Getting on television isn’t a public relations tool reserved for big companies and celebrities. Startups and one-person companies can -- and should! -- include TV as part of their public relations strategy.
TV is a powerful tool -- being featured on air as an expert is a good way to gain instant credibility with a large audience. But that’s just half of what getting on TV can do for your PR portfolio.
Nima Haddadi is an attorney who has used his multiple appearances on local and national TV outlets to build a long PR tail. “The great majority of PR work related to a television appearance actually takes place after the interview is done,” he told me.
Done right, a minute and a half of camera time can generate years of brand awareness, expertise and credibility. That’s especially important if your name is your brand or your company is just starting out.
Here are a few tips on how turn a TV appearance into a PR gift that keeps on giving.
1. Publicize your TV appearance.
Before the segment or interview airs, share the news that you will be on the news. Tweet it, post it on Facebook and LinkedIn – do everything you can to draw attention to your upcoming appearance. Note, however, that while it’s fine to share the topic you discussed on air, don’t share any specifics on what you said, which can upset the reporter.
Related: 5 Tips for Getting on TV
The point of spreading the news about your upcoming segment isn’t less about making sure more people watch, and more about building credibility by letting people in your network know you’re important enough to be on TV.
2. Ask for a copy of your segment.
Not all local stations post every story online, so before your segment goes live, ask the reporter or producer where you can obtain a copy after it airs. Typically, the station can give it to you on a thumb drive or send it to you via a secure link. Make sure you arrange this in advance -- reporters and producers hate digging for last week’s news story.
3. Upload it on the Internet.
If the story isn’t already on the Internet after it airs, put it there. If it’s already on the station’s site, upload it to YouTube or Vimeo as well. Often, stories on local, or even national, station websites can disappear after a week or two. Once the video of your segment up, share it liberally on all your social networks. Again, the goal isn’t to get people to watch it, it’s to raise the status of your company or brand by making it clear that you are important enough to be on TV.
4. Get someone to make a screen capture image of you on TV.
Find the frame or image where you look best, ideally one with the station logo and your name and title on screen.
Once you have a screen capture image, add it to your webpage. The story will be old news in two weeks but that image can live forever. Consider using it as your Twitter profile photo or Facebook photo.
5. Keep a clip file.
As you do a few TV appearances, you’ll want to access them quickly and use them to pitch other reporters or national producers on topics you can speak knowledgeably about. In particular, national producers will want to see your clips before they agree to interview you.
“Few things do a better job of conveying credibility than being on TV,” Wade Floyd, a serial entrepreneur told me. Floyd was a regular face on TV in Austin, Texas, which helped first venture, the social platform NeedTo, gain exposure. “Whenever I was on, it made a big difference. I could write 1,000 words about my experience and my company but it just wouldn’t compare to the power of seeing a real person share their passion and the long term credibility that comes from a TV appearance.”