Congratulations, you landed a three-minute segment on a local TV station for your client! Your relentless pitching efforts (and hair pulling) have paid off and now you can sit back, relax and bask in the sweet glow of success. Well, not quite.
Don’t get me wrong, securing a TV segment is a big win. However, staying on message, dressing appropriately and confidently delivering talking points contribute to the success of the coverage. There are plenty of tips and tricks to keep in mind to ensure the segment garners meaningful and positive attention for your client and goes as smoothly as possibly. These seven tips serve as a guide to get the most out of your client’s three minutes in the spotlight.
1. Live or pre-recorded?
First, what kind of broadcast segment did you secure; a pre-recorded package, an in-studio segment, or a live off-site interview? The type of segment will determine how to prepare your client, how to tease the segment and what visuals will be most appropriate. Though no matter what type of segment it is, you and your client must be on time.
2. Be a tease.
Before the segment airs, give your client’s social media following a taste of what’s to come. Educate your audiences on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, about where the segment will air, when to tune in and the topic that will be covered. Don’t share too much, though. Pique your audience’s interest without giving away the whole segment.
3. Prepare the visuals.
When you were pitching, you probably sold the producer on the visuals of the potential segment, so now it’s time to follow through on your promise. Whether the segment is a live demonstration of a product or program, a food or drink sampling or a collection of vivid infographics with impactful data—coordinate with your client and gather all necessary materials to ensure you’re preparing an eye-catching set. If you have graphics or b-roll, provide them well in advance so the station has time to prepare.
4. Schedule a media training session.
Arguably the most important step, it’s our job to prepare our client’s spokesperson with talking points, visuals and coach them on body language. His or her previous TV experience will determine the depth of preparation needed. However, there are a few things you can prepare no matter what end of the spectrum the client is on. Drafting talking points, sharing the dos and don’ts of being on camera (e.g. good posture, looking at the reporter not at the camera, be conversational) and suggesting what to wear (avoid moiré patterns and white shirts), are all necessary for nailing the segment. Sit down and review the talking points with the spokesperson and answer any questions he or she might have prior to the interview.
5. Say cheese.
Whether you are in-studio or on-site, take pictures before, during and after the segment to share on social media.
- A photo of your client putting his microphone on or from behind the cameras is a great opportunity to give your social audience a behind-the-scenes sneak peek.
- A photo in the middle of filming, especially for a live segment, is perfect to share on Twitter to ring in a few more viewers.
- A staged photo with the reporter or the photographer after filming can accompany an Instagram thank you post, showing gratitude for the crew’s time.
6. Record or purchase the video clip.
Having a copy of the segment has multiple advantages. Archive the clip to keep track of your PR successes. Then, provide the clip to your client along with the number of impressions to show the impact and value of the segment. Your client can then use the video in new business pitches, showcase in their office lobby and post to their website and social media platforms.
7. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Gratitude goes a long way in life and it’s no different when it comes to PR. This job is all about relationships. So thank the producer and/or the reporter for giving your client the air time and for trusting you to give them a newsworthy story. With all the digital correspondence today, sending a handwritten note makes an impact and is an easy and earnest way to show your gratitude. Lastly, if you coordinate a cooking segment, make sure enough food is prepared and left for the crew to enjoy.