Free publicity is the name of the game when it comes to successful marketing. Many marketers are starting to appreciate the importance of issuing press releases and story pitches in order to get media pickups from newspapers, magazines, and popular blogs.
However, most do not take it one step further to try to connect with a TV producer. Yet TV producers, like print editors, are always busy, on deadline, and looking for interesting stories that will really meet the needs of their target audience.
Here are a few important steps if you would like to pitch a story to a TV producer successfully.
1-Choose the show you think is a good fit for your story
Everyone would love to get on top talk shows, but the producers are very selective about what they will have on the show. It has to meet the needs of their audience, be useful, and have a “wow” factor that will make it an interesting segment of a show that people will want to watch.
2-Research the show
Take time to watch several episodes in order to familiarize yourself with the overall organization of the show and any special sections they might have that your story might be suitable for. For example, the local news channel often has human interest stories, local business spotlights, and consumer rights alerts. If your story has broad appeal, it could be the perfect pitch for a TV producer.
3-Get the name and email address of the right producers
This may require an email or phone call or two to the TV station. Be sure to get the correct spelling of the first and last name and the right email address.
4-Personalize the email
Use the producer’s name and spell it correctly. Do NOT send out a generic email to a lot of different producers at once.
5-Show that you know the show
Use your research to talk about a couple of recent shows you think stood out and were related to your niche or industry. Outline why you think your story would be a good fit, taking a different angle or offering something all-new for their target audience.
6-Don’t try to pitch on the phone
There are a lot of people involved in putting together a TV show, planning shows and arranging guests. You’ll never get a “yes” over the phone; so put your best foot forward with email.
7-Mention your expertise
Outline who you are or your business is and your level of expertise, such as books written, other TV appearances and more. Make it clear why you are worth paying attention to.
8-Mention your large social media following
This is enticing for producers because they want as large a potential audience as possible. They will usually research you online and check out your social media profiles, so be sure, to tell the truth, and not misrepresent yourself.
9-Create a gripping subject line
Your email will never get opened unless you have an attention-grabbing subject line.
10-Keep your emails short and sweet
Producers are really busy and get hundreds of emails a day, so keep yours short and to the point. The first paragraph should be a summary of your idea, the second your credentials, and you’re third a call to action.
11-Include a call to action at the end of your email
Tell the producer how best to contact you to follow up if they are interested in your idea.