5 ways for financial firms to capture regional media coverage
You may think your financial services story has no place on local television. Maybe you’ve tried pitching local stations, only to get rejected or receive no response at all. This is a frustrating process, but knowing how and when to pitch your story can make all the difference. In the video below, Gregory FCA staffers and former broadcast journalists Melanie Yuill and Julie Parise relate five ways to get your story on the local news.
1. Ask yourself, “Who cares?” Reporters, anchors and producers all pitch their stories during editorial meetings and are often grilled by news directors and colleagues about why the story deserves attention. Get the person you’re pitching to excited about the story. If you provide her with several concrete reasons why a certain audience will be interested, your story has a better chance of making it on the air.
2. Educate yourself on what newsrooms are looking for. Many people don’t realize all the factors that can impact how stories are chosen. News directors look for unique, timely stories. For example, if a new study reveals that your state is one of the poorest, jump into the conversation by presenting yourself or your client as an expert on how people can save more money.
3. Timing matters. Morning editorial meetings generally happen from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., so try to schedule events like press conferences or ribbon cuttings between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. This gives news crews enough time to get there after the meeting, while leaving their afternoon free to cover any additional stories. With the right timing, your story could end up airing on the noon, 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts. Schedule your event too late and it won’t receive as much media coverage.
4. What’s the visual aspect? Television stations are biased toward great video. When you pitch to reporters or producers, let them know that the story is visual and how you will provide them with those visuals. It will almost certainly fall on you to figure out how to get the perfect video opportunity or b-roll. If you’re having trouble, take a deeper look at the story and see if you can you put a human face on it. Finding the impact your story has on someone can help uncover the visual aspect.
5. Keep it local. Local news stations want local experts. Don’t pitch a station in Louisiana by offering them a New York City-based financial expert to Skype with. That said, if you are a local expert, you have a great chance of appearing on a local television station by following the tips above.
One last thing to keep in mind when it comes to regional media coverage: Changes happen fast. Decisions are made based on what the news of the day is. You may have a great pitch, and a reporter may even shoot and produce the story — only for it to get bumped because of breaking news. So if these tips don’t work the first (or second, or third) time around, stay persistent.
Check out our exclusive video below for additional insight from Melanie and Julie!