Want to be a great spokesperson?

Want to be a great spokesperson?

Lockdown is ripping up broadcast journos’ little black books as they look for new contacts who don’t come with technological barriers. Here are some things you can do to make sure you’re at the front of their new digital Filofax.


Hardwire, don’t WiFi

I can’t watch or listen to another glitchy interview, please. We’re months into lockdown now and
broadcasters are no longer jovially explaining away poor connections on the ‘new normal’. If you’re running interviews off a laptop, buy an Ethernet to USB converter and commandeer the room where your router lives or have an aerial company run ethernet to your home office.


Get a USB mic

A half decent USB mic will make a huge impact on the audio quality you’re sending. If you’re doing lots of TV, work on your framing to try to keep it out of shot. That takes us


If you’re doing lots of TV, work on your framing

Ditch the curated bookshelf. Carefully positioned copies of The Art of War and The Alchemist (I
still don’t get what that one’s about) may say something about your intellect but we want audiences focused on what you’re saying. Framing should be pleasing but neutral.


Help your PR team

Some interviews are easy to set-up, others: well, not so much… trust us on that. Treat each
interview as if your PR team has secured it only after going toe-to-toe with a barrage of hard news, because they probably have. Know each journalist you’re speaking to; make an effort to explain you’re available for interviews in the future; and do all the usual prep and more to make sure you’re both telling a great story and providing quality airtime. In short, be memorable.


How do media want to link up?

Media are playing around with all sorts of different options. We use some tech that connects you
to us, and us out to media, so you have no need to even think about link ups. If we’re not involved, you’re going to need to have accounts for Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp at a minimum. Create a one-pager with your contact details and be flexible. Oh yeah, and learn how to use a voice recorder for radio that want a quick soundbite for the early morning bulletins.


I had a bad dream about my kids walking in during a live interview

Safeguarding aside, if they manage to escape their dad and work their way into your interview: be unapologetic, stay calm and politely usher them away once. When that inevitably doesn’t work, use the parenting superpowers you’ve developed over lockdown to distract them or sit them on your lap and continue as best you can without missing a beat. If the presenter chooses to cut the interview short, that’s their call… but you’re now a multitasking powerhouse and the challenge is to stay as calm as possible (until you’re off air, at least) and assume the broadcaster wants to continue if you do too.

You now have an opportunity to unseat the ‘go to’ voices we see and hear on news topics.