How to Ace and Leverage Your Broadcast Interview to Build Your Brand

Congratulations! You’ve just landed a broadcast interview. Do you know how to maximize your media coverage?

Participating in an on-air interview can be an overwhelming or thrilling experience, depending on your perspective. You can never be sure how the presence of a camera will change the dynamic between you and a reporter.

Many businesses and professionals make the mistake of thinking the interview is the end game, but they’re just getting started. Leveraging your authority and building your brand is where the real magic happens.

If you can ace your interview, you can use it as a powerful communications and marketing tool. Keep reading to learn how to prepare for a broadcast interview, and how to use the segment to your advantage before, during, and after your appearance.

How to Ace Your Broadcast Interview

Broadcast talent (reporters, anchors, hosts) often work under extremely tight deadlines, with ad breaks, satellite feed hard-stops, and other time constraints that are out of their control dictating interview length.

The reporters work with producers—the ones who often perform the initial background research—to prepare in advance of the interview.

For talk shows, the situation is somewhat different. In this case, producers will provide the host with a briefing package. The interviewee will usually have the opportunity to have a conversation about the segment and the role they are expected to fill.

Let’s say you’re giving an interview to promote a new product, highlight your company’s leadership, or address a new issue that is relevant to your business. This guide will provide specific steps you must take to give a successful broadcast interview.

Be Succinct and Compelling

The average TV soundbite is only seven seconds long. This is enough time for an average person to speak between 21 and 25 words.

When talking to a reporter or anchor, it’s essential to choose your words carefully.

To prepare for your interview, practice with a stopwatch in hand. This exercise will give you a feel for how long your answers are, and how much you’ll need to shorten them. It’s not necessary to keep your entire answer under seven seconds, but you should strive to deliver short phrases that can be extracted easily by editors.

Today, there aren’t many interviews that are actually live, but it’s essential to treat every interview as if it is. Many news outlets will post unedited versions of your interview online. So, you don’t want a few good soundbites on air and a long, scattered interview online.

Have Visuals in Mind

Reporters will want good visuals to support your story. If they ask you for ideas, prepare to give them visual elements that match what you’re saying— charts, infographics, product samples, etc.

Sometimes you’ll need to be present for background footage at the end of the interview. This footage is for the reporter to do a voice-over at the end of the segment. For this footage, you’ll likely sit at your desk, make a phone call, or walk down the hall. Whatever it is, make sure you can suggest something you feel at ease doing if and when the request is made.

Look Your Best

This one may seem obvious, but you should always strive to look your best when appearing on television.

You will shine through your broadcast interview if you are confident in how you look. A fresh haircut, another look at your wardrobe, and a careful hand with makeup will make an impact.

When deciding how to dress for your interview, take note of these suggestions:

  • Wear comfortable clothing that is neat and clean. Try to avoid distracting patterns, bright colors, and stripes. You want to show personality, but don’t let your outfit outshine you.
  • Your clothes should support your message, so match your outfit with your role.
  • Men with facial hair, make sure it is neat and trimmed.
  • Women and men with long hair should pull it back, especially if the interview will take place outside.

Perfect Your Tone

Nothing is worse than listening to someone talk in a monotonous tone. Plus, it’s difficult for the editor to identify your key points in the sound room if you’re speaking in a flat tone of voice.

Be sure to back up what you’re saying with how you’re saying it. If you’re promoting a product or service, your tone should make people feel that you’re excited, passionate, and engaged. Don’t go overboard, of course, but make those listening understand how important your point is, and that you are a subject matter expert on your business.

You may think this comes naturally, but if you’re nervous, you’ll lose your normal vocal personality. To avoid sounding fake, you should practice ahead of time.

Tune Your Hand Gestures and Body Language

Hand gestures and body language are just as important as your vocal inflection. The way you move can animate the discussion, but it can also sidetrack the audience.

Many of us use hand gestures without thinking, while some fold into themselves with their arms crossed during conversations. Surprisingly, the same is true for a radio interview. If your body is animated, your voice will follow.

Getting your hand gestures under control is another good reason to practice. In your free time, practice a few gestures in the mirror to determine which come naturally to you.

Before a broadcast interview, you should also practice delivering your message while standing and sitting. A standing conversation is more intense, while a sitting one is more intimate. If you’re sitting, be aware of things like swiveling or rocking back in your chair. These habits are distracting and can undermine the audience’s confidence in you.

Whatever you do, avoid crossing your arms at all costs. It may feel comfortable, but this is a defensive posture that won’t serve you well on camera.

