Episode 11

Pitching To The Media with Nancy Alexander

"Make it (Your press kit) appealing to the person that needs to make entertaining media, not your ideal customer"

How the fuck do you get on TV/Radio? The indomitable and unforgettable Nancy Alexander joins the UFMB crew to give you the rundown on getting your business in front of the vast audience of local & national media.

In this episode: Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins, Kathleen Seide, Nancy Alexander


More about Nancy:

Over 20 years in the media-sphere and a self-proclaimed natural actor. From "Nancy in the Sky" on the #1 radio show in the nation at 19, to local FOX news. Nancy Alexander has navigated the airwaves from radio to the television with amazing alacrity and poise.


Connect with Nancy:

Email: NancyAlexanderMedia@gmail.com

IG: nancyalexandermedia

FB: nancyalexanderdangerblonde

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Season Two of Unfuck My Business is sponsored by Seide Realty. Visit them at whystpete.com and let them unfuck your real estate experience.

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Below is a rough transcript for your convenience. It’s not perfect because we want to spend our time unfucking your business, not unfucking this transcript.

Transcript

000000 Kathleen Seide

Hey, this is Kathleen. And when I'm not unfucking businesses here on the podcast, I'm on fucking real estate. Over at WhyStpete.com. My company is Seide Realty and we are excited to sponsor this episode.

000013 Intro

Oh hey. I didn't see you there. This is Devon Roscillo from beyond bold and you're listening to Unfuck My Business. No bullshit advice for business owners who want to be resilient as fuck. Sit back and enjoy the ride. Get comfy. Get your pajamas on for all I fucking care. Enjoy.

000034 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

And we're back. And today unfuckers, I have a very special episode for you. We talk a lot about crisis management and how your business is fucked and how to get unfucked and all the rest of that. But, today we have a real value add episode. I think you are, we're going to give you some actual, real practical advice to, to get a little PR for your business and. To help provide that advice.

Someone that I've known for some time. Now it's a pleasure knowing she is hilarious in person as she always was on TV. Nancy Alexander, welcome to the show today.

000108 Nancy Alexander

No way is she here?

000114 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

I have, after, after knowing you for years, on TV and in the sense that everyone feels like they know media personalities, meeting you in person was, was a huge pleasure at ESC. And, you've, you've been endlessly entertaining ever since then. I'd like to say, yeah. Or like to think, become a good friend, during that time.

000132 Nancy Alexander

Of course you can say that. You're one of the most important people to my art.

000136 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

Well, thank you. I had the experience of, of starting to be asked to speak in various local media segments generally, and in short bursts, 30 second fill type fashion. But the thing is every time I do show up on TV, it's a little pot for my business, a little PR.

It's nice to get that little thing out there. And when it comes to, you know, someone who understands the local media market, I think you are absolutely the first person that always comes to mind from that perspective. So we've got Kathleen Sidey with us as well today, of course our community director.

And, uh, we've got a series of questions that we'd love to ask you and get your feedback on how can we pitch content to local media. So I'm gonna hand it over to you, Kathleen.

000218 Kathleen Seide

Hello. Hello. I'm so happy that you got to join us on the show today. Thanks for coming.

000224 Nancy Alexander

I hope that that we're going to be able to see this. Your skin looks amazing.

000230 Kathleen Seide

Thank you,

000231 Nancy Alexander

Kathleen. Doesn't own a poor on her face. How old are you, 10?

000238 Kathleen Seide

Yeah. Uh, eight it's that I exfoliate with the tears of small children. So , it helps.

000247 Nancy Alexander

Yeah, I just wanted to tell you that you look beautiful.

000251 Kathleen Seide

Yeah, for the people out here that don't know about you or your career. Tell us a little bit about your background and, and why you'd be the expert that they should be listening to in this.

000300 Nancy Alexander

I'm not going to do the Mary Tyler Moore, Ted Baxter. It all started at applied thousand watt radio station in, but it kind of worked that way. I was kicked out of my house at 17. I knew from the time I was two or three, that I was entertaining. And you either have ethics and a strong magnetic north on your ethical compass on your motherboard or you don't.

So at that age, I could have gone on the route of trying to find some older man and take care of me or take my clothes off or sell drugs. Or something to that extent, but I can sincerely tell you that at the tender age of 17 and no money in there, where to go, those thoughts never occurred to me. But what I did know is that I have always been able to make people laugh and it, uh, at a very early age, my head fell into the radio.

I wanted to be a movie star, but I didn't want to take the chance. Los Angeles and acting, you know, there are 50,000 people all looking for one parking space. So I knew that radio, for some reason it was confidence that was really unearned, but I knew that I could fake confidence well enough that if I did a tour of radio stations, I could, uh, if I could talk to a manager in some way or another, I would get myself in the building.

