Posts Tagged ‘PRSA-NY’


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.

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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

 

PR Team Building at PRSA-NY’s Scavenger Hunt

Monday, June 16th, 2014
L to R: Athina Koutsoumadi and Josephine Lau of Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP; Colleen Flood and Alfred Cox of BurrellesLuce

L to R: Athina Koutsoumadi and Josephine Lau of Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP; Colleen Flood and Alfred Cox of BurrellesLuce

by Athina Koutsoumadi*
On Thursday evening June 5th, 12 teams from PR firms participated in the PRSA-NY Annual Summer Social: Amazing Race 2014, sponsored by Anchin, Block and Anchin LLP. Our team, “The Analytics,” consisted of Anchin’s Josephine Lau and Athina Koutsoumadi, as well as BurrellesLuce‘s Alfred Cox and Colleen Flood. The race started at Stitch Bar & Lounge, located on West 37th Street. Our team was very eager to conquer the world but we were more in line with “Pinky and The Brain” as we managed to finish in third place…from the bottom!

 

All in good fun, we enjoyed running around the streets of Manhattan, starting from Midtown West, Times Square, circling a few blocks around, taking pictures of strangers, borrowing magazines (GQ w/ Channing Tatum – seriously) for a “celebrity” picture, getting yelled at by a school teacher while attempting to take a picture of a student holding a camcorder, handing over my iPhone to strangers to take a picture followed by a threatening line “If you run with my phone, we’ll catch you!”

 

Lau, Cox, Koutsoumadi, and Flood posing with Channing Tatum

Lau, Cox, Koutsoumadi, and Flood posing with Channing Tatum

We made it to the East Side while pretending to be Superman around the globe in the Daily News building, only to scare the life out of a lady who helped us with a group picture. It’s amazing to see how New Yorkers bond when they see you running, sweat dripping down your forehead, holding your hips as you feel they will dislocate and you ask them to take a picture. An elderly couple stepped up to the challenge of taking a group picture in the Fox News building, waiting patiently for the ticker to show “Fox News”… If only they had realized that our ticker was ticking as time was of the essence!

 

Koutsoumadi, Lau, Flood, and Cox in front of the Fox building

L to R: Athina Koutsoumadi, Josephine Lau, Colleen Flood, Alfred Cox

We took pride in not using public transportation, which gave us consolation as to our place in the race. Walking the streets allowed Josephine to find electronic stores to take pictures of tape recorders (who really uses those anymore?) and Colleen to use Google Maps for New York buildings. Ah!…. The joy of the iPhone app ScanQuest! As only one person on each team had to download the app and control the challenges and pictures, we faced a different type of challenge! Running and looking at challenges simultaneously, I held onto my phone “for dear life,” and also tried to control Alfred who loved leading the way, only for Colleen having to call him to find him! These unforgettable moments between the two firms have set the stage for next year’s team (only with a better name) and created a strong bond. We are going to be “The Incredible 4”, with the costumes to go with it. This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship! It doesn’t get any better than that!

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Athina Koutsoumadi Anchin bio

How to Get Your Product in a Magazine’s Holiday Gift Guide

Monday, March 31st, 2014

How to Get Your Product in a Magazine’s Holiday Gift Guide Ellis Friedman Colleen Flood BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas PRSANY Meet the MediaHow can you pitch magazine editors to get your product in their yearly holiday gift guide? Being featured can not only give product sales a boost, but it can elevate your brand as well. But in-book gift guides are shrinking, meaning fewer slots overall, and each publication has different themes and price points, narrowing the field significantly.

Last week our VP of Agency Relations, Colleen Flood, attended PRSA-NY’s Meet the Media: Holiday Gift Guide Editors , where five panelists, all magazine editors, gave their input on how to make the cut in their 2014 gift guides, as well as general tips for pitching them year-round. Colleen brought back useful, detailed information that the editors shared during the panel.

The event’s moderator was Nicole Chismar, account supervisor of Media Relations at MSL Group. The evening’s five panelists were:

Allyson Dickman, associate lifestyle editor at Every Day with Rachael Ray

Caylin Harris, associate lifestyle editor at Parents

Irene Chang Kwon, associate editor at Working Mother

Catherine Peridis, fashion editor at Natural Health/Fit Pregnancy

Jessica Torres, beauty and lifestyle editor at Siempre Mujer

All the editors agreed that color scheme is a decision-making factor, and it helps if your product stands out or fits in with the scheme. Items should fall within the publication’s price specifications, and if it’s not a luxury magazine, they cap may be $100.

The product should also be nationally available, and when the product is shared with the media, it should look exactly how it will look when it’s on shelves. Know what types of gifts the publication features. Finally, submit early; most gift guides are finalized by early September.

Here are some of the publication-specific tips from the editorial panel.

Start early and know the theme

Torres explained that the Siempre Mujer gift guide encompasses gifts for him, her, home and kids. Siempre Mujer starts their holiday guide in July, does a run-through in mid-August, and closes in early September. (The magazine also does annual gift guides for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.)

Natural Health starts looking for gift guide items in June. At Working Mother, they start looking in July and wrap it up by the beginning of September. It’s a five-page guide that will be a mix of products for everyone, but the magazine strives to simplify the working mom’s shopping list and can include housewares, toys, and fashion products.

Parents and Everyday with Rachael Ray start looking for gift guide items in May. At Parents, Harris says they’ll call in samples in July and final submissions are due in the first week of August. Last year the six-page gift guide was organized by price. But Parents’ guide does not include gifts for children – it’s a gift guide for everyone else.

At Everyday with Rachael Ray, Dickman says it’s a four- to six-page guide, and final submissions are due by the first week of August. She says the guide is not gifts for parenting or kids, and it’s best to pitch by the sections in their magazines.

Know the criteria

At Siempre Mujer, products featured in the gift guide must be in the $5 to $500 price range. Since Hispanic culture also has King’s Day (also known as Epiphany or Dia de los Reyes), items can also be applicable for that holiday. But keep in mind that if your gift guide submission is anything written (like a book) or a movie, it must be in Spanish.

Natural Health loves charitable gifts and experiences tied to a gift. Kwon says that at Working Mother, gifts in the guide must make financial sense. At Parents, editors try to keep prices reasonable, and ask themselves how much a reader would realistically spend on a gift. They like products that look expensive, says Harris, and no gift cards or experiences.

At Everyday with Rachael Ray, budget is very important; the cap is $100, and Dickman says most gifts fall under $50. The gifts must be sophisticated but fun, and fit in with Ray’s personality.

Get picked

Editors from Rachael Ray trend spot at events, and constantly have their eyes and ears out looking for products to feature. Harris says that at Parents press kits accompanying products are incredibly important, and it helps your chances if the editors have product info readily available. Working Mother finds most of their products at events, and at Siempre Mujer, Torres says about 90 percent of their products come from pitches or look books, though the occasionally seek out products themselves.

Pitching tips

Siempre Mujer prefers deskside pitches with hi-res images, and Torres says she’s more likely to remember someone if she speaks with them in person. Fit Pregnancy/Natural Health prefers email pitches with all pertinent information, like images and cost, included in the email. Working Mother prefers both email and deskside pitches, as does Parents, though Harris says not to call. Rachael Ray will only do a deskside if there’s an actual product brought in – not a USB, as those get lost – and if the pitch is emailed, it must include a picture.

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.

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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

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

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