I spent most of the day yesterday with a correspondent from one of the network morning shows, who offered these words of advice for what he’s looking for in television interviews:
Make your answers short, make them simple and be memorable.
“That’s all we want,” he said, confirming the point we make during the taped mock interview segments of media training sessions. The correspondent knows how to shape the overall story, so the purpose of the interview is to locate that 7-second soundbite to drop in at the appropriate time. Metaphors are a good way to convey a simple point, he said.
Yesterday he taped hours of interviews. The result will be a segment on the national broadcast that’s expected to be about 1 minute 30 seconds, with about 7 seconds for the official spokesperson. So if you haven’t done so lately, schedule a media training session to ensure your spokespeople are aware of how this works and are ready with those brief and memorable soundbites.