So that's what I did. And I think the third station I went to was the little am in St. Pete. The frequency was 570 and having been a radio chick all my life, I should be able to tell you what's on that frequency now, but it was, it was news talk. And I told the program director that I'm very bright and I'm unusually talented.

And I don't know how you've lived this long without me. Keep in mind. I didn't mean a word of any of that. I was terrified, but I got the job,

000536 Kathleen Seide

but it was all true. So

000538 Nancy Alexander

it wasn't then.

000543 Kathleen Seide

So, how did you make it become true over the years? Like how did that career progress from there?

000548 Nancy Alexander

You know, Kathleen, I would say probably for the first 10 years of my career, I had crippling stage fright. So what I did, because I'm sort of a natural actor, I made a suit of conference for myself that I would slip on in zip it up all the way over the top of my head and play the part of a person who could do the job with confidence and excellence.

Thank God eventually that zipped up suit actually fused to my skin and I became that person, but it took, it took a very long time is 19 years old. I was Nancy in the sky on the number one radio station in the United States, the first radio station to start a format called The Zoo or QZOO as it was in my case was started by Scott Shannon, who was on the cover of Time Magazine. After he left Tampa, he started a Q ZOO in New York and took that station Z100 from zero to 100 in 74 days.

000726 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

And fast forwarding from that though. I was always seeing you on Fox 13 and television. So you shifted from radio to television and had a significant presence on the, the local, like, I think Fox affiliates mostly was what I saw right?

000739 Nancy Alexander

Yeah. I've been very, very fortunate that all the jobs that I have had in my career knock on wood and, um, you know, I'm putting my knuckles to my forehead for that effect. I never had to audition for any job. I was invited to all of them.

000759 Kathleen Seide

So over the years, it sounds like he worked with several different radio stations.

You worked in television for a long time with various producers, from your experience, what are local media producers looking for in the interviews that they're searching out and trying to bring in on their shows?

000817 Nancy Alexander

If I may, the 10 years that I worked for Fox and the segment was called. And I named it that because I am, and we were out there,

000831 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

it was fun.

000833 Nancy Alexander

And I had free license to do really anything that I wanted. I wrote produced, directed and hosted the segment myself everyday. So you didn't actually have a producer, but I can tell you that if you are a business that is looking to get. Local television coverage. You're going to have to make it sexy. And I don't mean that at all literally.

I know that kind of surprising you know Chris?

000911 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

I was relieved because

000915 Nancy Alexander

I mean, give me a second. I quit, but what producers are looking for particularly now, Even though we're in the post COVID era, we're in the vaccination stage. There are still plenty of anchor teams that are working remotely and television stations are starving for locally manufactured, invented contributors to social causes.

People that are helping to make things right. If you have that in your business model, in your hometown, then what you need to do is find out who all the producers are. You need to know the guy's name at the assignment desk at every television station, because they are the guys. Remember the show of taxi?

001024 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

Vaguely

001025 Nancy Alexander

They're, Danny Devito, they're dispatching watching everybody.

So they will get a ton of mail, a ton of like electronic press kits, which now come on thumb drives. And that's something else that we can talk about. You know, in the old days they actually came on beta, but they get a ton of information. And they don't have a lot of time for a television producer. Time is always the enemy.

They have to stack the show and it's having to be, and when I say stack, I mean, line it up so that it times out properly, so that all the reporters there, 2, 3, 4 minutes. And it's always, it has to be fluid. Because you're going to have breaking news. So when you're putting together your PR piece for television specifically, you need great video and you need, if you're the CEO or you're the PR person, and you're not great on camera, please, don't take this as an insult, hire someone who is.

001150 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

Oh, wow. Okay.

001152 Nancy Alexander

It's incredibly important. These folks, as I say, they're on deadline. They live in 30 second increments all day long and they have to make decisions quickly. They have to decide whether or not whatever your product or services is going to be hard. Right. Or if it's going to be part of a feature, for instance, mine was a conical feature, but I, you know, I did occasionally deal with things that weren't necessarily funny in nature.

I, you know, I would just dress them up that way and we get the camera because my job was to make people laugh for four minutes every night, but they have to decide. First of all, if what it is that you're doing is interesting enough to the community and where you fit in, in the complexion of a newscast.

So you should probably consult with someone like me or hopefully someone you have in-house that's good at PR. They can focus and fine tune your pitch. To the place in a newscast where you think you would be most suited.

