It’s making the rounds again… and perhaps it’s happened to you too?
A friend recently let me know she got called by a so-called big TV production company. She was excited as they told her all about how they could get her featured on news programs on ABC Family, PAX and more. After she nearly burst out of her skin to say yes, she got slapped down – and hard.
Even though the news coverage, the filming and everything was completely free, there’s a $20,000 licensing fee.
She asked me if this was a legit news organization.
The funny thing is that I got the same call for MY business within hours of her call. So I can honestly say:
No! It’s not legit.
Although the company may (and I say may very reluctantly here) be legit, it’s not any news organization I know of. The pay to play model is really an advertising or infomercial model. Can they get you coverage, perhaps? Will it help you build your credibility and presence in the media. No, it won’t.
A legitimate news organization will not make you pay for coverage (let alone a $20,000 licensing fee… that’s more than most of my clients pay for a year’s worth of public relations services from me!)
Here’s the bottom line: If a media outlet wants you to pay for appearing, it is a COMMERCIAL. Calling it something else is dishonest.