A Few Media Tips

Ashley Simons-Rudolph

Why Engage the Media?

The media is now everywhere and everyone.

Help define the conversation and context.

Promote your issues and your personal profile (ability to do the work) at the same time. 

It is pretty easy and fun once you get the hang of it!

The following are based on a discussion facilitated with the SCRA Practice Council August 25, 2018. They represent the thoughts/experiences of the author only. Each situation is unique. Please consider using multiple approaches in your overall media strategy.

General Approach

  • LOTS of different kinds of media; be proactive
  • Defensive mode?-Consider seeking expert
  • Empower employees/colleagues/students to speak authentically
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Humility is likeability
  • People connect with people
  • Use media to tell a story
  • Nuance content for audience
  • Invite your audience to join you
  • WRITE OUT: storyboard
    • What I want to be said
    • Beginning, conflict, resolution
    • Visual aspects of what goes with it
  • Brief is better-generally no longer than 2.5 min

Video Needs for Facebook Live, Self-Made Videos

  • Light (ambiance)
  • Alternate tight and scenic shots
  • Moving (let motion come in and out of frame versus following a moving person)
  • Sound (natural sounds)-audio for next scene 

Photography Tips

  • Get close
  • Get low and high
  • Look around frame before capturing it
  • Anticipate a moment
  • Shoot for a single image and keep at it until you get it

SmartPhone Camera Tips

  • Shoot horizontal
  • Use airplane mode-no interruptions
  • Cup hand for sound
  • Stabilize elbows, one foot in front of other to walk level
  • Lock exposure and focus
  • Move your feet (don’t digitally zoom)
  • Get footage off easily via dropbox or other group storage

Music Tips

  • Avoid stock music
  • Find songs with variable dynamics
  • Fit the footage to the song
  • The$79 a song
  • Noisetrade (mostly free)
  • Always edit music without headphones on (-20 decibels for music, vocals -3 or so)

Consider hiring a professional for very special/important pieces

  • $1-2k per minute of finished video
  • Typical 2-3 minute video = 5k

Promoting yourself IS promoting your work

LinkedIn, SlideShare, etc

Social Media:

  • If you haven’t yet done this, seriously consider an organizational account. If you aren’t on social media, you’re not part of the conversation.
  • Get frequent updates from your favorite news sources, companies, non-profits.
  • Add your voice by sharing news, event information, and your opinion.
  • Follow and show support to your favorite organizations. Help them retweet content.

Which social media you use (and many orgs use multiple), depends on your target audience. Here is some advice re Twitter that applies to most other forms of social media as well…

Constructing a Tweet:

  • You only have 140 characters – choose your words carefully. • Mention another user by using their handle, to help them notice your tweet. • Use to shorten the length of links you want to share. • Include hashtags to help other users find your tweets. • Beginning a message with a Twitter handle directs your message to that user. • Use a picture/visual approximately every other tweet

Interacting on Twitter:

  • View your Twitter timeline as a conversation. • Generally behave as if you are at a dinner party. • “Retweet” when you want to share a tweet with all of your followers. • “Favorite” when you endorse another user’s tweet. • “Reply” to offer comments or questions in response to another user’s tweet. • Use hashtags to search for content of interest. • Social media is 24/7 and different people interact at different times. Do not be afraid to share a thought, link, or event multiple times on Twitter throughout the day. Consider using HootSuite to schedule/view analytics of your posts.

For another helpful resource:

Download a pdf of this article here.

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