001319 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

One of the things like I got niched by them pretty quickly that I'm the tech nerd who will jump on camera and, you know, talk for three minutes about whatever technology topic, you know, and then they cut it out to the best 30 or 45 seconds that works for their story.

But it's, it seems like it's been my experience that once a producer knows you and knows your topic, the next time they need anybody for that topic, you're the first person they think of. Right.

001345 Nancy Alexander

You know, as a person is so different than in any other kind of sales, you know, if you are selling advertising time, you're going to go back to the golden diamonds.

Right. Because, you know, they spend a shit load of money. If a producer has somebody on hand like yourself, who's so well versed. And I, and I've seen you on my old, on monitoring. You do such a great job. Of course, they're going to come back. You save them a shit ton of time. Now, in your case, do they pitch the name of your business each time? Do they introduce you?

001425 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

I'll get a, I'll get a Shire on, right? So it'll say Chris Jenkins, you know, chief digital officers, symphony agency, and then in the, in the, the transcript article that they write on the website that goes along with each video segment, they'll mention it there again as well. So you do you get a little bit of like Google searchability and stuff with that?

001444 Nancy Alexander

Yeah. So, you're locked and loaded.

001447 Kathleen Seide

So in with that, let's see, I had some notes here. You were talking about finding the guy at the assignment desk. Like he is the key to getting in the door. How would somebody even know where to look up that name? Like how do you research that sort of thing?

001502 Nancy Alexander

It's really high tech, your Google TV station and, uh, And of course I'm being a smart ass, but you simply need to find the newsline, you call it and you ask the name of the assignment editor.

You need to know the names of the assignment editors and what shifts they work. It's not the same men and women there all day, but they're taking it, uh, on of, they still get snail mail and packages and tape, but they go through our shit ton of email and then they have to parse it out to the producers. And producers are the folks that are stacking each one of the individual shots.

And they're doing their own research as well. So it's going to be, and I hate to keep using, you know, these, uh, banal terms. But your pitch has to be pretty concise and sexy.

001610 Kathleen Seide

So that pitch is a simplified or a concise version of the three, four minutes story that you'd be pitching. Right? Like you're looking at a 30 second max of that longer version, which itself is a small version of your actual story.

001626 Nancy Alexander

Yeah. I mean, you could send, if you're a great writer, You could send an email, uh, that is an outstanding, strong paragraph to several producers. And, and let's not forget. There are also a million chat shows that are always looking for not just news here in our market. There's Great Day there is. I'm trying to think of the NBC affiliate daytime channel 10 has one that I should know because I filled in as the host a bunch of times. And I'm really sorry everybody at channel 10. I can't think of it, but you know, there's research first. Get the contacts once you have, actually, I take that back. Get your pitch, your electronic press done first. Make it concise. Make it impactful. And make it seem necessary and helpful to their viewers.

Remember, they're not in the business of helping you sell your product. They want you to be a benefit to their viewers. So their viewers will continue to watch.

001750 Kathleen Seide

I think that's a wonderful point, right? Like coming into it, you have your own goals and your own problem that you're wanting to solve here. But the only way that you're going to connect with anyone, let alone a TV station is to look and consider what problems do they have that you're solving for them.

And focus your solutions, focus what your conversation is around that, right?

001813 Nancy Alexander

Yes. You first have to sell the decision-makers that their audiences will benefit with the information that you have about your product or service or research or book, and then go from there. But they're, they're not in the business of getting butts in your seats.

001836 Kathleen Seide

Right. Yeah. That's the tell your stuff for you, right?

001841 Nancy Alexander

Yeah. Right.

001842 Kathleen Seide

But being out there adds credibility or exposure or whatever benefits you're looking for for your business. And when you get out there, you can see if that actually has that effect or not

001854 Nancy Alexander

Sure. An easy example of, and I can't stand the fucker, but Guy Fieri, whose real name by the way is Guy Ferry .Turned it back to the Italian and then asked to pronounce it Fieri, I'd bet the ranch that when he has house parties, he has like television monitors set up all over his house and it's all running tapes of his seconds.

001922 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

Yeah. We're getting invited on food network.

001926 Kathleen Seide

Never, no.

001927 Nancy Alexander

But you know, use him as an example, you know, once he's been your restaurant.

You may have to think about what the hell you're going to do with all that business. First of all, you're going to make sure you live up to the hype because once you're on television, you should get some traffic and you have to be able to deliver on the message that you...

001953 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

there's no point in doing the PR, if you can't actually live up to the traffic that comes in behind it.

001958 Nancy Alexander

Yeah. Yes, because, you know, if you fail, they won't be back.

