Brad Johns, artistic director of Avon Salon & Spa, gives tips on working with the media.July 1, 2005 By: Brad Johns American Salon
This spring, I was asked to do extreme color makeovers on The View, which I consider one of the top TV shows for beauty. I colored three models, giving them dramatic but soft looks. I transformed the brunette model into a striking redhead, gave the blonde model gorgeous brunette tresses and turned the redhead model into a beautiful blonde. It was my second appearance on The View, and I considered it a privilege to be asked to appear.
Whether it's for television, magazines, newspapers or radio, media exposure is a win-win for stylists. Not only is it good for business, the publicity also validates your clients' decision to entrust you with their hair. Plus, when you work with magazines or newspapers, you have photographs of your work to put in a portfolio to show clients.
Here are some things that have helped me; I hope you'll find them useful as well.
FIND OPPORTUNITY WHEREVER YOU ARE. In this age of computers and satellites, national exposure is possible regardless of where you live—you've just got to get out there. Research the media outlets in your area and offer complimentary services to newspaper and magazine editors and publishers. Be sure to let them know you are available as a source for stories, as a stylist for photo shoots or as a colorist for makeovers. Offer free makeovers to local newscasters and let them know you want to be part of how they look on television. Look for local events that might be covered nationally and lend your services. If your client is having a big fundraiser, donate a cut and color to be auctioned off. Get involved with a manufacturer by asking to participate in their media shows. The main thing is to get out there and get involved whenever and wherever you can.
HIRE A PUBLICIST. I have someone to help me with publicity; in fact, she was the one to suggest the extreme color makeover story to The View. When finding the right publicist to work with, interview a few candidates and go with the one who understands your personality and gives you a comprehensive outline of what he or she will do for you. A good publicist can help you with both local and national exposure. Not sure if PR is in your budget? If you click with a newer publicist, ask her to charge you a lower rate as the two of you grow together, and in turn, you'll recommend her to your colleagues.
TAKE MEDIA TRAINING CLASSES. My first TV appearance was on Oprah. It went great but when I saw the tape afterward, I was sitting with my legs open like I was at a bus stop. That's when I learned I needed media training. It taught me how to speak to reporters and present myself on camera, which is especially helpful if you can't get the interview topics or questions ahead of time. I'm quoted often in articles because I'm very specific about what I want to do with my work. Media training classes taught me to be succinct and leave out the unimportant information.
ATTEND TO DETAILS. Prior to any interview or TV appearance, try to get as much information as possible. With The View, I needed to know what the models looked like, why they wanted a color change, and when and where I would color them. The more details you get, the better you can prepare yourself, and the more valuable your experience will be.