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From producing network specials to working closely with Oprah Winfrey for seven years, I love the world of television. I’ve seen it all, and yet one of my favorite things is watching someone make the news or getting broadcast publicity for the very first time. Getting booked on TV for your business is not as hard as you might think—the key is following the three P’s: pitch, press and persistence.
A pitch is simply another word for your hook or unique selling point. Whenever you want to get someone’s attention, it is important that you never forget the first rule of engagement: Always make it short, simple and concise, and don’t forget, memorable. You have to make your pitch clear as day to media professionals, especially busy TV producers. I often joke that TV producers are illiterate because so many press releases are never responded to, but the reality is they don’t have time to read pages upon pages of promotional material.
First things first, you need that catchy press release. It should be something that’s quick and easy to understand. Don’t be shy, because you can’t wait for the press to come to you—you must go to it. And guess what? This isn’t as hard as it seems. Right now, you probably know someone who knows someone in the media. Or even if you don’t, be bold and ask someone media-related for a phone number or an e-mail address. Invite them to attend your event and activities. Make sure you get your hook across, because that’s the information that actually will draw them in. Once you make that first connection, here are some other important tips as listed from the great PR Web site, www.publicityhound.com.
1. Find out how far in advance your press release is needed. Some publications have set time limits and need your press release well ahead of time.
2. Plan releases so editors have information well in advance of the release date. See if the release can be made before, and then again on, the date of your event. Keep your event fresh in their mind.