If you really want to be successful with the media, then you had better be assessable 24/7. No one in the media cares what is convenient to you. Unless you are already ultra famous, if you say no to their request for a 6 A.M on set interview, they are likely to consider that a “no” that means no forever so they won’t call you again.
Everyone likes to here “yes” and media people are especially spoiled, because most people say yes to their requests all the time. Sadly, this is the game you have to play if you want to get ahead.
This means there are times when I have to get up at 4:00 AM because Fox5 TV in New York City wants my analysis on a media story for their morning broadcast. And yes, there have been times when I have been away for a romantic weekend with my then fiancé (and now wife) only to get the call where I had to be on set at the CBS Early show at 6:00 AM on a Saturday and be ready for the limo to pick me up at 5AM!
Of course I could and you could say no to these opportunities. But they you never know what future opportunities you are saying no to by shooting down this one.
Again, if you are super famous and have more coverage than you know what to do with and universal name ID, then you can say no. Martha Stewart can say no to a 5 AM live talk radio request. But that’s not a very good example because Martha was up till 2:00 AM working on her own TV show and probably got up at 4:30 AM to plan for her radio show!
The only exception I make for not saying yes to a media interview is when I am booked with a paid training or speech gig. Getting these paying gigs are, after all, the reason I’m doing the media appearances in the first place. Even then, it’s still possible to do quick phone interviews for radio hits or news stories during 3 minute coffee or bathroom breaks during trainings.
If you want to be successful with the media, you have to work on their time and their schedule—that’s the nature of the beast.
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