As you well know, getting your product featured on TV is like digging for treasure. You can follow the map perfectly and strike gold. Or not. That being said, there are things that you can do to improve your chances.

 

Give your product to the people

Giving away product should be a part of your marketing budget, especially if you are aiming for earned media. It’s important to get your product into the hands of people who might be in a position to mention or demonstrate your product on air. Conduct an online/social media search to find a handful of on-air experts and news anchors who geek out over tech products. For example, if you find folks who love the smart home category and you have an innovative smart home product, email them with a personal note and offer a sample. Engage them periodically – but do not stalk them! – to ask for their feedback or to share a new launch. Hopefully, they will use and love your product, possibly post about it and maybe talk about it on TV.

 

Sometimes you have to pay to play

If you already have a PR agency, you may be thinking, “I’m already paying a PR agency – why should I pony up funds outside of that?” I’ve been on the brand side, so I hear you. But, if you want a guarantee of coverage, the only way to do that is to invest in paid media. Satellite Media Tours are a big-ticket item, but they are a good investment to consider if you want dozens of markets in one fell swoop.  All the top lifestyle and tech experts do them – especially around the holidays – and the firms that manage them will guarantee a certain number of interviews and impressions.

 

Then there are sponsored in-studio segments, which means that you pay for your products to be featured. You can contact stations directly or work with on-air experts who will serve as talent (and who will often organize the segment for you). To find good experts, use social media to find the people who you think would be good ambassadors for your brand and reach out to see how you can work together in a paid capacity.

 

The road less traveled

Just because your product is a good fit for gift guides, don’t stop there. Thinking beyond that can help your TV pitches stand out. Does your product answer a need, i.e. your foldable keyboard is a must-have item for people who work on the go. If so, propose a more specific segment idea, i.e. “travel must-haves for busy execs,” along with a classic gift pitch to give producers some options.

 

I’ve also found a lot of opportunity in the deal space. If you’re offering a generous discount over Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day, for instance, make sure that the on-air experts who cover that sort of thing are aware. And offer them the chance to try your product while you’re at it.  If they have your product in hand, they a) are more likely to consider including you because they are already a fan and b) will be poised to include you in a last-minute opportunity.

 

Trae Bodge is an accomplished lifestyle journalist and TV commentator who specializes in smart shopping, personal finance, lifestyle, parenting and retail.

 

In addition to monthly “Best Buys” segments on local network stations in New York City and Washington, DC, she has appeared on dozens of TV shows, including Rachael Ray, Inside Edition, CNBC and network affiliates nationwide.

 

Trae has been named a Top Voice in Retail by LinkedIn and a top personal finance expert by GoBankingRates and FlexJobs. She is a contributing editor at Woman’s Day magazine and her writing and expert commentary have appeared in Forbes, USNews.com, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, MSN, Yahoo Finance and numerous others.

 

Trae is co-founder of the media coaching firm, One Take, and the cult cosmetic brand, Three Custom Color Specialists. She is also a frequent speaker at conferences such as FinCon, Alt Summit and Mom 2.0 Summit.