Go the extra mile

This is part nine of a multi-part “More from media” series.

A lot of aspiring professional anglers talk about how hard they work, but few of them work smart. Few of them are maximizing their media relations so they can really leverage their time and their sponsors.

Bernie Schultz

Working smart has helped Bernie Schultz find a long, successful career as a pro angler.

One way to endear yourself to the media is by going the extra mile and working smart. The true professional angler is not just a source for quotes about fishing, he’s a full-service resource with access to all kinds of things that the media needs — photographs, contact information, product and more.

I can call any pro angler in the business and ask him a few questions about how he fishes a spinnerbait in the spring, and the answers will be pretty much the same. I can use them, and it will fill up my article, but it’s generally nothing to get excited about. Out of 100 pro fishermen, all 100 can tell me that a Colorado blade will give the bait more lift, that willow leaf blades spin faster and offer a lot of flash, blah, blah, blah. We’ve all read that article 1,000 times before.

A pro who’s on his game will give me something different, something special that will make the article different and better. He’ll have a method or an angle or some little something that sets his way apart from the rest.

But what if the angler can give me even more than that? What if he can get me professional-quality images of himself with a big bass and a spinnerbait hanging out of the fish’s mouth? What if he can give me the contact information for another angler who’s doing something unique and interesting with spinnerbaits? Or an angler who fishes only with spinnerbaits — 12 months out of the year? What if he can get me a bunch of the spinnerbaits he’s talking about so that I can take pictures to better support my story?

Well, the angler who can do that is going to move way up my call list the next time I’m working on a story. That angler is not just another source for another mediocre quote. He’s a resource, a time saver and someone I want on speed dial.

You can be that guy, and it’s not that tough. All it takes is commitment and the desire to excel. Get to know the people in your fishing world. Carry a quality camera with you every time you go out and get a variety of images in a variety of settings in all four seasons of the year.

The goal is to be the one-call clearinghouse for the outdoor writer. If you make his job easier and his work better, he’ll remember you and call you … a lot!

If all you can do is answer a few questions about why you prefer Colorado blades in dirty water, then you’re just like everybody else. You need to find ways to stand out, and the best way to do that is to go the extra mile, offer information and service that other anglers can’t offer.

Become the go-to guy that outdoor writers call first because they know it’ll be the last call they need to make.

Keepers

  1. Become a resource to the media — not just another angler.
  2. You want media to think of you as a content collaborator, not just a quote monkey.
Ken Duke is the managing editor of Fishing Tackle Retailer and the author of two books on bass fishing. He has 33 years of experience working in a multitude of media platforms, and he’s arguably the most knowledgeable stat guy in the sport.

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Author: Ken Duke

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://181.224.139.98/~proangle/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/duke_mug_60x60.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Ken Duke is the managing editor of Fishing Tackle Retailer and the author of two books on bass fishing. He has 33 years of experience working in a multitude of media platforms, and he’s arguably the most knowledgeable stat guy in the sport.[/author_info] [/author]

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