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Despite the increasing popularity of digital and online media, TV is a sought-after platform for many businesses, including tech scale-ups. Getting your company on TV, even the local news, can provide several benefits, including reaching large audiences and specific demographics that can sometimes otherwise be hard to reach. Plus, many company leaders like the personal recognition and exposure they receive as a result of television coverage.
All that being said, snagging airtime isn’t easy. Producers for local news and other broadcast media extremely selective. So how do you get your scale-up featured on TV? Use these tips to ensure success when working with your local TV markets:
Different types of shows focus on different segment formats. Many local TV stations have morning, mid-morning and noon shows that feature a variety of “lifestyle” guests. There are also segments that cover more hard-hitting materials — such as how to protect your identity when shopping online — and sometimes feature experts to provide commentary on national news stories. These types of segments are typically included as part of evening shows – 5, 6, 10 and 11pm.
Once you identify the type of local news coverage that you want to secure, research the TV station. Watch the various news segments as they air, as well as video segments online (topics and keywords are easily searchable). Look at what topics they tend to cover and what type of guests the station likes to feature – this will give you better insight when pitching specific producers.
After watching the show, research who you should contact. If you’re looking for a specific guest segment on a show, contact the producer of that show. But, if you don’t know who that is, contacting an executive producer at the station is usually the best bet.
If you’re looking to secure coverage as part of a news segment that does not involve an on-air guest, especially something that can be pre-recorded versus something live, contact the assignment editor/manager/booker. This person often handles the schedules of all reporters and videographers. Assignment editors/managers/bookers can also refer you to the right producer to contact about guest segments.
When reaching out to the producer or appropriate contact, craft your pitch in a way that addresses the needs and expertise of that particular contact. Establish the type of segment or commentary you’re pitching and tailor it to that particular show’s audience. It’s important to show the producer that you’ve done your research and have an understanding of how you would fit in with the show format.
If there’s a “secret ingredient” that TV producers love, it’s anything visual. And, if it can be interactive — that’s even better! Unless your company spokesperson is a celebrity in their own right, no one wants an interview with someone just sitting and talking.
When making outreach, describe the visuals that you could offer as part of a segment. This could include different props you can bring to show off or different activities to be done with the host during the interview. Anything that can involve the anchors is best! For example, if your new app provides hand-curated archives of collectibles, you might bring along a few hard-to-find memorabilia items from the anchor’s favorite sports team.
Broadcast media coverage provides a way to reach large audiences that are otherwise sometimes hard to target. Understanding the unique aspects of a given show and the people associated, then reaching out with a customized and visually-compelling message will help increase the chances of getting your scale-up on TV.
Think you’re ready to get started with media relations? Download our Guide to Storytelling to learn how you can earn press coverage without a press release.
These articles have been curated by our friends at BLASTmedia, a national PR agency focusing on media relations for B2B technology companies.