|You can click this image and select the second video, if you'd like to watch it.|
It was a great experience, and I took lots of "behind the scenes" photos, but before I go into that, I want to share a couple of quick stories.
When I was in second grade, we were instructed to create clay figurines and then write stories about them. I made a seal and wrote up a full page about "Sammy the Seal."
When it was time to read our stories aloud to the class, I shoved mine to the back of my desk and told my teacher I hadn't completed my assignment. I preferred to take a zero than stand up in front of that class.
In fifth grade, I was asked to give a two-minute talk in front of the other children at church. My mom wrote my talk for me, and as soon as I got to my Sunday School class, I promptly slipped it into the trash can.
I told my instructor that I had sadly lost my talk and couldn't remember enough to say anything in front of the group.
She found it in the trash can and said, "Here it is! Now you can give it."
To which I responded, "No thank you."
She didn't pressure me at all, but simply said, "Do you mind if I read it?"
No problem there, so I sat at the back of the room on my mom's lap and listened as my teacher read my talk. For some reason, I just couldn't bring myself to get up there.
Over the course of 24 years, I've somewhat-overcome my fear of speaking in public. I present at Power of Moms Retreats, and I am constantly recording videos and podcasts, but these stories from my childhood came roaring back into my mind when I was preparing to be on television. Total anxiety for days.
I tell you this because when I do a write-up about a media appearance, I want to be perfectly clear that this is not something I do because it's fun or easy for me (although there is definitely an element of fun to it). I do this because I believe in Power of Moms and I want to spread the word about ideas and resources that help mothers.
So now that we're on the same page, here's a little photo walk-through of my day. (And for those of you who would like to do more media appearances, I've included some ideas for you below.)
Alisha Gale, our chief editor at Power of Moms, and I flew in at just about the same time on Friday morning. Neither of us had much sleep the night before, but we made it, and here we are at the car rental area. (I don't know why I feel the need to photo-document all these little steps, but I think it does make it easier to tell the story.)
We drove a few miles to the TV studio (I, of course, got lost and ended up in an abandoned train yard) but we eventually met up with my sister Page in the parking garage for Studio 5.
I can't tell you how comforting it was to have my sister and Alisha with me. I so appreciate them.
We got buzzed into the studio and made our way to the make-up room . . . past this control room that looks so fun.
Page helped me curl my hair and loaned me some of her jewelry for the recording.
And then one of the producers (a darling lady named Mindy), came in to prep me for my segment.
I was kind of laughing because it felt so "Hollywood." Sitting at a mirror surrounded with light bulbs, doing my hair and make-up, talking to a producer, and preparing for an interview on TV. That was pretty fun, I must say. I was trying to act like a professional, but inside I felt like a little girl, totally enthralled with everything around me. (Eric keeps reminding me that I am a professional now. I just keep forgetting.)
Here's a snapshot of me and Alisha:
And then one final picture before it was time to go to the "green room."
Those who are waiting to go on the show sit here and watch the live TV broadcast. The Studio 5 staff brought us water bottles, made sure we felt ready to go on, and were so incredibly kind to us.
A few minutes before my segment, they brought me into the studio so they could put on my microphone and let me get situated at the table.
Here's a panorama of the studio (well, half of it). I was really feeling excited at this point.
Brooke Walker, one of the main hosts of Studio 5, joined me at the table right before they started filming our segment. She's been on the show for eight years and does a fabulous job. Honestly, filming a one-hour live TV show five days a week, with a variety of guests and topics, is incredibly demanding. I admire her talents in this area.
Once we started filming, everything felt very comfortable. Brooke reminded me not to look at the cameras, but just to have a conversation with her. Those 8 minutes went by so fast, and she made it totally doable for me. (Thanks Brooke!)
After we finished, I took off my microphone . . .
smiled a sigh of relief (along with the cameraman) . . .
and then got to meet Camille from Six Sisters' Stuff on my way out. She was filming a segment on how to make a Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake, which my children are now dying for us to have someday.
That was it! We then made our way back out to the parking garage . . . stopping to take a couple more photos:
Then we moved on to the other activities we'd planned for the day, and I started breathing a little deeper.
Before I close, I just want to provide a few ideas for those who would like to do more work with the media. Here's the basic process we went through:
(1) A couple of years ago, our PR Manager at Power of Moms, Laurie Brooks, emailed Studio 5 with a synopsis of what we do at Power of Moms, particularly highlighting our Learning Circles.
(2) After a few months (from what I remember), they asked us if they could record a segment about an actual Learning Circle. You can see it here.
(3) Then, over the last year or so, Studio 5 has occasionally come back to us for other interviews about our featured content.
This is my interview from last April when my post, Your Children Want YOU! went viral.
Here's Saren's great interview about loving every age and stage.
And another one by Saren about simple family practices that promote values.
Allyson Reynolds has been on there three times, talking about being the "perfect mother," cutting Dad some slack, and appreciating the "now."
I don't have an extraordinary amount of media experience, but if you feel like your current project would be great as a feature on TV or radio, I would definitely recommend that you do the following:
(1) Establish a solid platform of people who like what you do. Get feedback, make sure that what you're doing meets a need, and become an expert in your field.
(2) Contact local media outlets with press releases featuring the details about what you're doing. Follow up with phone calls and talk with contacts who may be willing to help you.
(3) Be patient and keep pursuing your passion. Saren and I decided long ago that we wanted to build Power of Moms because it was the right thing for us to do--not because we were hoping to get noticed in the process. Media appearances are wonderful, but we have to love the work we are doing.
(4) Continue to pitch ideas and develop content that offers a fresh perspective and interesting ideas. TV shows are craving good content. Help them do their job.
(5) When you are asked to do an interview, guest post, etc., make sure you're pleasant to work with. (Promptly reply to emails, show up on time, help promote the media outlet to your audience . . .) That makes it easy for them to ask you back.
I hope these ideas are at least a little bit helpful. I decided that if I am going to blog, I am going to make everything I write about as replicable as possible. I want to be sure I'm never setting myself up as someone trying to get attention or pretend like I'm better than anyone else. Because I know I'm not. I'm just trying to make a difference and help other moms.
Thanks for all your support.