Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/LeonardSipes
I speak to a variety of agencies and national organizations on social media or public relations and I usually create articles or PowerPoint’s to address their unique needs.
The focus of my last agency presentationwas on developing a robust social media presence. There are two previous topics developed for this instruction; a PowerPoint on creating great content (http://leonardsipes.com/creating-great-content-for-websites-through-audio-video-and-blogs/) and the first product titled, “The Advantages of Government Social Media” at http://leonardsipes.com/the-advantages-of-government-social-media/ .
Creating Great Content:
Creating great content is advice given by everyone in social media but it’s like the Supreme Court’s definition of pornography; almost impossible to describe but you know it when you see it. If we all knew how to it consistently we would be rolling in social media and PR fame and dollars. I make the point that alternative methods of creating content like audio and video can help.
The Presentation Below:
The presentation below is directed to satisfying and expanding an established national audience by presenting them with options to satisfy customer learning styles through the development of audio, video, fact sheets, easy to read articles and other easily digestible material.
Yes, presenting PowerPoint content solely in writing is like describing a cartoon; it lacks context. But many asked for it as a blog post. The PowerPoint is unavailable because it addressed unique agency issues.
I place a lot of emphasis on inexpensive methods of creating media. For example, I believe that a pocket video camera, a tripod, natural lighting and an external microphone can create great video. A decent yet inexpensive audio recorder can create great audio.
The purpose of this article is to help you create and host audio and video for creating content for websites.
Video and audio is easier than ever to create and adds significant options to your web presence. Audio and video creation respects learning styles and keeps visitors on your site longer while providing a degree of content satisfaction unavailable via print offerings only.
The instruction provides an overview of steps to consider when contemplating audio and video creation.
The audio and video interviews proposed are short interactions where both the host and subject appear together within the production (hosted interviews).
A goal of the interview is to eliminate (or greatly lessen) the need for post-production editing; it’s better to re-record short interviews than take the time to edit.
Content of PowerPoint:
Two to five minute interviews
Longer interviews are fine for policy discussions
What it’s Not
It’s not going to be National Public Radio-it’s not going to be the CBS Evening News. It’s not your job to create perfect interviews. Flaws are fine and in the social media world-preferred. Reality and authenticity are preferred versus overly polished interviews.
The following is based on using a hand-held digital audio recorder attached to a hand-held microphone for audio and inexpensive video recording equipment (i.e., an iPad) plus an external microphone.
Choosing the Interview Topic
What serves the customer
What managements wants
What you want
What respects the customer’s learning style
What’s trending-What’s popular
All products and events should have a social media product attached. Regardless as to product or event, do not release unless accompanied by additional products that prompt use or respects learning styles.
Goals of the Interview
Serves the customer
Makes the organization look good
Makes you look good
Makes your guest look good
Conveys key points
Conveys key points simply
Does not use jargon
Fits an 8th grade reading level
A comfortable experience for the guest
An interesting experience for the listener
Think of your customer when you create-form a mental image of that person in your mind
Yes-it has to be somewhat entertaining
Friendly and approachable
Is searchable (choose a simple and accurate title)
How to be a Good Interviewer
You have authority
You have complete control over the entire product
Find your unique voice or style-the most difficult part of the process
Find your radio voice that conveys confidence or authority (the voice you use to speak to a disobedient child)
Focus on key words to emphasize (i.e., I’m REALLY pleased to speak to…..)
Avoid the words you have a hard time pronouncing
Let your personality come through in your voice
Practice interviewing others
People buy from people, not institutions, so be real
You don’t have to be an expert; you just need to know how to get information from the expert
Nervous? Take ten very deep breaths-let it out very slowly
Yes, even the pros are nervous
Understand that getting in to and out of the interview is the hardest part
Understand that most people have never been interviewed. You may have to make the interview easy by doing a considerable amount of talking and summarization and asking them to agree or disagree. It buys them time to gain composure.
The pre-interview is the most important ingredient for a successful interview
Read the executive summary or project overview
Don’t spend a ton of time reading the research or doing the pre-interview
I sometimes get instant interview assignments (person visiting the Director-he/she suggests doing an immediate interview). I can create great interviews with ten minutes of preparation.
Chat with your guest. Make small talk. Find common ground. Be their friend.
Assure them that your job is to make them look good
Tell them that they have complete control over the interview. If they don’t like it, you won’t use it.
Recognize that they may be nervous. Reassure them.
Considering that the interview will be short, suggest that you record additional interviews and pick the best one.
Find out what your guest wants to talk about
Write down your introduction, name of guest, title, topic, phonetic spelling, top five-ten points, website, e-mail address.
What are the 5-10 points the person wants to address?
Decide for yourself the 5-10 points to address
Ask questions a reporter would ask
Don’t be afraid to include tough topics-the interview works only if it’s authentic
Merge your list with theirs
Make sure your guest knows the first question
Do not create a list of specific questions-it’s very important to go where your guest takes you. If he/she starts telling an interesting story, go there and allow time for development.
Explain the process, show them the equipment; assure them that it’s not live; tell them what will happen in the editing process.
Tell them the length of the interview
No interview hits a time mark exactly-don’t worry about it unless time becomes excessive.
Encourage them to be short-precise
Remind them that they cannot/should not read from documents during the interview
Encourage them to speak from the heart
Their opinions are fine
Short stories are wonderful
Remind them that they need to be close to the microphone at all times
Tell them what hand signals you will give them to get them back on the microphone (flat hand moving towards the mike or point at the mike) to get to the point (finger in a circle) and to end the interview (finger across the throat).
Tell them that you will control the microphone
Position it two to four inches away from the guest’s mouth – but in loud surroundings, hold it closer.
Explain to them that you will have to check the timer on your recorded or stop-watch from time to time
Will you sit or stand? Sitting is better
If sitting, tell them not to rap fingers or hands on the chair or desk to make a point
If sitting, remind them not to read
Right Before the Interview
Do your sound checks (more important for studio interviews)
Check the settings on your recording device
Delete old programs from your recording device-gives you memory to record without interruption.
Check battery levels
Do a small recording and listen to it
Make a decision that the location is right for the interview
Wear headphones to monitor sound levels
Have water for you and your guest
Take something that is throat-soothing
Avoid coffee (it dies you out)
Doing the Interview
Put on your radio voice
Ask if they are ready
Record a three-five count before the interview to give provide some editing space
Do your introduction-read from your notes
Summarize your main points at the beginning. That takes a lot of pressure off your guest.
Give your guest the agreed-upon first question
Regardless of you’re the points you want to address, your guest may tell an interesting story. Let them go there. Hopefully, it will be short.
Do not go through the list of questions one-by-one. That makes for boring interviews.
Go where your guest takes you even if you enter new or un-discussed issues
Listen intently to your guest
Look at your guest
Smile at your guest
Laugh when appropriate
Nod your head up and down to indicate that they are doing a great job
If your guest stumbles-help them-start talking
If your guest does well, minimize interaction
Help your guest transition from one topic to another by talking and providing direction. It gives your guest time to collect their thoughts
If your guest stumbles, summarize a key point and ask if he/she agrees or disagrees
Pauses are ok. Exceptionally long pauses can be edited out
Use the predetermined hand signals to move the interview along
Use the introduction as your ending
After the Interview
Thank your guest
Offer them a chance to do another interview in the future
With short audios, if a mistake is made-rerecord
If doing short audios-record several times
Minimize or eliminate editing if possible
For Additional Information
National Public Radio tips: http://prndg.org/host-interviewing-tips
Example of great audio products: http://twit.tv/
If you like this article, please comment, share or follow.