What are some tips on how to successfully complete a studio interview?
It is no secret that studio interviews can be a daunting task, even for seasoned public relations professionals who have visited hundreds of them. The broad audience of news programs makes studio interviews a great way to build brand awareness, but the unpredictability of live television also means that these interviews can go awry if a interviewee is not properly prepared.
Fortunately, we have a team of media relations specialists here to help! Here are three of our favourite tips to make sure your next studio interview runs smoothly:
Tip #1: Punctuality Is Key
Anyone who has visited a newsroom or studio can testify that time is of the essence on television.
For producers, a guest who does not arrive on time for their interview can cause a great deal of last-minute chaos.
In addition, the schedule of news programs is not a perfect science, and sometimes it is necessary for an interview to occur a few minutes sooner or later than originally expected- and if the interviewee is not present, chances are that the segment can be completely eliminated.
When a producer assigns a broadcast to you, a good rule of thumb is to arrive 30 minutes in advance and expect to stay 30 minutes after your scheduled air time in case your segment is delayed.
Even if your segment ends on time, taking it upon yourself to arrive early will show the producer how much you appreciate the opportunity to be presented.
Finally, you should be prepared for an early exit once the interview is complete.
News stations often book several live interviews each hour, so it's crucial to make room for other guests who arrive after you.
Tip #2: Preparation Is Paramount
The preparation of a studio interview is quite different from the preparation of an interview with a reporter.
More importantly, live interviews have higher stakes because you don't have time to repeat or restate anything you say. With this in mind, one of the best ways to stay on track during the interview is to prepare and go through the talking points, describing the key points you would like to bring to the interview.
Even experts who have been interviewed hundreds of times can take advantage of having speaking points, especially if the objective of the interview is to promote a specific initiative within your organisation.
Another great way to get ready is to provide visual elements that can be used during your interview. Television is a visual medium, and news stations are always looking for opportunities to broadcast and tell, instead of simply telling.
For example, if your brand is a restaurant with a new summer menu, consider presenting a culinary demonstration by the chef who prepares his favourite summer menu.
If a more visual segment is not possible depending on what you are promoting, offer to your organisation's b-roll station in action, or even photographs that will enable viewers to more concretely visualize what you are talking about.
Tip #3: Etiquette Is Essential
Once the camera approaches you, there are some live etiquette elements to keep in mind that will ensure your interview is a success.
For starters, one of the most common mistakes when doing a studio interview is watching the camera while talking. Studio interviews are supposed to be considered conversational, That is why it is important to look at the presenter or interviewer when you speak or when he speaks to you.
Another important piece of advice to keep in mind is to use facial expressions and body language to help tell the story you are trying to tell.
Viewers will associate your brand with how you introduce yourself at the interview,
and the best way for these viewers to feel greeted is with a smile and a friendly attitude.
Additionally, using your hands to help tell the story is an excellent way to keep the audience's attention; However, it is also suitable to keep hands on the side if you prefer.
Finally, please thank the interviewer for inviting you. The best way to express gratitude in the interview is to mention it in the response to the interviewer's first question.
For example, you might start your answer to a question by saying, "First and foremost,
I just wanted to thank you for the invitation to be here today..." or something like that.
Once the interview is completed and the program moves into the business stage, a "thank you" should also be extended to camera operators and producers who have contributed to the success of the segment. Your gratitude cannot go unnoticed.