By: Amanda Green
TV news and lifestyle shows are filled with experts, hosts, and consumer reporters showcasing amazing products and services. If you think your company deserves airtime, I’m here to tell you the honest and behind-the-scenes truth from someone who has been there.
TV producers are inundated with pitches from companies who think their products and services are game changers. Producers are often overworked, overtired members of the press who need a story that is visual, engaging, and original that can turn fast and fit into a two-minute time slot.
I was on the receiving end of PR pitches for more than a decade and if truth be told, more didn’t get read than did get read. I threw most into the trash bin before even opening the emails. Admittedly, I may have missed some great story ideas and opportunities, but I simply did not have time to weed through the trash to find the treasure. I only accepted story pitches from people whom I had a personal or professional relationship with or those with a headline that was undeniably something that hooked my interest.
From the moment a TV producer wakes up to the moment a TV producer goes to bed, they are focused on news of the day and current trends and events. The environment is constantly changing – stories get added and dropped – newsroom stress level is high and inboxes fill up quickly.
I can tell you from experience, the story pitches that make it to air are those that are relevant, timely, and have a personal impact. For example, if everyone is talking about Melania Trump’s choice of wardrobe that day and you pitch me a story about a local woman who designed the sunglasses in her purse, I am going to pursue it. If you have a baby product that would be perfect for Princess Kate’s newly conceived baby, let’s talk.
This is where a good PR team comes into play. A good publicist knows how to make their client relevant and how to approach the frazzled journalists. It’s partly making a product or service sound good or interesting. Yes. But it’s not just that. it is about making it fit into the producer’s daily rundown. Timing and connections are everything.
So, before you decide to DIY PR, ask yourself if you know how to find the hole in the newswheel and if you know how to fill it. This is where a professional publicist with newsroom experience can really shine.
Amanda Green is an Account Executive at Orca Communications and a former morning lifestyle show and award-winning breaking news broadcast producer.