I was preparing some material yesterday for a new coaching programme that I am launching and I quickly realised that I had some great features, interviews and appearances in the media! I decided to make it into a collage to show you! I couldn’t add all of the logos on here but I squeezed on as many as I could to show you my work!
So here are a few ways that I broke into the media and how you can do it too:
1) I studied Mass Communications at University:
Doing a BA (hons) degree in Mass Communications and Sociology was one of the best things that prepared me for the Media. Mass Comms is just like Media studies so I learned everything from learning how to make a film to understanding the digital media world. I also studied Communications initially with Law and this prepared me to understand the film industry as we had to study the Hollywood Industry, Nollywood Industry, Bollywood Industry, British Cinema, French Cinema etc. I now see how much my degree actually made me attract TV Interviews, Press, Features and Publications. I always wanted to be in the Media which is why I studied these courses in the first place but it really did help my career in the media to Sky Rocket i.e. TV Presenting.
If you are serious about breaking into the media and if you are thinking of going to University it would be worth studying one of the following:
– Mass Communications
– Film Studies
– Media Studies
– Digital Media
I was advised to do a joint honours degree by someone in Education and I took their advice. He said ‘Everyone that wants to break into the media, has a degree in Media studies, the industry are looking for something more than just Media’. This is is why I did a combined degree rather than just a single honours degree (for my first degree). Perhaps you could consider doing a major and minor or a joint honours degree (too)! It will give you more depth and make you stand out for more career opportunities. You could do something like Digital Media and Film Studies, Media Studies and Law, Media Studies and Performing Arts or Media Studies and Mathematics (remember to speak to your academic advisor about your course ideas before making any vital decisions).
2) I studied Media Studies at College:
My 3 A-levels that I achieved at College includes an A-level in Media studies. Here I learnt everything about tabloids and glossy magazines compared with broadsheets. I learned the difference between popular culture and high culture and the language and style of both.
Popular culture appeals to the masses
High Culture appeals to the middle class/upper class
Examples of people/things that can fit into popular culture can include:
Pop music, Kiss FM, MTV, Mariah Carey, Hip Hop, Justin Bieber, Football and The Sun Newspaper
Examples of people/things that fit into High Culture can include:
Classical Music, Opera, Golf, The Guardian Newspaper, Tony Blair, Ballet and The White House.
Having this clarity and understanding of high and popular culture worked in my favour as I would adapt to any style of media that I found myself in. If I had to go to a corporate event and mix with the elite I wouldn’t turn up wearing a pageant dress but would I wear a suit and act professional. Whereas if I was being interviewed for a popular TV show
I would wear something stylish and modern.
Most people wear casual clothes that they would wear to a Barbecue to a political event and wonder why they do not get any more invitations to attend any other political events.
You have to know how to speak and act corporate when it’s time to speak and act corporate and how to be down to earth and fun when it’s time to be down to earth and fun.
So, I recommend that you study popular culture and high culture VERY well so that you will be well prepared for various types of interviews and opportunities in the media. You will also know exactly what type of press/interviews/events to say YES to and which ones to say NO to.
For example…I know what to expect with one or two trashy newspapers in the popular culture world so the chances of me saying yes to a interview in them would be a big NO!
But if I was to be interviewed on the topic of Law and Government the chances are I would really do my research (inside and out) because I wouldn’t want to be unprepared and look like a fool. Saying the wrong things on camera just make you look uneducated and immature.
The media enjoy mocking people so be sure to do tons of research before you try and get featured. The same people that build you up can also tear you down.
3) I worked for a TV Station as a TV Host/Producer and TV Presenter:
I have always been in the Media from a young age. My first appearance on TV was BBC when I was about 7 years old. I was interviewed by BBC to discuss the good work of the Queen at my school and my aunties watched me on TV and called me and screamed with joy telling me the good news.
When I entered my first pageant, I ended up featuring in OK Magazine.
I would meet celebrities everywhere I would go (around the age of 19 onwards). This would happen to me at several of my work places, in the fitting rooms, on my street where I live, in restaurants, at airports e.t.c. I eventually took it as a big sign especially because they would sometimes talk to me or smile at me for no reason.
I became a TV Presenter in 2011 and since then I have been on TV over 100 times and I haven’t looked back.
I would encourage you to get some TV Presenting under your belt if you are serious about breaking into the media as this is one of the BEST ways to get comfortable with being on camera. You can start with working with local producers and doing vox pops.
A vox pop is when you hit the streets and interview the public with your camera and mic and ask them questions based on certain key topics (think of The News; when journalists interview the public on the streets and report back to the live show, and you will understand what I mean)
4) I regularly attended (and still attend) High Profile events:
Where you go is ESSENTIAL if you want to break into the media. Going to local events and weddings are fun and good (of course) but if you want to become a star in your field, attract clients or meet the right people that can feature you on their TV shows and in their magazines etc then you need to go to events where the media hang out.
The events that I regularly attend include:
– Political Events
– Youth Events
– Church Events
– Trade Shows
– Red Carpet events
– TV Award shows
– Press meetings
– Beauty Pageants
– Fashion Shows
My business UK’s Dazzling Beauty boomed because I always made appearances. In 2012 it was labelled by fans and followers as the fastest growing pageant of 2012. My pageant has gone on to have over 50 Press releases and over 20 appearances on TV. My constants are at events all the time making appearances and promoting UK’s Dazzling Beauty (it truly is a team effort).
If you make it your mission to show up at such events and network it won’t take you long before you start appearing on TV and in magazines.
Why do you think that Kim Kardashian is always at Red Carpet events? She always makes appearances and so do all celebrities, political leaders, athletes, TV Presenters and photographers, videographers etc. The events you attend will depend on whether you are trying to break into the popular culture or the high culture (or maybe a bit of both) But one thing is for certain my friend. You will quickly figure out the types of events that are NOT worth your time and the events that are MUST attend events for you by going to different events.
The media are always looking for rising stars, dignitaries, CEO’s, inspirational figures etc to photograph and interview people at events so make sure you bring your business card with you, be friendly and approachable, appear interested in hot topics/discussions/debates, dress the part and be ready to be interviewed!
TIP: Being camera-shy will get you NOWHERE in the media industry unless you want to work back stage. So get good at being in front of the camera (smile)
And boom….there you have it!
Hope you found my 4 steps for breaking into the media interesting, insightful and captivating!
Do you have any other ideas of things that you do to break into the media that you can add to the list? If so please leave a comment below. Or did any one of these points really stand out to you? Let me know about it in the comments section!
I can’t wait to hear from you!
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Have a blessed day!
Queen Chioma x