(Greg, Patrick and Chris on the set of the Daily Buzz)Last Friday I had the pleasure of hanging out in the Daily Buzz studios on the Full Sail campus at 6am. I was up early with Chris and Patrick getting ready to talk about Rock For Hunger and some of our initiatives including Talk 4 Hunger and my personal RFH project the "Homeless Lifestyle Design" course.
Over the last few weeks I have been fortunate to be on a bunch of live news stations talking about everything from Personal Branding to Advanced Online Job Seeking to Digital Dirt and Rock For Hunger across a bevy of networks including the CW (Daily Buzz), ABC and FOX. On these live-on-air opportunities I have learned some very valuable lessons that have increased my confidence and appearance on the networks and helped to spread the message that I want to connect with the audience. These tv segments are quick yet can be very powerful to collect new leads, get sales or increase exposure about you or your company (and it looks great on the resume). Here is a list of my 6 biggest takeaways from being live on the news.
Match your style to location. When getting dressed make sure you look at yourself in the mirror while sitting down, or outside or in a crowd or whatever environment you will be in. Knowing your settings is crucial to looking natural and authentic. In one interview on FOX I had a suit on and the jacket was a little large...and you could totally notice. Had I knew it would have risen so high I would have stuck with just a shirt and a tie. Knowing where you are going to be for the interview is key to looking great on camera.
Guide the interviewer. Most quick tv interviews throw softball questions at you and they know little to nothing about you or what you are going to say. Generally we hear:
- Tell us about your organization
- How did you get started?
- Where did the idea come from?
- Tell me about those programs
- How can we get involved or more information
Rehearse your points. This is one that should be common sense, but you need to have a game plan and know your stuff. When the lights are in your face and the teleprompter is distracting you, the more you have rehearsed and played it out in your head the better off you will be. I have my personal branding and Rock For Hunger elevator pitches down so well that I can deliver them with any distraction in my way because I deliver them often and I practice them before every big speaking gig.
Know your timing. News stations are on top of things and know to the second how long segments are going to last. If you know how long you are given for your segment you can begin to tailor your message to fit the allotted time. Trust me when I say that you have way less time than you think. The FOX News segments I did lasted close to 2:30, then you look at the Daily Buzz where Chris and I split less than 2 minutes.
Ask for drops (or plugs). Drops are what the news anchors say coming into and going out of commercials. For the job fair we promoted in April we were on the news Monday - Thursday for a total of 10 minutes. However from 6am - 9am before every commercial break the news plugged the event and told the audience about the story / interview coming up. This is vital as it helps to brand what it is that you came on the show to talk about. If you have the opportunity, ask the anchors or producers to say your name, your company and what you are talking about. For instance on the Daily Buzz before commercial break we had the anchor say,
"Get ready to rock...for hunger with Greg and Chris who are going to be talking about how they use music to help the local community. Check out Rock For Hunger after the break."This is very effective for brand awareness and keeps butts in the seat waiting for you to come on their screen (or at least hit the DVR), but you need to help guide them if at all possible.
Call the viewer to action. Stay on topic, stay focused and deliver a call to action. The news is going to direct the viewer to their website so you may need to throw in your own call to action to get people to your site and skip the middleman. Be respectful and thankful, but by being on tv you have the opportunity to speak to the very market that can buy your stuff, support your cause or come to your event. Don't forget the mission and purpose of the press opportunity.
Now that I have had some great press opps I hope to share some really valuable stuff with you guys including:
- How to get on tv
- The responses and affect of being on tv
- Direct response marketing of tv advertisements
If you have any questions about live tv interviews, please ask and share in the comments.