An interview with the media is a great way to gain visibility for your business while promoting your message. At first glance, a media interview might seem fairly straightforward– they ask questions, you provide answers– but appearing knowledgeable, confident, and engaging is often a challenge for novice interviewees. Below are some tips to help you nail your next media interview.
1. Do some research. Learn everything you can about the publication ahead of time. Read other articles written by the same author. Avoid going into the interview blindly; be sure to clarify the topic and focus of the article. Consider asking for the interview questions up front so that you can prepare the best possible answers.
2. Be concise. Make sure your answers aren’t long-winded or overloaded in detail. Keep them concise; attempt to answer each question in one to three sentences. Don’t assume the reporter knows what you’re talking about, either. Provide responses that are specific and clear; avoid using industry jargon.
3. Give examples. Facts are important, but an engaging interview includes examples. Consider following up facts with stories to illustrate your point.
4. Be accurate. There’s no faster way to destroy credibility than to provide an interview filled with inaccuracies. Take the time to fact check beforehand so that you are confident that all of the information you’re providing is completely accurate.
5. Be yourself. It’s okay to have help preparing your answers, but remember that it’s important to be yourself. If you don’t believe your answers and sound like a robot reading from a script, no one else is going to believe you, either. Be genuine and use your own speaking style.
6. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Never underestimate the power of practice. Find a partner to role-play the interview with you. Rehearse your responses to tough questions. The more you practice, the more relaxed and confident you’ll appear during the interview.
Do you have an upcoming media interview? Let us help you prepare. Contact us today for more information.
Rhiannon Hendrickson is the founder and CEO of Orapin Marketing + Public Relations, which helps purpose-driven businesses increase awareness and attract clients and partners. She has worked with organizations of all sizes across myriad sectors to develop memorable and effective communications programs that generate awareness, engagement, and, ultimately, support for those that are making a meaningful impact.