TV producers are always looking for good pitches that will appeal to their target audience. Whether it is a local news channel or a national talk show, they rely on a continual stream of interesting guests with newsworthy information or human interest items.
TV producers won’t just accept any idea, however. They get hundreds of pitches per day, so they need to be selective. Here are some of the things they are looking for in a good story pitch.
1-A strong visual aspect
TV, unlike print or online, is a highly visual media that needs to appeal to the target audience. Your story, therefore, has to be highly visual. If you have just come out with a revolutionary new product, for example, you would offer to give a demonstration of it in action.
If you were offering one of your members of staff as a special guest or expert interviewee, they would need to present well and have a “screen presence”. They would also need to dress well for the occasion.
To support the visual aspect, include high-quality images of your product from every angle. If you have video clips and demos, offer them as well. For a person, assemble headshots and a video sample that will give the producers a good idea of what they will be like on TV.
Don’t attach these files to your email pitch, as they could render it undeliverable. Place them on a page at your site and send the producer the URL as part of the pitch.
3-The central idea
Be clear about exactly what the idea is, or message you are trying to convey, and why it is important. Be brief.
4-Show you know their work
In the process of researching the right shows to submit your pitch to, you should watch several of the shows and mention them in your pitch email. Discuss what you liked or what was missing and why your story would be ideal for their audience. Producers are much more willing to work with someone who understands their needs than a marketer who pitches to everyone regardless of whether their material is a good fit or not. Don’t be spammy.
5-Think of what the viewers really want or need to see
Pitching to a producer is not just about appealing to their interests, but those of their target audience. They act as a “filter” to sort useful content from bad, but ultimately, you are aiming for the ideal audience for their show. You can find out more about the demographics by looking at show ratings.
Think about what you want to watch yourself. If you don’t tend to watch local news or talk shows, get into the habit, for more effective pitching.
6-It must be newsworthy/seasonal
Your story must be real news. If in doubt, look at recent headlines and see if you can try to tie in your idea. TV shows also include seasonal items, such as top things to do in summer or the best gifts to give everyone on your list at Christmas.