A TV producer contacts us before 6am, asking if one of our clients could appear in studio for a live interview to discuss a topic in the news. When? The following morning.
It’s early but we text our client to notify him of this opportunity. As a TV reporter, when I needed to interview an expert, I contacted one person after another. Time was of the essence and I didn’t have time to waste. I wouldn’t wait hours for experts to confirm their availability. In this situation, we want to tell the producer “yes” as soon as possible.
We receive an unexpected text. The client says he can not make the appearance. He is booked solid the next morning with patients.
We’ve never had a client turn down such as opportunity. Turning down a producer’s request is risky. She may simply find someone else to interview and the next time she needs someone on short notice, she might not call us.
We explain to our client he can not turn down this opportunity. We explain the risks. He understands but rescheduling about 25 patients the day before would negatively impact his business. That’s also a risk he can not take.
Can we find a compromise? We offer the producer two options knowing she may turn them both down: 1) Can our client appear in studio much earlier in the morning, allowing him time to return to his practice for his appointments? 2) Instead of our client appearing in studio, can the station send a live truck to his practice for a live interview? This would allow our client to momentarily step away from patients for a live interview instead of spending much more time driving to and from the TV station, which is not close to his practice.
The producer agrees to send a live truck, warning she might cancel the interview if breaking news pops up. But the next morning, the interview happens. We didn’t miss an important opportunity. Our client was flexible, having no issue with a TV crew visiting his practice on short notice during a busy morning. And the TV producer was flexible, willing to go to the story instead of it coming to her.