Archive for ‘Broadcast’:

Top Insider Tips to Pitch National Broadcast Shows

Monday, September 29th, 2014
Top Insider Tips to Pitch to National Broadcast Shows BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Alfred Cox media outreach media pitching media monitoring

flickr user A DeVigal under CC BY

by Alfred Cox*

Have someone you want to be a guest on a nationally-broadcast television show? Then there are a lot of things to keep in mind when you’re pitching producers. Last week I attended PRSA-NY’s Meet the Media: National Broadcast event that brought together four producers of national broadcast programs to give their advice to public relations pros.

The panelists were:

Tommy Crudup, senior talent executive at Rachael Ray

Todd Polkes, coordinating producer at The Meredith Vieira Show

Shira Sky, host and executive producer at HuffPost Live

Cheryl Strick, director of talent relations at Talk Stoop

Here are some highlights from the event.

On how they’d like to be pitched

All panelists agreed that they want to be pitched by email. Crudup said no phone follow-ups – they won’t respond at all. Polkes wants email pitches that include links and/or clips of potential guests on shows of similar formats, and Sky requested that the most pertinent info go in the subject line as well as a bio and links to interviews.

The panelists also discussed some no-nos: don’t, said Crudup, send a three-page pitch, and don’t tell producers what they should talk about; that’s their decision. Sky doesn’t want to have to ask to describe what you’re trying to pitch, and if she has to Google, she’s not a happy camper. Strick doesn’t want to hear just about what a guest is doing now, she wants to hear what they’ve done in the past.

Perhaps most important is that you know the show and their audience. Know the kinds of guests the show has had in the past, and stay up-to-date with what they’re doing.

On exclusives

Crudup says since they’re a new show, they are looking to book exclusive guests, but their most important criteria is that a guest is fun. On the other hand, Sky says they don’t like exclusives and that they want people who resonate with their audience and have a lot of talent. For taped shows, exclusives aren’t always an optin, Strick acknowledges, but the guest must be someone big or represent something big.

On paid spokespersons

Of the panelists, only Strick’s show accepts paid integration, but she stressed it must be organic and related to Talk Stoop. Sky said they have no regulations about paid spokespersons, but they do have a “resource wall” where they will plug websites or links you bring, but they will not post products.

Crudup and Polkes both said no to paid spokespersons, though Polkes said they will mention a campaign but not a product, as that’s too much advertising.

On social media

All panelists agreed that social media is an integral part of the show’s success, and that it’s just as crucial for guests to be active social media participants as well. Sky says that community and fan engagement is huge for their show, so a guest with a large and/or devoted following is a huge bonus. Crudup wants guests with about two million social media followers and they expect the guest to tweet about the upcoming appearance.

Strick says they will personally tweet before the guest comes on, and Polkes says they can’t have a great show without social media and that tweets are essential to their ratings. So when you’re pitching, be sure to include how active a potential guest is on social media and highlight their influence and following in the initial pitch.


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


11 Tips for a Successful On-Camera Interview

Monday, March 24th, 2014

11 Tips for a Successful On-Camera Interview Ellis Friedman Johna Burke BurrellesLuce Fresh IdeasBeing interviewed on camera can be the most nerve-wracking of experiences, but lots of preparation – and the right kind of preparation – can be paramount to on-camera success. Whether you’re the one on camera or you’re helping someone prep for their turn on TV, here are some excellent, timeless interview preparation tips from Johna Burke. Remember that these are basic tips, and that a video camera is the best “tool” in your public relations toolbox.

Practice: Successful message development and delivery depends on preparation. Think through how you will respond to tough or hostile questions by developing and practicing clear, honest and appropriate answers.

Conclusions: Prepare and present your conclusion throughout the interview. Just as you wouldn’t bury the lead you can’t “hope” the interviewer will ask you the perfect question.

Avoid Jargon: Instead of using industry jargon speak in simple lay terms.

Key messages: Prepare, understand and practice key messages. Return to key messages as often as possible – Think Bill Clinton not Gary Condit.

Deal with difficult questions: Some questions can’t be given a straight answer, but avoiding the question looks bad too. Bridging and Blocking are very effective assets.

Bridging: Maintain control of the interview with the use of these common bridging phrases –
“Before we leave the subject, let me add that …”
“And the one thing that is important to remember is …”
“While…is important, it is also important to remember r…”
“It’s true that … but it is also true that …”

Blocking: Never say “no comment” – it’s an obvious don’t. Instead, simple blocking allows you to focus the conversation. Common blocking phrases include:
“I think what you’re really asking is…”
“That’s an interesting question, and to put it in perspective…”
“I don’t have precise details, but what I do know is…”

Never Repeat Negative Questions: Always frame your answer in the positive. Think about sound bites.

Stick to your message: Simple is better. Avoid the expert trap of over-answering. Work on test questions and learn when to stop talking.

Remove distractions: Technology is wonderful, but even the most seasoned interviewee can’t fight the Pavlovian response of the flashing red light or the subtle vibration that a message has arrived to their mobile device.

Relax: Be calm, confident and conversational.

Remember that video magnifies the strengths and weaknesses of your interview skills, so on-camera dry runs can help you feel more comfortable and add extra polish to your presence.

Do you have any tips or tricks for media training?

