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Q How can I get in contact with features editors at major television outlets? Magazines and blogs are transparent, but TV is much more cryptic. It would be great to have our product, CakeVase®, featured on a national morning show's list of "what to buy" or "great gifts for the holidays."
A Your question has two parts: knowing whom to contact, and who should do the contacting.
In addition to offering media lists, these organizations also offer "clipping" and measurement services to help monitor and quantify the success of your media relations campaign.
Lists from these services can be especially useful in targeting national broadcast media that can be elusive, as these firms constantly update their databases. However, the cost of access to these services for a single small business can be prohibitive.
This brings us to whether you should be doing this outreach on your own.
Investing your budget in a firm that already subscribes to a media service, and can do the outreach for you, would likely deliver more value. A first meeting with a firm that already does national broadcast will begin with an evaluation of whether your goal of placement in that area is realistic.
In the case of your cake topper, the story pitch works year round, for any season or holiday, plus it has great visual interest. However, you are setting your sights high, with a limited venue also targeted by many other consumer product marketers.
An alternative path might include concentrating on your local network affiliates that do original morning and weekend programs.
Not only could it generate local buzz, but may be seen by other network affiliates or national producers.
MICHAEL C. PORTER DIRECTOR, MASTER OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS OPUS COLLEGE OF BUSINESS