Posts Tagged ‘ABC News’

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.


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

Diane Sawyer, Finding Inspiration: Newseum Reel Journalism, “The China Syndrome,” and Ethics in PR and Journalism

Friday, May 13th, 2011

chinasyndrome011“You need to find what inspires you.” This was just one of the many messages from ABC news anchor Diane Sawyer during a session in the Reel Journalism series at the Newseum (a BurrellesLuce client).

The Reel Journalism series looks at how journalism is portrayed in movies and includes discussions with journalists and others who have insight into the movie. TV personality Nick Clooney hosts the series, which is co-produced by American University.

Recently, the discussion lead to the First Amendment, and how we, as Americans, do not appreciate the rights we have been given. One audience member asked why journalists don’t advocate more on behalf of the First Amendment. Sawyer agreed there is a need for more work from journalists and there is a lack of advocacy. Although no one had a good answer, all agreed it is an issue.

The evening’s movie was “The China Syndrome” starring Jane Fonda as a fluff TV news reporter, who longed to do hard news stories. Sawyer empathized with the character and reminisced about her own time doing zoo stories and birthday parties. She commented on how she was originally hired to do the weather, which she knew nothing about and could barely see the map without her glasses. (She now wears contacts.) Sawyer said she had been lucky to not have to deal with the “old boys club” as she moved up the ranks in TV news. Considering she was the first female correspondent on “60 minutes,” most were surprised by this fact.

Clooney asked Sawyer if she had premonitions since she picked the film shortly before the earthquake in Japan that caused a nuclear power plant leak. She said she didn’t, however,  she did note the movie came out 12 days before the Three Mile Island incident, which she covered for CBS news.

The lone PR person in the movie, played by James Hampton, is told by the head of the nuclear power plant to “do his job and control the reporters.”  Of course, he then tries to cover-up the true story, but is trumped in the end. It made me sad (but not surprised) to see public relations put in a bad light. I also felt like the character wanted to do the right thing and tried to advise his boss.

The movie is from 1979, and like all movies, there are flawed characters. But, what would a real PR counselor be inspired to do? Would he or she follow the ethics of the profession and go against management? In the movie, the plant employee played by Jack Lemon is the hero we want both the journalist and the PR person to be. He stood by his principles and looked for a way to save others instead of himself. He was inspired.

So, I ask again, what inspires you? Please share your thoughts with the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers.

Entertainment Companies Step Up: Online Video Watching Now More Popular than Social Networks

Monday, August 17th, 2009

The good folks at Facebook and Twitter can rest easy, the fact that online video watching edged out social networking in a recent survey by Pew Internet and American Life Project is just a testament to how wildly popular online video watching has recently become. According to the survey 62 percent of American, adult Internet users said they watched online video on sites like YouTube compared to 46 percent who said they were active on social networking sites.

More fuel will soon be added to this surge in online video watching as more content providers latch on to an already booming space. With more people cutting back on their cable subscriptions, 23 percent who watch TV and movies online are connecting their computers to their TVs and bringing web video into their living rooms. Big name content providers are taking notice and are positioning themselves to take advantage of this trend.

video-search-engine_id371299_size430.jpgNetflix, through its “Watch Instantly” feature, already offers access to 12,000+ TV shows and movies on a variety of devices from content providers such as Disney, CBS and MTV Networks. Multichannel News wrote a story a few days ago of a rumor that “Netflix’s ‘Watch Instantly’ streaming service will soon be offered on Apple iPhones and iPod touch devices and the Nintendo Wii gaming console.” 1

YouTube recently decided to add a feature called “News Near You,” where they use the Internet address of a visitor’s computer to determine the user’s location, and if any “news outlet partners” are located in a 100 mile radius. If so, news sources that have agreed to become video suppliers display seven days of local videos. The site is promoting videos from ABC News, Associated Press and Reuters.

CBS, HBO, and Cinemax have all recently agreed to participate in Comcast’s “On Demand Online” trial (part of Time Warner’s “TV Everywhere” initiative) by providing online content to its subscriber base. “The trial is aimed at testing out authentication technology which asks pay-TV subscribers to identify themselves before allowing access to online content at sites such as”

In an interview Tuesday, Quincy Smith, chief executive of CBS Interactive said, “The company thinks of this deal as a way to extend the broadcast universe online by marrying the reach and frequency of the broadcast business with the ROI metrics of the online world.” 2 This is a way to extend the TV economics online. The other three major TV Networks, Fox, NBC and ABC, are already providing shows and movies through online service Hulu.

Whew! That’s a lot of online content coming our way (Even BurrellesLuce is getting in on the act — We recently announced the addition of robust online video to our monitoring set). It certainly will be interesting to watch how all of this unfolds over the next year or two. This 24/7 smorgasbord of online videos is sure to cause a little indigestion, so please practice moderation and remember to unplug every now and then and read a book… Sorry, eBooks, using Kindle, don’t count.