In my previous post, “Best Practices for Securing TV Coverage,” we discussed key points to consider when you’re pitching a story or segment idea to TV. But, getting a TV station to want to cover what you’re pitching them is only half the battle. Once you’ve secured the opportunity, the next step is getting ready for it. Read on for a few tips on how to prepare for TV coverage…
- Know what you’re working with: If you’ve secured an in-studio segment for a client, be sure to ask how long the segment will be so you and the spokesperson are aware of how much time they’ll have to get key messages across or complete a demonstration. If the spokesperson will be doing a demonstration, know what space they will be working with, what they should bring with them, etc.
- Identify and prepare spokespeople: If you are inviting media on-site, be sure to determine who is willing to do interviews – or who would be best to tackle the particular subject – and make sure that person is available when filming is scheduled. For both in-studio and on-site opportunities, if the spokesperson has never before done a TV interview and time allows for it, consider providing them with media training and/or do a mock interview. For even seasoned interviewees, having talking points to study and reference beforehand helps ensure key messages are addressed during the interview.
- Be ready for last-minute changes: Given the nature of breaking news and the fast-paced environment at stations, the time of the interview could change at the last minute. So, it’s important that you and the spokesperson are ready to be flexible if need be. Even if a station says they are attending something on-site, breaking news can change the station’s plans at any given moment.
Making sure you and the client are well-prepared for TV opportunities not only ensures all goes smoothly and leads to great coverage, but it also builds on the relationship between the PR pro and the TV station. When you deliver what’s expected and give the station a good story or segment, they are more receptive to pitches and willing to give you coverage again in the future.