You are the executive producer of your own show-How do you find topics to do videos on?

BY TJ Walker

If you really want to use the medium of social media video for maximum effectiveness you have to be on the lookout for ideas every day. The best mentality to have is to think of yourself as a TV or radio producer in charge of a daily show, like Larry King or Oprah. You are constantly looking at all of the news swirling around through the lens of your areas of interest and expertise. So if you are a nutritionist you will be quick to notice any new story about a study on a rise in obesity or a rise in Diabetes so that you can offer your own perspective and analysis on it.

Don’t wait for traditional media outlets to call you. Don’t be reactive. Instead, be proactive; think of yourself of having the job of producing the best Oprah segment ever and it has to go on the air live today!  Once you develop this mindset it will completely change how you read news stories, watch TV and absorb other media. The beauty is that it won’t take up any more of your time. Instead, your brain is focused in a different way and it begins to work for you, even when you are asleep.

Of course, there will be many times when you come up with a topic in the news that you want to weigh in on. You think it’s a perfect alignment of a hot button issue, your expertise, your clients’ and customers’ concerns. Everything seems perfect and yet only a handful of people will click on to watch your video and not a single other media person contacts you.

But as bad as that is, it is offset by the times when you do a perfectly ordinary video about an issue that you think is no big deal and then all of a sudden you experience a wave of viewers plus numerous outside calls from other mainstream media outlets. It’s days like this when all of your work seems worthwhile.

There is a galvanizing effect to always being “on” and looking for news hooks that allow you the opportunity to talk about your area of expertise. It forces you to be sharp, to gather everything going on that touches your field. This gives you greater depth when you are talking to reporters and producers from news outlets with huge audiences. It also gives you much greater versatility when you are booked as a guest for a talk or news program; if you have already read about, thought about, analyzed and talked about an issue in the news, then, when a reporter or host asks you about that issue, even without warning, you can handle it skillfully and smoothly.

What the world of social media and specifically video talking head media has done is allowed you to produce your own show on your segment of the world on a regular basis. Sometimes you will reach a much wider audience than others, but regardless, you can now reach at least a small audience on a very regular basis.

In the history of public relations, this is a breakthrough. Sure, even in the 1950s, people like Ann Landers had a regular column syndicated in hundreds or newspapers. And she used this column as a base for promoting her books, speeches and other ventures. But very few people had a regular column or daily TV or radio outlet outside of Ann and people like news commentator Paul Harvey.

Now, everyone can have a regular, (however you define that: monthly, weekly, daily or hourly) “TV” show. The only thing holding you back is sheer creativity. In fact, these days, most people can talk faster than they can type, so doing a daily video segment online can actually be faster than writing a daily blog. I k now that I personally can talk faster than I write. Plus, no one knows if you spell correctly or not when you are speaking in a video. Plus, grammar errors are less apparent to most people to the ear versus to the eye, so spoken grammar mistakes often don’t sound as bad as text errors look to the eye.

So develop the mentality of a producer rather than a PR pitcher. Because ultimately, the best PR practioners have always had the mentality of producer. And now, even when your don’t get picked up by a bigger media outlet, you can still see the fruits of your production on a daily basis: your videos and your viewers on your own site. 

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