During PPRA’s Annual Meeting, Erika Von Tiehl, co-anchor of Eyewitness News This Morning on Philly’s CBS3, shared “10 Tips for Pitching the Morning News.”
1. Your visibility is based on your flexibility, i.e. when you are available. Same goes for your client. Respond to phone calls as quickly as possible!
2. Social Media: Ask for the Twitter handles & preferred hashtags. We’ll remember if you sent tweets before, during and after segment.
3. Make your pitch visual. A local company carved a big CBS3 logo in an ice block & delivered it for us to promote Frozen release. Great bump shots with it, used it all morning (i.e. it got much more air time than just holding up a DVD).
4. Know your audience in mornings. Kids eating cereal, Moms & Dads racing around getting ready, people at the gym working out. Everyone is distracted, up your game to make your segment pop.
5. Experts: Pay attention to the day’s news & always think how to take the story to the next level with an expert. DOW drop 400 points? Pitch your financial expert for the next morning to talk about what it means for viewer’s 401k.
6. We can’t make it a commercial. We need a legitimate reason to do a story on your client. How does it make the viewer’s life easier/better?
7. We love props, especially if it’s something the other anchor/meteorologist/traffic reporter can use, too. Even if they’re not in the segment, they may take a pic & post to Twitter, then you can RT. Example: Hair salon a client? Pitch doing a segment for “Mo-vember” and bring stick on mustaches.
8. Persistence is the name of the game. Your e-mail is one of 3 dozen we get each morning. Get blown off? Not personal. Follow up. The word ‘visual’ always grabs our attention.
9. Pitching for morning news? E-mail it during morning hours (i.e. before Noon). We’re less likely to pay attention to the pitch sent yesterday at 4pm.
10. Try reaching out on Twitter, instead of e-mail. Especially when we’re at work i.e. 3am-Noon. If you won’t be up, set tweets up to get sent at that time. I’ll get maybe 1 tweet a week on a story…I always reply to them.
Has your experience with morning news shows taught you any other helpful pitching tips? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.