Even the most sophisticated executives and experts can feel uneasy when faced with the prospect of a live TV interview. After all, there will only be once chance for him/her to impress the audience. Anything can go wrong and it will spell disaster for the reputation of your client. In fact, it is quite understandable for the Lakeland public relations team to be on tenterhooks, too.
But that’s okay. Stress and pressure are great motivators. With the right approach and preparation, everyone can be an effective communicator and with the success of the TV interview, the success of the business will soon follow.
Understand the medium
Before even starting to draft the messages to be delivered, you have to understand what kind of TV program your client is facing. What is the theme of the program? What stands has it taken in the past week regarding issues related to your client?
Is the journalist (interviewer) knowledgeable about the issues and does the interviewer have a conflict of interest? Is the interview taped or live? Can it be edited? These questions are important to understanding how to effectively use the medium.
Build the message
There is a limited amount of time dedicated to TV interviews. Broadcasters won’t spend more than 10 minutes interviewing you and you only have that small window of opportunity to make your case known and to persuade viewers to listen and believe in you.
When creating the message, act like a trial lawyer. Nothing should be obscure and everything should be clear, defensible, and memorable.
If the issue is important, your client should anticipate questions from the broadcaster. Anticipate the questions coming from the reporters.
You have seen the news enough to know that reporters as very probing questions. If your client is not ready to answer such queries, you can simply provide a generic answer that will fit all types of situations.
They said that practice makes perfect and indeed, it is. How do you think bodybuilders built all those muscles? It’s not a one-day work, right?
That is the same effort we should be putting into improving our Lakeland public relations team. Act out the interview since this will help sate the tensions felt by your client. One strategy you should practice with your client is called bridging and blocking.
Basically, your client will use the phrases “the real issue here is…” to refocus the questions to the issue he wants to be addressed or “let’s put it in perspective” to divert the attention of the questioner from a topic your client is not comfortable with.