Discipline Your Message and Talking Points
I was watching a high-profile national television show recently when the host gave the guest he was interviewing complete control of the interview – a.k.a. a rare break; the reporter asked the guest to tell the audience exactly what they should do in a specific situation. A perfect PR opportunity for this guest to share their message; however, instead of sharing the depth of their experience direct from their new book, they gave stale advice that really had little to do with the crux of their message. No ‘call to action’ was presented. I was disappointed for the guest, knowing how hard they must have worked to get to this point to then lose such a fortunate opportunity, as well as for the audience who didn’t benefit from the great truth and message this guest had to present.
Being on a national show can be high-pressured. Sometimes your nerves can get the best of you. Sometimes the producer or host will change their line-up last minute or change the context of the interview leaving the interviewee caught off guard. This is why it’s so critical to practice your message over and over again (in front of a camera) to learn how to handle different scenarios, questioning, last minute changes and how to get your message out without being distracted from the line of questions thrown your way. Once you practice your message, be disciplined to actually present your talking points on air. Many people practice a few times, do a handful of interviews and think they’re an expert; that they can handle any interview in any situation. This is simply not the case. It takes continual coaching, practice, and discipline.
One budget-conscious way Fresh Impact PR Group helps media train clients for interviews is through Skype; we Skype clients and roll-play different types of interviews to help keep them on track with messaging. Even on their way to the studio, we encourage clients to practice their message with hand-held video cameras, flip phones, etc. so they are ‘in the zone’ when they arrive for their interview.
If you need help with your interviews, download our free white paper today for more information or give us a call. We’d love to help you tell your story.