How to grab a TV producer’s attention

Posted on by Selena Soo, in 'Publicity'

My client Christine Egan was recently on FOX News! She’s the author of The Healthy Girl’s Guide to Breast Cancer and one of my star clients.

Here she is speaking to Dr. Manny and Dr. Laura Berman (Oprah’s go-to sex therapist) on how breast cancer can make your sex life better.

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My friend Paula Rizzo, an Emmy Award-winning producer, booked Christine for this segment. I asked her to share the inside scoop about what TV producers are looking for — and she agreed! Here’s what Paula had to say.

How to get a TV producer’s attention

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Every day, I receive hundreds of pitches from experts, authors, and coaches who want to reach the masses with their message.

But the chances are — if their specialty or topic doesn’t immediately grab my attention, I won’t give it a second glance.

So today I want to give you my insider tips to grabbing a producer’s attention — and keeping it!

1.  Give a unique and timely angle.

Producers have seen it all. In order to get noticed, you need a unique and innovative angle. (Giving “5 ways to burn fat” won’t cut it anymore.)

Look for a recent study or news story that supports your angle or think about how you can dispel common myths that the general public believes. Another option is to give a counterintuitive tip like, “eating bacon is actually really good for you!” (I wish this were true.)

However, make sure to be smart about this. Your angle should fit your expertise and also be a topic we want to hear about. Recently, I was pitched by an entertainment lawyer who wanted to talk about Ebola. It made zero sense and he didn’t get booked.

If it’s not easy for me to see the connection, I’ll lose interest and move on.

2.  Include clear takeaways in bite-sized chunks.

In your pitch, be very clear about what you will be giving the audience. How will you be making their lives better? What better decisions will they make after watching your segment?

Your tips should also be actionable and specific. Rather than saying “be more passionate and you’ll be happier,” say: “write down 3 non-negotiable self-care actions you’ll infuse in your life starting today.”

Remember that producers are used to writing short copy that is very conversational. Talk to us in our language! Organize your ideas in bullet points, because they make digesting information in emails quick and easy.

Be succinct, concise and keep it simple. The same goes for in-person chats and on-camera interviews.

3.  Provide video media clips. 

Sending a pitch without a video clip is like putting up a listing for a home without any photos of it. What’s the point?

We need to see you on camera! It’s just the way the business works — if you don’t look good and sound good, you don’t get booked. It’s simple.

If you don’t have an actual media clip to share, shoot something with your webcam so the producer can see and hear you. Do your best with lighting and makeup. Even if it’s a YouTube video of you talking straight to camera or someone interviewing you off camera, it will be helpful.

4.  Realize when a producer is just not that into you.

It happens… Sometimes it’s not a match. Take the rejection gracefully and don’t push back, get snippy, or pitch more angles in desperation.

Plus, one rejection doesn’t mean we won’t ever book you. Take a breath and preserve the relationship. Some of my best guests weren’t a fit the first time around, but I kept them in the back of my mind. Then, when something relevant popped up, we were able to work together.

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I hope you enjoyed Paula’s insider tips! She is one smart cookie. =)

In addition to her work in TV, Paula runs a productivity site called ListProducer.com.

She also has a new book called Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed.

This powerful guide has been endorsed by David Allen (international bestselling author of Getting Things Done), Gretchen Rubin (New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project), and many more. I think you’ll love it too. Get the first chapter here — completely free for my readers.

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Selena Soo