… in fact I was asked this on the Quora website recently by Michael Kraskin.
I spent a lot of time on the answer, because actually there are a few layers.
I’ve reproduced the text below – the answer on Quora is here
So, with the usual caveat of this being my personal opinion and not necessarily that of the show, or the BBC, below are the top 5 things I suggest thinking about before pitching an idea at BBC Click.
1. Is it interesting to a global audience?
Would someone outside your industry and not invested in the project want to ask you more questions about your Startup? It helps if it does something that people who aren’t hugely technical will also find truly innovative and interesting – for me, as well as being different, the startup has to pass what I call the ‘so what’ test. Before I pitch an idea for a story to my editor, I imagine them saying ‘so what’ after the first sentence. I’ll keep working on the idea until I can come back with a persuasive reason as to why it’s relevant to the wider world.
The other challenge I see for the show as a whole is that as well as broadcasting to a global audience, Click has to cater to people who are interested in technology but not necessarily technical – it has to talk about tech in an accessible and inclusive way. But at the same time, to keep gadget- and tech-lovers interested, the show needs to treat tech trends and startups with a bit of extra thought and analysis – making it a deeper experience for viewers than if they just looked up a product or company online.
2. Is it telegenic / Do you have a working demo?
Do you have a visually interesting demonstration of the tech actually working? Does it actually work? That’s really important. If there are no pictures, you might want to talk to our sister show on BBC World Service, Click Radio instead. However, research projects with visually arresting demos don’t need to work all the time – and I rather love prototypes and reference models – a look behind the scenes of hardware product development!
3. Are you pitching to the right person on the programme?
It’s rare that I can respond personally to every press release and email because we get so many requests to feature things on the show. The extent of the programme’s reach is wonderful. As we can all research, write, self-shoot, present and produce our own features, I also suggest putting a bit of thought into exactly which person on the team would respond to your pitch the most.
For example, I love anything to do with music tech, productivity tools and hacking/maker stuff. My love of music and technology means I’ll naturally gravitate towards this topic. I also read a lot (a LOT!) of science fiction – so stories on technology affecting wider society are also intriguing to me. Recent features I loved making included wearing a brain cap to generate classical music, fixing my own broken ipad, and the phenomenon of Life Logging.
4. Is your startup able to deal with worldwide exposure?
Make sure you’re actually ready for what may happen after being on the show. Many of my ex-interviewees have come back to me with stories about the increase in demand for their products/services! They say it’s important to be ready to fulfill those demands just in case.
5. Watch Click!
Finally, and perhaps most importantly – watch the show! Engage with us online if you like – some of us are more socially-inclined than others, but we’re all genuinely interested in how progress in technology affects the world around us. You’ll get a great idea for the sort of thing we feature by tuning in to the show or watching clips online.