Posts Tagged ‘public relations’

7 TV Shows Authors are Guaranteed to Get On

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

What do Elvira, The Food Network’s Bobby Flay, and comedian Tom Green all have in common?

They all started out on public access television.

PBS affiliate KTCA even picked up a program called Mental Engineering that started at SPNN, the public access channel of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

With more than 700 stations throughout the world, public access television is the easiest way for any author to get on the air virtually anywhere. (For a list of U.S. stations, go here:  http://mappingaccess.org/)

And if you create just one video, it will get multiple plays.

My local community television station, CTV of Santa Cruz, (www.CommunityTV.org),will air a half hour or one hour show a minimum of ten times in the first month. If you create something short, they will air it even more often.

And they have three different channels: one for government related programs, one for educational material, and one for general material. So any work that can deemed educational in nature, which would include anything in the self-help or how-to categories, and probably even children’s books, will air on two stations.

The kicker is, they have to air anything of a non-commercial nature that any resident of Santa Cruz County brings to them. All you have to do is fill out a form and make sure your video meets their technical requirements.

And here’s the secret sauce: I can bring them ANY video—by anyone. So you could live in Zimbabwe, send me a video, and if I bring it to CTV, they will air it.

And if you bring my video to your station, at least in the U.S, they will put my show on your channel. So if you can get enough friends, relatives, clients and/or subscribers to bring your video to a community television station, you could literally create a national show.

You could easily create seven shows—or get one show to air in seven cities.

Gerard Butler could have easily gotten a literary agent when he went from public access TV to a regular broadcast show in The Ugly Truth.

Gerard Butler could have easily gotten a literary agent when he went from public access TV to a regular broadcast show in The Ugly Truth.

There’s another reason this is important. Video is already the future of the internet. According to Business Week, as far back as last November there were more video views than searches: 12.7 billion viewings as opposed to 12.3 billion searches.

So you should be making videos anyway. Why not use the same videos to air on your local TV station?

Plus, your chance of getting a video on the front page of Google is 45 times greater than the odds of getting your text page on the first page of a search.

For this strategy to be fully effective, you need to have a reason for people to come to your Web site after they see your show. You could give away a special report, or fr/ee chapters of your book—or if you are a children’s book author, you could give away some coloring book pages with images from your book.

(By the way, this is a killer strategy for children’s book authors. Do a show reading your book, and get it to air everywhere. Or team up with two other children’s book authors for a show, and use everybody’s connections to get the show on the air in as many locations as you possibly can!)

Once you know a show will air, call up the bookstores in the area and make sure they carry your book.

You could even promote a bookstore appearance this way—then tape your appearance at the bookstore and put that on television. Some of these shows air for years—which could mean continuous sales for your book anywhere your show is on.

And if you dream of getting your own TV show, community access could be a good beginning. If you make the leap to a major cable or broadcast show, you wouldn’t be the first.

As a publicist once said to me, “Things lead to things.”

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How Suze Orman Became Famous

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

I just had a lovely video call on Skype that seemed more like I was interacting on a TV talk show than talking on the phone. The guests or hosts were Barbara Wellner and Karen Melamed of Mediawise Consulting (www.Mediawise-Consulting.com). They were as entertaining as can be! They teach people how to be GREAT when they’re on television–and though they were only on a little webcam from their computer, it was clear that they were naturals at it themselves.

Barbara was a senior producer on the team that developed and launched FX, the largest launch in cable history, as well as a producer for Tom Bergeron.

Karen was the producer of a local TV show in Baltimore called People are Talking. You might have heard of the star of that show: Oprah Winfrey.

She later became a producer of Oprah’s national show and was responsible for some of her highest rated episodes.

So Karen was around before Oprah helped make Suze Ormon a star.

She told me three things that made Suze extremely easy to work with from the perspective of a television producer:

1) Suze offered to be a guest in case there was an emergency because of a cancellation.

2) She offered to pay to fly herself to Chicago and

3) She was more than willing to be one of the experts who comment from the audience that Oprah talks to for 30 seconds. (If you’ve watched Oprah, you’ve seen them. Believe it or not, some people are divas who say they will only appear if they can sit on the stage.)

But the most important part of the story is this: Suze said to herself, if I’m going to only have thirty seconds on Oprah, I’m going to make it the best 30 seconds I can.

When she had her moment in the spotlight, she was so entertaining, informative, and easy to understand that Oprah continued to talk to her way past the thirty second mark. In a few short minutes, she heard the words that every guest on Oprah wants to hear: “You’re fabulous! I need to invite you back on the show.”

That’s how Suze Ormon went from a thirty second guest in the audience to a household name.

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