How To Get and Give a Great TV Interview

February 23, 2012

By: Mikala
If I had a nickel for every time a client asked, “can you get me on CNN?” my piggy bank would never go hungry. It's not that getting on a major broadcast network is out of the question; the question is, are you ready to be there? Does it fit into your overall public relations strategy? To make people care about your company, you have to be able to explain how it fits into a bigger story. Ask yourself the following:

  • What is your company's impact on the world?
  • Can your story reasonably be linked with a hot topic?
  • Do you have a unique point of view?

That sounds easy enough, right? Not so fast. Once you secure an interview, are you ready for your close up? Here are a few interview tips to consider:

  1. Know your key messages and get to the point quickly. Most broadcast interviews only last a few minutes, so use your time wisely.
  2. It's okay to talk about your company and its products, but only when appropriate. If the story is about rising gas prices and you manufacture electric vehicles, focus on how your industry is making an impact rather than discussing the new model you just launched.
  3. Don't lie or refer to stats you can't support.
  4. Be sure to pause after each point to allow the interviewer to engage in the conversation.
  5. Know that everything you say is on the record and can be used in the interview. Avoid making statements that can be easily manipulated or taken out of context.
  6. Talk directly to the reporter, not to the camera.
  7. Use expression, but avoid nervous behaviors such as swaying, touching your face or blinking erratically. This can make you appear untrustworthy.
  8. Dress appropriately. Avoid bright colors and busy patterns that might be distracting.

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