EMSI Public Relations
your first television appearance as a guest on a news or talk
show can be
one of the most thrilling, and nerve-wracking, events in your
Let’s face it – we think TV, we think celebrity. It’s exciting.
Ever spot the anchor from your local TV newscast dining in the
same restaurant as you? Did you grab your companion’s arm,
point, and say, sotto voce, “Look!”? (Yes, I’m guilty, too.)
As much as TV can be a shot at junior stardom, it’s an equal
opportunity to fall flat on your face – at least, that’s the
fear many people have. That’s why I’d like to introduce you to
Russ Handler, our TV Campaign Manager at EMSI.
has some tips to offer from his years of experience as an on-air
traffic anchor and producer for a major-market news station:
• Take some time well before
the show to prepare what you’ll be talking about. You’ve only
got about 3 to 5 minutes, so you want to make the most out of
that on-air time.
• The way you look is critical,
because your appearance affects how the audience perceives you.
• Avoid wearing white clothes,
which tend to wash out on camera, and tight-patterned fabrics,
which can make the picture flutter. Solid and darker colors are
usually best, but simple patterns like stripes or polka-dots are
okay if the pattern’s not too tight.
• Avoid shorter skirts, shorts or turtlenecks
and loose jewelry around the neck or wrist. The microphones are
sensitive and may pick up clacking beads and bracelets. Remember
that your footwear may be visible, so make sure your shoes are
in good condition and reflect your professionalism.
• Ignore the cameras. Instead,
have a friendly conversation with the hosts as if you’re sitting
with them in your home. The more relaxed you are, the more
competent you will appear and the more the audience will warm to
• During the interview, if the
host motions for you to look at a monitor, it’s because the
video or graphics being displayed is what the audience is seeing
on their screen. You should comment on what the viewers are
seeing and, if appropriate, use this opportunity to convey your
• Make sure to bring a copy of
your book or a sample of your product to the station. Before the
segment, talk to the producer and ask whether you can display it
during the interview. It’s always a good idea to bring extra
product samples or books as gifts for the host and producers. If
you’re an author, an autographed copy of your book is also a
Keep in mind that it is NOT the hosts’
responsibility to mention the title of your book or product or
where viewers can buy it, so make sure to mention that at least
once – but DON’T turn the segment into an infomercial. If you
have a book that’s sold on Amazon.com as well as a personal
website, mention Amazon; viewers are familiar with it, they’ll
be more likely to remember it.
Before you walk into the studio, remind yourself to be
informative, animated and expressive. This is your moment to
shine, so go for it.
I hope Russ’s tips help make you a star on your first – or next
– TV appearance. Don’t be surprised if the next time you go out
to eat, you see diners pointing at you and saying, “Look!”
Marsha Friedman is a 22-year veteran of the
public relations industry. She is the CEO of
Public Relations, a national firm that provides PR strategy
and publicity services to corporations, entertainers, authors
and professional firms.
More Articles |
Submit Your Article |
About Public Relations Homepage