Friday, April 4, 2008

Media Relations & Your Digital Camera

Picture This ...

I've just been asked to lead a 30-minute workout for a fitness show on a local TV channel. (I've never been on TV before ... if you've done fitness DVDs or been on TV, I'd love to hear your best on-camera tips! Feel free to post them in the comments section here.)

Anyway, as I said, I don't have on-camera experience, so I asked the host of the show if I could come to the studio to watch her tape a workout. I wanted to get an idea of how the show was formatted and what the set looked like (I like to be super-prepared).

Turns out, my friend and fitness colleague Geoff Bagshaw was taping his guest appearance on the show when I arrived.

When the show ended, Geoff did something really smart.

He pulled out his digital camera and got a few shots of himself on set with the cast of the show. What a perfect way to recycle publicity!

Geoff's approach reminded me of something I spoke about in my recent presentation at FitComXpo (the FitComXpo event is over, but you can still gain access to recordings and slides of all the sessions - scroll a few posts down to see what I thought of the event).

My tip: Your digital camera is a powerful tool for helping you build relationships with the media and score more media promotion for yourself. Here are 3 ways:

1. Ensures Accuracy If you write a workout article or you're the featured expert in one, offer to snap digital photos of the exercises you recommend for readers. Editors will get a clearer idea of what you have in mind, which helps them edit the piece and ensure accuracy. There, you've just made the editor's job easier.

2. Helps Create Visuals See the illustration at the top of this post? That's me! I supplied my editor with digital photos of the exercises described in one of my workout articles, and she forwarded the photos to an illustrator (sometimes magazines use drawings instead of professionally shot photos because it's simpler and less expensive.)

3. Doubles Your Media Promotion If your photos are good enough, small magazines or newspapers without a budget for elaborate photo shoots might publish them, which instantly doubles the media promotion you receive.

Illustration reprinted with permission from illustrator Kagan McLeod.


Alex Poole said...

Hi Amanda,

Great post and thanks for sharing about Geoff (definitely smart thinking).

My best on camera tip is an old but really simple one, just be yourself

Which means that if you need to script it all out and learn it verbatim, because that’s how you do best, then follow that same procedure.

Likewise if you are better just having a loose frame work and then speaking then that’s good too.

To be honest I’ve tried both ways and many ways in between and for me I work best unscripted. I’ve done public speaking where it was all scripted and I sucked!

I recently shot over 2 hours of filming for , creating 55 videos for . I only planned the order of the videos and then just did it. We only had to do I re-shoot of one exercise and some of the explanations lasted for up to 5 minutes.

It’s how I work best, but just relax, be yourself and if you fluff a line just go straight on to the next, half the time people won’t even realise.

Good luck,
Keep us updated

Jim Labadie said...

I've been fortunate enough to have been on Live TV a bunch of times.
You can see some of them at

The best advice I can give you is to take any nervous energy you have and put it into your performance. Viewers are expecting you to be an energetic fitness expert so give them what they want ;-) When the red light comes on just focus on the message you want to get across.

Also, be sure to send the producer of the show or segment you are on a thank you card.

Jim Labadie

Elspeth said...

Keep up the good work.