The holidays are my favorite time of year, especially because it is the season of giving! And that’s why I’m excited to give a holiday gift to YOU, in hopes I can help you achieve your goal of getting booked on TV in 2021.
You may have been thinking about how you can get your brand and your business more visibility especially after this unprecedented year, or wondering why your competitors are getting placed in the media and you’re not. Of course, you can hire a PR firm to pitch you (that’s why firms like mine exist), but I’m excited to share that it is possible (and fairly easy) to book yourself on TV, and as my holiday gift to you, I’m going to teach you exactly how you do it!
In spite of all the changes in how we consume media and all the new platforms that have us glued to our phones for hours each day, TV is an incredibly powerful platform. With so many people ‘cutting the cord,’ to their cable subscriptions, it may seem like placements on traditional media have lost their value, but in fact, the opportunity to showcase your product or message, and position yourself as a thought leader can bring instant results to your business and brand!
After spending nearly a decade as a journalist and former network TV producer, I have seen every type of pitch you can imagine. I know what it takes to get the attention of a producer and ultimately get booked on TV. My team and I have used our insights from working in the newsroom trenches to secure more than 200 national and top TV market placements for our clients this year alone!
If you’re ready to step outside your comfort zone and get booked on TV in the New Year, follow these tips to get you started, and download my holiday gift to you: our no-fail TV pitch template to help you write your pitch, which you can view here!
- Start Locally – Know the designated market areas (DMA), make a list of all the cities you have a connection to, and any media outlets where you have connections (LinkedIn, Classmates, etc.).
- Keep Your Pitch Short + Sweet – Be clear about your message, provide talking points, visuals, and examples of how this is relatable to their audience.
- Make Sure Your Pitch Has Relevance To The News Cycle – Think about what the news outlet will be covering and how you can help add a unique element to their coverage.
- Know Who You Are Pitching – If you don’t know, start with the assignment desk and ask for the show producer (NO — Not the reporter or anchor. They are usually not the decision-makers when it comes to guest opportunities). Also, take the time to familiarize yourself with the show. What types of segments do they do? Where could you be an asset to their coverage?
- Be The Expert – Think about the type of expertise you offer; remember, this is less about you and more about what tips you can offer the audience. Finally, take a look at the calendar – is there a national day or awareness month you can tie your expertise into?
- Outline Your Tips and Takeaways – Find the problem, be the solution as an expert. Outline 4-5 bullets with specific, actionable advice for viewers with the mindset of “What can the audience learn from this interview?” Whenever possible, incorporate visual elements with your bullets (photos, b-roll, demonstrations, etc.).
- Be Pleasantly Persistent in your follow-up! This is a term I coined as a network TV producer and has served me well as a publicist. If you didn’t hear back after sending your pitch via email, follow-up. Then follow-up again. And again. Producers are pitched hundreds of times a day, and it’s likely that yours got lost in the shuffle. Keeping your subject lines catchy is key (more on that in my template)! And, never be afraid to pick up the phone and call the producer, connect on social media, and even send a direct message.
- Celebrate the “no’s!”– You will get passes. You will be told no. And that is OK! It is important to remain unaffected by the word no and celebrate it, because every “no” leads you one step closer to a “yes” and a TV interview!
Securing placements on television is easier than you think, and if you can follow these steps, and remain pleasantly persistent in your outreach, I promise you’ll reap the benefits of landing a placement!