Media coverage is an important part of marketing and personal branding. Getting on television as an expert will bring your personal brand message to a large audience and create valuable content that you can use on social media. To succeed with a television media relations strategy you need to be prepared and committed. You need to present your ideas to the media and when they bite, be prepared to express your message and show your expertise live on TV. To present yourself properly, you need to practice and be well prepared. Corbett Public Relations has worked in this area for close to three decades.
Recently I asked longtime client entrepreneur, author of “The Everyday Entrepreneur” and president of Advantage Payroll Long Island, Rob Basso about his TV interview experiences and how he prepares for being on live national television programs. Rob is a regular guest on Fox Business, including Neil Cavuto’s primetime program; he has also appeared on Fox and Friends, MSNBC’s Your Business, Huffington Post and dozens of local TV news programs.
What was your first live TV experience like?
My first experience was very nerve racking. I had been preparing for that day for years by producing my own web series, but live television with hundreds of thousands of people watching was much different. I was more excited than nervous, mainly because I wanted to do a good job. It’s ok to have butterflies in your stomach, but you can’t let it show.
What do you do when you get the call?
It’s all about the preparation. I never go into a live spot without learning and understanding the topic completely. I also start thinking about how my personal business experiences can be brought into the discussion.
How do you prepare once the topics of the interview or panel discussion are provided?
As a small business advocate and author, most of the topics that I am asked to comment on are within my experience and knowledge base. However, when we are discussing breaking news, specific companies or governmental policies, I may need to do some research. My staff and I scour the web for details about the topic and I create a briefing document that has my opinion on the subject, as well as pertinent facts associated with the topic. I then spend time going over the notes and sometimes working with my publicist going over mock questions that may be asked. I also think about the specific messages which I want to convey.
How do you keep from getting nervous?
Being prepared is the best way to cut down on the nerves. Sometimes that’s not enough and many times on live television the unexpected happens. For example, I was on the air when Osama Bin Laden was killed and was asked to comment. Being up on current events is vital.
What is it like being on set with well-known members of the media?
It can be intimidating, but after a few times, you realize they are real people too. The good hosts are very gracious and make you feel comfortable.
How do these appearances help your brand?
Being associated with national news media raises your national presence and builds you strong credibility. When a national news network trusts your opinion, you should share with your clients, prospects and contacts. Always share good media coverage on social media; this will enhance your brand and your reputation as an expert.
By Bill Corbett