All those seeking meaningful short term liaisons with news and current affirs TV take note – people are watching. As these figure show, internet age or not, very large numbers of Australians still turn to TV for a hit of news and current affairs. In many cases, this may be the only hit they seek all day. Oh dear.
Nonprofits gain TV news coverage every day and gain a lot of profile for their efforts.
Tips to gain TV coverage:
Think visual. No matter how acute your observations, specific your angle and timely your offer of assistance, the chief of staff will look more favourably upon you if you can create something of interest visually. Got experts with lab coats, recovered patients, sick kids or fluffy puppies? You are in the box seat.
Think quick. TV won’t admit this but the vast majority of their stories are the result of other media coverage. TV generally follows the news not breaks it. Help them. If you can offer comment on the issue du jour from the morning papers and radio rush to the phone and pitch. You don’t have to be central to the story – just have an expert opinion on it.
You should already know what your issues are, likely external catalysts for media coverage about those issues (a report, an anniversary, a big speech) your spokespeople and case studies.
Be flexible: TV is bigger than you and will treat you accordingly. If you’re lucky enough to gain coverage the crew will want you when and where they want you. Prepare to spend your whole day nursing your CEO for a 15 second news grab. When they arrive the crew will want to move furniture, adjust the lighting and enlist your entire staff as background actors. You will be holding the reflective That’s showbiz.
Be talented? TV doesn’t take chances. It doesn’t give fresh faces an opportunity. It doesn’t care if you are best qualified to comment on an issue. It will opt for the most recognised, most experienced, most hungry talent every time. Get trained, get hungry and get some coverage.
Be connected. Chiefs of staff get hundreds of calls daily, reporters less. Who do you think will give you a greater opportunity to shill your story? You should already have the contacts for sympathetic journalists. Twitter makes contacting specific journalists easier than ever.