When I am hired as a media coach/trainer, I am often scheduled to go to big events with clients. Typically multiple local news stations and networks are covering these events live. I am there to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
At one event last summer, I couldn’t help noticing the TV News interns for two different television stations. One was dressed like she was going out to a club in a very short skirt that barely covered her behind. Throw in her 4-inch stilettos and big hair– well, she was hard to miss. Beyond that, she seemed to be waiting for her close-up, while never actually doing any work.
In stark contrast, the other station’s intern was dressed more appropriately for the casual outdoor event. She wore black pants and a short-sleeved blouse. She had on sporty yet stylish shoes. She took notes. She asked intelligent questions. And as a result, she was given more responsibility that day. She conducted interviews, while the inappropriately dressed intern merely watched. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
It was clear that the second intern understood the opportunity that she was being given and was making the most of it.
Here are 3 tips that I share with college interns, who want to make the most of their TV news internships.
1. Work really hard… so hard that you become invaluable to the newsroom i.e. they can’t imagine functioning without you.
2. Keep a low profile the first couple of weeks. For example, don’t interrupt people. Don’t offer your opinion unless you are asked. Watch, listen and learn all you can.
3. Dress as seriously as you want to be taken.
Remember these tips and you might just get offered a freelance gig after your TV news internships are over.
If you are a college student who is interested in more tips, check out this blog about landing your first on-air job.
And if you’re a college professor, who is interested in having Noeleen guest lecture at your school, please contact us. Noeleen lectures on a variety of topics including media strategy, crisis comms and spokesperson training.