Here’s a tip that seems so obvious that you’ll wonder why I’m even mentioning it. But TV personality Connie Dieken says it’s a frequent mistake that will send your news release or story pitch right into the TV station’s wastebasket. Ditto for news releases sent to print media outlets.
Too often, the day and date of an event don’t jibe. For example, if I send a news release promoting an event on Saturday, August 17, this year, and the media are interested in covering it, the first thing they will notice is that August 17 is not a Saturday. It’s a Sunday. But many of them will be too busy to make a phone call to find out the correct day. So they’re likely to toss the news release and cover someone else’s event instead.
Another big no-no is failing to tell the producer of a TV talk show that has booked you as a guest where you can be reached in an emergency. All kinds of last-minute emergencies happen in TV Land. If a talk show has booked you for a live appearance tomorrow afternoon but needs to cancel at the last minute so the host can concentrate on a breaking news event instead, they will need a cellphone or pager number. If they can’t find you because you’re driving to the studio, it will make you look out of touch and unprofessional. Besides, you’ve made a wasted trip.
Connie was my guest during a teleseminar a few years ago titled How to be a TV Talk Show Host’s Dream Date.”