As a PR professional, the importance of a successful broadcast media relations strategy cannot be overlooked. By successfully pitching a business or product to a local or national television program, you are ensuring that your message is heard by thousands of people in a dynamic and inclusive way.
In addition, broadcast interviews offer companies the opportunity to launch a new product, generate awareness for a new initiative or build buzz for an upcoming event in a way that allows the brand’s personality to take center stage. After all, it can be difficult to get customers excited about something by simply reading words on a page. But television provides a perfect opportunity to reach a new audience.
Everyone who’s in the business of promoting brands recognizes the PR potential of an earned broadcast placement. This means that any pitch – despite its witty headline and unique subject matter – is probably one of many that a reporter or producer receives on a daily basis.
What Is Newsworthy?
Whether you’re a PR pro in the trenches or a marketer who’s hoping to see their product or event on the news, it’s important to understand what “newsworthy” actually means and how you can make your idea stand out in a world of email overload.
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Last week the Karwoski & Courage team got the opportunity to meet with Mike Caputa, News Director at WCCO, to ask him about those challenges, including:
- How do you decide what story to cover?
- What makes a good pitch?
- What are best practices for working with a reporter or a producer?
- Will Jason DeRusha attempt to go tubing again during this summer’s “Going to the Lake” series?
Mike Caputa’s 5 Key Tips For Public Relations Success
- Establish a rapport with reporters – Before you send a pitch, make sure you do your research. Know what the reporter covers and familiarize yourself with his or her interests.
- Time is of the essence – In television, everything is always done on a deadline. If a reporter or producer reaches out, make sure to respond back ASAP or else you may lose the opportunity.
- A picture is worth a thousand words – When pitching a story idea, make sure to include an interesting visual element. No one wants to watch someone talk in front of a blank screen.
- Know the difference between editorial and advertorial – If your Client wants to sell something, you should recommend buying an ad. A television interview offers the opportunity to be an expert resource or provide newsworthy information. If you never want to be invited back to the station, make sure to repeat the company name 1,000 times.
- Sometimes it’s just luck – You may have the best story idea in the world, but if it’s a busy news day, chances are it could get lost in the shuffle. On the other hand, don’t underestimate the power of a fun, timely pitch. Who doesn’t want to celebrate National Tequila Day?
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