How to Leverage Authority from Your Broadcast Interview

What you may not realize is that the ultimate goal of a broadcast interview is not the interview in and of itself. It’s what you do with it afterward.

Broadcast exposure tends to have a snowball effect. Recent trends show that compelling video content is among the most powerful online advertising tools. People share videos more frequently than they do other media—1,200% more than text and links combined.

If you’re on-air with a well-regarded journalist or producer and no one knows about it, how can it be valuable for your business?

Your interview should have two specific objectives. First, you’re delivering your message to prospective clients. Second, you can use the interview to build authority in your industry.

Maximize Your Broadcast Interview Coverage

View your TV appearance as a way to shape your brand and an evergreen PR opportunity. Make it effortless for your future customers to find your TV appearance.

Use your interviews to develop sustainable PR traction by building your brand over time. The best way to do this to showcase your earned media appearances on your website in a strategic way.

Think about it: just one interview broadcast by a national media outlet can do wonders for your credibility and exposure for your business… not to mention your SEO rankings.

Never Count on Network Links

The way to showcase your content is not by sharing a link provided by the network to your TV segment. This is a critical mistake.

If you share a link, it’s your responsibility to check the health of that link over time. Before you know it, the link will be taken down by the media outlet, and you’ll be left with a 404 Error when clients, customers, and business partners click to watch your video.

This doesn’t look good to prospective clients, or anyone looking to you as an industry expert.

How to License Your Broadcast Interview

No one wants to be the first to cite a source, so reporters love to see that you’ve been quoted by other journalists.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to prominently display your thought leadership and expert credibility somewhere on your personal or corporate website. Before you can add your interview to your website though, you must license the right to do so.

Broadcast Interview Video Licensing 101

It all starts with copyright—the legal right of ownership that allows the creators of content to control how it is used and whether it can be copied. If someone uses protected content without authorization, this is considered copyright infringement. This leads to legal challenges and can result in damage to your personal or company reputation—negatively impacting any future revenue.

You can legally acquire the right to re-use, modify, or broadcast someone else’s work through obtaining a license. A license is an agreement between a content copyright owner (in this case, the organization broadcasting your interview), and another user (you).

The license agreement can specify the price paid for the license, limit the video’s use in content and duration, and the intended audience. You’ll need to know the specific purpose of licensing your interview. Do you want to use it on the press page of your website or to promote yourself on social media? Are you hoping to show it at your booth at your next trade show? Do you intend to use it to advertise your brand?

In some cases, buying a licensed video can be as simple as filling out an application. In other scenarios, however, the rightsholder will request explicit detail of the intended use before granting a license.

How much does this cost? With so many variables in play, it’s impossible to provide a straightforward pricing guide. Depending on the resources used to make the video, how it is used, the nature of the content, and laws surrounding supply and demand, the price can vary tremendously. In fact, the same content can be licensed for different costs and different uses in different regions.

Always License Your Broadcast Interviews

Don’t rely on news outlets to provide the video of your TV segment after it airs. Speak with a licensing agency about licensing and using your segment. Otherwise, it will disappear and you’ll lose the ability to leverage your authority.

Executive Interviews is unique in that we’re the only company granted explicit permission to offer both the video and license to guests who appear on the air of our broadcasting partners’ networks.

We work directly with the broadcasters, so we ensure that we exceed their standards for video quality and editorial content. After obtaining the license and approved video, you can embed your broadcast interview on your website quickly and legally.

When you license with us, we also supply a rightsholder-branded media player that is optimized for mobile devices and social media platforms, so you can cleanly display your video with built-in share features.

Take Advantage of Your Media Exposure

No matter how confident you are, a broadcast interview can be intimidating. However, the cliche is true: practice makes perfect. If you think you’ll be interviewed on-air frequently, consider watching yourself on camera. This activity will give you the opportunity to identify and dissect verbal and physical ticks that may limit your effectiveness.

The biggest mistake you can make is not posting a broadcast interview to your website, sharing it on your company’s Intranet, or using it offline at your next shareholder meeting. To do this legally, you must obtain the license and approved video from the broadcaster.

Executive Interviews is the only third-party partner of the world’s biggest business news channels that can supply both licensing and video. We’ve finetuned the licensing process with our existing suite of players and projects, but we pride ourselves on our ability to pivot to accommodate customized and out-of-the-box requests.

A broadcast interview is a huge opportunity to win over prospective clients and position yourself as a thought leader in your field. Don’t let the power behind your media appearance fizzle out. Contact us to talk about how to achieve your marketing and communication goals by showcasing your TV appearance.