Interview of the week: Simplifying complex cybersecurity events

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Investors watching the evening news have mostly gone blind to the qualities of a “good interview.” But when someone bombs on live TV, it is overwhelmingly apparent, even to the untrained eye.

This is partly why we at Gregory FCA place a heavy emphasis on media training. We put every client through intense training seminars including a “dry run” in front of a real camera in our in-house studio. These drills go a long way in getting ready for a potential appearance. There’s no telling when your number will be called for a performance on CNBC, FOX Business or other national broadcasts, and media points must be on their toes at all times.

But becoming a live TV pro doesn’t happen overnight. Pulling off a solid performance takes great care and practice. In this regard, we’d like to highlight a recent example of client Andrew Chanin, CEO of ETF sponsor PureFunds, nailing his appearance on Yahoo! Finance. Take a look below:

Right off the bat you can tell Andrew is relaxed and ready to go. His initial smile and calm tone of voice immediately relay to the viewer that this is not his first rodeo. Andrew also puts a little gusto into his initial comments to show his general excitement and appreciation for being brought on the show.

Yahoo! Finance’s Jared Blikre then asks a very difficult task of Andrew: explain a highly-complex cybersecurity event in layman’s terms in less than 30 seconds. Andrew accomplishes this feat by placing the event into historical context. He describes the event is “unprecedented” to illuminate its significance, yet also compares the development to similar occurrences to help the viewer relate to the situation.

Andrew also does a great job staying on topic. He answers Blikre’s questions directly and with specific examples. We frequently see people go on TV with a rigid, predetermined agenda in mind, ignoring the issues in question merely to plug their product or firm. However, the audience isn’t looking for a sales pitch. The value derives from the facts and explanations that consumers can easily digest and bring back to their own jobs. Also, being overly promotional is a sure-fire way to put yourself on the producer’s “do not call” list.

Andrew’s patience finally pays off in his Yahoo! Finance appearance when the host sets him up to talk about his cybersecurity ETF, HACK. This crucial turning point in the interview will make or break the success of Andrew’s appearance. The audience will scrutinize his every move. How well does he know the product? Does he stumble over his words?

Luckily, Andrew nails it and knocks his “elevator pitch” out of the park. In less than 10 seconds, he relays everything the audience needs to know about the fund, and why they should invest in it.

“This was created to be the first cybersecurity ETF for someone who wanted to get exposure to the cyber security industry but didn’t know how to pick the individual companies,” he says. “HACK gives you the exposure. One share of HACK gives you exposure to over 30 publicly-traded cybersecurity companies from around the world that are all doing different things.”

Not only is the information delivered in a tight, 58-word package, his cool, collected and well-rehearsed response makes Andrew come off as knowledgeable, authentic, trustworthy and a credible source of information.

There’s no replacement for a media training session with a highly-experienced public relations firm, but when preparing for your next TV appearance, keep the above in mind to avoid potential disaster.