Securing a spot on national broadcast media is the ultimate in media placement, but successfully pitching to get a client into one of those broadcast spots is competitive and challenging. This year’s PRSA-NY annual broadcast pitching event, Meet the Media: National Broadcast Media, featured a panel of four prominent broadcast media producers to explain how to successfully pitch to broadcast and what they look for when filling guest spots.
The panel members were:
Jevon Bruh, talent producer for The Chew (ABC-TV)
Tracy Langer Chevrier, VP/executive producer for The Better Show (Meredith Video Studios)
Kristen Scholer, producer at CNBC
Shira Sky, host and executive producer at Huffington Post Live
Here are some of the tips they gave for successful broadcast pitching.
Pitch by email
Don’t pitch by phone, and unless someone has made known it’s acceptable, never pitch by social media. “Don’t send me a blog or a tweet, social media does not catch my attention,” says Scholer. Send your pitch by email and “Only email once,” she continues. “If you email me twice, you will get no response.”
Do a lot of homework
Be very familiar with the show you’re pitching. Look into what they’ve covered recently and decide if it’s the appropriate time to pitch your story. If you’re pitching a network, know their shows and tailor your pitch to the show you’re pitching.
Include a video clip
Accompanying a pitch must be a video clip. Don’t tell producers to visit a website for a video; enclose the video as a link or as an attachment, but make sure that either is in the correct format. Scholer advises checking the show’s website for the appropriate video format specifications. Bruh recommends sending copyrighted videos, not web clips, as the copyrighted videos are approved by the stations or network for internal use.
Pitches need to be very relevant
Broadcast media want the story that’s breaking now. “Pitch me the hottest story of the moment,” says Chevrier. Last month’s hot topics won’t cut it.
Pitch an exclusive
A producer is much more likely to accept a pitch if you’re only pitching it to them. “We want exclusives,” says Scholer. “Don’t send us someone who was just on Bloomberg.” However, Chevrier says sometimes they will do follow-ups from other networks.
Guests need TV experience and personality
The last thing producers want is a guest who will bomb on camera, so producers need to see that guests are successful in front of the lens. They also need to know that the guest is both interesting and knowledgeable. “The guest must have a personality,” says Sky. “Give me a reason why I should choose your client. They should be well-spoken and look great.”
Celebrities must be credible
If your client is a celebrity or an athlete representing a product, that star had better be knowledgeable about the product industry, says Chevrier. If a celebrity doesn’t know their stuff, it makes the network look bad, so producers will review the material and the celebrity’s credentials until they are sure they are credible.
Multiple appearances are rare
“We will only have repeated guests who have boosted our ratings,” says Bruh, and if your client is invited back, six months is too soon. Networks will also ask back guests who are extremely knowledgeable, photogenic, and/or who do quality work.
Bio: Alfred Cox is a rare commodity of a performer who combines a relentless drive to succeed with the ability to provide “first-person” touch to his clients, creating loyalty and repeat business. He has a hard-nosed work ethic in a results- driven environment and he is often called the “Network King.” Alfred has been in the PR industry for the past 18+ years and joined the BurrellesLuce team in 2011. Connect with him on Twitter: @shantikcox Facebook: BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: Alfred Cox