Friday, November 2, 2007

Publicity on TV

A TV Producer’s Perspective

I’ve known my friend Phairis since high school. We both studied acting, which is how we met. Now we both work in the media – she’s a TV producer, and I’m a magazine writer.

Phairis’s daughter is the same age as mine (almost 2), and one time, while we ambled along with our strollers, we chatted about what so many fitness pros want to know: How to get the media’s attention.

She and I have seen our share of good, bad and ugly pitches. And since I’m here to offer info from media insiders like Phairis and me, I asked my friend to let you in on her perspective.

Phairis has the qualifications to tell it like it is, too: She’s the former producer for the EARLY News with Deborra Hope on Global TV and the current associate producer for Global National, a nightly national newscast from a major Canadian broadcaster.

Here’s what she graciously agreed to share with you …

DON'T give me a sell job.

You're not pitching an ad or a commercial. Give me FACTS about what it is you do, or what it is you sell. People love facts. They want to learn more.

If you can tell me something I don't already know or can't get from another source - and you can do it in an entertaining way - your chances of getting publicity are far greater.

DO personalize your pitch.

For example, pick a show on a local TV station and find out who the producer is. Send that person an email. Then follow up with a phone call. Nobody likes getting mass emails – that’s an easy way to get your press release tossed in the recycling bin.

DO watch what's in the news and make your pitch when it's appropriate.

If a celebrity is suffering from a health problem or a new study comes out that’s related to your product or service (even in a small way), that's a great time to send out your pitch.

DON'T take it personally if you're turned down.

Next time, do some research about the media organization you're pitching to and really tailor your media package. Also, be sure to include the basics: who you are; what you do; where you do it; when you'll do it next; why I should care and how I, as the producer, can get in touch with you.

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