Pro Tips On How To Land a TV Interview

Landing a TV interview can be a great boost to your business. It’s an opportunity for you to demonstrate thought leadership and industry expertise and get your company in the media spotlight.
 
Nail it, and you’ve created instant credibility for you and your brand.
 
Mess it up and well, you know…
 
So, before you give that TV interview, here are key tips to make sure you make the most of this media opportunity:
 

Firm up the Facts

Before you’re scheduled to go on, find out details about the opportunity. Is it live? Taped? How long? A live interview means what you say, airs – there’s no stopping or going back. A taped interview gives the TV outlet the opportunity to edit your interview. This means you don’t have to be perfect but it also means some of your most important messaging could end up being cut.
 
 

Manage your Message

You should be able to easily describe what your business is all about in 30 seconds or less. Nail down this messaging first and foremost. Then, what other key points do you want to get in? There should be no more than three. Eliminate aspects of your product or business that are less important – don’t waste time talking about insignificant details or the interview will end before you get to the good stuff.
 
 

Play the Part

What to wear, what to wear. If you’re a business expert giving investing advice, then a suit and tie might make sense. But if you’ve invented a new fitness product, you should be dressed in exercise attire. Watch the show before you go on to get a sense for what the hosts or anchors will be wearing. On many news sets, you’ll be sitting on a stool or chair with no desk in front, so there’s a good chance your whole outfit will be seen – including shoes.
 
 

Prep the Producer

Make sure the producer has your information (like your website or where people can buy) to put up on the screen and for the station’s website. Provide sample interview questions for the host. They are likely to be used and this will help prepare you, and ensure the segment stays on track.
 
 

Stay Spontaneous

You may be tempted to memorize answers, but don’t. An interview style show is back and forth between the host and you. Think about what you want to say beforehand, but don’t read from notes or memorize exact answers or it will sound rehearsed and artificial.
 
 

Enhance with Visual Elements

Television is all about the visual element. As much as you can make your story more interesting, visually, you should. If you have product to show, bring a lot of it. If you have great graphics that complement the interview, coordinate those with the producer beforehand. If there’s great video (in TV this is called b-roll), make sure to utilize that.
 
 

Ask Again

Once your interview is over, reconnect with the host and producer to see if there might be an opportunity to come back. This is especially true for those who are experts. Are you able to cover another topic down the line? Is there another angle or timeliness to your information? Offer yourself up for a return interview with a specific topic in mind.
 
 

Promote the Post

Post the interview on your website, and social channels like twitter and LinkedIn. Use the TV opportunity to add credibility to your brand.
 
 
 

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Ann Noder

Ann Noder is CEO/President of Pitch Public Relations, a Phoenix-based boutique firm specializing in national media. Pitch PR has a distinguished reputation for helping startups and big brands land significant media coverage with print, broadcast and online press.
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