Everything in an interview is on the record. If you don't want something taped or printed, don't say it!
In many communities, the top-rated television program is the locally produced talk show. In most cases, the talk show hosts book their own guests and are eager for new stories to interest their viewers. Your organization could have the angle they want.
Here are some guidelines for taking advantage of television opportunities:
Schedule - Like many in the media, television people are often overworked and underpaid. When approaching them, get to the point. Call the host or news director and explain why and when you want to be on the show. You should expect to schedule these appearances four to six weeks in advance.
Appearance - Many of the rules that apply to talk radio also apply to television, with one major exception: Image is everything! When appearing on television, give careful attention to your appearance.
Support materials - Because television is a visual medium, consider having pictures, video clips of children, children's artwork or something about your program or issue that will catch the eye. Consider putting relevant statistics in graphic form. Discuss options with the host or producer prior to taping.
Capture their interest - Local news programs are always looking for positive "puff" pieces to surround the typical hard news of the day. Always invite television news to cover your event. Call several stations and reporters until you find someone who is interested.
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