Dos and don'ts of accompanying talent to radio & TV

This simple guide gives you everything you need to know about heading into a radio or tv studio for the first time

It can feel very daunting when you have to accompany talent or a spokesperson into a radio or television studio for the first time. It's a hectic environment where air-time is mapped out by the second and you are whooshed in and then out of quite a surreal environment.


Corey Cooper from CC & Co., a creative and talent management company in Sydney, joins me in this episode to provide you with an easy guide of the things you should (and should not do) on your first visit.

“Taking talent into a live interview isn't the time to try and pretend you have everything under control when you really have no idea what's going on. Be as prepared as you can but be honest with producers if it's your first time. Let them know you want a better understanding of the processes of their particular studio so it's smooth-sailing on the day"

Listen to the full episode on The PR Pod podcast for more tips on accompanying talent to radio or TV. You'll also find this episode on your fave podcast players including Apple Podcasts and Spotify, just search "The PR Pod".

DOS

  • Arrive 15 - 20 mins prior to the on-air time for a radio interview. You'll be met by the producer and whisked away to a green room to wait for the interview

  • Utilise the waiting time productively. Recap on the key messages with the guest you're accompanying, remind them of the station they are speaking to and the show and the host/s names. Give them a quick rundown of the audience demographic in case the guest needs to tailor their language/examples. Clarify if it's a live or pre-record chat. Help the guest feel prepared but also energised - an injection of personality is really important on radio and television

  • Encourage the guest to use everyone's name. This studio may be their first or their fifteenth interview of the day and it can be a bit of a whirlwind. Regardless, it makes the producer and hosts feel like a valued part of the media schedule if the talent uses their name

  • Remember the station is likely to want to a photo of the host/s with the guest pre/post the interview. If you're in a radio studio, make sure the talent is aware and has done any make-up touch ups in advance, if required

  • Leave time for hair and makeup prior to a television interview. If the guest has a preferred personal artist this may have been done prior to arriving at the studio but if not, it could take 1 - 1.5hrs at the television studio to do, pre-interview. Men's grooming is usually about 20 minutes


DON'TS

  • Don't expect to be standing close to the guest when they do their interview. For a radio chat, you're likely to be listening to the interview next to the producers in a separate booth or perhaps from the green room. For television, you will be in the studio but you'll be placed in a spot you can't move from, as there will be cameras rolling around constantly. Which is why you need to make sure the guest is prepared in advance

  • Don't forget to turn off you and your guest's mobile/cell phones. The producer will probably remind you but get in the habit of having it on silent

  • Don't debrief how you felt the interview went with the guest, while you're in the studio or station. Wait until you have left the building. There are ears everywhere. If there was a major issue during the interview you need to address with the producer, do it away from the guest

  • Don't have your guest wear stripes for television. They don't work well. Go for plain bold colours and avoid big brand logos


If you'd like some tips on how best to work with talent agents to secure talent for a partnership, take a listen to this episode.

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