If you want to be successful at getting on television and radio shows, you have to think like a producer. These people are responsible for creating the idea for a segment or a show in addition to finding the guests who will appear. The topic has to be of interest to the audience, and the guests have to be interesting and entertaining enough to hold the audience’s attention. Your task is to convince the decision-makers that you can make their lives easier by helping them create a good show for their audience.
The tool for doing that is a press kit (also called a media kit). This is a folder containing the basic facts about why you and your topic will make an interesting show for the audience. It is not as much about you as it is about what you can do for the show.
Your media kit will be much more effective if you remember one thing: producers do not care about you or your book. All they care about is creating a good show, and they are constantly looking for ways to do that.
Start with a Compelling Cover Letter
According to Patty Neger (Producer, Good Morning America), a producer may receive 50 proposals every day. Your media kit must stand out from all the others received. Therefore the key to a successful submission is your cover letter. Get the readers’ attention immediately by demonstrating that you know who their audience is and how you can help them. Grab them by beginning your letter with a headline describing why your idea is important.
Your proposal should always make a connection between your subject and what will interest the audience. Is yours a timely subject that sheds light on a late-breaking event? Is there any controversy or debate value in your topic? Is it a new story (or a new twist on an old story) that will convey something different to the viewers or listeners? Describe why your book is unique, different from all the other ones written on the same topic (if that’s the case).
Too Good to Be You:
What Else to Include
Don’t be shy about putting your best foot forward, and consider including these other elements in every package you send:1) A brief autobiography describing your major accomplishments in your subject area. Be creative but not so much that it reduces your credibility. Your resume should present you as the authority on the subject, one who will present accurate and believable information to the audience. Convince the decision-maker that:
- You are a recognized expert in the field and a credible source of information. List your credentials in the field.
- You are knowledgeable about issues important to the show’s audience. Speak the jargon of the viewer or listener.
- You are intelligent, articulate, likable and entertaining. Include a list of your previous media appearances and testimonials from producers and hosts.
2) A photo taken professionally, perhaps with a background suitable to your subject (in a kitchen for a cookbook).
3) A fact sheet about your book or product with the price and any other information the audience will need to purchase it. List stores selling your book in the station’s market area.
4) A list of questions the host can ask you. These questions should direct the conversation to topics you feel are important and address them in the order in which you want to discuss them.
5) A copy of your book. To minimize this expense, determine beforehand if the recipient needs a copy.
6) Your travel schedule, giving the producer a variety of dates from which to choose.
7) Perhaps a demo tape containing segments of shows on which you have performed. Producers at national shows and local shows with large audiences want more assurance that you will make a personable, interesting and informative guest, and they will usually require a demo tape. However, do not send the tape unless you are asked for it.
The criteria producers use are as varied as the number of producers. Give them what they want and need. If you are right for the show, you will get on it.
Brian Jud is a book-marketing consultant, author of 17 titles (including the video, “You’re On The Air,” and its two companion guides, “Perpetual Promotion” and “It’s Show Time”), and host of the weekly television show, “The Book Authority.” Contact Jud at PO Box 715, Avon, CT 06001-0715; phone 800/562-4357; fax 860/676-0759; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site http://www.marketingdirections.com.