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On-Camera Coach by Karin M. Reed

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CHAPTER 15 Broadcast Interview Basics

The focus of this book is not media training, and that's by design. There are plenty of tomes available that do just that—some good, some terrible. What I wanted this book to primarily address was what I considered an unmet need: how to communicate well through a camera, any camera, not just one held by a journalist.

That being said, not including anything about broadcast interviews would leave a hole in your foundational knowledge that would bug me—and you, if suddenly the Today show calls requesting an interview.

Typically, there is very little lead time for a TV interview, certainly not enough time to read an entire book or to take a class on media training. Consider this chapter a crash course in broadcast interview best practices: what to do before, during, and after the event.

Before the TV Interview

Perhaps I should have added another section called “Decide if You Even Want to Grant the Interview” because that is the most important and first step to take. When giving a presentation, you should always analyze your audience. When asked for an interview, you should always analyze the reporter and the media outlet making the request before saying “yes.”

While some may argue that all publicity is good publicity, I would advocate a more prudent approach. Not all media outlets are created equal, and you have to decide whether you or your brand want to be associated with theirs. The same holds true for the reporter who is making the request ...

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