I first met Kerry Miller when she was a grad student participating in my media training workshop. Fast forward, and now she’s appeared in her first on-camera interview with Global News. Way to go Kerry! Here’s my online interview with Kerry and a link to her TV interview.
1 – Congratulations on your first TV broadcast interview! Tell us how you secured this interview – did you pitch the story idea to the producer / journalist or did they find you?
I’m a course instructor for Mount Royal University in Calgary. Media outlets often reach out to the communications department to interview academia for expert opinions. Since graduating with my Masters in Nutrition Communications from Ryerson University, I’ve been open to working with media. When I got an email request from the communications team to interview with Global News, I was happy to say ‘yes’!
2 – What was the interview topic? How did you prepare for it? How long did it take you to prepare for the interview? Did they send the interview questions to you in advance? Did you send your speaking notes to them in advance? What things did you think about when preparing for the interview (e.g. key messages, wardrobe, props, etc…)?
The original question the journalist asked me to comment on was, ‘why do people eat more, and crave more indulgent foods, in the winter months’? This was the only question provided to me in advance.
Researching the topic took longer than I anticipated (it always does). I prepared two key messages: biological and environmental influences that could play a role. I made sure I could speak to the evidence supporting each, if asked. I also prepared a few tips that viewers could apply in each scenario to avoid overeating.
On the day of the interview I shared my key messages with the journalist. In exchange, she shared her angle on the story with me. The interview was conducted over the holidays, so once we got into it, the questions she asked slowly morphed into healthy eating advice for the new year. Because of our earlier discussion, I had time to prepare for a few of these questions too.
3 – Please share a few details about the interview – where was it filmed, how long did they interview you versus how long they aired you in the final news clip? How were you feeling before, during and after the interview?
Global News was very accommodating. The journalist came to the house and we filmed in my living room! Tiffany (the journalist) was also a dream to work with. From the start, she made the interview feel very conversational. The interview was taped, not live. She assured me that if I provided an answer I was not happy about we could record it again until I was satisfied.
The scariest part of taped interviews is wondering how they will edit your responses: will they be taken out of context; will the key messages be included? We recorded about 15 minutes of footage. After watching the segment, ~30 seconds was included in the final edit.
4 – Any tips for students / dietitians who are planning to do their first media interview? If you had to do the interview again, is there anything you would do differently?
Just do it! Public speaking has never been my comfort zone. But, with practice, I’ve learned to push through the discomfort and now, I enjoy giving presentations, workshops, interviews etc.
I also believe that as dietitians, if we want to be seen as the experts in nutrition, food and health, we have to visible. We have to have an opinion. We have to do media work to promote ourselves and our profession. Otherwise, our voice will be drowned out by others (social media influencers, celebrity chefs etc.) who are more vocal.
My advice: get to know the journalist. Looking back, I would have asked more questions leading up to filming so that I had a better idea of what to expect. I got very lucky working with Tiffany on filming day.
About Kerry: Kerry is a registered dietitian with a unique background in exercise science and communications. She has a passion for showing others how nutrition can help optimize health and fuel athletic performance. She draws upon a wide range of applied nutritional experience in clinical, community and research settings when teaching at Mount Royal University, and when working with community members as part of the Mosaic Primary Care Network.