Just this month, I had the wonderful opportunity to make a pitch to a new daytime talk show in the Seattle area called New Day Northwest.   I read the press release and other stories about the show,  called to find out the best way to reach the lead producer, and I made what I thought was a pretty compelling email pitch.  Of course, I watched the debut broadcast so I had an up close and personal understanding of the show format and its overall approach.

Within hours of me sending the pitch, the producer made contact and expressed genuine interest in the segment I suggested.  I love when that happens.   And it happened just that way because I do my homework and craft pitches that are focused squarely on serving the audience and the show at hand.  If you have been wondering how to do that, you are going to love today's post.

Janet VasilToday's blog post comes to you from my colleague and co-collaborator Janet Vasil, founder of Your Media Moment and Beyond. Janet Vasil applies her more than 25 years experience as a radio/TV anchor, reporter and producer to help women entrepreneurs, authors, service professionals and other experts step into the spotlight, reach out to the media and profit from free publicity on TV, radio and the “virtual airwaves.”  Take it away Janet!

Pitching TV Talk Shows – What a Producer Really Wants

Local television talk shows are always on the hunt for great guests. The producers book guests for short segments on topics ranging from topical and serious to light-hearted and fun. The segments generally run three to seven minutes so a one-hour show has about seven segments. A half-hour show runs about four. That spells opportunity for publicity-seekers because the producers need a constant flow of lively informative entertaining guests every day or every week.

Here are a few things to consider when pitching TV talk shows.

Know The Show. Few things annoy producers more than wading through pitches that don't fit their show. Just because the host talked about her pet cat that morning does not mean the show does cat stories. Use a DVR or TiVo to record a week's worth of shows in your area and study them. Check the stations' websites for more information and to find out how to pitch them. Some will tell you exactly what kind of stories they want and will have a guest or idea submission form right on their site. You can also call a show to ask who handles your topic so you'll pitch the right person.

Show and Tell. During your research, keep notes on how different talk shows handle visuals. Some will do straight interviews while others love guests who do makeovers, show dramatic before and after photos or video clips, can cook on camera or do other demonstrations. What could you do or show, and especially get the host or audience members involved in, for your segment?

Local vs. National I recommend you get your start pitching local shows and with experience, widen the net to national talk shows, if that's what you want. If your local TV market is in a major city like New York or LA, target shows in smaller nearby markets initially.

TV talk shows have a voracious appetite for fresh ideas and new faces, plus if you're a terrific guest, the show could invite you to do regular segments.

Happy Pitching!