Archive for the ‘Broadcast Public Relations’ Category

Five Biggest Satellite Media Tour Mistakes and How to Fix Them

September 13, 2017

Clients invest a significant amount of a public relations budget into a satellite media tour (SMT) and campaign but it can fall apart if they make big mistakes in the planning process. I’ve been producing SMTs for over twenty years so I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, and have come up with a list of the five biggest satellite media tour mistakes I’ve encountered over the years with tips on how to fix them. These missteps can be easily avoided and turned into successful broadcast media exposure for your brand, product, or service.

Remote Satellite Media Tour (SMT)

#1 – Choosing the Wrong Spokesperson. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen clients make is engaging the services of the “wrong” expert or celebrity spokesperson – usually because they have not vetted them appropriately for the brand or product they are being asked to represent. If the expert or celebrity has no organic connection to the product, then paying them a big piece of your budget to recite message points just because you like the them (or because they have significant name recognition) is a big mistake. The perfect synergy occurs when the spokesperson really likes the brand, believes in the product, and it’s obvious to viewers in their delivery. Always do your due diligence to determine if a celebrity spokesperson makes sense.

#2 – Not Crafting a Message for a Broadcast Style Interview. It’s a common rookie mistake, but I’ve seen savvy publicity specialists do it, too. They take a written press release (or messaging) which is a crafted P.R. piece full of beautiful prose that sings about the product or brand and then fail to make adjustments from the written word to the spoken word. Not only does the message need to be verbally friendly for it to flow organically off the spokesperson’s tongue, but it also has to be structured and formulated in a way to maximize the message for the short time allotted for the broadcast interview (generally two-and-a-half to three minutes).

In addition to the spoken message points, there is often little or no thought given to the visual elements needed to support the story and if these assets exist. Television is a visual medium and producers love great video, photos, and the right product demos to make the interview come alive so it’s not just “talking heads.” Also, with a celebrity spokesperson, stations will want to ask a question or two outside of their spokesperson duties so planning for those questions and incorporating them into the overall timing of the message is imperative. At CMP Media Cafe, we provide complimentary message point scripts for every satellite media tour. Clients and newsrooms love the results.

#3 – Failing to Create a Suggested Script. You’ve prepared an amazing message for your spokesperson but if you don’t provide the stations with a suggested script, you could be courting disaster. Your best opportunity to control the message from the other side of the camera lies in providing a suggested script to the producer. We find that approximately 90% of stations will use our suggested script for SMTs since their schedules are so hectic with day-to-day activities that they value the assistance to structure the segment if it is written in the proper newscast or program style. That’s where CMP Media Cafe excels since we’ve been crafting television segments for over twenty years. The script format includes a suggested anchor lead, suggested questions, suggested anchor tag, along with suggested lower third supers to identify the spokesperson and information on the corporate client who is providing the segment to be FCC compliant.

#4 – Thinking Your Spokesperson Doesn’t Need Media Training. Depending on your spokesperson’s background or expertise, not all media experience is the same. Actors, celebrities, and experts also don’t have experience with the client’s specific messaging so they need to be professionally media trained so that they ace the on-camera interview(s) for the client. And just because they have a show on the air and are “media savy,” does not mean they’re prepared for satellite media tours. Also, nothing will kill your spokesperson’s on-camera credibility more than verbal fossils (i.e. “ah,” “um,” “uh,” “well,” “so,” “you know,” “er,” and “like” ).  They are distracting, weaken the message, and frankly, make the spokesperson sound bad. As with other nervous habits, they’re probably not aware that they do them.

Finally, media training just for the client message is NOT the same as media training for broadcast interviews that will work for newsroom producers and that’s why you need to hire a media trainer who’s had control room experience and understands how to tone down client messaging that won’t cause a station to bail on the interview because it’s “too commercial.” We have a blog post on five questions to ask about media training your spokesperson before your next SMT so you should definitely check it out. You’ll want to protect your investment in the SMT and spokesperson to maximize your on-air success and achieve your brand awareness goals by adding media training as part of your overall budget. Fees vary from $3,000 to $10,000 depending on the media trainer, length of the training, and if you are using a TV studio to get your spokesperson comfortable on the set, speaking to camera, and familiar with fielding questions via the IFB.

