5 Steps to Prepare for a News Feature
Congratulations! You’re going to be featured on a news segment! Or, maybe your moment hasn’t come quite yet, but you know the opportunity is just around the corner. It’s extremely exciting to be interviewed on TV and it can also be terrifying. Knowing that you’re super prepared can reduce some of the anxiety you might be feeling. I’m sharing my top five tips for conquering the butterflies and preparing for your upcoming news segment so when that moment comes you’ll have all the confidence you need! I’ve been featured on the news twice now, (once was just recently and another time was in 2019) and I can say that all of the preparations I did helped me tremendously. Let’s dive in!
5 Steps to Prepare for a News Feature
1. Determine your talking points
When given this amazing opportunity, your mind may be swirling about what to say. You may feel the need to guess what they’re going to ask you, or you may think you’ll just wing it and everything will be fine. Maybe this works for you with some things, but I’d strongly advise against both of those approaches.
Don’t try to guess what they’ll ask you because there’s no way to know. Instead, look back at the initial inquiry. What exact questions did they ask that they want you to speak to? If they’ve left it open, do a brain dump. When I say “brain dump” I mean a stress-free, free-flowing release of all of your ideas for this news segment. You can open a google doc, your email, or even the voice memo app on your phone and let the thoughts spill out. Then, let it rest for a day or two, and return to it for refining. Finally, ask your team (if you have one!) to weigh in. Ask them to choose your very BEST talking points, and focus on those only.
Remember that when you’re honing on your talking points, you want to consider the audience you’ll be speaking to. The people who watch this TV show may form a very different demographic than the one that follows you on Instagram, so keep this specific audience in mind. For example, you may not want to talk about the stress of mom life if it’s a more mixed audience, since that topic won’t relate to everyone who is not elbows-deep in diapers.
Also, think about what to highlight about your business. For example, at Grid + Glam, I manage a few different things: I have a membership, I coach other business owners, and I manage an in-person organizing team. Because this most recent news segment was going to air in the Boston suburbs, I highlighted the fact that I organize homes in the Boston suburbs. I tried to plant seeds into the minds of the audience: if you’re looking for a professional organizer, go no further! She’s me!
Next, script it out. Yes, write it all out and practice it. Maybe even do it in a voice memo or Voxer it to a team member. The more you’ve practiced it, the less likely you are to be nervous.
Finally, keep your talking points short. News segments are short and sweet. You want to refine, refine, refine so that only your best nuggets of wisdom are captured. It will likely get edited down even further.
2. Put your best foot (and hair, makeup, and outfit) forward
What you wear and how your hair is done matters! So, put some thought into this ahead of time. Ask yourself what you feel your best in. But, also keep in mind that you should wear solid colors, since wearing prints is distracting. Focus on jewel tones as well, if you like them.
Consider going to a salon the morning-of to get a blow out and have your makeup done professionally. And, maybe it’s time to get a really nice manicure a day or two prior to your news segment. If you’re ever going to splurge on all this beautification…now is the time!
Finally, be ready for show time! Don’t leave anything until the last minute. Set out your outfit the night before, make sure your alarm is set ,and double check that you know exactly where you need to be at what time.
3. It’s normal to be nervous
I know I wrote above how being prepared will help alleviate your anxiety. This is true…but it will not cure your nervousness. We all get nervous. Remember, you’re the expert. Also remember that excitement and anxiety feel the same in your body. Channel those nerves into excitement by taking a deep breath and letting your expertise shine through. If you stumble, just pick yourself back up, and continue on. If it’s not live, making mistakes is completely fine. And even if it is live, don’t stress too much. You can say it again or just move on. The news crew interviewing you are experts, and they want you to shine so that they can shine.
4. Make sure to offer yourself up for future collaborations
Reporters are always looking for stories. The easier you make it for them throughout the process and the better prepared you are, the more likely they are to ask you again. Don’t be shy to offer yourself up again for any future projects they are working on after you wrap this one up.
5. Be prepared to highlight it when it airs
When I was asked to do this latest news segment, I had zero chill! I was thrilled to be on the news and excited to see what this could do for my business. I took all of the steps I laid out above, and I felt great afterward. I felt like I did the very best I could, which is all you can ask for, right? Immediately after the photographer and reporter left, I felt so proud of how prepared I was, I was happy with the talking points I made…and I was glad it was over!
When it aired, my team and I were prepared to let everyone know about it. We immediately added it to Instagram as a grid post and a reel. We posted it to Facebook and added it to the list of items on our monthly newsletter to highlight. We were ready with any inquiries about in-person organizing, any interest in the G+G Membership, and we were ready to respond to DMs and messages immediately. Spend a bit of time talking about where and how you’d like to (literally) spread the news beforehand, and your audience will be soooo happy to see you in this exciting medium!
You know I love to cheer you on in all the ways! Let me know when you’re on the news, and whether you leveraged any of the tips above. I’m so excited for you!