Raise Your Visibility – with Annie Scranton

If you want to raise your visibility by being interviewed on TV or by print journalists, this is the episode for you. Join us to learn more!

Annie Scranton is the founder and president of Pace Public Relations. Annie and her team focus solely on media relations, getting their clients placements on traditional news outlets on TV, radio, print, and digital. On any given day, Pace PR has multiple clients on national TV, which isn’t easy to do. Acting as a guest booker for major media networks like CNN, FOX News, CNBC, MSNBC, and ABC, Annie’s brand of public relations combines her unique understanding of behind – the – scenes TV and her unparalleled list of contacts. In this episode, Annie shares how she was able to go from trial to triumph and rebuild after a setback, her secret sauce to getting her clients booked on TV with media coverage to build their brands, and what a personal brand is and why it’s important to have one. 

Who should be on TV?

Annie says that it takes a telegenic person to be on TV, and what she means is someone who comes to life on camera. Even in TV news, someone’s performance element is almost as important as what they actually say. It takes substance and an interesting point of view to be a good guest. If you hold opinions that match with 99% of the population, then it’s harder to get booked on TV, but a counterintuitive perspective or unique point of view will get you booked faster. How you relate to viewers is important because TV doesn’t offer many second chances. That first TV interview is vitally important because the competition is fierce. In appearing on any TV show, you have to put in the work to understand the brand and ask how you can fit into that conversation. It takes reframing your thinking to understand the tone and learn what’s important to the producers. 

Why public relations?

A layoff from one show at age 28 led Annie to launch a job search that changed her life. A publicist offered her a job if she could get his client booked on a national TV show, which she accomplished in about five minutes. Annie calls this her lightbulb moment of recognizing her special currency in understanding the networks and how they operate, along with the necessary high – quality connections to people in the business by building her brand.

Going all in

Even though she still worked at a TV network for a time, Annie kept doing PR work on the side. It became so busy that she couldn’t do both jobs well, so she used her nest egg to take the leap of faith and start her own business out of her studio apartment, with her phone and computer. She slowly added more staff members as her business grew organically. 

What is PR?

The specialty of Annie’s company is media relations, which means she helps her clients get featured in the media, including TV, radio and podcasts, and interviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites. PR is figuring out what is interesting about a client’s business, product, or brand, and how those qualities can be made relatable to a producer, editor, or journalist. Another critical component is that the client has to be interesting to the readers or viewers. Those placements are beneficial to the clients in growing their business, raising money, and booking speaking engagements. 

Personal branding

Everyone can benefit from personal branding because there is more competition than ever before. Whatever your industry, there are many others with whom you’re competing for business. You must be able to articulate what sets you apart as unique and the best choice. More success will follow, and you’ll have a more fulfilling career and more happiness. Distinguishing and differentiating yourself is essential in today’s world, especially for women, because women don’t usually advocate for themselves as strongly and confidently as men do. 

Dealing with jealousy

Annie’s viewpoint is that if someone is competitive and jealous of you, that’s on them. You need to conduct yourself with dignity, respect, and fairness, and nothing else matters. Haters and backstabbers will always exist, but you have to have faith in yourself, your work, and your values. Annie explains how she helps clients better understand themselves and their brand to build the confidence they need to survive and thrive. 

How you pitch yourself

Pitching yourself means presenting a solution that interests others. In pitching yourself to the media, you can provide them with an interesting angle or story idea that gives a solution to their daily task and deadline. In pitching yourself for a promotion, highlight the benefits to the company so that you become a solution to a problem. Present how you what you’re asking for will affect the company’s bottom line, along with being useful and helpful. Annie explains how the pitching process has changed during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Stand out from the noise

Annie stresses the need to know your audience. Right now, every pitch needs to tie into the pandemic or the general election to be relevant to cable news. The luxury lifestyle retail space is still relevant in certain places, but can still be tied to the pandemic if you pivot to more of a thought leader capacity. A thought leader is an expert in their industry who has insights into trends and forecasts. Thought leaders also point out strong examples and lessons to be learned. They are able to contextualize what they have learned, so it’s interesting, useful, and helpful to others in that space. 

Highlights of this episode:

  • 2:18 – Who should be on TV?
  • 7:24 – Understanding the brand
  • 8:34 – Annie’s journey to public relations
  • 12:48 – Becoming a PR agency
  • 15:16 – What’s useful about PR
  • 18:34 – Doing things the smart way
  • 22:18 – Why personal branding is important
  • 28:42 – Combatting competitiveness
  • 34:10 – The importance of your pitch
  • 40:35 – How we stand out
  • 42:49 – Become a thought leader
  • 44:50 – Fem Five

Resources mentioned:

  • Find Annie on Twitter:  @AnnieScranton

The Fem Five:

1. Favorite book to recommend for women?

  • The Truths We Hold: An American Journey by Kamala Harris

2. Favorite self-care hack?

  • ”Meditation every morning and working out whenever possible.”

3. Best piece of advice and who gave it to you?

  • “My mom made me believe that I could do and be anything I wanted.”

4. Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now?

5. One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self?

  • “Don’t stress as much. It’s not worth it. LIve your life with authenticity and integrity. Things will work out.”