#5 – Not Leveraging the SMT Media Splash with Marketing and Social Media Campaigns. Unfortunately, the marketing and publicity departments don’t always synergize their campaigns. I’ve been confused about this disconnect for years since it seems like a no-brainer. Most pros know that consumers need approximately seven exposures to a product before they make a buying decision and that comes from many fronts including TV, radio, online, and print. Planning your satellite media tour to coincide with a brand advertising and marketing campaign is the best way to create media buzz. Then leverage online interviews with social media and you’ve created the perfect storm of media exposure And the best part? Editorial interviews from your SMT provide brand credibility that no amount of advertising can buy but the two working together synergistically make a lasting mark in the minds of consumers.

So that’s my list of the five biggest SMT mistakes. To make sure all your “t’s” are crossed and your “i’s” are dotted on your satellite media tour, just follow our checklist.

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. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.

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Comedians “Trick” TV Show Into Booking Them As ‘Fitness Experts’ and Then Get Sued By Station

August 4, 2017

I don’t know. Forgive me, but I actually think comedians, Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, were quite brilliant and inventive with their publicity strategy to promote their comedy by booking a segment as a “Strongman Duo” named Chop and Steele on “Hello, Wisconsin,” a news program in Eau Claire, last November. In fact, they are a hilarious as they demonstrate a variety of bizarre fitness tips including tennis racket sword fights.

Here’s a clip of the segment:

[Segment on “Hello, Wisconsin” with “Chop & Steele.”]

I’m shocked and confused that the station, WEAU-TV, and producers did not roll with it and weave it into the segment that this comedic team were not fitness experts at all, which was rather obvious, but comedians and you can catch there show at “XYZ Local Venue.”

Nope. It is appalling to me that the owners of this Wisconsin TV station are suing these two comedians and accusing them of pranking the morning news show by pretending to be fitness experts. But, c’mon. There’s more to this story. According to New York Daily News, Nick Prueher shared that “We hated doing promotional appearances on morning shows as ourselves so we thought it would be funny and interesting to see if we could book fake people (or characters) on these morning shows.”

In fact, Prueher thought the segments were more fun than if they just promoted their regular gig, The Found Footage Festival, a touring show of strange and unusual videos, as themselves. Well, the “Strongman Duo” concept was a very successful pitch and they managed to get booked as “Chop and Steele” on seven morning shows.

I think they’re right. This is a terrific (and laugh out loud funny) segment and the producers and station owner should lighten up. They could have made a choice to accept the silly and hilarious segment for what it was — comedy. Instead, they’re making a “stink” about it.

Here’s a YouTube video recently posted by Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher regarding this hot mess of legal doo doo and a plea for help to pay for legal bills for this lawsuit with a Go Fund Me page.  I wish them the very best and agree with them. This is a frivilous lawsuit.

[YouTube Video – Plea for Help Fighting the Lawsuit]

To read more about this story,  read the full story here.

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 and offers one-on-on Media Coaching (@VIP_MediaCoach) for clients including experts, authors, corporate executives and cl.

Rachael Ray Show Looking For Experts To Book As Guests for How-To Segments – Here’s What You Need to Know

June 22, 2017

I love the Rachael Ray Show.  It’s one of the best daytime lifestyle talk shows on the air.  I love that it is positive.  I love that I get great tips and solutions for everyday problems.  I love that it inspires me. And….did I mention how much I love the easy to make (and delicious) recipes?  You see, I’m not just a TV producer but a viewer but I do learn how to be better at what I do by studying one of the best lifestyle talk shows on the air.  You should study to it, too, because it could give you a wealth of ideas of how to create story angles and media hooks to get you or your client booked on one of the hottest, most watched, and  entertaining lifestyle talk shows hitting broadcast during the day.

And when you succeed at getting yourself,  brand, or client booked on the Rachael Ray Show, it’s very shareable on social media so that you can really leverage the TV appearance and exposure.  So if you don’t have a direct contact on the show (or a Cision account), just go to their website and submit your idea.  If you make it stand it out (and follow the advice I give in my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training), then you have a good shot at getting yourself or your client booked on the show.  And if you don’t have a P.R. pro representing you, no worries.  The form is very user friendly for experts in food, fashion, beauty, DIY, decor, health, fitness, and more.

