Welcome to the PIT List!

I'm a network field producer who also worked in local tv as a line producer and field producer. Over the years, I have had the great fortune to work with super people. Now I'd like to pass along what I know and rant a tad.

"Dear Maggie..." pitlist@gmail.com
I check it sporadically, but I love answering emails, so if you have an issue or difficult person you need help with, don't hesitate to shoot it my way.

Maggie L

Maggie L
One of the rare times I'm in the office

Friday, August 31, 2007

Let Your Fingers Do the Walking

If you ever put a phone number in your show and I don't think you should (more later), please do yourself a favor and call the number first. And I don't mean call it from the press release or from the website where you found it, I mean put it in your script and dial the number that's in your script. People make mistakes. It might be the person who wrote the press release. It could be you who transposed a couple numbers. In any case, nothing frustrates viewers more than actually have made the effort to call, only to find out the number you gave them is wrong.

True story. A producer friend of mine had a phone number in their show. They did not call it prior to the story airing. I think the number was supposed to be... if you want to help, call XYZ. Instead, the number connected to a phone sex line. Suprise, suprise, suprise! Many of our station's viewers looked up our number to express their displeasure.

Better yet, dump numbers entirely. I don't think they have a place in your show. Who sits and watches tv with a pen? Do you? Better to drive to the web, as in, "If you want to help, we have that info on our website." Or, create a station hotline so that it's the only number viewers see throughout the show. Repeat the number frequently and update the hotline throughout the day.

Finally, the same goes for websites. Check out the website before you let the address air. And again, I think it makes more sense to drive traffic to your station's website, especially if the web address is even a little complicated.

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