002003 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

Right. I like to consider myself to be a little bit slick and whenever I go on the interviews or whatever, typically I'll probably like have a symphony t-shirt on or something along that line where I have some branded, you know, sort of identifiers around me to hopefully like reinforce that thing.

Are there any other little slick tricks where you can maybe inject a little bit of your product or brand or message into that little interview time?

002027 Nancy Alexander

Sure. If you're a manufacturer, I mean, they let the coach of the Bucks were a Bucks Hat.

002037 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

Fair Enough

002038 Nancy Alexander

Yeah, absolutely. You know, get your branding out there. If somebody's going to say yeah.

We're sending a camera out to you by all means, make sure that you are branding yourself as much as possible because let's face it a rule in radio and I know I'm going back and forth between mediums. They're very, very different. But for instance, in radio, repetition is everything for advertisers and or artists.

Repetition is everything but television, if you get 45 seconds make it impactful. And I know that if you are the CEO or if you are the idea guy, or if it is your personal risk that was taken financially to start the company, it's human nature to want to be the person to be interviewed. You got really take inventory of your strengths and decide am I the best person in my company to make the most impactful 45 seconds? Like in Chris's case, they usually do. What's called a, uh, both sides. That's voiceover sound on tape. They'll let you say something. And then a reporter may say something on either end. That's either on one end or the other, but make sure that you send the right person out to represent your company because people are busy, you know, and a TV is an appliance.

002227 Kathleen Seide

How do you find, or, or what, what are you using to measure how somebody would be good or not good? You know? Cause like me as, as somebody who's not in this space, I'd be like, oh, well they look fine. Or this is a, an attractive person or you speak well. So what do you think from your perspective, what are people looking for that, that makes.

Actually qualified good enough to be on television.

002253 Nancy Alexander

A person who is very adept at making human connections quickly. Oh wow. Okay. A person who can be authentically enthusiastic about what we do. If you're in a business, you should know who that person is.

002314 Kathleen Seide

Right. You already have, like, as soon as you said that, I'm sure everybody listening.

They're like, oh, that guy like so-and-so would be our person. They know it already, the person that's in their, in their business, right. The person that's in their office, you know,

002327 Nancy Alexander

there are a few examples where the CEO of a company makes an excellent spokesperson. You know, Dave from Wendy's who the hell would remember a $50 live pillow.

If it weren't for the guy with the seventies porn staff who wears a crucifix hanging out of the top of his shirt. No, I'm not saying sounded... but he is perfect for that job.

002357 Kathleen Seide

He's memorable and it's good television

002400 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

character, right? I mean, there's that fundamentally part of it that, that you're a character.

002405 Nancy Alexander

Then you are a character, but in, depending upon the business, You really need to be likable in order for people to want to care about your product. They first have to immediately want to care about you,

002422 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

man. That was substance. What advice

002424 Nancy Alexander

And trust you. So you have to be adept at looking at a camp and television is not a normal way to make a living. You know, you look at a camera as though it's a person.

002437 Kathleen Seide

A skill. We're all developing on zoom.

002440 Nancy Alexander

And by the way is not. Practice! You know...

002445 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

as many interviews as I've done, I've never really thought about that because in these sort of virtual environments, especially, I'm more likely to look at your, your faces on the screen than I am to actually look directly at my camera.

Right. And Jody McLean, who's also a dear friend is constantly trying to help me be better in my on-camera presence. She's like framing. And where are your cameras aimed? And look at the camera, you know, and, and I'm bad about all those. I'm likable enough.

002513 Nancy Alexander

You can tell a man on the street interview being when there's no reporter there and they have sent out a photog only because the person that they're interviewing, you can see their line of sight.

They're looking at the photographer's eyes rather than looking into the camera. That is the degree of separation, which is fine for a news story. But if what you're looking for and let's chase it, if you're trying to get on local television, you're looking for a free commercial connection with the camera. Look in the camera, unless there is a field producer. You may get lucky where they think that your, whatever your widget is is sexy enough. They'll send a photographer, a reporter. And a field producer out there and the field producer may say, look at me when you talk. If that person's not there, look in the camera.

If it was that hard, they wouldn't have, let me do it.

002622 Kathleen Seide

Oh, I think you're good at talking your way in that door. So I want to come back to a press kit. You know, we've talked about that. You've mentioned it a few times. Electronic press kit. And I, I don't know what goes into that. Like, I'm curious, you know, maybe there's a resource we can link to in the show notes, but you know, what, what should somebody be including in that,

002645 Nancy Alexander

in the businesses it's called an EPK electronic press kit.

