During a recent visit to my old TV station where I was a reporter for nearly seven years, I ran into Producer Steve. Well, it was more like an ambush as I had my iPhone out and said, “Hey, Steve! We’re live on Periscope!”
Although typically a behind-the-scenes guy, he was a good sport and shared 3 tips when it comes to pitching your business or idea for a local TV story. If you missed it, here were his 3 tips!
1- Keep your subject line short + compelling.
He said he receives anywhere from 400-600 emails every morning and he doesn’t always have time to read them all. So, as he’s making a quick scan down the list, he looks for subjects that grab his attention. Use phrases like Must See, Newsworthy, and Visual!
The shorter the better. Why? Because if you write a long subject, it will get cut off and you have to open the email to read it all. Try sending the pitch to yourself first to see how it looks in your inbox lined up with other emails. Does the subject standout? Is it too long and gets lost in the mix?
2- Pitch from the audience’s perspective.
Producers are responsible for sharing news that viewers will care about. So make sure to tell them if you have an event that is open to the public, a new product that will help people, a business that will make an impact in the community, etc.
It’s not always obvious how your business or service will be of interest to their audience so don’t be afraid to spell it out for them!
3- Do follow-up.
Again, those 400-600 emails flood his inbox each day so even if you do have a great story or idea to share, he won’t always remember to get back with you. Following-up is helpful for busy producers.
Although if you’ve followed-up 2-3 times and still haven’t heard back, chances are, they aren’t interested or timing is bad. Try a different angle and re-pitch in a couple months.
There you have it- straight from the source of someone who is responsible for booking hundreds of morning news interviews every month.
Have you tried Periscope yet? I’m just getting my feet wet with fun behind-the-scenes videos and interviews like this.
Do you find this advice useful?
Let me know and leave your suggestions for future tips in the comments below and it could be my next blog or ‘scope!