Media Training Takeaways from the Viral BBC Interview We Can’t Stop Watching

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Have you seen it? A video of a BBC contributor whose children not-so-casually interrupt his on-air interview has gone viral, and while we can’t stop watching the hilarity ensue, we also stopped to think about what we’d do if this had happened to one of our clients.

In today’s media environment, outlets are utilizing a number of new technology tools to broadcast interviews. The introduction of Cheddar TV and Facebook Live has increased the popularity of Skype and remote guest interviews, which has led to us expanding our media training program to discuss how to prepare for these non-traditional environments. Below are a few quick takeaways for how to ensure your interview doesn’t end up taking the internet by storm in a not so flattering way.

  • Know your environment. When preparing for a Skype interview that will take place in your home, office, or elsewhere, consider your surroundings before stepping into the limelight. Make sure the lighting is flattering and any clutter behind you doesn’t detract from what you are saying. Visually unappealing items in the background draw the viewer’s eye, so take the time to do a little clean up beforehand. In the case of the viral video mentioned above, consider locking your door if your kids are home to make sure they don’t come storming in during your screen time.
  • Know your audience. We stress this in any interview setting, and it’s just as important for broadcast interviews. The emergence of these new channels will continue to break the mold, so double check that your talking points are geared toward the audience you are addressing. Cheddar and Facebook Live target millennials, while traditional outlets like CNBC and Fox Business—who have also started to conduct Skype-style interviews—are geared toward more experienced investors.
  • Know your technology. Unless you have an on-site studio at your office, chances are you are working with a web-camera. Do a test drive with a family member, colleague or PR team to know where the camera is angled, how you should be sitting and if you need to adjust your lighting. Have your Skype account set up beforehand and check your internet connection to avoid any glitches.

At the end of the day, remember that Murphy’s Law can always come into play. Anything that can happen, will happen. There’s no such thing as too much preparation when your reputation and credibility are on the line.