So if  you (or your client) have amazing food skills with tips and tricks that can rival one of Rachel’s chefs or maybe you’re a home decor diva who can design anything on a dime, what’s stopping you? Or if all of your friends call you when they are throwing a party or want to re-decorate or people come to you for weight-loss advice and always need your help with nutrition, what’s stopping you?

Also, when it comes to fashion, do people say you are the most stylish in the room, and want you to share your secrets for how you get everything on sale or you’re a skin care expert with fountain of youth beauty secrets or you are the author of a non-fiction book on your expertise and think you have what it takes to be an expert on the Rachael Ray Show, the producers want to hear from you!

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 and offers one-on-on Media Coaching (@VIP_MediaCoach) for clients including experts, authors, corporate executives and cl.

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

June 21, 2017

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.

Looking Good on TV – Part Three (Book Excerpt)

June 2, 2017

TV viewers will size you up quickly and since television is a visual medium, you (or your client) need to make sure you know the basics and the nuances on how to look good on TV — and it’s not just about delivering your message for the media.

In my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, I cover a lot of topics that are all part of the process to polish on-camera interviews.  Looking Good on TV – Part One of my book excerpt covered the basics of wardrobe guidelines for men and women. Looking Good on TVPart Two delved into the details of what colors work best on television and what colors you need to avoid. Now, Looking Good on TVPart Three is all about patterns and prints that work best and the ones to avoid turning your wardrobe into a fashion disaster on camera along with a few final wardrobe tips that will make all the difference in fine tuning your on-camera appearance.

Prints and Patterns that Work Best On Camera. Without the right wardrobe planning, certain prints and patterns can be very difficult to pull off, for a variety of reasons. So always exercise caution when you think you absolutely have to wear a patterned or print dress, blouse, or slacks.

Tiny print patterns (like flowers) are generally safe and flattering, but large prints can add pounds you don’t have because they create optical illusions. Horizontal patterns are infamous for making a person look wide. Generally, stripes are not a good look on camera and shouldn’t be worn.

Prints and Patterns to Avoid On Camera. Patterns that look great in person don’t always translate well on camera. These patterns include pinstripes, chevron, plaid, fine checks, stripes, herringbone, houndstooth and similar patterns that can cause a moiré effect on camera. Small, repetitive patterns, should be avoided.

The moiré effect is a visual perception that occurs when viewing a set of tiny stripes, dots, or checks that are superimposed on another set of lines or dots, and which seem to actually move back and forth or flicker. It is very distracting and not camera-friendly, so stay away from these patterns.

No Logos or Written Words on Clothing. Wearing a logo implies product or brand endorsement so do not wear any clothing with visible commercial logos, unless it is for your own company.

Accessories and Jewelry. If you know about fashion then you know that accessories and jewelry can really bring your look to life, but less is more when it comes to accessorizing what you wear on camera.

When it comes to jewelry, wearing anything too distracting takes the focus off you and off your message. Avoid wearing shiny jewelry or watches since they can catch the light and cause a glare. Also, women should not wear dangly earrings or more than one ring per hand.

Finally, avoid jingly jewelry (especially bracelets) or accessories since the microphones on set are very sensitive and will appear to magnify that noise, which may make it difficult to understand what you are saying. Remove jewelry that moves, makes noise, or could hit your microphone.

Shoes and Socks. Unless you are certain, never assume that your shoes, socks, or stockings won’t be visible in the shot during your interview. Shoes don’t matter that much when they’re not in the shot, but it’s important to wear ones that are appropriate and which cover your feet. Men should wear over-the-calf socks so that if you cross your legs no skin is visible (as the camera may be capturing you from a low angle).

A good way to ensure that you’re on point regarding your on-camera wardrobe is to study the fashion choices worn by talk show hosts and their guests and then mimic the style that suits you best. Do not go trendy for its own sake, unless the style genuinely flatters you.

You may feel like you really aren’t skilled at fashion styling and if that’s the case you should consider investing in a consultation with an image consultant who specializes in on-camera looks. They can help you put a few winning wardrobe pieces together as your go-to outfits for interviews.

