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Let’s Talk PR

Posted At: March 1, 2012 1:16 PM
by Kera Cottingham

Personable, relatable, funny, charming and empathetic are all words you might use to describe the bright stars who show their faces daily on a variety of talk shows. How have these stars grown from everyday, normal Jacks and Jills into the famous faces of daytime TV?

In a recent Biznik article, Marsha Friedman, publicity and public relations professional in Wesley Chapel, Fla., said becoming a talk show host involves more than most think.

“It’s not just about looking good on camera,” she said. “It’s about the unique, perfect storm combination of talent, perseverance, elbow grease and opportunity.”

Becoming a successful talk show host takes a lot of planning and fine-tuning of the raw talent of an ambition. Also involved is the perfect amount of publicity and PR.

“Living True and Truly Living”

Tahiera Monique Brown is the new, fresh face of the upcoming talk show “Living True and Truly Living.” The show is still in its production and editing phase, but the planning of how to promote the show and Brown as its host is already in process. “I believe that if you have a show, publicity/PR can help you reach your target audience and also help the audience know about the show well in advance,” she said.

Brown also noted what “Living True and Truly Living” is specifically doing to connect her with her audience. “I want the audience to know about my backstory, so that they will know that the platform of my show resonates with my guests and my guests to my audience,” she said.

Brown plans to use her backstory to connect with her guests and grow along with them. Her story can be found in her book, “Annihilator of Innocence,” which chronicles her two two-year hostage situation with her two children.

Victor Brown, Brown’s husband and manager, said that experts recommend to start publicizing a show about six months to a year in advance of the air date. Tahiera Brown has done just that.

“I’ve been doing a lot of communicating on social media. For instance, I have more than 5,000 friends on Facebook, and I also have active Twitter and LinkedIn accounts,” she said. “I am active in the National Speakers Association . . . I make sure that I am present and engaged at the local, state and national levels in several key organizations that relate to my passions and interests.”

Brown has used a variety of media and other platforms to publicize not only her show, but also herself as the lead role in it.

Catie Farrell, social media assistant at Intermark Group, is currently working to help promote “Living True and Truly Living” by guiding the development of Brown’s blog.

In regards to how Brown will be promoted, Farrell stated, “We have to decide how hard we want to push Tahiera and her story. If she personally wants to step away and focus on the guests and their stories, then we have to do that,” she said. “I think we have to decide to do one or the other, or both and then promote each aspect that will help create the audience and fan base.”

Outside of the blog, Farrell has insight on the overall use of PR when creating a successful talk show host. “There has to be an overall strategy and campaign to accomplish awareness and draw in an audience,” she said.

“Without publicity you are relying on very little and in order to make it happen you have to use all of the other resources 10 to 15 percent more.”

The Oprah effect

One enormously famous talk show host also relied on PR to develop into the TV mogul she is today: Oprah Winfrey.

In an article by Christine Steed, Steed lists five PR lessons that can be learned from “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

First, “be transparent.” No one wants to listen to someone who is fake or hiding something. If a talk show host expects their guests to be transparent, then they must be willing to be the same.

It is also important to “be relevant.” People are busy. If you want to be a successful talk show host you need to give people exactly what they want and need to hear.

Next, a talk show host should “strive for the gold standard.” Talk about what you know and are good at and then claim it.

Knowing and understanding the “power of spokespeople” is another relevant tip. Use strategy when determining stances for yourself and those you ask to represent.

And finally, “try new approaches to blaze a trail.” Be different! Do what hasn’t been done before. Try new things and reach new people.

In addition to building herself as probably the most successful talk show host of all time, Oprah has also used her PR wisdom to develop others into TV stars. For example, Oprah has helped to publicize stars such as Rachael Ray, Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz and helped them all become talk show hosts themselves.

With the right PR tactics, the average Jill can be turned into the next Oprah Winfrey. PR has become an essential tool to help turn a mediocre talk show and its host into a combination that is widely recognized.


  1. Post comment

    I think Oprah has some very good comments. I think if Oprah admits that PR helped her be the TV star she is, anyone can do anything. PR is a very broad category where you can do anything at all with it.


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