We work with many clients who aspire to secure top-tier broadcast interviews or brand placements, a publicity method which typically produces results that print media can’t. And there’s lots to be excited about when pitching to broadcast media; the opportunity to reach mainstream consumers is an excellent awareness-building exercise, boosts reputation and provides broad reach to key audiences.

The chance to bring your client’s voice to major industry or national news platforms can positively impact credibility, trust and growth. But within such a competitive space, how do brands secure a broadcast appearance, especially if they’re not as widely known as some of the big names or regular contributors?

It comes down to preparation and a killer pitch. The pitch needs to offer a unique perspective on a hot topic or industry debate and must quickly establish the importance of the content to the booker, producer or reporter. Their buy-in time is measured in seconds, so you’ve got to nail them quickly.

Here are a few simple tips to secure broadcast opportunities

Align with breaking and trending news

Broadcast media may be your primary media target for on-air publicity, but they’re notoriously the hardest to pitch. They’re extremely selective, so you have to offer something relevant and unique, ensuring it represents the qualities that make a story newsworthy.

Spend time identifying your key assets:

  • Does your pitch meet the news agenda and fit with what they’re already talking about?
  • What content value can you offer them that they don’t already have, or can’t secure themselves?
  • How can the brand, client or spokesperson add credibility?
  • Why are you selling this story now? The story itself doesn’t have to be new, but there must be a compelling hook or new information which makes it relevant to a mass audience now.

Understand the broadcast media landscape

In the pitching phase, developing a strong contact list is crucial to reaching the right people. Consider who you should be approaching by having a grasp on what different broadcasters and associated programmes are looking for – depending on your pitch, you should target the producer, the reporter or news editor. Some networks have guest bookers.

And remember they are usually working on extremely tight deadlines. If you’ve emailed your request, follow up these contacts by phone. They receive hundreds of emails every day, and they certainly don’t read all of them, so opportunities can be lost if you don’t pick up the phone and continue the pitch through conversation.

Do your research of the broadcaster and interviewer. What’s their style? Are they familiar with your brand? Do they need briefing or research notes? A broadcast interview – live or recorded – can help make or break your client’s reputation, so make sure everyone is prepared for the big moment.

Brief your client

If you’ve been successful and there is broadcast interest, it’s not enough to just know your stuff. Remember to brief your client, your spokesperson or your expert so they can maximise the opportunity. Hopefully they’ve been media trained, but even so they must be prepared, succinct and engaged – and this only comes with a clear understanding of their topic and key messages. Practice really does makes perfect!

As part of the briefing:

  • Anticipate and talk through potentially difficult questions and formulate positive responses. Stumbling during a live broadcast can totally throw you for the rest of the interview.
  • Do your research and make sure you’re familiar with the headline news before your appearance.
  • Television can be intimidating, but it can also be exciting. Remember it’s a conversation and importantly your tone should reinforce the idea that you are excited, passionate, concerned or engaged.
  • Look your best! This may sound shallow but looking good and feeling the part will help boost your confidence and that will shine through the interview.

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