It’s TV time! Top 10 Tips For Getting A TV Interview Right – The First Time Is The ONLY Time


Congratulations!  You are about to be interviewed on TV!  Will you be proud of what you see broadcast on TV after your interview?  This coveted video will also be posted on YouTube, multiple websites and can be maximized as a sales tool, but only if the results are professional.  There is a very fine line between looking like an awkward amateur and a polished professional … these 10 tips will help.TV interview

#1 – Don’t be yesterday’s news.  If you are interviewed in the morning, it is very likely the news broadcast will include you all day long.  If you are the last stop for the video truck that day, your only airing might be the evening or late news.  And tomorrow, well you will be yesterday’s news.

#2 – WHO are you?  WHO is speaking?  Often by the time your interview airs it will have gone through several hands back at the station that have no idea who you are or any of the background that was given to the interviewer on site.  Prepare and have in hand multiple copies of background information – the full-complete-proper name of your organization, the address, website the mission and all people who are being interviewed.  If you are the publicist, add your name and all contact information – especially after hours cell numbers.  Give this to everyone you come in contact with and be certain your website has all the same information.  The worst case scenario is the TV anchor says your company or your executive’s name incorrectly – your job is to make sure that does not happen! Remember what you give the camera person or email the assignment editor might go to the intern who is typing in the name of your company and correct spelling is essential.

bad background#3 – WHERE is the interview going to be staged?  You need to be in charge of this and not let the camera person or TV station rep tell you or your client where to stand.  You decide.  Do this ahead of time and do a “public” review too.  Are there photos, magazines, papers, even art on the walls that should be removed?  Sitting at a desk is usually a bad idea, and outside should not be your first option either.

A lobby with your company name in the background or somewhere your company is active would work too – your message comes across in more ways than just the “talking head” – what is behind, beside, above all matter too.

Do the ‘finger framing” trick to show you what the camera might be seeing – an easy way to give you a different way of thinking about staging too.

 Look at the photo here, maybe this man should not have been in front of a light pole?  

#4 – Don’t go public!  If you’ve ever watched an ESPN interview or the Today Show you have seen the ego-audiences who must get their face in the camera.  Sadly this bad behavior is everywhere so choose a spot where that cannot happen – and tell your employees that goes for them too.  Shouting while the cameras are on counts too.

#5 – It’s about your company/organization’s name – so practice.  It might feel awkward to fill in “Here at XYZ…” but do it or you will end up with a piece that might not ever acknowledge your company.  Of course practice your key messages, even practice doing a voice level test – it can all be included in what is broadcast.Signs in TV background

#6 – Your answers do not have to match the interviewers every question – You have say 3 things you absolutely want to say – so talk to the interviewer before the cameras start rolling.  If questions that don’t match your messages come up – feel free to do what I call “bridging” – use a line like “That’s a good question, but more importantly here-is-one-of-my-key-messages …”

#7 – WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT did he just say?  It is so easy to spit out words you did not mean to in an interview.  Remember this, it is OK to say “I do not know” or “I am not the best person to ask but I can get you an answer” – it is NOT OK to give an answer that is made up just to fill in the fact that a microphone is in your face and you have been asked a question.  This interview in all likelihood will be edited before it is broadcast.

#8 – You could make the viewer dizzy if you wear print or stripes – so don’t. Take a look at almost every elected official; white shirts and subtle ties.  Do not wear anything that distracts from your message.

TV issues with eyeglasses

#9 – Glasses reflect and never wear sunglasses.  Sunglasses are a huge no, never, nada – they send a “shady” message.  And regular prescription glasses reflect – so if possible no glasses or test where there could be low glare.

#10 – You want a copy of this video?  Before the interview, hire a video monitoring company to tape the interview every time it is aired.  Never count on the station as they are digital and even if they say they can give you a copy, I have had that fall through too often to recommend you counting on it.  Get your  video monitored and clipped by an outside service and know it is worth the cost.

Just remember a good interview can be a terrific marketing tool, a bad interview will be a marketing problem.  The difference really is in the preparation.

When Bad Online Stuff Happens To Good Organizations and People


It’s going to happen – if you put yourself out there, the negative people will come. Marketers call them trolls or anti-fans and there are ways we marketers can use our expertise to deflect their impact.

Just one more reason why marketing and PR professionals are indispensable – we are the brand defenders. We cannot control what these trolls, anti-fans or angry people post online, but we can bring balance and a way out of the negative muck.

One major US corporation secures web addresses for their top executives like and other possible negative web addresses – to protect their brand as well as their executives. They also closely monitor anything negative that might appear online, and they do it for these leaders as well as their brand name.

STARTING PLACE: The consumer is smart. Never underestimate the wisdom of the consumer; they get it. Too often we react to the 5% who are the trolls and neglect the 95% who truly do understand that not everything they read is true or fair. And they understand everyone makes mistakes.

It’s Just Not True – This is the big one and the online lies are what make most CEO’s crazy. “Get this off the web!” they say. And we can; but it takes a while and a commitment to online brand management. We cannot control people who tell lies. What we can control is dispensing the truth across every communication channel possible, and frequently. And often you will need the support of your legal counsel, the sales team and even the receptionist and other front line people who may ask about what they have heard.

