Five Tips to Prepare for a Successful Media Interview
Being interviewed by the media for a story is a great opportunity for any business. Earned media coverage is highly valuable because of the potential number of people the media can reach and the opportunity for increased trust for your brand. You only get one chance to make a positive first impression and the same is true for media interviews. Here are five tips to prepare for an interview with the media:
1. Know the outlet and reporter you are interviewing with
Having a good understanding of the type of outlet who you will be interviewing with is important. When preparing for the interview, take some time to figure out who the outlet is and what types of stories they generally cover. Also, do some research on the specific reporter and what their beat is. Knowing this information beforehand will help you answer their questions in a way that will benefit their story and make you look good.
2. Plan your wardrobe accordingly
Make sure to ask the reporter about the logistics of your interview beforehand so you can plan your wardrobe and/or space accordingly. If you will be interviewing in a television studio, avoid bright colours, especially green, to avoid blending in with a green screen. If it’s a virtual interview, make sure to have a professional space without any personal items in view. Check your internet connection to make sure you don’t have disruptions, and make sure your space will allow you to focus on the interview without distractions.
If it’s by phone, use a quiet space with solid telephone reception. Don’t take the interview from your car – you’ll want to ensure you are focused and present. Always dress professionally and avoid any extravagant or distracting clothing choices.
3. Have key messages prepared
When answering interview questions during a media interview, you always want to bring your answer back to your pre-prepared key messages. Going into the interview with three or four memorized key messages that relevant to the topic of the story will help ensure you can get your message across and make the most out of the opportunity.
4. Prepare some stats and facts and have excellent sound bites
One thing we know to be true about the media is that they love key stats and facts for their story. Make sure to have a few interesting facts prepared to provide when answering questions. One important consideration is ensuring that your stats are from reliable sources and can be further explained if the interviewer asks for clarification. Have some “sound bites” – five to eight second headlines that help express your perspective that is memorable and relevant.
5. Be prepared to manage challenging questions
One thing you never want to do in a media interview is to look or feel unprepared and unsure. Be prepared for all different types of questions, and plan how you will respond to those questions. Not sure what to do next? Worthington PR offers media training courses to groups of all sizes. These are just a few of our many tricks to media interviewing. To inquire about professional media training for your team, check out our website or contact Paula Worthington at firstname.lastname@example.org.