Media Tour 101: What to expect and how to prepare the talent

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The interview schedule has been finalized, the set and props are ready, catering has been ordered, and now all that stands between you and your satellite media tour is a good night’s rest. But what to expect that morning? And how can you prepare your talent for success?

Our first piece of advice is to make sure your talent GETS TO BED EARLY the night before your media tour. A typical SMT is up to 4 hours of back-to-back television and radio interviews. Though your talent could be seated during the interviews, it is exhausting mentally and physically, and no amount coffee can substitute a few hours of quality sleep.

The talent will hear the MultiVu producer in their ear before each interview, prepping them for who they will be speaking with next, the city/state, station, reporters name, and any notes for that particular interview or market.” We recommend that talent arrives 1 hour prior to the first interview of the day. This gives them time to get camera-ready with some light hair/makeup at the studio. It also gives them a chance to get a little food and drink, settle in, and do a couple run-throughs of their answers and message points. During the tour, they will be set up with a mic and IFB (the earpiece). The talent will hear the MultiVu producer in their ear before each interview, prepping them for who they will be speaking with next, the city/state, station, reporters name, and any notes for that particular interview or market. Studios will be equipped with poster board and markers to use as cue cards for any messages or call to action.

A typical television interview will go for about 2-3 minutes, and a radio interview can go a bit longer—possibly between 5-8 minutes, and radio interviews tend to be a bit more casual. During the interviews, it’s important for the talent to remember to speak clearly and slowly. Many stations will use the suggested questions straight from the approved media alert that they have been provided. In prepping the talent for the tour, they should practice answering the questions in a concise and conversational manner. They should appear energetic and natural. The interview needs to be more of a back-and-forth conversation, i.e. nod, smile, use gestures, listen to the questions being asked. Ask the talent to try and weave in your messaging organically-not in a way that seems like it’s scripted and stiff. You want your talent to remember that stations are looking to them as the “experts” with information and knowledge to impart to their viewers.

During the tour, the interviews will be close together, but there will be a few short breaks built into the schedule for the talent to get up, use the restroom, get another bite to eat, stretch, etc. It’s important to take a couple breaks as you want each station to feel like you are fresh and excited for their specific interview.

In summary, preparation is the key. Having the talent prepared to deliver organic messaging and demonstrate enthusiasm for your topic or products will ensure a successful experience for you and the viewers.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT: Cyd Middlesworth

Cyd is the West Coast, Broadcast Project Manager at MultiVu, a Cision company. Based in Los Angeles, Cyd joined the MultiVu project management team 15 years ago.

She has managed projects for clients across industries including entertainment, automotive, technology, and consumer products.

Cyd holds a B.A. in Public Relations from The University of Florida.

About MultiVu

MultiVu, a Cision/PR Newswire division, produces and places compelling content strategically across multiple channels globally to deliver targeted results and drive desired engagement. Created in 2002 from network news veterans and media relations professionals, MultiVu has grown into a content creation and media strategy company, leading in the broadcast communications industry. More information can be found on www.multivu.com.

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