Here’s a valuable media training lesson straight from a national TV producer and reporter who spoke to a group at the National Press Club: Before you pitch your client to a national televison show make sure he or she is ready for prime time, or you risk getting blackballed yourself.
The national media demand assurance that your spokesperson is comfortable in front of the camera, said Meet the Press Executive Producer Betsy Fischer and NewsHour with Jim Lehrer reporter Michael Melia. If time permits, they’ll want to see tapes of previous appearances or Web sites with video links to see how your spokesperson will do.
In other words, a live interview on Today isn’t exactly the way to “see how it goes” in front of a national audience. That’s not the time to do media training. If your client is suggesting his story would be perfect for Good Morning America, you better get some professional media training – and local TV airtime – first.
And here’s what’s in it for the PR people pitching TV guests for national shows: if your spokesperson screws up and you presented someone who was obviously not national TV material, then they’re not likely to trust your “news judgment” again.