Best Practices for Making the Headlines
Most national shows like Larry King receive 100 plus books in a given week, if not more. Do producers go through each one? They don’t have the time. They read the headlines from that morning and then comb the earth looking for expert sources on those stories, or get the sources directly from the news stories. Producers have told us they track trends on stories using Twitter to keep a pulse on headlines.
What makes a pitch standout? What makes a story land on the top of the pile or get talked about at a producer’s morning meeting?
It is stories and pitches that are newsworthy and topical from the headlines that day; it is pitches that are provocative and worth being talked about (i.e. trends, humanitarian efforts, news, pop culture, entertainment). Producers are also seasonal in what they cover (i.e. graduates finding jobs out of college). If you have a financial or career expert, tailor your pitch to fit that story angle. Use content from your client and weave it into the headlines.
Another tactic we use is following a show’s producer on Twitter and track what mentions they are making. Many times producers talk about that day’s show on Twitter. Or follow that show’s fan page and make relevant comments. Read the producer’s blog and saturate yourself in what they talk about and gravitate towards.
Make your pitches short and sweet via email with only three strong sentences and links to video or additional content that is news related from your author blog page or fan page showing discussion on the topic, proving its relevance. Producers don’t have time to read lengthy pitches now that most of them are doing the job of three people. If your “pitch” is good enough, many times it can become the news and will get used verbatim in print media because of time constraints.