Getting a producer to read your story idea could be the best way to open the floodgates for media coverage about your business, for more traffic, which will lead to more subscribers and sales.
But first, you have to get a producer interested in your idea. Email is best for this. Including several important elements in your pitch can help.
1-Think relationships, not marketing
Your best opportunities for landing a spot on a TV show will usually be local news shows and talk shows. Study one show you think your story would be a good fit for. What topics do they discuss? Who is the audience? Does the show have different sections your idea might be perfect for?
Once you have studied the show, you can prove to the producer that you understand THEIR needs and are not just pushing your own. This will make them willing to read your pitch, and maybe even use you as a resource. The media are always looking for experts who can discuss important issues intelligently. By all means, pitch one story at a time, but do so with a view to building a relationship, not just being “spammy”.
2-Approach by email
Never try to pitch over the phone. There are far too many people involved in putting a show together for the producer to give you a definite yes the moment you speak with them.
3-Write a great subject line and opening sentence
Your email will never get opened if you don’t grab their attention. A good first sentence can help as well for those email programs which show a preview.
4-Address them by name
Don’t send out an email to dozens of producers with the phrase, “To Whom It May Concern” as the greeting. Your email will end up in the trash in an instant. Do your research and get the producer’s name, and be sure to spell it correctly.
5-Let your research show in your pitch email
Briefly mention past shows you have seen that would lead you to believe that your idea would be a good fit for their program. You might take a different viewpoint, or fill in a gap with something they haven’t covered recently, or which is new and noteworthy.
TV is a visual medium, so your story should be highly visible. It might include a demonstration, clips of real people using your new product, teaching people how to do something, and so on.
If you are offering a member of staff or yourself as a presenter, mention their past experience and the credentials that make them worth paying attention to.
7-Mention your social media following and level of engagement
Producers will get very excited about your story idea if they believe you have an established audience and you will bring them along with you as you promote your TV appearance. Don’t just mention numbers, but the kind of content your audience responds best to. Your first idea might not be a hit, but again, thinking about long-term relationships, it’s always possible the producer might follow up with you in the future about other ideas you would be able to contribute to.