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25 Oct, 2010

Top 5 Mistakes Coaches make when trying to get Media Coverage by Maritza Duncan

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coaching Articles|In The Spotlight|Life Coaching Articles|PR

Top 5 Mistakes Coaches make when trying to get Media Coverage by Maritza Duncan

When I graduated from The Coaching Academy in 2003 I thought it would be easy getting coaching clients.  Well, It was not as easy as I thought.  Through my experiences though I learned the importance of using my skills and building on my life experiences. 

My background is in media, working in TV production and now presenting radio shows across SW Scotland to inspire people.  I decided that I would combine my media experience with my coaching and coach those running businesses how to raise their profile and get featured on TV, Radio and in the press.  I just wanted to share with you the top 5 mistakes that coaches make when trying to get media coverage…

1. They don’t consider the possibility of free media coverage

Some coaches don’t even consider the possibility that they could generate media coverage for free so they cut off any possibility of getting featured because they don’t even try! They then consider paying for advertising space which has no guaranteed return. One thing to keep in mind is that your business will gain a lot more credibility by being in a feature / interview written by a third party such as a journalist.

2. They don’t consistently convey a clear core message

When coaches do decide to contact the media a very common mistake is that they don’t have a core message which they are conveying. The temptation can be to try and please everyone all of the time resulting in a number of different messages being put across. Without a clear message two things can happen –the media will not pick up on the story because the message is not clear enough or if they do the business runs the risk of a confused message being put across.

3. They don’t write a newsworthy press release

The most effective way of putting your message across to the media is by writing a press release. All too often coaches put too much information in a press release and not always in the correct format. They also put too much emphasis on selling their product or service and not enough on giving the press a newsworthy story. As the media receive thousands of press releases everyday it is important to make your message clear, concise and as unique as possible.

4. They don’t directly contact the people who can give them coverage

Once the press release has been written it is then time to research and get into contact with the specific members of the media who can put across your message. Many coaches make the mistake of sending press releases to general email addresses and do not directly speak with the individual members of the media who are in a position to make a difference and use their information. Doing your own PR relies on creating and building media contacts on an ongoing basis. In building contacts it also enables you to get feedback on how newsworthy and effective your press releases are. Persistence is the key!

5. They don’t do enough research before doing a media interview

When doing media interviews many coaches make the mistake of trying to get too much information across which can result in their message being diluted. They also haven’t researched the media organisation that they are being interviewed for. This can mean that they don’t come across with as much impact that they could have.

by Maritza Duncan

7 Responses to "Top 5 Mistakes Coaches make when trying to get Media Coverage by Maritza Duncan"

1 | Lynne Lingley

October 26th, 2010 at 9:50 am


Thanks for your advice. I am about to present a local radio programme and after I qualified in 2004 I went on to qualify as a Journey Practitioner in 2006, then followed that with another qualification, in Teaching English – I’ve got a little muddled in my focussing.

I’d appreciate some advice/support with the presenting. I know I’m totally capable as I MC and sing. It’s having ‘no-one’ in front of me to interact with. When you first began, did you visualise friends or have people in the studio with you, or just do it and overcome the feeling of ‘talking to myself’ bit? I’d been interested to hear your experiences.

Warm Wishes (especially at this time of the year!) – Lynne

2 | Carol Page

October 26th, 2010 at 12:04 pm


Thanks for this article – it is helpful.

I am about to begin a 6-session coaching course with a journalist. In return she will ‘pay’ me by writing up her experiences of being coached in a series of articles in a magazine she writes for. It is quite a lot of work but everyone’s a winner. She gets coaching on a range of issues important to her, I get good media coverage from an objective but friendly perspective, and the magazine gets good quality material.

We have set some clear guidelines about her entering into the process fully for herself and only writing about what she feels comfortable to write about so that it is a fully engaging experience for her without making her vulnerable to public scrutiny.

3 | Maritza Duncan

October 26th, 2010 at 12:36 pm


Give me a call and we can have a chat about the radio show! 07771 604500
Carol that sounds like a great opportunity – keep me posted!

Maritza Duncan

4 | Paul Strobl

October 28th, 2010 at 12:01 am


Great post–most people do not have a good understanding on how getting coverage works.

@Carol-Excellent idea! Looking into connections in the media and offering a free month or so could really launch your practice!

5 | Matthew Medupin

October 29th, 2010 at 10:48 am


Well done! Great advice. Insightful ideas. This is certainly useful. I will keep these hints in mind in my search for media coverage.

6 | Genny Jones

October 30th, 2010 at 9:03 am


This s a great post and thanks for your advice.

I did my course in 2003 as I d to change my life at that time, because I was recovering from an emotionally abusive marriage which left me with low self esteem and confidence. The course helped me to regain my confidence and I have been able to use my skills to help others.

I chose to work as a happiness and confidence coach working mainly with single parents and children. I was fortunate to be selected for a BBC 1 film Life line for the single parent charity Gingerbread, as one of their trainers, and this lead to me having a lot of radio and newspapers and magazines.

Now local newspapers, TV stations and radio always call on me when there are any issues relating to single parents in my area, and this has helped me to promote my services. Also While I was teaching children to be confident, I came up with the idea of developing myself as a chartacter called “Confident Queen”. I developed an outfit a fun song and dance routine which I then put on YouTube. I sent the video link to the BBC programme GENUIS and was fortunate to be selected to be on their show, to demonstrate how people can have fun and be confident. I also take part in local events run by charities dressed up as “Confident Queen” and this too helps to raise my profile.

7 | Maritza Duncan

November 9th, 2010 at 9:29 pm


That is great Genny! Your experience shows it is all about being creative and newsworthy and over time building media relationships!!
Well done!

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