Posts Tagged ‘public relations’

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.

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Paid Social Media Content: To Disclose or Not to Disclose Sponsorship? The FTC Weighs In.

May 13, 2016

The FTC says social media influencers should clearly disclose if they’re being paid to endorse a product with language like #sponsored, but the social media world appears to wrestling and even conflicted on how to handle paid endorsements.

KNBC FTC FOLLOWERS

It’s a new form of advertising but it doesn’t look like an ad to the average consumer.  In fact, many shoppers now find the latest fashion trends, beauty products and vacation destinations from social media outlets like Instagram and blogs and while many bloggers are paid to show off things “they love” they are not always disclosing that they were paid for “their love of a product.”

Broadcasters and public relations professionals are well aware of the rules of paid spokesperson disclosures, but social media influencers are navigating new waters when it comes to adding “hashtag sponsored” to their Facebook post, Tweet or Instragram photo.  Reporter Jenna Susko of KNBC in Los Angels filed a report on their own investigation into the increased and borderline epidemic of product bombs hitting the social media newsfeeds and raised concerns that consumers are being manipulated by posters who have a hidden agenda.

KNBC Jenna Susko

Check out their newscast on nbclosangeles.com on how the undisclosed brand sponsorships of popular bloggers on social media accounts are raising concerns for the FTC.

Bottom line, if a post is sponsored, it should disclose it in some way.  A natural way to blend it in to the post is to say you’ve “teamed with XYZ company” and only agree to endorse products that you genuinely like so as not to mislead followers and fans.  Others can dislike the product, but if you authentically like it, it’s an honest statement and honesty is always the best policy.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

 

Five Essential New Tactics for a Successful Tourism Marketing Strategy in 2016

October 7, 2015

Coastal View

[Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Photo Credit: Marianne Schwab]

Thinking about your 2016 marketing plan? Here are five new tactics to help tourism marketers attract more visitors from social media.

Wherever travelers go in 2016, they’ll be using social media to discover the best spots, plan their itinerary, and share their memories with friends.

The challenging (but also rewarding) part about social media is that it doesn’t sit neatly in one place of your visitor’s journey. Instagram might be where visitors first get inspired to learn more about your venue or destination. But it’s also where they learn about a local hike or decide to visit your wine region while visiting.

In this article, I’ll share five tactics that will help you build a successful tourism marketing strategy in 2016. These are based on interviews with destination marketing experts and strategies we see working in the travel industry.  Read More

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:  The preceding blog post is shared from HootSuite.  Five tactics are detailed are on their blog post.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Eight of the Biggest Social Media Mistakes Brands Make and How To Solve Them

June 4, 2015

What are the biggest social media mistakes that brands make on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? There are many blunders, but here are some of the most prevalent ones and how to solve them.

Pushing out one sided “ads” for a product. Nothing is more of a turn off in the social media world than only promoting your product, brand or service. No one wants to be “sold.”

Not sharing or re-tweeting useful information that is related to the product. Think about ways to be helpful to people so they will want to follow you or your brand and that includes retweeting or sharing info that’s relevant when it makes sense to your product or brand. Share relative industry or consumer info that compliments your product, brand or service. For example, if you have a sports product, tweet, retweet and/or share info on complimentary products or health tips.

Failing to interact with followers or fans and forgetting that the name of the game is “social” media. Social media is not only about how many likes or retweets your posts receive and claiming the metrics as “success.” Support and engage your followers and fans in a genuine and authentic manner. Have fun, be real, but be careful. Don’t overshare or be too casual. Use the unique social media opportunity to connect with product and brand fans and convert them into what Peter Shankman calls “Zombie Loyalists.”

Marianne Schwab and Peter Shankman

Marianne Schwab and Peter Shankman

Not actively managing social media platforms. In today’s 24/7 world, it is imperative that your social media accounts are actively managed to prevent a crisis or to respond to one. There has never been a time in history where a company has immediate access to its customers (and visa versa) and have to hope and pray that broadcast and/or print media gets your company message out during a crisis.   Don’t just issue a press release. Proactively use social media resources.

Forgetting that social media platforms work differently. Social media platforms are not created equal to one another and have different “rules” and personalities. It is important to understand how each one interacts with users to avoid a complete fiasco. Twitter works very differently from Facebook or Instagram and people may use one or all of these resources to connect with their social networks, but they use them in different ways and sometimes for different audiences in their social networks (for example, for family and friends only versus business colleagues).

Not following your local reporters and anchors. Twitter and Facebook offer amazing opportunities to connect and build relationships with reporters and anchors. Be helpful to them and engage them outside of pitching them so that when you do have a great pitch for their publication or program, they’ll know you and respect you because you’ve built a relationship.

Not having an active blog that connects to consumers to steer fans and followers to your social media channels. Blogs are one of the most neglected and overlooked ways to connect with people who love your product or brand. First, if you use search engine optimization correctly, new consumers will find your brand or may be converted to it because you can establish credibility and trust. Second, use the company blog to provide great info that will educate them on your industry (not just your product) and provide complimentary content or resources and make sure the blog is not “faceless.” Designate an expert in the company or several experts in the company to write the blog. For example, if you have a vitamin company and have an R.D. on staff or a CEO who has nutritional credentials, they should share their expertise.

Not being an active social media user. The biggest reason that so many companies make social media mistakes that hurt their brand or product is because they are not immersed in the social media world themselves. You can read about it. You can rely on consultants and experts, but the best way to truly get the most out of this tool is to use it for yourself.

Marianne-GaryV-03-22-14-550x413

Marianne Schwab and Gary Vaynerchuck

I actively engage on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and it makes a dramatic difference to my understanding of the social media world.   I met Gary Vaynerchuk in 2011 and was concerned that I was late to the social media party and he encouraged me that it was just getting started. I now have a respectable 11,450 Twitter followers (and growing) as @TravelProducer and my travel blog gets a steady 50,000 plus page views monthly. I have also actively co-hosted Twitter parties for #NUTS, #TNI, and #FRIFOTOS over the years in addition to growing other Twitter accounts to thousands of targeted followers easily and quickly.

It’s not too late to readjust your social media strategy to use this exciting media tool effectively for your public relations campaigns and more.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Copyright (c) 2015. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Five Tips to Maximize Satellite Media Tour Success

July 25, 2012

No amount of advertising can give your product, service or brand the credibility that editorial placements on TV news and lifestyle programs can and that’s why satellite media tours (SMTs) are an effective tool for your public relations campaign.

SMTs may focus on one spokesperson for a new product or significant event, like a new book release or movie premiere.  Although these media tips are important if your promoting a movie or book, they’re essential for any other topic since the results of your media tour depend on getting these five things right.  So, if you’re considering an SMT for current or future public relations efforts, here are five tips that will not only help you maximize your success, but hit the ball out of the park.

Choose a Headline Grabber for an Angle.  Most every P.R. pro knows this, but the slugline is your one shot at grabbing news room decision makers attention so you need to make it a great one.  Think about the emails you actually open. Next to who the email is from, the subject line is what grabs your attention to open it and news producers and assignment desks are no different.  Also, don’t under estimate the power of the negative slug line either as they’ll get your story on the air.   When you choose CMP Media Cafe to produce your SMT, we will work closely with you to craft the most effective angle for your story.  For more tips on sluglines, take a look at the Number One Mistake Pros Make on Press Releases.  Finally, news producers want news-you-can-use with easy-to-understand consumer messages that are relevant to your viewers so make sure your story angle has a broad appeal or way to include a broad audience. 

Your Spokesperson Should Be Relevant to Your Topic or Angle.  In addition to your angle, the spokesperson you choose for your SMT is critical to maximize your results.  Does the spokesperson have some level of media recognition or expert credentials or do they offer a truly unique perspective on the story?  If you want to secure the Top 50 TV Markets, then an A-list celebrity will be your best shot at this but only if it makes sense for your product and product message since the wrong celebrity spokesperson (or C-Lister) will derail your best efforts if they’re not the right fit.  An A-list celeb is not the only answer to a successful SMT, however, since a meaningful consumer angle can be very effective with the appropriate expert (or “celebrity expert” – like a well known doctor, attorney, dietician, author, blogger, etc.) on the topic.  The key is relevancy combined with the angle.

Choose the SMT Airdate with Care.  Timing is everything and you want to choose the best airdate to maximize exposure.  This means that you need to be aware of a possible deluge of competing stories (i.e. election year political results, back-to-school, holidays, etc.) and avoid scheduling your airdate during these times if it’s not critical.  Also, if your catalyst for the story hinges on an “awareness” day or month (i.e. Breast Cancer Awareness, Heart Health, et al), be aware that other companies will be out there with a similar idea so either do everything you can to be the first out there with your story or develop a unique angle to set you apart from the clutter.

Synergize Your SMT with Marketing and Advertising Campaigns.   One of the most effective things you can do is synergize your public relations efforts with the marketing and advertising campaigns of the client you represent.  I’m am constantly amazed at how few companies understand this value and anticipate an SMT to have the same effect as a DRTV spot.  According to marketing research, most people need a minimum of seven exposures to a product before they make a buying a decision.  It’s one thing when they see a product in a commercial, but then when they see that same product featured in an editorial segment of a TV program, their brain connects the dots in a unique way.

To Super Size the synergy of a satellite media tour, you should also choose a date that will coincide with publicity print campaigns as well.  Think about it, you see commercials for the product, it’s popping up in television shows, and you open your newspaper or online magazine and see the same product featured there.  It takes a lot of planning, but you can see the value in this type of syngerstic approach.  Movie and TV Show publicity are a great example of how this is done well. It’s no coincidence that Angelina Jolie is appearing on the Today Show and the Tonight Show while also being on the covers of People Magazine and more while you’re also seeing commercials for her latest movie in heavy rotation during prime time viewing hours.

Start Pitching Stations Six-to-Eight Weeks Before Airdate.  Although CMP Media Cafe’s strong and up-to-date media contacts carry a lot of klout when it comes to booking a satellite media tour, a minimum six-to-eight-week lead time from the time the Media Alert is approved is recommended to maximize success of pitching your SMT to news media.  Due to the current media environment, if less than eight weeks are allotted, there is a greater risk that the programs we’re targeting will already be booked for the timeframe available.   Keep in mind that most programs only have openings for one to two satellite media interviews each day so we want to be first to pitch them your story before their schedules book up.

Use these top five tips to maximize your satellite media tour success.  Also, feel free to contact us for a consultation on your project.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Copyright (c) 2012. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.