The Gong Blog

So your CEO wants to be on national TV…

CNN_Center_studios

We want your CEO to be on TV too. Let’s make it happen.  

Producers and guest bookers receive tons of email per day. A TODAY Show producer revealed she gets 300 email pitches per day at an event my colleague attended earlier this year. That’s 1,500 per week. I’d theorize their counterparts at business networks like CNBC and Fox Business have similar inbox email counts.  

So how do you stand out? Here are six tips to help you land that coveted national TV segment:

Boost experience by starting local

Most producers at national shows like to book guests with previous on-camera experience. Does your client/organization have news with a local angle? Pitch local news stations and morning shows to get your spokesperson more experience. Many times, these are more attainable spots that can boost a person’s on-camera resume. 

Produce your own videos

As brand journalism continues to take hold, consider producing your own videos featuring your client/executive. It’s not an exact replacement for media interview, but it will demonstrate that he or she is capable of being engaging on camera.

A strong viewpoint

Executives need to have a strong point of view and a willingness to share it with viewers. If a story or topic is breaking, the PR team needs the opportunity to put the issue in front of the expert and gather their opinion and reaction. A guest pitch is much stronger when the PR professional can share perspectives from the expert upfront.

Provide access

If you want to be on national TV, you need to be flexible and play by the booker’s schedule. I’ve had clients lose out on opportunities at CNN because they couldn’t drive to D.C. for an in-studio. Keep in mind, producers remember the guests who will make the drive. Alternatively, if you’re offering a satellite or Skype interview, make sure you state the video options in the initial pitch (and touch base with a local TV affiliate about availability and pricing so you’re not scrambling after a request).

Watch the show

It’s a given, but bears repeating. Know the types of guests and various segments that appear on the show so you can offer a more thoughtful pitch. A lot of cable service providers like Xfinity and FiOS allow you to watch TV shows online now. Tune in from your desk. 

Use social media

Tons of guest bookers are on social media. If your expert is on Twitter, create a list of contacts they should follow and have the executive engage with the booker by retweeting or commenting on their recent stories.

We hope to see your company’s expert on the airwaves soon. Care to share any tips or best practices? Drop them in the comments below. 

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

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POSTED IN: Media Relations, Public Relations

Cameron McPherson

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2 Comments

  1. Cynthia Price

    The strong viewpoint is often the toughest sell. Management worries about additional media attention. But when the CEO or other top leader shares a strong viewpoint, people listen.

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