Artfully blending traditional and social media

By: Lori T. Williams, Esq.

I had the pleasure of attending Shawne Duperon’s latest workshop entitled “Forget Paid Advertising: Leveraging Traditional & Social Media“.  Shawne is a Six-time EMMY Award winning Producer who has been in the television business for nearly 20 years.  She has travelled the world interviewing the likes of Morgan Freeman, Colin Powel, Yo Yo Ma, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, etc.  Shawne has taught thousands across the globe how to powerfully network, use word of mouth, and work with media.  She graciously shares her experience through free and paid workshops designed to provide useful tips and breakthrough results for her participants.  Last week’s 3 hour session was no exception. 

Shawne started her session with several powerful statements that I’ll refer to as “Shawne-isms”, and then went on to validate every one of them through practical examples and role playing exercises. She graciously agreed to allow me to share this information with you, since the session I attended was a free public workshop sponsored by Beaumont Hospital.


Our networks are our net worth

New perceptions can alter your destiny

Manage fear, master life

Increase knowledge, lower fear

How you do anything, is how you do everything

You have control when you give up control

Being on camera is a skill and you can learn it

Be comfortable with being uncomfortable


People often think that the media sets the agenda for what’s newsworthy.  However, according to Shawne and her research, “up to 90% of what ends up in the media is pitched.”  This means that those who participate in social media have a lot of power to pitch ideas and stories.  Shawne predicts that over the next five years, the power will be in marrying traditional and social media effectively.

Social media is about engagement.  TV is the biggest network and requires the highest degree of skill, according to Shawne.  “If you make simple mistakes and make it harder for the reporter to interview you, chances are you won’t be asked back.”  Shawne’s workshops and bootcamps cover some of the on camera and off camera interview basics, such as where to stand, where to look, how to address the reporter, and how to speak in “sound bites”. 

“There’s nothing more frustrating for a reporter than when they have a list of 20 questions and only get to ask 2 of them because the interviewee talks too much.”  You need to create a relationship first and answer the reporter’s questions, rather than try and tell your story.  That’s the only way you’ll have an opportunity for more coverage in the future.” 

Shawne believes, “it’s not who you know, but who knows you that counts.  The more famous you are, the bigger difference you can make in the world.”  She is passionate about empowering people so they can be great on camera and reach people, in order to help them.  According to Shawne, it is fear that gets in the way of people being great on camera. “Real leaders have learned to manage their own fear and can manage those around them.”

Shawne believes that “social media is no longer optional.  A year or two ago, people could poke fun at it and opt out, but now your life, career and income depends on it.”  Shawne says, “social media is networking megaphoned.  What you do in person is what you do using social media, but you can reach so many more people.  At the end of the day, it’s still about relationships first!”

“Don’t be intimidated by social media.  The tools are constantly changing, so get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Shawne recommends hiring out the creative or strategic or technical aspects of social media if that’s not your skill set, but you need to be in the game nonetheless. 

Shawne’s social media tips:

1.  Don’t list the year you were born or when you graduated, in your social media profiles.  This will help cut down on identity theft.      

2.  If you are new to social media, observe first.  Increase your knowledge and lower your fear by watching others who are being successful in that arena. 

3.  You want to engage, not alienate, others.  However, don’t change who you are.  Being authentic is critical. 

4.  You need to understand the rules of your profession and use social media appropriately. For instance, it is wise for lawyers and doctors and financial advisors to keep their personal and professional profiles separate.  For other careers it is easier to blend the whole person into one profile.

5.  Business owners need to be marketing 80% of the time and working in their business 20% of the time.     

6.  Create a brand that provides value to others and is authentic for you.

7.  Monitor your success.  Gauge how successful you are being with your posts, by if/how others are responding.  Don’t keep posting the same kind of stuff if no one is responding.  You might want to check on your frequency too.  It is about engagement not broadcasting.  Find a way to pull others to respond, instead of just pushing your content.

Shawne feels there are 3 elements of a successful Facebook post:

1)  Share something about yourself;

2) Reference an expert and shine the spotlight on them;

3) Ask a question to engage others.

She also likes the company Crowd Conversion, which provides Facebook strategies.  


Twitter Tip:

Don’t use all 140 characters.  Use 100 characters at most in your message, so there is room for others to RT it;


Video Tips:

1.  Video is King!  Search engines love it and it appeals to the masses.  Find a way to use it in your business.  Someone in the audience referenced Nick Bader, an insurance professional, who uses video effectively to promote his business.   

2.  Offer videos with useful tips in 30 seconds or less.  Never longer than 1 minute.

3.  Viddler is a free video site Shawne likes.  Vimeo lets you post longer content, and has a free and a premium option.  You Tube is also free and is designed to educate and entertain the general public.    


On-Camera Tips:

 1.  Say and spell your first and last name, company name, and title.  This is needed for the editor who will post this information on TV while you are speaking.

2.  Make the reporter look good by giving them the information they want.  This will strengthen the relationship and your chances of being interviewed again.

3.  Learn to “copy” the interviewer by paraphrasing their question and answering it succinctly. Speak in “sound bites”, 7-12 seconds is ideal. 

4.  Never say the reporter’s name on camera.  The interview may be handed off to someone else before it airs, and if it has the reporter’s name in it they won’t be able to use it.    

5.  In a taped inteview, square your shoulders to the reporter and don’t move until they tell you to move.

6.  In a live interview, turn your body towards the camera, but look at the reporter. 

7.  Whether it’s a taped or a live interview, never look at the camera.

8.  Never grab the microphone.

9.  If the reporter makes an error and states some incorrect information during the interview, meet them where they are and take them where you want them to go.  Example, “a lot of people think that …., but studies actually show that …..”  This way you get your point across without making the reporter look bad.

10.  Never lead in with the statement, “like I said before….”  This sounds arrogant and it makes the reporter look bad.  The reason they are asking you the information again is because you didn’t answer it properly the first time.  Perhaps you had too long of a statement, or ended your sentence in an up stroke instead of a down stroke, or answered the wrong question.

11.  If your interview doesn’t make the news, don’t complain to the reporter.  Their editor may have changed the schedule based on other news that day and made the decision to bump you.  It’s not the reporter’s fault.  Thank the reporter for the opportunity and let them know you look forward to being a resource in the future.


Shawne ended the workshop with some role playing exercises to reinforce the points she shared.  As we left the information packed event, she had additional resources available for purchase, and shared this handout on the Top Press Release Sites.   

I’d highly recommend attending one of Shawne’s 3 hour workshops as an introduction, to be followed by a 2 day bootcamp to really improve your networking and media skills.  A schedule of upcoming events can be found on her website.  The thing that I like best about Shawne’s programs is that her teaching style is experiential.  You remember her tips because you get to try them out, right there in the room.  She helps people improve their technique, right before your eyes, by coaching them through a few short exercises.  Breakthroughs occur throughout the entire workshop, and it is a combination of learning and networking.

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Lori T. Williams is an attorney based in Birmingham, MI, licensed in 1989.  As owner of a legal referral business called Your Legal Resource, PLLC, Lori personally assists individuals and small businesses in need of legal advice or representation in Metro Detroit by connecting them with the right legal specialist to meet their needs. Click here for a pdf of legal referral services. 

Through group training and events, Lori also focuses on referral marketing strategies for attorneys and other professionals. For more information about Lori or Your Legal Resource, visit  For networking events, training programs, and workshop information, visit:


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