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LIGHTS. CAMERA. ACTION. OOPS! Don’t BLOW Your Moment in the Media Spotlight!

If you're ready to launch your product to the media, read these 5 tips FIRST from my good friend, Ann Noder, of Pitch Public Relations to avoid common blunders.

You have a fabulous story to tell. You land a dream interview with a news outlet - and you blow it!

Sound like a nightmare?

Unfortunately, I've heard my fair share of media horror stories. Creating a PR strategy that works at generating coverage is only half the battle. Companies still have to leverage those opportunities in the best way. A television interview is typically three minutes long (at most!) and you may only have a few quotes in a print article. How can you make sure the time and space you get isn't wasted?

Here are 5 common interview mishaps that can translate to lessons learned.

1. Major Omission! Not saying the name of your product is the most unfortunate, and yet fairly common, mistake I've seen happen. A company spokesperson gets on TV to showcase their product but instead of referring to it by name, they say "this" and "that." Viewers are left guessing as to the actual NAME of the product. A quick graphic on screen may only flash a few seconds. You should say the name of your product. And say it more than once. Same goes for authors of books or founders of companies. Don't miss an opportunity to share the name of your business. Sounds basic, but it happens more than you might think.

2. Getting De-Railed: You're all set to talk about your business, and instead the host keeps going on and on about other things. Before you know it, your interview is up and you missed the most important messaging. Don't let an interviewer take over. Be armed and ready with the three most important messages you need to get in. Then, get them in. It's a political and PR tactic known as "block and bridge." Think of ways beforehand to conversationally transition from unimportant details to the important content you want to relay. Don't be afraid to take the reigns and steer the interview back.

3. No Product to Show: Shipping your product ahead of time to the producer is a smart move. But you should still bring product/books/visual examples for your interview. There are an array of reasons why the product may not have made it onto the set, so be sure to always have extra. TV is a visual medium and having something to show will enhance your interview.

4. Yes & No/On & On: Answering "yes" or "no" does not make a good interview. The goal is to have a conversation. Make sure, even if the questions lend themselves to one-word answers, you are giving lively and full responses. On the other hand, rambling too much can equally kill an interview. Don't go overboard and try to give every detail of your story or business. Again, stick to three key messages. Identify what's most important beforehand.

5. Turning into a Commercial: The byproduct of PR is sales but it can't be the immediate goal in an interview. Turning a news interview into a rehearsed commercial is a major PR blunder. Instead, take the opportunity to create awareness about your business and the solution it offers. Be informative and entertaining - but not pushy.


Contact Ann Noder, CEO of Pitch Public Relations, LLC if you have a product that is ready to go!
Pitch is a boutique agency specializing in national media outreach. Their clients include small start-ups and big brands!

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4 Responses »

  1. Shawna,
    Way to put the tips to use! Good luck with the TV spot!

    Ann Noder
    Pitch Public Relations

  2. Shawna,

    Whoo Hoo! Congratulations!!! :)


  3. Great reminder and timely too!My son and I are just heading out for our first TV appearance promoting the story behind Zipzicles - a new way to make ice-pops. (Yay! I said our product's name :)

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