How to score great broadcast coverage

How do you get every broadcast station in the city to cover your client’s event? Or what about scoring a great feature story in a lifestyle news program? Success obtaining broadcast coverage hinges on pitching your story the right way. Broadcast requires a completely different approach than print or online. Why? It’s all about the visuals. Visual stories are incredibly powerful because they’re memorable, compelling and people love them. Despite this, many PR people forget or neglect broadcast. Not us – we pitch regional stations and national programs often, resulting in an incredible amount of success for our clients. Just in the past two weeks: every station in Seattle covered Sleep Country's Pajama Bowl for Foster Kids and three out of four attended Portland’s event. And our clients Cascade Built and NK Architects were featured in Evening Magazine’s Earth Day segment. We have broadcast pitching down to a science. And today, we’re sharing our method for achieving success: Have your visuals ready. Before pitching, have the visual components of your story fully mapped out. What are the potential shots a camera person or photographer could capture? Do you have a media-trained spokesperson available? When is all of the action taking place? Create the right pitch. After laying out the visuals for your story, include them in your pitch! While your client raising thousands of dollars at an annual fundraiser might be the crux of your “news,” it’s not what makes a broadcast story. Event attendees dressing up in wacky pajamas and bowling to fundraise? THAT makes a visual story.


Know when to call and what to say. Another unique component to pitching broadcast – calling is a requirement. Often multiple phone calls are required. Broadcast newsrooms are busy, which means they might miss your email every once in a while. Call to make sure they received your news, and call again the day-of to ask if a station plans to cover it. A couple additional tips: Don’t call to inquire if a newsroom received your pitch during a newscast – ever, for any reason. Know when each station has their planning meeting – you’ll waste your time calling before it.   Be nice and be prepared. Scoring broadcast coverage is equal parts science and luck. Breaking news will usually trump any planned event or story. Don’t be rude to an assignment editor when this happens. Take your own b-roll footage and photos and follow up to maximize the coverage potential of your story. Want help scoring broadcast coverage? Contact us at connect (at)