Questions You Should Ask… Before You Start Answering

Anyone who appears in the media should be prepared to answer questions. But, you should also be prepared to ask questions before your interview. Here are three of the most important items you want to find out:

1) What’s the Format? For TV or radio interviews, you can learn the show’s target demographic audience to help you tailor your content. You can also find out if you’ll be live, taped, edited, etc. You can determine the length of the interview, and whether you’ll be on the phone, in studio, at a remote location, etc. For print interviews, this question can help you determine whether the journalist will just use a quote or two, or if they’re doing an in-depth piece on you and your area of expertise.

2) What’s Your Name? We recently spoke with a popular national TV show booker who gave us an inside secret! She revealed that guests who use the hosts name when answering the hosts questions always received a warmer on-air response. It also gives the impression of an “implied endorsement” from the interviewer, as if you appear to be pals having a conversation. You should also find out what news organization they work for and whether they cover a particular topic or beat.

3) When will it air (or be published)? You want to be prepared to share the coverage with your online followers by tweeting it, posting it on Facebook, etc. as soon as it comes out (with links to video, audio or text) as long as it’s positive coverage for you. If it’s a negative piece, be ready to issue a response if called for (sometimes, it’s best to just let it go if the media outlet has limited market penetration).

If we can assist you in preparing for an important upcoming media appearance, we’re always happy to help!


Burke Allen featured in Insights Magazine

Allen Media Strategies CEO Burke Allen has been featured in a cover story for INSIGHTS Magazine.  In the feature he shares strategies from various insiders on media, marketing, public relations, crisis management, and more culled from his three decade career in front of the camera and behind the microphone.

Click here to read the article!

Develop and Maintain Media Relationships

The media has always been a very transient profession; television, radio, print and online folks move around A LOT, and the moves might surprise you. This is another reason for you to continue doing interviews for small market media outlets; you never know when one of those folks is going to move up into a bigger, better position.
Here are a few examples; we’ve deleted the names to protect their anonymity.
-A local TV reporter we know who worked in the very small Panama City Florida market just last year is now a national correspondent for FOX NEWS CHANNEL
-A print reporter for the New Orleans Times Picayune now hosts a radio talk show in Mississippi
-A producer for left-leaning MSNBC has now crossed over to produce and book one of the top rated shows at conservative FOX NEWS
-One of Burke Allen’s former interns at CBS Radio Las Vegas is now a successful on-air host and radio station programmer in Memphis
Keep track of the contacts you make, because when they switch to a new outlet, that can mean fresh opportunities for you.

Live or Pre-Recorded?

If you’re ever given the choice of doing a media interview live or taped, always opt for live.  Although your instinct might tell you to go for the taped piece so you can have “do-overs” in case of mistakes, resist that temptation.  Here are three reasons why:
1)  Content control:  Recently, an Allen Media Strategies client did a pre-recorded appearance on ABC TV’s “Good Morning America”.  While the publicity was fantastic, the final piece that aired edited out one of the key points our client felt was really important, even though the show booker had promised that it would be included.
2)  Better chance to steer:  An pre-taped interview can be easily edited to eliminate references to your website, any product or service you’re plugging, etc.  That’s nearly impossible to do in a live interview setting.
3)  Less likely to be bumped:  Taped packages are often bumped from airing until weeks or months later (and sometimes, not at all).  If you’re live, you KNOW it’s going on the air!
One caveat to the above; if pre-recording is your only option, then try to take it.  Remember, this is free publicity…and a chance of it airing is far better than no chance at all.