Why No One Wants Your Segment: Pitching DOs and DON'Ts
Here are some of Boom’s “down and dirty” do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when reaching out to guest bookers at television and radio stations. Some may seem simple – but always worth a revisit: DO:
- Know Your Media: In the internet age, it is easy to check out a station and get a feel for who and what they book. Do take the time to figure out what type of guests and topics they are usually interested in before making that initial pitch.
- Contact Preference: There is no harm in asking contacts their preferred contact method. You will find that some contacts still want to hear the pitch and others want to quickly go through e-mails to vet potential guests. And, still others want an e-mail and a call to alert them to the fact you sent one. Each contact you have is an individual – be sure to treat them like one.
- Pitch Window: Figure out the best time to pitch the contact. Some have morning meetings before their show and others after the show. Be sure to know when they are available to listen and really hear your pitch. And, know when they leave for the day. For the most part, the bulk of our outreach to morning news and morning drive happens well before noon.
- Pester: The squeaky wheel does not always get the interview. Many times, when bookers do not get back to you it is their way of saying, “No thanks!” As much as you try you will not always be able to get feedback as to why a producer/booker is not interested in the segment you are pitching. It is always important to follow up and check in with contacts but there is a fine line to walk when reaching out to media. So be careful that your continued outreach does not border on stalking so you don’t burn any bridges.
- Ignore Deadlines: Don’t call 5 minutes before your contact’s show goes on the air. They are on a deadline and will not have time to talk with you and will likely be irked that you didn’t know this would be a bad time to reach out to them. And, always answer their questions as quickly as possible - any delay could mean ultimate disinterest in the segment.
- Offer a Commercial: Stations make money from selling ad space and are not happy to be pitched overtly commercial content. This will reflect poorly on the client/product you are pitching as well as may hinder success for you when pitching other content down the road.
- Bait & Switch: This is one of the biggest (and angriest) complaints we receive from producers – that they are offered a very interesting interview and then when they go live it turns into a commercial segment or worse: something uninteresting and unappealing to their audience.