Pitching National Morning Shows: 5 tips from PRSA 2018July 9, 2018
Most public relations professionals agree that landing a stellar earned broadcast placement on a major morning television show has become increasingly difficult. Doing so will become even more challenging in the future as the lines continue to blur between earned and paid content. Recently at the 2018 PRSA Travel and Tourism Conference in New Orleans, Simone Swink, senior broadcast producer for the second hour of “Good Morning America,” shared a few tips and best practices for publicists who want to penetrate a national morning news program.
How far in advance should I pitch?:
Since morning show producers will plan segments anywhere from one day to six months out, it all depends on what is happening in the news and how much air time the producers have left to fill. Just because, for instance, a holiday occurs next week doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for ideas — so send your pitch! With that said, the earlier you pitch your segment idea, especially if travel logistics are involved, the more time the producers will have to figure out how they can make it work.
What time of day should I pitch?:
Like most people, morning show producers can’t be in two places at once. So, don’t pitch them first thing in the morning when their show is airing. Swink recommends pitching her between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which is when she spends time answering emails and meeting with other producers about future segment ideas and logistics.
Should I include a survey in my pitch?:
Trends pieces are great for broadcast; however, surveys are tricky because they must be run through the network’s polling unit. Therefore, often they can’t be aired during morning television. Referencing a study conducted by a well-known and accredited research group is the best way to ensure a segment includes the data.
I sent my pitched and followed up, but I haven’t heard back from the producer.:
Don’t give up! If you pitch something and don’t hear back, then pitch it again and don’t take it personally. Realize that people on the other end are often slammed, which is something we can all relate to!
I finally heard back, but the producers aren’t interested. What should I do?:
Today, most lifestyle segments appearing on national morning television are a result of an integrated marketing partnership. This means that the client has decided to put some marketing budget behind its pitch to ensure a segment about the product is featured on air. Examples of sponsored segments include everything from a weather hit with the meteorologist calling out a specific city or region, to a green room destination takeover or an on-location shoot. Many national broadcast programs also have a digital presence online and on social media. These platforms provide businesses with additional partnership opportunities, including social media takeovers, digital news stories and advertorials. Integrated and digital marketing partnerships are offered at many different price levels, allowing businesses of all sizes to take advantage of these opportunities.
Swink also revealed that Good Morning America soon will launch a third hour of morning news programming, which is set to air during The Chew’s current time slot. Although the focus of this third hour has not been finalized, Swink advised that feature/lifestyle stories and sponsored segments probably will take up a bulk of this time. That is great news for all publicists who are working to secure a big broadcast hit for our clients!
Join the conversation! Have you landed an earned broadcast placement? Share some of your pitching tips by tweeting us @aboutdci.