7 tips for getting your small business on TV

If you have a great story and want to be seen and heard then broadcast it – literally!

Just like print media campaigns, you need to begin your broadcast campaign by determining who you want to reach, why, how, and then sell yourself (but not your soul!).

This is no mean feat, but it can be done.

  1. Start by re-reading your press release: Does it contain the most important aspect of your story in the first paragraph? If not, then the producer or researcher is not likely to read on. Does it focus on the facts? Are the contact details clear?
  2. Send images with your release, because TV producers think visually and will want to determine whether your story is likely to translate effectively to the screen. Also consider sending a video – this can be done easily by email now.
  3. Once you have your press release ready to inflict on the unsuspecting masses you need to know where to send it – which channel and programme. This will be determined by your target audience, which needs to be defined carefully. Sit down, grab a coffee, pen and paper and reflect for a moment on the demographic of your audience – who are they, where are they, what are they likely to watch?
  4. Spend lots of time poring over the content of radio and TV programmes until you are convinced you have the right media outlets. There’s no point in sending a story to a current affairs programme if your business is connected with confectionery cornering the kiddies’ market (unless, of course, you have siphoned off the profits and run off to some outlandish island, which means you’ll get lots of publicity for all the wrong reasons!). However, if you have invented the perfect, remote-controlled lawn mower that will do the job in half the time it takes you to do it, then a TV programme like ‘The Inventors’ would be a good place to begin.
  5. Follow up your release with a phone call. Many TV producers and researchers respond better to verbal communication than the written word.
  6. If your message isn’t right for them, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Who do they recommend you send the story to? How can you improve on the angle to give you a better chance of broadcast coverage?
  7. A story that can be covered in the studio is much cheaper than one that requires a link to be established or recording at another location. Clearly a travel story requires on-location filming; otherwise try to be creative in presenting ideas for covering your story in the studio.