3 Mistakes People Make When Trying To Get Featured On TV

3 Mistakes People Make When Trying To Get Featured On TV

written by Julie Parise

Here at Guide My Brand, we love offering television features and pitching as part of our publicity packages for authors and entrepreneurs. Some of our clients have a lot of experience doing television interviews, and some are new to the process of securing TV placements

Fortunately, our team of publicists includes several former broadcast journalists. We’ve seen everything when it comes to pitches — the good, the bad and the ugly. Today we’re sharing the 3 worst mistakes we’ve seen from people trying to get featured on TV.

Selling themselves as the story

Our clients are experts in their field who have accomplished so many incredible milestones. We’re so proud of all of them! Unfortunately, unless you’re Oprah, your accomplishments alone are rarely enough to get your featured on TV. 

Instead, you want to make your pitch about your story and what you can share with others. Think about this way: What can I share that will provide the most impact to the most people? 

For example, maybe you just published your latest book. Nice work! Don’t pitch a journalist a story about the book launch, how excited you are about the book, etc., Instead, share with them who the book will resonate with, what the messaging points are, and who they will help. Explain what makes you qualified to speak on it. Tie it in with a topic that’s already newsworthy.

Make the goal to provide your guidance to as many people as possible. 

Expecting a journalist to work around their schedule 

The reality is, if you want to get featured on TV, you can’t expect a journalist to be able to work around your schedule. You have to work around theirs. 

Here’s why: Journalists work on tight deadlines. A reporter could be assigned a story at around 9 or 10 a.m., then expected to find people to interview sometime before 2 or 3 p.m., and put the story on TV around 5 or 6 p.m. 

More often than not, I would make calls to several people who I thought could be good interviews for the story I was working on. The interview would go to the person who called me back first. 

Sometimes, people would tell me they wanted to be interviewed but felt a couple of hours of notice wasn’t sufficient time to prepare — even though they were the ones who pitched me! If you want to be featured on TV, make sure you feel prepared to be interviewed at just about any moment. You never know when your phone will ring.

Micromanaging the interview

As an expert, a journalist can and should look to you for guidance on the topic you’re speaking on. That’s to be expected. But if you find yourself telling a reporter how they should put their story together, or how they should set up the camera angles, or where the interview should take place? Stop. That’s a big no-no. 

I’ve had interview subjects tell me where and how to set up a camera, insist on putting objects in the background of the shot that were distracting, or even having someone else do the interview with them. 

You’re an expert in your field. Journalists are experts, too. Trust them to do their job. 

For more steps to landing great publicity and continuously getting featured on TV and podcasts, check out our other blog posts with advice for authors on book publicity.

Want to learn more about how to land television interviews? Schedule a discovery call with us. We’d love to chat with you about your PR goals and how our team can help meet them.

Vicky Lynch
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