Over the last ten years digital TV has boomed, meaning hundreds of new channels and TV shows are now at our disposal, not forgetting the emergence of digital radio which has meant more diverse subjects are now getting airtime.
Pitching to broadcast press requires different techniques from those for pitching to a newspaper journalist or magazine feature writer. Broadcast media operates within different criteria, which means things like timings, availability of spokespeople, and media training must all be taken into account.
Here is a list of considerations for PR agencies when pitching to the broadcast press:
• Spokespeople: Who are the people that are going to talk on a company’s behalf? These people need to be approachable and also be correctly briefed to ensure the right messaging. Remember interviews with TV or radio journalists could be broadcast live, which might mean the interviewee is put on the spot. Media training can ensure they have been suitably prepared and have had a briefing on key messages prior to speaking to any journalist.
• Pitching time: Just like print publication deadlines, remember that TV and radio producers are also working to deadlines. Pitch as far in advance as possible, providing as much information to enable them to plan any features.
• Research: No one would consider pitching a story about a family fun day event to a financial journalist, and so it’s just as important to research which journalists at the TV or radio show you are targeting would be most interested in your piece. If you are still unsure, try speaking to the forward planning producer and ask for advice. Don’t forget to check the time you are trying to contact them; hounding the producer when he or she is in the middle of a fast-paced show is not a great way to form relationships.
• Offer something different: When pitching to TV producers think of the assets that can be offered to them to make your pitch as visually appealing as possible, and consider how the piece will be illustrated on radio and online. Thinking of tri-media opportunities in this way will reduce the work the producer has to do, meaning he or she is more likely to pick up your story.
Always consider broadcast opportunities when pitching a story, think about visuals, and how the piece will sound on radio. Following these few simple steps will help to secure a fantastic piece of broadcast coverage.