Eight Tips for Securing TV Segments

TV can be an ideal vehicle to inform the public of your unit’s expertise, research, and recent developments. Based on a post on Ragan’s PR Daily, we’ll look at eight tips to break out of TV producers’ inboxes.

  1. Ask yourself what will make your segment stand out from the rest. Make your email pitch succinct, clever, and compelling (reminding the recipient of why your story stands out).
  2. Familiarize yourself with broadcast deadlines. Pitching producers too late or too early is an easy way to make sure your segment idea gets lost. Pitching about a week or two ahead of time is best practice in our office.
  3. Pay attention to the news cycle. If there’s a breaking story and your pitch doesn’t offer an expert to comment on it, it may be tossed aside. It would be best to wait until the breaking story blows over before sending your pitch.
  4. Make your pitch’s value to a station’s viewers crystal clear. If a producer can’t see why their viewers would be interested in your segment idea, they’ll scrap it.
  5. Know the relationship between broadcast and print media. If you land a story in a major newspaper, try pitching the story to TV right away, because producers get some of their segment ideas from print or digital outlets.
  6. Make the visuals apparent in your pitch. TV is a visual medium, so paint a picture in the producer’s mind of what their viewers will see. Will your expert give a demo of something, or do you have information for graphics that they can show on screen?
  7. Personalize your pitch. Mention a recent segment on their station that you loved or why you think their particular host could enjoy it.
  8. Don’t be afraid to follow up over the phone. Make sure you have your short pitch ready.

If you have any questions about landing a TV segment, reach out to University Relations at unews@umn.edu.