As a publicist, bad interviews can make me cringe. This one made me head for the corner in a fetal position. I am reluctant to even comment on this video because, well, even a non-PR pro can list the things wrong with this one. But let's play along anyway and use the opportunity to draw out some good pointers. Here are some standard, common-sense television interview tips:
NO-NO: Don't read while the host is speaking to you.
YES-YES: Be prepared.
NO-NO: Don't pitch a talent you clearly don't have if you've been invited to the show to talk about running for the office of mayor.
YES-YES: Stay on subject.
NO-NO: Don't insult the host after she has given you ample time to showcase your non-talent.
YES-YES: Be courteous.
NO-NO: Don't be pushy about a return invite ON camera. If you want to be a jerk, do it off camera.
YES-YES: Be grateful for the opportunity on and off camera.
NO-NO: Don't EVER use a hand held tape recorder to play background music tracks.
YES-YES: Be professional.
I have worked with high-profile clientele for most of my 20+ year career. The biggest mistake I see clients make when trying to promote themselves is they get too wrapped up in their current "project" (book, cd, etc.) to keep the whole picture in focus.
I don't know about you, but by the time my child was 3 years old, he could pick out a McDonald's along the street. And not because I ever took him there. I rarely did. But he had seen those Golden Arches many times before Barney, after The Magic School Bus, during TaleSpin -- those Golden Arches surrounded everything he saw on TV. He really had no idea WHY he wanted to go to McDonald's, he just knew he should. McDonald's sees the big picture.
But you say, "I'm an artist not a fast food restaurant." Right. But you ARE the Golden Arches. Your new CD, your new song, your new book -- they are your chicken nuggets, Big Mac, large fries.
If you only think about your career in terms of your latest work, then your career will be short. Artists, authors and speakers need to think about making a "brand" name for themselves. Yes, you want to have a menu of tasty items (cds, books, songs). But ultimately, your name -- your reputation -- your artistry should mean something. Listeners will hear your music once or twice, but fans will sign up for your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Readers might like your latest book, but fans will stand in line for your book signing. A really, really hungry person might stumble into a McDonald's one day because its convenient, but 3-year-old whines and cries until he steps inside those Golden Arches. Now, that's a fan for life. Develop that kind of a following, and you'll enjoy a long and prosperous career.