Five on…off air briefings

This short telephone chat with a producer in the lead-up to going on air can be a good way to control the flow of information. Here are some tips:

1) Be proactive

Some producers will demand off-air briefings, but many won’t. When the idea of an interview is first mooted, always request a short telephone interview with the producer assigned the story

2) Be prepared

A bad off-air briefing will leave the producer more confused at the end of the call than they were at the beginning. Work out the direction you want the interview to go in before you pick up the phone

3) Don’t be too subtle

Preface your key content with phrases like “What’s new about this is…” or “the real game-changer here is…”

4) Ask questions

An off-air briefing is a chance for you to build a logistical picture about the interview. Questions might include: Is the interview live or pre-recorded? Are other guests expected?”

5) Plug your social media

If you are going to tweet about your appearance on the programme, flag this up to the producer in the off-air briefing