Six Tips for Executing Successful Live Early-Morning TV Segments

This morning Diana and I woke up very early to be at Whole Foods Pearl Street store at 6:00 a.m.  The coffee bar is not even open that early so what would get us there at that time? It could only be morning TV.  Yes, it’s early but I swear its fun and worth it.

The Pearl Street store is celebrating its Grand Re-Opening after a major facelift and expansion that doubled the store’s size and offerings.  It’s a foodie paradise in there.  They even have a make-your-own Trail Mix station.

Cooking Coach, Beth Pilar showing FOX News features reporter, Dan Daru around the Cooking Department. Photo courtesy of Ryan Amirault of Whole Foods Market

During my time at FIG I’ve organized five early morning live TV segments and have the following key tips for success to share. (The others were in South Denver so the 6 minute commute to the Boulder store was welcomed.)

1. Have fun. Face it; this is early morning TV, not 60 Minutes.  It’s 6:30 a.m. and you’re prepping the sausage guy for the interview.  Laugh.  It’s funny.

2. Be flexible and spontaneous.  Thinking on your feet is critical with media relations but since live TV is so dynamic, going-with-the flow is imperative.

3. Be hospitable and do whatever it takes.  If the camera man wants to rearrange the shelf for the best shot possible, do it.  If you want a particular sign in the background, move it.

4. Feed your guests.  Breakfast and coffee goes a long way to making people comfortable in the basic sense of nutrition as fuel and as common ground for an ice breaker if needed.

5. Work with the producer and reporter to frame out the segments with a focus on their viewer.  What will they be interested in?  What can you teach them in two minutes while they’re getting ready for work or school? Why should they care?  After you’ve done all this, it will change that morning five minutes before the segment.  See Tip #1.

6. Have a news hook and back it up with examples of new things that the viewer will find useful.  For example, the store has a new Cooking Department which gives shoppers a free service to consult with an in-store Cooking Coach.

Here we are making sausage at 6:45 a.m. on FOX News. Just that statement is funny.

Whole Foods Pearl’s Grand Re-Opening continues this Friday with a Benefit Concert featuring Todd Park Mohr and Jeremy Lawton of Big Head Todd, Mollie O’Brien and Danielle Ate The Sandwich. Tickets are $15 and for sale at the store or online at 100% of the proceeds will go directly to Boulder Valley School District’s School Food Project. Friday, Aug 19 at 6:00 p.m. in the Whole Foods Market Pearl parking lot.  See you there!

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