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Today, with thousands of TV hours to fill, there's room on television for virtually every product, service, and personality—and no one understands that better than producers Marta Tracy and Terence Noonan. Their one-of-a-kind handbook shows you how to make your dreams of on-screen success come true—whether that dream is to appear on reality television, to showcase your catering skills on The Martha Stewart Show, to promote your flower shop on a local morning show, or to launch a thousand different TV-centered ...
Today, with thousands of TV hours to fill, there's room on television for virtually every product, service, and personality—and no one understands that better than producers Marta Tracy and Terence Noonan. Their one-of-a-kind handbook shows you how to make your dreams of on-screen success come true—whether that dream is to appear on reality television, to showcase your catering skills on The Martha Stewart Show, to promote your flower shop on a local morning show, or to launch a thousand different TV-centered personal or professional goals. Starring You! outlines everything you need to market your business, product, point of view, or yourself, including:
The subtext of this media primer for businesspeople by two veterans of various TV shows is far more interesting than the actual content. Not only do the authors take it for granted that most individuals want to appear on television, but they argue that the very skills that position one for a closeup have "universal application" beyond electronic exposure. "Learning to define yourself as a brand, clarify your message, and convince someone that your idea is worth paying attention to (or, eventually paying for) in a crisp, concise way are valuable tools whether you want to get on television, become head of your PTA, or land that dream job," they coo. They lay out a fairly unsurprising collection of lessons such as familiarizing yourself with the shows, creating something pitch-worthy before pitching and respecting the time of those in the business. Interviews with "television insiders" slow down what is already a tanklike velocity. Still, if one knows nothing about getting TV exposure, this book may well increase the slim odds of landing a spot. (July 3)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
The Power of the Glowing Box
There are literally hundreds of shows, from local TV to The Oprah Winfrey Show, that depend on guests. The producers of these shows are constantly seeking new angles on stories, novel ideas, unique information, and fresh faces to deliver it all. For you, this translates into countless opportunities to get your message in front of millions of interested people. The most important thing to remember is this:
There are more segments to fill than there are good people to fill them.
This is exactly why you often see the same guests and experts. Good people really are hard to find, and we are out to change that with this book. We think there are thousands of people who have untapped potential to use television effectively to enhance their businesses, to get particular messages out about causes, or even just to expand the horizons of their lives and at the same time entertain and inform viewers. That's really why we wrote this book—we know television changes lives and businesses. Just look at us—two regular kids from New Jersey and Long Island who followed our dreams to success in television!
Television transforms lives: it has the power to turn a small-town girl into an internationally known singing sensation (Kelly Clarkson), change a local business into a world-class operation (Shabby Chic), make a struggling author into an "overnight" sensation (Candace Bushnell), and catapult a charmingmorning talk show guest to the heights of hosting her own show (Suze Orman). Its hurricane-like force when it comes to promoting people, ideas, products, and services to large groups is unquestionable. With a bit of effort you can access TV's power—and that's what this book is all about.
For all the technology available today (streaming video, podcasts, cell phone applications, and so on) and pundits' predictions about the future of media and communication (all books will be stored on a tiny computer you carry in your pocket or even attached to your heads with wires. Hmmm . . .), we believe people will continue to gather information in traditional ways, while adapting to new forms of technologies as they develop. For now, the majority of us continue to get a great deal of entertainment and information from television. As we write this book, there are new media being developed that need content and talent, and which you can also exploit. But this book focuses on the power of TV because right now it's the most effective mass media tool there is.
Just look at the number of networks that have sprung up in the past twenty years. There used to be three major networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC), public TV (PBS), and a few small stations that showed cartoons and old movies, generally with snowy reception included for free. Starting in the late 1980s, the big three started feeling their first real competition: FOX launched in 1986; UPN and the WB were both launched independently in 1995 but subsequently merged to form CW in the fall of 2006; and PAX network began in 1998, but changed its name to I: Independent Television in 2005. Today there are also hundreds of local stations (most owned by one of these networks) and cable or "pay TV" networks, some devoting themselves to single topics, such as movies, fitness, entertainment, lifestyle, food, politics, or any number of other specific issues or interests targeted at particular audiences.
Much of the programming on these networks is informational or service- or reality-based, meaning the shows use guests to discuss topics, share ideas, and provide a service. There will always be movies, comedies, and dramas on television, particularly in prime time (8 P.M. to 11 P.M.), but the majority of television depends on non-actors discussing topics and ideas. New cable stations pop up all the time, and they can't book guests and experts fast enough. No matter what the technological vehicle, it is all about the search for new and better content—and people who can deliver it.
In the age of TiVo and Internet downloads, it's very simple for people to banish traditional commercials from their lives. Ads in magazines and newspapers are not as effective as they used to be. Getting time on a show, especially one that is specifically targeted to a sympathetic audience, is one of the most effective ways of getting your brand or idea or service in front of people who want to know about it. Such segments often represent a "third-party endorsement," which means that someone is either talking directly to you or saying something positive about you, your product, or idea because they believe in it, not because they are being paid to do so. "That kind of endorsement can make or break a company. That's a flip from five years ago, when advertising was the focus of brand development," says Jon Harris, vice president of media development and communications for the Fortune 50 Sara Lee Corporation.
The strategies in the book have universal application—learning to define yourself as a brand, clarify your message, and convince someone that your idea is worth paying attention to (or, eventually, paying for) in a crisp concise way are valuable tools whether you want to get on television, become head of your PTA, or land that dream job. It doesn't even matter if you never pitch yourself to a television producer—you'll get practical information here that you can use to make your everyday life better. Just the other day Terence rented a car and "produced" the woman at the rental agency, using the same techniques in this book, and got himself upgraded from an economy car to a luxury sports model.
We have brought together the top broadcasters, on-air talent, and people whose lives have been changed because of TV and we promised all of them that you were going to read this book. Their time is valuable and the fact that they have given some of it to . . .Starring You!