There are four different media types out there, each with their own unique needs and strengths. When pitching the media, you need to take into account the significant and subtle differences between television, radio, print, and online. One pitch doesn’t fit all.
break things down further:
have national network shows, as well as syndicated programs and nationwide
cable shows. Then you have local and regional shows. Amongst the type of shows
you can approach, you have late-night comedy like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. You have morning shows such as The Today Show or CBS This Morning. You also have weekend versions of some of these
shows, as well as evening news programs, such as ABC
World News Tonight.
are also magazine shows like 60 Minutes and
there are serious Sunday morning political shows like Meet the Press. You have daytime talk such as Ellen and Queen Latifah
and general cable news opportunities throughout the day and night at Fox and
CNN, and to a lesser extent at MSNBC and CNBC. Each network and show class
(such as all morning shows) needs to be pitched differently. TV is the hardest
medium to crack, in part, because there are so few outlets compared to other
then have local television shows, from your morning show to your mid-day, early
evening, and late-night news programs. To get on local TV you need a local hook
or something that clearly appeals to the demographics of a particular city.
There are hundreds of local TV show opportunities out there, but they are
competitive, and short of doing a satellite transmission from one location, it
can be expensive and time-consuming to visit a lot of cities.
are national shows, such as NPR’s Fresh Air, syndicated shows such as Rush
Limbaugh and Howard Stern, and there are thousands of local and regional radio
shows. Radio can be done primarily by phone, but a handful of the biggest shows
prefer or demand you come in-studio.
can be interviewed for just a few minutes on a news station or for 60 to 90
minutes on a call-in show. There are programs on FM, AM, and satellite radio that
look for guests like you. Radio breaks down by a few things—location, format,
signal power. What’s great about radio is that you can target the segments to
who you want to reach. There is NPR for intelligent or serious talk, morning
zoo shows on FM music stations for entertainment; news talk for issues of the
day; business shows for all things financial or career; health shows for health
topics; and so on and so on.
are national magazines (People, Time,
Cosmo), national newspapers (USA Today,
Wall Street Journal, New York Times), newswires (Associated Press), and
trade publications for various industries (Publishers
Weekly). There are also newsletters that cover topics of interest to your
you have daily newspapers, business journals, parenting publications, and
has many opportunities, whether you’re approaching book editors, news editors,
or department heads of things like business, health, or sports. Additionally, there are reporters, columnists, editorial boards, letter-to-editors, and
freelance writers out there looking for interesting and relevant content.
represents the biggest universe of media. Not only does it include the dot com
side of traditional media, such as CNN.com or NYPost.com, it offers online book
reviewers, bloggers, podcasters, and all kinds of opportunities. Then you have
social media -- both what you generate (your tweets, blog and FB postings) and
what others post, share, or generate about you. Anything can go viral on the
wild, wild west of the Internet.
of these media require different things, from the timing and content of your
pitch to the demands of their industry and the variability of the ever-changing
news cycle! In general, a good idea and a popular personality will get media
attention, but nothing is a slam dunk. I’ve had clients get into the LA Times and USA Today, but little else. You’d think other media outlets would
want what the top papers took, but sometimes it doesn’t work that way.
you can get into The New York Times but
struggle to get into the Milwaukee
can be on dozens, even scores of radio shows, but never see a TV camera. Same
with online media. You can be on 100 blogs but you may not generate interest
books/ authors are not right for all four media or some other factor impacts
their ability to successfully pursue all media types. Some authors get started
too late (you need to contact book review editors and magazines four months
prior to pub date). Others don’t have the time or resources to research,
contact, or follow-up with thousands of media outlets. Some are shy for radio,
feel physically insecure for TV or find online media intimidating.
rule of thumb is to go after all media types, big and small, and to
persistently pursue media coverage, from reviews and feature stories to
interviews, guest posts, and social media. But you’ll need to prioritize and
time your outreach to the needs of the media that you pitch.
one consistent thing amongst the media is that it’s a numbers game. You are
looking to register your message with as many people as possible, preferably
with people in your targeting demographic. So whether you hit it off with radio
or print on TV or online or some combination of these media outlets—you will
slowly but surely build a media resume and a path to book marketing success.
Locally, you have daily newspapers, business journals, parenting publications, and weekly papers.
You can be on dozens, even scores of radio shows, but never see a TV camera. Same with online media. You can be on 100 blogs but you may not generate interest from newspapers.