Here are the biggest mistakes people make when they pitch TV talk show producers.
- They pitch a producer whose name they added to their Rolodex four years ago, but they haven’t contacted the producer since then.
- They contact the wrong producer at the show and don’t know who’s the correct one for their topic.
- The lead the pitch with their book instead of with their expertise.
- They mention only themselves and are reluctant to pitch other guests to appear on the same show because they don’t want others to hog the spotlight.
- They have no idea what kinds of segments a producer specializes in.
- They send their entire media kit with all their marketing materials to the producer of a show like “Oprah” thinking that if she has a good selection of things to read, she’ll find what she needs and book them for a segment. (There’s no way a producer would ever open a hefty folder.)
- They pitch shows they’ve never watched.
- They offer the same angle to everyone they’re pitching.
- They include their resume with their pitch, which makes it look like they’re job-hunting.
- They send blast-fax pitches to everyone because it’s cheaper than snail-mail, and the pitches won’t get caught in spam filters.
If you too make any of those mistakes, no wonder you aren’t getting interviews.
You must be thoroughly familiar with each show. You must know the names of the producers and which segments they specialize in. You must send succinct, compelling pitches and deliver them in the format in which the producers prefer, along with the correct marketing materials. And you must make every single media outlet believe that your pitch was custom-made only for them.
I just got my hands on “Harrison’s Guide to the Top National TV Talk and Interview Shows,” and it’s chock full of contact names and pitching tips for 259 of the top shows. The user-friendly guide lets you search for information by topic, or by program in alphabetical order. It also lets you know which producer is the best overall contact and includes lots of specific information on which kinds of guests these producers are looking for.
Steve Harrison is raising the price after 5 p.m. tomorrow. If you order it today, you’ll also gain admission to a special training teleconference called “Secrets for Getting Booked as a Guest on Top National TV Shows” and featuring a former NBC producer.
Knowing who to call and what to say is more than half the battle.