“Good morning, Cookerly Public Relations, this is Amy.” I hold my breath, wondering who’s on the other line. Is it about the media briefing document I compiled last night? Or is it the reporter from the Times finally calling me back to confirm an interview time?
Neither, today it’s one of our Senior VPs, Candace, asking me to read a creative brief for a video shoot she and her team are filming for SunTrust about the MasterCard Market place. A casting call about online shopping? I would’ve worn better shoes!
Having facilitated media interviews with clients, undergone media training and interview preparation, calming nerves – “don’t worry, you’re the expert, and I’ll be there to step in if any sensitive issues should arise” – you’d think turning the microphone on yourself would be business as usual. And this shoot was about the new SunTrust MasterCard check card and online shopping. Bingo, a topic on which I am a self-proclaimed expert!
Try again. Dreaming up a story idea, drafting the pitch, reaching out to reporters, securing the opportunity, scheduling the interview, reviewing key messages with the client prior to the interview, that is a piece of cake (once you have a few years of experience under your belt, of course). The alternative, a tiny flashing red light, sweaty palms, tongue twister lines – a simple task that is not. It’s more like lights, camera…AH!
After about two hours of acquainting myself with the overall theme of the video and key elements of the “new SunTrust MasterCard check card and benefits of shopping online at the MasterCard Marketplace,” (try repeating that 102 times! Sounds more like – “the new SunTrust MasterCard Marketplace, check card MasterCard”…huh?), we began filming. Seven hours later, we had interviewed 15 strangers about their online shopping habits and using a check card vs. a credit card – letting the whole world (Underground Atlanta and Peachtree Center) know about the advantages of using the new MasterCard check card.
[Long dramatic exhausted sigh] Kudos to reporters for chasing down sources to get that two-minute interview and flying by the seat of their pants trying to make conversation out of nothing. Did you get everything you needed? Or is it back to the drawing board? Seven hours of your life, you can only hope you have some good materials to make your case!
We sat for five days, waiting in anticipation, wondering if Josh, Shandra, Kay and Brenda and Adam (we knew Bob did not) got us those sound bites to make the video work… (and of course, how did my hair look and was the inflection in my voice overkill?!)
A few nips-and-tucks in the editing room and boom, Jonathon, our producer and Will, our cameraman, made magic!
The video is in its last rounds of editing, and I look forward to seeing the final product. And while this was quite the experience, I will to stick to my comfort zone, behind the scenes, where I get to sit in the director’s chair. However, do not be mistaken, whether on camera or behind the camera, I will always pay special attention to my shoes.