Archive for the ‘Broadcast Television’ Category

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.

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 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.

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 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

Checklist for a Successful Satellite Media Tour Production

May 17, 2017

Satellite Media Tours (SMTs) have been around for several decades and even with all the new bells and whistles in the P.R. tool box, they are still one of the most effective ways to make a big media splash with TV (and radio with the SMT/RMT hybrid) in a five-hour span of time.

CMP Media Cafe SMT on location in Oahu.

An SMT is a series of pre-booked interviews conducted via satellite with a spokesperson in one city and television station reporters in selected cities across the country. The spokesperson speaks from one location in our Los Angeles or New York studio (or any studio or location in the country or around the world) and we electronically switch the spokesperson in sequence from one station to another, conducting live or taped one-on-one interviews with local reporters. In essence, a spokesperson can visit 15-to-25 cities in a matter of hours and this gives your company immediate access to the news media.

Once you’ve determined the basics for your SMT including your story angle, spokesperson, and have a booked tour, here are a few tips to guarantee a successful satellite media tour.

The Day Before the SMT – Checklist

The devil is in the details and the day before the tour is all about the spokesperson and a studio set check.

For the Spokesperson. There are five essential items that you need to do prior to the SMT. If you haven’t addressed these key ingredients prior to this date, this is the final opportunity.

  • Invest in Media Training.  I highly recommend a media training session. You are investing a significant amount of budget into the SMT and going that little extra on the budget is like insurance. Even if you have an experienced spokesperson or celebrity, they need to prep for THIS message. Not convinced? We have five questions to ask about media training that are a must read. We offer media training services. In fact, I’ve even written a book on it: The Insider’s Guide to Media Training.
  • Discuss Wardrobe Options.  There are specific rules for dressing for television so do not rely on your spokesperson to “show up” in a wardrobe you find pleasing or that represents your brand. There is a lot to this topic so please download this free wardrobe and make-up tip sheet that I offer as a bonus to readers of The Insider’s Guide to Media Training.
  • Confirm a Professional Make-Up Artist. We provide a professional make-up artist for all of our SMTs as part of our package. You need someone who understands the art of applying make-up for TV since it is different from other specialties. We work pros who have provided services for A-list celebrities, but if you have a celebrity spokesperson, they may want to hire a specific make-up artist so definitely ask them well before the date of the SMT if this is a preference. Also, make sure you confirm the rate for a specific make-up artist since the rate may exceed the “going rate” for SMTs and that budget needs to be approved so you’re not dealing with any surprise overages.
  • Prepare Cue Cards for Main Message Points. Even the most experienced spokespersons occasionally need to reference cue cards. In the situation of an SMT, there is a lot of deja vu happening when a spokesperson repeats the same interview up to 25 times so cue cards should be prepared to help guide them. I like to recommend that the spokesperson prepares their own since they are working with the messaging in their own words, but it is essential that these are CUE cards and NOT the script on cue cards. You can also work with them to provide them if they do not want this responsibility. You don’t need special materials for this. It’s easy to just print them out on a regular paper (use Landscape/Horizontal printing).
  • Ask About Catering Requests. Our SMTs always include a catered hot breakfast and in the era of “special needs eaters,” don’t forget to ask your spokesperson if they any special requests (or dietary restrictions) for catering. You don’t want a cranky spokesperson because they’re missing their favorite breakfast food or latte. Communicate any special requests to your SMT producer.

Visit the Studio and Set.  If the set has special requirements including props, always visit the studio and approve the set the day before the tour. This is generally done in the late afternoon (between 3pm to 5pm) since the studio will have other projects using the space prior to that time. Your SMT producer can make special arrangements, if needed, for earlier access. Make sure that any imperative props that are shipped arrive two days before the SMT and always have a contingency plan. If it is not an option to visit the set, request that the producer email photos of the set to you in advance so they can make any adjustments in advance (if necessary).

Plan On an Early Night.  Most SMTs require a 5:00am or 6:00am arrival or call time (that’s on the East Coast) and three hours earlier for the West Coast, so plan for an early night so you’re well rested. Also, confirm a car service or know your route the studio in advance.


The SMT Production Day – Checklist

If you have done your work the day before, then the day of production is an easy one so you can arrive at the studio, greet the spokesperson and while they’re in make-up, you can grab your breakfast in the green room.

Brief the Spokesperson. While the talent is make-up, take the opportunity to review the messaging for the day and ask them if they have any final questions. If you have new information that may help them (like a breaking news story reporters may ask about), prepare them with an appropriate response and way to pivot back to messaging.

