Extra Coverage or Overexposure?
Q: Will a large newspaper be turned off by the fact that [another newspaper] just did a feature article on me? How about other mediums — are TV stations turned off or on by recent newspaper coverage and vice versa?
A: You never know what another newspaper’s editors or a television station’s producers will think. Some editors or producers will definitely be turned off but it never hurts to try.
Being on television will be especially tricky. If you’ve been on the morning show of your local CBS affiliate, the NBC affiliate may not be interested. They’re looking for new and fresh interviews and, occasionally, you’ll see an author who’s featured on a couple of local shows on different stations.
Mainly, though, you’re looking at some heated competition in the television biz and stations don’t want to be the second or third to have you on the air.
It’s nothing personal, of course. It’s just the way the television industry works.
Also, you don’t have to mention that you were recently interviewed. For newspapers, you never know if the interview will hit the press immediately or be held for a future edition. Even if the interview’s already been published, it’s not vital you tell the other publication about the recent interview.
The fact that you’ve been interviewed won’t help you get more interviews with other papers. Stick to pitching your book and let the editors/producers worry about their production schedule.
Your goal is to get exposure for your book and if you mention X amount of interviews in area newspapers or television stations, other editors/producers may not opt for an interview because of overexposure.
Tip: When searching for a local television station for interview opps, ask people in your area what station they watch. Ask lots of people. Do some simple research by asking people on the street what station they tune in to. That way, you can get a good feel for what station is number one in your area and has the most viewers.
Try to get an interview with that station first. If you don’t hear back from them, then you can move on to the number two station.
Unfortunately, viewers don’t have access to a station’s ratings so you can’t see the actual numbers behind each station, including demographics, number of viewers, etc. But if your book is geared toward moms, head to the mall and begin asking mothers what TV station they watch. This will help you get a better idea for where your target audience tunes in.
The Wind Up and the Pitch…Again
Q: If I’ve been turned down by a radio or TV show, how soon is it okay to pitch again?
A: You can always follow up with a station down the line. If you have a contact person who’s talked to you, give them a call in 2-3 months to see how their production schedule is.
Sooner than that and you’ll get blown off or labeled as a pest. The best thing to do when turned down, especially when the producer or your contact person says they’re booked right now, is to politely ask when their production schedule might let up.
Or, even better, close the conversation by telling them you’ll follow up with them in the future. This leaves the line of communication open and doesn’t close the door to an interview down the line.
Thanks for writing and good luck promoting your book!