Skype interviews require some adjustments

If you follow me on Twitter, most of my posts revolve around the arts in Seattle, with occasional digressions into D&D chatter and posts about writing. One regular theme is the #PRtip. These are my thoughts about ways to be more successful in promotions. Or, at least, how to avoid serious mistakes.

I'm a public relations professional and spend a good part of my day writing releases and other communications for my company. At the same time, because I keep one foot in journalism covering Seattle theater, I am on the receiving end of dozens of press releases each month. I regularly chat with other PR professionals and journalists.

So, when the thought strikes, I publish PR tips that I think would be useful for authors or others inspired by the events in my life.

For example, today I did my first Skype interview with a major TV news network. The final interview probably will end up on the network's website, rather than in a broadcast, but it was still a great opportunity. And it led to some #PRtips on Twitter about my first encounter with interviewing via Skype.

Some "Skype" thoughts that popped up after the interview:
  • Go for the higher end microphone plugged into the computer rather than rely on the built-in mike: one of my fellow staffers recommended using her mike (she uses Skype regularly for business) and the interviewer did comment on how good the sound was.
  • Create a quiet area for your interview: I work in a very busy and open office. People pop into my cubicle on a regular basis. For the interview, I moved the laptop and me into a conference room with door that I could close. No distractions makes it easier to concentrate on the interviewer's questions.
  • Check out the camera angle before connecting! Where my laptop usually sits on my desk creates a view of me that even my mother couldn't love. So I shifted the laptop and its built-in webcam until the view made me look more like me! The interviewer still asked me to do a little adjustment -- and he was the one with the experience -- but not much. Remember that an interview isn't like a chat with Grandma. It's your one and only chance to make a good first impression with the interviewer and their audience.
I have some more PR tips, based on a lecture given to a group of nonprofit arts groups, posted in my pages. If you have a PR question, feel free to drop me a line or post a comment here.


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