When launching a public relations campaign, it can be easy to get so focused on trying to land a TV interview that you forget to give any attention to how you’re going to handle the interview. Print is usually the easiest in terms of how you look and carry yourself. Those interviews are generally done over the phone. You could be in bed in your pajamas for all the interviewer knows.

The same is often the case with radio. If you’re calling into the show, the interviewer has no idea what you look like, what you’re wearing, and if you’re in your living room or the pool. Another upside of those types of print and radio interviews is that you can write out cheat sheets that you can refer to. In fact, you’re wasting a great opportunity if you don’t do that. Write out a number of flash cards that each list a main point that you want to address, or list statistics, information or quotes that will make you sound quite brilliant, which is never a bad thing.

But, in the worlds of PR and media relations, TV is a whole different animal. Cheat sheets and pajamas are definitely out on TV interviews. Well, you can try pajamas. At least you’ll make an impression.

So, let’s say you’ve pitched your story to a TV outlet, the producer liked your pitch, she booked you on the show and today is your day. First, congratulations on getting this far, now here is your TV media appearance drill. To start, review your wardrobe and dress appropriately. If you're discussing a product or a book, you've made sure that you're taking along some extra samples (you have already sent copies to the producer). Give yourself plenty of time to get to the studio (keep in mind - if you're late, you're dead) and review two or three primary points that you want to get across during the interview.

Make sure you go over the basics as to your story and information, but remember TV is a visual medium. With that in mind:

1. Check yourself in a mirror before you go on camera. Is your hair in place? Is your tie crooked? Is your lipstick smeared? Give yourself the basic once-over.
2. Remember, you don't have to force the information; weave your points into the interview. If you spend your time forcing an issue, it will come out sounding strained and stilted.
3. No slouching. Have good posture.
4. Focus on the interviewer. The camera and crew is part of the furniture as far as you're concerned.
5. Start off with your most important information. Interviews can be very short. If you don't lead with what's important, you may have missed your chance.
6. Breathe. People have a tendency to hold their breath when nervous, which only creates more anxiety. Remember to breathe.
7. Smile. I've seen more media opportunities ruined by people who have refused to smile during their interviews. Looking grave does not make you appear more profound, it makes you look dull and somber.

These are the basics. Prepare before you go on. Get some media training. Don’t assume you’re a TV natural. Prepare for and invest in your media success.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011

Author's Bio: 

Anthony Mora Communications, Inc. is a Los Angeles-based public relations company that has placed clients in: Time, Newsweek, 60 Minutes, CNN, USA Today, Oprah,The New York Times, Vogue, and other media. Anthony has been featured in: USA Today, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The BBC, CNN, Fox News, and other media outlets. For more informative articles on PR how-to, like us on Facebook @ Los Angeles PR Firm AMC, Inc.