If you follow these guidelines they will not only make you look good (and professional) on television, but your well-planned preparation will contribute to a smooth running production (and earn you positive notice from producers who may one day be interested in re-booking you).

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.

 

 

Looking Good on TV – Part Two (Book Excerpt)

June 1, 2017

Viewers will size you up quickly and since TV is a visual medium, you (or your client) need to make sure to look good on TV — and it’s not just about the message. In my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, I cover a lot of topics that are all part of the process to polish on-camera interviews.  Looking Good on TV – Part One of my book excerpt covered the basics of wardrobe guidelines for men and women. Now,  Looking Good on TVPart Two delves into the colors that work best on television and the ones to avoid.

Solid Colors – What Works Best and What to Avoid

Solid colors work best for television, but there are the good, the bad, and the ugly of color choices and that’s why you need to understand some basics about how colors look before the camera, whose lens captures their values and hues very differently than the naked eye does. One advantage to wearing solid colors is that your wardrobe won’t easily become dated since rich, saturated colors never go out of style.

You should choose colors that not only flatter your skin tone and hair color, but also work well on camera. In 1987, color consultant Carole Jackson, wrote Color Me Beautiful, a book that has become the gold standard for determining which colors work best for you. The book is still available through Amazon.   When it comes to color, you should also consider the set design of the show you’ll be appearing on since you don’t want to disappear into the background, but nor do you want to stand out from it in a way that is distracting.

Solid Colors that Work Best On Camera

Jewel tones are all the rage right now but make sure you choose a color that looks great on you, not just the hanger. The colors near your face will either drain you of life or highlight your best features, like your eyes, on camera. There’s a palette of colors that look best on each of us and look especially great on video. Go to MediaTrainingGuide.com and download my quick wardrobe tips that show you a palette of colors that the camera loves.

The safest color on TV is blue but there are many shades of blue and if you’re on a blue screen, then you should avoid this color in any shade.

Pastel shirts or muted colors work well on camera, but do require some caution since they may wash out if they are too soft and can appear more white than their actual color. One useful tip is that pastel colors layered with darker solids like suit jackets will not appear washed out. In fact, pastel colored shirts or blouses are preferred over white since there is no extreme contrast between the dark solid, but instead provide a flattering layer.

Pastels and jewel tones look good, but do avoid ‘glowing’ colors (i.e. neon, certain hues of blues, purples, and reds). Other good colors include beige, gray, green, brown and blue.

If you want to add visual interest with color, try layering two jewel tones in the same color family or two colors that complement each other. Another option is to layer a solid on top of a pattern to mute its effect on camera.

Solid Colors to Avoid On Camera

Certain solids should be avoided or worn with caution because they can be a little tricky. These are colors which the camera is particularly prone to capturing in a wonky way, or which create issues with lighting. Four colors to avoid are all white, black, red, and purple.

  • White: Solid white should be avoided whether it’s a suit, dress, jacket, blouse, shirt or pants. Why? It’s all about lighting. White glows and becomes the most noticeable thing on the TV screen and certain combinations with other solid colors in your attire will create a contrast of light and dark colors (i.e. black and white, dark blue and white, etc.) that make the camera lens go crazy (and the director of photography bonkers). Exceptions do exist and most often involve a chef’s uniform or doctor’s white lab jacket, but this is the general rule. Off white, cream, beige, soft yellow, light blue are colors that can all give a soft, lighter look without blowing out the lighting.
  • Black: Black isn’t a complete “no-no,” but you need to be careful when you wear it. Be aware that if you’re wearing an outfit that is solid black, that black will suck up all the light, causing your body to become invisible against many studio backdrops. So you certainly want to avoid wearing a black shirt under a black suit jacket, but you can wear a jewel or pastel tone shirt underneath as long as it’s not high contrast. Like whites, exceptions do apply and black can look good on camera, but it usually requires good lighting and makeup to add life back to your complexion. If you want to wear a dark color, navy is a better choice. Dark browns and blues are fine alone or combined with pastel colors or jewel tones. Women can also can accessorize with a colorful scarf to avoid an all black look.
  • Red, Purple & Orange: Certain shades of bright red can appear glowing orange and bleed on camera, so if you do wear red, make sure you choose a shade that is blue based rather than yellow based. Also, HDTV has largely solved the “purple” problem, but it’s still a tricky color for cameras to capture authentically. You’ll find your purple dress, blouse, or tie will look blue. Darker shades of red, purple, and orange usually work best.
  • Green: You only need to avoid wearing any shade of green (including some shades of blue) when you are working with a green screen and the control room is keying in the set background.

