While the public relations industry has been rocked by the video news release and satellite media tours, they are time old practices that have been used in public relations. The issue is that companies need to be more transparent that they are paying for the time on a satellite media tour, where the host is promoting the goods, or that a video news release is similar to a press release, and is telling one side of the story.
Now, it’s becoming more and more common that local television stations are going to sponsored spots to promote local businesses.What does that exactly mean? Well, for about $2500, local companies in Phoenix can go on Your Life A to Z on the top-rated news station in Phoenix, KTVK, Channel 3. And, this is not just limited to KTVK, or the Phoenix market. It’s happening across the country.
For that spend, you get a three-minute spot, online exposure on the AZ Family Website, and sometimes an opportunity to be on the Saturday news. While it is a pay-for-play situation, the station does have a disclaimer that the spots are “sponsored by,” to show that it is a paid spot. Now, does the audience understand what that means? Not sure, but the station is covering it’s assets by having that on the screen.
This week, I was at home waiting for the air-conditioner guy to come along, and a local realtor was on promoting real estate and herself. While the information she was presenting was of interest, as the market in Arizona is a hot one, the way she presented it was less than desirable.
And, that’s the bigger point. If you are going to be on television, make sure you get media trained by a PR professional. While the realtor spent $2500 for some good exposure, she was nervous. And, the nervous behavior detracted from her comments, and didn’t present her in the best way. If you are not prepared to be on television, to be calm and speak clearly without a nervous stutter or tremble, then it’s not a good money spend.
So, if you are going to go on television – either as an expert, or on a sponsored spot – the first order of business is to be media trained. You only have one chance at making a first impression, and you want to come across as confident, calm and knowledable. Being nervous makes people watch you, and not listen – then it’s a waste of being on television.