How do you get your Startup featured on national television news?


I am wondering if anyone has any advice on how to get your startup featured on TV?
I have had some success getting written about on some blogs, but nothing that non startup / tech people would see.

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asked Oct 22 '11 at 01:08
B Sherratt
11 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

2 Answers


Let's make the following assumptions:

  • That you are focused on the critical tasks of producing a product customers want and connecting with customers.
  • That you have a realistic marketing and advertising plan.
  • That you are not relying on winning the lottery of national news coverage to help you go "viral" as the basis of your marketing effort.
  • That getting on national news is not something you are "worrying about" -- but something that you see would be helpful to your start-up's efforts.

Then the question is how :

There are a couple ways that stories end up on national television news. One way is that stories are pitched to producers by reporters. Another way is that reports are assigned stories and go out and seek examples which fit in.

There is also this type of reporting called "investigative journalism" -- but that is in steep decline in national television news and hardly worth discussing for the purpose of this post with the exception of pointing out that to get published it is often the reporting pitching it to the producer.

So if you want your story to get picked up by the national news you need to do one of two things:

  1. Pitch it to a reporter
  2. Position it in a way that it can be an example for another news story.

Here are the things you need to do:

  1. Pre-write the story in a way that would be appealing.
  2. Know why it would be appealing
  3. Know who it would be appealing to
  4. identify the reporters on the national news that cover similar stuff or the subject matter
  5. Find a hook for your pitch: why it is relevant for their viewers now
  6. Contact them directly to tell them why.
  7. Do as much of the background work for the reporter as possible

There are also a host of websites where you can go and post your name and story for reporters to access when they are seeking an expert of an example. Here is an example Of course reporters are pitches all the time. How will yours pitch get through? Well it helps if you know the reporter. Or have some qualification that let's the reporter know the story has been vetted and it will be easy for them to just lift and present. (Think: minimal work)

Many companies (Most companies) intentionally seeking to get on national television news hire public relations firms. They are professionals in the way a programmer is a professional. It is possible to teach yourself C++ and build your own application -- and at a certain point, the cost benefit analysis is that it makes sense to hire a professional.

When hiring a PR professional focus on two aspects: development of the story and placement. You can find a professional who will be paid based on actual placement of stories.

answered Oct 22 '11 at 03:45
Joseph Barisonzi
12,141 points
  • Great advice. +1 for C++ analogy. – Sunil 12 years ago
  • @Sunil Thank you! – Joseph Barisonzi 12 years ago
  • Great stuff! Nicely described. – Mathias Lykkegaard Lorenzen 12 years ago


PR is the quick and easy way.

Pay money and you get on TV... I've done it many times. There seems to be a whole underground economy between journalists and PR agents.

Your PR agent will work with you on angles. You must as @Joseph mentioned have a good news worthy story.

The other way to get on TV is to do something crazy ... run naked down the street your company logo stuck over your "delicate bits". Call the local radio and TV stations before you do. (I haven't done this but contemplated it many times... "never say never").

answered Nov 1 '11 at 13:49
1,072 points

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