Newsrooms are always open to someone with expertise in a breaking news situation. If you believe you have the chops for being an expert, then follow these tips to mold yourself into the person that a newsroom wants to call.
- Have a prepared bio to send to producers. Most will keep a file of experts that they can call on for breaking news. In your bio, list the topics you can speak about. For example, if you are a chef, you can speak about food safety and the grading system, small business, managing staff, sourcing local vegetables and fruits, new popular ingredients or selecting wine.
- If you gain a certification, an award or make a top 10 list, send a press release to the media. This shows that you are endorsed by a third party who says you are great or skilled. You can also list your areas of expertise as recommended above.
- When you see a breaking news item, call or email the producer and offer your expertise for an upcoming broadcast. For example, if several restaurants have been cited for food safety, call or email the producer about your credentials, resend the bio if needed and let them know you are available for an interview that day. Sometimes the producer isn’t even thinking about this as a story but if you reach out with a compelling spin, they become interested.
Breaking news can be a great opportunity to get exposure in a short amount of time. Lay the ground work with introducing yourself then be on the lookout for a news story that fits your expertise.