Tips for Talk Show Guest

August 3, 2012 by  
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8 Tips to Be a Perfect Talk Show Guest

TIP #1 Don’t Try To Change The Segment Or Story Idea

During the pre-interview with the producer or journalist, please do not attempt to influence the producer or journalist to slant or change the original segment idea.

This is because the article, story or segment idea is most likely already set in stone by Managing Editors or Executive Producers and your contact has very little flexibility. They are assigned to develop a story or segment idea according to a specific set of directives and appreciate your support in moving the story or segment forward.

Always give the media the info they are looking for first so they can complete their assignment otherwise, they might decide to move on to another expert! If you do a great job for them, that is, you are on target and on message without meandering off topic or discussing topics that fall outside the scope of the placement, they will use you again!

Of course, if they ask you about other ideas you may have, feel free to give them your best stuff!

TIP #2 Never Cancel A Segment Or Appointment With The Media!

Once you represent that are able for the media opportunity, please do not change your mind because the producer or journalist moves immediately to finalize the media placement on their end.

If you pull out you upset the booking process you leave the producer or journalist in a tough spot. This business is built on trust so never do anything to jeopardize the trust the media has in you.

When you make a commitment, stick to it, even if something comes up that you feel is more important. Your word should be worth gold in this industry!

TIP #3 Prepare Talking Points For The Pre-Interview With TheJournalist Or Producer

Prepare your talking points in advance of your pre-interview or interview with the media. This way, you will appear to have command over your area of expertise and knowledgeable about the issue under discussion. You will avoid stumbling for thoughts or concepts.

If the media doubts your ability or expertise in the pre-interview, they will not use you for the placement. They simply have no choice. Their job is to book top qualified experts and if you indicate you are not that, they have to move on. As AnnieJennings PR has said for many years, think of any contact you have with the media as an audition. Everything you do is evaluated by the media with the thought in mind – is this person the perfect expert for the story or the segment?

You can make the media contact confident in choosing YOU if you are ready and prepared to discuss the topic. Create at least five discussion points on the topic before you speak to the producer or journalist.

You’ll be happy you did!

TIP #4 Make Sure The Media Has Your FAST Contact Info!

Always provide the media with your contact info including your cell phone and fast contact info. As we mentioned, when the media moves, it moves fast. If you are actively seeking PR or are booked for a media opportunity already, keep yourself available and able to be reached immediately. If you give out your cell phone be sure it is working properly and also check your messages immediately so you don’t miss a thing.

If you are traveling to a location for a TV or radio segment ask for the emergency contact info to the producer and of course, only use it for emergencies. This way, if you have trouble finding the location you know how to reach your media contact immediately.

TIP #5 Go Over The Spelling Of Your Name & Credentials With The Producer To Make Sure They Are Exactly Correct

You’ll want to make sure your media placement is excellent so take on the role of fact checker when it comes to making sure your name is spelled correctly, your credentials are exact and the name of your book or company is correct. Just ask the media to repeat the spelling back to you along with the name of the book.

It is also a great idea to email your media contact your name, credentials and the name of your book so there is a reference if needed later. This way, the media can double check your info via email as well. It is always better to play it on the safe side when it comes to contact info and your identifying info that will be printed or shown on TV.

TIP #6 Do Not Ask The Producer For A Tape Of Your Segment AFTER It Airs

Most media outlets no longer offer to provide you with a tape of the segment so you will need to be sure that you record your segment on your own. Ask others to record the segment for you as well.

You can also try this. Ask the producer if you can bring in a blank VHS that they can pop into their recorder for you so you can leave with a copy. If the show is LIVE and you are going to the main location, rather than a satellite location, you might be able to work it this way.

However, if the producer says that they can’t do this for you remember its NO PROBLEM. Don’t worry, you can buy your segment from a professional recording company called Video Monitoring Systems. They record the shows but order quickly because they have a limit on the time they archive the shows.

Also, since it is in your best interests to have a professionally copied tape of your segment, call Video Monitoring Systems in advance to make sure of the details. This is what we do to make sure everything is perfect for our clients!

TIP #7 Don’t Over Promote Your Book During The TV Segment – Less Is More When Dealing With Book Promotion During A TV Segment

Seasoned experts and authors avoid sounding like an infomercial because they have learned and perhaps the hard way, that when you over promote your book in the segment you create lots of problems for yourself and for the publicity expert that booked you on the segment.

Instead, pack the segment with your best info! Don’t worry about the old “sell the sizzle and not the steak” strategy. When you give the show your best stuff they’ll notice and want to invite you back. Your audience will respond to you as well and your book will sell itself! This is because you are giving your audience what they want from the beginning – lots of great info. You are showcasing your talents and expertise and building lots of credibility with your audience. Credibility sells!

AnnieJennings PR believes showing the cover of the book on the screen is much more powerful than the author mentioning the book in the interview. So be sure to ask if they can show your book’s cover in the intro early in the booking process. This is not an unusual request and one worth making!

TIP #8 However Mentioning Your Book In Radio Is OK! But Not Too Much!

The radio host usually mentions the name of your book in the intro so be sure the producer has a copy of your book. Also, be sure to send a press release that includes a short intro for you as well as a longer intro that the host can use to introduce you and refer back to during the interview.

In radio there is no visual, so avoid saying “in my book” but instead sprinkle in the name of your book when appropriate. You can learn to create a visual segment using language, that is, creating messages and conversations that encourage the listeners to create their own images in their own minds.

Media training will give you a significant advantage as you not only learn the skill set needed to be a great guest but you get to practice so you are comfortable referring to your book without it sounding like you are struggling to get it in the segment. Remember in radio, it is easy to switch to another station and if the audience gets even a little bored with you, then can easily switch to another station.

Is radio challenging? Of course, but well worth the extra time it takes to create a segment style press release packed with stimulating and interesting info and get your media training so you are a polished pro!

Reprinted by permission of Annie Jennings PR

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