Television producers are looking for quality guests who will entertain and educate their audience. And, if your company’s offerings solve a common problem that the masses face then TV could be a great promotional medium for you. One of our clients told us:
“The cost benefit analysis of TV publicity is a no brainer. Not only do you get the benefit of this quality exposure, but the amount of credibility you build is priceless!”
The reason for this is simple. With TV, every person watching your interview will have a front row seat to your message. It’s a visual medium so they can see exactly what your products look like. You can demonstrate their purpose and value to the viewer. At the same time, you’re building trust and the almighty “likeability factor” by expertly answering the anchor’s questions. If you do a great job in all these areas, the audience will connect with you personally and buy into the value of your products. The positioning just doesn’t get any better.
The greatest challenge you’ll have is how to pitch your segment idea to television producers so they immediately see the direct benefit to their viewers and invite you on. But, once you’ve worked out those angles, the rewards of your efforts will be self-evident. As an example, a few years ago we took on a client with a natural food product. We arranged for a taste testing outside a major health food chain in the Portland area and for a local television station to cover it. It turned out to be a huge success – here’s the feedback we got from our client:
“We’ve received hundreds of phone calls. Fred Meyer stores and Safeway got bombarded with calls as well! In fact, we had originally been scheduled to start shipping to Fred Meyer sometime in May, but they were so inundated with phone calls as a result of our television appearance they called to ask me what we had done to make their phones ring off the hook! Thanks to the media you booked for us, we’re shipping product to them next week, six weeks earlier than planned!”
This coverage was a great success for our client – it was far less expensive than producing a TV spot and then buying advertising time, plus it gained them credibility with consumers that advertising just couldn’t deliver!
Publicity should play a key role in your marketing strategy for these reasons. BUT, understand that the biggest challenge you have is generating the media’s interest in you. You’re not alone in this “battle for attention.” There are limited interview slots available with numerous PR firms and companies jockeying for those slots. This is a challenge that we overcome every day on behalf of our clients.
Two important rules we practice in our agency when it comes to pitching the media are:
- Never pitch yourself – pitch the issue on which you are an expert.
- Never pitch your product – talk about the problem your product addresses and then your product ties in as a solution.
Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity.