If you want to make the public aware of your story, television can be one of the fastest ways to reach a lot of people at one time. The problem is that getting a story aired on TV can be downright expensive. If you don’t have a large marketing budget you may be wondering how you can get your story on TV for free.
If you have a story that needs to be told and want to learn more about how to get it on television for free continue reading.
Getting Your Story On TV For Free – What You Need To Know
Not everyone can get their story on television for free, advertising costs a lot of money, and broadcasting stations are not going to just give away free air time unless they know they can benefit from it in one way or another such as increased ratings.
Free air time can also be referred to as earned media; in simple terms earned media is a fancy way of saying free publicity.
When something is truly earned media no money is transferred from or to either party. Earned media is beneficial to both parties as it attracts viewers to the television station and increases ratings.
It also simultaneously helps to promote a particular story or notify the public of upcoming events in the community or surrounding areas.
Free airtime can generally be earned for the following reasons:
- TV stations need public interest stories to keep their ratings up
- A new business is opening in the community
- A serious public health or safety issue needs to be addressed
- An existing business is reopening after being updated
- Special community events such as holiday festivals
- Promote awareness for a charity
Attract Attention With Topics That Engage
The first place to begin if you want your story to be aired on television for free is to have a story that people want to hear about.
Your story needs to resonate with viewers on an emotional level; if people cannot find common ground in what you are discussing they are not going to stay engaged for very long.
You want to present stories that are relevant to what is going on in the world today so people stay interested in what you are saying.
Just because you think something a particular story is newsworthy does not mean the rest of the world will agree.
There are factors that TV journalists have to consider before they agree to pick up a story that has been pitched their way, the main one being that the story needs to be interesting and relevant to current events.
Select Your Targets
If you have a story that needs telling it is important that you harness the right channels for it to receive the exposure that it needs.
This is where you will begin cultivating a list of the television stations you feel have the best chance of picking up your story.
It is important to have a solid idea and plan of execution accompanied by a strong pitch or your story will land in the trash can without a second thought.
It is recommended that you visit the website of the television stations you wish to air your story and contact them via their posted e-mail. This is generally where you will submit your first idea pitch for them to review.
Effectively Creating Your Story Pitch
Coming up with a great story concept is only half of the battle; now that you have the idea you need to present it in a way that will attract the attention of the appropriate people.
This is where the careful creation of your press release or story pitch comes into play. No matter how great your story or idea is, if the headline is not catchy it will likely be passed over.
Things that should be included in your story pitch are:
- A strong headline that draws the viewer in without giving away every detail of the story
- An intro that captures the Journalist’s attention and makes them want to know more
- Clear language with an unbiased tone
Another aspect of your pitch that should be considered is what happens if or when a journalist expresses interest in your story.
They are going to have questions that need answering so they can elaborate and promote your story in the best way possible. You must be prepared for any questions a journalist or reporter may ask you.
It can be helpful to interview a few different journalistic reporters to see what kind of questions they typically ask someone when they are creating a story for television.
Understanding what the reporters and viewers want to know can help you to be better prepared and not look like a fool who is just trying to get five minutes of fame on TV.
Create Professional Bonds That Last
If you plan on regularly pitching ideas and/or stories to various television stations it can be helpful to develop a relationship with as many TV journalists as possible.
Building and maintaining a strong professional relationship with the people responsible for deciding what makes it to the screen gives you an advantage over others.
The more sources you can connect with on the inside, the better coverage your stories are apt to receive.
Having a good list of contacts can also help you to stay up to date with what is trending so you can focus on producing quality pitches that are relevant to current situations.
Acquire Earned Media With Relevancy And Relatability
Getting your story on TV for free can be almost impossible if you do not have a good game plan and know your target audience. If you keep up with what people are reading, watching, and listening to you are sure to stay on track when it comes to pitching solid ideas to the media. Remain focused and professional, take constructive criticism, and before long your stories will be heard around the world.