3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Pitching TV Stations
Local television programs can be a great platform for authors and entrepreneurs, no matter where you’re at in your publicity campaign. They help build your client base, give you great clips for your social media and can help get you more media attention from even larger outlets.
Maybe you’ve tried pitching local stations, only to get rejected or receive no response at all. This is a frustrating process, but knowing how and when to pitch your story can make all the difference. Here are three questions to ask yourself before pitching local TV stations.
- Who cares?
Reporters, anchors and producers all pitch their stories during editorial meetings and are often grilled by news directors and colleagues about why the story deserves attention. Get the person you’re pitching to excited about the story. If you provide her with several concrete reasons why a certain audience will be interested, your story has a better chance of making it on the air. If you’re pitching your local station, make sure to emphasize your local connection. This can make all the difference when selling your story.
- Is this what TV producers are looking for?
Many people don’t realize all the factors that can impact how stories are chosen. News directors look for unique, timely stories. For example, if a new study reveals that your state is one of the poorest, jump into the conversation by presenting yourself or your client as an expert on how people can save more money.
- What are my visuals?
Television stations are biased toward great video. When you pitch to reporters or producers, let them know that the story is visual and how you will provide them with those visuals. It will almost certainly fall on you to figure out how to get the perfect video opportunity or b-roll. If you’re having trouble, take a deeper look at the story and see if you can put a human face on it. Finding the impact your story has on someone can help uncover the visual aspect.
One last thing to keep in mind when it comes to regional media coverage: Changes happen fast. Decisions are made based on what the news of the day is. You may have a great pitch, and a reporter may even shoot and produce the story — only for it to get bumped because of breaking news. So if these tips don’t work the first (or second, or third) time around, stay persistent.