Everyone wants to be on TV, but not everyone knows how to position themselves as an expert in order to get booked. Whether you are working with an agency, a publicist, a TV booker or directly with a producer, here are the top things you need to do to maximize your chances of frequent on-air success:
Brand yourself in a specific category.
Producers are looking for subject matter experts to comment on breaking news stories, recent studies, and trends. They want to work with specific experts as sources who can speak to highly technical content in a specific vertical. Brand yourself as the go-to expert in a niche category.
Stay on top of industry news.
Monitor the web for targeted content. Set up Google Alerts on top keywords associated with your industry. Aggregate RSS feeds using services like Feedly to make following diverse reading sources easier. Read the news daily to stay on top of industry trends.
Personalize news with your unique view.
After you have identified a breaking news story you could comment on, write out your hit points on the topic. What is your unique opinion or slant as a subject matter expert on the story? What are the top three points you want to get across on air if you had the chance to share your view on the story?
Create a custom media list.
Identify the producers who are covering your beat. Once you have identified them through media contact databases like Cision, Vocus, or even Twitter, create a customized media list in Excel with their contact information. Only target producers who actually cover the type of news you want to speak about.
Watch the shows you pitch.
Do your research before pitching. As George Uribe, President of Guestbooker, explains: “You can be more effective getting booked on TV by watching the shows you pitch by looking for trends and the types of guests that are booked.”
Repeat the cycle.
Continue to repeat the process as new stories come out in your field. Be persistent. Sometimes, your hit points could be great for a segment but the producer wants to go in a different direction. Other times the producer may love your points but already has someone else booked. If you want to make a name for yourself in the news, you have to be part of the news cycle.
As long as you continue to craft targeted, timely pitches to the right people — and stay on top of the news cycle — you too can start building your brand with TV appearances.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Kris Ruby is the CEO of Ruby Media Group, a Public Relations and Social Media Agency. Kris Ruby is a frequent on air TV contributor and speaks on social media, tech trends and crisis communications. For more information, visit krisruby.com. Connect with @sparklingruby on Twitter.
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