However you celebrate, here’s wishing you a Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Spring, or Happy (whatever) to anyone I may have missed. I hope you are having a lovely weekend.
Today we are continuing our April series on Quick and Easy Ways to Get Media Coverage. This week’s topic is television.
Some will tell you television is old-school, but what they don’t know is that over the past couple of years high-profile influencers have approached my company wanting local and national TV coverage for themselves. These influencers have grown their lists as far as they can and need to branch out and delve into more ways to build an audience.
They discovered the power of television.
Quick and easy ways to get media coverage on TV
First, the scope: You have to decide on the scope or location:
- Do you want local or regional?
- Do you want national?
- Do you want both?
To get national, you will need local or regional first, so begin there.
Research what stations have live programming, when, and what kind of shows they are, e.g., news, morning talk, public affairs, etc. Unless you have a hard news story, your local 5 or 6 p.m. news is not your best bet, but often morning or midday news opportunities will work. Morning talk shows can be ideal for authors. Public affairs shows have to address matters of public policy and interest, such as educational, informative, cultural, and other topics appropriate and important to the community. If you and your book can tie into a public affairs topic, then this may be just the right avenue for you.
Who do you contact? Often it’s the producer or show booker. Remember that the executive producers usually handle the entire show, and are often not the best media contact for a particular segment. A senior producer is better, and an associate or assistant producer can be great. They often are looking for great guests to impress their bosses, so “pitch the hungry dog,” is the strategy.
Do your research through media databases, websites, LinkedIn, Twitter, your own networks, etc. You can even email or call the station, although with the latter you may end up in voicemail h*ll, so be aware of that. You can look on websites although I have found the best contacts are never on the website.
Send a great pitch. Why you? Why now? What do you have to offer? What are your credentials? What visuals do you have to demonstrate what you want to talk about? Do you have a social following? Send screenshots. Send links to another interview or presentation you have on the subject, but only the best minute or so. Don’t send an hour-long presentation. Make sure it shows and demonstrates your enthusiasm and intelligence. You want to show how good you are at responding to questions.
Follow up. Three times is usually the limit unless you come up with other hooks and ideas.
Careful. Don’t make your pitch too long.
Don’t send attachments unless they ask you for it. Or, if you do, you can say in the pitch you attached something if they’d like to take a look. Don’t tell them to. No one likes to be told what to do. Simply send links within the copy.
Don’t be overly friendly. Unless the person is a good friend of yours, or you have worked together in the past, keep your introductory remarks professional and not too personal.
Avoid this: Don’t send the same pitch you’re sending to one producer to everyone else. The exception is if it is extremely timely, and it must be distributed quickly
Respond quickly to their responses. Don’t be demanding. Really. They can easily find someone else.
Be easy to work with. Media Darlings become Media Darlings because they are easy, likable, and fun to work with.
If you need more help, get in touch. I love working on this kind of thing with my clients and you can read about it here. But either way, you can do it.
TV is powerful. Whether you watch it or not (and I highly suggest you do watch the shows you are pitching) it can be very influential to the audience you desire.
To your success!
P.S. I Like Watching TV
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