Broadcast Copyright Case Headed to Supreme Court

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
flickr user dbking under CC BY license

flickr user dbking under CC BY license

There’s yet another news aggregator copyright case to keep your eye on – and this one will be in the Supreme Court. In 2012, ABC (American Broadcasting Companies, a consortium of television broadcasters) filed suit against Aereo, a service that transmits over-the-air TV signals using tiny antennas that allow users to watch online streaming broadcasts. Aereo subscribers pay a monthly fee, but Aereo has no paid licensing with broadcasters.

ABC v. Aereo seems like another of the many publisher-versus-aggregator news appropriation cases we’ve covered, only this time it’s broadcast television. The case has been going on for a while, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on April 22.

The most recent press has been full of support for ABC; both the U.S. copyright office and the Department of Justice filed an amicus brief stating that Aereo is infringing on broadcast copyright. Add to that two of the nation’s foremost legal experts on copyright law, UCLA School of Law professor David Nimmer and UC Berkeley School of Law Professor Peter Menell also filed a brief in support of the broadcasters. And then add the amicus brief filed by the National Football League and Major League Baseball, who receive about a hundred million dollars from broadcasters for licensing from cable in addition to potentially billions of dollars in retransmission fees for sports rights.

One would think things were looking good for ABC, but keep in mind that in the initial case in March, 2012, the judge ruled in favor of Aereo, a ruling that was upheld in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Without delving into all the legal rules and technical precedents, this is an interesting case because while it looks like classic publisher-vs-aggregator, the fact that it’s broadcast (which has had to deal with the advent of Beta Max, VCRs, and DVRs) and not written-word news content makes this an entirely different ballgame.

What does that mean for the PR pro? It means that despite the abundance of copyright cases and rulings, copyright is still a convoluted issue, and it’s still of the utmost importance to understand not only fair use, but other copyright implications as well. It’s also yet another reminder that though licensing may seem expensive, it’s important and vital to our industry that relies so heavily on media content and the continued success of media outlets.

It will be interesting to see how the case plays out and how the Supreme Court rules, but either way, the ruling could spell out a new future for broadcasting and copyright.

How Public Relations Fits in With Content Marketing

Friday, October 25th, 2013

How Public Relations Fits in With Content Marketing

by Alfred Cox*

The growing influence of content marketing turns every company into a media company, and with content marketing’s growing influence in marketing and PR, it’s time for every PR professional to learn how to create and implement a viable content marketing strategy.

I attended the Digital PR Summit in New York on October 16 and sat in on the session “Content Marketing Clinic: PR’s Role in Content Creation.” The two speakers were Simon Bradley, VP of marketing, North America for Virgin Atlantic Airways; and Albe Zakes, global VP of communication at TerraCycle.

Know thy audience

As with any marketing or PR campaign, one of the most important things in a content marketing strategy is to know your audience and what they want. Bradley encourages PR pros to figure out what it is the audience wants to read to help draw them to your content. Come at it from an angle of empathy with your audience, suggests Bradley. Empathizing puts you in their shoes and allows you to craft the content they seek.

Have a plot

Bradley and Zakes both emphasize the need to tell a story: your organization’s story and your product or client’s story. Content marketing strategy isn’t about throwing words onto a web page; it’s about crafting a story that targets your audience and draws them in. Sometimes you have to look for stories, which is why Bradley adds that you must also know how to generate great stories. But you can also generate stories by engaging with your audience, another key principle in successful content marketing.

Know what’s going on around you

It’s crucial to look at what your competitors are producing, says Zakes, so you know the playing field’s topography. Also look at third-party blogs and columns to get a sense of what the (more) unbiased segment is saying and feeling about your industry or organization.  Zakes suggest monitoring media by subscribing to newsletters, creating an RSS feed, and using BurrellesLuce to track your media coverage.

Use TV as a resource

Zakes recommends using television as a source for generating stories and content. It’s also an excellent way to get broadcasters to act as quality spokespersons. Check national programming and evaluate what would be the best fit to get your brand out, then start pitching.

Spread your narrative

Virgin Atlantic created video content, then ran it on in-flight screens on their flight to get their message out. While your organization may not have such a captive audience, consider whether there are ways to spread video content more directly, like a video newsletter or a PSA.

Work from your own narrative

Zakes recommends telling the story of your company then going beyond your own story; Bradley advises focusing on what you do best and amplifying. Both pieces of advice are two sides of the same coin – start from your organization’s narrative and build from there. Zakes advises mining your supply chain for content ideas and storylines and ultimately tying it in with your organization.

As Bradley says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” So it’s crucial to explain why your organization does what it does.

Provide free content

The goal of content marketing is to grow your organization’s media output, Zakes points out. The point of media output is to get people to read it and grow the brand, so don’t put your content behind a paywall or a paid subscription where your target audience isn’t likely to see it. Provide free, informative, how-to’s applicable to real life, and focus on the niche in which you want to be known.

Devising a viable long-term strategy, adapting that strategy to social media developments, and providing consistent content are three pillars of successful content marketing that will help turn your business into a driving force in content marketing.


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

8 Tips for Successfully Pitching to Broadcast Media

Friday, October 4th, 2013

PR tips for pitching broadcast media producersAlfred Cox*

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

Don’t pitch by phone, and never by social media . “Don’t send me a blog or a tweet” when pitching, says Scholer. “Social media does not catch my attention.”– it won’t catch a producer’s attention. Send your pitch by email and “Only email once,” says Scholer. “If you email me twice, you will get no response