Me on TV? How to connect with the local media

Me on TV? How to connect with the local media

Article by Lynne Klippel

If you are an author, speaker, consultant, or small business owner, you have a story to tell. If you are a savvy marketer, you know how powerful it can be to tell that story on television.

However, getting the attention of a busy television producer can be a challenge. I recently spoke with Andrea, the producer of a daytime television show airing in a large Midwestern city, and asked her to share her tips for getting television coverage on local stations.

Andrea’s first tip was to watch the show! Try to determine the demographics or target audience of the show. For example, her show airs mid-morning every weekday. You can easily infer that the majority of her viewers are women or seniors who are at home during the day. A show airing at 9 pm would have a different demographic and a different feel.

Try to determine the age group, gender, and interests of the average viewer. Then, find a way to present your book or information in a way that would appeal to that audience. For example, if you have a book on stress management, you might want to focus on stress management for homemakers for a daytime show and slant your information towards the corporate employee for a show that airs in the evening or early morning.

Next, create a pitch that quickly tells producers your story idea. Television producers don’t really care that you’ve written a new book; they care about how their audience would like 10 great tips from your book.

Andrea also shared that most local television shows like to find a way to tie the story into their community. So, if you have a book about Italian cooking and your city has a large Italian community, you can easily find a local tie in.

This step may take some research when you are approach television stations outside of your local area. Find a local fact that relates to your idea and use it in your pitch. For example, if you read that there is a conference in Chicago on home schooling and your book gives great information to help parents home school their teenagers, you have a perfect window of opportunity to pitch your show idea just before, during or immediately after the conference.

You have to work fast to get on television and stay abreast of current affairs. The most popular television shows provide information that is timely and exciting. To get on television, you must know what is going on in the world. If you can provide information that relates to a hot topic in the news, producers will be more interested in your information that if you just have something generic.

Email is the best way to get in touch with local television producers. They are extremely busy, especially right before their show airs and are unable to take phone calls at that time.

When you send an email, be friendly, brief, and to the point. The producer may get more than 100 such emails each day so they do not have time to read a long, rambling email. Producers will appreciate the fact that you have done your research and are sending them ideas that pertain to their particular shows. Don’t send a story idea about home decorating to a show that features stock market reports and business news.

Refrain from sending large press kits, books, or other written material unless a producer requests it. If it is requested, send it overnight so that the producer can review it quickly. If you have a website, create an area especially for the media with downloadable information, a good head shot, and your biography. Always remember how busy producers are and find ways to make it easy for them to have you appear on their show.

Andrea’s best advice was to be persistent but not a pest. If you have a great show idea, pitch it to the producer, follow up a couple of times, but be understanding if your idea is not selected. Find other ways to pitch your ideas, always seeking a tie in to a local trend, holiday, or something that is a current hot topic in the news.

Appearing on television is a great opportunity to get free publicity. It is well worth the time and effort it requires. You’ll not only have the experience of being interviewed on television, but thousands of local viewers will learn about how you can help them. That’s a priceless investment in your bottom line!

About the Author

Want to create a successful book? Discover 8 book marketing blunders that you can avoid. Grab your fre.e ecourse at Lynne Klippel is a publisher, author and book shepherd who specializes in helping authors write business building books.

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