Preparing for a Broadcast Interview

You may have proactively sought out a broadcast interview (TV or radio) as part of your communications activities or you might have been approached by the media as a spokesperson in reaction to a related issue.

Whilst broadcast interviews don’t come up that often (if at all), they can be a good way of promoting your services and the benefits of the remedies to a large audience. However, you should bear in mind that considerable preparation is advisable before an interview and that the outcome is not always positive, so the first this to do is to decide whether or not to take up the offer in the first place.

Consider what is in it for you to appear on the broadcast. Is it good for your reputation (and flower remedies in general), or are their risks to damaging it? (This is particularly relevant in the light of the recent negative backlash against flower remedies by a minority of scientists and academics.) Is it just to help out the journalist? (This may be worth relationship-building for future broadcasts.)

If you have decided to take up the opportunity of a broadcast interview, here are some questions to think about in preparation for the interview and some tips to help you get the best outcome:

What do you want the outcome to be?

  • Think about what you want to achieve from the interview and keep this in mind throughout.


What’s the angle?

  • Have a detailed conversation with your contact/journalist beforehand – what is their angle? What sort of piece are they producing? Who else are they interviewing? What are they likely to be saying? Why do they want to speak to a Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner?

  • Tell them that you would like to be able to prepare and that it will help get a good piece if they tell you the questions they will be asking. Warning: their questions may change when they arrive.


Who’s the key audience?

  • Who is your key audience – who do you want to impress? National TV vs regional. Do people in Leeds care about what is happening in London? National TV can also be a good way to hit your local population.


What are your key messages?

  • You may be asked a very open starting question – “What’s it all about?” Prepare a brief outline of ‘your story’ – or your three key messages.

  • Use the ‘elevator theory’: You are in a lift travelling from the1st to 4th floor – what three key messages can you get across in that time?

  • It is advisable to write your key messages out on card and take them with you to the interview, as well as rehearsing them beforehand. (Although remember not to have them on you when in front of the camera if you are being interviewed for TV.)

  • Illustrate your key messages with examples to make it relevant for the audience.

  • Keep it simple and avoid jargon – the viewers/listeners may have no prior knowledge of homeopathy.

  • Keep it short and snappy – you’ll be surprised at how short the interview is – there’s no time for long explanations. Try to speak in ‘soundbites’ to avoid problems with over-enthusiastic editing.

  • Be positive and professional, even if presenters are not.

What do you think the questions will be?

  • What do you think the ‘elephant traps’ are – for example, bigger political questions or national issues?

  • Sit quietly and think about the questions you would ask if you were a journalist. If you can, get help from others, particularly someone who isn’t involved who can look at it with fresh eyes.

  • Write down the questions with your suggested answers – wherever possible quote one of the three key messages prepared earlier!

 

Is it live or pre-recorded?

  • There are pros and cons to each: pre-recorded allows you to say when you are not happy with how a question/answer went and ask to re-record it, but it also means that what you say will probably be heavily edited – and sometimes in a non-favourable way!

 

How will I look on camera? (Body language)

  • 70% of all communication is non-verbal.

  • Don’t look at the camera; look at the presenter(s).

  • Don’t wear white or patterned clothes.

  • Take a comb for your hair.

  • Consider taking lipstick (for women).

  • Take a hand mirror and don’t be afraid to look in it before you go on.

  • If it’s in a studio, men should wear a jacket, as it will be hot and you may get sweaty.

  • It may be on a sofa, so think about what you are doing with your legs – no socks showing!