How To Get On Air, All The Time

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A little self-promotion about…self-promotion! It’s the Washington circle of life…

I’ve penned the cover story in Campaign & Elections’ Politics magazine (July issue), entitled “Get On-Air, All the Time.”

In a world where communication avenues and opportunities are simultaneously more available and more clogged than ever, busting through the chattering masses in order to make your work rise to the top is almost as important as the quality of your work itself. In other words: Should your tree fall in the woods, you had better make sure that someone hears it.

But how exactly does that happen? Although there are plenty of people in Washington who gain radio, television and print exposure thanks almost entirely to the credibility afforded them by their day jobs (say, the Washington Post, MoveOn.org, Republican National Committee, AARP, Heritage Foundation, Georgetown University, National Rifle Association, etc.), D.C. is also packed with people who achieve similar publicity without such supporting institutions, resources and PR assistance. Instead, they’ve made these opportunities happen for themselves.

Making a name for yourself, however, is hardly a simple recipe. In fact, the practice of pitching yourself-and succeeding when opportunity knocks-is a fine art indeed, one with ever-changing rules and practices that can mean the difference between promise and peril.

The money quote, however, comes courtesy of Hotline’s Nora McAlvanah:

“You definitely don’t want to be considered a media whore,” says Nora McAlvanah, a senior editor at National Journal’s Hotline. “Like any industry, this field has its fair share of pimps and whores. It’s okay to be a pimp: You’re just getting your best product out there in the hands of people who want it. A whore, however, is un-picky and doesn’t discriminate. And when you’re on the receiving end of someone like that, who isn’t a bit more selective in their pitches, it can come off as pushy and unwanted.”

Read the full thing here.