Publicity Checklist, Part 2

Publicity Checklist Blue Checkmark Joanne McCall

Last week we talked about the importance of checklists. If you missed it, you can read about it here. Following a list of steps on how to complete a task uses far less brainpower than thinking through the steps in your mind every time you sit down to do something.

Not that that isn’t good for your cognitive skills, it is. However, if you’re like most of us, your to-do list is long, so saving your brainpower for other things is a smart use of your inner resources.

To this end, one of my favorite reminders to people is to write things down. It’s quite remarkable how many people actively resist doing this, “I’ll remember,” they insist, but I feel strongly that your brain is for brilliance…not remembering to stop and pick up cat food. Write it down or have Alexa remember it for you.

There are three parts to the Publicity Cheat Sheet CheckList for landing media coverage. This week’s Savvy Sunday News features Part 2. Most of us think landing the interview is the most important part, and it is important, but that is actually when the real work begins, so…

Congratulations! You’ve landed the interview. Now what?

You must be available for the media person because he or she is going to have questions or will require various elements from you. He or she may need one or more of the following:

  • Photos
  • Statistics
  • Graphics
  • B-roll
  • Video
  • Slide show
  • Bio
  • Interview questions
  • Someone else to quote for the story

You need to be ready and be helpful. Take their calls and/or respond quickly to email. Most importantly, think ahead of time and create pieces they may need so you’re not scrambling at the last minute trying to put them together. Trust me. You will be happy (and relieved) that you did.

During the Interview

  • Be pleasant. If you’re on camera, lean forward so that you look interested.
  • Remain aware that the mutual objective is to provide an informative and entertaining segment for the audience. If it’s print, focus on delivering your best material in a succinct way.
  • Never abuse your position by turning your performance into a sales pitch.
  • Localize your answers by relating any information to specific events relevant to the audience. (Localizing doesn’t just refer to geographic location.)
  • Speak in a clear articulate voice.
  • Recognize the time allotted for your interview and adjust the length of your answers accordingly.
  • For print, it’s OK to pause in the middle of the interview and ask the journalist if you are giving them what they need, or if there is another direction they want you to focus on.
  • If something controversial is said, don’t get hooked by it. Keep your cool and deliver your message.
  • If the host says something that is incorrect, rather than saying, “You’re wrong,” begin your response with “Actually…” and then state what is true.
  • If you have a habit of your voice going up at the end of every sentence, train yourself to have your voice go down instead. Nothing makes a person sound more like an amateur than making a statement that sounds like a question.
  • If you’re on camera, look at the host. If you’re on camera online, look directly at the camera.
  • Wear clothes that are appropriate for why you are there. If you’re a professional, dress professionally. If you’re a chef or a gardener doing a piece, then wear the appropriate clothes for that appearance.

And finally, if you get bumped due to breaking news, be gracious about it. This is not the time to complain about how long you’ve waited for this opportunity. I know you’ve been waiting, so you can express your disappointment to me, but never to the show’s producers. Simply nod your head, be gracious, and show you understand that these things happen in the world of media.

The producer will most likely say that he or she will reschedule you for the show. When you follow up to do that, remind him or her of their offer to reschedule you after having bumped you for breaking news. You might also ask, “How does the latter part of the month look for you?”

Bottom line

Understanding and taking these tips to heart will demonstrate your professionalism and how savvy you are in the world of media.

Next week, we’ll look at Part 3 of our Publicity Cheat Sheet checklist.

To your success!


P.S. I mentioned last week that I’m looking for Beta Readers for my upcoming book, Media Darling. If you’re interested, please click here and let me know.







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