After finally landing a spot on a major TV talk show, publicists and guests sometimes make the big mistake of thanking the wrong person.
They send flowers, or candy, or baskets of muffins, or cute little gifts that they know the Barbara Walters and Joy Behars of the world will love. But they ignore the most important person, the one who mapped out the segment, briefed the guest and made it happen.
Erin Saxton says that if you’re going to thank anyone, thank the segment producer.
Erin, a former producer for ABC’s popular daytime talk show "The View," says simple thank-you gifts of things like food go a long way toward making the producers feel appreciated.
She remembers the time someone from Warner Books thanked her for a segment by sending a batch of chocolate chip cookies and cold milk in an old-fashioned glass bottle. An accompanying note said "Thanks for a great segment today. We loved it."
"It just made me feel really good," Erin said. "A lot of times, people send things to the hosts. Well, I’m the one that worked so hard on it. Yes, send something to the host, but don’t forget the producer."
Producers often jump from show to show, and they’ll remember that batch of cookies, or the hot double-crusted pizza.
"If I went to a different show right now and Christina, the publicist, called me from Warner Books, or Lee, one of the twins from Antiques Road Show, I would take their calls in a second because they remembered and thanked me for a great segment."
P.S. Never send gifts as a thank-you to print journalists, many of whom work for companies that have ethics policies prohibiting them from accepting anything of value.
Because Erin accepted and rejected hundreds of story pitches when she worked at "The View", she knows what makes a good pitch for TV talk shows. She also knows what approaches you should take when trying to get onto "The View" and why you cannot pitch an idea to "The View" the same way that you’re pitching it to "Oprah." She discussed the inside secrets of how to get a producer’s attention during a teleseminar titled "How to Get Booked on The View".