5 Ways to Handle Press Anxiety
Fear is one of the most primal human emotions. Unless you’re suffering from a rare disorder like Urbach–Wiethe disease, you have felt scared, anxious or worried.
While we’re no longer living in the wild running away from predators, risks abound all around us. These uncomfortable feelings are designed to keep us safe.
Most people turn to finding job security. The daring few become entrepreneurs to create financial security because they know the risks are worth it.
When you’re dealing with the media, all of that pressure multiplies seven-fold because it puts a spotlight on insecurities.
Most people resort to hiring a PR firm to do the work. They have enough things on their plate, and they don’t want to stress themselves. As long as they throw money, they feel that it’s a “risk-free” investment. But they fail to realize, it’s simply not the best way to gain press.
Once you stop paying, you lose all of your contacts. In reality, it’s only risk-free for the PR agency not the business. At the end of the day, you’re just renting out someone else’s rolodex.
Yes, it requires elbow grease, but D.I.Y. public relations isn’t rocket science. Anyone can do it. If you’re hesitant to try, how do you overcome your fear?
1. Realize it’s not really about you.
The media is mostly concerned about their audience.
As soon as we hit the digital age, publishing has become a beast that never sleeps. They need new content, and they need it fast.
So when you’re pitching to the press, you don’t have to worry about your background or credentials as long as you have a story to tell. Everything can be a value-add.
2. Being provocative can help — as long as it’s not too controversial.
You don’t have to be perfect. It’s okay to stir a conversation.
In fact, you want people to be talking about you because that only means they’re listening. For as long as you’re doing anything to break people’s trust or go completely against you, expressing out-of-this world ideas can make you stand out.
So if you think you’re a little different, don’t sweat it.
3. You can always turn a no into a yes.
If your pitch has been rejected, it can sting at first, but it doesn’t have to pull you down.
By reaching out to journalists, editors, producers or podcasters, you’ve already begun some of the legwork. This means you now know their nuances, and you’re armed with more knowledge the next time you pitch.
Even if it’s not the right time now, you can continue building that relationship with the press until you hit gold. When you go through a PR agency, the relationship doesn’t exist, so you don’t have connections.
4. Focus on self-expression rather than self-promotion.
Yes, you want to convert clients, and you’re hoping your big break with the press can deliver people at your door. But journalists aren’t there to give you free ads. While they can help you market your products and make a name for yourself, that’s not their agenda.
When you put yourself out there, don’t worry too much about hard-selling your product. This is your chance for you to put a face on your business. Show people what drives you. Be warm, friendly and personable. Then you can sneak in a few tips to make them want to know more.
Even though you want to polish your shoes and put the best foot forward, at the end of the day the age old advice rings true…
You just have to be yourself.
Trust me. I’m a journalist.