Yesterday during a meeting with my manager, he randomly asked me what are some of my favorite parts of PR. While media relations is always top of mind, pitching broadcast randomly blurted out of my mouth. Once and a while I’m tasked with pitching local or national broadcast either for an event or initiative that warrants a camera crew. Ever so often I’ve had great success while pitching broadcast but those new to pitching need to know that it’s very different than pitching your regular magazines and online outlets.
- Pitch the assignment desk. Unless you find a reporter that is PERFECT for your story, send your note to the assignment editor.
- Be very upfront. Include in your pitch that looking to see if there’s a reporter available to cover your event or story.
- Have a spokesperson available. Whether it’s representative from the company or an expert.
- Remember that broadcast is all about the visuals. What you’re pitching needs to be visually appealing.
- Refer to past segments. “I saw you recently covered X and thought you might be interested in X.”
- Make sure you’re providing the who, what, when and where. Details are extremely important because of the limited time frame.
- Local has little lead time. If pitching an event to local broadcast, send them the media alert one or two days ahead of time. Local stations figure out what it will air usually the day of, unlike magazine and online portals that request information months ahead of time. The assignment editor will know the day of the event if they have a reporter available. Note that national broadcast has a much longer lead time (two to three weeks).
- Follow up on the phone. Several times. So many PR professionals are reluctant to pick up the phone, but it’s truly the only way I’ve ever landed a broadcast segment. I didn’t call once or twice. I would call four to five times on average. Talk to the assignment editor until you get the decline.
- Pitch several stations at once. Don’t limit yourself to one station. Most likely you will get one or two declines, but you have plenty others that may bite.
- When pitching national broadcast, develop the segment idea. Don’t just pitch your product/service. You don’t need to have every detail ironed out, but come up with the title of the segment and how your product/service fits in. In some instances, even include what other non-competitive products could be featured in the segment – even if it’s not your client.
Landing a successful broadcast segment for your clients is extremely rewarding. What is your favorite type of media to pitch?