Effective Publicity – Tips on How Not to Be Caught With Your Publicity Pants Down

Part three in the series Radio and TV Interviews and advice

The purpose of appearing on radio or TV is to obtain effective publicity. However, at some point in your publicity tour you might run into an interviewer that asks a question that puts you or your product in a negative light. It happens. Maybe they received misinformation about you or your product from a last minute unexpected source. Maybe they decided to boost ratings by creating controversy. Or maybe they just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. It doesn’t matter. You need to be prepared for ANY question you’re asked and turn a negative question into a positive. Don’t be caught with your publicity pants down, if you know your main message and key talking points you can turn any potentially disastrous pr situation into effective publicity.


Before the interview, make sure you’re current on the latest news relating to your product. There’s nothing than can catch you off guard quicker during an interview than being unaware of a new breakthrough, a pending law suit, or bad press relating to your topic. You’re the ‘expert’, be current.

Set up a Google alert for the areas that relate to your topic. Simply log onto Google and select the types of alerts you’re interested in receiving. Once set up, Google will send you a daily email listing press releases, news articles and blogs relating to your area of interest. You can choose to explore each article further by clicking on the item’s title. This alert system is handy for keeping you well versed in the news that relates to your topic.


Whether its radio or television, keep in mind that the host has credibility and is probably well liked by their audience. When faced with a negative question, don’t get angry or defensive. The interviewer will continue to maintain their loyal following long after your interview. All you will have accomplished is the alienation of a large group of potential customers. Most people don’t buy products from angry spokespeople. When a negative question is asked, take a moment and breathe. Correct any inaccuracies and neutralize the negative with facts, then bridge to present a positive view. This is also where all the rehearsal you’ve done helps you to focus on emphasizing the benefits of your product.


When responding to any question, don’t exaggerate claims or give information that’s false. Misrepresentation can jeopardize your credibility. If you misspeak, stop and correct the statement for the record.

You can always turn a negative into a positive by knowing your message and making your primary goal to get your message across. Always be prepared and you too can achieve effective publicity.

Next: Part Four in the series Tips on Media Interviews

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