re president of the “Northside Telephone Users Association” then if you’re a lone telephone user.

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