Prep, Just Don’t Prepare

I love PR and marketing types because typically I don’t have to sell them on why video is a terrific marketing tool. They get it. The only tip I usually pass along to them is how to prep their clients and not to prepare them.

I know, isn’t “prep” just short for “prepare?” Exactly. It’s a big help when the PR or marketing person has prepped the client before the project begins… giving them an idea of what the production crew will need, how long the shoot will take, stuff like that.

On the other hand, you don’t want to prepare them. Don’t give them a list of questions that might be asked, don’t give them talking points, don’t prepare them for being interviewed.

Those are great things to do when getting ready for an interview with the media, not a video production the client is paying for. You don’t have any control over the message the media puts out, so better to be prepared. Not the case with us.

As video producers, it’s our job to make the client look and sound good, and the best way to do that is when you get authentic answers. Remember, we’re working for you and the client. If they make a mistake or┬ádon’t say something the right way, we just won’t use that sound bite.

Clients who prepare for an interview sound that way. Clients who have simple been prepped sound much more genuine.

–Tony Gnau

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Rich Monroe
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Great insight Tony! To take some pressure off the subject (especially first timers), my softening comments prior to beginning any interview go something like this. “We’ve got plenty of tape and time. If you say something that just doesn’t feel right or come out right. Just stop and say – You know, that just didn’t feel right, I’d like to try that again.” To give their “second shot” some spontaneity, I’ll re-phrase the same question before taking their answer and plow through the remainder of the interview as though we experienced no breaks. Next, I’ll say “When we’re done with… Read more »