Tag Archives: TV Interview

How to prepare for an interview with a reporter

smiYou’ve reached an exciting point for your business! You’ve been approached by the media to participate in an interview about your company.

This can be both exciting and nerve wracking for you, especially if you’ve never been interviewed before. Make no mistake, an interview with a reporter can open a lot of doors for your company. Media coverage can transform your company exposure and brand awareness in your geographic or industry market, so you definitely want to be on your A-game for the interview.

Leave a positive impression of your business and dominate your upcoming interview with these tips.

Anticipate questions

Whether you’re being interviewed about company news, a product launch, or for thought leadership, you need to anticipate questions of all kinds. You never know what kind of curve balls could be thrown your way, so try your best to do enough preparation for the tough questions. Research previous interviews that have been done by the reporter you will be interviewing with to get an idea of their style. They may ask similar or even the same questions. Look up common interview questions online and prepare answers for the questions. The more preparation you do in advance the less anxious you will be about the interview.

Research industry trends

When being interviewed, you want to be seen as an authority figure in your field. One way to do that is by staying up to date on the current industry news and trends. Before your big interview, it’s a good idea to brush up on current events outside of your own company.  It is better to be over prepared, because the last thing you want is to be in the dark on an important current event. Spend the week leading up to your interview surfing the web for relevant articles about topics in your field. The more you know, the more confident and knowledgeable you’ll come across.

Outline a clear message

Before your interview, take the time to outline your key purpose. What do you want people to gain from watching your interview? Keep this question in mind throughout your interview to stay on track. It is always a good idea to organize your thoughts before anything, from writing a memo to giving a presentation, to being interviewed by the media. Understanding your message will make it easier for you to answer tough questions. It will also cause you to be less nervous and appear more confident. Outlining your central theme ahead of time will make you less likely to contradict yourself when under pressure.


Practice makes perfect! Interviews can be tough because all of the focus is placed on you, but it’s a great chance to get your name out there and create buzz for your business. The more comfortable you are during your interview, the smoother it will go. Ask your family, friends, or coworkers to run through some practice questions before the interview. You can also practice alone by talking in front of the mirror. Whatever you do, don’t jump head first into an interview without any sort of preparation. You can’t take back your words, so be sure to practice enough to choose them wisely.


About Lauren Usrey: Lauren is a student at the University of Texas at Austin and a marketing communications intern at Manzer Communications. She supports clients with social media, blogging and tech PR activities. Manzer Communications has offices in Austin, Denver and Houston and provides digital marketing and PR services for tech companies seeking rapid, sustained growth. Some of the services provided include content marketing, social media strategy and ad buys, email marketing, and media relations.

Tips on What to Wear for a TV Interview

You just got the good n165765_10150166109975278_55845270277_8395897_5280693_news- your local TV news station wants to feature you on their morning show. What an incredible opportunity to spread awareness about your small business or startup! The elation lasts about twelve minutes until you realize – shoot, what am I going to wear?

Take a deep breath. You’re going to look great, assuming, that is, if you follow our tips for looking your best during a TV interview.

Let’s look at the situation holistically first: you need to dress the part, especially if the news is coming to your place of business. If you are a local organic farmer or fitness coach, dress in “costume” – in other words wear your overalls or your whistle, things that you would wear on an everyday basis that will convince viewers that you are the real deal. These situations are probably not the norm, but they definitely happen and if you have an everyday attire that is not distracting and adds to your message, wear it!

Now, if you are a PR spokesperson representing, say, a national non-profit or a local chamber of commerce, then go the safe route of suit and tie for men and nice suit jacket with pants or skirt for women. It shows that a level of professionalism and expertise often called for when speaking on behalf of a larger organization.

New scenario: let’s say you’re a tech startup and you operate out of your dining room and CNN is on its way for that major interview you’ve been waiting for. Don’t wear your pajamas (unless that’s your shtick) but don’t feel like you need to overdress either. Wear what you would feel comfortable in on an everyday basis. In other words, look the role.

Let’s get into some specific tips for in-studio appearances:

Beware of whites, blacks and reds: Whites tend to glow and take over the screen whereas blacks absorb light and make details hard to see. Black is best kept on the bottom half in the form of a skirt or pants. If you have to wear black near your face, try muting it with a pastel or tan sweater. Reds and neons also need to stay home as they bleed and tend to take over the screen.

No to patterns, yes to solids:  Patterns can take away from your overall look and distract on screen. To stay safe, stick to solid colors! Your overall look may feel boring but I promise it will translate better on screen.

Color choices: Pastels, purples and browns near your face are the most flattering. Blue is going to be your safest bet. Again, keep dark blacks and navy blues away from your face on your bottom half. (Side note: ask if you will be speaking in front a green screen. You don’t want to accidentally wear green and be a talking head in front of the green screen. Can you say Twilight Zone?)

Keep jewelry simple: Don’t wear anything too flashy or reflective, especially earrings that take away from your face instead of enhancing it. Also, beware of large necklaces that might get in the way of the microphone. Be safe and wear as little jewelry as possible.

Extra, extra!: Stuff happens. You know, with your luck, the day you have your interview is the day you will spill your coffee on your shirt driving to work. To stay on the safe side, bring an extra set of clothes (if nothing else, for peace of mind!).

Polished and wrinkle-free: Make sure your shirt, skirt, suit, tie, or whatever it is you’re wearing, has been ironed or pressed. You want to look your most professional and neat during the interview. First impressions make for lasting impressions.

No-go on the logo: No visible logos or brand names should be shown, with the exception of your own. Only wear a t-shirt wearing your brand or logo if it truly serves the interview and is, honestly, a really cool shirt. It might be best to consider leaving the t-shirt at home and opting for a nice suit instead.

Men in suits: Make sure half an inch of your shirt cuff is showing and you are wearing over-the-calf socks to avoid skin showing when you cross your legs. (Can you say white calves?!)

Keep it simple: You may feel a little boring, but stay away from trying a new hairstyle or trendy fashion unless, again, it fits your occupation (e.g., fashion designer or musician) The focus should be on the information you are giving about your organization and not the clash of colors you’re wearing.

The bottom line: you want people to focus on your words and ideas so be smart about your fashion choices. The smartest decisions on screen involve solid, muted, pastel colors on top and dark colors on the bottom with minimalistic jewelry, makeup and hairstyles. Let your personality shine by not having to worry about your clothes – you’ve got this! Cue the lights, camera…ACTION!

About Theresa Grillo: Theresa Grillo is a PR associate with Dave Manzer PR and Marketing, which was founded as a PR firm in Austin for tech startups in 2009 and as one of the only PR firms in the country providing performance-based PR pricing options. Theresa specializes in helping startups and emerging growth technology and consumer companies with their communication and media outreach needs. For more information about Theresa or PR over Coffee, email us at info(@)PRoverCoffee.com or tweet to @PROverCoffee.

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