You’ve got a story to tell, and an audience to reach. So what’s the most efficient way to connect the two? Between print, social media, and broadcast channels, myriad platforms are available to help share your message with audiences. Landing a television spot, specifically, can be a storytelling silver bullet for individuals, organizations, and businesses. If you’ve got your eyes on a television interview (now or perhaps in the future), we’ve developed four guidelines to help you “nail the spot”:
- Perfect the pitch – As with all media relations, that first touch point with a media outlet can make or break your chance at securing an interview. TV producers, in particular, are inundated with requests all day – and unlike print journalists with certain beats, they’re generally open to any story that might resonate with their viewers. For this reason, a little homework can go a long way to help your pitch stand out from the pack. Tailoring a subject line with a reference to a recently-aired story, using the opening line to highlight a personal tidbit or connection related to the producer or show, or teasing a half-baked segment are just a few creative ways to do this.
- Bring only the essentials – So, your pitch piqued the interest of a TV producer! It’s time to start planning your segment. Because television is fast-paced and most interviews are allotted less than five minutes, it’s vitally important to orient every talking point around your story’s call-to-action. In other words, every anecdote, prepared answer, or supportive detail about your story should always pivot to the next step. Write your talking points down, and practice aloud how you’ll weave the call-to-action throughout the conversation. Props and additional guests can also be valuable supportive elements for your story. Let them work for you by supplying
- Keep story first, teller second – While most programs are formatted to make interviews feel like an informal conversation, TV exposure is far too valuable to let a conversation truly meander. This can be a challenge for big personalities or those who feel uncomfortable with “selling” or “pushing” something to audiences. As unnatural as it might feel, always fight the temptation to venture into subject matter (at least, for too long!) that’s not related to exactly what you’re on-air to communicate. Your bio might be what gets the audience to show up, but the story you tell is what they will – or won’t – remember. Stay focused.
- Lock in the logistics – Before, during, and after your television interview, don’t let details get lost… and then in your way. Keeping track of contact information for everyone on your TV pitch-list, including response status, booking dates, and studio arrival times and locations, will prevent scheduling snafus like double-booking or worse, late or missed interviews. As with most other things on your agenda, it’s a good idea to create calendar appointments with all day-of information once you’ve confirmed your spot. Putting a bow on the details ahead of time frees up more mental space for you to plan, practice, and nail that interview.
These are just a few of the many ways PIVOT helps our partners be great on-air storytellers. Keep up with our media relations and other PR tips on our blog. And, call us when you’re ready to make that pitch!