So that sums up what colors work best and the colors to avoid when it comes to making wardrobe decisions for on-camera interviews, but equally important are fabric patterns.

Our next post?  Tune in for Looking Good on TV – Part Three for essential info on prints and patterns that work best on TV and how to avoid on-camera fashion disasters.

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.

 

Looking Good on TV – Part One (Book Excerpt)

May 31, 2017

In my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, I cover a lot of topics that are all part of the process to polish on-camera interviews.  Viewers will size you up quickly and since TV is a visual medium, you (or your client) need to make sure to look good on TV — and it’s not just about the message.

As you focus on your verbal delivery, mastering the art of conveying your unique knowledge with assurance and ease, you must at the same time never forget that your appearance is equally critical for success on television.  In this series of blog posts, I’m sharing a chapter from my book, so here is Looking Good on TV (Part One).

For any appearance on camera, you must take complete control over every detail of your personal appearance with appropriate wardrobe choices, professional makeup and hair, and a vocal delivery that exudes confidence. It’s all part of your on-camera package, and will even precede your message in making that first impression with a television audience ready to size you up in a matter of seconds.

People shouldn’t judge you by your appearance, but they will. You’ve heard it said that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. When television viewers first see you on camera on their favorite TV talk show or in a newscast, they make an initial judgment in the first four seconds and that judgment is finalized largely within 30 seconds (or less). Everything contributing to the way you look on camera is important and if it’s not helping you, it’s, unfortunately, hurting you. A first impression can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo so you must set a favorable tone from the first moment viewers see and hear you.

Wardrobe Guidelines for On-Camera Talent

Your wardrobe choices are a major factor in controlling how you appear and appeal to viewers. As a producer, I have a keen sense of what clothes look best on camera and what clothes are a fashion disaster. A little wardrobe planning, including perhaps some professional guidance about what works and what doesn’t work on camera, can go a long way toward helping you craft a look that projects the confidence and trustworthiness needed to get your message through to viewers.

In order to choose the best wardrobe for your interviews, let’s take a general look at style, color, prints and pattern, fabric, jewelry, accessories, and shoes, and review some miscellaneous do’s and don’ts.

Style for Men and Women

You certainly want to make a good first impression with a quality wardrobe when you appear on camera, but that does not mean that you have to invest thousands of dollars in designer clothes. In fact, a few simple guidelines can lead to smart choices in quality garments that will make you look like a million bucks without investing a small fortune.

Style – Men. Whether you are a CEO, chef, or a Hollywood animal trainer, you should choose the right attire that fits your profession, position, and your company culture. Not all CEOs wear suits and not all animal trainers wear khaki shorts and even if you do, you should evaluate how that attire will look on camera and make adjustments to favorably portray your personal brand.

For most men in professional careers, a wwell-fittedsuit is an obvious choice. Black and dark blue suits work best and you will need to pay attention not just to the patterns and color of your shirt, but the tie as well. Avoid vests because they are outdated and tend to look a little stuffy on TV.

Men should have about an inch of their shirt cuff showing past their suit sleeves. Sometimes a trendy style may read well in certain situations, but it can look ridiculous on camera or simply not flatter you.

Style – Women. Women have many choices when it comes to fashionable attire but if you remember this simple rule, it’ll take you a long way: If it doesn’t flatter you, do not wear it. I don’t care if it’s the hottest new trend, do not wear it.

Lately, I’ve noticed a huge trend for female on-air personalities, hosts, and anchors to wear sleeveless dresses and blouses — even in the middle of winter. This can be a good look if your upper arms are toned and tanned, but it can be very unflattering if you do not work out or are a tad overweight. Also, you have to apply body makeup on your arms. Just because it’s trendy doesn’t mean you have to wear it.

