How to Get Featured on and Pitch Your Business, Brand or Story to Good Morning America
We spoke to Mort Fleischner, a former producer of Good Morning America, about the Do's and Don'ts of pitching brand stories to Good Morning America. Much of what he says can be applied to all national morning shows. Mort has spent 45 years in local and network television as a producer, writer of award-winning newscasts, documentaries, and talk shows. Highlights include work with ABC news, Good Morning America, and the development of multiple segments focusing on political, social, and economic issues.
Mort has been awarded the Gold Medal from the International Film & Television Festival, twice been awarded the "Heart of New York" Award by the New York Press Club, and been nominated for an Emmy Award twice.
New York City born and raised, Mort is a graduate of Columbia University School of Journalism, New York University, and Stuyvesant High School. He resides just outside of the city with his wife Anita and two daughters. He currently consults with some of the leading news programs and reporters on-air.
Here are some of the secrets Mort has shared with us on how to get featured on Good Morning America.
We have also created a #PRTuneUp downloadable class that extensively covers how to get featured and press coverage on national and local morning shows like Good Morning America. After you read this article, go on over and download it! It's a must-listen if you're trying to get press on these shows! Click here for more details on that #TuneUp class. (psst: members of Tin Shingle get this and other #TuneUps for free).
Make a cold call to the Good Morning America (GMA) studios news desk and ask for the name and any contact information you can get of the producers who handle the area you are pitching: books, business, politics, money, health, sex – you name it!
Be sure you get the correct spelling, as well as their email address and if possible, a phone number. If they will not give you the phone number, you can at the very least get the Good Morning America mailing address and the correct contact that you should be pitching.
Send your material and a brief and concise pitch letter or email to the producer, along with all appropriate contact information.
Be sure to paint a picture as to why their viewers may be interested in your story or product. Be sure to mention your ability to employ visuals into your segment that will make it more appealing as a televised story.
Be sure you have all the elements of your pitch organized before you send it out to the producers.
Morning shows work fast and they will not want to wait around for you to get organized if and when they reach out to you.
Write out what you are going to say before you pitch and rehearse it.
Keep talking points and important information in front of you just in case you forget what you want to say in the heat of the moment. When on the phone, be enthusiastic, keep it short, and remember that there is a fine line between pitching and being pushy. Pushy folks do not get on television.
Wait about a week and then call back.
You might get lucky and someone will answer, either a producer or their assistant/intern. If no one answers keep trying, and note that a voice message will do nothing for you unless you are Tom Cruise or Sharon Stone so just hang up and call again another time.
Be discouraged easily.
You may be told you are on file, or to call back in a month, or even six weeks. Don’t give up, and in the mean time call a few local news or talk shows and build a reel of your appearances on those shows to show a national news program that you can handle the television environment.
Call Good Morning America before 1pm EST.
The show gets off the air at 9am. From 9-10am, the producers are too stressed out to talk to you. From 10-11am there is a meeting to discuss the story ideas and talk about the following day, and from 11-12pm writers and producers are busy with calls and mail. At noon people are having lunch, and then by 1 pm they will have more time to deal with your requests.
Forget that producers are sometimes rushed, angry, tired, and impatient, so be kind.
When calling, be sure to ask them if it’s a good time to for them to talk. Courtesy is appreciated.
Become a pest.
Once a producer says “sorry, not for us”, you’re out. You are free to go to the Today Show or Fox and Friends or any other outlet, but leave the producers who said no alone.
Waste your time and money sending stuff to the on-air talent or executive producers.
They’ll never see it and it will not change anyone else’s minds. A good story is what sells.
Forget that producers don’t enjoy saying “no” to people.
They understand how valuable a television appearance can be to someone trying to make it. That said, please don’t beg or cry (as many people have actually done) as it doesn’t make things any easier.
And to make your own luck with the press,
consider a membership with Tin Shingle.
We help brands get the word out about their business.
About Sabina Ptacin
Sabina Ptacin is a founding partner of Tin Shingle and directs the Tin Shingle public relations team. She is also the co-founder and chief brand strategist at Red Branch Public Relations in New York City.
To hear Sabina teach over your computer listen to our audio classes here.
View all articles by Sabina Ptacin
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