What It Takes To Get On ABC's Good Morning America

Dec 07, 2018 Harrison Calato

At InkHouse, we take the time out of our fast-paced daily routines to meet with reporters, editors, and producers. This provides us with the opportunity to fully grasp the types of stories reporters are looking to tell and how we can work together to best represent our clients as relevant and valuable resources for them.

Most recently, I met up with Kieran McGirl, a producer for ABC News in New York City, who is mainly focused on securing segments for Good Morning America (GMA), a dream broadcast opportunity that can bring a new level of awareness to any product, service or person, which is why we’re excited to share our insider knowledge on how the show is produced and what it takes to get on it.

As a producer for GMA, Kieran is responsible for producing pieces every night to be used on air the next morning. This involves scripting, shooting, booking, and producing segments all in a very short amount of time (often in just a matter of a few hours). Kieran describes a typical night as working on multiple high-profile headlines at a time including interviewing victims and witnesses from the recent Kavanaugh case, pulling footage and the latest news around Hurricane Florence and most recently, updates and footage from the devastating California wildfires.

When I asked Kieran how he pitched his editors on different stories he comes across, he said:

#1: Hard news is fair game.

During the first hour of the show, GMA covers all current political, financial and national consumer stories that are headlining. If you can make a connection or use one of these angles as a timely hook, he’ll likely consider your pitch. Note, this is less about visuals and more about newsworthiness.

#2: Feel good stories are the focus.

After Kieran and his team cover hard news, the second hour focuses on stories that have emotional triggers. Typically, these stories are more visually appealing and pull at the heartstrings of viewers. Think, #MeToo or philanthropy.

#3: Pitch angles must appeal to the modern-day mom or primary caretaker.

GMA segments are geared towards parents who are paying attention to the news but also working to shuffle children out the door for school while getting ready for work. As PR pros, we keep this in mind when pitching stories for our clients, making sure that it’ll reach the desired target audience while providing a valuable “expert” resource to a producer like Kieran. For example, when pitching a security client, focus on how a security vulnerability or data breach could potentially put a family’s safety at risk to capture the attention of the GMA viewer.

To learn more about our unique approach to media relations, contact the team at workwithus@inkhouse.com.

Topics: Media Relations, media trends, consumer, journalists, client news, Broadcast, national news
Harrison Calato

Harrison is a core practitioner of media relations and content development across all of his accounts. He has experience in many different industries but has particular interest in higher education and FinTech clients. One of his favorite things about working in PR is helping new clients discover and formalize their story and initial messaging.

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