I personally think that it’s better to dress with classic pieces that have timeless value. The investment you make in your wardrobe will go further as a result and you can think in terms of building on your wardrobe instead of replacing it the moment the fashion trends turn. Obviously, if your expertise is fashion, then you need to make a more personalized decision to reflect your profession, but for the “rest of us,” it’s best to find outfits that flatter what we have to work with. That said, one way to determine how to dress for your interview is to take note of what on-air talent tends to wear and modify it to your personal style and profession.

 

Our next post? What colors work best on TV and the colors to avoid.

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.

How Much Does Product Placement Cost? Infographic Provides an Easy Overview

May 30, 2017

Have you ever wondered about how product placements work on television shows and in movies? If you have seen a brand product in a TV show or film, you can bet that it’s no accident and that there was a deal done to get that product placed in the scene.

Well, my company, CMP Media Cafe, helps our clients, brands, and services, get featured in broadcast media via television talk shows, lifestyle programs, newscasts, and radio. We use earned media placements and integrated marketing strategies including sponsored content, but there are many other ways to get featured inside of episodic programs, daytime shows, and even films via product placement.

The costs for product placement are like comparing apples to oranges since there are so many variables, each brand has different goals, and each production has different offerings.  In fact, there is not one single strategy or rate card for what the budget investment will be since each production is unique in its content creator team, distributor, cast and of course, storyline.

However, Hollywood Branded has created an at-a-glance infographic along with an informative blog post that will give you an overview of all that is involved in product placement costs, including single one-offs to comprehensive programs.   Read more about how much product placements cost.

Infographic Courtesy of Hollywood Branded.

So, if you want to learn more about to get your brand or client featured on television, feel free to connect with me and we can explore the best strategies to help you achieve results.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four Things You Must Know Before You Pitch a TV Talk Show or News Program

May 24, 2017

One of the biggest mistakes that P.R. pros make when it comes to pitching TV talk show, lifestyle and news format program is that they don’t think like a television producer or reporter. In fact, this single issue is the key to success when it comes to increasing your results that land your client on the air.

Here is an excerpt from my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, that outlines the four things you must know before you pitch:

Your interview booking success rate will take a curve upward when you study and understand the differences among the talk shows and news programs you pitch to with your media alert. In addition to everything else that we discussed so far, this is one of the biggest secrets to getting booked on TV and if you skip this step, your efforts will tank. Here are four things you absolutely must know before you pitch to a television producer.

#1. Know the Show You’re Pitching. When I was a producer on daytime talk shows, I think one of the most annoying aspects of my job was when I would receive pitches from publicists (and other professionals who should know better) that had no clue what the show was about. I’d often find that I was getting pitched a Jerry Springer Show sort of segment when I was working on a light celebrity interview and how-to-segment driven show, Live with Regis & Kathie Lee. Some shows showcase doom and gloom, but others opt for fun and fluff so don’t get egg on your face and ruin a valuable relationship with a producer by wasting their time with a pitch that is not suited for their show.

I remember many times during my days as a producer that a publicist managed to get me on the phone and then proceeded with a pitch that was not appropriate for our show format. I’d ask them if they watched the show I produced. They would usually respond with, “No, I work during the day so I cannot watch your show.” I’m sorry, but that’s no excuse since this was when it was already quite easy to record programs. A day job should never have prevented a professional publicist from studying the show they pitched in hopes of getting their client booked as a guest.

There are many reasons to understand the different types of talk shows when you want to pitch your idea to producers. The number one reason is that you don’t want to waste their time if the story angle you’re pitching is not appropriate for their show.

You can go to my website at MediaTrainingGuide.com and get a free bonus containing a downloadable list of current national network and syndicated talk shows, with short descriptions of the shows and links to their websites, to make this easy for you. When you are forging your media plan, you should make a point of watching at least one to two episodes of the shows you feel would be a good fit for you and your message.

#2. Know the Format of the Show You’re Pitching. Talk shows and lifestyle programs come in all shapes and sizes. There are LIVE daily shows, taped shows, tape delayed shows, shows that tape daily, shows that tape two shows a day for three days straight, hour-long shows, half-hour-long shows, celebrity driven shows, issue driven shows, segment driven shows, trailer trash shows, and the list goes on and on.

