Our team continues to do a fantastic job connecting with producers of the top national TV shows–garnering a great amount of press coverage on the DIY Network, HGTV, Style Network, “TODAY” show and CBS Early Show. For many of us PR professionals, landing a client on a platform such as HGTV is a homerun. We are able to truly show clients the power of PR when we leverage our media relationships to garner exposure that would otherwise cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars via an advertising spend.
For many PR pros however, we know that placing a call to the “TODAY” show producer can be overwhelming at times. How do you find out who to contact? Should you email them or give them a ring? They receive thousands of pitches a day, how do you cut through the clutter? To get you started, here are our four crucial tips for your pitch success.
- Don’t contact the network directly: Many PR professionals make the mistake of contacting the networks directly (i.e. HGTV, DIY network and Style). Unlike daily programs like the “TODAY” show and CBS “Early Show,” most of the shows you watch are produced by individual production companies. The real gold here is to research those organizations and build relationships with those producers directly.
- Be creative: This sounds like a no-brainer but, with national TV production this simple truth is especially important. In order to build a relationship that lasts with your producer friends, make yourself an invaluable resource by watching the shows they produce regularly and pitching ideas that are organic to the nature of their show. This will make it easier for them to include your product and will reduce the chance of your client’s mention(s) getting cut from the network after production.
- Respond very quickly: Although production houses prepare shows many months before live airing, many times they are looking for products to include a few weeks or days before taping the show. If you’re looking to garner TV coverage for your clients, set the expectations with them up front that you will need to act fast. If the show is a smart target for your client, do whatever you can to accommodate that producer’s needs. For example, once we even shipped a 15 ft. fireplace from San Diego to New York in two days to secure a spot on the “TODAY” show. You will also want to make yourself available for questions on everything from installation to design trends. This type of collaboration will do wonders for your TV relationships.
- Ask for more: Most companies can secure a logo shot at the end of the show but, that isn’t enough. Work with the producer to have your client’s spokesperson on camera installing the product or explaining to viewers its general benefits (remember to not get too technical, keep it simple). Get creative with other ways to showcase your client’s product on the show such as asking if the camera man can tape the logo boxes being unloaded from the truck. Ask if the installers can wear t-shirts with your client’s logo on the back so it’s visible when their installing the product.
By putting these tips into practice we’ve been able to garner priceless exposure for our clients. Check out the video the below of our client, Eldorado Stone featured on HGTV’s the Outdoor Room with Jamie Durie. We hope these tips help you in your TV outreach. Happy pitching!