The dark art of broadcast media pitching

Posted on 13th December 2019 by Claire James

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When I first started out in the world of PR some 25 years ago, I worked for a consumer PR agency. It was common place to be pitching stories to all forms of media including TV and radio outlets. As I moved away from consumer-focused campaigns into agencies specialising in more B2B clients, the client demand for broadcast coverage as part of a PR programme fell away. However, with the plethora of new opportunities, including podcasting, now is probably a better time than any to pitch your B2B client news to broadcast media.

So how do you go about pitching your B2B stories to broadcast? After all, not everyone is interested in the latest data insights or legal ruling! The key is to bring your story to life for the average viewer or listener. The story that your client wants to tell might need to be reframed in order to make it meaningful. Think about real world evidence of the story that you have. Are you talking about a new ruling on rent on empty properties? Can you reframe this and make it about the death of the high street? If your client wants to talk about their latest product development, can you look at what impact this might have on a particular audience and then find broadcast programmes or podcasts talking directly to this audience?

As the world of broadcast becomes increasingly fragmented, there are greater opportunities for your client to be heard. Roundtable debates, guest speaker slots and a range of Q&A sessions are available if you spend time looking for highly targeted broadcast media. You need to dig deeper than just the radio or TV station and look at the specific programmes your story would be relevant for. Then the pitch needs to be geared towards the broadcast media. If it’s radio you need to provide the credentials of your speaker as well as the detail of the story. If it’s TV you are aiming for then you need to think in pictures – what locations can you offer, can you provide more than just a single spokesperson to bring the story to life?

Once you have a secured opportunity, make sure your client is fully briefed and has been media trained so they feel confident in front of a microphone or camera. Have they got all the facts and figures to hand they need to bring the story to life? Can you provide details of a case study that highlights the key points that you are making, turning this into a human interest story? If filming is taking place on location, have you made sure all the necessary permissions are in place? Attend the session with your client, where possible, to provide them with an additional layer of confidence and to answer any additional questions your media contact may have post-interview – the follow up is almost as important as the pitch.

To summarise, pitching to broadcast media is really no different to pitching to the standard media B2B agencies talk to every day. There is no dark art involved, just a good story at the heart of the pitch with relevant spokespeople, statistics and locations (when needed). Don’t be afraid of utilising the stories that you have and repurposing them to make them interesting for broadcast media – the results can catapult your clients into a different league when it comes to awareness.

 

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