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Planning to book your own TV commercial? It’s more than just sending a press release

Planning to book your own TV commercial? It’s more than just sending a press release

If you’re planning to go out and get your own media coverage, here are some key elements in terms of setting up a PR campaign and in particular in terms of landing TV appearances. Radio and print advertising definitely require attention to detail – but the number of logistical issues you have to deal with in order to get exposure on TV is much greater.

So let’s discuss some of the elements of putting together a really good TV pitch that can lead to valuable media opportunities for you.

The producer wants to shoot “on location”

It’s not unusual for a producer to be interested in your performance, but want the interview to take place in a location that illustrates what the story is about. After all, television is a visual medium.

A great example that comes to mind is a client who is an expert on how to handle a foreclosure – a timely topic, unfortunately. He traveled around the country to cities with high foreclosure rates, and in each city we got media coverage for him. But in Phoenix, Arizona, the producer didn’t just want a “talking head” interview. She only agreed to do the interview if she could be at a foreclosed property. And of course, it’s up to us to find a suitable location, get permission to film the interview there and provide access for the TV crew when they arrive. After many, many phone calls to put it all together, the location was finalized, permission was obtained, and the client’s TV interview was confirmed. In fact, it turned out to be one of the client’s best interviews.

So when planning your pitch for television, it’s a good idea to think about where your story will best be told. You would be wise to research all the details of the location and offer an on-site segment as part of your pitch. For example, if you are an expert on bridge safety, you might want to present shows in those cities with older or problematic bridges and offer a location on or near the bridge to illustrate your message.

Visuals are a must

If the three most important words in real estate are “location, location, location,” in television they are “visual, visual, visual.” Even if it’s an in-studio segment, the producer will be more inclined to book you as a guest if you can provide visuals as part of your interview. These can be props that are part of your message or even graphics to illustrate your message. Two examples come to mind when we had to do a lot of extra work to close the deal with the manufacturer.

One example involved a producer of a national television show who was very interested in a segment we were running related to “Dog Adoption Month.” But the producer only wanted our client if she could bring 10 to 15 shelter dogs with her. Talk about logistics! My staff called animal shelters all over New York, New Jersey and Long Island and finally found one that wanted to work with us. The shelter agreed to find 10 shelter dogs that they knew were compatible with each other and wouldn’t fight on set, bring them to the studio at the designated time, and provide kennels to keep them in during the time when they are there. In the process of our call, we also found a second shelter who brought a “pet-mobile” into the studio and parked it outside for the day. It was a huge amount of work for my team, but it really paid off for the client. At the end of the segment, the host invited people to come down to the studio and adopt a cat or dog on the spot. Many turned up and it was a huge success for everyone!

Another example has to do with the many cookbook authors we’ve represented over the years. If you’ve written a cookbook and want to promote it, it’s best to be prepared to cook on air, especially if the station has a studio kitchen. Be prepared to prepare your signature dish, or at the very least, display all the ingredients measured, cut and ready to go, followed by the triumphant presentation of the finished masterpiece. You may even need to arrange (and pay) a kitchen “stylist” to create the lavish spread that the show’s producer may require, especially when dealing with national shows.

It’s a package

What I recommend is to get creative…watch TV shows for ideas. Before you write your TV pitch, preview the segment in your mind—think about which locations, props, and actions would be most interesting to the show’s audience.

What I can promise you is that if your story is entertaining and makes for an interesting and informative segment, with clearly planned details, TV producers will be much more inclined to invite you on. Producers appreciate segments that are fully planned, and if you can’t deliver the goods, they won’t waste a minute before moving on to the next candidate who has their segment “packaged” and camera-ready!

Good luck and have fun!

#Planning #book #commercial #sending #press #release

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