The PR Doctor’s Prescription For A Great TV Guest Appearance
One of the media opportunities that you will seek is to appear on TV as a guest of a show or to be interviewed. This article will focus on the times you are a guest on a specific show. First, it is important to note that the television news media are literally inundated with pitches for media appearances every day. So when your chance arrives you want to be prepared. So what are the strategic actions you can take to be a top TV guest? The PR Doctor offers the following prescription of strategic actions to help you achieve that goal.
Strategic Action #1: Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare for the interview with your message and key points you want to make during your appearance.
Strategic Action #2: Select some of your favorite “tips” to share on the show. “Tips” are a great way to communicate your message. Television producers always strive to provide their viewers with useful content presented in a manner that is easy to understand. You should select about five “tips” to share on the topic of the show.
Strategic Action #3: Be sensitive to the amount of statistics you use during your interview. Be careful to use numbers wisely and to be aware of some of the emotions certain statistics could trigger.
Strategic Action #4: Be prepared to answer personal questions. In professional quality television shows a producer will do research for the host about you and your topic, in preparation of your interview. So be aware that if some simple web research unearths some potentially negative or embarrassing information, be prepared to respond in a proactive and positive manner. Sometimes, your best response is a real and even comical answer that will “play” to the audience and deflect the antagonistic tone of an interviewer.
Strategic Action #5: Find an “angle” for your “pitch” and especially look for a “local angle.” Local television stations with network affiliates are extremely valuable and you will want to entice their interest with a local connection. Your appearance and interview will be much more effective and memorable with the host and the viewers when you can incorporate the “local touch.”
Strategic Action #6: Check and confirm the information for your TV appearance. Make sure you know exactly where and when you are to arrive. Confirm this the day before your appearance.
Strategic Action #7: Make sure to have your contact information ready so you can share it when asked during your interview. You should be sure to give your website, an email address, your telephone number, and your location, if applicable. And make sure the contact information is accurate and up-to-date before you announce it on the air.
Strategic Action #8: Commit to looking and feeling your best for your TV appearance. Get a good night’s sleep the night before the appearance. A healthy breakfast would also help. It is important to remember that a good night’s sleep and good nutrition are very important to our daily mental and physical well-being. When we are rested and relaxed, we look better, feel good and think clearly. This is even more important for a TV interview because you may be subject o some stress of an important media interview. Don't overdose on caffeine.
Strategic Action #9: Be very conscious of your voice and your tonality in your TV appearance. Avoid speaking in a monotone. A monotone will “kill” an interview’s effectiveness very rapidly. It is very important to alter your pitch and tone to keep your audience interested. Be animated also. Your body language is a very effective conveyor of your message. And remember, it is not only what you say, but also how you say it that counts!
Strategic Action #10: Always employ impeccable manners and be gracious on and off the air. Always thank the host for the interview while you're still on-air. An added thank you to the producer will also be in order. I always recommend sending a brief thank you note to the host and the producer. It is good manners and will enhance your image as a well-mannered professional. And because these thank you notes are not always sent by others, the note you send will increase your chances of being remembered in the future, when they need to interview an expert on your topic.
Strategic Action #11: Review and critique your appearance. Have someone record your interviews. Watch your interview numerous times and ask yourself questions like: How well did I answer the questions? How did the host respond to my answers? Did my clothes portray me as a professional? What did my body language say about me? Did I appear natural or did I appear too rehearsed? Did I remember all of my key points and turn them into sound bytes?
The PR Doctor recommends that you commit to follow this prescription so you can gain extremely positive results from your TV guest appearances.