Representing your poly group on local TV news: Five examples
Getting your polyamory group's message onto local TV can be surprisingly easy. Local news-and-talk shows may even help you announce your next public event. A fine example aired a few days ago on KVRR-TV for the Fargo area of North Dakota.
Click here to watch the video (4:30).
Lindsay Fouke (at right) was poised, relatable, and came ready with talking points. You can do this too! If I have any suggestions for her next TV appearance, it would be to remember to smile often — especially important when delivering a message that some will find difficult — and maybe to reconsider the item of face jewelry. In the closeups it often distracts from what she's saying, partly because it reflects glints of studio light as her lips move. Viewers only pay attention to one thing at a time, so as Joreth Innkeeper advises people going on TV, "De-emphasize aspects [of your appearance] that will distract from your message."
Joreth created the Polyamory Media Association site, which offers top-flight, professional advice for anyone appearing in mass media — especially TV, the most demanding. Joreth is a professional camera operator, among other things, in real life.
The Fargo station was quite willing to boost the group's next public event and put details on the segment's page on the station's website (posted March 22, 2019):
It’s one of the least well-understood subgroups in love relationships, and in fact, it’s only been recognized a few years as a social phenomenon.
So it might surprise you that a group devoted to polyamory — or relationships that feature consensual non-monogamy — is alive and well and operating right here in the Red River Valley.
It’s a group called PolyAware, and it exists to help people understand what the practice of polyamory is, how it works in people’s lives, and why it’s different than cheating on your partner.
...PolyAware’s Lindsay Fouke sat down in-studio with the Morning Show’s Emily Welker to talk about [the group's upcoming public] “Shift Happens” session, and explained some common beliefs, misapprehensions and more about the practice of polyamory.
[The event:] Sunday, March 24th, 1 p.m.
Pride Collective and Community Center
1105 1st Avenue South, Fargo
This is typical of the friendly treatment you'll get from local TV if they think you are interesting local material, which they always need. And it doesn't even matter if it's a Fox affiliate.
Here are some previous examples of good poly representation. Watching them, can you spot any dos and don'ts that you can learn from?
● "Chicago Tonight" on WTTW, the city's PBS station, ran a thoughtful, 11-minute (!) interview with Chicago Polyamory Connection co-founder Caroline Kearns and poly-friendly therapists Rami Henrich and Jennifer Rafacz (May 30, 2017. More info.) Watch below:
● An MFM trio shines on KRIV Fox-26 TV in Houston. Watch it here (May 1, 2017. More info.) A still:
● On WJLA's "Good Morning Washington" (DC): "Debunking Polyamory Myths," featuring the four brilliant and interesting young people in the still below. Watch it here. (July 1, 2016. More info.)
● Open Love NY activist Gette Levy salvaged an otherwise dull-headed TV report about polyamory in New York City, on WPIX Channel 11 (May 2, 2016. More info.) Watch below:
● Again, I recommend Joreth's Polyamory Media Association site. Topics there include:
- Evaluating Media Requests. Know what they're after — and when to walk away, even at the last minute if they spring a surprise.
- Know What Questions To Ask The Media When They Contact You
- Know What Questions The Media Will Most Likely Ask You
- Have Some Soundbites Prepared. This one is crucial.
- How To Create Your Media Persona
- How To Dress For Credibility. If you want an audience to hear you, you must dress so the audience identifies with you.
- Tools To Make Media Experiences More Convenient
- Taking Your Bio Picture
- Polish Your Interview Skills With A Mock Interview
● Another valuable read: John Ullman's Doing a Media Interview? Tempted? Make Sure it’s not Poly In, Garbage Out, on Loving More's site. The article is old but still good as new.
● Want to become a poly media representative more widely? Robyn Trask, Loving More's director, is ready to offer you tips from her own long experience — and she might add you to her list of people to refer media to when they call Loving More asking for interviewees.