Why Not All Stories Become a Guest Segment

“Trends, like horses, are easier to ride in the direction they are going”. John Naisbitt


It’s great to be passionate about stories that showcase your expertise, but you also have to pay attention to which stories the media is actually talking about. And sometimes, that’s all they’re doing: talking about it. Sometimes it’s just an anchor read or they toss to a reporter in the field to cover the issue. But they’re not booking guests to talk about it. If you were watching, you’d know this.

It actually takes quite a lot for a story to rise to the level that a news producer decides to devote four to six minutes of valuable time on their show rundown to a guest segment. Here are some reasons that make a segment merit using guests:

  • The show can get the actual newsmaker. Sometimes they’ll book someone on the other side as well, but often the newsmaker goes on alone because they are the news
  • It’s a hot button topic that inflames passions on both sides, making for a great debate
  • It’s a “watercooler” topic that has huge public interest and engagement
  • It’s a breaking or on-going story that they need to keep talking about hour after hour and they need fresh angles on it

Pay attention to what stories your target media is covering, and how they’re covering it. When a story you’re passionate about isn’t making it as a guest segment, there are still options for you to weigh in with your opinion. Social media posting is a great way to get your point of view out early and often. If you’re using hashtags, producers will be able to find you if the story starts to gain traction down the road. You can also blog about it, include it in your newsletter or write an opinion piece for print media. If you’re keeping an eye on the stories that are getting guest coverage, you’ll be able to think of ways you can add to the conversation.

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