Cutting Through the Crowd of Stories

November is coming up and it’s a big sweeps month.  By “big” I mean important, as sweeps go.  They seem to count more heavily than July sweeps in setting ad rates for TV stations.

So what to do if you have an important November campaign that requires that you do a Satellite Media Tour or an Integrated Media Tour™?  How do you cut through and get the bookings?

Like it or otherwise, sweeps is about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll … the stuff that broadcasters believe draws an audience, which is exactly what they’re after during sweeps.

So if you want your SMT to be chock-full of bookings, one of the first questions to ask is, is it ‘sexy?’  Are we offering something that is compelling enough to cut through all of the high profile ‘special series’ that fill news programs during this time?

It’s Who Says It.

Spokespeople are key to the success of any SMT or IMT™ — they have to be good.  But you might have the greatest talent who can deliver your messages frontward and backward, but are they high profile enough to have the chance?

Celebrities win hands down — certainly A- and B-list and even Cs.  That’s why they command the big bucks, which may also be the reason that your spokesperson is other than a celebrity.

Your spokesperson should be someone who is an expert in his or her field and more than that, someone who the local markets are unable to duplicate.  That means that they have credentials that are recognized nationally.

Tell Me a Story.

Right up there with your spokesperson is the “Story.”  To cut through sweeps, it must be compelling, unique or have just the right amount of kitsch to get the bookings.  If it’s time-sensitive and captivating, you’ve got most of the formula.  If it’s real news with a harder edge, you’re in.

Take It on the Road.

To add appeal to your story, produce the SMT from a unique, remote location, which will add excitement and panache to any local news or talk program.  For a recent SMT for a backyard wood deck sealer, we originated our tour right from Niagara Falls where the product is used on the visitors’ viewing platforms and stairs.


For stronger, more impressive results, integrate your SMT with radio interviews, targeted, guaranteed TV placements, an audio news release and a web video.

Movin’ On Out… of Sweeps

If you are able to move your SMT with a softer feature story and a lower profile spokesperson out of sweeps, timing is still very important.  Avoid the first couple of days after sweeps as producers tend to take off some time to recover from the intense month.