The 10 Top Do’s & Don’ts of Pitching Oprah! By Susan Harrow

Most people believe that getting on Oprah will make them richer than Joe Millionaire. For your career to careen toward the stars, you must prepare to make the most of your appearance. Here are 10 do’s and don’ts to help you reach the dream of being on Oprah. As a media coach and marketing expert, I have helped many people be great guests on Oprah. Follow this advice to increase your chances of getting on the show.


1. Don’t launch into a long rambling story about why you should be on Oprah when you call producers.

2. Don’t send huge amount of information or your entire life story with photos from childhood to producers. They have to sort through thousands of packages just like yours. Just send what’s necessary.

3. Don’t keep re-sending the same information over and over again if you have not gotten a response. You need to try a different angle or a twist with each new pitch.

4. Don’t pitch yourself, your product, service or your book. Instead, pitch a newsworthy angle that appeals to her audience.

5. Don’t leave a telephone pitch longer than 15 seconds via voicemail. Be sure you leave your phone number at the beginning and at the end of the call. Producers hate to wait until the end of the message to get your phone number. And if your message is too long they fast forward or just delete it.


6. Do send a very brief pitch letter outlining your concept or angle in one or two (short) paragraphs.

7. Do create an entire show with a theme and envision how each of the segments will unfold. List all of the guests on that segment that tie into your theme. Make sure you, of course, are the star of the segment.

8. Do make sure you are not replaceable. You must position yourself so that no one else can contribute the particular information and insights that you have.

9. Do have a media room on your website that includes a two-minute video of your prior TV show appearances, a list of topics you are prepared to discuss, and your bio.

10. Do try to target the appropriate producer for your segment. You can call the receptionist and ask to be connected to the person who handles your beat (health, spirituality, books). If you are connected to a producer and they are not the right person for your area of expertise or for the topic of your segment, please use the opportunity to find out exactly whom you should be contacting and get their direct line. Good luck!

To learn more about how Susan Harrow has helped her clients appear on Oprah, read The Ultimate Guide to Getting Booked on Oprah: Ten Steps to Becoming a Guest on the World’s Top Talk Show, at:

Susan Harrow is a master media coach and marketing strategist and author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul (HarperCollins), and The Ultimate Guide to Getting Booked on Oprah. Her clients include Fortune 500 CEOs, Internet millionaires, elite e-businesses, best-selling authors and successful entrepreneurs. She has media coached and created marketing campaigns for people who have appeared on Oprah, CBS’s 60 Minutes, Dateline, Good Morning America, The Today Show, and in TIME, USA Today, People magazine, O Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Inc., and The New York Times among others.