Media Training

How to Get on Television

Written by Kristin Marquet for Gaebler Ventures

Getting on television can make you a national celebrity. However, it is not easy because producers receive thousands of pitch letters every day. Thus, you make to stick out from the rest of the crowd.

Getting on television has never been easy for even the most seasoned PR professionals.

How to Get on Television

In fact, many times seasoned PR pros do not know how to construct well-written and newsworthy pitch letters and press releases. The key to getting booked on television is to provide the media with entertaining, informative, and newsworthy stories that is formatted properly. If you have one and pitch it properly, you will get a call back from the television producers.

To help make your life easier by not upsetting the media, I have outlined the necessary steps you need to be successful with getting booked on television.

After working with many different businesses and booking them on various television shows, I know the top five things that you can do to increase your chances of getting television coverage that even some of the most seasoned PR professionals do not know:

Uniqueness and Originality – The news covers unique and different stories. You can use an old story with a new spin. Providing fresh and new stories will keep you on the forefront with the media. Sending a pitch letter about the opening of your dress boutique is not going to generate the interest of a television producer or reporter. However, sending a pitch letter about the opening of your boutique and the how it is holding a local fashion show during prom season and how you will donate dresses in the show to a local charity will spark the interest of the television producer or reporter.

Visual elements – The media loves photos and videos. Even the most boring story can be interesting if you provide the right visuals.

Right media professional – Picking the right media professional is the key to success. One of the most common mistakes PR professionals make is trying to pitch or sell a story to the wrong person. Most media professionals specialize in an area such as "fashion," "food," or "business." Study the news to become familiar with each reporter's work. Selling an investigative story to a fashion reporter will only make you look unaware of how the media works and unprofessional.

Think like a producer/reporter – If you send a press release to a television station, make it as natural sounding and conversational as possible. Keep it short and concise.

Wait for the Slow News Season – If possible, wait until the slowest news time pitch to your story. Holiday seasons (such as Easter, Fourth of July, and Christmas) are the slowest news times because government agencies are closed. During the holidays, reporters are starved for news.

Essentially, if your story is unique, well organized, accompanied by different visual images and videos, pitched to the right media professional during slow news times, you will most likely be called for a segment.

Kristin Marquet will be receiving her MBA from Harvard University in Fall of 2010. She has worked in the marketing and public relations field for over 10 years.

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