Mar 06, 2012

Tips for Making TV Pitches Nationally & Locally Relevant

broadcast pr, pitching daytime tv,

Whether you’re pitching a daytime TV show or the network news, fine tuning your pitches for relevant viewer audiences improves the chances of getting the story on air.

When many of our clients start thinking about broadcast PR and getting TV coverage for their story, they often tell us  their primary objective is to have their segment or interview air in the top 20 DMA markets.  In many cases,  they don’t pause to consider whether or not those markets hold any value for their brand or product -  aside from just being the largest markets in the country.

In general, whether you’re pitching television producers for a satellite media tour, an in-studio interview, a b-roll package or are inviting media to attend a local event, relevancy is key.  It is crucial to make the story applicable to national media while attracting local markets.  This can be done by localizing information and “news-you-can-use” to these specific markets. For example, when a study released the top ten states where the burden of diabetes is projected to be the highest in 2015, stations within those states in top markets like Sacramento and Houston, who would normally not be interested in speaking with a doctor via satellite, participated in the SMT. This worked well for two reasons:

  • The specific statistics, information and tips made available to each station were relevant to viewers within that state.
  • We were able to tailor the pitch to be relevant nationally as well. For those states not on the list, we were able to frame the message as general stories about diabetes, and what viewers can do to protect their health.

This strategy made the story relevant nationally while simultaneously attracting local markets.

When Bicycling Magazine released its 50th anniversary edition with the Best Cities for Fall Foliage Biking, stations on that list were clamoring to participate in the lineup. Why? Because whether you’re number 1 or number 20 on that list, it provides an anchor with the opportunity to highlight the city, plus provide tips for viewers on where they could go to enjoy fall foliage biking in that city. Plus, the talent – in this case, the editor-in-chief of the magazine – was able to provide top tips for cyclists and perspective on cycling now versus 50 years ago in order to satisfy markets who were not on the list. Again, national relevancy while attracting local markets equaled a successful pitching strategy.

Some other questions to ask when trying to gear a pitch towards national, regional or local media:

-Where is my talent/spokesperson from? Where are they located now?

-Is my talent an A-list celebrity with national appeal who will attract national and local media?

-Who does my story affect? Is it a regional issue where only stations in the Midwest will be interested? Is about a disease that only affects a small population? Is it a contest being held in schools throughout the country where the markets of the local schools can be pitched, but where there are enough broad based tips and a call to action that would be appealing to all media? Is it an event taking place in one market?

The bottom line is if you need to delve into the anatomy of your story to determine who it affects in order to determine which stations will be interested. This will help shape your strategy and guide you in pitching your story to appropriate outlets where it can reach the right audience.

Author Risa Chuang is a media relations manager at MultiVu, a PR Newswire company.

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