Secrets to Getting Booked on TV Talk Shows – Don’t Make These Mistakes

The following is an excerpt from my book, The Insider’s Guide To Media Training.

There are many reasons why people fail to get booked on top talk shows, lifestyle programs, and news broadcasts. The secrets that I’m about to share with you are the prescription for avoiding that failure. Understanding these three things when pitching media will lift your personal brand from obscurity to success and gain recognition and credibility with the clients and customers you wish to serve.

The Three Biggest Mistakes that Derail Your Media Results.

Let’s start with the problem. The reason you’re not getting that crucial media attention is that, like most people (even the pros who should know better), you’re making not just one, but two or even three big mistakes. And it only takes one to kill your chances of media success:

#1. You Don’t Think Like a Producer. Too many times, you’re looking at your pitch from your perspective, which is “I want a TV interview,” vs. the producer’s perspective, which is “Why would I want to interview you?” The producer is not there to help you achieve your goal, UNLESS you can make it a shared goal. The producer needs a story, and if you pitch one that is newsworthy, you have found that shared goal. When you adopt the producer mindset – when you can offer them something that will meet their own needs – then you will be able to create a pitch with the greatest chance of being broadcast.

#2. You Don’t Have an Angle (or Media Hook) for Your Story. Every story needs an angle or frankly, you don’t have a newsworthy story. You can’t simply pitch the opening of a new business and expect to get coverage just because it’s “new.” There has to be some kind of story angle, some bit of added information to catch the interest or make the opening special (i.e. “Before this veterinary clinic opened, the closest one was 100 miles away, so this is a needed service for the community.”)

#3. Your Story is Too Commercial. If you’re pitching a story that’s all about “you” or all about “your product,” then it’s just not going to fly with a producer. It has to be more universal than just a promotional piece. Even though the goal is to get media exposure for you or your product, unless your product is groundbreaking (like you’ve invented teleportation so you can “Beam me up, Scotty”), then you need to find a way to weave your product, service or brand into the story in a problem/solution story angle formula so that it’s almost incidental. For example, if you’re away from home, but don’t need to answer the door, the Ring Video Doorbell lets you answer the door from anywhere with your smartphone. It’s a great product that solves a problem.

So now that I’ve identified the three biggest mistakes, here are three easy fixes/rules for increasing your results in getting booked on TV:

  • Think like a producer.
  • Your story must have an irresistible angle or media hook (and always deliver the story angle you pitch).
  • Being overly commercial with your pitch will kill the story.

So what constitutes a good story to a producer or reporter? The number one secret to booking a TV interview is simply to pitch them an irresistible story angle. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time (and theirs).

I hope you’ve learned some valuable information from this excerpt from my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, available on Amazon. In the book, I share lots of behind-the-scenes insider secrets on how to get booked on television shows that even P.R. pros don’t know. Also, if you provide media training services to your clients, this is a great guide to tips on how to ace on-camera interviews.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Marianne Schwab is the author of The Insider’s Guide to Media Training and the go-to broadcast media expert to show you how to get booked on TV and ace your on-camera interview. Her producer credits include Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, Runaway with the Rich & Famous, E! Entertainment Television ON E! Specials, and many more. She has worked in broadcast for over 25 years and is currently the Executive Producer for CMP Media Cafe — a company specializing in broadcast public relations where she provides customized media training services for clients.

Copyright © 2017 by Marianne Schwab. Excerpt reprinted with Permission. All Rights Reserved.

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