Changing Face of Broadcast News

Listening to three veteran news reporters at a recent conference provided me with plenty of good tips for reaching out and responding to reporters.

Katie Hinman, supervising producer for CNN’s The Lead with Jack Tapper, said:

  • Be honest and comprehensive. We are skeptical and if you aren’t sharing information, we think you have something to hide.
  • Be specific about what your expert will share.
  • Watch the shows you are pitching so you have a sense of what the anchors and correspondents cover.

Gina Garcia, an Emmy-nominated producer with the CBS This Morning program in Washington, D.C., said:

  • “Character is everything.” She was referring to having available someone who benefitted from a program or is using the product. The character provides added depth to the story.
  • Be a resource. Because reporters can’t be everywhere, reporters value PR people who can be available and act as a resource. This often leads to a good story placement for the PR person.

Karen Travers, correspondent with ABC News, said:

  • Follow reporters on Twitter because they often will make requests on Twitter for subject matter experts.
  • Don’t just pitch an idea; pitch the whole concept, including sidebar stories or infographics and possible footage.
  • Provide a phone number where you can be reached 24/7 because you don’t know when the producer is going to call.
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