Lessons for PR pros from the BBC Skype interview dad

A viral video of an interrupted interview highlights the dangers of distractions. How can you prepare your executives for the unexpected?

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For media relations experts, nothing produces more anxiety than an interview on live TV. An anchor can pivot from a previously discussed line of questioning, leaving your executive hung out to dry in front of thousands or even millions of viewers.

I admit I’ve watched this interview at least 15 times. The now famous BBC broadcast where Professor Robert Kelly, a father of two, is humorously interrupted by his kids on live TV is equal parts humorous and cringe-worthy. If you’re a veteran of the PR industry, chances are you had a similar reaction. At first, uncontrollable laughter as the mother dives for the door handle, followed by the fear that this could happen to anyone—even executives at your own organization.

Sometimes real life is unavoidable. Here are a few tips to prepare your executives for anything—even kids:

1. Preparation, preparation, preparation. Live TV can go several different ways and you cannot anticipate everything. However, presenting possible scenarios to your executives can mean the difference between failure and success. Professor Kelly probably prepared extensively for this interview, including childcare arrangements—but things still went awry.

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