5 Don’ts for Getting Booked on Local, Regional, and National Media

By Maria Peagler

Nov 21

Today’s guest post is the conclusion in a two-part series from Jan Hickel (@JustJanH on Twitter), who has booked thousands of guests for a regional news/entertainment show as well as an international news network.  You can read Part One of Jan’s post: The Do’s for Getting Booked here.

You’re ready with your pitch: you’ve got a great product, you know your audience, and your pitch is visual, timely, and relevant. But wait: you can still turn off guest bookers by your delivery.    Here’s what not to do if you ever want to be considered as a guest on a media show:

  1. Don’t Stalk or Harass.  Most bookers’ email inboxes are flooded daily with guest requests.  Some get back to everyone right away, some get back to only those they’re interested in and, unfortunately, some don’t get back at all.  Always email your initial pitch and if you don’t hear anything in a couple of days you can re-email or give a quick call.  Don’t send an email and immediately call and leave a voicemail stating you’ve sent an email. That can lead to an instant “delete”.  If a booker wants to book you, you’ll know it. 
  2. Don’t Bait & Switch or Misrepresent. Just because you’ve invited Beyonce or the Governor to attend your event doesn’t mean they are coming and if they’re not available as a guest, don’t infer they are. Don’t offer a celebrity as a guest and then the day (or night) before the segment tell the guest booker that they’re not available but the chairperson of this or that event can come on instead.  That can cause huge problems for a live show and most bookers/producers would have no problem canceling the segment.
  3. Don’t Presume or Assume. A good guest booker will tell you everything you need to know about logistics and the flow/expectations of a segment and do anything else to make the segment a great experience for everyone.  But if you don’t know something – ask! No one wants a guest who shows up with a bare face because she presumed there would be full hair and makeup.
  4. Don’t Be a Diva. Unless you actually are an A-list actor, pop-star, etc… don’t act like one.  No entourages, no green room demands, and no tantrums. And even if you are a celebrity, don’t act like one.  Most (95%) people who are TV guests are completely nice, sane, grateful and cooperative.  So are most celebs… don’t be that one that stands out for all the wrong reason.
  5. Don’t Take Rejection Personally.  Most people who want to be on TV believe passionately in what they are pitching. But sometimes it’s just not a good fit for the show or a similar segment was recently featured.  Most TV shows have to appeal to a wide audience and are looking for guests who appeal to a large, general population. So if you get a pass on a pitch don’t beg or get rude.  Move on… and pitch them again the next time you have a great topic of interest to the show’s audience.
Have you approached the media about appearing on a show? What has been your experience?

About the Author

Founder of Socialmediaonlineclasses.com, Benjamin Franklin award-winner for independent publishing, award winning author of eight books, wife, mom, quilter and watercolor artist.

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