You want, although a lot of TV stations aren't even taking thumb drives anymore because they're infecting their computers. Right.

002700 Kathleen Seide

I was just thinking viruses.

002702 Nancy Alexander

So first make the phone call find out in what format they will accept your press kit. It may be email with video that is embedded in the email.

You know where the link it may be a thumb drive, but it is essentially a sales pitch. Not to your end-user. You're making a sales pitch. To a person who has access to depending upon what market you're in tens of thousands to potentially millions of people. So your press kit needs to be written and you really should produce some sort of short video that is appealing.

Not directly to your end user, but to the person who wants to make interesting television for lots and lots of people and that's your job.

002804 Kathleen Seide

Okay. And again, that goes back to focusing on who your end user is, right? Like you're that person that you're speaking to is actually the one in the decision making chair, not those customers.

You're hoping to get a free ad in front of.

002820 Nancy Alexander

I watched my Alma mater. I watched Fox through chemo and, um, cause they're like to see just sitting in my whole, my old cubicle in the background, they have, for instance, a segment called what's right with Stanford bay. They have made in Tampa bay. And it's a lot of really good field with Telemann.

If you have a product like a Snuggie, I mean, let's pretend that none of us had ever seen one before. It's nothing but a fucking blanket with sleeves, right? Genius. How many of those things that they sell? There would be something where firsthand have to sell the assignment editor or the producer on what I convenience.

This is going to be to the end user. Right.

002911 Kathleen Seide

And why people would want to watch that? Well, that comes back to a one point that I think is important and you made it, but I just wanted to bring it back around for people before we go into the lightning round. And that's that your pitch isn't asking for you to be on TV, your pitch is telling them why they should put you on there.

002932 Nancy Alexander

That's great. Why your business should be on television and why it is. So compelling is going to keep their listeners attention. Viewers, I should say viewers attention because that's their business.

002950 Kathleen Seide

I mean, what you shared is going to be so helpful to the people listening to this that want to reach out and get in touch with the local producers and actually get some traction there rather than just getting thrown in the trash by those assignment editors. Right.

003003 Nancy Alexander

And he listened. If you don't have anybody who is. You know, sometimes like if you already have a well-produced commercial, send that, right. They're going to try and sell you a television time. But you know what, if you don't have somebody in your company who is a natural on-camera talent and an authentic personable communicator, go and challenge a see and hire somebody

003032 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

beautiful and hire you. If you're a local. Every single, uh, interviewee that we have on here, we have our lightning round and these are five quick questions. I don't want you to put a lot of thought into it. I want to hear right off the top of your head. These are just fast as a way to get to know you just a little bit better.

So cocktail of choice and fantastic go-to de-stress method. How do you unwind

003059 Nancy Alexander

masturbate

003100 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

fantastic. Apple or PC?

003103 Nancy Alexander

PC man. Apple comes with pre-installed smud.

003110 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

You have already like taken my heart with that answer. You're probably like one of like the last 10 guests, peanut butter, smooth or crunchy.

003118 Nancy Alexander

Neither I hate peanut butter.

003121 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

Fair answer. And final one that always trips people up. What's your favorite insult?

003129 Nancy Alexander

Oh, to give someone or to receive,

003131 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

no, to receive.

003134 Nancy Alexander

I fuck your brains out, but apparently somebody beat me to it

003144 Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

If ever. There was a classic Nancy Alexander line. I think that was it right there. Hey, listen guys, in the show notes, we're going to make sure that you've got contact info to be able to talk to Nancy. If you're looking for a media consultant or something along that line. She managed to, provide value to our audience, to get some air time.

I think she's demonstrated the concept that she was talking about. So I definitely check her out and we were super happy to have her on this time. And, I will hopefully be lifting a drink sometime in the future with you almost actually in person, before too long, that'd be really fantastic, but to all of you, Unfuckers out there, check the show notes for details, and until next time see you next Tuesday.

003222 Nancy Alexander

Thanks for having me have, it was nice being there.

003228 Outtro

What are you waiting for? Take what you learned in this episode and do something with it? You'll find all the links and resources we talked about in our show notes for this episode and go to unfuck my business.com to subscribe to the show.

About the Podcast

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Unf*ck My Business
No bullshit advice for business owners who want to be resilient as fuck.

About your hosts

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Robyn Sayles

HOST | SHOW RUNNER
Twitter + IG: @robynsayles
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Kaplan Akincilar

EDITOR | PRODUCER
IG: @kaplanakincilar
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Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins

HOST
Twitter: @immrdubious
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Kathleen Seide

HOST
IG: @geekmermaid
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Shea Jeffers

HOST
IG: @stratgix