Friday, February 6, 2009

"We interrupt this programming..." Wait, what? I was scheduled to go on next!

Who doesn’t love the chance for a good interview? You're jazzed for the opportunity, you've told your friends and family to tune in, but right when the show is supposed to call, they don’t! Hello, what happened here? More than likely: breaking news. So what should you do when the station misses the call?

What about the flip side of that coin? What if you realize you just missed an interview! Yikes! How do you recover? Will this be the end before you even get started? In both situations, keep these things in mind:

• Be flexible:
a. They missed: Keep in mind breaking news always takes priority. If a community is digging out of an ice storm or reporting on local road closures they may not have time to call. In most cases they will be happy to reschedule and appreciate your understanding of the situation.
b. You missed: Hey, things come up and events get missed. While it is important to make every interview, the best way to recover from a missed interview is to be flexible. If the outlet is willing to reschedule, be flexible in your availability to make up for the faux pas.

• Call your publicist:
a. They missed: Your publicist may have additional contact information for the show and can get in touch with them to determine the situation. Notifying your campaign manager will allow for better communication between you and the host or producer.
b. You missed: The publicist will be the first person the show calls in the event an interview is missed. By notifying your publicist of your flub, we can work behind the scenes to protect the relationship we’ve worked to build. Sometimes it may be possible for the show to work you into another segment, and the audience won’t know the wiser.

• Be calm and understanding:
a. They missed: Channel your inner Zen when it comes to a last minute re-schedule from a show. Being patient and understanding will allow you to rock the re-scheduled interview like a rock star – which is what we all want – and leave a good impression with the show.
b. You missed: Be apologetic, but be calm. If they are not interested in a re-schedule, it’s important to know that sometimes they have to move on. In most cases, they too will be understanding and allow another chance. Just make sure you’re ready for that second chance, there probably won’t be a third chance.


Anonymous said...

I'd add that if you have the station's phone number, don't be afraid to give them a call if it's getting close to airtime and they haven't called yet.

One night, I spent an hour waiting for a station to call me to do an interview; when the phone never rang, I was furious that they'd wasted my time. The next day (after I'd calmed down), I sent a polite email, and it turned out they'd somehow gotten my work number and had been calling that instead of my home number. I had their phone number, so if I'd gotten over myself and called when it was getting close to airtime, the interview could have taken place.

Unfortunately, the whole incident left such a bad taste in everyone's mouth that we never rescheduled (and I have a sneaking suspicion that they trashed me on the air for being an apparent no-show).

February 7, 2009 at 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For radio in particular, having a studio number is important, even if the program is supposed to call you. Some programs (such as morning drive time programs) are 20 hours of show a week, so mistakes are bound to happen sometimes. Interviews somtimes get put on the wrong date, phone numbers are mixed happens! Often times a call on the studio line if they haven't called when you were expecting them to will fix whatever problem there was.

Or, if it was a mix up with the schedule (oh, I thought we had you scheduled for tomorrow!), you can probably just reschedule yourself if the producer has time to talk during the show. Then, you'd just need to call your publicist to let him/her know there was a mix-up, but you handled it and will be on the show the next day.

February 12, 2009 at 7:32 PM  

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