Set the Cue Cards. Work with the producer to get the cue cards set for the Spokesperson for messaging. If a teleprompter is available, we put the info regarding the name of the anchor, station, and market so that the Spokesperson has an opportunity to personalize each interview. If a teleprompter is not an option, the small cue cards will do the trick and the cameraman will usually change them out between interviews.

Technical Rehearsal. I always schedule a technical rehearsal with the spokesperson at least 25 minutes before our first SMT interview (or hit). This gives the talent an opportunity to get warmed up and the control room can fine tune any tape roll-ins so that the b-roll will match the messaging or camera operators are clear on what their framing will be (if it’s a two camera SMT). Finally, this is your chance to help the spokesperson polish any final messaging. Watch their body language and make sure they are not slouching, fidgeting, or touching their hair (or other nervous gestures) and make them aware of it so they can self-correct.

Pay Attention to Each Interview.   It’s very easy to get distracted during a long SMT with emails and other business, but don’t do it. Follow along with each interview since no one knows the messaging better than you do and if the Spokesperson gets off message or gets thrown a curve ball with an interview, be ready to assist with any redirection. Keep in mind that your attitude and energy will directly impact your spokesperson, so supportive and excited when relaying feedback on messaging. It’s also best to have only one person in charge of communicating feedback so that the Spokesperson does not get rattled by too many voices. Determine with the SMT Producer how you want to handle this in advance. High energy is a must so keep an eye out to ensure the talent doesn’t start to fade or lose any steam in the middle of a tour. Finally, take notes about particularly good interviews that you may want to get as airchecks.

Document and Share on Social.   Take the opportunity to take lots of photos and short videos for social media channels. Get posed shots as well as some candid looks from behind-the-scenes. Keep it fun and light. You may want to have some tweets and posts preplanned and in your back pocket as well as short video tweet ideas (think in 9 seconds or less), snapchats, and Facebook live with a sneak peek behind-the-scenes in real-time. Promote the live events the day before and, if you’re working with a celebrity, ask for questions in advance and they’ll answer them live on social. Help prepare some witty responses, where appropriate, that weaves in a short plug for your product. Integrating social media into the mix adds even more value to the SMT. You may want to wait until you get your final SMT rundown until you schedule the social media and then plug it into the schedule, but be sure you let your SMT producer know you need this scheduled in.

Stay Calm and Carry On. There are a lot of moving parts during the SMT and even the best-planned events can have a wrinkle or two. If you’re working with a professional team, they’ll handle any unexpected events in a calm fashion.

If you’re considering an SMT for your client or brand, please feel free to contact me at CMP Media Cafe for a free consultation regarding your project.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe




Want More Earned Broadcast Media? You Need to Know What a Producer Really Does Each Day.

April 27, 2017

Before I started working as a producer to help Fortune 500 companies and the public relations agencies who represent them create newsworthy story angles to get media exposure, I worked on the inside of daytime talk TV as a producer for infotainment and entertainment format shows. My career started in New York at ABC-TV and then I moved to Los Angeles where I also worked for ABC in addition to other networks including E! Entertainment Television.

Regis Philbin and Marianne Schwab: I was recently reunited with Regis Philbin on the set of Hallmark’s Home & Family when he was in Los Angeles guest hosting the show. I was a Segment Producer for Regis in New York and also produced his travel feature on the Orient Express for “Runaway with the Rich & Famous.”

Since I started producing broadcast public relations twenty years ago, I gotta tell you that not much has changed regarding the basics of how shows are produced. Oh, sure, there’s been a digital revolution and the technology is very different, but except for “email,” producers STILL get faxes, receive snail mail, and the anatomy of a television segment has remained the same. Content is still king.

The Segment Producer Drives the Content of Most Shows. There is a lot involved in making TV segments entertaining and informative and it revolves around the Segment Producer.  Under-standing their world will help you to develop better pitches for your client or product and increase your ability to get you or your client booked with earned media interviews.


There are many types of producers in television but the primary producer you will work with is usually the Segment Producer. Most shows have two to ten Segment Producers depending on the type of show (and unless you have a direct contact at a newsroom, you’ll want to contact the Assignment Desk, which will vet your pitch for producers).

“Glamorous” Behind-The-Scenes Photo: At my desk — working for Regis. Michael Gelman’s desk was to my left.

When I was a Segment Producer on talk shows and lifestyle programs, I would field tons of media pitches each week from publicists, book authors, business people, and professional experts wanting a shot at getting featured on my show.

