Satellite Media Tour Insights: Spokesperson Problem Solving

There are numerous moving parts leading up to a satellite media tour: media relations, logistics management, satellite space coordinates, b-roll, confirmations and makeup, to name a few.

As we’ve previously chronicled, the single biggest factor linked to a successful SMT is the talent. The spokesperson can impact the quality of earned bookings and effectiveness of smoothly delivering key messages.

But what do you do if spokesperson problems arise? No matter the cause of the distress, these three tips will help get the talent back on track.

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Disclaimer: Safe to say 95%+ of SMTs never encounter spokesperson problems. This blog is designed to help in that rare case when the situation goes sideways.

  • Be a person: This is my favorite saying from an old talk radio host/comedic genius/co-worker still on Sirius/XM. When he felt a situation on the air or off was getting out of control, he’d tell us to “Be a person.” Basically, show empathy and put yourself in the other person’s shoes to act appropriately. A spokesperson, no matter how rich, famous, or smart, is still a person. There’s no telling what they are going through personally or the pressures they might be under to deliver. Appreciating their point of view when any issue arises will always help solve the problem from a more caring perspective.
  • Take a break: Even the best media personalities have trouble pre-recording content. It just happens. Many times, the pressure of going live forces focus and smooth delivery. But when there’s a safety net (i.e. taping), a talent tries to be too perfect and often gets in their own head. (Anyone remember Bill O’Reilly’s “We’ll do it LIVE” rant?) If time allows during a satellite media tour window, take a five minute break. Let the spokesperson get up, walk around, and clear their head. Nine out of 10 times, they’ll sit back down and nail the prerecording on the first take.
  • Pick a point person: In the rarest of moments, a spokesperson can start leaking confidence which can lead to a downward spiral. Imagine they are an inflatable ball pricked by a small pin. It’s not an immediate pop, but more of a steady deflation. The tendency is for all on set wanting to jump in and help/pump up. While coming from a caring point of view, if more than one or two people start giving advice or pep talking, it can have the opposite effect and the talent feels patronized. Only adds to the pressure. Designate one or two people max to be the onsite coach. Typically, it should not be the client the spokesperson is representing. Trust your satellite media tour vendor (which should consist of media pros) to handle the situation, which they’ve probably seen dozens of times before.

More than likely, you’ll never need to use these tips during an SMT. The talent (be they celebrity, athlete, expert, influencer, or internal) is almost always highly engaged, prepared, and positive/upbeat during a satellite media tour. But, if you prefer to prepare for emergencies, feel free to bookmark these tips.

Need help brainstorming and booking a spokesperson for your next SMT? We can help!

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