PR 365: TV Media Training 101

PR 365: TV Media Training 101

By: PR 365

It’s been a while since I offered up some fresh PR advice to budding authors, entrepreneurs, parenting and lifestyle experts. Well, I’m back and the reason is simple. I’ve been watching lots of bloggers hit the airwaves – from the “Today Show” to local TV and many are doing a great job. Others definitely need work. So before you get ready for a TV appearance, here are some of my tried and true tips:

1. Prepare a page of talking points. I’m sure you think you know everything about your book, product or service but trust me, once the camera starts rolling, if you have not written a series of talking points, you could wind up rambling on during your segment causing the producer and host to spontaneously combust in front of your eyes. There’s not much time to get your message across so why not have your answers prepared in advance? Prepare for your on camera experience just like you would if you were studying for a test. Practice makes perfect!

2. Cut out the ums!!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched a magazine editor or author on a morning news show and in between questions or phrases, the person fills in the dead air with “um” and “like.” Well, I’m here to tell you that if you feel like you’re about to say “um” on TV, please cease and desist. There’s no place for “um” on a network morning show. Think of another word you can use to fill the space or don’t say anything. Strike the “ums” from your commentary and you’ll be on your way to a perfect appearance.

3. Is that what you’re wearing? Do not, under any circumstances wear white with stripes on television. In fact, avoid pattern tops completely – it can be incredibly distracting. Instead, pick a neutral color or flattering shade that’ll brighten your look. Of course, in New York, black or grey are definitely two can’t miss wardrobe selections. Plus – avoid wearing dresses since it’s hard to place a microphone pack on a dress. Instead, wear a skirt, blazer, sweater or pants.

4. If the segment feels uncomfortable, then don’t do it again!!! I’ve always found that if my heart isn’t into a segment, it typically doesn’t come out as well as a segment that’s more conversational. For me, I love participating in segments involving entertainment, travel and parenting issues. When it hits close to home and I can share a story that’ll be relatable for viewers, then that’s when I’ve hit my stride. The moment you feel out of your element during a segment, either you need more training or it just might not be the right fit for you.

5. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again. For every person who has appeared on “The Today” show 20 times, it took a while for them to get there. Before you go after the big guns, my suggestion is to appear on your local station on a regular basis. The more you become comfortable in front of the camera, the easier it will be when you’re finally selected for a guest spot on a major network morning show.

Have any PR questions for me? Feel free to comment and we’ll get right back to you!