By Gina Sunderland, MSc, RD, Co-Founder, Media Training Boot Camp

Over the past year I have had the opportunity to be a regular guest on CTV Winnipeg Morning Live “Tots to Teens” feature with host Terri Apostle. I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my tips for pitching segment ideas to the host right through to preparing for shooting several segments on the same day.


Suggest segment ideas to the host

Your best bet is to pitch several segment ideas to the host that are suitable for the target audience. In my situation, relevant topics are nutrition for families with young to teenage children. Segment ideas often reflect up-coming seasonal events such as: Mothers or Fathers Day, nutrition tips for after school sports, back to school lunches, summer sport day camp breakfast ideas, kid-friendly Thanksgiving recipes, tips for a healthier Halloween, Christmas, you get the idea.… Hosts typically like being presented with ideas for segments! Also, seek their input for segment ideas too and ask for their recommendations on how to make your segment ideas ideal for their audience.


Prepare and outline your key messages

I give a brief outline of my key messages, as well as some ideas for food props to give the host an idea of how the segment will flow and to allow them to visualize the segment set-up. If you are planning on doing a food demo or showcasing a recipe, consider sending recipe links to the host ahead of time. This will allow the media outlet to upload the recipe onto their site or post it when the segment airs. It also allows the host time in advance to become familiar with the recipe. Keep in mind when preparing your key messages and recipes that you will only have about 3 minutes for the entire segment – and 3 minutes goes fast once the camera is rolling!


Recommend a shoot location

Consider using your own kitchen as the stage for the TV interview and demonstrating recipes. I find my kitchen to be the easiest location to stay organized for shooting several segments on the same day. It allows me to have a counter, table and fridge space for storing, laying out/setting-up the various food items and props for each segment. All of my props are at my fingertips and bonus – I can run upstairs and quickly change into a different outfit for the next segment. Alternatively, if I am shooting the TV segments in studio, I use separate plastic totes for each segment to carry all of the necessary items (recipe ingredients, foods, dishes, placemats, etc.), and I label EVERYTHING!


A little advance preparation goes a long way

Give yourself plenty of lead time to prepare for taping multiple segments.

  1. Once segment topics and recipes have been confirmed, create a detailed grocery list approximately two days in advance.
  2. One day in advance, allow yourself time to plan and create the various food displays. I create a mock display the day ahead. My food displays and props become my road map for my key message. Have a fully completed recipe to display and have all the ingredients ready and measured out in advance so you can “create the recipe” during the segment taping.
  3. If you’re shooting the segment in your kitchen, create a space where you can visually lay out as much of the food display for each segment as possible. I usually use my dining room table for this. Label items that need to go in the fridge so you know which segment they will be needed for.
  4. On the day of the taping, save time by having the props for the first segment set up in advance, before the camera crew arrives.
  5. Finish any last minute touches just minutes right before the shoot (e.g., misting vegetables with a water spritz so they look fresh, beating an egg white for a recipe, blending a smoothie to display).
  6. Last but not least – smile and HAVE FUN! Sharing our expert nutrition messages in the media is an important job and a fantastic way to profile the amazing work of dietitians!