The 1:20 rule.


If there’s one thing to remember when it comes to success in any TV or radio interview, it’s what I’ve termed the ‘1:20 rule’.

Aside from an extended live TV or radio interview, when it comes to broadcast news coverage, journalists have about 1 minute, 20 seconds to share your story.

If you’re lucky, you’ll score about 15 seconds of air time in that 1:20. Maybe even as little as five to seven seconds. Three seconds tops in a super-quick radio news bulletin across the day.

So it begs the question: can you tell the story you’re pitching (the research, breaking news, new launch, product story, idea or inspiration) in as little as 1 minute, 20 seconds, let alone five or 10 seconds?

Start seeing your stories through the filter of 1:20. Harness the ability to demonstrate the newsworthiness of your pitch in just a few seconds.

If you only had 10 seconds to respond to an important question about your story – what would you say? What would you centre in on, what would you want the public to know?

I host a daily drive show on 91.9 Fresh FM in Gladstone, all the way from Greece. The wonders of technology in 2017!

I know this - through my daily show, and having hosted radio programs for over a decade - those that master the 1:20 rule get the coverage.

If you can master the ability to share your story and answer interview questions in short, succinct, clear, efficient grabs - you will become a go-to interviewee for the media time and time again.

I hate to say it, but I have hesitated - even removed contacts from my list - because they took up too much time during interviews. Journalists that pre-record don’t have time to sift through endless minutes and minutes of interviews - they need you to communicate in their language.

If you spend time on anything - invest your time in understanding and nailing the 1:20. Practice your pitch, your interview responses, your statements in the car, at home, to a friend - anywhere and everywhere you can, to refine your effectiveness.

The 1:20 rule. An essential in any great media toolkit!

Katie Clift

*If this blog post helped, drop me a line at to say hi! You can also grab a free copy of my Personal PR Planner, tried and tested internationally for over a decade. It will upscale your media coverage: guaranteed!

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Katie Clift