CNBC has long been the leader in financial news television, but they’re facing stiff competition from rivals Fox Business and Bloomberg Television.  An appearance on any one of these news outlets can be a terrific way to reach your investors, clients, and potential customers.  To get your message out via one of the business news networks, here are six helpful hints:

  1. Take the time to research the network and find the right program. All of the networks have their program schedule and program descriptions on their websites.
  2. It may take a few e-mails or phone calls, but you’ll need to find the booker for the program(s) you’re targeting.  Don’t email the on-air talent.  Once you’ve identified the correct guest booking contact, make sure you’ve shaped your pitch into a brief yet compelling story.  Give specific examples that illustrate your points.
  3. Prove you’re an expert.  Share your background, some of your accomplishments and video clips from past interviews.  Providing a sample of another broadcast interview, even if it was on a rival network, can be very helpful.
  4. Make your pitch at the right time of day.  Earlier is generally better, but don’t e-mail or call when the program you are targeting is on the air.
  5. Recognize that the  networks are becoming increasingly competitive and their booking policies reflect that.  CNBC may ask that you not appear on other networks if they agree to interview you.  Some of CNBC’s programs have also moved to same-day guest booking.  To read a recent NPR story about network booking wars, click here.
  6. Be willing to change your plans, appear at an odd hour, or come in on your off day to get on.  Producers appreciate someone who can fill a hard-to-fill spot.
  7. Be prepared to invest some time in your outreach efforts.  You may need to follow up to your initial pitch, come back in a month or two, or re-define your pitch and/or your target program.
  8. If you’re successful and secure an interview, make the most of your time on-air.  Media training is a must for anyone who  doesn’t regularly appear on television. Media training will help you look and sound your best and convey your message as effectively as possible. It will also help you to feel more comfortable and in control.

Remember, the interviewer is looking for interesting, unique insight and “actionable steps” for their audience. Most shows will do a pre-interview which will give you a good idea of the likely questions you will receive on air. Developing a concise relevant message in advance can help you be an effective guest.

Lastly, make the most of your appearance.  The networks post most of their video clips online so you can use social media, e-mail, and links on your website to further distribute your message.