Former TV Producer Monica Rosenfeld is now the Managing Director of a PR company. Here, she shares her insider tips to help get your small business TV coverage.
When talking to potential clients wanting help with their media exposure, 90% express the desire to get free airtime on TV. A mass audience to hear their message, the credibility of being able to say ‘As seen on (insert program)’ and a great promotional tool to use in all future marketing collateral are just some of the advantages. All this without paying the TV network a cent in advertising.
So why would a TV program agree to having you on set without paying for it? Well, TV programs such as morning shows, lifestyle shows, current affairs programs are looking for content that will keep their audience switched on and tuned in. They rely on content that adds value and engages their audience in some way.
Here are five things to consider to give you the best chance of gaining TV coverage.
1. What is the media focusing on?
Media feeds off each other which is why you’ll have trending issues being focused on at any one time before the media moves to the next issue. An example of this is the topic of questioning the relevance of retail rewards programs. An article about this first appeared in News Corp titles online, similar articles then appeared across other newspaper titles and even radio jumped on the bandwagon.
We took the opportunity to pitch our client Cash Rewards to the morning programs to talk about alternative and more effective ways to earn rewards from retailers. This resulted in a 5 minute segment on Weekend Sunrise.
2. How can you add value to the audience
Private Fleet is able to purchase cars on behalf of their customers at a far cheaper price than a one off purchase as they buy in bulk. This doesn’t sound like a very newsworthy topic for TV. However, one of the team members was an ex-car yard salesman. He was passionate and could talk at length about the topic of purchasing a car. We pitched the angle of ‘Top secrets car dealers don’t want you to know when going for the best price’. This angle appealed as TV producers knew that the audience would love to know this information, resulting in a great segment on Channel Nine’s ‘Mornings’.
3. Work with what is happening in the world
Linking your story to a current event taking place is a great way to increase your chances of getting on TV. Media are looking for stories that fit within the awareness day or month etc so if your story is a perfect match, your chances of success skyrocket.
It was Dementia Awareness week our client mCareWatch had recently launched a watch that can be worn by dementia patients that would alert their family when they left their safety zone. Weekend Today did a six minute story including an in-depth interview with the Founders, who had the opportunity to demonstrate on air how the technology worked, and a nursing home manager.
4. Offer TV real life case studies
TV audiences are curious about what people are doing as we are all voyeurs to a certain extent. Keeping this in mind if you can tell your story through your customer’s experience, you’ve got a far better chance of airtime. Don’t Rent Me is a site whereby renters who were feeling unfairly treated by their landlords could warn others about their property and vent. The website needed mass TV coverage because to be seen as a threat to landlords and property agents. A Current Affair covered several stories as we were able to let them into people’s homes to show the TV cameras the problems they were facing.
5. What is the vision you can provide
TV is a visual medium so there is nothing more annoying to a producer than being offered a story that involves nothing more than a ‘talking head’. Help the producer visualise how the story could play out by offering ideas about visuals they could use. If you run a revolutionary program in schools, organise one of your schools to be allowed to film the kids doing the program within the school. If you have a cooking product, offer to come in to the studio and do a cooking segment.
6. Do you have a question for ‘Ask Kochie’?
Lisa Hayes from All in All Parties received free TV exposure on Channel 7 and online on Kochie’s Business Builders. She wrote to us and wanted to know how to position herself in the market in order to sell her franchises. Cindy Batchelor from NAB helped Kochie answer Lisa’s question.
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