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Think You Will Never Be on TV? Think Again and Be Prepared!

Many of you know that I have been working closely with Ann Noder, of Pitch Public Relations, for many years. Ann was a news anchor for ten years before becoming a PR expert. This background provides an "insider's view" of what the media wants which is why Ann can almost guarantee media coverage.

As you may know, I took five mom entrepreneurs on TV with me over the past two weeks in Arizona and California for unprecedented media coverage of the new products joining the Mom Invented® family. This was the FIRST time four of these women had ever been on TV. (Pictured here: On the FOX TV set for a live segment with me (far left) and inventors Andrea Ramsey, inventor of the Bag Grabber (second from left) and Pati Peterson, inventor of the Pacifier Bib (far right) & the TV hosts.

Getting yourself and your business TV coverage is not some fantasy. It is absolutely attainable. Why not you? And, if you are fearful about speaking in public -- like anything else -- it takes planning and practice. Some of our moms this past week were extremely nervous before going on the air but each of them did a remarkable job and so can you!

Ann NoderTips from Ann Noder to make your moment in the TV spotlight matter:

1. Get the facts. Before you’re scheduled to go on, find out about the opportunity. Is it live? Taped? How long? A live interview means what you say, airs – there’s no stopping or going back. A taped interview gives the TV outlet the opportunity to edit your content. This means you don’t have to be perfect but it also means some of your most important messaging could end up being cut. TV time goes quickly. A live interview on-set is typically 3-4 minutes.

2. Tighten your message. You should be able to describe seamlessly what your business is all about in 15 seconds or less. This main element should be airtight and easy to understand. Then, what other key points do you want to get in? There should be no more than 3. Eliminate aspects of your product or business that are less important – don’t waste time talking about insignificant details or the opportunity will end before you get to the good stuff.

3. Dress the part. If you’re a business expert giving investing advice, then a suit and tie makes sense. But if you’ve invented a new fitness product, you should be dressed in exercise attire. Watch the show before you go on to get a sense for what the hosts or anchors will be wearing. On many news sets, you’ll be sitting on a stool or chair with no desk in front, so there’s a good chance your whole outfit will be seen – including shoes. Avoid wearing all white or busy patterns as they don’t translate well on TV.

4. Breathe and slow down. Yes, the time goes fast and yes you want to get everything in. But racing in an interview will not make your message resonate with viewers. After each question, take just a second and then answer. Get the name of your business or product into your answer naturally. Think about speaking in ‘quotes’ (in TV, these are called ‘sound bites.’) You want short, compelling, interesting answers.

5. No www. PR is a fabulous way to get your business publicity without buying an ad. Don’t blow the opportunity by making it look like an ad. When you give your whole website, “www……” it cheapens your interview and makes it look like you’re only pushing a product. It’s ok to say the name of your business, the name of your product or even your website – if you can work them in casually – but don’t put w-w-w before it. Sounds awkward.

6. Add Visual Elements. Television is all about the visual element. As much as you can make your story more interesting, visually, you should. If you have product to show, bring a lot of it. If you have great graphics that compliment the interview, coordinate those with the producer beforehand. If there’s great video (in TV this is called b-roll), make sure to utilize that.

7. Website Help. Make sure the producer has your information, like website and phone # or where people can buy, to put up on the screen and also for their own website. Most TV stations now have highly active websites where they drive viewers and link your content directly. Check for accuracy beforehand.

8. Book Again. Once your interview is over, reconnect with the host and producer to see if there might be an opportunity to come back. This is especially true for those who are on in an ‘expert capacity.’ Are you able to cover another topic down the line? Is there another angle or timeliness to your information? Offer yourself up for a return interview with a specific topic in mind.

9. Leverage Your Appearance. Post the interview on your website, Tweet and Facebook about your appearance. Use the TV opportunity as a way to add credibility to your brand.

Thank you, Ann!

If you're looking for phenomenal media coverage for your business, we are taking sign-ups now for May 2011 in our special PR program. This media opportunity with Ann Noder and Pitch Public Relations is designed specifically as a more affordable PR option for moms in our community! PR is one of the most cost effective ways to reach your target audience. Submit an inquiry on our Special PR Opportunity page if you'd like more information.

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