5 pitching tips from TV journalists

A producer turned PR pro enlisted her former colleagues to help explain what works and what doesn’t when pitching TV news.

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I also dealt with many PR people who had bad timing and bad story suggestions; they were doubly clueless.

Recently, I was with a group of friends—TV producers, anchors, and reporters—when the topic of bad pitches came up. We laughed about the lazy ones, and others that were just plain bad. It’s a well-tread topic, blogs, websites and even Twitter feeds (such as @DearPR) cover the topic regularly.

I thought I’d focus on five things to do right. Here are tips from my TV friends and I:

1. DVR the program you want to pitch for a week.

The No. 1 PR complaint from TV professionals is being pitched stories and guests that don’t match up with their shows’ topics, format, or time slots. When I was a morning show producer at a local network affiliate, publicists often suggested guests for cooking segments. But my show didn’t have guests and we certainly didn’t have a demo kitchen.

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