Securing local broadcast media placements is an effective tactic for raising your visibility and building thought leadership. But, doing so can be challenging. Unlike pitching print reporters, broadcast newsrooms and shows often respond less to email and are not as available to take your call. Reporters are in the field more, covering breaking news around COVID-19 and at times, local protests. But there are certain hacks that you can use today to get on your local broadcast newsroom’s radar and have your pitch considered.
Target the Right Contact
Keep in mind that there are several gatekeepers at your local stations. These include assignment editors, guest bookers, segment producers, field producers, and planning editors. Understanding who to target first is critical.
If your target station offers a variety of programming, including a news and morning show, you can likely reach out to a producer or booker of that program directly to pitch your story. If not, share your story idea with an assignment or planning editor as either will help to find a reporter that would be interested in working with you.
Share the Basics Upfront
In your pitch email, be sure to let reporters know in the first sentence that you have an interview opportunity available and explain why it’s relevant to their station. Perhaps you can talk about a breaking medical story or tips for consumers to protect themselves during a major storm that’s about to hit your city.
Include your bio as well and make sure that you clearly outline how your expertise relates to the topic of the interview that you’re proposing. So, if you’re talking about a breaking medical story, detail your medical credentials.
Develop and Offer Assets
Think about assets that you can offer a producer. Broadcast outlets love any kind of video or still imagery that they can show during a live interview or pre-recorded segment. You can also offer a demonstration, especially for more consumer product-focused interviews. Any steps that you can take to offer more than just a talking head will prove fruitful for securing interest.
Create A Short Subject Line
Crafting an email subject line can serve as the most challenging aspect of developing a pitch that will break through a station’s inbox. Your subject line needs to check a few boxes to catch their attention.
It should be 12 words or less, though going slightly over this word count isn’t the end of the world. Also, make sure that you include a call to action. Are you looking to schedule an interview? Say so in your subject line.
The most important lesson of all? Don’t give up! If you receive a pass, ask why. Is it due to reporter availability? Perhaps you can schedule another day to conduct an interview. Is the story not a fit for the station’s programming? Ask and if so, adjust your talking points. With persistence, you will land an interview.