Thinking about using your psychology expertise to educate the masses? Durvasula offers the following tips:

  • Take your talent to the Web. The first step to maintaining a media presence is establishing a non-university-based website that includes photos, videos and a blog on current psychological issues in your area of expertise. If you don’t already have video of yourself, Durvasula recommends asking a film student to help you put together a three-minute video clip discussing a psychological topic of your choice, as a way to prove you’re eloquent and photogenic. “This is really a visual resume that people can quickly turn to if they’re interested in hiring you,” she says.
  • Get local. If you don’t live in a major television market such as Los Angeles or New York City, get in touch with local network affiliates, newspapers and magazines and let them know you’re available for regular appearances or columns, she says. “Becoming their regular go-to person can really help you develop your work.” Those who do live in major markets may want to consider hiring an agent to alert them to new programming needs and help them get meetings set up with the right people.
  • Stay current. Keep up-to-date with the latest research in your field, as you might be called at any moment by a reporter on deadline to discuss a particular topic, Durvasula says. She recommends subscribing to listservs in your area of expertise and signing up for alerts from your favorite APA journal to stay on top of what’s going on in psychology.
  • Consider media training. Enroll in a workshop — often offered through APA or Div. 46 (Media) — to learn how to look and sound polished on-camera, Durvasula says.

For more information on media psychology and how to work with news media, visit Media Psychology and How to Work With the Media.