As soon as business travel was taken off the table, sales organizations started looking for opportunities to get their executives seen and heard by the people they wanted to do business with. The podcast movement — both audio and video — had been roiling just under the surface for some time. COVID-19 was the catalyst and the resulting explosion set podcasters free.
Today, there are many opportunities to get your company’s executives seen and heard without ever putting them aboard a plane. But it requires a bit of preparation. This is true even if the studio is Zoom and she’s delivering her message from her desk. If you doubt this, check out the wisdom Rene Rodriguez has been sharing over on his site.
I’ve counseled my clients for years that when it comes to any appearance, either live or recorded, there are really only three critical elements that the executive must bring to the performance. Coincidentally, these are the same three things that many professional trade reporters look for in expert sources.
Many executives will approach these situations with a fair amount of trepidation, especially if they do not know the interviewer. A good communications executive or external PR counselor will already have vetted the reporter, the publication and probably even acquired a list of questions. There should be no surprises when the recorder starts.
When it does, the executive should strive to achieve three goals.
1. Be a human.
Too often, I hear executives in interviews who don’t sound like real people. They deliver the marketing department’s collateral, which the reporter likely already has, in a manner that suggests it has been programmed into them. That doesn’t come across as authentic and people will quickly lose interest.
The solution to this is…
2. Be an expert.
If the executive spends the interview going over the high level information that everyone in the industry already knows or worse dives down so deeply into the weeds that that audience gets lost, it will not serve the company well.
An expert goes down the speaking points that were developed in association with the communication’s team and answers the interviewer’s questions clearly and concisely. Expertise will then naturally come across in the answers. Finally, and most importantly…
3. Be passionate about service to company clients.
Many times high level executives are so busy running the business that they no longer have time to spend in the business. I advise every executive to make it clear that they have a passion for helping the company’s customers. It’s really the most important thing.
Executives who approach an interview in a very authentic manner, who let their expertise show by answering the questions clearly and then show their passion for being part of the solution for their customers, will walk away from a great podcasting experience every time.
Co-Founder and COO at Content Beacon + President at RGA Public Relations