Television Publicity Series, Part II: How to Get Booked on TV, Continued

This is the final post of the Television Publicity series with additional tips on how to get booked on TV:

1)  Capitalize on Breaking News. As a media relations specialist, breaking news is like candy to me.  It is a huge rush.

Still, this rush needs to be channeled to ensure efficiency.  It is critical that you develop a protocol at the onset of planning the PR program. This ensures all parties remain sensitive to corporate policy. What follows is a list of protocol must-haves:

  • Determine who needs to be involved. Is it a combination of your PR agency,  internal marketing team, and spokesperson?
  • Coordinate the logistics. How do the appropriate parties get in touch quickly? What is the best method of communication? Who handles the coordination?
  • Decide your position. Identify the main points that you want to make and create a statement or list of points that the spokespeople can reference. This ensures spokespeople convey a unified message and come up to speed quickly.
  • Consider if impromptu training is necessary. Building on the media training that many clients choose to partake at the onset of the program, it may be necessary to have a brief session over the phone prior to interviews. This entails reviewing aspects of the news that are relevant for discussion and talking through responses to aid articulation.

Keep in mind that breaking news’ shelf life varies. The news could lend itself to a one-time immediate story or phased coverage.  Take Apple’s announcement of Steve Jobs stepping down for example.  On day one, reporters wanted to speak with those directly associated with Apple – employees, board members and stock analysts. By day two and three of coverage, we saw commenting opportunities for external consultants offering a big picture perspective.  The Tax Reform is another example. Reporters only wanted to talk with politicians during the first few weeks of the legislation’s passage. The opportunity for finance professionals and consultants to comment on topics like the impact on small business owners came in phase two and three of the coverage.

Coverage of unrest in Egypt is an example of breaking news with immediate and long term opportunities. See the following segments where clients Victory Capital Management, an asset management firm, and IG Markets had ample air time to share their markets knowledge as a result of breaking news outreach: Unrest in Libya Rattles Market; Stocks Hit by Turmoil in Egypt.

2)  Provide Proprietary Data, but Avoid Getting Bogged Down in It.  Surveys, case studies, and field research position you as industry leaders and satisfy the broadcast media’s need for data and visuals.

There are two crucial elements required to make survey promotion successful:

  • Differentiation (unique audience, headline trends and andindustry focus).
  • Capable spokespeople who can provide thoughtful analysis of the data without getting too bogged down in the numbers.

See all of these elements at play in the CNBC Squawk on the Street segment Retail CFOs Feeling Better regarding the Risk Factor Report for Retail Businesses of BDO USA.

3) Leverage Coverage of Industry Announcements. Take advantage of re-occurring industry news announcements. For financial and professional services firms, we focus thought leadership campaigns around data like retail sales, GDP, housing starts and jobless claims.  Client KeyBanc Capital Markets’ most recent appearance on chain store sales is just one example of the power of this strategy.

What strategies do you employ to get on national television?

To reach Rachel:

Phone:  212.840.5476
Twitter: @RachelBethG
LinkedIn: Rachel Gerber