TRUTH Augustine-QuoteCommunicate truth. That’s it. Just be sure to communicate, across all platforms and do it sincerely, truthfully and frequently. Start with your in-house team, move to others who depend on you for their livelihood (like retailers, suppliers or vendors) and tell your truth via email, product printing, your website, Facebook, wherever your customer normally finds you.

IT’S ALMOST OVER. Hang in there, depending on how much positive news you put out, it will take a minimum of 3 months for the bad news to show its ugly head all the time (or at least it seems) and by 6 months it should have disappeared from immediate view.

Lesson learned – maybe we should utilize our communication channels more often – to keep lines wide open with our audiences inside and outside the organization. If we do, next time these trolls just might look a wee bit smaller and less dangerous. And yes, you can count on a next time as we live in a world where anyone can say anything they like and once again smart marketing people will come to the rescue.

How Reporters Use Social Media in 2014


Originally posted on BusinessWired - Business Wire Blog:

In the piece, “The Role of Social Media in Today’s Newsroom” Business Wire senior editor Paul Bowman takes a closer look at how today’s reporters are utilizing social media in their day-to-day work. And the results are somewhat surprising.  While today’s reporters rely heavily on social media and company newsrooms for research and article promotion, they are not interested in receiving pitches on this channel.


So how can you influence reporters across social channels, without directly pitching them?  Read on to find out:

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What’s Hotter Than Red-Hot? White is Hot-Hot!



Let me show you in 5 visuals just how your marketing can be hot-hot too.

White hot Miami Heat
#1 – use less color – This image is the Miami Heat – note the players and the spectators are all supporting their “white hot” message.

#2 – Use less words – Say more with less like this Facebook post from Oreo cookies on an anniversary of September 11th.oreo never forget

WHITE people as canvases#3 – say it all by letting your guests be the canvases of your message. They wear white, you project your message on them.

#4 – be cool – take one thing and be unique – and memorable (note the upside down lilies) From The Screen Actors Guild Awards gala.White hang flowers up side down

#5 – end the day with pure, white bliss. This image from the Westin Hotel’s Heavenly Bed collection shows an all-white room.

Inviting isn’t it? bed Heavenly

It’s news. It’s a sales tool. It’s content for your website, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – It’s a press release!


The most undervalued and most important tool in your marketing arsenal is the press release. This one or two page piece is the center of the marketing world. This is where the facts, the news and the relevance come together and are approved by management.

Now that you have this document in your hands – it’s time to fly!press release

    That news release now becomes the center of everything you need to communicate and sell.

- It is a tool your sales team can use to give customers the inside story
– Put it up on your website under “News” and stimulate SEO
– It is your latest blog
– Link the blog to LinkedIn
– Choose a visual, and the headline and make it a Facebook entry with a link to your website
– Pin the visual to Pintrest
– The first paragraph, if written in AP style, should be a perfect Tweet
– Consider having a quick video made of the topic and you are now up on YouTube

And absolutely send it to the media.

If you also put it out on a wire service like BusinessWire you will land on hundreds of news sites internationally too and further impact your campaign’s credibility. And BusinessWire also assures it will be picked up on the all important mobile devices.

A press release is at the heart of marketing – maximize it and realize that it is your best tool.

No matter where else you might begin a marketing campaign you are going to need the facts, the story, the visuals, quotes from leadership and approvals of the message you are using – in other words a well-crafted press release.

Never underestimate the importance of the writer of the release and their ability to wordsmith, spell, use proper grammar and pay attention to detail. After all where you start makes all the difference in where you go.

The 5 Definitive Rules to Media Relations in 2014



As a very long time customer of BusinessWire, I value their keen insight and wanted to share this with you – take note if we all focus on just these 5 ideas, we will continue to be successful. Thank you BusinessWire for this insightful piece of tips and tricks!

Originally posted on BusinessWired - Business Wire Blog:

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media

Earlier this year, Business Wire released their 2014 Media Survey in which we asked 300 reporters, journalists, editors, bloggers and freelancers a wide range of questions related to how they cover company news.  Their answers provide a very clear road map to media relations best practices in 2014.  In this post, we look at the top five questions that make up the new rules for media relations in 2014.

1. Reporters have to meet metrics too With 44 percent of media survey respondents now writing for online publications, the metrics in which the success of an article is based upon have changed. Thanks to unprecedented speed and reach of news enjoyed by the world today, story views have replaced print sales, social shares replacing water cooler discussions.

Media Moving Online

Tweet this statistic now!

As we have discussed many times, one of the easiest ways to…

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A Marketing Manifesto – 4 Truths


At some point (maybe even today) you will say to yourself “how can I ever keep up with all the changes going on” and then the second truth will hit you “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Which leads me to the Marketing Manifesto and these 4 truths:Manifesto

#1 – Marketing is communications pure and simple. The latest term for this is “H to H”, Human to Human.

#2 – The absolute best communication is a conversation.

#3 – Matching the audience, with the right conversation via the most effective and open communication vehicle is the challenge of a marketing pro. Indeed it is what divides the best from all the rest.

#4 – At the end of any day, anywhere, the consumer just wants to know they are getting value, their lives will be even slightly improved if they spend their hard earned money, and yes this seller of products or services might care about them.

And thus it was, and thus it is – and you can count on this being a truth as long as there are humans.