By Alyson Campbell (@acampfashion)
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Publicity Club of New York’s “Meet the Entertainment Media” luncheon. While these media are certainly apt to receiving more gossip and stranger stories than any other news desk, it’s still important to approach them in the right way.
Take these tips from some of the top entertainment reporters:
1) Don’t assume they’re “celebrity-friendly.”
Rob Shuter, aka, “Naughty Nice Rob” from Huffington Post Celebrity says that he tends to be more “celeb-fair.” It’s really reporting the whole story. Sometimes, he may not be nice.
2) Get to the point.
If they have to scroll down in your pitch, you’ve already lost them.
3) Maximize scheduling.
If you are working with a celebrity who will be in NYC from L.A., for example, reach out to them in advance (ideally at least a week) to set up a time to meet. Even if they can’t fit a live interview in their booking schedule, they can always tape it for future opportunities. If anything, you’ve established a relationship by even reaching out to set up a meeting.
4) Give me a “scoop.”
It goes without saying, but if you can give them a sneak peek into a celebrity’s world and it’s information they may not have, they will be very interested. Think about your unique angle before you approach them.
5) Put your event date in the subject line.
If you’re hosting an event, this tactic seems simple enough, but it’s often forgotten. Keep in mind they’re constantly inundated with emails and this is a quick way to get their attention in a timely manner.
6) Q&As are great.
David Caplan of GossipDavid.com loves a good Q&A. He said it’s a great way to get a larger story from the celebrity and it’s also a good way to incorporate a brand, such as your client’s product that may be tied to the celebrity you’re pitching.
7) We want to feel like we’re in your living room.
Emily Gertler of Good Morning America says, “Things for our hosts to do together are welcome. We want to feel like we’re in your living room.”
8) Don’t neglect social media.
Often, entertainment reporters will break a story from Twitter or Facebook as these are more real-time. Some shows, including Good Morning America, will also feature live on-air tweets for the hosts as appropriate, so it’s a good way to get your news out there.
9) Get to them early.
While it’s easier said than done in an ever-changing PR day, you really need to get to your contacts as early as possible. Even though you may think lead times are shorter with TV or entertainment weeklies, they book up months in advance. Perhaps surprisingly, Good Morning America’s booking schedule, for example, is typically three to four months out.
10) Create a mutually beneficial relationship.
This may also seem like a no-brainer, but reporters aren’t interested when you’re approaching them only when you want something. Brent Lang of The Wrap says, “Create a mutually beneficial relationship with me. Sometimes I’m willing to ‘carry the water’ even if it isn’t an exact right fit, if I can expect you to provide me with a great source later on, for example.”
Image courtesy of Telegraph.