Ever wonder how producers determine who to interview for the local news or lifestyle show? Some of it boils down to timing and luck. But, most of the time, producers sift through dozens of pitches and calls each day from individuals and groups who think their event or story idea deserves an interview. So, how do they choose who to interview? To give yourself or your organization the best chance at getting that interview, consider these 4 criteria:
• Are you relevant?
Do you offer new and exciting content that is relevant right now? Producers feature those who have information to share that is current and expires soon. They are not interested in featuring a story that will happen two months from now but want a story that happens two days from now. Can you provide that type of immediacy?
• Is it newsworthy to a wide audience?
Producers like to feature interesting human interest stories. Does your story appeal to a wider, general audience or is it too narrow in scope to appeal to everyone? It’is okay if you have an event that is a cultural festival. That has wide appeal. It may not be newsworthy to have an event that is geared toward left-handed singers from Antarctica. The scope is too narrow for a producer to consider.
• Is it local?
Sometimes a producer will cover stories that take place outside the local viewership area if it involves a local person or business is significant in size or influence. If you don’t fit into that category, stick to pitching ideas that involve local events, charities or people. If you have ever heard the phrase, “All politics are local”, assume this means newsworthy media events as well.
• Is it visual?
Producers like to have footage of events that you may discuss. Do you have any footage from a previous year’s event? Or can you invite them to your current year’s event and offer to do interviews on-site? TV is a visual medium and it requires some sort of visual to accompany the interview. Offering those options with your media pitch gives you a better opportunity to get noticed and get the interview!
Producers take great care in determining if a particular item is newsworthy and deserves an interview. Give yourself a better chance of getting that interview by keeping these easy criteria in mind and you too may see your calendar filling up with interviews in no time.