The Segment Producer puts the television segment together from beginning to end, starting with weeding through hundreds of media pitches each week to determine what will make the most entertaining segments for their show. They will then take the very best story ideas and pitch them to the Executive Producer (and/or possibly the Supervising Producer), who will ultimately decide if a segment pitch makes it on the air.

What Happens When the Pitch is Approved. Once a segment is green-lighted by the Executive Producer, the Segment Producer will contact the person who pitched the segment to get more information and schedule the date. They will schedule a pre-interview with the guest to determine the best way to approach the segment, write the segment intro or suggested anchor lead, and prepare the questions the host will ask so that the story flows logically and organically.

Additionally, Segment Producers must ensure that all of the props are collected and delivered to the set, arrange for a field crew to shoot appropriate video to support or enhance the segment, and work with an editor to cut appropriate video clips from the field video (or promotional clips of the movie or TV show for celebrity guests) that will drive the segment for in-studio interviews.

Now, after I booked a guest for the shows I produced, I would work directly with the publicist and the guest to structure a three-to-five minute segment with the goal of making it informative, entertaining, and fun – the pleasing cocktail known as info-tainment. Then, prior to the guest’s appearance, we would go over how the segment would work (or flow) and I would media train them so that when they got in front of the camera with the show’s host, they aced the interview, product demo, or cooking demo (note that demos would always involve a rehearsal before the show).

Marianne Schwab and Jack Canfield. Discussing my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, with one of the best-selling authors of all time, Jack Canfield.

One of my primary goals as a producer (then and now) is to make sure every guest looks and does their best on TV, since failure is not an option on LIVE television and my reputation as a producer (and often, my job) is on the line. Many Executive Producers (my bosses) were known to say, “You’re only as good as your last segment.” That comment has motivated me to keep producing the highest quality throughout my career and also help on-air talent and spokespersons fine tune their on-camera appearances with my media training services. In fact, my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, was just published and has detailed strategies for acing interviews.

It takes a lot of preparation to make things look spontaneous on camera and, yes, nothing happens on a program without planning it, but we did manage to pull off a few surprises for celebrity guests that were genuine and good TV.

Producer’s Insider Tip: Write a suggested Q&A “script” with the suggested intro and suggested tag (along with suggested message points – “suggested” is “key”). This gives the Segment Producer a great starting point and then they’ll tweak the script (or not). Only do this when you’ve studied the show’s style and format since you will only “score points” with this IF you are not writing a “one size fits all” boiler-plate script template. Customize it. The daily life of a Segment Producer is very hectic so if you can lessen their workload by “pre-producing” the segment (and the segment fits their format along with being info-taining), then you’re on your way to building a great working relationship with that producer.

Know Taping Schedules for Shows. When you can, find out the taping schedule for the shows you’re pitching. Some shows tape daily and are LIVE while some tape five shows in two days. On a daily show, there is usually a meeting after the show to discuss the next day’s show (some shows, like Fox & Friends, do a pre-show meeting) and pitch new ideas for upcoming programs. Do not leave messages for producers when they are taping the show or in the daily meeting and do not send them emails during these times (unless you have a breaking news story that is relevant to their show). However, if you can get to them before the daily meeting and your pitch is good, that’s a sweet spot for the producer and then they can pitch it that day.  Time sensitive pitches can happen outside of meetings, but this is a general rule.

The preceding is actually just the short list of how things come together for daily shows, but hopefully, it will give you a quick overview of what is involved in producing a three-to-five minute segment for a television program.  I’m certain that this insider information will help you be more effective when pitching shows.  Best wishes for success!

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

The Future of Journalism? John Oliver Nails It with Humor and Surprising Accuracy

August 10, 2016

I’m probably not the only one who has been dismayed by the lack of true journalism in the media outlets on television, radio, online and in print.  John Oliver has put together a brilliant segment on how the steady collapse of print journalism has affected newsroom decision makers. It also doesn’t miss the overwhelming focus media has today on pushing viral social media content into its broadcasts and online outlets in this recent edition of his program Last Week Tonight.

For years, broadcast television and radio have relied heavily on the hard work of print journalists who sniff out news and break scandals.  TV and radio reporters are not usually the gritty journalists who roll up their sleeves and get the kinds of stories that put Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein on the map.   That’s always been the skill of print journalists at local and national newspapers.

Sure, there have been many credible TV reports that have broken important stories in politics, corporate corruption, and crimes against consumers, but as I sat in many pitch meetings as a producer, our primary sources for story ideas for television programs came from newspapers. magazines, and PR pitches.   Now, digital outlets rely heavily on the newspapers they are quickly replacing and social media as their primary sources.  Is it the death of journalism? Let’s hope not, but you owe it to yourself to invest 20 minutes of your time today to watch John Oliver’s brilliant segment that hits the nail on the head of a profession that is on life support — true journalism.


