Tips to Being a Media Contributor
This week's hosting workshop brings you tips to consider if you are ready to get started on your path of being an on-air media contributor.
If you want to make appearances on local news stations and talk shows and weigh in on stories of the day with your expertise, I highly recommend following the news that's currently happening and finding new interesting stands on the events that you can offer from the perspective of your expertise. You can then submit them on your own without a publicist or PR Firm but try to send them the story idea in a complete way with all the talking points and beats for the entire segment (4-7 mins in length typically), therefore reducing the amount of work that producer has to do for the segment if they book you.
There is usually a way to submit your story idea on the news affiliate or show’s website to have your story considered. It is always better to know someone on the inside or have a publicist or PR person with connections pitch you, but there IS a way to start booking these opportunities on your own, especially in a smaller market.
If/when you get called on to be an expert for a talk show or a news station and contribute on a story, make sure you respond yay or nay right away! If not, you will lose your opportunity and who knows when you will get another one. News especially moves SO fast and they will move onto the next one person before you know it.
Also, if by some chance you’re not quite right for the story , tell them right away if you are not the right fit as you NEVER want to pretend you are something you are not or an expert in something that is not really your area of expertise. If you do pretend or try to fake it and you get caught fabricating your background to get a booking, it’s a great way to blacklisted and never called on again. Plus, producers are a tight-knit community and they talk to each other A LOT, so you could potentially ruin your career in TV before it even starts.
What you CAN do in this situation is to be a resource to the producer who has contacted you and offer to try to help them find the right person. Chances are if they are contacting you, they need someone close to what you do, and you may know the perfect person! You are making the producer’s life easier and he/she will remember you for that and call you the next time there is an opportunity that might be right for you. It’s a really, really good way to create good relationships and your perceived value as not only an on-air talent, but also a team player… this will make you more likely to be called on the next time!