Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to work with hundreds of companies looking to raise their profile. In all honesty, TV is the least requested PR activity. That is often because the person does not feel comfortable in front of the camera, but more often than not it’s because TV is viewed as unattainable.
Wouldn’t it be AMAZING if you could be that go-to expert that the media called next time they needed someone to talk on your Zone of Genius topics.
Here’s how you can make that happen.
What’s the point?
There are a few things to consider before you start putting yourself forward for media opportunities, certainly TV interviews. There are no right or wrong answers here at all. It’s just handy to keep this in mind as it may decide who you decide to contact.
- Why do I want to be on TV?
- What can I talk about? What do I have to give to the conversation?
- What’s the objective? Am I boosting my credibility or just fancy a day out at the studio?
- Who is my ideal client (or target audience)? Are they watching this show or is it just to add the media logo to my ‘as seen in’ image?
Who to contact?
The most effective way to use your time, and this goes for all PR activities, is to find the decision-maker.
Social media is your best friend here. Open up Twitter and LinkedIn and search for a job role and media outlet name. The job titles you want to look out for with landing a TV interview is Producer or Senior Producer. You may even find the contact name of the right person on their own website too or in the TV show credits.
What could you appear on TV for?
You may already know which shows you would love a TV interview with. If not, you can scour the media for news stories that are being written about and see what you could have to bring to the conversation. Maybe you have a different opinion, would have handled something in another way, or have a newsworthy story or awareness campaign to share.
Set up one or several Google Alerts for keywords within your topics of expertise. When the media publishes something on that topic you will then be emailed and receive the piece straight into your inbox.
This is great for seeing what the media (and your industry) are talking about and keeping up-to-date with everything.
You can even read the media piece and reach out to the writer introducing yourself for any followup pieces they may be writing. Be brief though, this is just to get on their radar.
Whatever you want to share on TV, whether it’s a personal story or your business expertise, it has to match the ethos and audience of the show. In short, you have to be relevant.
By proactively putting yourself forward to a local newspaper for a local story, it is likely they will be keen to cover it (or already writing something) as it is relevant to them and their readership.
What if no one replies to your emails?
Should you start pitching yourself for a TV interview and the media have yet to call you, I see two options ahead of you.
- Feel sorry for yourself and give up because it’ll never work OR
- Become your own newsroom
I say choose option 2!
Start creating your own content and showcasing your expertise through blog posts, sharing case studies, your own journey, screenshots of testimonials, your signature top tips.
When a news story related to your industry or your clients breaks, create content (ideally include video!) that showcases to your audience that you are an authority in your field and have an opinion on this.
Your website and social media platforms are the places to get your voice seen and heard. And you too can become your own newsroom.
Lights, camera, LEVERAGE!
Being on TV is absolutely an option for you. If it’s what you want then I say go for it. Just one TV interview can immensely boost your credibility. Not just at that moment, but it also helps to future-proof your brand.
Well, your ideal clients and business associates may see you live on TV. That’s always awesome. The feeling of seeing screenshots afterward and social media shout outs is electric.
You HAVE to keep the momentum going. Media coverage is great, of course, but the magic truly happens when you leverage it.
- Take photos of the green room, studio, your train journey, choosing your outfit – anything to document your day and create anticipation of the main event.
- Have a friend take screenshots while you’re live and send them to you so you can share in social media posts and stories IMMEDIATELY after you finish.
- Add the video to a showreel (if you have one)
- Add the TV show logo to your ‘As seen in’ image.
- Pop your ‘As seen in’ image on your website homepage, press page, social media cover images.
- Write a blog post about your experience including embedded social media shout outs, your own screenshots, how you enjoyed the process, and the topic itself.
- Schedule social media posts for the next week and even further.
Should you get on their radar now… or when a story breaks?
If you wait for a crisis and breaking news story to happen before you reach out to the media then beware as they may not open their emails when knee-deep in such a crisis.
Getting on the medias radar before a story breaks is ideal. YOU are then the expert they think of when that moment happens and they need to interview or quote someone.
You can get on the decision-making Producers radar by introducing yourself via email.
Or you can do my favourite thing and follow them on social media, share their stuff, comment now and then, so when you do pitch yourself to them they are hopefully already familiar with your name because you’ve been engaging on social media already.