The coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing the way we live, work, communicate and even consume media. While some companies are cutting back communication, we’re encouraging our clients to share content, adapt and flourish. The positive side for PR pros is that there are stories to be told surrounding the virus. Bloggers, journalists, and influencers need content and are looking to us to provide them with compelling angles, and now many of these individuals are increasingly utilizing video platforms when available.
According to Priori Data, global downloads of Zoom surged by more than 100 percent in March and the app was downloaded nearly 27 million times this month, up from just 2.1 million times in January.
Between Zoom, UberConference, Skype and many others, video conferencing apps are being used for everything from staff meetings and media interviews to birthday parties and happy hours. At Aspen and Fort Lauderdale-based public relations agency Durée & Company, we are sharing our 5 tips for successful virtual interviews.
Be Prepared. Whether it’s a virtual interview or an in-person one, it is our job to make sure our clients are as prepared as possible. At Durée & Company, we craft talking points and potential questions for the interviewee to practice responding. We also share tips with our clients on how to respond to a question that may not be appropriate to answer. We also recommend our clients to receive professional media training because a media trainer provides great tips that are useful for any interview or real-time situation. Our good friend Dave Aizer is the founder and head trainer at Elite Media Coaching. He coaches executives, entrepreneurs, social media influencers and others to become more powerful presenters.
Set Up Your Space. When setting up your space for an interview or meeting, find a place where there is good lighting. You want the person you are video conferencing with to be able to clearly see your face. Once you find a spot with good lighting, clean up the background so that there aren’t any messes or things that would distract the person on the other end of the video from focusing on you.
Dress the part. Although many of us have taken a more casual approach these days, for virtual interviews, it’s important to still look sharp and put together. You not only want to show your best self and give a good impression, but you also want to show the person who is interviewing you that you care about your personal presentation and respect them.
Get technical. Test the camera, sound, speaker, Wi-Fi, etc. to ensure that you are as prepared as possible, instead of taking up time during the interview to address these items. Also, be sure to mute yourself when you aren’t speaking as well as mute any notification sounds such as an incoming email or text message. This will get rid of any background noise that may be coming from your end which makes it hard to hear. Use a headset and microphone for better sound. Working in a smaller room can help reduce the echo as well. Also, make sure the camera is at eye level and you know where to look, whether it is on a desktop, laptop or smartphone. When using a laptop or smartphone, it’s helpful to have a computer or phone stand on hand to help prop up your camera. This will allow the camera to center your face in the frame.
Practice makes perfect. Do a practice round with your friends or colleagues! This way they can give feedback on anything that might need tweaking. Check and make sure you know the frame so you aren’t moving in and out of the camera space. Everyone’s time is very valuable, so it’s best to work out any kinks before the interview starts.
Since we are all trying to get used to the “new normal,” it is important to be able to adapt and put best practices to work! If you are looking for more virtual media training tips, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org today.
About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit arenas for local, national and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in business, fashion, hospitality, travel, wellness and CBD, marine & yacht, art and culture, nonprofit organizations, legal and professional services and real estate. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, go to https://dureeandcompany.com/, visit Durée & Company on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DureeCoPR/, Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/dureecopr Twitter at https://twitter.com/dureecopr or YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/DureeAndCompany, or call 954-723-9350.