By Holly Reisem Hanna
Getting on TV is a fantastic way to drum up some free publicity for your business, but how does one go about getting on TV? Sending in a press release? Cold calling? Emailing? Writing letters? I haven’t been on TV yet (but one day I’m going to be on the Today Show), so I went out and asked some business savvy women who have been on TV for their number one tip for getting on-air media exposure.
Here are five different ways to get on TV:
1. Network, Network, Network!
If you are looking to get on a local TV show, ask anyone who might be able to help you get in direct contact with the producer of the show. A lot of times they are looking for local companies to be on the show so that they can highlight the great people and companies from their city. If you know someone who has been on the show you are interested in, contact him/her and find out how he/she contacted the show. That person might have the producer's contact info. Drop off a sample of your product with a note that you would love to speak to the producer about an appearance. Keep working all angles, and you will get to the right person!
Sheena Edwards – Lizzie Lou Shoes
2. The Best Way to Get on TV.
- Have a unique and timely idea (this is why my book biz was invited to audition for Shark Tank – unique).
- Call back, call back, call back. If you know someone in the business, of course, that helps the most. It’s a “boy’s club” for sure. Or “girl’s club” – whichever way you want to look at it.
- Don’t send an email with no follow-up.
- Send an email or fax first and then call, to talk in person and be pushy. TV folks don’t have time to care who you are (usually). They will read your idea and put it under a pile of others.
- Be persistent.
Shara Lawrence-Weiss – Mommy Perks
3. My Number One Tip on to How to Get on TV.
Most TV stations these days are looking to fill content air. They don't have the budget to cover everything as a news story, but they are more than willing to have you on a morning show (or in our case, an evening show) to fill a spot where they are booking guests. Offer yourself as a guest to talk about an interesting topic where you have some expertise — which may or may not be directly related to your business.
Laura Weisskopf Bleill – Chambanamoms.com
4. My #1 Tip for Getting on TV is to Pitch a Solution, Not the Product.
For a year or two, we had been sending press releases about how great our products were and how their viewers absolutely needed to know about them. We got nowhere. But when we switched focus and positioned me as a Family Fun Coach with ideas on how to have inexpensive fun with the family at home, we got into WGN. We tied our pitch to a timely topic – families trying to save money, but still have fun. For NBC Chicago, we pitched ideas for keeping kids occupied during Holiday break – a big parenting need. But since TV is a visual medium, the editors asked us to bring products to demonstrate our ideas. This happened with both of my TV appearances, so it wasn't just a one-time fluke.
Pitch how you can solve your target audience's problem and then bring the products along as visual props.
Sue Kirchner – Brand Strong Marketing
5. My Number One Tip for Getting on TV is to Network as Much as Possible.
Now granted, I live in a small town, but I believe EVERYONE, everywhere you meet is a possible networking contact. An opportunity to “advertise” about your business. Whether I was at a business function, a social gathering, or even in conversation with a stranger at the store I made sure they knew I was a food writer with a blog. And I gave them a business card. Not in a pushy way, but fitted it into a natural part of the conversation. Eventually, the woman doing the segment for the local news “heard” about my blog from talking with her contacts and called me directly. Voila! I got on television.
Jenee Libby – The Diner of Cville
Do you have a tip for getting free media exposure, we'd love to hear it! Have you been on TV, feel free to share you TV clip with us too!