Monday, February 07, 2011
As a book marketing expert Scott Lorenz is called upon by top execs and bestselling authors to promote their books.
Most authors include a food reference in their books and that mention alone could be all it takes to get the interest of a TV producer for an in-studio cooking segment on TV. If you can demonstrate that dish in a fun way then you've got another way to get publicity for your book.
Of course cook book authors have an advantage over traditional authors because they can go after a TV appearance because their entire book is about food.
Since a lot of things can go wrong on a live in-studio cooking demo. Here are some tips to insure that your cooking segment is great.
First of all find out how much time you have to work with. There's a big difference between a 2 ½ minute segment and 3 ½ minutes. My advice is to plan on a 2 ½ minute segment. Determine what can you do in that time period and plan accordingly. Anticipate and have strategies to deal with interruptions. Practice by setting up a camera in your kitchen so you can film and time your process.
Don't do excessive of talking during the segment. You are there to demonstrate how to prepare a certain dish and that's what your audience and host expects of you. So keep the words down.
Remember that there are three groups that you need to satisfy – the producer, the audience, and yourself. The producers are looking for interesting/compelling television; your job is to make them look great. The audience wants to learn something. What's their takeaway? What will you do to make their lives better? Among your goals is to point people to your website. A great way is to offer a free item like a recipe or appetizer in your restaurant. Once they sign up for the free item, use their email address for future marketing.
It's very important to find out in advance about the capabilities of the studio kitchen. Some studio kitchens look good on TV but the stove may not even be hooked up! Come with a prepared cooked version of your dish that can be displayed ahead of time and have another ready for the demonstration.
It's always a good idea to bring some extra samples for the crew. I've never see them turn down food! Outdoor segments, such as barbequing, really go well in the summer because that's what audience members do in the summer. For the fall, a Tailgate segment is great.
Here are some Practical Tips for a Great Cooking Segment:
• The camera loves food that sizzles, bubbles, and flames. Keep that in mind when selecting the dish you will prepare. Can your dish be prepared and plated in the allotted time? Pre-cook the dish halfway if necessary to meet the time limit.
• If there are promotional screen graphics provide the producer with the information several days before the shoot.
• Make a packing list of all the gear you need to cook off premise. Double-check your list and pack efficiently. Arrive at the studio 45 minutes before air time. Bring a cart to transport your gear and ingredients from the car to the studio quickly and efficiently.
• The camera loves color so bring some colorful ingredients as well as a seasonal table decoration.
• Upon first arriving at the cooking set, check all burners to make sure they work.
• Be set up 15 minutes before air time. Walk in front of the cooking table and scan what the camera will record. Is the tablecloth on straight? Are all ingredient labels faced outward? Are the ingredients balanced in uniform fashion?
• Provide the host with a list of suggested questions. This will help the host stay focused and on track and will help prevent any ringers from being thrown your way.
• Always refer to the host by name. Make direct eye contact and smile.
• Go with the flow. Some hosts will ask distracting, non-relevant questions so have a plan to deal with that possibility.
Use a Professional Media Trainer for your Cooking Segment
For many of my clients, I suggest they use a professional media trainer to better prepare them for the television or radio appearance. One trainer I frequently recommend is Jess Todtfeld, former FOX News producer and President of Success in Media. http://www.successinmedia.com
) Among the suggestions Todtfeld gives to help deliver a great cooking segment are:
• Don't expect the studio to have a stylist for you. You must take the necessary steps beforehand so you look as beautiful as you are and so your segment is great from beginning to end.
• Bring all the ingredients, tools for preparing, and a finished version of your dish. Don't expect to really cook it during the segment.
• Bring extra finished food for the crew. The quickest way to their hearts is through their stomachs. It will be worth every penny in materials when they decide to book you again.
• Have your entire segment planned out from A to Z to make the producer's life easy. That, in turn, will make him love you and book you again.
• It's not all about the food. Be fun. Show your personality.
• Give a copy of the recipe and let them know they can place it on the station's website.
• Days before the segment ask if they can prepare a "for more information" graphic for the lower third of the screen that will display your website address so people can find you after the show. It's a pretty standard practice but if you don't ask they might forget.
• Have something free on your website to plug, such as five of your most requested low-cal recipes or a chapter of your book. Be able to monetize the value of your free gift.
Make sure all the vegetables and cuts of meat are fresh and will appear appetizing. Place them in clear glass dishes along with pre-measured spices. There's only so much you can prep ahead of time; some things need to be done in the studio.
With HD cameras viewers can see everything from water spots on your glass ware to fingernails in need of a manicure and a five o'clock shadow. What may be acceptable in your kitchen may not play well on TV so be keenly aware of your appearance.
A great cooking segment will produce hundreds if not thousands of new diners, book sales and recipe downloads. It's all possible with planning, preparation and effort. Your success will be assured if you engage the services of a professional media trainer and marketing professional and practice your demo again and again.
TV Cooking Segments Gone Wild!
Just for fun, if you'd like to see how a lack of preparation can lead to disaster then you'll want to see these videos I've uncovered. The first disaster occurs because the chef did not anticipate that the two co-hosts, Kathie Lee and Hoda, would do a lot of distractive talking while he was trying to prepare food and he had no strategy to deal with the distraction. Take a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov9k_yABNHU
In the second video things go totally awry because Paula Dean does not take charge and gives a free hand to Al Roker and creates a massive time crunch for herself. Get ready to laugh at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTGOHckMosg
The bottom line: Great food and a great cooking segment on TV is no accident; it's all in the preparation. Good luck!
Bonus tip: Even if you don't have a cook book but there is a food reference or food theme in your book, you too can consider doing a food segment on TV.
About Book Publicist
Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with individuals and entrepreneurs to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz has handled public relations and marketing for numerous authors, doctors, lawyers, inventors and entrepreneurs. As a book marketing expert Lorenz is called upon by top execs and bestselling authors to promote their books. Lorenz grew up in a family hotel and restaurant business and has a degree in Even if you don't have a cook book but there is a food reference or food theme in your book, you too can consider doing a food segment on TV. Hotel Administration from UNLV. Learn more about Westwind Communications' book marketing approach at www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at email@example.com
or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist
Book Marketing Expert Video URL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTsTCKjLxc8&feature=player_embedded