The TV Interview Tip Sheet

Here are 10 tips for Interview Preparation (for TV). These are practical suggestions for media relations pros from BurrellesLuce.

1. Bring in a coach. An outside pro can infuse the training sessions with realism— and toughness —which should help keep you off the firing line.

2. Practice on camera. That unblinking eye catches each stumble, mumble and sideways glance. Fix the problems when your audience is a dozen, not a million.

3. Control unspoken cues. Look down when a tough question is asked, and what you say next won’t matter. A spokesperson must have the control of an actor.

4. Inject key messages. Work these themes into interviews and other communications. Be ready to support them with examples and statistics.

5. Take command of your answer. This is a corollary to injecting key messages. You can’t control the questions, but you can learn to gracefully “bridge” from the question asked to the topic you’d rather discuss.

6. Have a conversation. In most situations look at the interviewer, not the camera. Try to relax and speak in a conversational tone. It’s an interview, not a speech.

7. Be ready with sound bites.
For TV especially, time is short. Develop brief, pithy statements that present your messages vividly.

8. Dress for success. Whites look too bright under TV lights and stripes can shimmer distractingly, so wear blue or beige solids. Never let them see you sweat.

9. Think past the camera to the audience.
How do viewers’ interests mesh with the interests of your company or client? Use the interview as a way to make that connection.

10. Know what the reporter is after. It’s acceptable to ask up front what the story is about and how the reporter or producer sees you fitting in.

BottomLine: Reporters often save the tough questions for last. Some will ask to go “off the record” or continue questioning after the interview seems to be finished. But watch out. Even in such unguarded moments, your answers are still official.

For more information, go to

Comments Off

Deals of the Week

$150 Off PR News' Social Media Summit

socialmedia201602-180x150Join PR News in Huntington Beach, CA on Feb. 26 for the Social Media Summit, where you'll be immersed in real-world, tactical case studies from brands, nonprofits and agencies and get takeaways in pulling and analyzing social media data; emerging social platforms and apps and so much more. 

Use code “150” at checkout to save $150 o the regular rate.

$50 off the CSR & Green PR Guidebook

csr_vol7_print_digital-thumbPR News’ CSR & Green PR Guidebook, Vol. 7 captures best practices in communicating the positive relationships that organizations are building with their communities of interest. This six-chapter guidebook connects the dots between the effective communication of positive social contributions and corresponding improvements in bottom lines.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription



Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.