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Tips for Broadcast Interviews

Television and radio interviews can be daunting. Being well prepared is the key to success.

  • Broadcast Practice your key messages (the three most important points you want to get across) several times and out loud with your PR contact or a colleague.
  • Be simple and be brief. Reporters are looking for short, easy-to-understand sound bites that they can insert into their story.
  • Stop talking when you are finished, even if the reporter waits for more, otherwise you may say something you didn’t intend.
  • Avoid any temptation to improvise. If you don’t know the answer, say so, and promise to contact the reporter later with the relevant information.
  • Insert “University of Rochester Medical Center” or “UR Medicine” into your answers (your affiliation with the University will not always appear with your title on the TV screen).
  • Look at the interviewer, not the camera, when responding.
  • Most interviews are taped, not live, so don’t be afraid to ask for a “do-over” if you aren’t happy with your response. Reporters want good, accurate sound bites, so they are usually happy to let you try again.
  • Solid colors tend to look best on TV. Avoid busy patterns and lots of jewelry, which can be distracting.