In 1990, I was a young struggling talk show host had my own TV show syndicated throughout Florida but I was trying to make it to the big time I wanted to be national. So I took demo tapes, compilations of the best segments I thought represented me dub them on old VHS tapes, and I mailed them to a number of top TV stars. So the top stars at CNN, some of the top stars at other networks. One star I sent it to was a talk shows that the financial news network then CNBC Bob Berkowitz, he did primetime talk show and I just thought he comported himself so well yet style yet flair intelligent, interesting, fantastic talk show host. So I wrote to all these different hosts. None of them responded had a nice cover letter personalized to each one.
None of them responded. Except for Bob Berkowitz. He Call me up out of the blue. Hi, this is Bob Berkowitz, deep, resonant voice I'd only heard on TV before. I was kind of shocked and excited. He said, Hey, I watched your demo tape.
I don't have any job for you. But I just wanted to tell you, I liked it. I think you're really professional. Good job. You got a good career ahead of you. This just lifted my spirits for weeks, I was floating on cloud nine.
Fast forward 15 years. And somehow we connected and New York City. I was now living in New York City doing media training. We connected and we have actually become friends since then. In fact, I even hired him to train with some of my clients for media gigs and we often collaborate. So what's my point here?
There's really two number one. If you are trying to communicate to the media, don't be afraid to just reach out to people sometimes the more famous, the more likely they are to respond to you Personally now they won't all, most of the ones I wrote to didn't, but occasionally they will. And it can be the start of a professional relationship or even a friendship. The other point here though, is if you are in the media, or you are speaking at some venue and some 20 year old writes to you, or high school intern writes to you about something of a professional nature, try to respond back, you never know how you might end up collaborating with that person, even working for that person at some point. So you just never know my advice. Communicate up and down.
Don't even think about up and down. Just communicate with people who care about what you do, and try to build bridges. That's the way to have a long term career as a communicator.