Media Training 101

Some people are naturals when it comes to doing an interview and others well, need a little bit of help. Here are a couple of tips and tricks to get your through a media interview.

1. Don’t pull a William Shatner. Now, I will openly admit that I like Star Trek (yes, don’t tell anybody … Sh).  I did hear a story from a new author the other day, that while he was hosting a television show, William rolls in 60 seconds prior to going on air. Here is how you can make nice with a producer. When they give you a time to show up – you show up at that time. Or, show up early. You may get on a program early or end up scheduled for an additional spot.

2. Be prepared. This goes for all interviews including if you hire a videographer. Let’s start with the videographer example. A friend of mine was hired to do a shoot and the client not only showed up late, pissing of the owner of the location, but did not bother to review the talking points sent to my videographer friend, resulting in multiple takes. Yes, that upset the owner of this particular locale even more, as the time alloted for the locale which was open to the public for business, went way over. Obviously, the location owner is not going to be receptive to future shoots. When you hire a videographer – you discuss actual talking points and location prior to a shoot. Being nervous and doing a retake is not a big deal – but totally unprepared and late, no bueno. Also, most media interviews will be on a topic related to your business, so you should obviously be familiar with that. Most non-paid media spots, will not take suggested talking points, but keep in mind they will be going off of the information in your press release or your book/product for example. Most producers will discuss the layout of segments with publicists, so your publicist can share with you the topics that will be discussed, as well as what visuals to bring and timing of segments. Watching a show or listening to a radio show prior to your interview is another great way to familiarize yourself with format. See #3 on what you need to remember to say during your interview.

3. Ask for help. I tell clients at M Communications and M Com Publishing, ” I don’t care if you forget your name, just remember to say your website and product you are selling.” For some people, interviews are natural and this is not a problem. For others, the nasty nerves set in. All you need to do is ask for help. Many publicists provide media coaching, so you can ask exactly what to expect. Although, some shows are fly by the seat of your pants, others have a specific topics they want to discuss. Ask your publicist about interview format and what to be prepared for, and if you are doing your own PR, do research on your end. Talk to past guests if possible about their experience. The pointers could be invaluable.

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