The Biggest Mistake You Can Make When You Undertake a Media Interview

I have highlighted how to prepare for a media interview a few times on this site and on my YouTube Channel and wanted to drill down on a major mistake that people make when they undertake a media interview.

Many people get very excited about the possibility of being featured by the press, particularly popular mainstream media outlets with, what is often perceived as having, wide reach. There is a reason why I have mentioned perceived here – but I will come back to this point further on in this piece. The excitement is justified and often quickly dampened by nerves or fear which is why preparation is essential – there are plenty of videos, blogs and courses that you can find which can help you with your media training needs. As an entrepreneur or professional who has been invited to speak on behalf of a business brand or for your expertise & personal brand – media training is essential.

But once you have undertaken media training or at least prepped for your interview what is the biggest mistake you can make when you undertake a media interview?

Not understanding the media itself. Undertaking an interview without understanding the dynamics and layers of media that exist means that you are not only limiting the impact of your message but you’re also misunderstanding the strategic value of media placements as a whole.

2020 PESO Model Graphic via Spin Sucks

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The PESO (Paid Earned Shared Owned) model illustrates the broad scope of the media. It’s not as simple as simply being featured on something and leaving it to chance or anticipating that because a platform has a large following or is well known that it will immediately make a difference to your reputation and brand positioning. There is a perception that being featured on a big media platform like the BBC or CNN for example will automatically reach your core audience but if you do not understand the media or understand the people you want to reach (customers/clients/stakeholders) then being featured by one of these media outlets will have little impact on your long term goals. By understanding different types of media and aligning your media relations strategy with your overall business strategy you might find that it makes more sense to focus your efforts on niche, targeted media or in fact building your owned media catalogue of content.  If you don’t understand how earned media overlaps with shared media you might find that you’re not taking into consideration how your words (audio/written) will be shared or how you can share your interview/feature for your own content creation purposes.  Media exposure is great but it is really only as good as your strategy otherwise it is an ego-driven exercise for vanity metrics.

So remember that understanding the media is just as, if not more important than getting featured in the media itself.

You can order my eGuide on how to prepare for a media interview here.

3 Ways to Increase Your Visibility with Podcasts

Podcasts are hot right now and they won’t be slowing down anytime soon, if you want to increase your visibility they are a fantastic way to do so. In fact according to an Infinite Dial report from 2019: The percentage of Americans who listen to online audio (defined as listening to AM/FM radio stations online and/or listening to streamed audio content available only on the internet aka) has doubled since 2012, growing from one-third of the population to two-thirds In the UK according to a research report from Ofcom in 2019: around 7.1 million people in the UK now listen to podcasts each week. That’s one in eight people and is an increase of 24% over the past year – and more than double over the past five years.  These figures reflect global trends and outside of the UK and USA podcasts have growing audiences with a wide reach to suit a variety of interests. Many small business owners and entrepreneurs focus on radio or other traditional media and sometimes neglect the lasting impact of podcasts.  If you want to improve your personal brand visibility then look to engaging in the podcast space. One caveat and important thing to remember here is that visibility is nothing without credibility. While using podcast platforms to increase your visibility to your target audience always remember that your words will leave an audio-digital footprint.

Remember to always ask the important question of WHY when considering podcasts as part of your PR and comms and/or Media relations strategy. Once you have determined why you can then take the time to consider how you can use podcasts to increase your visibility. Here are 3 simple ways to increase your visibility:

Interview guesting – Podcast interviews and conversations are great ways to spotlight the important work that you do in your business and work. From my own personal experience I have been invited onto quite a few podcasts as a guest and it has been a great way to compound my expertise in my sector; it is also a great way for my prospective clients and audience base to get an understanding of what it is that I do. Remember that whatever you say will have an impact on your reputation so be mindful of this when accepting an invitation to speak on a podcast, many people underestimate the reach of podcasts and sometimes show them less respect than traditional radio which makes no sense since the output (if not necessarily the reach) is the same.

Content – Being on a podcast offers substantial content creation opportunities. I am a very big fan of re-purposing content and believe that just because you have something featured on one platform that doesn’t mean you can’t use it across the board on your own platforms, especially if you’re looking to improve your personal brand positioning – remember that you are your own brand ambassador. For example you can use an online app like Headliner to create clips from your podcast with visuals to share across social media. Sharing is key as you shouldn’t just rely on the platform to share the episode you should signal boost the episode too since it is your voice and it was your time spent sharing your voice – so make sure you share.


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A post shared by Ronke Lawal (@ronke.lawal) on

The above is an example of a clip I have repurposed on social media and embedded on this piece to illustrate my point, the content never really dies if it is useful!

Host your own – this requires commitment, consistency and tenacity and I would only really recommend it if you or your organisation takes the time to consider the benefits and long term impact. You may not get immediate audience ratings but podcasts are a great way to reach your audience and consumer/client base if you create something relevant and on the pulse. You can of course create a podcast based on your own interests outside of business or work but much like anything you will need to be consistent if you have aims for it to grow into something else. For instance if it is the case that you want to pivot into the media or do more public speaking or get advertising/sponsorship deals it is important to keep track of listener figures and reach and have a targeted approach to the way in which you market the podcast. I would recommend booking a course on podcasting or at least paying attention to the industry at large just to see what tactics are used and how you can differentiate yourself from others. Standing out will increase your visibility and in term enhance your credibility.

Remember that everything I’ve shared here requires commitment and consistency but the results will be absolutely worth it so start working on how you can incorporate podcasting into your PR and personal brand strategy sooner rather than later.

How to stay calm during a crisis

It’s natural to panic, worry or feel a range of emotions during an unexpected situation particularly during times of crisis. I believe that it’s important to recognise our emotions in order to find ways to deal with them and ultimately to heal. Finding calm during a crisis can be difficult but it is important to find a way to stay as calm as possible so that we can see things clearly. In the work I do dealing with crisis is something that I am used to however there is often an end in sight.  I filmed this video at a time when the world is collectively dealing with the global Coronavirus pandemic and it is far more uncertain than any of us have ever seen in our lifetimes.

There is a lot of news and information that though useful can be overwhelming and might not allow you to find a sense of calm.  The video hopefully offers some reassurance and useful tips in order to stay as calm as possible during a crisis. Do not feel ashamed or embarrassed by the way you feel or even how you handle things. We all handle things very differently but finding peace and moments of calm can really help with our overall well-being and mental health.

Some of my tips in the video include:

  • Take the time to show yourself compassion and take it day by day.
  • Rest and recuperate regularly
  • Limit the amount of content you consume that causes you too much distress

I hope the video above helps and I hope you find coping mechanisms which enable to you to stay balanced during any time of crisis.