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John Hooks

We’ve a ‘feline’ virtual interviews are here to stay

“I am not a cat.”

They’re the five words that helped make a Texan lawyer world famous as he turned up for a virtual court sitting with a filter switched on which made him appear to other participants as a cat.

What the lawyer might call a ‘cat-astrophe’ (sorry!) has been viewed millions of times by people all around the globe.

The world has changed and so much of our social and business interactions have moved online with Zoom and Microsoft Teams calls now becoming the norm in a lot of workplaces.

In the world of media interviews, it is also becoming much more acceptable for broadcasters to use interviews conducted online. As the quality of the content is fit for purpose and the costs to the broadcaster are greatly reduced, this is a trend we see becoming more commonplace on our news programmes, radio shows and online platforms.

Modern newsrooms, operating in a 24/7 news cycle, face so much competition that speed in breaking a story is a key consideration. Editors now have the luxury of obtaining expert comment on breaking stories without the need to dispatch journalists – a simple video call delivers the perfect result.

Jago regularly delivers media training for our clients, helping them become accustomed to a wide range of platforms.  We recently delivered virtual training to one of our clients with a large section of the seminar dedicated to the online interview.

Delegates working from home in Turkey, Spain and Germany joined their Northern Ireland-based colleagues for the virtual sessions. It’s a small world and getting smaller!

While many of the principles of a face-to-face interview translate to the online version, there are several factors worth considering, not least the contents of the bookshelf behind you.

Other things to consider for online interviews include:

  • Look at the camera. It may sound obvious but addressing the little light at the top of your screen can be a hard skill to master especially when it feels more natural to address the faces on your screen.
  • Get Dressed. Again, it may seem obvious but who can forget the medical professional who thought he was doing a radio interview on Zoom only for the station to broadcast the interview live on their social media platforms. He was in his dressing gown.

While they are less common at the minute, we also predict a return to both the on-camera interview and the in-studio interview. In our view it is the interviewee who is best prepared with a clear communications objective who will deliver key messages in a confident and engaging manner.

In these changing times we would certainly recommend media training for your organisation’s spokespeople as well as refresher courses to cover the unique aspects of the online interview.

At Jago we have the experience and expertise to guide you through this changing landscape to help ensure your messages are heard in the right way.

So why not contact us and let us tailor the ‘purr-fect’ (ok, I’ll stop now) media training courses to help you and your organisation navigate the changing media landscape.

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