By being an avid TV and radio consumer, you will know what makes good stories – AND what is in the news about your profession.
Make your story Visual, Local, and NOW.
It can be an unusual case, a seasonal issue, results of a new survey, your take on national news, a new product just released, local happenings, a good cause, or a local controversy. That’s What Makes Good News! R- IDNKT!
Most of what you see in the media is not terribly unique.
Seasonality, repetitive problems, old spin on old stories.
However, those who are most successful getting their stories on the air are very good about creating a unique angle on their story.
This is the “hook” and it is crucial to the success of your story.
The hook can be purely newsworthy, funny, entertaining, seasonal, how-to, or even uniquely curious.
Think of what makes you stay tuned through a commercial break. That’s how you have to craft and create your information to get past the producer’s filter.
Step FOUR: Create A Unique Angle
CRAFT your story for media interest! Think NEWS, Think Headlines, What will keep people tuned in? Health Insurance Nightmares and The Ways To Avoid Them Health Insurance The Top Ten Strangest X-rays New X-ray Machine Refinancing is NOT for everyone – Learn The Inside Facts Home Mortgage Refinancing The Best Way To Avoid Costly Auto Repairs Regular Auto Maintenance The 6 Point Couch Potato Check Up High Blood Pressure Ways To Stay Out Of The Dental Chair Proper Flossing The 5 Best Ways To Save Money On Your Vet Bills Good Pet Care Crafted for Media Story idea
You must have a visual aspect to ANY TV segment – NO Exceptions.
Good examples are:
Dramatic home video
Anything to make it a “show & tell”
This is so important that producer will ask you in your initial phone call or pitch what makes the story visual. Be ready with the answer.
Step SIX: Overcome the fear of calling the media gatekeepers
It is natural to fear potential rejection
Most of the time you will get a receptive person that wants to hear about your story
The real trick is to properly prepare and practice
Have your story pitching points in front of you
Have it down to 15 to 20 seconds
Know your unique angle and your visuals
Tell them who you are and get to the pitch quickly
Don’t worry about not getting in all the details, if they like your idea, they will give you more time
Step SEVEN: Be Creative, Clever, Crafty and Cute Teach show host ballet moves on the air. Dance school publicity Have some local comics come in to the set and co-host the show making jokes from local events and news. Comedy club promoting special event Do live remote broadcast where hosts get to don chef hats and make and taste fudge during one hour of the broadcast. Candy store New program where local pilots give free demo rides. Take host up for a live on-air flight. Local flying club publicity Demonstrate the latest high tech exercise equipment and use show host as “guinea pig” Sports medicine clinic publicity Have anchor help perform a physical exam on a giant breed of dog Veterinary clinic publicity Let the anchor use a hammer and damage a car live on the air and to 2-3 types of fixes. Auto body shop publicity Remote morning news segment with a cooking demonstration and news anchors as judges Restaurant’s 1 year anniversary Fashion show with kids at a school park with pets! Back to school fashions CREATIVE Story Idea Story Idea (publicity idea)
This is your media strategy. You have one main goal in mind; publicity for your practice. Think about your clients and which media best reaches that group.
You may pitch different media with different stories. News and news tie-ins will work for just about any type of show, but softer more “how-to” angles typically only work well on mid-day variety shows.
You might approach a talk radio program first and do an hour of call-in to “test the water” with your story idea. This then adds credibility and experience in your approach to television stations.
Then plan to adjust the plan – for almost anything. Your plan should also include other media types to contact as well as thinking a step larger to include regional television, cable networks and even the national morning shows.