Aircheck: How to Land TV News Coverage

Lauren Wood // Aug 15 // Insights

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The growth of social media may be getting all the headlines these days, but TV news is still big business.

The morning show wars between NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America” have never been more intense, and according to the New York Times, the evening news broadcasts are now following suit.

Television coverage is a great tool to increase awareness and visibility, and provides a valued third-party endorsement. TV hits help create great video content for brands that can be used across social media channels.

So how can you or your clients land television coverage? It is a different medium than print journalism, and requires a tailored approach. Television producers and reporters have different needs and it’s essential to speak their language. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when targeting television coverage.
7 Tips to Land TV News Coverage

  • Visuals: Television is a visual medium so words and announcements mean nothing if there isn’t something interesting to see. Be prepared to not just tell the producer about your client or company, but have lively visuals to back it up.
  • In-studio vs. live remote vs. taped: Does the morning show book in-studio guests or have a features reporter that goes live on location? The evening news will nearly always tape stories. Know which producers you are targeting and offer appropriate spokespersons and visuals to match the format.
  • Press events: Television can be a great medium for an unveiling, press conference or media event, but to get TV crews to attend, make it easy for them. Television stations are operating on limited camera crews these days, so every newsroom decision to dispatch a camera crew is a big one. Do your research before setting the date to make sure you aren’t competing with other major announcements. Time the event so it doesn’t conflict with newscasts and pick a location that is convenient for news stations.
  • Spokesperson preparation: Being on-camera is not natural for everyone, and media training can be a valuable tool to make sure your spokesperson is prepared. If this is not an option, prepare speaking points for the interview, practice in advance with your spokesperson and watch previous interviews with the reporter to get familiar with their style.
  • Producer preparation: Once you have a segment booked, make sure you have provided the producer with all the information needed to make the segment successful. This includes spokesperson title, key points for the interview, location and date for any event you are promoting, website URL, etc. Don’t expect the producer to dig through your email to find that info, serve it up for them.
  • Newsroom timing: As with all newsrooms these days, news stations are pressed for resources. Do not call during major breaking news or right before a newscast.

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