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Step Up Your Press Conference Game

Today New York Governor Kathy Hochul led a live news conference from Queens in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. She was flanked by men who appeared to be almost two feet taller than her, so the viewer could barely pick her out in the shot. 

Whoever made the recommendation of what she should wear today (bright white) made a great choice, as she stood out against the aforementioned taller officials, who were tucked in close to her and all wearing dark blue.

The one thing that ultimately made the viewer lose her in the shot: her height!

I’ve worked for elected public officials of varying physical stature. One thing I’ve learned to avoid this problem: bring a step or sturdy, small platform. Sticking it discreetly behind the podium while you work to set the shot will earn you gratitude from your boss; but more importantly, it mitigates your principal from getting lost in the shot.

I’ve carried around a sturdy wooden step in our cars wherever we go when working for these officials, and I’ve also ordered outfitted travel podiums with built-in step stools.

Also, make sure your podium and size of the mics are proportional to your official. 

One tiny change can level up the TV and print photos from your event.

Summer Johnson is the Managing Partner of Riester Public Affairs. She has led communications campaigns for candidates and elected and appointed officials for over twenty years.