In this week’s TV Tuesday’s question and answer session with a TV journalist, I’m posing questions to Pat Evans, who has been an anchor and reporter with KARE-TV, NBC station in Minneapolis/St. Paul for 25 years. Read what Pat thinks about National Cheese Day!
Q: You’ve been in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market for 25 years. What kind of changes have you seen in the television industry during that time?
A: Helping our guests tell their story has been my focus and priority and that has always been my greatest joy. It’s a privilege and one that I very much value. However, the mechanics of my day has changed dramatically. There are fewer people to support getting the job done and that means everyone is taking on a lot more responsibility. Those additional responsibilities for many people in the newsroom mean being multi-media journalists (now reporting, photographing and editing stories), consistently posting for social media and booking daily news shows is a constant demand. And, I’m surprised there aren’t more people who want to be on and use television to tell their stories. We solicit small businesses and individuals to tell their stories more now than we ever did in the past.
Q: What’s is the best pitch you’ve ever received?
A: Good pitches offer media trained interviewees who are expert in their field. These people are effective communicators and understand how to deliver key messages. For example, James Beard Award winning cookbook author Beth Dooley is a television guest who shows up with shopping bags of tricks and it looks like nothing and within 15 minutes she has something ready for air. She’s always boosting something local – whether it’s a new local product, a new organic honey she’s found or her favorite sauce. She is the face of promoting what’s good in this market. She is passionate about the messages she is delivering. She makes it look so simple and easy and that’s because she is prepared which allows her expertise to shine through.
Q: What’s the worst pitch you’ve ever received and why?
A: Worst pitches typically are made around a made up “holiday.” For example, it’s National Cheese Day on say June 5. We have a Domino’s pizza maker who can toss pies with fresh Wisconsin cheese. Why would that interest our viewers? How does it provide value to our viewers? It doesn’t. And another turn off is when we receive pitches that have clearly been cut and pasted. Really? You couldn’t take the time to craft a meaningful pitch and then you want us to book it? That’s just plain lazy.
Q: How do you like to be pitched?
A: Email only.
Q: If you’re on the fence about a pitch, what pushes you over?
A: Things that are visual. Offering good broll (video provided to the television station), high resolution images or props that will help tell the story.
Q: Is there something you wish public relations would not do?
A: Not phone or leave voicemails. Not enough time to listen to them and most people don’t get to the point in voicemails.
Q: What makes someone a good interview?
A: Enthusiasm is the first thing. Good conversationalists. Knowledgeable. Command of subject matter. And, they have to make it understandable to the viewing audience.
Q: Where do you get most of your story ideas from:
A: Current events. Viewers who reach out. And hearing from people when I’m out in the community. I love when they come up and want to share an idea.
Pat Evans is pictured below with Peg Roessler.