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September 3, 2015

Ask TV Squad: How do you get press kits?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 27th 2009 6:02PM
How I Met Your Mother press kitWe got this question today from a reader:

I'm just wondering how you go about obtaining press kits from networks. Can anyone get a press kit? A lot of web sites and blogs get them which surprises me because I thought that only huge corporations (national trades, etc) could get access to them. If I were to write a network requesting a press kit, do you think they'd send me one?

There's some confusion about the TV industry and press kits. A lot of people think that your publication or web site has to be really large and influential to get them. But that's not really the case. It actually comes down to secret passwords and insider information. Odd, but true.

So let me help you out here. If you call ABC and introduce yourself and your publication/site to them and ask to be on the list to get press kits and advance screening copies of new shows, they'll probably turn you down. When this happens, you simply utter the words "Rod Serling loved chicken salad." The network person will immediately put you on the list to get every press kit they send out.

Actually, it's not easy to get press kits, even if you can prove that you are a "legitimate" news source and a part of the TV industry. You have to contact the publicity departments of each network and let them know who you are. I would do this in writing and then a follow-up phone call later. The more well-known the site and the more traffic you generate, the better your chances. Even so, you might be able to get on the list if your site is small but well-known.

Of course, even if you get that far, you might find out that various shows have a PR firm that handles that stuff for them and you don't get the kits directly from, say, NBC or CBS. You should ask which firm handles the kits. And don't be surprised if it takes a long time or doesn't happen at all. Networks and shows can be a little choosy when it comes to handing out press kits and other materials. Like that really cool Barney toy above.

It's a little easier to get on the list for press releases. Those are sent out via e-mail now, and if you run a TV web site, then it's usually fairly easy to get added to the list once they know who you are.

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This is sad ;(


February 26 2009 at 4:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the barney looks more like marshall

January 27 2009 at 8:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is sad but true. The major networks have been the hardest ones for me to crack. However I just wanted to let you and whoever is interested know that the few contacts I do have (i.e. Nat Geo, TNT, Disc, etc) actually found me. How? Through Twitter. Twitter is magical.

January 27 2009 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Dude, that's totally going to be the new phrase... Can you just imagine Barney walking up to a bouncer at a club and saying, "Rod Serling loved chicken salad." Awesome.

January 27 2009 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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