Category: Media.

Here is an example of my video conferencing set up at my office.

Below are some video conferencing best practices to help you look good on camera:

  • We recommend using ZOOM.us – it’s easy to set up and works great.
  • Sit close to the screen. You want your face to fill a good part of it.
  • Put your monitor at eye level. Your face will not be distorted in this way and you’ll look better. Put it on a stack of books if needed.
  • IF you have 2 monitors focus on the one with the camera. You don’t want to be looking somewhere else.
  • Turn off your phone, email, message applications and everything that makes a noise. You don’t want to be distracted or distracting.
  • Stay focused! Don’t check email, browse online or type. We can see what you are doing and we are watching.
  • Look sharp! Be engaged and smile slightly. You don’t want to appear bored or preoccupied at all.
  • Use an external microphone or headset whenever possible. The sound is really that much better.
  • Mute yourself when you are not talking. That eliminates all background noise. Remember to unmute before talking!
  • For heaven’s sake, don’t eat during the meeting.
  • Don’t sit with a window behind you, so that you are in shadows. Make sure your face is well illuminated.
  • Use a lamp to side light and illuminate your face.
  • This is not an audio call. When you are on an audio call and muted you can do whatever you like. On a video call, you must be engaged and reasonably happy to be at the meeting. Nod your head, focus on your camera or on the screen.
  • Talk in shorthand. Get to the main point quickly. Fill in details later – or when questions are asked. Be concise.
  • Pay attention to your background: keep it simple, you don’t want a plant or wall hanging coming out of your head. You also don’t want a cluttered desk or confidential information showing.
  • Be prepared! Have your talking points on screen in front of you.
  • If something distracting does happen, handle it quickly and get right back into place.

SHINE, and be concise!

Download a printable copy here: PCZoomWhitePaper

As a business owner, it seems like media love from any platform comes with a price tag. If only you could become the media’s valentine. Wouldn’t it be nice if they pursued you for something other than a monthly advertising invoice? Or maybe you have dreamed of a reporter showing up at your storefront with a bouquet of free air time to spotlight your business.

Be Prepared

That dream date can happen if you are prepared with the right content at the right time. Content is the heart of every story, blog, and social media post. Reporters need quick access to experts, facts, statistics, trends, and testimonials to tell stories that are meaningful to audiences.

Your expertise, industry knowledge and experience could be the perfect match for a reporter on any given day, but you have to get in the dating game to start building the relationship and really become the media’s valentine. Here are a few ways to get your business noticed by the media:

First, Create an expert profile

For example:
Amy Smith, owner, Smith Heating and Air Conditioning (Phone, email, web, social contacts)
Ten year’s experience in residential and industrial HVAC systems
Expert in electrical safety, home energy efficiency and indoor air quality

Connect with local journalists

Next, identify a few journalists in your area who report on topics related to your industry and send them your expert profile through multiple channels. (Social media, email, hand-written note, phone call)

Create content

Use facts and figures about your business and create brief, but meaningful tip sheets or infographics. Focus on ways to help the public save time or money, prepare for the future or avoid a crisis as it relates to your product or service. Periodically share your tips with media contacts. Use social hashtags and tag reporters. Example: 3 Ways to Save Money on Energy Costs #energysavings @nbcreporter

Look for trends and national stories

Find out what is trending on Twitter, look at what others are talking about in your own social media feeds and track stories in the national news. Connect your expertise with those topics and ask the media to consider you for an interview to share how the topic may impact your community, customers or industry.

Be ready and responsive

Journalists have very tight timelines. If a reporter calls for an interview, that interview may need to take place on the spot, or scheduled in one to two hours. If you ask for time to prepare, you may miss your opportunity. By having topics and tips ready you can quickly accept the request. Reporters will remember your responsiveness and likely reach out to you again. This will help build your reputation as a thought-leader in the industry.

It Takes Time

Finally, it takes time and effort to become the media’s valentine, but creating connections and content could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship with no price tags attached.