The Mind of the Media: What They Are Thinking

Ever wonder what the media is really thinking when they’re interviewing you? Are they out to get you? Are they trying to trip you up?  I used to be a member of the new media. Check out this week’s short video lesson:

The Mind of the Media:

What They’re Thinking and Secrets to What They Want

So what is going on inside the heads of the producers, bookers, writers, editors, reporters, etc.?

To work well with the media and to have them want to interview you again in the future, you need to give them what they want. You must make their lives easy.  You must become a resource for them. This goes for traditional media, as well as internet journalists who might want to interview you for their blog or YouTube. In this chapter, we will get inside their heads.


You must fulfill the needs of:

•The Media Outlet/Entity 

•The Audience



Of course, the media are most concerned with the needs of the first two groups.  If you can do a great job giving information that supports these two groups, they will want to promote you, your product, brand or business.



For Television, you might be contacted by a Producer with one of many titles. On the regional or national level, it is likely a Booker or Segment Producer. On the local level, it might be someone who wears many hats and has many job duties.

This person is looking for guests for stories. They might need quotes.

They might need a guest who can talk for 2 to 5 minutes—possibly more.

They want someone who:

•is interesting

•can give analysis or facts to support their story

•can appeal to or supply information to their demographic

•has something of value to share with their audience

•offers takeaway. As a producer, we used to ask, what can the audience take away from the segment? Did they learn something they didn’t know before? For example, did the audience learn a new recipe, get unique analysis on a topic, or even a list of the top five ways to do something they could not do prior to hearing the information?

What are they thinking? What do they want?

They are thinking the following:

•How can I complete the task in front of me without doing an inordinate amount of work?

  • Can I choose someone to work with that makes me look good?
  • Can I choose someone that will give me praise from my boss
  • Can this person get me better ratings or other positive audience attention?
  • Will this person be helpful today?
  • Could this person be helpful to me in the future?
  • Will they be easy to reach?
  • Can they be so easy to work with that they supply any information that helps see the task through to completion?

Notice that many of these items fall under the category of “What’s in it for me.”  If you help them and make their lives easier, they will want to help you. (Usually in the form of an on-air plug or promotion)


What Don’t They Want?

  • Someone who does not have much in the way of substance to add to the story.
  • Someone who is self-promoting and cares more about their agenda.
  • Someone who is a prima donna.
  • They don’t want someone who is difficult to get a hold of or does not return their calls.
  • They don’t want someone who they have to pry information out of or is long winded.
  • Someone who is confusing.
  • Someone who looks unkept or needs major updating of their look.
  • Someone who will cause a negative spotlight on them in their job.

Be attentive to the do’s and don’t’s above. Do your best to be easy and supportive.

These excerpts are from the #1 International Best Seller Media Secrets: A Media Training Crash Course

Pick up your copy today!



About Jess Todtfeld

Jess Todtfeld has been a TV producer, reporter, host. He is currently President of Success In Media, Inc. providing media training and presentation training to Fortune 500 companies, the U.N., Celebrities, experts and authors.

Jess puts himself in the hot seat as well. He has appeared on ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, MTV, BBC, CNN and FOX News. He set a Guinness Record for being interviewed the most times in 24 hours ... 112. Need a Speaker for an Upcoming Conference or Convention?
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