Pitching National TV Shows? You Better Bring Your A-Game

Last Updated Oct 31, 2008 7:01 PM EDT

It may look easy, but creating a smooth-running, entertaining national news or talk show is super-stressful. Simply producing TV is hard, and producing it to compete on the national stage is daunting. The people who rise to that level of the media are talented, tough and hard-working by definition.

So if you want to get on one of their shows, should you a) pitch like you always do or b) spend an extraordinary amount of time crafting the absolutely best pitch you can? It's a rhetorical question, because the answer is obviously b).

I just finished an hour moderating a fascinating Bulldog Reporter webinar with Susan Harrow, author of "The Ultimate Guide to Getting Booked on Oprah," who discussed the tips and techniques for breaking through with national talk shows.

The overriding message? Bring your A-game. Pitch incredible personal stories or novel products or services, not me-too drivel. Do your homework and be completely ready to go when you get that coveted call from a producer. Think through your entire segment. Practice with a media trainer to hone your skills.

This is true whether you are pitching The Oprah Winfrey Show or the NBC Nightly News. These people have the world, literally, to choose from. If you want to break through, raise your game to their level -- don't expect them to drop down to yours and help you.

  • Jon Greer

    Jon Greer has been analyzing media and PR for more than 25 years. He's been a journalist and a PR executive, and has been a featured speaker for many years at the Bulldog Reporter Media Relations Summit, and served as Bulldog's Editorial Director for their PR University series of weekly how-to audio conferences.

    Jon provides PR services including media relations and freelance writing to clients including start-ups, law firms, corporations, investment banks and venture capital firms. In addition, Jon provides spokesperson training. Learn more about Jon's training programs at The Media Bridge.