The satirical movie trailer for Stoplight (spoofing the movie Spotlight) is worth the wait at the end. It’s a very clever and humorous look at the reality of today’s newsrooms.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Digital Media Tours Are a Quick and Easy Way to Reach Your Audience on a Budget

April 21, 2016

You may not have heard about digital media tours, or DMTs, but they are the latest broadcast public relations tool we’ve designed at CMP Media Cafe to help you get substantial media exposure in television, radio and digital online programs. Nothing tells your story like television since it ultimately delivers your video message across multiple digital and social media platforms. Online links to interviews are easy to share on Facebook, Twitter and Instragram shout outs, plus they are often the subject of blog posts and other digital media generating massive exposure and awareness of your message.

DMTs take the satellite media tour, or SMT, generic presentation concept and digitally deliver a pre-recorded two-minute TV segment featuring your book, product, or service directly to meaningful TV markets and radio stations to reach a broadcast audience of over 10 million consumers.

Chef Kirk Leins

How it Works. The DMT package includes complete production and digital distribution of a two-minute TV segment and :60 second audio news release plus a spokesperson interview on a nationally syndicated radio program. The TV segment airs on two national TV programs, Coffee with America and NewsWatch, and five or more local TV lifestyle programs that are strategic for your target markets. The audio news release, ANR, is digitally distributed to local radio stations across the country and we book the spokesperson on Ron Seggi Today, a national radio program syndicated on CRN, USA Radio, and the Armed Forces Network. The audience reach results total over ten million consumer impressions for your DMT package.

Determine if a DMT is a Good Fit. First, we’ll ask you questions about your product and campaign objectives to determine if a DMT is a good fit for your media outreach.

Decide on Local Target Market List. We’ll review TV target markets available that compliment your national or regional product distribution and/or availability and also work with you to identify targeted radio outreach options so that your ANR reaches your ideal audience.

Develop a Story Angle. After we establish that a DMT is the best option, we work with you to develop a balanced story angle that organically positions your product or service as a solution to a problem (or other newsworthy hook).

Write the TV Segment Script. Our Executive Producer, a former network producer who has scripted hundreds of segments for television and radio, will craft and write a two-minute script that seamlessly hits the high notes of your priority message while providing a structure that organically weaves your product into the story angle.

Draft an ANR Script. Based on the TV script, we’ll draft a :60 second audio news release that pulls the most important messaging from your story to deliver to radio listeners across the country.

Identify a Spokesperson. Your DMT spokesperson can be a media savvy lifestyle personality, authority on the topic of your story angle, expert in your industry, or a person who has had a personal experience with the product. If you don’t have a spokesperson, we can provide one of our lifestyle experts if they are a good fit for your message.

Range of Fees. The fees for Digital Media Tours vary based on the type of production and distribution package that works best for your project and whether or not you provide a spokesperson. With our lifestyle expert as your talent, DMTs typically start at $13,500 with a guaranteed audience reach of 10 million impressions and include an Audio News Release (that alone will cost $6,500) and TV production, National TV distribution is included.  DMTs are an exceptionally good value when you compare them to other broadcast public relation tools:

  • Satellite Media Tours (includes 18-22 TV and radio interviews; ranges $18K to $24K*)
  • Co-Op SMTs (your product shares spotlight with three to four other products: ranges $10K to $15K depending on quality of spokesperson and quality of markets guaranteed)
  • Radio Media Tours (include 18-22 radio interviews; range $5K to $9K*)
  • Audio News Releases (Production and distribution range $6K to $12K based on distribution strategy)
  • In-Market Tours (Five to 10 TV Markets, range $10K to $25K based on number of markets and travel expenses*).

*Does Not Included Spokesperson Fees (or Media Training Fees for Spokesperson)

Budget Options: If radio is not a priority for your campaign, then we can exclude the radio outreach option from your DMT to trim your budget (keeping in mind that it will also trim your audience reach dramatically).

The media landscape has evolved dramatically in the last few years and digital media tours are a perfect option for products or services that may not be candidates for SMTs or Co-Op SMTs due to regional availability or a more limited budget.

Feel free to contact us for a free consultation to determine if a digital media tour is right for your broadcast media outreach and also ask about our Premium Targeted Top-Tier Market DMTs. Contact us at 213-986-8070 for more information.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe