Archive for ‘Broadcast’:


Meet the Media: National Exposure – Landing Broadcast Media Coverage (Tips for Pitching)

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Alfred Cox*

3D Baseball PitcherPlacement on national broadcast television, including morning and entertainment programs, has always been the Holy Grail for marketing and public relations professionals. This is just as true today, even with the advent of digital technology and the changing media landscape. (Download the BurrellesLuce Infograph: The State of Broadcast Media.)

PRSA-NY organized a panel of experts who gave a peek into their shows and tips for how PR professionals can get their clients featured.

The event, hosted by Anchin, Block & Anchin, featured:

 

10 Tips for Pitching Broadcast

1.  Do your homework. All of the panelists commented that “knowing what the show was about” and “knowing the show’s audience” are a must when pitching. Raff commented, “Build a relationship. Watch the show, understand the connection of the show for your client, and follow shows with common interest.”

2.  Be relevant and timely. Topics need to be specific to the audience of the broadcast show you are pitching and timely. All the panelists agreed that “Breaking News” takes priority. Weber remarked that “same day pitching depends on the story, but is done quite often, especially with consumer stories.” Jarvis cautioned PR pros to “check the weekend news shows, including those from other networks” prior to pitching as she “won’t run the same story as the other weekend news shows.

3.  Know what you are pitching. “Always advise if it’s a paid spokesperson,” remarked Weber, and “don’t hold back vital information.”

4.  Know who you are pitching. Weber said that if PR pros use a “bad name” or the “wrong show” they won’t receive a return call.

5.  Pitch journalists using their preferred contact method. For Jarvis, Twitter is the best way to pitch her – even better than emailing, in fact.

6.  Keep pitches short. Crudup said pitches should include a brief paragraph and the email subject line should always be the topic. Weber agreed that “short and sweet” was the way to go. Raff cautioned to “plug the brand just once or twice via email,” while Jarvis only wants a “one or two sentence paragraph” for the pitch.

7.  Provide a compelling story. For the next two months the panelists are booking political conversations, pre- and post-election stories, and political interest stories. Raff commented that because of the elections, “celebrities and their options on the political arena” made for a compelling story. “Touching stories that affect all lives,” is another good topic. However, Jarvis advised PR professionals to “hold human interest stories until after the election.”

8.  Consider your spokespeople. When looking for guests, “crazy guests are good for ratings,” said Crudup, while Raff noted that “strong guests and/or erratic guests make the rating.” She also said that when pitching a human interest story, “the guest must be able to tell a story live.”

9.  Include video content with your pitch. All the panelists agreed that video content was important for both supplemental material as well as demonstrating the spokesperson’s ability on camera and relevancy of topic. Raff informed PR pros to “send an appearance from another similar show.” Crudup instructed, “Include a video from another show that is similar to Rachel Ray, not just an interview, but an actual TV interview,” so that he can see interaction with interviewer and interviewee. Weber also confirmed that sending a video “from other TV appearances helps make the decision on booking.”

10.  Understand that broadcast takes priority over digital. For Weber, “digital will always follow after the show” because “real-time TV is still the best trend.”

The key to successfully pitching broadcast media is about, as Jarvis remarked, “knowing where the opportunities exist and offering the key ingredients.”

What other tips would you add for pitching broadcast media? Please share your thoughts with BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers.

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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

St. Louis Rams Tackle a Disengaged Community for a Win

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Kevin Demoff is in his fourth year as executive vice president of football operations and chief operating officer with the St. Louis Rams. As any football fan, or anyone who lives in the heartland, knows the Rams team is bad on the field but even worse off the field. There is simply no connection to the community.  Demoff’s 100_0763critical challenge? How to get the community excited—even if the team wins no games.

During Demoff’s recent address to the PRSA St. Louis chapter, in a room just off the owner’s office overlooking the practice field as the “boys” wrapped up for the day, he explained that football should be a tradition.With the exit of the Cardinals to Arizona, however, it skipped a generation here as there was no hometown team.

Today, The Rams are now involved in every football league in the area, from pee wee teams all the way up, so they grow up into fans and pass it on. This strategy is not going to gain immediate fans. It’s long-term grassroots planning, including community programs, that will pay off down the line. The Rams only play 16 days per year, yet must be top of mind 365 days per year—what a challenge!

Rams Community Outreach Initiatives

Rams Staff Day of Service is one example of getting involved in the community. One day per month they shut the doors and everyone, from the players to the accounting 100_0759clerks to the upper management, does a community service project.  For example, last summer about 90 members of the Rams staff took a trip to Joplin, MO to aid relief efforts after the devastating tornado. Another example is of how the Rams help build playgrounds. A program started in 2009, the Rams most recent playground build was for “a local town of 2,600, a community with no schools, only a library […].” 

Demoff accepts nearly every opportunity to speak. When I heard him speak (Thursday, August 23rd), he had already spoken to eight or nine other groups. He’s out making the personal, emotional connection with their stakeholders—this doesn’t happen behind a desk. He says it’s crucial to speak from the heart via every medium possible, whether that is in-person, social media, print media, broadcast media, etc.  As a matter of fact, seeing the need to expand their media footprint, the Rams now have their own broadcast team including a film crew. They needed to grow the brand outside the immediate area, and whereas they used to not even be carried in the next market over, there are now nine states on pre-season now.

They produced a community service video, which we watched, and notably there was no football in it. The goal is to make the community better—even if they’re not winning at football—and Demoff leads them to be one of the community’s strongest philanthropic partners. As a matter of fact, in the 35 years of local philanthropic awards, no sports team has ever won. That is, until 2010 when the Rams were named St. Louis Philanthropic Organization of the Year.

They even started a program where players buy tickets for underprivileged kids—they’re up to 28 players now participating in the program. Recently the St. Louis Rams showed appreciation to Scott Air Force Base, where they traded jerseys with the soldiers and held a scrimmage game. Along with all the typical things like hospital visits to soldiers and critically ill children, the Rams have come a long way. 

It’s apparent that hard work and personal dedication has been quintessential to their success. I think the biggest takeaway from Demoff and the Rams outreach program is the sincerity with which they participate. Rather than make it something that a few players do with the hopes of garnering publicity – the program is built in such a way that it becomes a part of team identity on and off the field, regardless of an individual’s role in the organization or team. Demoff spearheads a culture of service that benefits all involved – and it is the authenticity that really fuels outreach success.

Do you have examples of community engagement strategies or techniques to share?

PR Tips for Dealing With Digital Journalism from Community Service Public Relations Council

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Flickr Image: atriumIn St. Louis, three web managers/editors from local TV, radio and print media outlets discussed how to create web- and social-friendly content. At this Community Service Public Relations Council (CSPRC) luncheon, the media panelists explained what kind of information they sought for their websites, how they integrated social media, and how nonprofits (and others) could best work with them.

The panelists were:

  • Kelsey Proud, web producer, St. Louis Public Radio, 90.7 KWMU, University of Missouri St. Louis
  • Jill Hampton, web producer, My Neighborhood St. Louis, Fox2now.com, KPLR11.com, STLMoms.com
  • Greg Jonsson, breaking news editor at StLToday.com / the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

After a brief introduction, the panelists talked about how journalism has changed in this digital world, and how public relations professionals could help make their jobs easier.

In the early digital days, there was insistence (in broadcast media) that they must break the news on-air first. That notion is gone. Today, breaking news happens online, followed by a more in-depth vetted story on-air. 

The biggest change of all is that content is now shared across the various platforms. Radio is no longer just audio, TV is no longer just video and, of course, newspapers / magazines are no longer just print.  I like the line one TV station GM used a while back about no longer being a TV station “but rather we are a local news organization that is platform agnostic.”

Some of the panelists’ tips that I found noteworthy for PR pros:

  • Everything needs to be interactive to get the best user experience.
  • Every journalist is now a ‘one-man-band.” For example, radio reporters are learning how to utilize images and/or video to get better exposure.
  • Press releases are still the number one way to share a story with them. Kelsey says, “No matter how much we complain, we ARE grateful for press releases.”
  • Even though they just stated that content is cross-platform shared, a good TV story still needs to be very visual.  Even for radio, online is visual so include image(s).
  • Your press release should point to the organization’s online newsroom for background information and additional details. NOTE:  Keep the online newsroom up-to-date! Jill said her pet peeve is “getting a release, going to the website only to find the last press release was posted over a year ago.”
  • Include links to organization, event, social media profiles, and images.
  • Do NOT include cute graphics, or attach Word documents or hi-res images.  Most won’t open them, and sometimes their email system strips them out so they’ll never see them anyway.  Instead, provide links to your online photo gallery—low res images are just fine for the web. 
  • Keep the information straight-forward. Greg says they have no time for “flowery language.”
  • Finally, yes, it’s okay to alert a journalist to a story via Twitter—just not incessantly.

While none of this advice is revolutionary, I believe it’s important to periodically hear it “from the horse’s mouth.”

PR pros, please share any feedback you’ve received from members of the media. Or, if you are a journalist, please share how your job has changed in the digital era, and what we, as PR pros, can do to make it easier.

BurrellesLuce Newsletter: Understanding Your Stakeholders and Traditional Media

Monday, July 30th, 2012

July 2012

Traditional media has changed in scope (with a marked decline in outlets occurring in 2009). However, it remains the same in respect to relevancy and in how consumers satiate their growing appetite for information.

To gain the clearest understanding of how your messages are influencing all of your audiences, you need to see all of your content from all media types. Otherwise, you won’t have an accurate representation and risk skewing your data and results.

Read more: 6 Ways Traditional Media Impacts Your Audience

Murdoch’s bold new plan: News Corp announces split of Entertainment and Publishing

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

News Corp announced on Thursday that their board unanimously agreed on a plan to split its company’s entertainment division (which includes Fox News, 20th Century Fox, and Fox Networks) from the publishing division (which includes The Wall Street Journal, Harper Collins publishing, and The New York Post), reports The Economist. This comes as music to the ears of News Corp’s investors, who for years blamed the publishing arm for weighing down the entertainment division. (The entertainment division is responsible for 75 percent of the company’s profits.) Splitting the company in two is the “ultimate dream” of investors, says Michael Nathanson of Nomura, a stockbroker. News of the split sent News Corp’s stock up 10 percent.

This announcement and Rupert Murdoch’s “never say die” commitment to his beleaguered publishing arm come as little surprise to those of us who have followed the News Corp over the years. In a Thursday morning memo announcing the split to the News Corps employees, Murdoch made it very clear Family Guyto everyone that his long love affair with publishing is far from over, and even spoke optimistically about his portfolio of newspapers and publishing companies. “Our publishing businesses are greatly undervalued by the skeptics. Through this transformation we will unleash their real potential, and be able to better articulate the true value they hold for shareholders,” stated Murdoch.   

You have to admire the bold vision Murdoch unleashed for his new publishing entity, especially in the wake of the News of the World hacking scandal in the UK, and at a time when two of his newspapers – The New York Post and The London Times – are losing money, comments PaidContent.org. Even though newspapers may be on life support, they are still emitting a slight pulse. In The Economist article linked to earlier in this blog post, Jeff Logsdon of BMO Capital Markets added, “The newspaper business may not be growing, but it generates enough cash flow to sustain itself.”

Murdoch points to new global markets and platforms as major reasons for this publishing arms rejuvenation, with plans to accelerate growth into Australia and Latin America and citing the fact there are over 75 million tablets worldwide ready to receive information. “Our publishing company will deliver on the promise of a well-informed society as we aggressively grow our business across borders and new global platforms,” Murdoch is quoted as saying in this Wall Street Journal article.

While many remain a bit skeptical when it comes to publishing, especially newspapers, my colleague Johna Burke confirms in a recent Fresh Ideas post, Mobile Aids Growth of Traditional Media. She writes, “[…]unless you are seeing your coverage from ALL types of media, you won’t have an accurate representation of how your messages are playing out and influencing ALL of your audiences. […] a digital focus alone, that doesn’t include traditional media, is blindingly misleading and can be equated to looking at the Grand Canyon through a straw. Sure, it’s pretty, but you miss more than you see!” 

So, in 2012 one thing remains clear: content remains king and nobody knows that better than Mr. Murdoch.