In addition, you should know the length of the show. Is it thirty minutes, sixty minutes, ninety minutes, or two hours? There are some morning news programs that are four hours long. You should also take a look at the type of stories the show is producing based on the hour of the day. For example, the national morning shows tend to focus more on hard news stories in their first hour and then lighten it up in the second hour. If they have a third hour, they’ll typically make that hour more lifestyle oriented, but those are not steadfast rules so you need to really study each show carefully.

#3. Know the Audience of the Show You’re Pitching. The variety of talk shows in the marketplace is reason enough why you should clearly know the show your pitching – its scope, its nuances, not to mention the ever-changing formats. The shows also have different viewer demographics, and producers are under constant pressure to appeal to their particular audience of viewers, whether they be career professionals watching before commuting to work, stay at home moms, etc. Also, keep in mind that viewers in today’s world include people tuning in on multiple devices such as mobile phones, tablets, iPads, laptops, and desktops. Then segments from the show are often shared via social media.

#4. Know Who To Pitch. After you have all your ducks in a row it finally comes down to knowing who to pitch at a show. In general, your best bet is going to be to get the name of a producer. This is where it gets tricky because it’s getting more and more difficult to find out who’s who, but I have an easy secret. Every Friday, most shows run long credits that include their entire staff. Set your DVR to record the Friday programs and then review it to write down the names of producers. Now, you may have to do a little Googling to figure out email addresses, but you can always send your pitch via snail mail as a start to the mailing address of the show.

Finally, do not mass mail every producer on the show. Start with one and if you don’t get a response or can’t get them on the phone to pitch them, then move on to the next name. Keep pitching until you get an answer. Never give up because sometimes even with a good pitch, it’s just a matter of timing. I used to hold on to good pitches and when the “stars aligned,” we’d book the segment.

I hope you’ve learned a lot from this excerpt from my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, available on Amazon. In the book, I share 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.

P.R. Pros Should Know the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics

May 22, 2017

Are you familiar with the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics? I recently participated in a Twitter chat with SPJ and ethics were the topic of the discourse. The current version of the SPJ Code of Ethics was adopted by the 1996 SPJ National Convention, after months of study and debate among the Society’s members. Sigma Delta Chi’s first Code of Ethics was borrowed from the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1926.

The SPJ Code of Ethics is voluntarily embraced by thousands of journalists, regardless of place or platform, and is widely used in newsrooms and classrooms as a guide for ethical behavior. The code is intended not as a set of “rules” but as a resource for ethical decision-making. It is not — nor can it be under the First Amendment — legally enforceable. I personally believe that anyone who works for the media or with the media should review this and have it “tatooed” on their forehead. Well, not literally, of course, but certainly figuratively.

Although the SPJ Code of Ethics is required study for most students of journalism and professionals working in the press, I question whether or not many journalists are living by this code based on what I see on daily on network and cable TV news reports (and online outlets) that lack balance and often use sound bites out of context in a way that screams bias.

Since public relations is the source of many news stories, the SBJ Code of Ethics should be adopted by all P.R. Pros who work with the press to maintain journalistic integrity. For easy reference, we’re sharing the code here and you can download the SPJ Code of Ethics as a PDF Poster and even a Bookmark on their website. This is a great resource to have handy in your office.

The SPJ Code of Ethics

PREAMBLE:  Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility. Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society’s principles and standards of practice.

SEEK TRUTH AND REPORT IT:  Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information. Journalists should:

  • Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
  • Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
  • Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.
  • Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.
  • Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
  • Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.
  • Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it.
  • Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public.
  • Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story.
  • Never plagiarize.
  • Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
  • Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.
  • Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
  • Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
  • Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
  • Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.
  • Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.
  • Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.

 

ACT INDEPENDENTLY: Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know. Journalists should:

  • Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
  • Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
  • Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
  • Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
  • Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
  • Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
  • Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.

 

BE ACCOUNTABLE:  Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other. Journalists should:

  • Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.
  • Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
  • Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
  • Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.
  • Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.

 

MINIMIZE HARM:  Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect. Journalists should:

  • Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage.
  • Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
  • Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
  • Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort.
  • Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
  • Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about
  • themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention.
  • Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
  • Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
  • Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.
  • Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.
  • Balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed.

Here’s to the integrity of all journalistic endeavors.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe