Todays guest blog post comes from Erica Velasco, a Phoenix Wedding Photographer who shares some great tips how to get on your local TV News segments.
Have you ever watched your local TV news station and thought, I would love to be featured on there for fill in the blank? Do you think it’s impossible to get on TV? Well friends, it’s not. You just need to know the tricks of the trade to get a segment on a local TV station. I’ve been featured numerous times on the news the past 9 years I’ve been in business. From speaking about a boudoir marathon I was holding, to tips on headshot photography for social media, I have spoken about it all on TV. If I can get on the news, so can you! Here are 5 tips for getting local TV press for your photography.
1. Write a press release
Some people say this is old school. But it’s not. News stations still read press releases to find their next segment. They also use them to create questions they will ask during the segment. When writing a press release, make sure the title is precise and has a hook. You will also use this as the subject line of the email you will send. The key to writing a good press release is to write with the inverted pyramid structure in mind. That means all the pertinent/newsworthy information should be written at the front. This is the Who, What, Where, When and Why. Then you continue with other important details. And finally, end with general background information. To see an example check out Feuza’s blog post on press for your photography business.
Now you are ready to send your email or call the station.
2. Know what you are talking about
Think elevator speech. If you could describe what your segment would be in 10 seconds – that is what you want to lead with. Have a clear understanding of what you want to say. You should know the details of your press release when “pitching” your segment. Pitching is the act of selling your story to a producer. If you are lucky enough to get a producer on the phone, you have about 10 seconds to convince them to keep talking to you. So your elevator pitch needs to be enticing, quick and precise. Producers have no time to chit chat. They want the basic details and hook to your story up front. All the other details will be hashed out later.
3. Know who to contact/pitch
Do your research. There are morning show producers, weekend producers, mid-day producers, an assignment desk, anchormen, news directors, etc. You have to figure out who the right person is for you to contact. When you watch your local TV broadcasts, do they tend to feature fun stories and business spotlights in the morning or on the weekends? Are they all hard news at night or in the morning? You have to watch the news broadcast to know who to pitch. If your market is like mine, morning shows are the best fit for stories about photography. One particular station features stories on local businesses that are timely, fun and entertaining in the mornings and strong viewership. So I always target morning show producers.
Some stations list their producer’s information on their websites. Check that out first. You can also call the main desk to ask the best way to reach a certain producer. If the best way is email, then open your email with your elevator pitch, then copy and paste your press release. Make sure your contact info is easily found and current. Then follow up with a phone call later when the news isn’t being broadcasted.
4. Know when to call
Do not call in the mornings. This is when most station meetings take place. If you call at that time, you will find an annoyed producer, who won’t give you the time of day. They will likely hang up on you. Yes, this has happened to me. Like I said above, they have limited time. If they answer, always ask if this is a good time to chat. If not, ask when and call back then. Typically the best time is early afternoon.
5. Be a resource
Producers love going to the same people over and over. Be a resource that they can rely on when they need commentary on a subject. If you are prompt, well-informed and available, you will likely be the producer’s new BFF. Ok maybe not, but they will be more likely to entertain a pitch from you in the future.