How to Prepare for a National TV Appearance

By Erin Flynn Jay, Founder, Flynn Media

Erin Jay founded Flynn Media in 2001. The company develops and implements public relations and branding campaigns for small to mid-sized companies in all types of industries. Erin has expertise in successfully obtaining media placements for experts and authors. Her work has been featured in diverse publications including, MSN Careers, Brandweek, Costco Connection, Opportunity World, Sales and Marketing Excellence, The New York Enterprise Report and Wealth Manager. Learn more about Flynn Media here.


Recently, I booked an author client to appear on a national news program. It was thrilling to view his live segment, and watch him captivate the anchor and audience. Feedback was positive: the anchors and producers thought he did an excellent job and it was a pleasure working with him, the publisher’s marketing person and myself.

Based on over ten years of booking guests to appear on national media, here is my advice for authors or experts who land a national TV appearance:

  1. Make sure your publicist or publisher has sent the booker or producer the talking points you want to cover in the segment. They will refine the questions but this gives them something to work with.
  2. The TV network will send a car to pick you up and drive you to the local studio for the interview. Confirm you have the right time and the right time zone. If the media outlet is based in New York, they will be working in Eastern Time.
  3. Rehearse. You will have a window of less than ten minutes to get your points across and answer the anchor’s questions. Be prepared! The questions will come at you fast, and your answers need to be concise and clear.
  4. Check email the night before. The booker or anchor may have some last minutes questions they need a written response on. Try to send that back to them the night before so you do not have to scramble in the morning to write comments and get dressed.
  5. Get a good night’s rest. Do not stay up too late and eat a nourishing dinner. Do not go out with friends to celebrate. You can have a celebratory drink the next night. Take a bath to relax if you have to. Call a friend if you have some jitters.
  6. Leave your cell phone on. The booker will likely call your cell phone to check in with you before your car pick-up. Let them know you are ready to roll for the morning interview. Call your marketing director or publicist if you need some last minute support before you arrive at the studio.
  7. Relax and enjoy! This is your time to shine in the spotlight. Remember to smile. You have a short amount of time to get your ideas out to the nation, so hit them with your newsworthy viewpoints


Note: PPRA is composed of many distinct organizations and individuals, each with different perspectives and specializations in diverse areas of public relations. Many of these members’ websites feature blogs with valuable insights and advice, and we would like to make this content available to you. Periodically, we will repost content from member blogs. If you would like to see your company’s blog considered, email

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