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What to do when you land a TV spot?


WOO HOO! All of the pitching is paying off and you just landed your first TV appearance. So first you squeal, jump up and down, call everyone you know and then what?

Here are a few pointers to make sure your star quality shines, you are asked back, and most importantly, it appears that you have done this a million times before.


First and foremost, prepare and know the show. Whenever I have the opportunity to speak with a media professional I always ask “what is the thing that people most often do that drives you crazy?” The answer is always… “when someone pitches me and they do not know my work.”

To avoid this, watch the show, watch old clips on YouTube – including bloopers, watch interviews with other people in your industry, know what time the show is on and any special regular segments, know a few personal facts about the interviewer that they share publicly, know the demographics of the audience.Spend some time on their social media sites and you will get a very good feeling for the relationship between the host/show and the audience.


Then watch other shows, both national and local and see what works, what does not. Watch the expressions of the interviewers and how they react after an interview. What not to do is more important than what you should do, be sure to take thoughtful notes that you can refer back to.


Ask the producer (or your contact) questions such as: Who will conduct the interview? Is there anything I should NOT mention? What topics will we discuss? How long will the interview last? Will the interview be live or taped? If taped, when will it air? Can I share online? Will I receive a clip? Can you include my name/website on air and/or on your website? Is there anything else you need from me?


What will you talk about? What is the message you want the audience to walk away with? Since you really never know how long you have to talk, it is a good practice to boil your key talking points down to a few short sound bites – these also make great tweets. If you know you have a 15 minute segment also be prepared with expand on your sound bites and have some great stories around your topic, the audience loves to relate personally to your topic and this will help you further engagement after the interview is over.


Practice your interview either live with a friend or interview yourself… simply sit in front of your computer, turn on your video camera and talk to it – you will quickly see what you should and should not do on camera. Do this over and over again with different clothes and make-up.

Remember, not all shows have the staffing to do your hair and makeup so know your look. Women should apply make-up heavier than usual. Remember to bring a bag with your make-up and hair products so you can freshen up too! A few wardrobe pointers…DO NOT wear black, white, red or bold prints. DO NOT wear BIG jewelry, scarves or anything that will block your face. DO wear solid colors that will stand out in a good way. If possible, wear clothing that has colors that are complementary to the set of the show.


Remember to smile, be open, engaging and use direct eye contact – inquire which cameras will be shooting you, there may be more than one and you want to be sure that you are engaging with the right one.


After the interview, be sure that you are following everyone you met on social media, you follow-up with a thank you email and social media post to the appropriate parties.

Stay connected, these are now YOUR media contacts and if you did a good job they will likely have you back, staying top of mind certainly helps. Share your media everywhere and add to your media kit/page.

Donna Cravotta





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  1. Cindy

    Donna, great tips as always – thanks!

  2. Katie Mazzocco

    Wow, Donna! This post blew my mind! I feel prepared now for when I will have my first media appearance this year. Thank you for sharing your brilliance!

    • Donna

      Love it Katie! Time to show your brilliance!


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