The Interview Changes with Covid Will Continue Post Pandemic
Prior to the pandemic, as a publicist, my team and I were busy running to local and national television studios to accompany a client for press tours or one-time interviews. When we secured a press tour, they had to be meticulously designed to hit live or pre-taped interviews back-to-back. As an example, I recall pre-pandemic handling the press tour for Donny Osmond for the launch of his new home line. The day started at 7:30 AM at the Today Show, then we headed to NY Live, then to a syndicated talk show, stop for lunch then taping the Rachel Ray Show.
That was only day one, more media day two then media in Philadelphia to follow.
I have secured and accompanied clients to so many television interviews from LA to DC, to NYC and more cities, I have lost count.
The pandemic hit in 2020 and the he world stopped! Client in-studio interviews were postponed or canceled. For our industry, it was a little confusing on how to proceed with media.
Then Zoom arrived! A few weeks after the lockdown, media began to re-schedule clients who had been canceled. Except, the media wanted the interviews to happen on Zoom. I had a client launching his 4th national book in 2020. For the first time since he became an author, he was not flying to different cities to appear on local shows, he was not on trains meeting media for print interviews. He was sitting in his home office and being interviewed from the comfort of his own home.
As the publicist, we secured the press tour as if it was in the studio, however, no traveling was required.
I must say, the results I do believe we're exactly the same as if he were in the studio. Some clients thrive on in-studio interviews, and as the publicist, it is always exciting to be in a studio of a national show, and meet other guests, the hosts, and the producers. But, to not do non-stop running, was also a nice break.
The positive news is 85% of the local show producers surveyed have stated they will continue to interview via Zoom. There will be that in-studio option, but remote, on-location interviews will continue as a trend I believe for years to come.
This option also allows the booking producers to seek out guests across the country and the globe, without the concern if the guest can travel to their network location. Many producers also feel interviews at home, or the guest's office comes off to the public as very authentic. The viewer can see where this expert works or lives.
For the media, it also saves budgets, as they are not flying experts or celebrities to the interview. The interview guests can complete their interview then go back to their day.
I feel there is a benefit to have this home/ office option. My team and I have begun going back into some studios, but it is very limited. The vast majority are still interviewed remotely.
So, this is our new normal in the media industry. I think it opens more doors to interviews in locations clients would never travel to in the past.
I do look forward to going back to many in-studio interviews, but I do not feel it will ever be as hectic as it was pre-pandemic. Zoom will be in the mix for many years to come.