I get so excited every time one of my pitches work and my clients get on TV that I want to jump up and down! I feel like I’ve scored!
I’ve learned that you don’t have to have a journalism degree or be a high paid PR executive to get this kind free publicity. The television media NEEDS us! Us- meaning business owners, individuals, experts, authors, speakers, etc, because television news can be a never ending hole that always needs filled! The key is that your info, topic, idea, etc, needs to be interesting to a lot of people!
Here’s some more tips that have worked for me:
1. Do your research. Know what shows they produce, and where your idea might fit. Understand the general tone of the station. Some stations are more casual and laid back, but some are very old-school.
2. Contact the right person. If you don’t know who that is, you could call the station and find out. Or if you’re too chicken to pick up the phone(like a lot of us are), many television stations list who to contact for story ideas right on their contact page of their website. Secret: I always contact one station at a time and offer the info to them exclusively.
3. Be timely. Be relevant to what people are talking about or interested in right now! I recently sent in an idea about “How to take great Halloween photos,” and got contacted immediately!
4. Be clear. In my experience television media prefer press releases. It’s important that the press release clearly outlines the who, what, when where and why. Also, your pitch should state why it would look good on TV. Remember television is a VISUAL medium. Secret: Have a clear subject line in your email.
5. Be available. Lastly, you better be available when the producer emails or calls you back, because, otherwise you’ll miss out.
Copied below is a sample pitch and press release I sent out that resulted in two television segments on two different stations for one of my clients, FindMyDogADate.com. You can see the results of the release on my “Results” page.
I thought you might be interested in this story idea. The dogs would be great on TV!
Please let me know if you have any questions or need any help!
FindMyDogADate.com helps dog owners to find compatible companions for their canines!
Doggy “Dating Site” means dogs in Phoenix no longer have to be lonely!
Tempe, AZ, July, 30, 2009- In January of 2009, Mike D’Elena found himself with a heartbreaking problem. His roommate had moved back to California, taking with him, Cheyenne, his five year old dog and close companion of Mike’s dog, Mika, an American Stafford Shire Terrier.
“For weeks Mika moped around the house, depressed that her best friend and housemate were not returning. I realized that I had few friends who owned dogs, and the ones that did have dogs, lived on the other side of the valley. I needed to find someone for Mika to play with.”
With that, Mike decided to find Mika a new friend. From asking neighbors, making phone calls, and posting ads on Craigslist, to what seemed like endless searching on the Internet, Mike had no luck finding anyone nearby who had a dog that could be a suitable companion for Mika.
So he decided to take things into his own hands, and three months later, FindMyDogADate.com was born.
FindMyDogADate.com is a website where dog owners can find the perfect “match” for their dog for free. Site visitors simply register their dog on FindMyDogADate.com and then search for specific criteria such as breed, size, temperament, location, activities desired and more.
All registration information is kept confidential. Registrants are able to converse via email first before agreeing to meet for a “doggy date.”
FindMyDogADate.com has already been an amazing success, with over 300 people who have registered their dogs since March. Phoenix area dog lovers are finding it really fulfills a need.
Of course the biggest success has been for Mika. Every week for the past couple of months, Mike and Mika have been meeting up at a local dog park with Lauren and her dog Dakota whom they met on FindMyDogADate.com. Mika is back to being her normal happy self again.
FindMyDogADate also hosts special events such as “Doggy Meetups” or group play dates where people can bring their dogs for some socialization and doggone good fun. The next one is schedule for August 27th, 2009, at 7:00 PM., at Tempe Sports Complex Dog Park, 8401 S. Hardy Drive, Tempe, Arizona.
FindMyDogADate’s goal is to serve as a one-stop shop for dog friendly services in the Phoenix area with listings such as dog parks, groomers, pet sitters, photographers, restaurants, veterinarians and more!
For more information or to find companions for your dog go to http:www.FindMyDogADate.com.