BY ANDREA MINARCEK
DR. MOLLY BARROW ’98, PH.D. IN PSYCHOLOGY, may know better than anyone how to parlay the wealth of media outlets available today into a successful career as a consultant. The practicing clinical psychologist regularly appears as an expert source on television, hosts her own weekly radio show, speaks for universities, companies, and community organizations, and is the author of several books. Here is her game plan for making a stamp on your industry—and becoming a go-to contact for the media.
1. ESTABLISH YOUR AUTHORITY. Concentrating on one topic is better than trying to be all things to all people. Make yourself an expert in a narrow subject matter. The best way to do that is by writing a solid base of articles. Start with short, informative stories for the Web about a few topics, rather than writing broad articles that dilute your impact as a definitive expert in your subject. Ask Walden University and your associations to publish your articles on their blogs and to disseminate your press releases.
2. BE REALISTIC. Depend on your written articles to make you a star expert, not fleeting celebrity moments. Landing a great interview on a major television or radio show is a dream, but cranking out informative stories is work you can count on. Unlike the brief exposure of a television or radio show, articles are a long-range and reliable approach to marketing your brand that will produce results for years.
3. TEND YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK. Utilize free social networking opportunities, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to distribute your articles. Also, people hire familiar names and faces for speaking engagements, so use these tools to make new connections and start conversations.
4. MAINTAIN YOUR MESSAGE. Keep continuity in all your published materials. Use the same photo, typestyle, colors, and imagery to cement yourself as a recognizable brand. Your business cards, letterhead, press kits, and Web site should be immediately identifiable with you. Also, I repurpose my articles so I can use them on my blog, on Twitter, and on The Dr. Molly Barrow Show on Progressive Radio Network, in multiple articles, and even as a page in a future book.
5. MIND YOUR MANNERS. When contacting the media, follow all protocols for submissions, which are usually published on each organization’s Web site. If you cross the secretary, you’ll never reach any higher in the chain of command.
6. STAY INSPIRED. Tens of thousands of people have read my articles and forwarded them to friends. Knowing that somewhere, someone is benefiting from my efforts is truly satisfying and motivates me to write the next article, book, or speech. Imagine your reader and decide how you can best help him with his problems.