How to Get Your Business Featured on TV

Inside information from one of our guest bloggers!

heather bailey bio pic

Heather Bailey is an Emmy-award winning producer with over 15 years experience in local television. She has produced content for multiple genres including news, sports, entertainment, government and education. Her social media philosophy is that the new media is a great tool for those involved in the editorial process.


From my years working as a television producer, I’m used to the role of gatekeeper. Gatekeeper is a pretty visual term, but try not to picture me as a giant green troll that habits the dark space under a bridge waiting to snack on kids that have gotten lost in the forest.

But in reality, a television producer does have to maintain the “gate” of information for the television organization for which they work. A television station has only so many minutes in a broadcast, so many employees and only so much time in which to get their stories written, filmed, and air-ready. They truly can only crack the gate open a bit for a short period of time, only letting few stories through to their broadcast.

It’s impossible to cover every story, event, or news event that comes barreling towards their “gate”.

So how do you get a key to unlock that gate and get your message through?

The “key” is to gain the support of the producer.

Sure, you can send the notorious press release to the media organization, or you can email the local reporter directly in hopes they will bite, but both those paths still lead to the gate and they are traveling rapidly and in large numbers.

Most organizations aren’t going to publicize contact information for their producers, but you can still get your message to them-through social media.

I told you not to picture producers as trolls living under a bridge, but even if you can’t let that visual go, at least picture the troll equipped with a laptop or a smart phone. If I have a news item, I’ll go to Twitter to see if anyone local is talking about the subject matter. If there’s breaking news and I want to talk to someone, who better than someone that witnessed the event and is sharing their account on social media? It doesn’t always have to be breaking news related events.

Say it’s the week of a popular awards show, and you manage a clothing boutique. How about a tweet along the lines: Looking to be Red Carpet fashionable for {insert the awards show}. Don’t forget those hashtags! #RedCarpet #Grammys #Oscars, anything term people might be searching. Not only will you attract other Tweeters, but also you might catch the eye of a producer who is looking to do a fashion related piece to tie into their awards show coverage.

On a slow news day I might look to Twitter to see what topics are trending. Producers, just like you want to be “in the know”. It’s a great way to search for story ideas that aren’t being “pitched” to us and waiting at the gate for us to let them. We love feeling that we found an enterprising story on our own.

Last year I was on my personal social media accounts and I saw a story that was being shared by my friends that caught my eye. It was a family named the Griswolds (yes that’s their real name) that were documenting their trip to Walt Disney World via social media. To top it off they had renovated their station wagon to resemble the iconic green Family Truckster.

As a producer who grew up in the 80s, I couldn’t shake the goldmine visual of the film’s scene of the Family Truckster passing under the Wally World Archway entrance with the idea of having this renovated Truckster traveling under the Walt Disney World Archway.

Television. Gold.

This story was found purely on social media and when we put inquiries in to film the story, the reps at Disney came along to produce a story on the family as well. From the Disney coverage, other media outlets carried the story as well. This story didn’t come from a press release, no one called the station, it truly originated on Twitter and Instagram (we even contacted the family through their social media account).

We are on social media!

We have personal accounts and work accounts (don’t forget to tweet ideas to the stations’ handles). We are always looking for stories. You can get your messages to the gatekeepers. There may not be a master key to the gate, but social media can help you reach that troll under the bridge via a new pathway that isn’t as heavily traveled as the conventional ways.