What can we learn from that BBC Skype interview?

17th March 2017

By Victoria Archer 

Yes, that video. The one that has since been shared across the world too many times to count.

That video is the one that any PR professional would cringe at. There’s nothing that produces more anxiety than a live TV interview whether you’re the PR behind the scenes, or the chosen spokesperson.

I must’ve watched the interview at least 10 times and while it’s humorous in part, it’s also your client’s worst nightmare. At first, you laugh as the sassy toddler dancers her way towards the father, you carry on laughing as the baby scoots in, you laugh harder when the mother dives for the door handle, but then you remember that you could be sat in that exact chair, live on the BBC.

At Cobb PR, your reputation is our priority, so we offer bespoke media training sessions to put your spokespeople at ease. However, sometimes real life gets in the way so we’ve put together our ten top tips for TV interviews: 

  1. Be prepared

Understand your key messages, know what you can and can’t say and try and run through possible scenarios – no matter how challenging they might be.

  1. Do your homework

Re-read any previous communications that have been shared with the reporter and ensure that your line of answering is clear.

  1. Never repeat an accusation in your answer

It can increase the damage and the reporter is just trying to put words in your mouth for that all important sound bite that they’re after.

  1. Get as much information about the interview as possible

Is it live? Is it pre-recorded? Do I need to be at home or in my office? How long will it be? Who is interviewing me? All these questions will help inform how you prepare.

  1. KISS

Keep it short and simple. There’s no need to try and shoehorn every great fact about your company if it’s not relevant to the questions being asked. Stay on topic and highlight the key points you want to make.

  1. Focus

That video is a great example of staying focussed. Even with two small children taking the limelight Robert Kelly rolls with the awkward scenario, remains focused and as such the reporter remained professional and seemed empathetic.

  1. Relax

Situations like this can happen, even if you think you’ve prepared for every eventuality. Remain calm and focus on what you’re trying to achieve. If you look anxious or stressed, reporters and viewers will pick up on this tainting the points you’re making.

  1. Cut out the jargon!

There’s nothing worse than listening to heaps of jargon that no-one understands. If viewers can’t understand what you’re saying then your message becomes diluted.

  1. Wear sensible clothes

It’s always best to ask in advance if there’s any clothing you should avoid. Make sure you look professional so viewers take you seriously. No hawaiian shirts, please.

  1. Think about your body language

Watching the video, you can feel the awkwardness. With any interview it’s important to smile, keep good posture and maintain good eye contact. Try and identify early on if your spokesperson has unusual mannerisms – you don’t want anything to deter them from communicating their message.

Jokes aside, we think Robert did a fantastic job navigating his way through this tricky situation and deserves a large G&T.

But, if you saw this and it made you nervous that one day that could happen to you, then get in touch with us on 01273 208913 or drop us a line on victoria@cobbpr.com and we’ll see how we can help.

 

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