News & Highlights

From Nardi Media

INSIDER TIPS: Broadcast Publicity Insights From Nardi Media Publicist & Former Anchor/ Producer Lorilee Binstock

Happy Monday! We've love being able to share our insider tips on media outreach success - especially because everyone at Nardi Media comes from a background of working in the news. We sat down with Nardi Media Broadcast Publicist Lorilee Binstock to get her take on what it takes to get booked on broadcast interviews, as well as stories from the "other side" -- the newsroom. Lorilee is a former anchor and producer with years of newsroom experience, incredible newsroom contacts and connections, and not to mention she is a pure joy to work with!

Nardi Media Broadcast Publicist Lorilee Binstock.
Nardi Media Broadcast Publicist Lorilee Binstock.

 

NM: What has been your biggest career booking success? 

LB: It's tough to say. I have booked many great interviews throughout my career but the ones I consider the most successful are those where both the client AND the network or station are pleased beyond their expectations. It's great to hear from news outlets after the interviews asking to have the guest back on. That's when you know the booking was a success.

NM: As a former TV producer, tell me about some of the best ways to be pitched a story.

LB: TV producers are pitched multiple times daily, getting hundreds of pitches a week. To be successful, your pitch has to stand out from the crowd and be able to work with the producers' news cycle. That means researching what the network/station is covering and how your guest can add to their programming. As a former morning producer who worked the graveyard shift, I understand that a station's time and resources are limited, so providing the legwork to the station, such as suggested questions, b-roll, background information that is short and to the point, can really help make a difference in whether a pitch is well-received.

 NM: What types of challenges do clients face getting booked on television or radio? How do you overcome those challenges?

LB: One of the biggest obstacles to getting on television and radio is an already busy news cycle in which networks and stations already have their programming set in advance. This is especially true during an election year because a significant amount of programming is dedicated to that purpose. This year, for example, had major events such as the Republican National Convention, the Democratic National Convention and the summer Olympics, and many stations' resources were stretched thin. Sometimes, even if an assignment editor loves a pitch, they are not able to accommodate it because of competing priorities. Breaking news can also make it more difficult to get on the phone with a producer. However, as a publicist, it's our job to work with the client to discuss how their story can be relevant to what is happening currently in the news cycle. It's also our job to be persistently polite enough to convince a station that our client's perspective will enhance their programming.

NM: Share a memorable story with us from the "other side" - ie when you worked in the news, such as a story you were covering, trying to book, etc.

LB: As a morning producer and anchor, I would begin my workday at 11pm in order to produce and anchor a two hour morning show that aired live weekdays at 5 AM. Normally, the organization and substance of the show would come together well before we went on-air. However, one morning in 2008, about an hour and a half before showtime, we learned of breaking news involving a shooting on I-64 in central Virginia. At that moment, everything that I had produced had to be scraped. With just over one hour to produce an entire two-hour show, I began filling the rundown with the stories I wanted to cover and directed my reporters to make calls and update the run-down in real time with bullet points while I prepared to go on air. While anchoring the live show, I continued to produce the show, draft scripts and make phone calls to police, both as we were live on-air and during commercial breaks.  While the show appeared pretty well put together to viewers, it was certainly chaotic behind the scenes.That's one morning in news that I'll never forget.

NM: What do you love about working on the "other side", media relations and outreach?

LB: As a publicist, I have the opportunity to work with some amazing clients, learning their stories and giving them an opportunity to tell it to a broad audience.

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Tracy Mccubbin

AUTHOR, MAKING SPACE, CLUTTER FREE

"The biggest piece of advice a first-time author is given is to “hire your own publicist,” but what they don’t tell you is to “hire your own Ashley.”  Looking back, I don’t know how I could have released my book without Ashley & her team.  We started working together before the book was published.  First local TV and small blogs and as I got more seasoned and the book got closer to coming, she booked me appearances on bigger and bigger outlets. 

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Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

New York Times Best Selling Author of Bright Line Eating: The Science of Living Happy, Thin, and Free

"The biggest piece of advice a first-time author is given is to “hire your own publicist,” but what they don’t tell you is to “hire your own Ashley.”  Looking back, I don’t know how I could have released my book without Ashley & her team.  We started working together before the book was published.  First local TV and small blogs and as I got more seasoned and the book got closer to coming, she booked me appearances on bigger and bigger outlets. 

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Susan McGinnis

Correspondent, CBS Newspath

“I am so pleased that Ashley is embarking on this new venture. For many years she has shined as an outstanding booker and producer at CBS News and at start-ups including Clean Skies News.  She was my first hire at Clean Skies, and was the shining star among the pack. She has always had  tremendous dedication to her work, and an untiring ability to accomplish whatever faces her, letting no obstacle stand in the way of an outstanding product.  She consistently goes above and beyond expectations, and never takes “no” as an answer, and never settles for less than outstanding. I would hire Ashley again. And again. And again.”

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Jennifer Oko

Partner, Mad Squid Media

“Ashley and I have worked together is a few different capacities, including CBS News, energyNOW!. I cannot say enough good things about her. Ashley is smart, thorough, quick, creative, and incredibly hard working. Most importantly, to be a successful media liaison and guest booker, relationships are everything. Ashley is a genuinely lovely person, and she wins the respect and trust of everyone she works with. She is the first person I call whenever I need a guest booker or segment producer.”

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Margaret Ryan

Energy Journalist & Analyst

“Ashley Bernardi is a dynamic professional who consistently produces excellent results.  In my three years working with Ashley as the head booker at Clean Skies News/EnergyNOW!, I never saw her fail to complete a job she had been assigned – and complete it admirably. Ashley is creative, energetic and goal-oriented, a true team player who works congenially with other professionals but can also be relied on to execute an assignment on her own. Ashley is the person I wanted on my team when I faced a challenging assignment!”

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Hardy Spire

Senior Producer, CNN’s Reliable Sources. Former General Manager at CleanSkies News and Senior Producer at CBS News.

“Ashley Bernardi has every rare quality in a TV producer — aggressiveness, insight, creativity, a strong work ethic, and pure charm.  She has all this plus she’s a kind and positive person.  And she has great contacts!”

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Silvio Marcacci

Principal, Marcacci Communications

“Ashley is hands down the best media trainer I’ve ever worked with, and she uses her considerable producing experience to make clients feel at ease and ready to learn. In addition, her ability to book clients on television and radio interviews is quite impressive – be ready for hours of interviews if you’re working with her!”

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Mary Jordan

Washington Post National Correspondent and Founding Editor of Washington Post Live

“There is nothing Ashley Bernardi cannot do when it comes to media.  She books top people for TV shows and national conferences and knows the business inside out. I worked closely with Ashley at the Washington Post  and she is not only savvy, but great to be around. She is the always cheerful, smart voice on the other end of the phone who persuades busy people to drop everything they are doing and do what Ashley tells them.”

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Scott Behson, PhD

best-selling author of The Working Dad’s Survival Guide: How to Succeed at Work and at Home

“I was a relatively unknown first-time author and Ashley was fantastic in getting my name out there, and ultimately booking me on national TV and radio, as well as major podcasts. She also provided top-notch media training and was always a great listener and advisor. Finally, she was on top of everything and we communicated constantly. I couldn’t have been happier about her efforts on behalf of my book launch!”

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Ron Friedman, Ph.D

author of The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace

“Ashley Bernardi is extraordinary at her job in every way. Smart, strategic and relentlessly energetic, Ashley is someone I’d want on my team in any public relations campaign.”