Let’s Hear It From Giles Raine “AMERICA’S FAVORITE PUBLICIST”.
As a publicist, I frequently watch TV shows or read news stories that have only happened because I was the person who connected the production company, producer or journalist with an expert who had a story to tell. Helping our clients become influential news and opinion resources for the media doesn’t just automatically happen. Guiding them through the maze of great TV and other media opportunities that will help them build their reputation and increase their patient/client base, while keeping them away from other situations that could potentially be harmful to their brand, is a skill that takes many years and experience to develop.
One of the most exciting times of the media year is always “Sweeps” and “New Pilot Season”. This year, I have to say, there are some TV shows now on air that I would definitely discourage any of my doctor clients from being a part of and there are some new shows airing that I am proud to say my clients have top rating.
However, many people are of the opinion that placing a doctor in the news is as simple as pushing a button. But after years of doing what I call “wrangling media” by placing a good story in the news or a client on a major TV show is not as easy as it looks. Media is all about MONEY. So let’s talk a little about “Sweeps” and “New Pilot Season” and MONEY. “Sweeps” is that time of year when TV shows are being rated on the size of their audience. The bigger the audience, the more popular the show becomes, equals higher advertising revenues for the station or network. More advertising revenue equals fatter paychecks for the media executives. The same goes for “New Pilot Season”. If a new “Pilot” show can garner vast numbers of viewers, the more likely the networks will sign up for more production of that particular show. Why? Because they can show advertisers the ratings for that segment and persuade them to advertise around future shows. Again, more MONEY goes to the executive production team.
What this brings together are two completely different agendas on the part of the physician being interviewed and the media production team creating the segment or show. Even when you are working with a producer or reporter that you have had a good past experience with, how do you know if their agenda is to report accurately and conservatively, or if it has changed and has become more sensational and ratings driven?
In general, a good rule of thumb is; if the producer or reporter is asking you for anything that seems to be sensational, rather than plain old dramatic, for the benefit of telling your story, that is a warning sign…. This is TV Going Bad.
Do your part in this world of “reality TV” and keep it real… please!
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